Apartments for Rent in Japan! 40% of Foreigners Experience Rejection. | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

Apartments for Rent in Japan! 40% of Foreigners Experience Rejection.

By Alex Gray Jul 22, 2020

Looking for Apartments for Rent in Japan? How to Rent as a Foreigner

Have you ever been rejected from renting an apartment because the landlord or management company doesn’t accept foreigners? Thought you found the perfect apartment only to be told you didn’t pass the guarantor’s examination? It seems this happens to a surprising amount of foreigners in Japan. I know it’s happened to me a few times before.  

Being told the management doesn’t deal with foreigners, the inability to speak the language, not having a Japanese bank account, rejection by the guarantor company, the inability to pay the expensive initial moving price; there are several problems foreigners can face when trying to rent accommodation in Japan. 

Are you looking to move but keep coming across the above problems? Or maybe you want to move to Japan but don’t know where to look?

How Can Foreigners Safely Rent an Apartment?

TOKYO CITY APARTMENT is a service that helps foreigners find an apartment without the headache! Where you live is so important, it influences your lifestyle, your finances, and life. TOKYO CITY APARTMENT understands the difficulty to make this decision in a place away from your home country and native language. They aim to resolve all those concerns and uncertainties that come when house searching and support foreigners to find their new home.

After finding the perfect place and signing the lease, TOKYO CITY APARTMENT continues to support you to ensure there are no problems with the property and your life in Japan. They even help with administrative procedures and various setups that come with moving house in Japan!

TOKYO CITY APARTMENT deals in apartments and houses for rent, houses and apartments for sale, and sharehouses. From low-rent budget-friendly properties to high-end urban apartments, they have a wide variety of apartments and houses to suit all budgets. They cater to both the individual and for families looking for somewhere to live. 

Everyone looks for something different in a home. After listening to clients’ requests in detail  TOKYO CITY APARTMENT will find the perfect place for you. If you like the property based on photos and information, they will go with you to view it together. A video call viewing is even available for people overseas not yet in Japan! 

①Websites Specializing in Real Estate for Foreigners


HOUSING JAPAN is a site for renting, buying, and selling property in Tokyo. They also offer consultations for rental of your own property. Prospective clients can search for properties in resorts and holiday homes outside the Tokyo area too.


BEST-ESTATE.JP provides listing and consultations for homes throughout the whole of Japan. They provide support in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Portuguese and consultations can be conducted online via ZOOM.


Rather than looking in a broad area of the whole of Japan, TOKYO CITY APARTMENT specializes in the Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama area so you know they are the best in their area. In order to find the best property to match their client’s wishes, they use the largest real estate search engine for vendors in Japan. They also propose properties that cannot be found on the internet. What makes TOKYO CITY APARTMENT stand out from other services though is their depth of support for moving procedures. 

②Foreign Language Support Available

TOKYO CITY APARTMENT knows it is difficult to search for your dream home in a foreign language. That’s why they provide their services in English so you can find out all the information you need to know about the properties without worrying about getting caught out. They provide clients with after-contract language support to help you live your life in Japan without issue.

③Easy-to-Understand and Designed for Foreigners

Simple and designed with foreigners in mind, TOKYO CITY APARTMENT ‘s website is easy-to-understand. While other sites may overwhelm viewers with information, this website provides the most essential information in a quick, clean format. Their service procedure flow and after contract support explanations are very easy to follow. 

Main Problems Foreigners Encounter

When looking for accommodation in Japan, the main problems foreigners have issues with are the inability to speak Japanese and the uncertainty of the procedures that come with moving house. 

With English consultations and support throughout the consultation process, signing and your tenancy you don’t need to worry about your Japanese language level.

When moving to a new place in Japan, you will need to go through administrative procedures such as changing your residence card address/notifying your change of address and setting up amenities like water, electricity, and gas, and various setups such as an internet contract. TOKYO CITY APARTMENT will assist you in all these procedures so you don’t need to worry! They don’t charge extra for foreigners.

The Language Barrier

Foreigners in Japan, including but not limited to those with a language barrier, often experience unique problems when room searching. It may be difficult to discern which real estate agent to use, which sites are best for your needs, or even what to look for in a home. There often are certain Japanese terms and features of properties in Japan that foreigners have never had to consider in their own country. What is the difference between a “mansion” and “apartment”, are concrete apartments better than wood, what does a separate toilet mean? All these things need to be taken into account when looking for a place to live in Japan. 

Once you’ve found your dream home, there may be issues in signing a contract such as rejection by the landlord or guarantor company (registration of which is often required because as a foreigner you do not have any family in Japan who can be your guarantor). When you are ready to move out of your home you will have to contact your landlord or management company and schedule a meeting to return the keys and inspect the building for cleaning. These problems are often exacerbated by a language barrier. 

Maybe you will encounter problems with the payment method if you do not have a Japanese bank account or credit card. TOKYO CITY APARTMENT can help you with these issues and they will even help you set up a bank account if you don’t have one. They will also provide you with a partner moving company so you can move your possessions for a fraction of the normal price.

Differences in Contract Terms

There are many differences in contract terms that are often confusing when applying for a property. Let’s take a look at some of these terms:

Reikin – (key money) is considered a gift and is paid to the landlord when you sign the lease agreement, you will not get it back.

Shikikin – (security deposit) is usually equal to one or two month’s rent. It is used to restore the property to its original condition when you move out and is generally returned to you if you do not damage the apartment.

Hoshonin – (guarantor) is someone who takes legal responsibility if the tenant is unable to pay rent or leaves with damages. This is usually a family member, which is why it is difficult to find one in Japan and most foreigners are asked to pay a guarantor company instead. 

What Should I Do Before Applying? 

Before applying for a property search consultation, it’s best to decide what you want from your new home. Are you looking for a one-room apartment for yourself or a larger place for your family? What is your budget and where do you want to live. If you are already in Japan it’s a great idea to travel around and get a feel for your desired location. You could look for areas with easy access to your office along the same train line. 

Service Flow Explained


When you are ready to start house searching and want to check out TOKYO CITY APARTMENT’s service first head over to their website. You can contact them using the contact form on their website or send a message to them on LINE


A consultant will get back to you so you can discuss your budget, desired area, and other conditions for your perfect apartment. 

③Pick up apartments

The consultant will find some properties for you to review. 


If there is an apartment that takes your interest you can go for a viewing with the consultant to make sure it really is what you’re looking for. If you are unable to make a visit you will be sent detailed pictures or you can do a live video chat. 


Sign the contract and you are ready to move into your new place! The consultant will help you with the next steps and give you support for the procedures you need to complete before and after moving! 

Ready to Look for an Apartment to Rent in Japan?

The process of renting or buying a property in Japan can be met with some problems, especially if you are a foreigner in Japan. There are various websites and services available to help you find a place you can call home. Whether you are already in Japan and looking to move or are overseas and want to find your Japanese apartment, there is support for you. Are there any services you have used recently that you would like to recommend to us? We would love to know!