Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am moving to Tokyo in August ans i need some help.

Is there anything i will need to sort out before i leave fro Japan. i have a visa.

Do i need a tax number..etc
How easy is it to set up a Japanese bank account
Can i claim my tax back as i am non Japanese
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
686 Posts
Do i need a tax number..etc
No... not for Japanese taxes, at least.

How easy is it to set up a Japanese bank account
I've never run into any problem but others have reported difficulty. Since you're coming in August, you'll have the dubious pleasure of being subjected to the new registration law. In theory, you should be given a registration card upon entry (if you're here on something other than a tourist visa, that is). You take that card with you to the bank. If you don't speak Japanese, bring a Japanese-speaking friend or co-worker. Depending on the bank, you may also have to get a hanko (name stamp) made but that's pretty easy to do.

Can i claim my tax back as i am non Japanese
If you mean income tax, the answer is no. It doesn't matter whether or not you're Japanese -- if you earned the income by work you did here, it's taxable in Japan. If you're unlucky enough to carry a US passport, you're income is taxable in the US as well (though there are various tax breaks if you're not living in the US). There is a whole separate forum on this site for discussing tax issues.

As for anything else... depending on your situation you might want to set-up a bank account back home that allows easy online access. It's a bit of an adventure to transfer money back and forth if you have to pay an unexpected bill back home and having an account under your name in your home country could come in handy. Other than that, if you have a visa you should be all set -- at least in terms of getting over here. Once here, you'll have to tend to things like finding a place to live, etc...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No... not for Japanese taxes, at least.



I've never run into any problem but others have reported difficulty. Since you're coming in August, you'll have the dubious pleasure of being subjected to the new registration law. In theory, you should be given a registration card upon entry (if you're here on something other than a tourist visa, that is). You take that card with you to the bank. If you don't speak Japanese, bring a Japanese-speaking friend or co-worker. Depending on the bank, you may also have to get a hanko (name stamp) made but that's pretty easy to do.



If you mean income tax, the answer is no. It doesn't matter whether or not you're Japanese -- if you earned the income by work you did here, it's taxable in Japan. If you're unlucky enough to carry a US passport, you're income is taxable in the US as well (though there are various tax breaks if you're not living in the US). There is a whole separate forum on this site for discussing tax issues.

As for anything else... depending on your situation you might want to set-up a bank account back home that allows easy online access. It's a bit of an adventure to transfer money back and forth if you have to pay an unexpected bill back home and having an account under your name in your home country could come in handy. Other than that, if you have a visa you should be all set -- at least in terms of getting over here. Once here, you'll have to tend to things like finding a place to live, etc...
So my emploerwill sort out how i pay income tax, i will not need to pre register with the tax department

Also i have no idea where to live. i will be lworking in Irumashi. would rather live in one of the good Tokyo districts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
686 Posts
So my emploerwill sort out how i pay income tax, i will not need to pre register with the tax department
You should try to get your employer to handle all the Japanese tax paperwork if you can. If you're salaried, don't make an obscene salary, and don't have any special tax obligations like stock trades, you may not have to file a return at all.

But... asuming you do, there's no "pre-registration". At the end of the year you get a statement of your income and the tax which has already been withheld. You put the numbers into a form with your name, turn it in by March 15, and that's pretty much it.

In the first year you're here you won't have to pay local taxes because the amount is computed based on the previous year's income tax. For that, there's no paperwork at all -- it's all handled between the tax office and your employer. Other stuff like insurance, etc, should be handled by your employer via deductions from your pay check.

Also i have no idea where to live. i will be lworking in Irumashi. would rather live in one of the good Tokyo districts?
Irumashi, as in Saitama-ken? You probably don't want to live in central Tokyo then, unless you're looking forward to spending over an hour in the train each way. Ask your employer if they can refer you to a real estate agent in the area and, preferably, pay the up-front costs. You should be able to find something nice but not too expensive way out there and it's still close enough that you could come into the city on the weekends.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i dont feel an hour is long at all...it take 45 mins now to get to work and i am led to beleive Japanese trains are very good.

Thank you for you advice
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
686 Posts
...it take 45 mins now to get to work and i am led to beleive Japanese trains are very good.
Depends what you mean by "good". They run on time for the most part and they're clean. In the direction you'd be going, I wouldn't expect them to be all that crowded but on some lines morning rush hour can feel like being packed into a sardine can.

According to Navitime, a 9am arrival in Irumashi from Ikebukuro can take anywhere from 37 mins to an hour and 9 minutes. Not bad, perhaps. At least you can read on the way. I don't think of Ikebukuro as being somewhere I'd like to live but if you get a bit farther out in the direction you're already going (Nerima, Tokorozawa, ...) your travel time will be cut and you won't end up living in neon city. I guess it depends on where you like to spend your time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cool, what was that you were using? navi time? i get 15000 an month travel paid for.

The only place i know is Shinjuku so i dont know where is nice.
I like the idea of living in the neon city.

