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HomeAsiaMoving to Japan is a significant decision, but the distance is shrinking.

Moving to Japan is a significant decision, but the distance is shrinking.

Sarah Pharathikoune, a customer success manager with i-5O, relocated to Japan with her husband and two dogs in May of 2023. Her company specializes in digital transformation (DX) and Internet-of-things (IoT) services for manufacturers, and they wanted to establish a physical presence in Japan to better serve their clients. Having previously lived in Japan as students, Sarah and her husband decided to take the leap and move overseas.

Japan, once perceived as a challenging place to work and live due to language, cultural, and business differences, has now become more open, globalized, and eager for international talent and investment. The government is offering various services to assist foreign companies in incorporating in Japan and to facilitate the relocation and adjustment of workers.


Building a rich personal life in Japan

Housing prices in Japan are surprisingly reasonable, making it affordable for people on modest salaries to live in downtown Tokyo. Living close to work is more economical than in cities like San Francisco, New York, London, or Hong Kong.

Sarah mainly works from home and needed space for her dogs. They opted to live outside downtown Tokyo to accommodate their pets and found a reasonably priced country house an hour away from the city center. Despite the distance, Sarah can work remotely without any issues, while her husband commutes to his office by train.

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Even in the outskirts of Tokyo, the internet connection is strong, and public transportation is efficient and multi-lingual. Sarah mentions that her husband manages well, even with limited Japanese language skills after three months of training.

While Sarah and her husband do not have children, they considered the environment for raising kids as they made a long-term move to Japan, which Sarah believes favors the country.

“The health insurance coverage for children, along with safety considerations, made us believe that raising children in Japan would be ideal,” she mentioned.

Japanese healthcare facilities are top-notch, and the comprehensive health insurance system covers all residents under specific conditions, irrespective of nationality. Children’s healthcare costs are lower, with some municipalities offering full coverage.

Committed to helping people’s transition in Japan


Kim Youngmin, Managing Director for South Korea’s SBJ Bank

Kim Youngmin, Managing Director for South Korea’s SBJ Bank, found Japan to be a welcoming place for his family, especially with the support they received from the local school in preparation for their move.

Kim recently moved to Tokyo to lead the bank’s Futures Lab, focusing on assisting Korean companies expanding internationally and foreign startups entering Korea.

The work-life balance in Japan impressed Kim, allowing him more personal time with his family and leisure pursuits outside of work.

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The abundance of green spaces and clean air in Japan was another pleasant surprise for Kim and his family, offering a refreshing environment to live and work in.

Japan: Exploring global talent

Japan provides a variety of recreational activities for families, including urban and cultural experiences unique to the country. Nature trails, hiking routes, and wilderness resorts offer opportunities for outdoor adventures.

Sarah from i-50 is excited to resume camping, a hobby she enjoyed before moving to Japan.


Sarah Pharathikoune, i-5O

The accessibility of nature even in downtown Tokyo was a surprise for Sarah and her family, providing clean air and proximity to natural attractions like hot springs and hiking spots.

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As businesses expand globally, attracting and accommodating international talent becomes crucial. Japan is actively working towards facilitating the entry of foreign experts and supporting their transition to life and work in the country. Organizations like JETRO play a key role in helping businesses navigate international collaborations with Japan.

Explore more about the growing Japanese market here to learn about Japan’s exceptional quality of life.

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This article is produced by the e27 team, sponsored by JETRO

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The post Moving to Japan is a big step – but one that is getting smaller appeared first on e27.


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