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Moving to Japan

If you’re planning on moving to Japan, you have probably already heard about numerous wacky, yet brilliant innovations this unique country boasts, but there are plenty of lesser-known gems that truly make the expat experience in Japan a memorable one. From paying for your groceries by dropping money into a jar to getting cosy in an iconic capsule hotel while you get your home ready for moving day, here are five things that may surprise you when moving to Japan.

Unattended grocery stores

Unlike a large majority of countries across the globe including the United Kingdom, if a grocery store or stand is left unattended, you can take the produce that you need and leave the correct amount of money in a jar that is usually found at the front of the store. We could also start to see contactless and cardless payments become the norm for unattended checkouts, with leading brands like Lawson Inc. already trialling unattended checkouts at night.

Luggage pickup organisation

We’ve all been there – after a long-haul flight, all we want to do is collect our luggage and be on our way home or to the hotel, villa or lodge we have arranged. However, airports don’t like making things easy and collecting your luggage can be quite the ordeal, especially when you have multiple cases or one that looks strikingly similar to another passenger’s. In Japan, however, the luggage pickup is one of the most organised processes you will ever see; the Narita Airport is the most well-known airport for this, with baggage handlers even ensuring that all luggage handles are facing outwards, making the collection process simple and far more streamlined.

Capsule hotels

Perfect for any traveller, though particularly those on a budget, capsule hotels are a truly unforgettable way to spend a night in Japan. A capsule hotel is exactly what it says on the tin; a small pod containing everything a person could need for an overnight stay, including a bed, phone charging points, a TV and USB ports. One of the most popular is the Tokyo Capsule Hotel which is situated in the heart of the city, closely followed by MyCUBE, Hotel Owl Tokyo Nippori and First Cabin Kyobashi.

A robot hotel

In 2015, Japan opened the world’s very first robot hotel called Henn-na Hotel. Operated by robots and only robots, the Henn-na Hotel offers an experience you will certainly never forget. For some, staying in a hotel operated by robots may be a little strange, but trust us when we say there is nothing to worry about. With a 24-hour front desk, you can receive help throughout the duration of your stay at the hotel and what’s more, each room is fitted with a TV, kettle and a bathroom as standard and parking is easily available for guests.

Food favourites

In Japan, world-famous products are available in several flavours unique to the area! KitKat is just one sweet treat that is sold in an array of wacky flavours including baked potato, soy sauce and every brandy and orange. If you thought that was strange, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the Matcha Green Tea KitKat! Other weird but delicious foods that can be found in Japan include black sulfur ramen, smoked rainbow trout and sea grapes. 

If you are moving to Japan and would like advice or help with the process, get in touch with a member of our expert team on 0208 961 4141, today.

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