TOP > Life in Japan

Picking up your resident card


After you arrive in Japan and go through immigration, you can immediately pick up the residence card when you enter Japan from Haneda, Narita, Kansai, Chubu, New Chitose, Hiroshima, and Fukuoka airports.

In the case you enter Japan from the other airports, please apply at your nearby immigration. It takes time for you to get the residence card delivered.

While living in Japan, please carry this card with you at all times.

Starting your life in Japan


1. Start using electricity

You can use electricity immediately after calling the electric power company.

2. Start using gas

Please call the gas company to arrange a time when a member of the company staff may visit your apartment. … After the visit, your gas supply will be activated.

3. Start using water service

You can use water after calling the water bureau. Tap water in Japan is drinkable.
*All electricity, gases, and water bills can be paid for at convenience stores.

4. Dispose your garbage

Japan has strict garbage rules. Make sure you follow the guidelines for separating garbage. If you need information, please ask the ward or city office.

5. Contract for Internet Service

Please ask us. We have the list of providers that work well with the apartment you live.

6. Create a Bank Account

You can open an account by visiting a bank. Please take the residence card, seal, and some money to deposit*. Some banks require a certificate of residence issued by the ward or city office. You may be able to open an account with a deposit of only 100yen. Having an account is useful for paying the public utility bills, rent, etc.
*Some banks may accept a signature instead of a seal.

Student Discounts

If you are attending a Japanese language school, a vocational school, universities and other schools you may be eligible for student discounts that companies offer. There are differences between schools, so please ask at your school.


1. Commuter pass

Commuter passes are available at student rates (subways, trains, and buses).

Please show the certificate of commuting student issued by your school when you purchase the pass at a nearby station.

2. Discount transportation ticket for students

The discount ticket of JR is famous.
When you travel on a single ride on JR for more than 100 km, you can receive 20% discount. Please contact your school for a student discount certificate to be eligible or this. Each school has its own rules, so please ask at your school.
Other public transportation companies also have student discount systems. Please contact the companies for information directly.

3. Other services

Schools provide various services for international students. Please ask the international student advisers or counselors for the information.

Permit for activities outside one’s visa status and part-time jobs.


The certificate allowing you to engage in activities outside of your visa status is necessary if you want to work part-time and gain an income in Japan if you are under a student visa. You must apply for the certificate before working or you run the risk of offending the law, having your visa cancelled and being evicted from Japan. Please ask your school for application procedures.

Even with the visa, permitted working hours are:

28 hours per week for student visa holders. However you may work up till 8 hours a day during vacation periods However, you are not allowed to work at pachinko and mahjong parlors, nightclubs etc.

Temporary leave and re-entry to Japan


Inform your school teachers when you temporarily leave Japan during vacations.

You don’t have to apply for a Re-Entry Permit beforehand, which used to be issued at the Immigration Bureau.

If you want to reenter Japan within a year of your departure, please tell the immigration officer after filling in the “Embarkation card for reentrant” which is prepared at Immigration counter when you depart Japan.

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