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Moving from Hong Kong to Japan decision

  1. #21

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    195

    welcome to Tokyo(I don't have to be nice to my own city)
    things you may not like (compared with HK):
    1) clerks at government agencies don't speak English. Some downtown Tokyo city halls have English speaking volunteers, though more of a gesture. the efficiency also seems to be worse than that of HK. many things are still paper based.
    2) air conditioning in the subway system is not as strong as that of HK in summer times. seats are padded, heated in winter times so kind of nice, though sometimes it smells of pee inside the trains
    3) largely still a cash society, though def changing. you may run into supermarkets that only accept cash every now and then.
    4) plane tickets flying out of Tokyo are more expensive, for trips to Europe or the states etc.
    5) generally out of pocket co-pay of 30% of your medical bill (with universal health care)
    6) utilities are more expensive
    7) vegetables and fruits are more expensive
    8) movie tickets are more expensive, it takes forever for Hollywood movies to be released in Japan, 3-6months at least.

    drumbrake, MandM!, Coolboy and 2 others like this.

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Hong Kong
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    5,484
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit
    Plenty of banks offer financing on Japanese properties to foreigners with no PR. You can even borrow on a Japanese property while having no residency rights at all in Japan. That's what I did, and I know several others who have done so.

    Here is an example for you

    https://www.orix.com.hk/en/consumer-...loan/index.jsp

    If you want to buy while living in Japan as a non-PR, SMBC Prestia will throw money at you. They still call me a couple of times a year and offer me a mortgage - which I don't want. I imagine this situation (lending to non-PR) might have been different when you were living in Japan but this is the reality now. Banks are over-stuffed with deposits and suffering from a severe lack of demand for loans..

    And - unlike Hong Kong - you don't get hit with special stamp duties if you buy as a non-PR.
    Is the requirement to be living in Japan on a working visa in order to get a mortgage?

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    17,927
    Quote Originally Posted by MandM!
    Is the requirement to be living in Japan on a working visa in order to get a mortgage?
    No. That link I included is for HK residents. BOC HK offers something similar. I used a different bank to these two. There are probably more since I took out the loan five years ago but I haven't kept up to date, for obvious reasons.
    MandM! and Kowloon Goon like this.

  4. #24

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    5,484
    Quote Originally Posted by fletcher
    As for the pay, I get 25% less net salary per month, but I overall the money is moved to pension
    where you pay like 9% of your salary and employer will share also 9%.
    They also provide additional 401k that you can either save until you retire or just get every month.
    And like twice a year bonus which is a minimum of 1month salary.

    Overall I get around 15% less every year compared to HK.
    How about the cost of living? I get mixed feedback about which one is more expensive between the two.
    They say the housing is a bit cheaper(space wise) but food is more expensive so it evens out eventually.
    Housing is cheaper from what I see. You can rent older houses in the range of hk20k per month with plenty of space. Also the food is equivalent to HKs western restaurants (price wise) but with an overall better quality and standard.

    I wouldn't count retirement savings in any calculation. Just look at cash in pocket after required taxes/fees. Fees to include insurance , retirement blah.

    My view from the outside.

    I would say to see if you can bargain for more pay as every dollar will affect your lifestyle at this point. A new experience is valuable in itself, provided that everyone in the family is onboard. Life isn't always about money but I say go for it when it's your turn.
    Last edited by MandM!; 12-07-2019 at 08:07 PM.
    fletcher likes this.

  5. #25

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    195

    oh yes, super low inflation in japan, 0.2-0.3% per year so that may affect your raise, better negotiate the hell out of it to get a good deal

    MandM! likes this.

  6. #26

    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    40

    Is there any cheap way to ship baggage to Tokyo? I have been searching online but in vain, cathay's max allowance is 50kg I think, but I'm physically unable to carry heavy stuff.


  7. #27

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    17,927
    Quote Originally Posted by tljose
    Is there any cheap way to ship baggage to Tokyo? I have been searching online but in vain, cathay's max allowance is 50kg I think, but I'm physically unable to carry heavy stuff.
    We sent a few big boxes through HK Speedpost.you can have them pickup at your apartment tin HK.

  8. #28
    bdw
    bdw is offline

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    Feb 2009
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    5,182

    One tax benefit to note regarding international schools in Japan, there is something known as ‘Corporate Contribution Scheme’ whereby your company can make a ‘donation’ to the school in lieu of paying school fees and then this is effectively a 100% tax deduction for you. This can actually be a huge tax saving for expats in Japan.


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