A Guide to the Best Moving Companies in Japan in 2024

A Guide to the Best Moving Companies in Japan in 2024

Relocating to a new location in Japan? Looking for a moving company that can handle packing, shipping, and general relocation services in English?

This article provides a look at the top 10 moving companies in Japan, along with their features and whether or not they provide English support.

Let's get to it.

How much do moving companies in Japan cost?

The cost of moving services in Japan vary depending on the following factors:

  • The volume of items

  • Distance of the move

  • The specific services required

According to data provided by Hikkoshi Samurai, a Japanese moving service comparison site, the average cost for moving services in Japan is as follows:

  • For an individual (with fewer items): Around 27,000 to 40,000 yen

  • For two people: Around 62,500 yen

  • For a family of three or more: Around 109,660 yen

Prices are averages. The cost will increase if you have many items or if you're moving a long distance. Additionally, the time of year can also affect the cost, with prices peaking during moving seasons (February and March).

Note: Individuals on this Reddit thread have had experiences where they were able to negotiate on the price.

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What to know when choosing a moving company in Japan

Finding the right moving company for your move comes down to the following key points. Here's what to consider when picking a moving company in Japan.

  • Language support—Moving can be complex—and it's even more challenging when there's a language barrier. If you can't speak Japanese, choose a moving service that offers English support to ensure smooth communication. 👉 Go here for more English-speaking services in Japan!

  • Services offered—Most of the large moving companies include packing, unpacking, and furniture assembly, while some of the smaller moving companies simply transport your items from point A to point B.

  • International or domestic—If you're moving within Japan, this article is for you? If you're relocating overseas, then I recommend you read "International Shipping from Japan: Options & FAQs [Updated 2024]."

  • Reputation and reviews—Read reviews and testimonials from previous customers and spot red-flags early on.

  • Pricing—How much are you OK with spending? Keep in mind you'll pay more for movers who provide English support. Compare prices from different companies, but also consider the services they offer and their reputation.

  • InsuranceAccidents happen. Most large moving companies provide insurance as part of their package but always double-check.

Best moving companies in Japan

Sakai Moving Service

Sakai Moving Service (サカイ引越センター)

Sakai Moving Service (サカイ引越センター) English page

One of Japan's most well-known moving services is Sakai Moving Service (サカイ引越センター), which provides a pre-move survey for quotation, customer support throughout the moving process, and careful packing and transportation of your belongings.

They also offer some optional services such as appliance disposal, dismantling and installation of air conditioners or washing machines, packing services, house cleaning services, piano transport, and free cardboard boxes based on the volume of your moving goods.

A happy side note: They also provide assistance with international moves.

English support: Website, contact form, and phone support are available in English.

Coverage: All of Japan

Fukuoka Soko

Fukuoka Soko

Fukuoka Soko Group English home page

Fukuoka Soko Group is a moving service that operates throughout Japan, from Hokkaido to Okinawa and a solid option for anyone relocating to a new home on the other side of the country.

In addition to their standard moving services, Fukuoka Soko Group offers the following range of optional services: air conditioner removal, furniture and document disposal, document storage and packing, and furniture assembly.

They also offer storage solutions for personal belongings.

If your business is moving to a new address, Fukuoka Soko Group offers office moving services, including furniture assembly, removal of fixtures and fittings, and document storage and management.

English support: English support is available, and you can contact them via phone or email for any questions or to request a free survey.

Coverage: All of Japan

Best Moving Service

Best Moving Service (ベスト引越サービス)

Best Moving Service (ベスト引越サービス) English page

Best Moving Service (ベスト引越サービス) is a moving company that provides full-service English language support, helping with individual relocations to office moves, and moves with few items.

They pride themselves on their "on-site force" and their ability to meet various customer needs, which allows them to offer competitive industry pricing.

Add-on services include air conditioner removal, furniture and document disposal, document storage and packing, and furniture assembly. Other addon services include the disposal of unwanted items and an optional cleaning service.

English support: Services in English, inquiries, website, etc.

Coverage: Main areas of service are Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Nara, and Fukuoka.

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Tokyo Helping Hands

Tokyo Helping Hands

Tokyo Helping Hands English page

Tokyo Helping Hands is a relocation service based in Tokyo that offers moving and delivery services for both small and large items. They will provide a free ride for one person as part of their service.

Add-on services include packing, unpacking, furniture disassembly and reassembly, and installation of certain appliances like washing machines. They offer discounts for multiple trips if more than one trip is required.

Their services start from 8,800 yen for one driver and one truck, with prices increasing based on the size and complexity of the move. For example, a service including one driver, one truck, and one assistant starts from 18,800 yen.

If you are looking for a service with English-speaking movers, Tokyo Helping Hands might be a good option.

