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Moving From Japan

Updated on June 22, 2014

Allied Pickfords Japan

Where to begin

Once you have decided on your moving date from Japan, you will need to contact a moving company who will send a salesperson to visit your residence for a survey. During the survey, be sure to show the surveyor all items to be sent and also point out any delicate items that may need extra care, attention or crating (wooden protection). A recommended company to use would be Allied Pickfords Japan who have a network of over 70 countries across the globe. Most of the staff are bilingual which would benefit you greatly when you need to do things such as make arrangements with your building management, cancel your phone / internet / cable service etc..

The main purpose of the survey would be for an initial volume assessment. Once the moving company knows the volume of the items to be sent, they can make a competitive estimate for you. Please also note that the estimates are normally negotiable.

There are usually two modes for international relocation, being sea and air. Air shipments of course are the most expensive which is why people use air to send smaller quantities of urgent items. The majority of items will normal go via sea shipment which could take from 3-7 weeks depending on the location.

What is included

The normal procedure for international moving is as below:

  • Pre Move Survey
  • Making of Estimate
  • Acceptance of estimate and scheduling dates
  • Packing of your items
  • Customs clearance (origin)
  • Shipping
  • Customs clearance (destination)
  • Delivery
  • Claims for damages or missing items (if any)

You may receive a number of different prices from different companies and you will probably be tempted to go with the cheaper option, however there is usually reason why a certain company may be a lot cheaper. The main reason is because all services may not be included at the destination side and you may have to end up paying extra fees before you goods can be delivered.

Things to beware of are as below:

Terminal handling charges - these are shipping costs at the destination which are separate from the usual shipping and delivery logistics. Many companies do not include these costs making their estimates significantly cheaper. Make sure these costs are included.

Import taxes or duties - Alcohol, tobacco and some food items will attract duties in most countries, make sure you are aware of this and be prepared to pay in the destination country.

Visa requirements - Make sure that you are informed of this, some companies do not give information and simply send your shipment without prior confirmation. If your shipment gets held up due to incorrect paperwork you will have to pay customs holding penalties which are not part of the initial estimate.

Stair carry - If there is no elevator and workers need to travel up and down stairs then there is usually a fee involved in that. Make sure that your salesperson is aware of this from the start.

Hoisting or Crane usage - If items are too big to fit through the door then rope hoisting or the more expensive crane may need to be utilized. Either will have extra costs so it is a good idea to give as much information as you can about your delivery location and try to get these costs absorbed.

Be prepared

Once your pack out dates have been been booked, there will probably be a number of documents which you are required to complete and return. It is very important that these are done in a timely matter as delays can cause shipments bookings to be cancelled resulting in extra storage costs.

Be also sure to complete all insurance details before you removal in order for it to be effective.

Also, when moving from Japan it is important to cancel your utilities subscriptions such as Phone, Mobile Phones, Internet, cable etc.. If you don't speak Japanese it could be difficult however certain moving companies are able to provide services to assist.

Japanese packing

In Japan, the workers really do take pride in their jobs and make sure items are packed securely and efficiently, thus reducing the risk of breakage during transit. Even from appearance, you can see the professionalism in the way items are neatly and efficiently packed.

Location of Allied Pickfords Japan

6-17-4 Tsukiji Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045,:
Japan, 〒104-0045 Tokyo, Chūō, Tsukiji, 4 Chome−4−8 築地4-4

get directions


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    • Hezekiah profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Japan

      Not myself, I own property here. Not going anywhere for a while.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      This is a great post for those who are moving from the area. I have moved over seven times in my lifetime and it is never easy. Your suggestions will help others to make it easier.

    • tmbridgeland profile image


      5 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      I knew you are in Japan. Just wondering if you were leaving.

    • Hezekiah profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Japan

      This is giving advice, for people in inside moving out. I live in Japan.

    • tmbridgeland profile image


      5 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      Lived there 15 years. Last 10 in an apartment with wife and 2 kids. We just didn't buy a lot of furniture, and we sold or gave away most of it. Some went to my in-laws there. It was a great opportunity to get rid of things.

      Of course, that meant we had to scrounge or buy when we got to our destination.

      I did use a moving company once for a move inside Japan. They did a good job. Too bad I can't remember the name.

      Does this Hub imply that you are moving, or have moved from Japan?

    • Hezekiah profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Japan

      That is a good idea too.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Might be you be encouraging us to first move to Japan, so we could follow your instructions on moving from Japan? Just kidding! Informative and to the point!

    • Hezekiah profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Japan

      That's possible, but if you have a full house hold of goods for a family. E,g. 3 Bedroom house, mailing would not really be a realistic option. The item's would need to be send by sea shipment by a professional company.

    • tmbridgeland profile image


      5 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      We just mailed everything in boxes. Though we did have to leave behins a few things that were too long to fit.


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