Moving across the borders (from Japan to Singapore)

It wasn’t in our plans to move back to Singapore so quickly considering that I just moved to Japan in March 2013 I guess things happened for a reason in our lives and we took it in stride (though a little reluctant on my side since I just started getting my Japanese in a slightly better shape and getting use to life in Japan) However I do appreciate Sushi san for tempting to move out of this comfort zone to come live in Singapore since English is not really his second language (Mandarin is). So we are back in my motherland Singapore since mid October.

Yamato Japan Moving
It was quite a made flurry of activities to make our move back to Singapore. Lots of paperwork involved too.

[Information useful for foreigners/students moving out of Japan]
In general, to move out of Japan you need to

1) Report to your city hall that your are moving out of the district. Return your residence card when you exit out of Japan immigration customs.
2) Contact your gas, electricity, water providers and arrange on the time to meet to turn off services, in our case we were using GIRO to pay our bills so we don’t need to pay anything on the spot but in the case of returning foreign students who pay their bills monthly by cash they have to pay on the spot. Make your appointments in advance.
3) Stop any more recurring monthly payment like for your cell phone, internet, NHK etc.
4) Make appointment with your rental owner/agent in advance on the day you are moving out. Make sure you CLEAN your place properly else every tick they make when they check your place before you return the place to them will be some deduction of your deposit money.
5) Disposal of your unwanted furniture since you cannot leave anything in your apartment when you vacanteither by PAYING recycle shops to collect them, city hall movers to collect them or for my case, I sold my relatively new furniture at dirt cheap price on Craigslist since I don’t want to pay for disposing my beds, fridge and tables etc. [The most pain in the ass step in my case since we have a lot of stuff which we bought when we moved to our new place, didn’t expect us to move again so soon.]
6) Close your bank account, most of the time Japanese banks do not accept accounts to remain active if you no longer have a mail to address in Japan or in possession of a residence card. Do check your bank policy to decide if you can keep your card account.
7) Only if you have another mail to Japanese address, you can register with Japan post to forward your existing mail to your new Japan address. [Foreign address not accepted]
8) Send moving postcards to relatives/close friends in Japan [optional]
9) Deciding on how you are going to move your stuff back to your home country. In our case, we had 2 movers which one moved our stuff to Singapore and one to move some stuff to Sushi papa’s home.

Yamato Japan Moving
In our case, we decided to get the cheapest surface mail package with Yamato Logistics which works out to around 85000JPY for 7 large boxes and 7 medium boxes with maximum weight of 25kg per box. It takes about 4-6 weeks for our boxes to arrive in Singapore. This works out to be about ~6000JPY per box verus 10000JPY for 20kg with Japan Post’s surface mail. I guess, this works out for us since we do have a lot to bring to Singapore. They have a moving package for students too.

Yamato Japan Moving
It was relatively easy, you just visit their moving website, decide on the plan that suits you most and make your request for the moving materials to be sent to you. You can also pay for them to come and pack for you if you are willing to pay or your move is company sponsored. In our case, it was a personal move so we wanted to keep our cost low. The packing materials came 2 days after we made our request on line.

Yamato Japan Moving
You can then start packing and make an appointment for the Yamato service guy to come pick up your items when you are ready. You are supposed to make your request at least 3 days in advance of the day you want your stuff to be picked up. We had our boxes picked up the day before our flight and our shipments arrived 6 weeks after we arrived in Singapore in good condition.

Last night in Tokyo
*laughs* Last photo in my empty apartment where we had to use cardboards as our makeshift curtains the night before.

Goodbye Japan
Our last photo of Japan before we flew out of Japan border. Good bye, Japan! It had been a great journey!

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