How to Find an Apartment in Japan | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan
Looking for your place of comfort: How to find apartments in Japan

How to Find an Apartment in Japan

By Guidable Writers May 24, 2017

Searching for a place to stay should never be taken lightly, especially in Japan, where the cost of living is undeniably high. Some of the few things you have to consider when looking for an apartment in Japan include safety, comfort and accessibility to the nearest stations, proximity to your workplace, and the monthly rental cost, of course.

Tips on How to Find An Apartment in Japan

Before you move into your new apartment, here are a few reminders that might be helpful.

1. Seek Assistance From a Real Estate Agent

Certainly you can ask around from people you know who are living in the area where you plan to transfer, but it would also be best if you can ask recommendations from real estate agents, who will make your search for the suitable apartment much easier. Your agent will arrange an ocular visit of the prospect apartments for you, and will also give you a listing of other properties you might be interested to check out.

2. Check Online Real Estate Pages

For a starter, you can check out Japan Home Search, that has a bilingual support team that will make your inquiries smoother. Other sites you can browse over are Able, Eheya , UR Housing, Real Estate, It is worth checking them out individually. Don’t hesitate to ask help from a local you know who can help you read and understand some of the terms and conditions of each prospect properties.

3. Remember the Basic Japanese Jargon

At least get yourself familiar with the basic Nihonggo words you will need to keep in mind when searching for your apaato or apartment, like when you’re looking for a
ふどうさんや fudousanya or real estate agent in looking for a place to rent/to lease
かりる kariru.

Other useful words to know:

  • パスポート pasupo-to or passport,
  • ビザ bi-zah or Visa,
  • 在留 zairyu card or Residence Card,
  • 在籍証明書 zaisekishomeisho or Letter of employment,
  • 在留資格認定証明書 zairyushikaku nintei shomeisho or Certificate of eligibility and
  • 保証人hoshonin or Guarantor.

4. Get Ready With the Essential Paperwork

Foreigners are required to submit quite a lot of documents even when renting an apartment alone, so while looking for the suitable and affordable place to stay, it’s helpful if you start preparing for the requirements, too. Take note that a Japanese bank account, which you will eventually need in the payment process, as well as, bank statement to prove that you can pay the rent each month will be required. Certificate of Eligibility or Employer Letter to prove that you have activities in Japan; and Passport and Visa as official identification, as well as, to serve as basis for the kind of rentals – whether short or long term – if you will be allowed to are needed.

5. Find a Guarantor

Looking for your place of comfort: How to find apartments in Japan

Alongside searching for your prospect apartment, make sure to have a guarantor in mind, too. There are properties that still require a guarantor even if you have proven that you can independently pay for your rent. You can ask your company for example or your parents, and make sure you comply with all the essential documents that will also be required from your guarantor.

6. Ready Yourself for the Apartment Cost and Fees

Looking for your place of comfort: How to find apartments in Japan

Accept the fact that living in Japan, especially in Tokyo, will cost a lot and that is a given. So you have to make sure you’ve got loads of money with you or at least a stable source of money to cover the rent and everything else. Some of the common fees to note are deposit fee, which is usually twice the cost of rent; agent fee, guarantor fee, contract renewal fee, and of course the miscellaneous fee that usually covers lock change and insurance, to name a few. Before you sign the rental agreement, make sure you’ve got the payment aspect covered.

Don’t hesitate to ask around before anything else, as word of mouth is still as effective as web search, and diligently do your research before you sign anything with your hanko stamp, so you can enjoy living in your new home without any worries. Remember your new place is where you will start and end your day in the new world, so you might as well find the best one. Happy searching!

Harumie/ Philippines