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Moving (Stuff) to Japan

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Re: Moving (Stuff) to Japan

Postby keatonatron » Tue 01.27.2009 1:09 am

fielle wrote:
two_heads_talking wrote:I wish you the best. I hope you've done your homework on the cheapest rates..


That's part of what this post was trying to accomplish. :|


I'd think the first step would be to ask someone who actually does the shipping. First, stop by the post office. Explain your problem, ask them them the cheapest method. Writing down the weight and size of your items will help a lot, too.

Next, stop by a UPS branch. Same routine. After that hit up FedEx, then compare the results and make your choice.
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Re: Moving (Stuff) to Japan

Postby OitaFish » Tue 01.27.2009 8:34 am

fielle wrote:
two_heads_talking wrote:if you want to spend that much money to send over your bike, knock yourself out, they are just trying to help.


It seems very knee-jerk to immediately suggest that selling everything/buying new is the best option. I have things that are an irritating combination of expensive, heavy, sentimental, and useful. For example, a (very good) sewing machine that was given to me as a gift. Unlike a bicycle, these things also tend to have a pretty crappy resale value.


I don't think they were knee-jerk reactions. I have been where you are and was trying to tell you what I found out and what I ended up doing. The US postal service no longer ships by sea and as far as I know -- and I looked quite a bit -- that was the only reasonable option there was. I had to come to grips with selling a bunch of stuff I didn't want to sell before moving here but there really wasn't any other good alternative that I could find. I didn't want to store stuff because this was a permanent move. Some sentimental items that I couldn't bring, I gave to relatives.

A few hundred dollars won't get much stuff here. We ended up using the US postal service as it was the cheapest route we could find. They charged by weight. A large moving box full of clothes and a few books cost about $150. That was summer of 2007. UPS, Fedex, and DHL were considerably higher (but maybe the boxes would have made it intact if I had used one of them). I couldn't find anything more reasonable for the small amount of stuff we had. There are moving companies that will ship crates full of stuff but if you only have a few things, the US postal service will probably be the cheapest way. Just be forewarned that they may not handle your stuff with care (although you can insure it).

If you find a better way, I think a lot of people would be interested so please post it here.
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Re: Moving (Stuff) to Japan

Postby richvh » Tue 01.27.2009 9:25 am

I know of package services that ship by sea to the Philippines, so there may be similar ones that ship to Japn if you're in a metropolitan area with a large Japanese population, but since they expect the packages to be packed in standard cardboard boxes roughly 3'x2'x2', they probably aren't suitable for shipping a bicycle. I did ship a bicycle back to the States from Japan 'way back when, but all arrangements were made by Uncle Sam, so that doesn't really help you any.
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Re: Moving (Stuff) to Japan

Postby spin13 » Tue 01.27.2009 12:17 pm

I have a disassembled and packaged bike in my apartment right now, courtesy of the Aussie crashing on my couch. He just brought it as checked luggage. He mentioned having to pay a few extra bucks, but I don't know the details. I suppose I can ask him when he wakes up.
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Re: Moving (Stuff) to Japan

Postby two_heads_talking » Tue 01.27.2009 12:28 pm

Good luck getting something like around an airport, into a taxi or a bus or train and to your house.. talk about bulky ...
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Re: Moving (Stuff) to Japan

Postby fielle » Tue 01.27.2009 2:55 pm

Okay, okay! I give up on trying to ship the bike. :D

I'll either end up spending the $150 or so to send my sewing machine, or try to figure how to carry it as checked luggage. I've checked on USPS, UPS, and FedEx, and they all have similarly pricey fees for about the same amount of goods. I've also called shipping companies, and have been told that for the amount of goods I want to ship (i.e. approximately 4 medium boxes worth of stuff plus clothes that I'll take on an airplane with me), the USPS rates are actually my best bet. I'll try a couple more places, but I'm not hopeful.

So, OitaFish, here's a question for a Kyushu-er--Where are the best places to go for golden week? I won't be in Japan for very long before it pops up, and I'm not sure what places won't be super busy or closed. Anywhere within Japan would be considered.
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Re: Moving (Stuff) to Japan

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 01.27.2009 2:58 pm

fielle wrote:Where are the best places to go for golden week?


