Support for International Visitors

AIST supports the visitors from the foreign countries and the foreign researchers. Please refer to the following information for short-term stay and long-term stay in Japan.


General Reference

  • Language :Japanese
  • Currency :Yen (JPY)
  • Climate:The land is long from north to south and belongs to the temperate zone.
    There are four seasons.
    Summer (from July to September):very hot and humid with temperatures sometimes reaching 35℃(95 Fahrenheit) or above.
    Winter (from December to February):dry and little rain.
    Rainy Season (Tsuyu): from early June to early July.
    Typhoon:from July to October.
  • Religion :Buddhism or Shinto
  • Calendar :The Fiscal Year starts on 1st of April and finishes on 31st of March of the following year.
  • Tip:Unnecessary

Procedures for Entry and Staying in Japan


For foreign nationals wishing to enter Japan, as a rule, a visa is a necessary condition upon landing.

Foreign nationals should apply for a visa at the Japanese Embassy or Japanese Consulate in their country.  Upon being successful in their application, the visa will be stamped in their passport (including visa status and duration of stay).

A visa is actually a recommendation to enter Japan under certain qualifications and conditions. Upon reaching Japan and undergoing immigration procedures, permission to enter Japan with a status of residency and a specified duration of time will be recorded in one’s passport.
A mid- to long-term resident will be issued a Residence Card. 

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Residence Card

A Residence Card is issued for a foreign national residing legally in Japan for the mid- to long-term (over three months) with the status of residence under the Immigration Control Act.  
In general, a Residence Card is issued at the port of entry when landing in Japan, and at a regional immigration bureau when acquiring permission to extend the period of stay, change the status of residence and so forth. 
A Residence Card works as an identification card for a legal resident certified by the Minister of Justice.  

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Applications and Forms to the Immigration Bureau

The foreign national staying in Japan who intends to do immigration procedures such as changing status of residence, extending the period of stay should apply at the regional immigration office.
Any foreign national who desires to make an application relating to his/her stay in Japan must appear at an immigration bureau.


Procedure at the Municipal Office

Notification of Moving-in

A mid- to long-term foreign resident must register a “notification of moving-in” with his/her Residence Card or passport if he/she doesn’t have a residence card, at the municipal office within 14 days of entering Japan. 

National Health Insurance

A mid- to long-term foreign resident not enrolled in the employee‘s health insurance plan has an obligation to enroll in the National Health Insurance Plan. Passport and Residence Card are required for the enrollment.


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In an Emergency

Emergency Phone Number  (Toll Free) 

Dial Department Report
Ambulance 119
Fire Department
Report your name, address, telephone number, and the situation of accident/incident.
Fire 119 Fire Department Report your name, address, telephone number
Car accident 110 Police Station Report your name, address, telephone number
Crime 110 Police Station Report your name, address, telephone number


Japan is subject to earthquakes. To prevent panic in case of an actual earthquake, contingency plans should be made in advance.

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Information of Residence

Staying at Guest Houses

Guest Houses in the AIST Tsukuba

Foreign researchers working at AIST have priority to use.
Inquiries or applications must be done through your host researcher or host division. 
  1. For short stays  (within 90 days)  “Sakura-kan”
    Sakura-kan is a noncommercial facility dedicated to short stays of domestic or international visitors. It offers clean rooms with primitive front services, but not hotel-like services. 

  2. For long-term stays scheduled in advance (more than 90 days and within a year)  “Keyaki-kan”
    Keyaki-kan is for graduate students who stay at AIST as technical trainees for a long-term period.

Official Accommodation in Tsukuba

The Tsukuba area has two official accommodation facilities dedicated to foreign researchers staying at any research organizations in Tsukuba.  Applications for these houses must be done by your host researchers. 
  1. Ninomiya-House
  2. Takezono-House

To Rent Private Apartment Houses

The room rate ranges roughly from 40,000 to 100,000 yen per month. The rate highly depends on the condition of the building, location, etc. At the time of contract, the lessee needs a personal Japanese guarantor or equivalent to rent guarantee and advance payment equivalent to four to five month’s rent. Rented accommodation is usually unfurnished. As a rule, a lessee is not allowed to remodel rented accommodation, such as painting the interior or knocking nails into the walls. When moving out, all the personal belongings in the room have to be removed and the room has to be restored to its original state.                  

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Daily Life


Opening a Bank Account

On opening a bank account at a bank counter, you will be requested to present your Residence Card on which your fixed address is written and to fill out the necessary forms. In general your seal is required, but your signature is accepted at some banks. Basically, you should open an ordinary deposit (savings) account. Application for issuance of a cash card can be accepted at the same time.
In general, over-the-counter business hours are from 9:00 to 15:00 on weekdays.

