Moving to a new apartment in Japan or entering/leaving the country for an extended period and needing your belongings taken care of? Here are some of the most reliable moving companies you can contact to handle everything.
Transferring to a new location is never easy, especially if it’s across different countries or in one that speaks a foreign language. Fortunately, the growing number of foreigners in Japan has created a demand that is now adequately filled by companies offering multiple services catered to your moving needs.
Relocating to and from Japan
Let’s first consider the big move across countries. After seeing social media posts of people who relocated to Japan only to discover their antique furniture shattered to pieces during the move, it is of utmost importance that you engage a company that knows what it’s doing.
With that said, Yamato Logistics, Japan’s biggest courier company, is your best bet in ensuring your precious belongings are handled with utmost care. Yamato has branches worldwide, 20 in America and 13 in China, and can handle international shipping across 100 counties through its affiliated partners.
Gone are the days when the black cat (Yamato is also known as Kuroneko in Japanese) only catered to locals back in 1919. Now, Yamato handles around 1.8 billion packages a year and in English too! Check out the website here, complete with infographics explaining the entire process.
If you are moving to, from, and around Asia, check out Asian Tigers, which has secured a reputation among families, corporates, and individuals for securely packing various belongings at affordable prices. Asian Tigers goes the extra mile and provides visa, immigration, move management, home search, and destination programs, further easing the hassle on the client.
Here are a couple more names to remember: AGS Movers, Pacific Link International, and Fukuoka Soko.
Moving across Japan
Those already in Japan and moving to a new place have more options to choose from. You have Best Moving Service, known for its amazingly low rates. What’s more, this company can install your washing machine at the new place, dismantle bulky furniture, and provide cardboard boxes, among other services. Engaging with them is simple and can be done through email. Many of the company staff can speak in simple English so you can cover the essentials.
Once again, it’s worth mentioning that Yamato has a service catered to moving homes across Japan named Yamato Home Convenience. Choose this option if you want the peace of mind that your valuable belongings will be taken good care of.
If you’re looking for a company that will handle everything in English, then Tokyo Move has got you covered. From application to delivery, everything is in English. One thing to note about this company is that it’s limited to Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama.
Here are other companies worth looking at: Allied Pickfords, PROROW Transport, Sakai Moving Center (Kyoto-based), and Art Corporation.
Things to consider when picking a moving company
When it comes to picking a moving company, you must place your needs or requirements at the forefront. For example, you can converse in Japanese, so you don’t really require full English support but would like to save as much with the transfer, so you want to implement a tighter budget. Therefore, cost and language support are crucial aspects to go through before deciding on a company. I placed language at the top because the last thing you want is miscommunication with the movers resulting in loss or damage.
Another important factor to consider is insurance, although this might be an added cost. Anything can happen along the way, and you want your belongings to be safe, especially the valuable ones. Lastly, look at all the freebies you can get, such as free boxes, installation of bulky equipment, disposal of items, dismantling of furniture, and so on.
Moving services on Facebook
If you’re a member of any of the Tokyo Sayonara/Craigslist/buy and sell groups on Facebook, chances are, you’ve come across people who offer relatively cheap moving services. This is a great option for those on a tight budget and who need to transfer on short notice. Many of these companies also offer disposal services so you can get rid of unwanted items without going through the trouble of contacting the local waste disposal center and scheduling an appointment for pickup.
The easiest way to find these moving companies is by looking for someone in the group selling or giving away bulky items. Check the comments, and you’re bound to spot someone saying they offer moving/disposal services.
Go the DIY approach
When we moved from our apartment to our permanent home, we had a lot of clutter that piled up, and we didn’t know just how much until we started packing. We decided to minimize the number of boxes and manpower required to move the small items by doing it ourselves.
If you’re the “do it yourself” type of person, then this is an option worth considering. We rented a van and did a couple of rounds back and forth. In the end, we got to control who touched our more valuable personal belongings and saved a huge deal by minimizing the amount of stuff that went to the moving company. Everything bulky went through the company, and the rest we covered.
Moving homes is always an exciting experience tied to different levels of stress along the way. Minimize unforeseen circumstances and issues by letting the pros handle your transfer. You might need to inquire and compare quotes among different companies before finding the right one, but the end result is you get to settle down in your new location with peace of mind.