New Jets

Arriving in Ishikawa


Tokyo Orientation is over! You’ve stepped off the airplane at Komatsu or Noto airport. What’s next?

As each situation is different, you might do the following in different steps. But generally, these are the most important once you arrive.

  • have you residence card
  • check in with city hall – make a residence record
  • buy a phone
  • pay all money needed for your apartment (deposit, key money & 1 months rent generally)


Please see the follwing for more detailed information.


Your Apartment

This is a helpful guide on what to expect from a Japanese apartment:

You may arrive to have your apartment furnished or completely bare. However if you are in need of some furniture or other things for the house, check out this great website : The Ishikawa Trash Palace.

Key Money

Ask your predecessor before coming to Japan whether or not you will have to pay Key Money (rēkin, 礼金). Key Money in Japan literally means “gratitude money” and is a one-off, non-refundable payment you have to pay your landlord on moving into an apartment. Usually it is the equivalent of 1-3 month’s rent, but it can be as much as six (6) month’s rent.


Sometimes your rent will be subsidized by the Board of Education (your employer) but it varies depending on your location.


Resident Card 在留カード, Zairyu Ka-do

According to the new system of Residency Management in Japan, all foreign residents will be issued with Resident Cards. It is possible that you will recieve your card if you enter through Narita, Kansai, Haneda or Chubu airport. If there are issues in processing then your card should be sent to you within two weeks of your arrival in Japan. A Resident card is required for many activities in Japan such as purchasing a mobile phone or opening a bank account. You must also keep your Resident Card on you AT ALL TIMESwhile you are in Japan.The Resident Card (在留カード Zairyu card, handled by the central government via local immigration bureaus). Please note, like the older Alien Registration Card, the Resident Card must be carried with you at all times. The most recent information from CLAIR says that the Resident Card will feature the following: photograph, name, date of birth, gender, nationality, passport number, Residency Status, Period of Stay, expiration date of Resident Card, etc. This information will also be encoded onto an IC chip embedded in the card.

The card also acts as a re-entry permit.

If you have a valid passport, a valid Resident Card and leave Japan, in principle, you will no longer require a re-entry permit to re-enter Japan with the same Status of Residence as long as you re-enter within one year from departing and your Period of Stay does not expire while you are outside of Japan. Be sure to show your Resident Card when exiting Japan. Your Period of Stay cannot be extended while outside of Japan. Please note, the criteria for applying for the Pension Refund have not changed.

Further information can be found here: Residency Management System

Residence Record (Juminhyo) 住民票

The Residence Record is part of a registry of current registered addresses kept by municipal governments. Under Japanese law, all citizens are required to report their address and related matters to their municipal government who then compiles the information for tax, insurance and census purposes.

New JETs arriving after 9 July, 2012 will be required to notify their municipal government of moving in (転入届, tennyu-todoke) within 14 days of arriving in Japan and will receive a Residence Record accordingly. One of the first things you will do on arrival in Ishikawa is apply for your card. Your supervisor will most likely take you to the Municipal Office to complete the application form.

There are cases in which you may be asked to provide your record as proof of residence. You can apply for these at most local councils in your area.

Health Insurance Card

You should receive your National Health Insurance Card within a few weeks of arriving in Ishikawa. It is important to carry your National Health Insurance Card with you AT ALL TIMES as you will have to present it at a hospital or clinic should you require medical treatment. Insurance coverage may be refused if you are not carrying your insurance card.

For more information visit the Insurance section of this Wiki.

Pension Book

You will receive a blue Pension Book within a few weeks of your arrival. It is very important that you keep your Pension Book safe. After leaving Japan, JET participants are entitled to get a portion of the money back that they have paid into the pension plan while in Japan. This can be quite a significant sum of money, depending on how many years you stay in Japan.



What to carry with you AT ALL TIMES!

  • Your Residence Card
  • Your passport (if you haven’t yet received your Residence Card)
  • Your National Health Insurance Card
  • Your home country Driver’s License and your International Driver’s Permit (if you are driving)