Cash Card and ATM

A cash card is used to make a deposit, withdrawal and transfer via an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM). Deposits, withdrawals and transfers are also available at ATMs of the affiliated banks, convenience stores and post offices. ATM fees and operating hours differ depending on financial institutions.

Remittance to Overseas

  • Take cash to a bank and transfer it to another person’s bank account.
  • Transfer the money deposited in your bank account to another person’s bank account. (Some banks have an Internet banking system.)
  • Send a demand draft to another person. Then the recipient can cash it.

Post Office

Post Office offers Postal services and Banking business and Insurance business.

Remittance to Overseas

  • Take cash to the Japan Post Bank and transfer it to another person’s account
  • Transfer money from your account to another person’s account.
  • Send an International Money Order to another person overseas. Then the recipient cashes it.

Currency Exchange 

Japanese currency can be exchanged for foreign currencies and vice-versa, at banks or post offices (Japan Post Bank). Checks in foreign currencies guaranteed by foreign banks can also be cashed at these places. The types of foreign currencies that can be handled depend on the banks and the post offices (Japan Post Bank). At airports and major hotels you can also exchange major international currencies such as US Dollars, Pounds and Euros.

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Mobile Phone

Purchase of Mobile Phone and Smartphone  

Mobile phones and smartphones can be purchased at authorized shops or electrical appliance stores. 
Phones can be used from the day of purchase.
Please ask mobile shops what documents you need before buying a mobile phone.


Driving a Car in Japan

In order to drive a car in Japan, one of the following licenses is necessary: 
  • Japanese driver’s license (a. newly obtained in Japan / b. switched from a driver’s license obtained outside Japan)
  • International driving permit
  • Driver’s license issued in France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Monaco, Slovenia and Taiwan with a Japanese translation

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Garbage and Recycling

Waste management practices differ depending on the area (municipality) you live in. Residents are required to sort out garbage accordingly and put it out on a specified day of the week, time and place.
Oftentimes oversized items and items that are hard to dispose of are collected with a charge or may not be collected at all.


More Helpful Information

Social Insurance

Enrollment in Employees’ Pension Insurance (Kousei Nenkin Hoken)

Eligibility for Enrollment

Just like Employees’ Health Insurance, employers are required to provide their full-time employees with Employees’ Pension Plan if they are a company or factory that has more than five employees or if they are a corporation (regardless of their size). Also, if you are a part-time worker and your work hours and work days account for three quarters or more of the weekly work hours of regular workers, you are also obliged to enter the insurance scheme.

Enrollment Procedures

Application for the Employees’ Pension Plan is filed at the company you work for. Ask your employer or the pension office for more details.

Payment of the Premium

The employer and employee split the payment obligations on a fifty-fifty basis. The premium amount is dependent on the employee’s monthly salary and bonus and is paid through the employer. Ask your employer or the pension plan office for more details.



Medical Care

Public Medical Insurance System

All the residents in Japan including foreign nationals who will live in Japan for more than three months have an obligation to enroll in the public medical insurance system. In Japan, there are two types of public medical insurance: Employee‘s Health Insurance by employers and National Health Insurance by municipalities. When the members of the public medical insurance system receive medical treatment etc. at any insurance hospital/clinic, they must present their health insurance cards at the reception and in principle pay 30% of the medical expenses. If certain conditions are satisfied, the member may receive the predetermined amount of insurance money in the event of serious illness or injury, delivery, or death.

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Receiving Medical Treatment

The first-come-first-served system is employed at many clinics and hospitals in Japan, however, some clinics and hospitals such as dentists require appointments in advance.
Clinics and hospitals are generally closed on Sundays, national holidays and the year-end and new-year holiday period. However, there are local emergency medical centers, and after-hours clinics that provide medical treatment for victims of traffic accidents and sudden illnesses. 

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Pregnancy / Childbirth / Child-raising

Medical Welfare System

It is to maintain health and welfare for pregnant women, mothers, children, single parent families, and severely handicapped people. The prefecture and the city subsidize medical expenses for people of those groups.
Please refer to the living municipality for the details.

Child Allowance

Parents and guardians of children 15 and under are entitled to this allowance. (Until the first March 31st after the child's 15th birthday.)
Please refer to the living municipality for the details.

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Japanese Education System

The Japanese education system consists of six years of elementary school, three years of junior high school, three years of high school and four years of university (or two years of junior college). The nine-year education of elementary and junior high school is compulsory. The school year begins on April 1 and ends on March 31 of the following year. The child‘s grade is determined by his/her age. (Children born between April 2 and April 1 of the following year are in the same grade.) The eligible age for admission is 6 to 12 years old for elementary school and 12 to 15 for junior high school.

Pre-school Education and School Enrollment

Kindergartens provide pre-school education for children aged three and older before joining elementary schools. There are public and private kindergartens. Which public kindergarten to join is specified based on the child's residential address. Please visit the kindergarten with your child for enrollment.

