How to find a place to live | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

How to find a place to live

By Guidable Writers Mar 30, 2016

If you are going to live in Japan, you need to find a place to live first. It sounds really tough and expensive but it is not, to be honest. If you are a student, go to find a dormitory or reasonable apartment nearby your school. The best choice is staying dormitory. The reason is as following advantages.

  1. The cost isn’t so expensive. From my personal experience, rent-cost will be less than 30,000yen per month almost anywhere in Japan.
  2. The variety of dorm mates is colorful. A lot of international students stay there. You can make friends with them.
  3. Accessible location. Most dormitories locate near to your universities, shopping centers, stations, or offices. So it will be really convenient for your everyday life.


If you do not select for the dormitory, then you may consider sharing an apartment with your friends, or living by yourself. As long as you are single and you have a time to look for a place to live, you won’t have much hurdle. Real estate agents in Japan are helpful to find a suitable place for you. Don’t worry about the language barrier. Since many of real estate agents are getting to use english, you will not need that much of Japanese skills for finding an apartment.

All you have to prepare is…

  1. Guarantor. Most of the time, university will be your guarantor. If not, there are companies that handles the situation.
  2. Bank account. Create an account of any bank you want.
  3. Initial cost. From my experience, usually actual initial cost is about three times of renting fee. For example, when you are going to rent an apartment for 30,000 yen, then you should have at least 90,000 yen in your wallet. Don’t forget to negotiate with the rent fee. Real estate agents are always negotiable with the rent fee. I didn’t always pay the full initial fee. Of course you need to have conversational Japanese level to negotiate with them.

If you are really worried about the language barrier you can use service like craiglist.

Next, if you are going to live in Japan with your family, you have to consider other factors like kindergarten, school and work. So It takes almost 2 months for me to decide where I am going to live.

My advice to you is “UR danchi”.

It has

  1. Bigger space for it’s rent
  2. Near to kindergarten and shopping centers.
  3. No need for guarantor
  4. Contract period is unlimited.


(Reference: UR)

If you do not have much money, it’s difficult to find a place which you like. So I decided to set the priority to kindergarten.

But before you sign a contract, you have to ask your agent about what kind of neighbors have lived in the building and the room. Some Japanese people are very noise-sensitive, especially the elders. And some have suicided in their room at some case. If you are easy to make a certain level of noise while listening to music or playing with your kids, there might be complaints from your neighbors. So keep that in mind before you move into the building.

I wish you find a nice place to live.


*This is the opinion of the individual.