How to Set Up Mail Redirection/Forwarding in Japan

When moving apartment in Japan, make sure your important mail follows you to your new address. You can do this by setting up mail redirection, called “yubin-tenso” (郵便転送) in Japanese.

The service is offered by Japan Post for FREE and sees your post forwarded from your old address to your new address for 1 year. (Please note, this is only for moving within Japan.)

There are two ways to set up mail forwarding – a paper form which you can give to the post office staff (or send by mail later), and an online form (requires Japanese and a mobile phone).

Method 1: Paper Form

Go to a post office (called a “yubinkyoku” / 郵便局 in Japanese). Remember to bring your residence card. Post offices in Japan generally look like this:

Jingumae Six Post Office

Image credit: nambon, Flickr.

Tell the staff you would like to submit a “notification of relocation” form (tenkyo todoke / 転居届). You can read out or point to this sentence:

転居届を出したいです。

Tenkyo todoke wo dashi tai des.

I want to submit a notice of relocation.

If you’d like to just get the form and post it to them later, say:

転居届をもらえますか?

Tenkyo todoke wo moraemaska?

May I have a notice of relocation form?

They will give you the following form to complete. The left side is for you to keep, and the right side is for you to give or send to the post office.

mail redirect form japan post

The right side is addressed on the back and doesn’t need a stamp, so you can put it straight in the post box. However, they may send a staff member to your house to confirm your identity later. If you’d like to avoid this, just hand it in at the post office and show your residence card.

Here’s what the form looks like in detail. Click the question marks for more information:

Once you’ve filled out the form, the staff will ask to see your residence card to confirm your details. If you’ve recently applied for a new visa and have a soon-to-expire (or expired) residence card with a stamp from immigration on it, you may need to explain to the staff that your visa is still valid. If you’re not confident with your Japanese, you can show them this website.

The mail forwarding will start between 3-7 working days from the day you submit the form.

 

Method 2: Online Form

Mail forwarding is also available online at the following website:

https://welcometown.post.japanpost.jp/

As of the time of writing (May 2019) there is no English interface, so we don’t recommend using this method if you can’t read Japanese.

Requirements for registering online are:

    1. The system will only accept your surname (or your first name combined with your middle name) if it is 20 characters or less.
    2. You need to be know how to write your name in katakana and type your addresses in Japanese on your computer.
    3. You must have a Japanese mobile phone number beginning with 070, 080, or 090. The system will ask you to call a phone number in Japan and dial in a code. You need to be able to make regular phone calls (the number you have to dial is not toll-free) and follow the Japanese robo-instructions.

 

If you fulfill the above requirements and are confident with your Japanese, the e-registration is fast and easy to use. On the other hand, you may just prefer to swing by a post office on your lunch break.

 

Happy Moving!

 

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