Information for International Researchers


When you are moving house and need to start/stop the supply of electricity, gas and water, contact the Tokyo Electric Power Company, Tokyo Gas, and the local branch of the Bureau of Waterworks, respectively. You may call the service company or contact them online. You should receive electricity/gas bills monthly while the water and sewage bills come every other month. Pay your utility bills by the due date at banks, post offices, or convenience stores. You may also set up an automatic debit from your bank account to avoid missing the due date. Major credit cards are also accepted.

1. Electricity

Power supply in Eastern Japan is 100V/50Hz. Electric appliances manufactured for use with different voltage/frequency should not be used and could cause an accident if used improperly. The capacity of the power supply to your home is set between 10 and 60 amperes, depending on the account contract. If you wish to change the power capacity of your account, contact the Tokyo Electric Power Company.

When the circuit breaker trips

Your circuit breaker may shut down when you use too many appliances at the same time. If this 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.

  • Custmer Center (Tokyo Daini)
    • Phone : 0120-995-006 (toll free)

2. Gas

For household use, gas is supplied in two ways — city gas and propane gas — depending on the area where you live. When you move into your home, contact Tokyo Gas to set a date and time for turning on the gas in your home. You or a family member must be present when the Tokyo Gas representative turns on the gas. You can pay your gas bill in one of three ways: bank account transfer, credit card or bill statement. To pay by monthly account transfer or by credit card, fill out the application sent to you by Tokyo Gas and send it back by post. To pay using a monthly bill statement, inform Tokyo Gas in advance and you will receive a gas service statement that you can pay at a bank, a post office or a convenience store. The amount of gas you used in the previous month is indicated on the gas service statement. For more details, contact Tokyo Gas directly or visit their website.

  • Tokyo Gas Custmer Center
    • Phone : 0570-002211 (English-speaking staff available)

3. Water

To start using water services, go directly to the TMG Bureau of Waterworks on-line application page, or fill out the form found at your accomodation upon moving in and mail it. You can choose to pay your water bills by automatic bank transfer or by cash at banks, convenience stores or post offices.

  • Custmer Sevice Center
    • Phone : 03-5326-1100 (English-speaking staff available)
Garbage Disposal

Waste management practices differ depending on the area (municipality) you live in. Residents are required to sort out garbage accordingly and put it out on a specified day of the week, time and place. Oftentimes oversized items and items that are hard to dispose of are collected with a charge or may not be collected at all. Since there are various rules for garbage collection in Japan, it is important to check with your real estate agent, neighbor and/or local government office if there is anything you are not sure about. See the list below to get an idea of what you need to know. Some residents associations have put together a multi-language handbook on how to sort garbage. Cooperating to reduce, reuse and recycle is deemed very important in Japan.

  • How to sort combustible and incombustible garbage
  • How to sort recyclable waste
    • (bottles, cans, PET bottles, newspaper, etc.)
  • Where to place the garbage
  • Schedule for putting out the garbage depending on the type of waste

Oversized Garbage

Large-sized items measuring 40cm or longer on any side are oversized garbage (large furniture, bicycles etc.). To dispose of oversized garbage, contact the cleaning center in your area to arrange a special pick up service for a fee. Then buy tickets for oversized garbage at the Civic Center and attach them to the items.

  • Bunkyo-ku Cleaning Center
    • Phone : 03-3813-6661

Mandatory Recycling Items

Four major home appliances — air conditioners, TV sets, refrigerators/freezers, and washing machines — cannot be picked up as oversize trash. If you are replacing those items with new ones, ask the store where you are buying the new one to collect the old one. If you only need to dispose of the old one and don't know where the item was purchased, contact your local authority and ask about an appropriate procedure (residents of 23 wards should contact the Home Appliance Recycling Center).

  • Home Appliance Recycling Center
    • Phone : 03-5296-7200
  • PC Recycling
    • Phone : 03-5282-7685

Illegal Dumping

Garbage that has been put out in an improper manner will not be collected. Leaving garbage in non-designated places (dumping or "fuhou touki" in Japanese) is against the law and is subject to punishment. In addition to causing a nuisance to neighbors, dumping negatively affects the environment. Therefore, never engage in illegal dumping.