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Japan Destination Guide for Expats

Destination Guide of major cities in Japan, including brief overview of Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe with some pictures and information of expat-related facilities.

We hope these information will help expats coming to or residing in Japan and the HR department of foreign companies.

  • General Information of Japan

    The total land area is 377,915 square kilometers (145,914 square miles). The national land of Japan consists of four major islands of Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, plus several thousand smaller islands.
    Todofuken (Prefectures):
    47 regional divisions as below:
    1 to (Tokyo), 1 do (Hokkaido), 2 fu (Kyoto and Osaka), and 43 ken (Prefectures)
    Prefectures are similar to “states” or “provinces” in North America or “counties” in the UK.
    The population of Japan was 127.11 million, as of October 1st, 2015, by Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. The average household size is 2.39 persons (as of 2014)
    Climate in Japan:
    • Four seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter
    • The longitudinally stretched shape of Japan covers climate ranges from sub-arctic to sub-tropical
    • Suffers an extremely humid rainy season (tsuyu), primarily in June and many typhoons from August to October
    • Despite severe seasonal changes, Japan’s natural splendor attracts many foreign visitors
    The Japanese spoken language is represented by ideograms called “kanji” (meaning Chinese characters), hiragana and katakana. Kanji is used for words, hiragana for the phonetic transcription of words or parts of speech and katakana primarily for transliterating of foreign words or names. Dialects are spoken in various areas, but that of Tokyo is the basic standard. Japanese youths often use “words” which are combined abbreviations of common terms.  Romaji (Roman letters) is the rendering of words into letters.
    Public Safety
    According to a study compiled by the UN Office on Drug and Crime and cited by the Guardian, in 2012, Tokyo had a homicide rate of 0.4 per 100,000 people, compared to New York City with 5.2, 4.0 in Bangkok, and London with 1.6.
    In 2015, Tokyo was named the “Safest City” to live in by the Economist Intelligence Unit according to its Safest Cities index, which looks at a variety of indicators including personal safety, infrastructure safety, health security, and digital security. 
    Money in Japan (Banknotes and coins)
    Despite growth of credit card use, you will still find yourself paying by cash in many occasions in your Tokyo life. Surprisingly, there are still many restaurants and stores which will not accept credit card payment.
    The official currency in Japan is Yen.
    There are 4 types of paper bill: ¥1,000, ¥2,000, ¥5,000, ¥10,000 and 6 types of coins.
    Money in Japan


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Expat Living Guide

Information covering expat friendly bilingual facilities, international schools and useful living information, etc. 

Living in Japan: A Guide for Expats

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