As an island nation, the former Empire of Japan depended on imported goods and products to drive its burgeoning industry. As a result, the country cultivated a thriving shipping sector that still provides a number of easy and efficient options for shipping goods to Japan.
With the exception of high-end luxury service apartments, most accommodation is unfurnished. For this reason, many employers include a shipping allowance in expat contracts. Don't be afraid to broach this topic when negotiating a contract, because shipping costs can quickly escalate if one is not careful.
Shipping household items to Japan
Generally speaking, household items are duty-free and tax-free, provided they aren't new. If shipping items to Japan, expats should make an inventory of the goods they will be sending across and bring at least two copies in their carry-on luggage.
Expats also have the option of buying furniture in Japan. There are plenty of stores dealing in interior decor and household furnishings. Furthermore, if not opposed to second-hand goods, expats leaving the country often have large-scale "sayonara sales", where its possible to find nearly new items for far less than one would normally pay for them. Look for listings on supermarket notice boards, Facebook or on classified websites.
Another alternative to both shipping to Japan and buying in Japan is the option to lease home furnishings.
Expat Health Insurance
With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.
GeoBlue is one of the best international health insurance plans for US expats abroad or internationals residing in the USA. The GeoBlue Xplorer plan includes worldwide coverage and great customer service with access to a premium international network of hospitals and doctors including the Blue Cross Blue Shield network in the USA.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.