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Housing in Japan

Japan With Kids - Forums: General Discussions: Housing in Japan
By Michael Schultz on Monday, January 22, 2001 - 4:42 am:

We are moving to Tokyo and are looking to rent a house (not an apartment) that is 3 or 4 bedrooms and allows pets. The area also need to be an ex-pat area. Can anyone recommend an area and who to contact to find a house?

By Scott Hancock on Tuesday, January 23, 2001 - 4:59 am:

You need to use a real estate agent. There are several that specialize in ex-pat accommodations. Here's a few at random out of the yellow pages (sounds like you're not in Tokyo yet)

Plaza Homes
T 3583-6941 F 3582-0619

KEN Corp.
T 5413-5666

Century 21
T 3585-0021 F 3585-0399

Eastern Real Estate
T 3583-2181 F 3583-2180

Overseas Corp.
T 3562-2061 F 3564-6596

Sanwa Real Estate
T 3476-6311 F 3476-6320

There are tons more, but these are some of the main ones. Assuming you are being brought by a company, it's very helpful it the company liases about this.

If you are set on a house, there are more choices in the areas near Seisen/St.Mary's schools. If you have kids, proximity to (international) school is usually a consideration.

Hope that is helpful.

By jnd on Wednesday, April 18, 2001 - 12:40 am:

Greetings everyone!

I have been following some of the discussions on this web site and I fine its content and its community very helpful.

My wife, 2 month old baby and I are thinking of moving up to Tokyo later this year and are most concerned about housing in Tokyo.

If I am able to set aside 300,000 Yen a month for housing, what type of accomodation will we be able to afford?

We are hoping to live in an apartment or house made of concrete, about 1,000 sq ft, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, not more than 40 mins from Tokyo central (Otemachi), in a nice neighbourhood with lots of open space and possibly near Toyko Disneyland.

We are also hoping that the rental will include management fees, utilities, cable tv, cable connection to internet and parking space (Is this negotiable or impossible?).

Any information will be very much appreciated. Many thanks in advance.


By Scott Hancock on Wednesday, April 18, 2001 - 1:46 am:

You're talking about Chiba-ken there- 40 minutes from Otemachi.

I don't know Chiba that well, but I have a feeling the apartments there are not usually as large as 100sq. meters (need to start thinking metric).

In central Tokyo, 100sq. m would be much more than 300,000... I suppose Chiba is certainly cheaper, but I wonder if that much.

You should try the real estate companies I listed in a previous message. All rentals go through agents, so you might as well inquire there for specifics.

I seriously doubt that you will find parking AND the other things you mentioned for that figure. But it never hurts to ask! Just make it clear when you list your requirements to an agent, that you are also willing to hear what you CAN get for your budget- if that is the fixed part. In other words, if you give certain requirements and don't state where you can flex, you can easily get negative responses without alternatives offered.


By jnd on Wednesday, April 18, 2001 - 12:46 pm:

Hi Scott

Many thanks for your helpful reply. We will be very happy with an apartment of about 90 sq m. As for the parking space and the other things I mentioned in my last message, we are also quite happy to pay an additional 40,000 Yen if those can be included in the rental. My concern is whether landlords in Tokyo are generally happy to include them in the rental.

As for location, I assume Chiba is where Tokyo Disneyland is. If we are happy to live an hour away from Otemachi and further away from Tokyo Disneyland, which area would you strongly recommend?


By Scott Hancock on Wednesday, April 18, 2001 - 9:15 pm:

Glad to hear it's helpful.

Chiba-ken is the area Disneyland is in. Although, it is quite a large area, so referring to Chiba-ken doesn't necessarily mean 'next to Disneyland'. Locations are more defined by proximity to certain stations/lines which then relates to travel time to the work place. Otemachi means Tokyo station, so there are many lines coming in there.

I don't know Chiba-ken in detail, so I can't recommend a particular part.

As far as the extras being included in the rent, it's usually either included or not. It's not something that's negotiated. Some apartment buildings do include some amount of cable tv or satellite these days.

Another issue is telephone. Sometimes the telephone line "comes with" the apartment. You still pay the monthly bill according to what you use, but you don't have to pay the 72,000 yen to have it installed initially. If there is no phone line with the apartment, you have to budget for that. ($700!) It is possible to get this for less, but still figure around 50,000.

I urge you to start faxing the agents I listed above and tell them your desires. If they all come back with "we're not in Chiba-ken", let us know and we'll find some out there.

By the way, Chiba is also where Narita Airport is. Do you have a map of Chiba?


