Daily Life in Japan
Garbage sorting example
Kitchen waste, shells, paper, etc.
Used cooking oil
Used cooking oil must not be poured down the kitchen drain. Put some newspapers in the pan to absorb the oil. You can then throw them away together with “burnable waste.”
Broken plates, cups, metal, cosmetic bottles, etc.
Bottles, cans, plastic bottles, newspapers, books, plastic containers, cartons, etc.
Oversized garbage ※a fee may be charged
Furniture (tables and chairs, etc.,) bicycles, bed mattresses, etc.
Home appliance waste ※a fee may be charged
TVs, refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, clothes dryers, etc.
Batteries, fluorescent tubes, light bulbs, spray cans, etc.
- Each municipality has its own rules that determine garbage pick-up days and times, the pick-up sites, and the types of garbage you can dispose of.
Please check the « Garbage Collection Calendar” of the municipality where you live.
- Please put your garbage bags outside on the morning of the day garbage is collected.
- When you dispose of garbage, you have to use trash bags designated by the local government.
- If you have questions, please ask your neighbors or landlord, or visit the municipal office.
Do not litter or illegally dump waste. It is a crime.
Littering/illegal dumping of waste＝disposing of waste at non-designated sites such as streets, parks, mountains, etc.
You need to apply to each company to use utility services.
Write your name, address, and the date you want service to start on the postcard attached on the circuit breaker and put it in a postbox.
Contact a gas company in advance and ask them to turn on the gas lines on the day of your arrival. You must be there when the provider visits you.
Contact the water supply bureau of your municipality to complete necessary procedure for using water services. Write your name, address, and the date you want service to start on the provided postcard and put it in a postbox.
When opening a bank account, you must bring your Residence Card, My Number, Seal (Hanko), and the phone number where the bank can contact you.
If you do not know how to open a bank account, please ask someone at your workplace or school for assistance.
Financial Service Agency Living in Japan: How to Open Bank Account and Send Money
If you are not going to use your bank account, please close it (terminate the contract).
Do not sell your bank account, cash card, or bankbook to anyone. It is a crime.
Persons who work or reside in Japan, as well as persons who do shopping in Japan must pay “tax” to the national government, prefecture, or municipality.
Types of taxes
Individual Income Tax (paid to the national government)
- Persons who work and earn income in Japan
- The amount of the tax varies in accordance with your income for a year starting from January 1st through December 31st.
How to pay
- Your company deducts income tax each month from your salary (this is referred to as “withholding”)
- If your company does not deduct from your salary, you need to pay the income tax on your own (this is referred to as “failing a tax return”). Pay your income tax at convenience store or bank.
※If you go back to your country, you need to “file a tax return” before leaving Japan. Please contact the Tax Office for more details.
Individual Inhabitant Taxes (paid to prefecture or municipality)
- Persons who have a resident registration in Japan as of January 1st and work in Japan
- The amount of taxes varies in accordance with your income from January 1st to December 31st of the previous year.
How to pay
- Your company deducts individual inhabitant taxes each month from your salary (this is referred to as “special collection”).
- If your company does not deduct from your salary, you will receive a letter from your municipal office in June indicating the amount of taxes you must pay. Bring the letter to the municipal office, convenience store, or post office and pay the individual inhabitant taxes there.
※If you are returning to your country, you must pay in one of the following ways
- You will pay all the individual inhabitant taxes before returning to your country through special collection from monthly income by your company.
- Appoint a tax agent who will pay the taxes on your behalf, and notify the municipal office in your area of such person before returning to your country.
Consumption tax at the rate of 8% or 10% is applied to the purchase of goods and services in Japan. You must pay the consumption tax along with the price of the goods and services.
Percentage of the Consumption Tax to be paid
- Foods and beverages bought at super markets, etc. (excluding alcohol) 8%
- Alcohol bought at super markets/ foods and beverages at restaurants 10%
- Items and services other than above 10%
Persons who have an automobile as of April 1st are obligated to pay automobile tax.
The amount of the tax varies by the type of automobile.
Every year from April to May, you will receive a payment letter from the prefecture or municipality. Pay your automobile tax at a bank or convenience store.
If you have questions regarding taxes
National Tax Agency
Tax Office (government office dealing with tax-related matters)
Please contact your municipal office