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Moving to Tokyo? Some Tip’s & Resources

When I asked “What do YOU want to know about Tokyo?” in May I got a lot of great questions. Tyr will be moving to Japan for about six months and admits to having some fears about the whole idea, here’s a excerpt from his comment:

….But if you have like a first timer’s guide, like how to get an apt what kind of documentation you need, how to get around without getting horribly lost. Even if you have a tip, like what kind of food a Norwegian would like….

Renting an Apartment

As with many other foreigners who come to Japan, I believe that Tyr is moving to Japan for work. If that is the case his employer will likely provide him some assistance in securing convenient accommodations and will likely cover all or part of the costs associated with renting an apartment in Tokyo. But if you need to do this on your own I would recommend reading How to rent an apartment in Tokyo by Matthew Firestone at Gadling the Cost of Living in Japan where Neil Duckett discusses his expenses associated with living in Tokyo. For a six month stay I’m not sure that renting a conventional apartment would be the best option. Japan Guide provides some information on Gaijin (foreigner) or Guest Houses that cater to those who will not not be making a longer term relocation.

Read more about how to get around and international food options in Tokyo after the jump.

Getting Around

Getting around in Tokyo just looks intimidating, it’s actually pretty easy even if you don’t speak or read Japanese. The predominant mode of transportation in Japan is the train system and I have previously written a number of posts on local transportation options in and around Tokyo. Taxis tend to supplement the train system in Tokyo and you will likely use taxis more often in Japan than you would at home. They cost saving key is to get yourself to the nearest train station and hire a taxi from there.

The Japan address system is very confusing even to people who have lived here all their lives and there are police boxes, or Koban, at most main intersections. If you get lost the officers that man the Koban would be happy to point you in the right direction. I also recommend this tutorial on how to Map an Address in Japan – it’s a handy tool that I have found very useful.

Guide Book

Before arriving in Tokyo I would suggest that you get yourself a good guide book, like Lonely Planet’s Tokyo Encounter, that has a detachable bilingual map and provides an overview of the various neighborhoods in Tokyo.


The Japanese diet is heavy on fish, rice and seasonal vegetables and while I am not that familiar with the Norwegian diet I can say that the larger supermarkets in Japan carry a wide variety of international food options and the variety of ethnic restaurants in Tokyo is seems to be endless.

Norway in Japan offers a listing of Norwegian Products in Japan and the Norwegian Chamber of Commerce in Japan appears to have an active social calendar where you can meet up with your fellow countrymen (and women).

I hope this helps Tyr, stay tuned for more questions and answers during the month of June…