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Moving from Hong Kong to Japan decision

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  1. #21

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    Jun 2015
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    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 5 others like this.

  2. #22

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    Feb 2011
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    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

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    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

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    Feb 2011
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    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
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    237

    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
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    50

    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

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    Oct 2010
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    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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    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.


  9. #29

    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    369
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit
    Lots more to do in Tokyo than Hong Kong, for working people, expat partners and children alike. It's a big city of millions of people with hundreds of thousands of foreigners. It's also very easy to get to the mountains in winters, hills in spring and beaches in summer. We're off to a safari park tomorrow

    The only reason someone will die of boredom is if they choose to, like most big cities to be honest.
    I love that if I have an empty day I can just hop on a train in the morning, connect to a high speed train, and 2 hours later I'm in Nikko or Nara - all from Tokyo! Or I can go to Kyoto (my favourite city).

    We haven't purchased a place yet (waiting to see what happens after the Olympics) and we're still debating between apartment vs house. We just stay at Chinzanso which has a nice garden.

    Orix was willing to provide us with 50% mortgage without any tax returns so long as you have asset proof that is worth 3x as much as the mortgage (or property, I forget). They're pretty quick and you can communicate with the officers in real time over whatsapp. Would recommend. Rates aren't competitive compared to local banks but still low at 2.7%. We almost bought a place but I'm still holding out for the new stock that'll be available soon (or a house).
    shri, TheBrit, Tadashi and 1 others like this.

  10. #30

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    Oct 2010
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    Good luck,. let me know if I can help with anything if you do decide to make the jump. 2.7% is better than what I paid for my Japan mortgage when I was in HK - that was set at TIBOR + 3% so it was 3.1% for the duration of the mortgage.

    Most people I know in Japan pay around 1% give or take 10-20 bips either side.

    Viktri and MandM! like this.

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