First question is what your job is going to be -- if you have vacation time you can take other than in golden week, it's best just to stay home. I wouldn't recommend going anywhere during that time unless that is the only time you will have to travel. Or, just take some day trips in your immediate area.
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Re: Moving (Stuff) to Japan

Postby OitaFish » Fri 01.30.2009 10:38 am

fielle wrote:Where are the best places to go for golden week?


People typically do family things during golden week. It is similar to Christmas time (or maybe thanksgiving) in the US except that the weather is warmer. I have never been there during golden week but I wonder if Tokyo might not be a good place to check out during that time if you have never been there. Traveling tends to be a bit expensive around that time so be prepared for that.

Where in Kyushu are you going to be?

As far as exploring Kyushu goes, everything is within a day's drive (or train) and there are quite a few 3 day weekends. It will give you plenty of opportunities to check out the island.
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Re: Moving (Stuff) to Japan

Postby fielle » Fri 01.30.2009 11:24 am

I'm going to be in Kitakyushu, so right at the north end. I've spent most of my time in Kyushu essentially in the Fukuoka-Nagasaki train line, so I haven't seen as much of the eastern part of the island. I had a short trip to Kagoshima/Miyazaki/Kumamoto/Beppu on a Juu Hachi Kippu a few years ago, but it was August and hence a little bit miserable.

I do have someone I could visit in Tokyo, so I could avoid having to find hotels and such if I went then, but I'm not sure if she'd have other plans (I'd have to ask!). Do you know if I'd have to get train/plane tickets ahead of time, and which would be a better choice?
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Re: Moving (Stuff) to Japan

Postby OitaFish » Fri 01.30.2009 10:44 pm

For that time of year, I would recommend going by plane and getting your ticket a couple weeks early. The train will be a little cheaper but you might find yourself having to stand for 5 hours if you can't get a reserved ticket.

Here is a pretty good website I have used before to figure out how to get places:
http://www.jorudan.co.jp/english/norika ... keyin.html

It says it is for trains but it will give you results for flights as well.

On the Eastern side of the island the big deal is the hot springs. Beppu is the main place but there are tourists towns too like Yufuin that are pretty cool. Other than hot springs, one of the big attractions here is Takasakisan (AKA monkey mountain). Everyday at 2pm they put food out for the monkeys and hundreds of them come out for the meal.
http://www.city.oita.oita.jp/en/tourism ... asaki.html

Heading North, you are not too far from Akiyoshido caves in Yamaguchi and the Taikodani Inari Shrine in Tsuwano in, Shimane. I highly recommend both places.

http://apike.ca/japan_akiyoshido.html
http://japan-web-magazine.com/shimane/j ... rine6.html
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Re: Moving (Stuff) to Japan

Postby Stone_Cold » Fri 01.30.2009 11:35 pm

Forgive me if someone already replied with something similar because I didn't feel like reading everything. ^o^ It sounds like you're considering moving to Japan. This information is even useful if you're just temporarily traveling to Japan. UoU"

My first questions is why are you moving to Japan?
Secondly, where in Japan?
Have you done your research?
Do you have a Visa yet?
How much yen do you have?
Do you understand Japan's laws?
Where are you going to work?
How much income are you going to make (yen)?
Do you understand Japan's billing processes?
Are you familiar with Japan's transportation system?
ETC...

Important links to consider:
1. http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/index.html
2. http://www.customs.go.jp/index.htm
3. http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/index.html
4. http://www.mof.go.jp/
5. http://www.nta.go.jp/
6. http://www.mizuhobank.co.jp/
7. http://www.studyjapan.go.jp/jp/index.html
8. http://www.kantei.go.jp/index.html
9. http://www.moj.go.jp/index.html
10. http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/acs/tacs-7108b.html
11. http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_t ... _1148.html
12. http://www.tokyo-icc.jp/guide/index.html
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Various random items

Postby fielle » Sat 01.31.2009 12:31 am

Thanks for the information, OitaFish. I like to travel, and am not afraid to go on my own, so I'll definitely make use of those three-day weekends.

