All you need to know about housing prices in Japan

Getting accommodation in Japan if you want to settle in the long term in Japan is not that difficult, but the rents are high. Large cities are the most expensive, and there are subtleties to know so as not to be surprised by the installation costs. And yes, according to a 2016 study by the CIJN on the highest rental prices in major cities around the world, the ranking was as follows: 1. New York, 2.Hong Kong, 3. London, 4. Tokyo and 5.Paris.

Between cities and countryside

In Japan rents can be expensive, but this varies a lot depending on the region: accommodation in central Tokyo is not as attractive as it is Aomori  ! Prices are soaring in the big cities, thanks to comfort and local services. Accommodation near a train station is also preferred. A building with an elevator and a self-closing door system will also affect the price.

Take the example of an 18m² studio: in 2015, the average rent was 71,352 yen (around 550 €) in Tokyo , knowing that the variation is great between the 23 districts of the capital. From the most expensive in the Minato-ku district (110,000 yen, or € 845 on average) to the cheapest in Adachi-ku (50,000 yen, or € 385 on average). For this same area of ​​18m², the most expensive cities are in order: Tokyo , Yokohama , Kobe , Saitama and Osaka .

The Japanese housing system

In the Kantô region (greater Tokyo), you must advance to the owner  4 to 6 months of rent to be able to obtain accommodation.

How to rent an apartment in Japan?

  • Shikikin, which represents 2 months rent, is a partially refundable deposit because the work and cleaning costs are taken from the amount.
  • Reikin represents 1 to 2 months’ rent: it’s a thank you envelope given to the owner. It is a custom in Japan dating from the 1950s.
  • Agency fees, 1 month rent.
  • Another month’s rent in advance, plus utilities and home insurance.
  • It is also necessary to have a guarantor, employee of Japanese origin.
  • Another element to take into account is that the rental contract is to be renegotiated every 2 years. The tenant must re-engage for a new period, paying 1 to 2 months of rent, in addition to the agency fees for the second time (called kôshin).

In the Kansai region the system is a little different, since you will need between 3 to 6 months deposit (partially refundable) plus agency fees to access a rental.

You have to take into account all these factors to go on an adventure in Japan! To settle there is not improvised, you must have the necessary budget to meet these installation expenses. For all these reasons the Japanese prefer to become owners, because being a tenant is a financial chasm over time.

Social housing in Japan 

Rest assured, the social housing system also exists in Japan. There are no fees like in the private park (only a deposit of a month or two) but certain conditions of resources are required to access accommodation at moderate rent.

In Japan, rent is paid at the end of the month for the following month, as wages are paid on the 25th of the month. Some large companies offer housing assistance for their employees, but the state housing assistance system does not exist as is the case in the US.

How to rent an apartment during a stay in Japan? 

Travelers can also rent accommodation in Japan  ! For a few days or a little longer, immerse yourself in the daily life of a Japanese neighborhood. In addition to offering an unforgettable experience, this solution is often also more profitable.