Better buy a book i think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
686 Posts
Cool, what was that you were using? navi time?
Navitime... all one word. You'll need to be able to read Japanese to use it, though. I believe there are other sites that have the same basic information but I'm too lazy to look them up right now. Google is your friend, you know...

i get 15000 an month travel paid for.
I'd imagine that should be enough. You could probably live in Yokohama and not spend that much on transport.

You could live near Shinjuku. The Oedo-sen could take you to Nerima, where you'd change to Seibu for the rest of the trip. The Oedo-sen shouldn't be as crowded as the trip from Shinjuku to Ikebukuro along the Yamanote-sen would be. Higashi-Nakano would also put you on the Oedo-sen but in a much quieter neighborhood, still only a 20~30 minute walk from Shinjuku (I'm assuming you're concerned about getting home after missing the last train :D). I'm not going to be of much help picking good places up there because I've never commuted to/from Saitama before. I'm a Shinjuku/Nakano kind of guy.

In addition to a book, you might try looking up online maps for JR and the subway lines (keyword for the subway: "Tokyo Metro"). You won't be able to get a feel for the various areas but at least you'll know what all lies between Irumashi and wherever you're thinking of settling. Look up Irumashi Station on Wikipedia and start following links.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Also i am wondering if this is a good wage and what si the cost of living in japan?

20 hour teaching a week for 180,000 yen monthly salary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
That is a terrible wage, especially for Tokyo.
However your work hours are pretty low, you could probally get a second job and earn a pretty decent combined wage.

Cost of living...in Tokyo housing is expensive. As is beer and one or two other things (potatoes...). But generally food and stuff is pretty decently priced.

I'd recommend checking hyperdia (google it, I can't post links) when checking for somewhere to live. Geographic distance and travel distance have a fair bit of a disconnect in Japan.

Japanese trains are SUPER reliable and for local journeys at least quite cheap. But yes. The famous videos of people being pushed onto packed rush hour trains in Tokyo..its not a joke. In many lines at rush hour they even take up the seats to make more room for people standing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
686 Posts
That is a terrible wage, especially for Tokyo.
It's 2000 yen/hour or so -- that's about double what you get flipping burgers at McDonalds. And the job is apparently out in Saitama-ken (Irumashi) so the cost of housing shouldn't be as bad as it would be living in Roppongi ('cept the OP said he would prefer to live in the city and commute every day :confused:).

But... yeah... a few students on the side in his spare time would make life a bit more viable, I would imagine. I've heard most schools frown on that but I haven't met a teacher yet who didn't take on a few private students to supplement their income.

Hilbre: That's one more reason you probably don't want to live in Tokyo. Unless you plan on spending your spare time out on the town every day, getting a cheaper place in Saitama and taking the train into Tokyo on your off-time seems like a better solution. And it would leave more money in your pocket for those times you did spend on the town.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Yeah, per hour its not bad, I would accept that wage if it was bumped up to a full working week, but 20 hours as an overall amount to live on....you're not going to be eating much steak with less than 200,000 a month in Tokyo.

Totally agreed with living in Saitama. You'll get much more for your money and Saitama is very very well served by trains and the metro. Living in much of Saitama is just as good as living in broad swathes of Tokyo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
With 180,000 yen a month I doubt you can live comfortably in central Tokyo. Doable but not fun.
That's slightly more than the scholarship the government gives to foreign students and they get it tax free, along with access to school dorms that are dirt cheap and return airfare among other things.

During my initial stint in Tokyo I stayed in guest houses and paid between 92,000 and 105,000yen a month (granted they were well located guest houses, you can get a room for half that). If you intend to rent a place by yourself you'll probably have some initial fees.... See if your company can be your guarantor and look for a place a few stops from Iruma, it'll be (much) cheaper and you can use your money for the weekend in Tokyo, in fact, if you can get a house 20 minutes from work and a bike, that will lower your costs considerably!

Your company won't subsidize your house!? That's unusual considering you are moving here to work for them and that they will sponsor your visa. Usually English schools will have an apartment they rent out to the teachers for a "lower" price than the market price... But it's the fact that you don't have to pay entrance fees that's convenient, that and they have everything ready for you (kitchenware, heaters, etc)

I've lived in a private apartment not far from Iruma (In Kotesashi) and it was a new 1LDK about 8 minutes from the station, rent was 80,000yen. Now I live near the Yamanote line and I pay almost double.
For train times and cost, you can use this site:
Hyperdia | Timetable and Route Search in Japan.
Surely someone in your school will go with you to the local bank/post office and help you set up an account. Citibank has English speaking staff and English phone service, but I wouldn't recommend them for a first/main bank account if you don't live near a branch (no branch in Iruma).

To be honest, I suggest you take the job and complete your contract and then look for something better. 20 hours a week is low, but your classes are most likely well spaced out, and they will be 40 or 50 minutes each... So they can easily keep you in the school from 13 to 21 everyday workday with several two hour breaks that are essentially a waste of your time.

Anyway, good luck! :)
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top