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Updated: March 15, 2023

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Housing / Daily Life

House-Hunting, Preparing for Living in Hyogo, and Rules for Daily Life

Renting a Home

Two types of homes are mainly available for rental.

Public Housing

These are homes that can be rented from the prefecture, city hall, or town hall. Rental conditions include a certain level of income. Occupants are selected by drawing lots if there are too many applicants.

Rental Housing

These are homes rented from real estate agents (apartments, condominiums, rental houses). In most cases, several months' rent must be paid at the time of concluding the contract.

Neighborhood Associations / Kids' Clubs

Residential organizations known as Jichikai or neighborhood associations, and Kodomokai or kids' clubs, can be found in all districts. They help residents to become familiar with the neighborhood by circulating information required for daily life, carrying out safety drills, and organizing festivals and other events that enable interaction among residents.

Waste Disposal

Trash is segregated, placed in specified trash bags, and then taken out on designated days and locations. Additional costs are incurred when disposing of large garbage, televisions, washing machines, and other home appliances. Pamphlets containing a summary of the rules for waste disposal are available at the city hall.

Banks and Credit Cards

Opening a Bank Account

The procedures for opening a bank account include visiting the bank and submitting your official seal, proof of identification (passport, Residence Card, Special Permanent Residence Certificate, etc.), and a certain amount of cash required for opening the account. The contact number must also be provided.

Credit Cards

A Residence Card, Special Permanent Residence Certificate, or similar documentation is required to obtain a credit card. Contact the credit card company concerned for further details. If you receive an invoice for a payment that you are unaware of, your credit card may have been used without your authorization. Contact the credit card company immediately in such a case.

Driver's License

Three types of driver's licenses may be used in Japan:

  1. Driver's license obtained in Japan
  2. International driving permit issued by a member nation of the Geneva Convention
  3. Foreign driving license (issued in Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Slovenia, Monaco, or Taiwan)

Renewal of Driver's License

International driving permits are valid for one year and cannot be renewed in Japan. You need to obtain either a new one from the country where the license was issued or a Japanese license before it expires.

Obtaining/Switching to a Japanese Driver's License

Individuals who have resided in Japan for three or more months can use the driver's license they obtained overseas to obtain a Japanese license. Check the National Police Agency or Hyogo Prefectural Police website for details on the required procedures.

Hyogo Prefecture Inquiries



公益財団法人兵庫県国際交流協会 事業推進部 外国人県民インフォメーションセンター 

〒650-0044 神戸市中央区東川崎町1丁目1番3号 神戸クリスタルタワー6階(兵庫県民総合相談センター内)

TEL: 078-382-2052

FAX: 078-382-2012

Hyogo International Association
(Information and Advisory Service Center)
6F Kobe Crystal Tower
(inside the Hyogo Prefecture Citizens' Advice Center)
1-1-3 Higashikawasaki-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, 650-0044
TEL: 078-382-2052
FAX: 078-382-2012


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