–Passport with visa
–At least 2 photocopies of your passport (1 to keep with you, 1 to keep with friends/family back home)
–Contract from your Contracting Organization (if you have it)
–Driver’s License or ID
–International driver’s license
–List of emergency phone numbers
–General Information Handbook
–$2000-$3000 (~£1500-£2300) on hand
Classroom or Self-Introduction Materials
–Things that introduce you: items from your hobbies, college, clubs, or other activities.
–Things that introduce your family: pictures, be prepared to explain your heritage or holiday traditions
–Things that introduce your town: maps, pictures/post cards, famous sites
–Things that introduce your culture: toys, clothes, small trinkets
–Prizes for students: stickers, erasers, coins, stamps, pencils, erasers, pins, candy (though most schools do not allow their students to have candy or snacks at school)
–Formal wear (black suit jacket, pants, and shoes that must be worn at all conferences, opening/closing ceremonies, etc)
–Gym kit (for joining sports clubs)
–School shoes (may depend on your school, but in general): one pair of indoor “slippers,” one pair of clean indoor gym shoes, one pair of outdoor gym shoes, walking shoes for commute (can be outdoor gym shoes).
–Formal black, closed-toe shoes for conferences
–Electronic outlet converters. Japan runs on 100V, 50 Hz. Japanese wall plugs are all 2 prong, but 3 prong power strips can be purchased.
–Omiyage (souvenirs for your new co-workers)
–Prepare for culture shock: bring memories, pictures, your hobbies!
–Brand name or other products you NEED, but can’t find in Japan
–Extra deodorant (Japanese deodorants may not be as strong as what you’re used to.)
*Despite what you may have heard, most major brands of Japanese toothpaste now have fluoride. In the ingredients list, look for “フッ素” (fusso) or “フッ化ナトリウム” (fukka natoriumu) both of which mean fluoride. Check out http://www.survivingnjapan.com/2010/09/how-to-find-good-toothpaste-in-japan.html for more information.
If you still have a preferred brand from home, check amazon.co.jp for price and availability before stuffing your suitcase