Housing, Gas, Electricity, Phone etc.

Housing, Gas, Electricity, Phone etc.

Housing

Housing is one of the most difficult problems facing arriving foreigners. When you want to rent a house or apartment, it is very convenient to use a real estate agent. The agent will arrange for you to visit the available houses or apartments. When you rent a house or apartment, you will most likely have to pay about 5 or 6 months rent in cash. This money includes: 
- Entry Fee (Reikin): Non-refundable key money to the landlord and commission agent. This money may also be used to change the tatami mats and sliding doors, clean the house and make some general preparations for the new tenant. 
- Commission (Tesuryo): Commission for the commission agent. 
- Deposit (Shikikin): This will be returned to you in the event that there is no damage when you move out. 
If you want to cancel the lease before the expiration date, you should tell the landlord at least one month in advance. When leaving, the house or apartment should be thoroughly cleaned and paper on sliding doors renewed.

Electricity

When you start using electricity after a previous resident, close the circuit breaker and connect the ampere breaker. After ensuring that the electricity is on, fill in the necessary information on the post card attached to the breaker and send it to the Chubu Electric Power Company. 

The electrical current for households in Japan is either 50 Hz/100 volts or 60 Hz/100 volts. In Okaya it is 60 Hz/100 volts (in Tokyo it's 50 Hz/100 volts). Appliances from other countries can be damaged if they do not correspond to the electrical currency and frequency. Consult the Chubu Electric Power Company before using. The electricity bill is sent monthly. 

For more information call the Chubu Electric Power Company Okaya Branch Tel: 22-2074 (Japanese)

Gas

Before moving into a new house, call the local area gas company (city gas) or fuel shop (propane gas) and consult with them when you are moving in and ask them to provide you with the necessary services before you start using gas appliances. Be sure to inform the gas company before moving out. 

Gas appliances should be properly adjusted for the kind of gas you use. It is extremely dangerous to use an appliance that is not properly adjusted to the gas in use. If you smell gas, please call the local gas company or fuel shop immediately. 

If you smell gas: 
- Turn off the supply valve. 
- Do not use fire. 
- Do not touch electrical appliances. 
- Open all windows and doors immediately. 
- Propane gas is heavier than air, you must sweep it out. 
For more information contact the Suwa Gas Co. Tel: 22-7666 (Japanese)

Water

When moving in or out please call the Water Management Division of the City Hall. In most cases the landlord will contact them. A water bill comes every two months. 
Water Management Division of the City Hall Tel: 23-4811 ext.1416 

Care of water pipes in winter 
It gets very cold from December to February, so care should be taken to prevent water pipes from freezing. If a water pipe freezes, it may burst. 

Wrap outdoor piping with electric anti-freezing tape and close off all outdoor taps.

Telephone

The following items are necessary when entering into a contract for a telephone line: 
- Passport or Alien Registration Card 
- Non-refundable connection Charge (74,984 yen) 
Please apply at the Okaya NTT branch office. Tel: 23-2900 (Japanese) 

NTT Services 
- New installation or relocation Tel: 116 (Japanese, toll free) 
- Telephone is out of order or other questions Tel: 113 (Japanese, toll free) 
- Directory Assistance Tel: 104 (Japanese, 30 yen per call) 
- If you need an interpreter in English, Portuguese, etc. please call: 0120-36-4463 

Mobile Phones 
Available at local electronic stores with a variety of plans to suit your needs. Bring your Passport or Alien Registration Card for registration. 

International Telephone Services 
There are many different international calling companies. The following provide direct dial international service: 

KDDI 001 - country code - area code - local number 
ITJ 0041 - country code - area code - local number 
IDC 0061 - country code - area code - local number 
Deutsch Telecom 0080 - country code - area code - local number 
World Com Japan 0071 - country code - area code - local number 
NTT Communications 0033 - country code - area code - local number 

You will receive a bill in the mail. It will be separate from your NTT bill. 

Cheaper direct dial and callback services - The above are all expensive and there are many other cheaper direct dial or callback services available which you can register for. Check an English language newspaper for advertisements.

Moving

Inform your landlord of your move at least one month in advance. The amount of deposit returned to you depends on the condition of your house/apartment. Inform each utility company of your move. Decide the date to discontinue the services and settle all charges. 

If you are moving to a new residence within Japan: 
Report to the Tax Division of the city hall and settle all local taxes due. 
If you have registered your seal, please return your seal registration card at the Civic Affairs Division in the city hall. 

Inform the municipal administration office in your new location within 14 days of your move and have the address changed on your Alien Registration Card and your National Health Insurance policy. 

Fill out a change of address form at the post office to have your mail forwarded to you. This service is provided for one year following your move. 

If you are moving overseas: 
Report to the Tax Division of the city hall and settle all local taxes due. 

If you have registered your seal, please return your seal registration card at the Civic Affairs Division of the city hall. 

If you have joined the National Health Insurance, please return your health insurance card to the Health Division of the city hall.