Here Is a Checklist For When You Decide to Look for an Apartment in Japan

Make your future home a dream home.


Looking for somewhere to live in Japan? Here in Japan, you can only rent an apartment through the numerous real estate agencies available around the country. Because of the many housing options that can suit your each and every need, it is oftentimes confusing and overwhelming whenever the real estate agent asks for your preference. It will be worth it though once you find a house that satisfies your taste and you will know what to expect from it—no surprises upon moving in


To prep you for the questions that most real estate agents will ask, here is a handy guide so you can also think about it in advance.


1. WHERE is the apartment located? 
Keep in mind the location of your school or workplace! 

Question

Option

Which area?

Areas closer to the city center.

Which train line? 

Closer to the business hub.

Which station?

Access to more train lines.

How far is it from the station?

Closer to the station on foot. 

*80 meters = one minute

What are the commercial buildings near the apartment?

In close proximity to supermarkets, convenience stores, parks, and hospitals. 


2. WHAT are the conditions you are looking for in an apartment? 
Know which ones to sacrifice and which ones you would definitely need! 

Question

Option

What building material was used? 

Concrete or reinforced concrete 

How old is the apartment? 

Newly built (ranges from less than one year~within 30 years). 

Which apartment in the building?

Second floor and above (more privacy and security).

Corner apartments (more windows).

Apartments that face south (more sunlight).

Top-floor (quieter).

What kind of facilities are available in the apartment?

Security system built-in.

Auto-lock for the door.

Haitatsu box (a locked box where you can have your parcels placed in if you are not there to receive them).

Elevator.

A washing machine space for indoors.

What kind of kitchen?

More than one gas/IH range (called konro in Japanese).

Counters.

*The order of price (if these are built-in) is as follows: electric stove < gas stove < IH stove

What kind of bathroom?

Separate bathtub/shower room and toilet.

Separate washing area (sink). 

Built-in ventilation/drying function are also expensive. 

Washlet. 

Other requirements? 

Balconies. 

Loft-type apartments (depending on other factors). 


3. What are YOUR circumstances? 
Unfortunately, some of these cannot be changed. 

Question

Option

Are you female?

Female-only apartments.

Do you have a pet?

Allows pets. 

Do you live by yourself?

Allows two people.

Do you play a musical instrument?

Allows music and music playing. 

What is your visa type? 

※Most apartments in Japan have a minimum two-year contract and does not allow people with visas that are less than two years. If you need to stay for a short duration of time, you might need to pay a contract termination fee. 


While it may seem like a lot to think about at first, in the end, you will be thankful because you know
exactly what you will be getting. There are so many options to make your future home a dream home. So take your time, choose carefully, and enjoy! 


 (13 June 2019)

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