01 Is living in Japan difficult?

In Japan there is a saying: "different places, different habits". This means that one's life style changes with the change of one's abode. There are big differences in culture and custom between Japan and other countries. For example, in Japan automobiles keep to the left. The people here, basically, take their shoes off when entering a house. Differences in customs such as these must be curious for foreign people coming to Japan for the first time.

We shall now offer a brief introduction to life in Japan to all of you who are planning to study in Japan.

02 Is it true that prices are high in Japan?

The prices in Japan are said to be among the highest in the world. This is especially true of the commodity prices in Tokyo, when compared to the prices of commodity and services in other major world cities. The Japanese currency, the yen, is signified by the mark "\". Below is a price list the prices of some essential goods for everyday living, as well those of other items:

How does this seem to you when compared to the prices in your country? Please use this table as a reference for planning your life in Japan.

03 What is housing in Japan like?

Of the three necessities of life: food, clothing and shelter, the particularly expensive one in Tokyo is shelter. Although some schools have student dormitories, most foreign students have to rent a flat. When renting a flat, one is required to pay, apart from the rent itself, charges such as a premium, damage deposit and key money, which amount to the equivalent of five or six months'rent. Furthermore, those renting a flat will need to have a guarantor.

04 Can I use electricity, gas, tap water and telephone? (About "lifeline")

The requirement for entering a junior college, as for universities, is the completion of 12 years of schooling. Those who do not fulfill this condition are required to complete a preparatory education course, and have to be 18 or older. The entrance exam is the same as for universities. Duration of study at junior colleges is two years (at some three) and the title conferred upon graduation is "Associate Bachelor".

The tap water in Japan is safe for drinking without purification. Please note that some foreign electric appliances cannot be used in Japan.

05 When and how can I throw my garbage out? (Garbage and recycling)

Garbage disposal presents a big social problem in Japan. Furthermore, when one does not dispose of garbage according to the prescribed rules disputes may occurs with the local residents. Please divide your garbage into correct categories (combustible and non-combustible) beforehand and throw it out within the specified time frame in the location designated as a place for garbage collection.

Please note that the method of disposal differs from one area to another.

06 What should I do in case of emergency?

In case anything should happen - if a fire has broken out, if you have suffered injury or sudden illness and need to call an ambulance, had an accident or been targeted by crime, please remain calm and report to the following telephone numbers:

07 What is alien registration?

Foreigners who entered Japan must undergo alien registration at the municipality, city, town or village office within 90 days of arrival. College and pre-college students are required to register without fail. Upon registration foreigners are issued an alien registration card by the head of the office. Foreigners are obliged to carry this card with themselves at all times.

08 What is National Health Insurance? (about the Japanese medical insurance system)

Japan offers sophisticated and advanced medical care but the medical costs are high. This is why the Japanese health insurance system has been designed to allow all foreign citizens living in Japan to be eligible for and be covered at all times by a form of public medical insurance. There are two types of public medical insurance: the National Health Insurance and insurance offered by companies and other work places.

The National Health Insurance is the health insurance scheme that is usually joined by those who are not employed. All college and pre-college students from abroad studying in Japan enter this insurance scheme. In case one has joined the National Health Insurance and has been treated for a disease or an injury, one bears only 30% of the incurred medical expenses. Furthermore, in college students' case, up to 80% of the medical costs of the type covered by the National Health Insurance and paid by the student, is later reimbursed by the independent administrative body, Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO).