Living Infomation

Comprehensive Living Guide for Foreign Residents in Japan

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Electricity, gas and water

To commence/terminate electricity, gas and water supplies to premises when moving home, make sure to contact the following organizations: For matters related to electricity and gas, contact the suppliers that you are currently contracted with (for example, Tokyo Electric Power and Tokyo Gas) via telephone or the internet. Meanwhile, for water, contact the local branch office of the Bureau of Waterworks.

You should receive electricity/gas bills monthly while the water and sewage bills come every other month. Utility bills can be paid at banks, post offices and convenience stores, can be automatically debited from your bank account or paid with a credit card. Payment should be made by the due date.

Electricity (denki)

Power supply in Eastern Japan is 100V/50Hz. Electric appliances manufactured for use with different voltage/frequency should not be used. If used improperly, they may not work properly or could cause an accident. Appliances marked as "50/60Hz" can be used nationwide.
From April of 2016, it became no longer necessary for consumers to purchase their electricity just from the power company located in their region. Rather, numerous new companies entered the market who can sell power directly to consumers. If intending to change your contracted electricity supplier, you are encouraged to choose a company and a plan that is in accordance with your lifestyle after thoroughly checking what is available.

Tips for using electricity service

The contracted capacity of the power supply to your home is set between 10 and 60 amperes. If you wish to change the power capacity of your account, please contact the supplier that you are currently contracted with (for example, Tokyo Electric Power).

Your circuit breaker may shut down when you use too many appliances at the same time. If it happens, turn off some of the appliances you have been using and reset the switch on the circuit breaker back to the "on" position to restart the electricity supply.

Gas (gasu)

For household use, gas is supplied in two ways - city gas and propane gas - depending on the area where you live.
From April of 2017, it became no longer necessary for consumers to purchase their city gas just from the gas company located in their region. Rather, numerous new companies have entered the market who can sell gas directly to consumers. If intending to change your contracted gas supplier, you are encouraged to choose a company and a plan that is in accordance with your lifestyle after thoroughly checking what is available.

If you notice smell of gas

When you notice the smell of gas, please do the following.

(1) Open windows and doors widely.
(2) Turn the gas off at the main.
(3) Notify the service office of your gas company.

Open flames are strictly prohibited when the smell of gas is detected. You must absolutely not use lighters or matches. Do not touch switches for lights and fans. Turning on or off a switch generates small sparks which can be dangerous.

Water and Sewerage (suido)

Japanese tap water is drinkable straight from the tap. If you do not like the smell of chlorine, which is used as a disinfectant, boil the water. However, boiling the water will remove the disinfectant, so please drink the water quickly.

When you are faced with a situation where water is not coming out of the faucet, check to see if it is just your home, or your entire residential area.

  • When only your home does not have water

    Check to see if the valve is open. If it is closed, open the valve.
    If the valve is open, there may be a problem with the pump. Inquire with the building manager or a plumbing company. Water supply inspections may also be underway.

  • If water is unavailable in your residential area

    There may be a water outage due to construction or a water pipe accident. Please contact the Bureau of Waterworks.

When using the sewage system, please be aware of the following:

  • Do not discard oil in the sink.

    Oil may harden and clog a drain pipe, this may also cause a bad smell.

  • Do not flush any objects other than toilet paper down a toilet.

    Flushing disposable diapers, tissue paper insoluble in water, or other hygiene products in the toilet is a major cause of blockage.

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