Banking system

All information on this page

Getting a mobile phone and internet at home

If you have a 2 years visa, you will be able to get a 1 or 2 year-plan for a mobile phone, which includes free internet access, but no phone calls or text messages. To subscribe you need your resident card or certificate. Main companies are NTT Docomo, Au KDDI and Softbank. These companies also provide internet services.

If you do not have a long term visa, you can also get prepaid phones under operator conditions, which you charge depending on your communications.


Tips to get furniture

Sayonara sales

People who are leaving Japan often announce Sayonara sales on dedicated websites. Prices are very reasonable or you can even get furniture and appliances for free. It is also a good way to get all of your furniture at once.

Well-known websites are:

-          http://www.tokyonoticeboard.co.jp/

-          http://classifieds.metropolis.co.jp/

-          http://tokyo.craigslist.jp

-          http://www.sayonarasale.com/

Some people offer to deliver for you but usually you will have to organise a pick-up on your own. Some companies are specialised in sayonara sales moving and offer services in English. For example: http://transporter-tokyo.com/english/ or http://tokyohelpinghands.com/ or http://www.quoz.biz/.

Recycle shops

Many things can be bought cheaply in local recycle shops that also offer delivery services.



The train network in Tokyo includes JR lines, private lines and subway lines. The JR Yamanote Line goes around central Tokyo. From Komaba campus, the Yamanote Line can be reached through Komabatodaimae station – Inokashira Line going to Shibuya, or throughYoyogiuehara station- going to Shinjuku or Meijijingumae.

Train services usually start around 4:30 to 5a.m and close around midnight.

A good way to check your itinerary in English is the website http://www.hyperdia.com/

  • Payment system

Annual or monthly subscriptions for the train and subway in Tokyo exist for defined itineraries. If you do not use the same line everyday, you can charge a prepaid card called Suica or PASMO which works on all lines. Your card is withdrawn from the amount depending on your itinerary every time you pass the gates. This prepaid card can be bought at the automatic machines of your train station.


In addition to general bus networks and sightseeing bus services, some community-based buses are operated free of charge. PASMO and Suica are also valid for bus networks.


The capacity of a standard taxi is up to four passengers. Initial fare is 710 yen for a standard taxi. You should see a red sign at the front of the taxi if it is available.

Usual taxi fares:

Shibuya area to campus or Shimokitazawa area : 1.800 to 2.500JPY

Roppongi area to campus or Shimokitazawa area: 3.000 to 3.500JPY


You can buy a bike from a local retailer for around 10.000 JPY, or from sayonara sales websites listed previously. Every bicycle in Japan is supposed to be registered by the police. If you buy a new bicycle, the registration process is handled by the store. If you buy it second-hand , you must re-register the bike under your name with the original certificate at the local police station.    

Driving in Japan :  switching a foreign driver’s license to a Japanese license

In order to rent and drive a car in Japan, a Japanese driver's license is required. However, for one year starting on your date of arrival in Japan, you can use:

-          an international driving license for Finnish nationals,

-         an official translation of your driver's license attached to your license, for French, German and Swiss nationals. This translation can be done at your Embassy or at the Japan Automobile Federation office. International licenses delivered by these 3 countries are not valid in Japan.

If you intend to live more than a year in Japan and drive, you must get a Japanese driver’s license during your first year in Japan. To switch your license to a Japanese license you must apply at the Japan Automobile Federation (http://www.jaf.or.jp/e/switch.htm).

Tokyo, 2-2-17 Shiba, Minato-ku – Tel:  03.6833.9100

Your driver’s license will be converted without any driving test but sight and hearing tests can be required. You will get the Japanese license on the same day you apply. You can also apply by mailing all documents to the office. You will receive the license about a week after.

Documents required:

-          application form – to be downloaded online

-          resident card

-          passport

-          national driver’s license

-          translation of driver’s license

-          two pictures

Price : 3.000 JPY

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Learning Japanese Language

The Institute of Industrial Science offers classes to students, researchers and staff. Three levels are offered, Basic 1, Basic 2 and Intermediate, and each level is taken in one semester.  First semester is April to June and Second Semester is November to February. Some higher proficiency level classes are also offered at Hongo campus.

You can also find Japanese classes offered by your Municipal office, international exchange associations and volunteer groups. This website helps you search for local Japanese classes and international exchange: http://www.tnvn.jp/guide/

Here are also lists of classes in Western Tokyo : 

To evaluate your proficiency in Japanese regularly, you can take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). Levels tested range from N5, ability to understand some basic Japanese to N1, ability to understand Japanese used in a variety of circumstances. For more information, please check http://www.jlpt.jp/e/index.html

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Sport around campus

A sport centre is located in the park by Komabatodaimae station. Enter the park across the railway.

You can find:

  • A gym and training equipment: 200 JPY per session - Open from 9a.m to 9p.m
  • A swimming-pool: 300 JPY – It is usually open from 9a.m to 9p.m
  • Indoor badminton and volleyball grounds
  • Tennis grounds that have to be booked in advance

Private sport centres can also be found at all main train stations.

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Eating on campus and around

Komaba 2 campus offers serveral university restaurants :

  • University convenience store where you can find sandwiches and bento
  • 2 University restaurants offering Japanese meals
  • 1 Italian restaurant
  • 1 "bistrot" style restaurant

If you have more time you can walk to Komaba 1 campus (10min walk) where the University restaurant offers varied meals.

Around campus towards Ikenoue, Komabatodaimae or Yoyogiuehara, you can also find many bento, ramen, burger places and bakeries. 

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Living costs


Regular appartment (25m-35m) between 80.000JPY and 120.000JPY

Room in a Guesthouse - between 60.000JPY and 90.000JPY


Meal at regular restaurant : between 2.500 and 4.000JPY

Meal at sushi bar : 1.500JPY

Meal at ramen place : 800JPY

Meal at university restaurant : 500JPY

Sandwich from university shop : 200JPY

Sandwich from french bakery : 460JPY

Bento : around 600JPY



Water and Tea are free at restaurants

Coffee at vending machine : 150JPY

Coffee at restaurant : 300JPY

Half-pint beer: 600JPY

Cocktail : 800JPY

Glass of wine : 700JPY


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Information channels and links 

News and information in English

Travel guides

For information about tourism in Japan, you can also visit the Tourism Information Center on the first floor of Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku. Address: 2-8-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku


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