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What to prepare when leaving Japan?


What to Prepare When Leaving Japan?

Leaving Japan can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. Whether you are a temporary visitor or a long-term resident, it is important to make proper preparations to ensure a smooth departure and tie up any loose ends. From packing your belongings to settling financial matters, here are some essential things you need to consider before leaving the Land of the Rising Sun.

1. Visa and Residency

Before leaving Japan, it is crucial to check the expiration date of your visa or residency status. If you have a visa that is still valid but will not be returning to Japan, you are required to notify the immigration authorities about your departure and cancel your visa. Failure to do so may result in future complications should you decide to visit Japan again.

2. Rent and Housing

If you have been renting a property in Japan, you need to inform your landlord in advance about your intention to leave. Check your rental contract for any specific notice periods and ensure that you give sufficient notice. It is also important to settle any outstanding rent or utility bills before departing. Don’t forget to return the keys and arrange for the return of your security deposit, if applicable.

3. Bank Accounts and Finances

Closing or transferring your bank account should be on your checklist before leaving Japan. Visit your bank and inquire about their procedures for account closure or international transfer. Settle any remaining bills and ensure that you have enough cash or access to funds during the transition period. It is also advisable to inform your credit card company about your departure to avoid any potential issues with transactions.

4. Personal Documents and Identification

Gather all your personal documents and make sure they are valid and up to date. These may include your passport, resident card, driver’s license, insurance policies, and any other important identification or legal documents. Keep them organized and in a safe place to prevent misplacing them while traveling or moving.

5. Health Insurance

If you have been covered by the Japanese national health insurance, you need to cancel your membership before leaving the country. Consult with the local municipal office or the health insurance association for the necessary procedures. If you have private health insurance, inform your provider about your departure and inquire about any coverage or support they can provide during the transition period.

6. Tax Matters

Before leaving Japan, it is crucial to address your tax obligations. If you have been working in Japan, you may have to file a final tax return and settle any outstanding taxes. Seek advice from a tax professional or the local tax office to ensure compliance. They can guide you on the necessary procedures and provide information on any tax refund you may be entitled to.

7. Utilities and Services

Arrange for the cancellation or transfer of utilities such as electricity, gas, and water services. Contact your providers and inform them about your departure date, providing any necessary meter readings. Additionally, notify other service providers such as internet, cable TV, or phone companies to discontinue or transfer your services accordingly.

8. Personal Belongings and Shipping

Deciding what to do with your personal belongings is an important step when leaving Japan. If you have accumulated a significant amount of household items, you may consider selling or donating them. For valuable or sentimental possessions you wish to keep, research international shipping options and compare costs and requirements. Start this process well in advance, as it may take time to organize and pack your belongings.

9. Cancel Subscriptions and Memberships

Review your subscriptions and memberships for various services like gym, library, or magazines. Cancel or transfer them as necessary to avoid unnecessary charges. Remember to also cancel any delivery services or subscriptions for newspapers or other periodic publications.

10. Notify Important Contacts

Inform important contacts in Japan and your home country about your departure date and new contact details. This includes friends, family, employers, schools, and any other organizations you have been associated with. Make sure you update your address with relevant institutions to ensure important mail reaches you or is forwarded to your new location.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Can I leave Japan before my visa expires?


Yes, you can leave Japan before your visa expires. However, if you have any intention of returning to Japan or if your visa status changes, it is advisable to notify the immigration authorities about your departure and cancel your visa.


How much notice do I need to give my landlord before leaving my rented property?


The notice period may vary depending on your rental contract. Typically, one to three months’ notice is required. Check your rental agreement or consult with your landlord to determine the specific notice period.


Can I keep my Japanese bank account open after leaving Japan?


While it is possible to keep your Japanese bank account open, it may not be practical if you don’t have any immediate plans to return or have a valid reason for maintaining the account. Most banks require regular account activity or may charge fees for dormant accounts.


Do I need to inform my credit card company about my departure from Japan?


Yes, it is advisable to inform your credit card company about your departure to avoid potential issues with transactions. This will help them monitor and authenticate any foreign transactions you may make after leaving Japan.


How do I cancel my Japanese national health insurance?


Visit your local municipal office or the health insurance association to cancel your Japanese national health insurance membership. They will guide you through the necessary procedures and provide the required forms.


Should I file a final tax return before leaving Japan?


If you have been working in Japan, it is advisable to file a final tax return before leaving. This will ensure that you fulfill your tax obligations and avoid any potential issues. Seek guidance from a tax professional or the local tax office for specific instructions.


What is the best way to ship my personal belongings from Japan?


The best method to ship your personal belongings depends on various factors such as the volume, weight, and destination. Research different international shipping options, compare costs, and consider using professional international moving companies or freight services.


Can I cancel my subscriptions and memberships remotely before leaving Japan?


In most cases, you can cancel subscriptions and memberships remotely by contacting the service providers via phone or email. Provide them with your details, cancellation request, and any necessary information to process the cancellation.


How can I update my address with important institutions before leaving Japan?


Inform important institutions about your change of address by contacting them directly or updating your details online. Examples of institutions include your workplace, school, bank, insurance providers, and government agencies.


Should I notify my employer about my departure from Japan?


Yes, it is important to notify your employer about your departure from Japan. Provide them with sufficient notice and any necessary documents or details they may require. This will help ensure a smooth transition and necessary administrative procedures.

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