Before coming to Japan

In order to work in Japan, you need to have an appropriate visa and eligibility.  The IPMU administrative staff will help you with your visa application.  Please refer to the following procedures to get ready to join Kavli IPMU.

1.  Appointment Date

Your appointment with IPMU starts either on the 1st or 16th of the month.  Please decide your preferred appointment date.

2.  Certificate of Eligibility   VISA/Certificate of Eligibility

IPMU will submit an application form for your certificate of eligibility to the Immigration Bureau on your behalf. Our staff will contact you in regard to this after your appointment is finalized.  Please refer the overall procedure as follows:

  1. We will apply for a Certificate of Eligibility for you.
  2. A Certificate of Eligibility will be issued approximately one month after application. It is valid for 3 months after its issuance.
  3. We will send it together with other necessary documents.
  4.  After receiving the documents, you take them to the nearest Japanese consulate.
  5. Within one or two weeks, you will receive your visa.

List of document files need to be sent by email to us:

Your address and phone number to which we should send the documents will also be required.

For more details about the Visa, please go

If you would like your family to accompany you to Japan, your family needs to obtain dependents’ status of residence. An original copy of the marriage certificate for a spouse and an original copy of the birth certificate for a child will be required for the certificate of eligibility application. 

Issuance of the certificate will take about one month after the application form has been submitted. The certificate is valid for three months after issuance. After we receive the certificate from the Immigration Bureau we will send it to you.

3.  Applying for a Visa

After you receive the certificate of eligibility, please apply for a professor visa for yourself and a family visa for your family at a nearby Japanese Embassy or Consulate General with the certificates while they are valid. A visa will normally be issued within two weeks after you submit your application.  A visa is just like a reference letter to enter Japan issued by the Japanese Embassy, but it does not give you permission to work in Japan yet.

4.  Purchasing a Flight

Airfare will be reimbursed if you have used an airplane for relocation in order to work at IPMU.  Entry to Japan must be at least one day before the first day of your official appointment at Kavli IPMU.  Before you purchase your air ticket, please confirm your landing date.  

Make sure you purchase a ONE-WAY economy class ticket.  If you could find a round-trip ticket that is cheaper than a one-way ticket, you can buy it but you have to waive the return ticket.  In principle, the reimbursable airfare is between an airport closest to your living address and Narita (or Haneda) Airport.  If you stopover other airports for any other purpose than transit, only the airfare from the transit airport to Narita will be reimbursed.  If the transit airport is further from Narita, we will prorate based on (Reimbursable distance / actual distance x paid airfare).  After you have purchased it, please send us by email, either the e-ticket or a copy of the air ticket receipt with both the itinerary and price indicated. After you arrive in Japan, please submit all original boarding stubs. Your family’s airfare will also be reimbursed with the same necessary items described above.

5.  Relocation Allowance

Relocation allowance will be provided. The amount of allowance will be calculated based on the distance you will travel. Basically you are supposed to travel from your former domicile.  For any shipping costs, you have to make do within the flat allowance. When you send your packages, you must fill out the shipper's declarations. In the form, you need to specify the total value of your shipping items. Although it says "value", it doesn't mean "acquisition price". If you just pack your personal belongings which have been used, please put any amount which is less than the equivalent of US$100.

6.  Shipping Business Materials

Cost for shipping business materials will be reimbursed.  If you plan to send your research related materials/books, please send them separately from your personal belongings and bring the receipts when you come to IPMU. Please note that you need to mention "research related materials (or books)" on the delivery slips. If you mistakenly say something like "personal", then it will be difficult to reimburse.

7.  Housing for Employees:  Accomodation

Employees are given priority for renting space at the Kashiwa Lodge.  In case the lodge is full or none of the available accommodation meets your expectations, you can rent a public apartment by using the corporate housing system which makes things easier to rent an apartment.  For looking for an apartment, we can introduce you to an English speaking realtor.

University of Tokyo Kashiwa International Lodge (Kashiwa Lodge)

This lodge is for students and researchers from abroad.  It’s located between IPMU and Kashiwanoha Campus Station (Tsukuba Express), and it is about a 10 minute walk from IPMU.  This lodge is furnished with a minimum of home appliances.  Monthly utility bills including internet access is charged at a flat-rate.

Accomodation (furnished)

8.  Currency Exchange

At an international airport, you can exchange your cash and travelers checks into yen at bank counters as long as you carry them in major currency. You can also withdraw cash at ATMs at any international airport using your bank cards with PLUS or CIRRUS logos.  Cirrus is a worldwide interbank network operated by MasterCard, and PLUS is operated by VISA.   However, make sure that your credit or debit card can be used in Japan before leaving for Japan.

For more details:  Currency Exchange

9.  Driving in Japan  Driving in Japan

Foreigners can drive in Japan with a recognized international driving permit for up to one year after entering the country. International driving licenses must be obtained in your home country. Please inquire your local authorities before you leave for Japan if you intend to drive in Japan. 

Japan has bilateral agreements with more than twenty countries, including Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, to ease the process of acquiring a Japanese license. If you hold a valid driver's license from one of these countries, you can get a Japanese license without taking a written or practical exam.

However, you have to prove that you held your license for at least three months in the issuing country.  Please bring a passport which can prove your residency for that period.

10. How to get to Kavli IPMU

Directions and Maps