To enroll in Japanese public elementary or junior high schools, parents must complete the school entrance application procedures at their local municipal offices or board of education. Which school to join is assigned according to the child's registered address. Tuition and textbooks are free of charge, while fees for school lunch, PTA, and other school materials etc. are charged.


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Visiting AIST

Research Bases - MapAIST Hokkaido Map AIST Tohoku Map AIST Shikoku Map AIST Chugoku Map Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute Map AIST Tsukuba Map AIST Tokyo Headquarters Map AIST Tokyo Waterfront Map AIST Chubu Map AIST Kyushu Map AIST Kansai Map

Address and Life Information


Research Bases Address Life Information by Municipal Office (English page is available)
AIST Tokyo Headquarters 1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8921 Japan Tokyo Metropolitan Government
AIST Tsukuba Headquarters 1-1-1 Umezono, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8560 Japan City of Tsukuba, Ibaraki

Research Bases

Research Bases Address
Life Information by Municipal Office (English page is available)
AIST Tsukuba 1-1-1 Umezono, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8560 Japan  City of Tsukuba, Ibaraki
Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute 2-2-9 machiikedai, kouriyama, fukushima, 963-0298, Japan City of Koriyama, Fukushima
AIST Tokyo Waterfront 2-3-26 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-0064 Japan Tokyo Metropolitan Government
AIST Hokkaido 2-17-2-1 Tsukisamu-Higashi, Toyohira-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 062-8517 Japan
AIST Tohoku 4-2-1 Nigatake, Miyagino-ku, Sendai, Miyagi 983-8551 Japan
AIST Chubu 2266-98 Anagahora, Shimo-Shidami, Moriyama-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 463-8560 Japan
AIST Kansai 1-8-31 Midorigaoka, Ikeda, Osaka 563-8577 Japan City of Ikeda, Osaka
AIST Chugoku 3-11-32 Kagami-yama, Higashi-hiroshima, Hiroshima 739-0046, Japan
AIST Shikoku 2217-14 Hayashi-cho, Takamatsu, Kagawa 761-0395 Japan
AIST Kyushu 807-1 Shuku-machi, Tosu, Saga 841-0052 Japan City of Tosu, Saga

Welfare Facilities at AIST Tsukuba

Cafeteria/Restaurant/Daily Shop

  • Cafeteria A  including vegetarian menu
  • Cafeteria B 
  • Restaurant  “The Café Dining”  
  • Restaurant  “Café Pique-Nique”   
  • Daily Shop “FamilyMart”


  • Internal Medicine
  • Ear, Nose and Throat
  • Dentist

Barber Shop 

  • 9:00~19:00 Open

Banking ATM

  • JOYO Bank
  • Japan Post Office Bank

Club Activities


  • Kyudo (Japanese art of archery) 
  • Kendo (Japanese art of fencing)
  • Tennis
  • Soccer
  • Futsal
  • Table tennis
  • Baseball
  • Tap dance
  • Yoga
and more


  • Kado (Flower arrangement)
  • Sado (Tea ceremony)
  • Chirography
  • Gardening
  • Igo (game of GO)  
  • Shogi (Japanese of chess)
  • Painting
  • Singing in chorus
  • Karaoke
  • Jazz band
and more

Temporary Nursery (Petit Cherry in Sakura-kan at AIST Tsukuba)  

This is a nursery for AIST’s employees. If your nursery does not accept your child because of a mild illness or if a care-person is ill and is not able to look after your child, you can use Petit Cherry.
Petit Cherry can look after your child temporarily.

Petit Cherry play room   Petit Cherry Play Room 2   Petit Cherry play graund

AIST International Center(AIC)

Support Office for International Researchers Staying at AIST

AIC Logo At the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), hundreds of foreign researchers work as employees or guests every day. AIC is dedicated to assisting their daily lives in Japan.

Services and Support for International Visitors

The AIST International Center (AIC) offers a variety of services and support for foreign researchers at AIST.   
Detailed information on daily-living are available on the AIST intra-net. 

AIST International Center (AIC) Proxy Filing Service at the Mito Branch Office of the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau

AIC staff members, who have authorized proxy qualification by the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau, can file applications in proxy for foreign nationals. As required, qualified agents of AIC staff will file applications as proxy to the Mito Branch of Tokyo Immigration Bureau twice in a month.
AIC staff will advise you on your application form and required documents.

Handbooks and Information for Living in Japan

Photo 2 Three handbooks are available.

Advisory and Support Services on Daily-living

  • Advising on daily-living and procedures
  • Advising on procedures at the Tsukuba City Office

Language Training and Cultural Lessons

cultural lessons2 cultural lessons
  • Basic Japanese language courses
  • Lessons in flower arrangement and tea ceremony

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