There are a lot of things involved with moving in Japan that may be different from your home country. Here are things you want to check off when you move.

Moving to Chiba

When you move to Chiba as part of the JET or Wisconsin ALT Programs, your contracting organization may help you with many parts of the moving process. Still, it's good to show some consideration for your supervisor who is probably very busy, and you will learn about how Japanese bureaucracy works as well.
More detail about these procedures (and a Japanese explanation next to the English so you can talk with your supervisor) can be found in Hello Chiba, Chiba Prefecture's guide for foreign residents (moving procedures are section 3, page 15).

Moving-In Notification (転入届 ten'nyu-todoke)

Now that foreigners have Resident Cards just like the Japanese, we also have to submit moving paperwork. You should have received a Resident Card upon your arrival in Japan (if not, your passport will state "A Resident Card will be issued later"); bring your Resident Card (or your passport if you don't have one) and register with your local city hall within 14 days of moving in.

Register your Personal Seal

In Japan, small stamps called 印鑑 (inkan) or 判子・はんこ (hanko) are used like signatures for buying a car, moving, and other important paperwork. Your personal seal has your name carved inside it--some foreigners use their first or last name, katakana or English or kanji that they have chosen. Once your seal is made, it must be registered with the city office, and you will receive a Personal Seal Registration Certificate. Keep your seal and the certificate in a safe but accessible place.

Open a bank account

You can set up a bank account with your local bank (likely Chiba Bank, 千葉銀行Chiba ginkō or Chibagin) or the post office if it has the green ゆうちょ銀行 yūcho ginkō sign. To set up an account with Chiba Bank, you will need your personal seal and a form of ID.

Get Internet

Getting your internet set up in your new home can be a difficult procedure if you're not sure what your predecessor had installed and your supervisor is not tech savvy. Luckily, there is a service called BBapply that will present you with a report (in English!) of available internet service providers in your area and price/plan comparisons, and they help you apply for the plan you choose at no extra cost. Many JETs find this service helpful when they move to Japan for the first time.

Get a cell phone (携帯電話 keitai denwa)

While you may have a landline in your house already, a mobile phone is a basic necessity nowadays. You can choose a regular phone or a smartphone from any of the main providers: docomo, SoftBank, and AU. You can purchase a phone at the provider’s store or at an electronics store. Most non-prepaid contracts are for two years with a penalty for canceling early, so you may need your Residence Card to prove you’re not a tourist.
A regular phone (often called ガラケイ gara-kei for reasons you can read about on Wikipedia ) is a cheap option with email, internet access to mobile sites, and other features
depending on the model. A smartphone (スマートフォン sumāto-fon aka スマホ sumaho) has more features and is more expensive. Most Japanese-made cell phones run on Android, and the iPhone is now available from the three major carriers.
When choosing a phone, make sure it has an interface in a language you can read, and confirm how you will be charged for e-mail and phone calls. Web and email access is measured in packets of data used, so you can choose a data plan up to unlimited (with charges for going over). Phone calls are separate and are charged per minute, but incoming calls are free. Texting phone numbers is charged differently than texting a phone email address (ex. Choose an email address that is complicated enough to deter spam mail. Smartphone users can take advantage of iMessage or use a free texting/call application like LINE.

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Moving out of Chiba

For a full list of things you should do before leaving Japan, check the Leaving JET/WI Portal page.

Moving-Out Notification (転出届 tenshutsu-todoke)

It is important that you submit this before leaving Japan in order to receive your pension refund. Before your moving-out day, bring the following to your local city hall:
  • Resident Card
  • Proof of insurance AND Pension book (国民健康保険証および国民年金手帳)
  • Your personal seal (印鑑 inkan)
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Moving within Chiba (or elsewhere in Japan)

If you are changing residences within Chiba Prefecture or moving to another place in Japan, there are several steps you should make sure are taken care of. Especially if you are switching contracting organizations, your old CO might expect your new CO to help you more than they will, or your new CO might expect your old CO to take care of things, and if you are a graduating JET/WI-ALT you have no new CO, so you are the one who has to know what to do.

Submit Moving-Out Notification (転出届 tenshutsu-todoke)

If you are moving within Chiba, you must submit Moving-Out paperwork in your old city hall and bring your Resident Card to register at your new city hall within 14 days of moving in. You may also need the following:
  • Resident Card
  • Proof of insurance AND Pension book (国民健康保険証および国民年金手帳)
  • Your personal seal (印鑑 inkan)
This is according to the Chiba City website (Japanese) so it may vary for your city.

When you move to your new city, submit a Moving-In Notification (転入届 ten'nyu-todoke) at your new city hall within 14 days of moving in (you may not be able to do this until you have actually moved to your new residence).

Change the Address on your Residence Card

You must change the address on your residence card (在留カード zairyuu kaado) at your new city hall within 14 days of moving in. Your new address may be written on the back of your card. This can be done at the same time as submitting your Moving-In paperwork. (English/Japanese)

Change the Address on your Individual Number Card

Whether you have an Individual Number Card or just the notification card, you need to register your change of address at your new city hall within 14 days of moving in. (source: Q3-10) This can be done at the same time as submitting your Moving-In paperwork.

Inform the Post Office of your Change of Address

This is not a necessary step, but if you get mail to your old address, they will have no address to forward it to. If you get packages from home or do online shopping, it's best to register your change of address with the post office so they can deliver your mail correctly. It's a simple form you fill out at your local post office.

Re-register your Inkan (Seal)

Your inkan is already registered in your old town, but you need to register it in your new town as well. Bring your inkan to your new city hall and fill out the paperwork.

Change your Driver's License Address (住所変更 juusho henkou)

If you have a driver's license, you need to register your change of address with your local police department. Bring your Japanese Driver's License and a form of ID that has your new address (such as your Residence Card, a Moving-In Notification, Inkan Registration, Individual Number Card, etc. but copies are not accepted) and fill out the paperwork at your local police station (警察署 keisatsusho). Police stations are open from Monday to Friday, 8:30-4:30PM.

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