By Scott Hancock on Wednesday, April 18, 2001 - 9:20 pm:


By the way, I notice you mention parking space. Are you really fixed on having a car? It's quite possible to live without one here (though I don't).

Cost of gas is equal to about $4.75/gallon. And tolls to go distances are not cheap. For example, to go one way from central Tokyo to Narita costs 2,350 yen (about $20). This is a 60km / 1hr trip. So, you can imagine if you travel some real distance, what the expense would be.

Insurance is about the same as U.S.- maybe lower. And buying a used car is a pretty good deal. However, there is also the 2-yr inspection which can be $1,000.

On the other hand, public transport is quite ubiquitous and useable.



By Julia on Wednesday, May 30, 2001 - 5:41 pm:

Moving within Tokyo

Hi! We are currently out in Mitaka, and are considering a move to Ichigaya or Mejiro areas.
We have 4 active children, and wonder what families living in these areas do for fun and education. We are interested to know how inner city families live, and whether the wards have interesting facilities.

Any ideas also on how to find Boy scouts' troops, gymnastics classes too would be appreciated.

By Melissa11 on Friday, July 20, 2001 - 10:44 am:

I am wondering if it is feasible to work in Tokyo and live in Yokohama. I am a single parent with a 2 year old child. I fear the prices in Tokyo will over run my budget. I have been applying for jobs that range between 250,000 yen and 300,000 yen per month.

Any thoughts appreciated!

By ruth mccreery on Friday, July 20, 2001 - 12:38 pm:

Tens of thousands of people live in Yokohama and work in Tokyo.

Since both cities are very large, what is critical is finding a place in Yokohama that gives you convenient access to where you work in Tokyo.

By Melissa11 on Saturday, July 21, 2001 - 3:43 pm:

So how long does it take on average to commute from Yokohama to Tokyo? I realize that is a hard question as I don't haer a location in either city but if someone knows a ball park figure that would be great.

Any ideas about how far 250,000 yen per month would go for one adult and a two year old who would need daycare??

Thanks for all the info I have received so far! :-)

By Michael Morimoto on Saturday, July 21, 2001 - 10:07 pm:

Hello everyone, this might be known to many of you already but the site: provides cost and time estimates if you know the starting and ending train stations and its in English.

Hope this helps.

By DMA on Thursday, November 8, 2001 - 2:18 pm:

I don't know maybe it is too late, but just want to share information that might be a help.

To jnd,
I think Makuhari area is good choice for you. It is in Chiba-ken, 35 minutes by express train to Tokyo station. 15 minutes by normal train to Disneyland. Makuhari is a new business district, it has a nice new modern housing area called "Makuhari Bay Town" just infront of the beach. Dozens of new -what they called- 'mansion' high building. There are some foreigners live here since there are many international companies around. It is a nice place, and I think the rent will be around your budget.

Hi Melissa,
With 250,000 yen per month, I think you should think and live like a normal Japanese (I know some of them who can live with this amount for two, or even three person!). Public Hoekkoen (Day Care Center) will charge you base on your income (by seeing your tax slipt) but it has the maximum of around 50,000 (can be vary for different place), I am affraid you will not be able to choose international/english speaking Day care because they are really expensive. For housing, 2LDK apt can be as low as 80,000 in some place.
My husband and I both foreigners and we live the normal Japanese lifestyle. Rent a 3LDK apt and parking, own a car, send our 1 year old girl to Hoekkoen, and still can enjoy the life (eating out,saving, holiday in and outside Japan) with the combine income of around 500,000 per month.

By Moveandstay Team on Friday, March 22, 2002 - 1:27 pm:

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By Tara on Saturday, April 20, 2002 - 12:30 pm:

There is a weekly magazine called Chintai (in Japanese) filled with apartments for rent and their floor plans. It has a separately-made-up versions for different parts of the country (e.g., greater Tokyo area), and the price is 260 yen. The feature articles are used nationally (in all the versions) -- e.g. an article on properties abroad.

picture of an old Chinai cover

Oh yes, the web site for the magazine (in Japanese) is:

By Rach on Tuesday, December 9, 2003 - 9:48 am:

We are expecting some relatives from Switzerland to stay with us coming early spring, our place in Tokyo is small and we are considering to move to
a UDC apartment, can anyone please let us know how long it takes to get one,what documents we need to submit, how is the quality of the apartment I am sure they may vary from
location to location, but would like to know how different they are from other apartments.


By Mondestay on Friday, March 21, 2008 - 9:02 pm: Here you can find and compare serviced apartments and offices in major Japan cities such as Tokyo and Osaka.
Other cities also available: New York, Paris, London and so on.
I work for and Mondestay is one of our websites.

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