Moving in Japan: Setting Up Mail Forwarding

This article is part of the Moving in Japan series of posts. When you relocate within Japan, there are three steps involved: Changing your address with your local city hall, changing the information listed on your driver’s license, and setting up mail forwarding with Japan Post. This walk-through will cover the later of the three, and show you how to do it all online from the ease of your home.

While it’s true that Japan Post does offer a year of mail forwarding to your new address, you’ll first need to register the new address with them. This can either be done at the post office in person or online at their website. It will take Japan Post one week to process your newly registered address before you can start receiving mail.

Getting Started

Anyway, let’s start by taking a look at the first page. Click here to open Japan Post’s website. Start off by clicking the red button in the upper right corner to access the e-application for your address change. This will bring up a waiver, which you will need to scroll down and check the agree box, before clicking continue below.

Name and Email

You will now be asked for your name and email address. If you already have a User ID, you can log in by clicking the red button at the top (see picture below), but it is not necessary to continue the process.

The first section in red asks for your name. Last name in the first box, then first name in the second box. You can type your middle name after your first name in the second box. Note that you cannot use a space here, so you should use a dot to separate your first and last name. For example, if your name was David Michael Johnson, you would type:

ジョンソン デビッド・マイケル

Unless you are a Japanese citizen, you will be typing your name in full-width katakana. In the second row, you will retype your name just like it is in the first row. The third row asks for your email address, and the fourth row asks you to retype your email address again. Click the red button at the bottom to continue when you are done. After clicking, you will be sent an email to confirm you email address is valid. Open that email and click the link to proceed.

Entering Address Info

The next page will ask for your old address info in the left gray column, and your new address info in the right red column. The small red boxes that say 必須 mean those fields are required to be filled out.

When you finish, click the red button at the bottom to continue. If the page reloads, there will be red text at the top stating an error occurred and part of the address info needs to be corrected.

When everything looks correct, you will see an overview of what you typed with two red buttons at the bottom of the page. Click the red button above to continue with the application, or to go back and edit your info, click the red button below.

Confirming the Residents

This next page is for you to list the people moving with you. If you are alone or just registering the change for yourself, then you would only fill out the first row. Last name and first name again, followed by a dot and the middle name. Both in full-width katakana for non-Japanese citizens. The gray area is if you have previously used a different name, in which case, you would type your old name here.

Scroll down and you will be asked whether anyone else will be remaining at the old address. Check the first bubble if nobody will reside in the house after you leave, otherwise check the second bubble and enter the number of people who will remain at the old address. Enter the date below which your change of address will go into effect. Note that if you put today’s date, it will still take a week before the address change goes into effect. Click the red button at the bottom to continue to the next page, then confirm all info is correct and continue to the next page.

Additional Info

The next page will ask for your name again, just as before, last name first, followed by first name, a dot, and your middle name, in full-width katakana again. Below you will check the bubble that applies to who which party is moving. Check the first bubble if it’s just you, the second bubble if it’s you and your family, the third bubble if it’s you and your roommates, and the fourth bubble if it’s you and your coworkers.

In the box below, enter your Japanese phone number, starting with the area code. You will need to call a number in the next step to verify with an automated service. Click the red button below to continue. Confirm the information and proceed to the next page.

Confirmation Phone Call

The next page will show your name at the top, follow by the status of your party, and then your phone number below that. In the yellow row below, you will have a confirmation number. The next step is to call 0570-066-880, and listen to the automated voice for instructions. You will be asked the following questions below in that order. Refer to them if needed, as there is no English menu. After each question, the machine will pause and you will hear a soft beep. You need to wait for this beep before pressing any buttons, or your response will not register.

・If you are registering from a computer, please press 1. If you are registering from a smart phone, please press 2.
・Please enter the confirmation number on your screen.
・(The number will be repeated back to you.) If the number you entered is correct, press 1, if not, press 2.

・Thank you. You may now hang up to end this call.

Wrapping It Up

After the call has ended, you can scroll further down the page. If you don’t want to receive “welcome mail” from local businesses regarding your new change of address, you can uncheck the box in the red box of text. When you are finished, click the upper red button at the bottom to submit your application, or click the lower red button to go back and edit your information.

When you reach the screen below, your application is complete. You will receive an email letting you know that your application was received, and you will be provided with a confirmation number. After a week passes, you can expect your mail to start coming again as usual.

For further information, check out Japan Post’s page for relocation and forwarding services.