Here are the rules I’ve learned about how to get the apartment you want at a price you can afford, based on my experience moving five times in Japan in three prefectures.

In this solo podcast I’ll talk about:

  • 7 rules for getting the kind of apartment you want in Japan.
  • The 2/3 choice you’ll have to make when it comes to renting an apartment: Time, Location or Price. Pick two, and compromise on the third.
  • Find a good real estate agent and stick with them!
  • Be ready to move immediately; you won’t have time to think about it, as the house will get snapped up by someone else. Be ready to make a decision on the day you go to see the apartment.

Some things to check out:

Home’s (Japanese) – This is one of the most popular housing search sites in Japan. Only very basic Japanese will be required to find apartments, and you’re better off learning some of the basic kanji as it will really help you to be able to do more by yourself.

Suumo (Japanese) – Like Home’s and usually has similar stuff, but some different ways to search. Both of these two apartment hunting sites may have different content, but usually they both grab places from Reis to put on their sites.

UR Sumai (Japanese) – Don’t go with an agent, go direct to UR housing offices to save yourself the cash. Lots of big apartment blocks all over Japan, usually with a slightly higher monthly cost than the value of the property, but significantly lower startup costs which makes them a better bet for many people.

Also check out our article here about mistakes foreigners make when looking for an apartment in Japan

You can find a great apartment in Japan, you just need to know the rules of the game!

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