3.部屋選びのポイント What to remember when looking for a room:
1.アパートを探す前に Before you start your search

Before you contact a real estate agent, you'll need to think about what type of apartment you want, and what is important to you concerning your living space. Consider the points (2)〜(8) below.


1 どこに(どの沿線、地域に)住みたいか
Do you want to live on a specific train/subway line, or in a specific place?
2 どんな建物に住みたいか・・物件の種類
What type of building do you want to live in?
3 いくらまで払えるか・・家賃  What is your budget like?
4 築年数は How old a building would you like to live in, or would you mind living in?
5 どんなタイプの部屋に住みたいか?・・間取り
What type of room do you want to live in? (floor plan)
6 どんな設備を求めるか What kind of equipment/facilities do you need?
7 近所に必要とするものは? Is there anything specific you want to have in your neighborhood?
8 部屋の方角は? What direction would you prefer that your room face?
9 滞在期間はいつまでか。 How long of a lease do you want? Do you know the specific dates you want to stay?
10 保証人を誰に頼むか? Do you have a guarantor?

Do you want to live on a specific train/subway line, or in a specific place?

In Japan, transportation access is discussed in terms of proximity to local train stations. In other words, if you ask your agent about transportation access, they will most likely tell you exactly how many minutes it takes to walk to the nearest train or subway station.

For example, "X minutes on foot from XX station""X minutes by bus from XX station"
"X minutes by bus from XX station and then X minutes on foot"

This can be confusing, but a one minute walk is generally the equivelant of 80 meters, in the real estate world.

Large cities, like Tokyo, are densely packed with people and companies. This leads to a shortage of land, which leads to tremendously high rental costs for housing. Even Japanese people agree that searching for a house is tough.

If you are stubborn, or set your standards too high, it will be difficult fo find an apartment. It's a good idea to set reasonable standards, especially when it comes to location.

3.どんな建物に住みたいか? What type of building do you want to live in?
・・物件の種類(Type of Housing)

There are three basic types of housing: (a)Apartment buildings(usually wooden, 1 to 2 floors high, with multiple tenants; (b)"Mansions" (usually several stories, with multiple tenants, not wooden); and (c) Single-household buildings.


Apartment buildings come in two types: (a) the room type, in which an indoor corridor leads to the front door of each individual apartment, and (b) the house type, in which an outdoor path leads to the front door of each apartment. Mansions come in two types: (a) the family type, in which there are two or more rooms for a household, and (b) the one-room type, with a single room including all the necessary facilities for one tenant.

1F-5F means 'ground floor to fifth floor' (The ground floor is called the first floor in Japan.)
B1 means the first basement floor. (B2 would be the second (lower) basement).

4.いくらまで払えるか What is your budget like?・・家賃(Rent)

It's a good idea, at first, to decide the maximum amount of rent you can pay. Ideally you should spend under 25% to 30% of your income on rent. The housing shortage in major cities of Japan is very serious, even for the Japanese. Before you rent an apartment, you must consider how much you can afford for the rent. Rent will vary depending on the area, how new the building is, the facilities available, and the apartment's size.

  Rent in Japan is a monthly charge. There are many cases which, in addition to rent, the tenant must pay small managerial fees. (Your budget should include the cost of rent and managerial fees.)

When signing a lease, the tenant usually must also pay a security deposit (equal to about 1 to 3 months' rent), "key money"(about 2 months' rent), a commission, and possibly other one-time fees. As it is hard to find housing if you take all these costs into consideration, please indicate only the amount of rent that you wish to pay.

Click here for more information about additonal fees you may encounter when signing a contract.

The nearer to a station the apartment is, the more expensive it will be. Apartments that are only accessable by bus will be much less pricey. Rooms without shower facilities will be cheaper by \20,000 〜 \30,000. As for mansions, ground floor apartments tend to be less expensive, since they are generally considered unsafe, and because they don't get good sunlight.

In Japan, rooms are normally unfurnished, so you will have to provide everything for yourself. It's also important to remember to consider the cost of utilities (gas, water, electricity, etc.) which may be substantially higher than the cost in your home country.
例)  寝具一式(ふとん上下、マットレス、毛布、シーツ、まくら)20,000円位
For example... consider that you will have to provide your own bedding.
This would most likely include a top and bottom futon, a blanket, sheets, and a pillow, which would cost you about 20,000 yen.

5.築年数は? How old a building would you like to live in, or would you mind living in?

 Usually, the older the building is, the cheaper and larger it's rooms are. A building that has been around ten years or more will be considerably less expensive.

6.どんなタイプの部屋に住みたいか? What type of room do you want to live in? (floor plan)

Information about your apartment's layout will be refered to by numbers representing the number of independent rooms, the presence of a kitchen, kitchen/dining room, or kitchen/dining room/living room. For example, a "3LDK" consists of three rooms plus a single room to be used as a living room(L), dining room(D),and Kitchen(K). Other common abbreviations are "DK" which indicates a combined dining room/kitchen, and "K" indicating a kitchen.

1畳(帖)の面積は多くの場合、1.55平方メートルであり、日本の賃貸住宅は6畳と4.5畳の部屋が主流ですが、DK,LDKのような兼用部屋の広さは多様です。また、部屋の様 式には、床にタタミを敷いた和室と木版を敷いた洋室があります。
  1 jo (a japanese unit of measure) in most cases refers to 1.55u. 6-jo and 4.5-jo rooms are very common. LDK and DK rooms may be of various sizes. There are two basic types of rooms: Japanese-style rooms with tatami flooring, and Western-style rooms with wooden floors. (See note about tatami.)

7.必要とする設備は? What kind of equipment/facilities do you need?

Individual apartments often have their own toilets. If not, there will be a common toilet, to be shared with other apartments in the building. There are some apartments with private baths, and some with no bathtub at all... but in this case, it's unlikely that you will have a bath shared between several apartments.


In one-room mansions, sometimes the bath and toilet will be together in one room(this is called a "unit bath" and is represented by the letters "UB"). Sometimes there is only a shower, and no bathtub.


In most apartments, furniture, air-conditioners, and heaters will not be provided for you. You are expected to provide these yourself, if you need them. You'll need to bring money to buy amenities like furniture before setting up house in Japan.

Also confirm with the agent if using a heater is allowed in the apartment. To prevent a fire, some apartments do not allow a gas and kerosene stove to be used in the apartment.


8.近所に必要とするものは? Is there anything specific you want to have in your neighborhood?


The environment surrounding your apartment is also something to be considered. It is important to have a public bath nearby if you do not have a bath, or to have a coin laundry in the area if you do not have a washing machine. If you have children, it is best to ask ahead of time about nursery schools, kindergartens, or any other applicable schools in the district.

9.部屋の方角は?What direction would you prefer that your room face?

In Japan, apartments with windows that face south, southeast, or southwest are considered best. Next in popularity are rooms facing east. Rooms facing west are not very popular, while those facing north are very unpopular.


10.滞在期間はいつまでか?入居はいつからか? How long will the term of lease be.?
契約期間(Lease Duration)

In Japan, people tend to favor apartments with windows that face South, Southeast, or Southwest. Next in popularity are rooms facing east. Rooms facing West are not very popular, and North-facing rooms are last on the list.


11.保証人は? Do you have a guarantor?

こちらをご覧下さい。 Click here for information about guarantors.

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