English support: Full

Coverage: Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa

Yamato Home Convenience

Yamato Home Convenience

Yamato Home Convenience English page

Yamato Home Convenience is the relocation arm of Yamato Transport that specializes in moving small to medium-sized household goods all over Japan.

They offer a service based on the amount of household goods customers have, utilizing a special box system. This makes them an excellent choice for customers who have fewer large household goods or small household goods as customers can choose only the services they need.

Inquires and website are available in English. However, your movers are not guaranteed to be fluent in English.

English support: Website, inquiries

Coverage: All of Japan

Nippon Express

Nippon Express

Nippon Express English page

Nippon Express offers a wide range of services, including domestic moving within Japan and storage facilities for goods not intended for overseas shipment. They also provide specialized services for the transportation of cars, motorcycles, and pianos.

Addon services include packing, unpacking, furniture disassembly and reassembly, and installation of certain appliances. They also offer air-conditioned storage facilities with full control of temperature and humidity.

Ideal for individuals or families looking for a moving service with a global reach. Their range of services make them a good option for both local and international moves.

English support: Yes. The website is available in English, and they also provide an inquiry form for further questions.

Coverage: All of Japan

Art Moving Service

Art Moving Center (アート引越センター)

Art Moving Center (アート引越センター) English page

Art Moving Center (アート引越センター) is a popular Japanese moving service that caters to a variety of moving needs and has consistently good reviews on the Hikkoshi Zamurai site (Japanese).

This is a recommended option if you're OK with reading a little bit of Japanese or are handy with Chrome's browser translation feature.

Movers are known to be polite, and the move itself is conducted speedily according to reviews.

You can order a basic course—where you do all the packing and unpacking yourself, and they will just transport your belongings. A half course—has them wrap and box your belongings. The full course—does both packing, unpacking and transporting of all your items.

English support: None.

Coverage: All of Japan


Frequently asked questions

Popular moving companies in Japan that are well-known and have consistently good reviews include Yamato Transport, Fukuoka Soko, Mission Movers, Nippon Express, Sakai Moving Service, Tokyo Helping Hands, and Best Moving Service.

Which moving companies in Japan offer English support?

Moving companies in Japan that offer English support include Fukuoka Soka Group, Yamato Home Convenience, and Tokyo Helping Hands. Also, check out MailMate's service directory for bilingual moving and relocation companies in Japan.

What services do moving companies in Japan offer?

Moving companies in Japan offer services that include furniture and household goods transport, packing and unpacking, disposal of unwanted items, house cleaning, and more.

What is the most famous moving company in Japan?

Sakai Moving Center, known for its panda logo, is arguably the most famous moving company in Japan.

How much do movers cost in Japan?

Moving costs in Japan vary based on factors like item volume and move distance. According to Hikkoshi Samurai, a Japanese moving service comparison site, the average cost for a single person with fewer items ranges from 25,486 to 30,000 yen from July to September. For those with more items, it's around 31,700 to 38,000 yen. These are average prices and can change based on your specific move details.

Is there a difference in cost between moving on a weekday and a weekend?

For a single person, there is not a significant difference in cost between moving on a weekday and a weekend. The cost is around 40,000 yen for a local move and 70,000 to 80,000 yen for a long-distance move.

What is the cost of moving during different times of the year?

The cost of moving for a single person is highest in March, with an average cost of 60,000 to 70,000 yen. The cheapest month to move is October, with an average cost of 30,000 to 40,000 yen.

Is tipping required for movers in Japan?

Tipping is not a traditional custom in Japan, and it is not necessary for moving services as the cost is already included in the moving fee.

What is the cost of optional services during a move?

Moving companies offer various optional services such as disposal of unwanted items and installation of washing machines. The cost of these services depends on the specific services required.

When is the payment for moving services due?

The payment for moving services is typically due in cash before the start of the move.


In closing

Other items you'll want to take care of when relocating in Japan:

  1. Update your address—Update your address with your local ward office, employer, bank, and any other institutions that need to know your new location. In Japan, updating your address on your Residence Card is necessary if you're a foreign resident.

  2. File a moving out form—It's called a tenshutsu todoke. You must file this moving out form at your old city office.

  3. File a moving in form—When you arrive in your new city, file a tennyu todoke, a moving in form, at your new city office.

  4. Utilities—Get your utilities turned on in your new location and request cancellation at your old location.

  5. Internet and phone—Arrange for your internet and phone services to be set up at your new home. This might involve transferring your current services or setting up new ones.

  6. Health insurance—If you're enrolled in Japan's National Health Insurance system, the city office will issue you a new health card when you file your moving-in form.

  7. Mail forwardingJapan Post offers a mail forwarding service that can forward your mail to your new address for a certain period.

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