Utilities for Japanese apartments include water, electricity and gas, each being supplied by different companies.

Moving in

Before moving into a new apartment, contact the utility companies' nearest offices in order to get the supply started on the day you move in.


The water company is responsible for water supply and sewerage. Tap water is safe for drinking. A water main valve can usually be found outside the apartment.


A circuit breaker switch is located inside the apartment. If you use too much electricity at once, the circuit breaker switch will automatically turn off. In that case, turn off some electric appliances and turn the circuit breaker switch back on. Read more about Japanese voltage and plugs.


Gas is used for cooking, hot water and gas heaters. There are various types of gas depending on the region and supplier. If you acquire a gas appliance, make sure that it is compatible with the type of gas in your apartment.

Gas is dangerous. In case you smell gas, turn off the gas valve, extinguish open fires, open all windows and doors, and do not turn on any electrical appliances until you find the cause of the problem. If you cannot find the cause, inform the gas company. It is recommended to use gas leak detectors.

In case of an earthquake, switch off the main gas valve.

Bill Payment

Utility bills can be paid at the utility companies' offices, banks, postal offices, convenience stores and through automatic transfer from bank accounts.

Moving out

Before moving out, inform the utility companies to stop the supply on the day you move out.

Page last updated: March 2, 2003