As an island nation, the former Empire of Japan depended on imported goods and products to drive its burgeoning industry. As a result, the country cultivated a thriving shipping sector that still provides a fair few easy and efficient options for shipping goods to Japan.
Except for high-end luxury service apartments, most accommodation is unfurnished. For this reason, many employers include a shipping allowance in expat contracts. Don't be afraid to broach this topic when negotiating a contract, as shipping costs can quickly escalate if one is not careful.
Shipping household items to Japan
Generally speaking, household items are duty-free and tax-free, provided they aren't new. If shipping items to Japan, expats should make an inventory of the goods they will be sending across and bring at least two copies in their carry-on luggage.
Expats also have the option of buying furniture in Japan. There are plenty of stores dealing in interior decor and household furnishings. If not opposed to second-hand goods, new arrivals can benefit from large-scale 'sayonara sales' held by expats leaving the country, where it's possible to find nearly new items for far less than one would typically pay for them new. Look for listings on supermarket notice boards, Facebook or classified websites.
Another alternative to shipping to Japan or buying in Japan is the option to lease home furnishings.
Shipping pets to Japan
Shipping pets to Japan can be a complex process given the country's strict animal import regulations. That said, with careful planning and a clear understanding of the necessary procedures, it is entirely possible to transport one's beloved pet to this island nation.
Firstly, it's essential to ascertain the specific requirements based on the type of pet one is planning to ship. Quarantine periods, vaccinations, microchipping and paperwork all vary depending on the species. It's also recommended to engage a professional pet relocation service that will be well-versed in the intricacies of the Japanese animal import regulations.
It's also worth bearing in mind that not all accommodation in Japan is pet-friendly. Be sure to check if pets are allowed before signing any rental agreement.
Remember, while the process may seem daunting, countless pet owners have successfully relocated their pets to Japan. Do thorough research, ask for help when needed, and don't forget to consider your pet's comfort throughout the journey.
Are you an expat living in Japan?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Japan. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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