You want to go to study or work in Japan, you plan to stay several weeks or even several months in Japan? The hotel option will surely not suit you … In this article, we will see together what are the main practical information about accommodation in Japan. Even if you do not plan to move to the Land of the Rising Sun, read this article anyway, you will discover new things and probably be surprised!

How to find your accommodation in Japan?

It can be difficult to find accommodation in Japan as many Japanese people refuse to rent to foreigners. To find accommodation, you can use specialist magazines. There are many for sale or even distributed for free. You can also check the websites or contact real estate agencies (if you speak Japanese).

If you do not speak Japanese, you can approach agencies specializing in finding accommodation for foreigners. You can also opt for “Gaijin Houses” or roommate. This makes it possible to reduce the price for housing.

Japanese accommodation is generally quite small and the surface is expressed in tatami mats (1 tatami mat = 1.62 m²)! You will be able to find in the advertisements, the housing plan with the surface area of ​​the different rooms.

What budget should you plan for accommodation in Japan?

For many, coming to live in Japan is a goal, a dream, a desire or a professional obligation. When you come for a long time, you need to find accommodation at the best value for money. You need to find accommodation that meets your expectations (location, monthly rent, size and number of rooms, etc.). But this is not always easy in a country where everything is different.

The rents are very high in the big cities, but they decrease when you move away from the centers. It is advisable to find out about the average prices in the neighborhood you are interested in because in Tokyo, for example, prices can vary from one to two depending on the district where you live. The price of an apartment in the city center varies depending on several factors. The size, the neighborhood, the proximity to the train and the type of construction.

For a small apartment (15 m²), not too far from the center, it takes around 70,000 Yen. The price is more or less equivalent to the accommodation in gaijin house at equivalent location. On the other hand, the procedures are more difficult and considerable costs are required at the start.

Prices also vary depending on the proximity of the stations. If you are willing to walk, you will find accommodation at more affordable prices. The “mansion” are stone and / or concrete constructions while the “apaato” are houses of only a few floors made of wood. The rents are less expensive in the “apaato” but the sound and thermal insulation is very bad.

When you take a rental, you have to pay various fees. They understand :

  • The shikikin, the deposit which generally corresponds to 2 months rent (refundable at the end of the lease).
  • The reikin, a “gift” to the owner (2 months rent).
  • The chukai ryôkin or tesuryô, agency fees (1 month’s rent).

The first month’s rent

Miscellaneous charges: check with the agency or the owner for any other charges that may be required of you. You will often need a guarantor (person or company). Your company or one of your colleagues can be your guarantor. If you are moving to Japan, your company can also rent your apartment on their behalf.

If you are renting your apartment on your own behalf, you will need your Alien Card and often your “Hanko” (certificate from your bank) in addition to a signed letter from your guarantor.

The term of the leases is two years. It is recommended that you do an inventory as you will have to pay a repair fee when you leave.

Buy accommodation in Japan, why not!

You can buy accommodation in Japan with any visa. However, it will be very difficult for you to obtain a loan if you are not a permanent resident or if you are not married to a Japanese …

During the acquisition of real estate, the various costs represent 7 to 10% of the purchase price. At the time of the promise to sell, you will have to make a security deposit equivalent to 5% of the purchase price. You will then have 30 days to complete the sale.

How to get your stuff to Japan?

If you decide to move your business to Japan, take plenty of time to choose your carrier. It is a very important step to ensure the transport of your belongings in Japan, it should not be taken lightly. A moving consultant can eventually come to your home to assess the volume of business to be transported and the tax rate in Japan.

It is necessary to clearly specify which objects or goods require special precautions.

Photo: Oi Max

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