Thanks for the piles of information Stone_Cold, but I'm not quite that unprepared. "Considering" doesn't quite cover my plans, and I wouldn't go to Japan long-term without some sort of definite income source. Here are my answers, though.

My first questions is why are you moving to Japan? Because I accepted a job with a company there.
Secondly, where in Japan? Kitakyushu
Have you done your research? For what?
Do you have a Visa yet? Not yet, but the paperwork for the CoE has been submitted.
How much yen do you have? More than is useful to have in the US. I am not at all concerned about money matters.
Do you understand Japan's laws? I'm sure I do not know all of them, just as I do not know all of the US laws. Are there any I should be looking out for that might trip me up?
Where are you going to work? With a standard 株式会社 of over 1000 employees. The primary language of the job is Japanese.
How much income are you going to make (yen)? More than I make in USD right now. Significantly more than an 英語教師 would.
Do you understand Japan's billing processes? No, I know who to ask.
Are you familiar with Japan's transportation system? I am extremely comfortable with the transportation system, although I am generally comfortable with any transport system for which I can find a map.
ETC... Everything is pretty much set by now, I've been to Japan before, I have guarantees of 社宅 already so no worries about housing, I was given suggestions by HR of my employers that I should look into a local bank, as Mizuho is not that common where I am, as opposed to a local bank such as Fukuoka Ginko. I have looked up the local international association, which actually seems to be very useful in terms of providing information about local sundry things.
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Re: Moving (Stuff) to Japan

Postby Stone_Cold » Mon 02.02.2009 2:59 am

My apologies if I sounded overdramatic with my response. lol I wanted to be absolutely sure you were prepared for what you’re going to encounter; that especially being said if you’re planning on living in Japan. I’ve heard many individuals talk about going to Japan without reason and including not knowing anything in advance. However, I myself during my early-mid teenage years made similar statements. lol Congratulations for getting your new career. I’m glad you’ve already done some research on moving (Ex. Visa, Transportation, Transporting Personal Items, [Temporary] [Permanent] Housing, and etc…). You’re going to need yen currency for purchasing items over in Japan. Are you going to obtain yen before arriving in Japan? Silly question, but we sometimes forget the simplest things. lol It’s nice to hear you know some about Japan's laws, but make sure you know them pretty well before you get there. Don’t want any trouble with Japan's law enforcement. :P Great to know you’ll be making good income considering the higher living costs of Japan… minus needing to own a vehicle. Having someone directly familiar with Japan’s billing processes talking with you is definitely better than other outside sources. :) Great to know that you have someone to talk about it with . You certainly won’t have any problem with Japan’s transportation system since you’ve been there before. It’s good to hear things are coming along well and I’d like to wish you a safe trip! ^?^
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Re: Moving (Stuff) to Japan

Postby clay » Mon 02.02.2009 6:30 am

How big is your sewing machine? The USPS has a few Flat Rate Priority International boxes. You can go to the post office and ask for one of each size. (regular box, long box (almost useless), large box) (see here)

If the package is over 8 or so pounds, it is cheaper to go flat-rate.

Here are the prices for the flat-rate boxes:

Priority Mail® International Regular Flat-Rate Boxes 11" X 8.5" X 5.5" - 10 Days $41.95
Priority Mail® International Large Flat-Rate Box 12” x 12” x 5-1/2” 6 - 10 Days $53.95

But again, I would try to whittle your packing down to the bare minimum. If you don't, you WILL regret it especially when it is time to move back. I know I did. :mrgreen:
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Re: Moving (Stuff) to Japan

Postby fielle » Mon 02.02.2009 10:13 am

Thanks for the suggestion, Clay. I'm afraid it won't fit into that box, but it might be a good idea if I find some other things I want to ship.

I'm definitely trying to minimize the amount of stuff I take with me, and to be honest, I don't have all that much stuff to begin with.
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