Rent An Apartment In Tokyo Japan As Gaijin
To rent an apartment in Japan doesn’t have to be such a big deal. Depending on which part of the country you are targeting the rental price levels will also vary quite much.
Are you searching for a luxury high living standard in an apartment in Tokyo or would you settle for a budget alternative by renting an apartment in Japan more far away from a buzzling city center? The choice is yours. There are many types of apartments.
Do you want a long stay or a short stay? Maybe settle for good and live here in Japan?
There are certain things you need to be aware of as a foreigner when you want to rent an apartment in Tokyo. First of all – do they even allow foreigners? That is not sure!
Yeah – you read correct. In for example Sweden in Northern Europe where I come from all people in society have the same rights. No matter if someone is a Swedish citizen and somebody else is a newly arrived war refugee or an immigrant from a 3rd world country.
Everybody have the same right to rent an apartment to live in, no matter where you are from. It is illegal to discriminate anyone from renting an apartment based on citizenship.
Here in Japan it’s not the same thing. When you arrive to Japan you need to keep one thing in mind. Japan was here before you arrived and it will exist after you leave as well.
This means that you as a foreigner should not expect to be counted as same much worth as a Japanese citizen. Don’t ever imagine that you will be of same value as a Japanese.
And that is not something you hear behind your back. It’s shown straight in your face on many public signs. Japan is for Japanese. Then there are exceptions – to your rescue.
Of course not in a provocative way. No, more like a fact. Foreigners are simply not as welcome as Japanese are in Japan…when it comes to rent an apartment in Japan.
I’m not saying that it’s impossible, because it’s not. It’s fully possible to rent an apartment in Japan while being a foreigner. You just need to understand what apartment to look for!
Take my above Tokyo photo as an example. I took that picture with my digital camera of an available tiny small Tokyo apartment. To the untrained eye it looks like any apartment specification, but there is something special about this. Take a close look! See the OK?
Japanese Rental Apartment Signs – “Foreigner OK”
It says that it’s OK with foreigner! That it’s OK if you are an alien. Foreigners are OK. In Japan it is common with listings of which foreigners are OK and which are not welcome.
Meaning that if you don’t find such OK statement then you as a foreigner can of course NOT rent the apartment. Welcome to Japan! Where not all people are seen as equal.
So, if you are a foreigner and want to rent apartment in Tokyo – then look for similar “Non-Japanese Foreigner OK!” signs like this in the Japanese apartment descriptions.
Citizenship Based Discrimination On Apartment Market
Here in Japan not all foreigners are seen as the same. I’ve noticed a discrimination of a few Asian nationalities while Caucasian white from Europe & USA are more welcome.
I myself as a white Scandinavian have been treated totally different than people from the Philippines. Japanese have been kind to me, but less nice to South-East Asian citizens.
At least when it comes to signing contracts and other important things such as getting a Japaense driving license, then these issues are clear as daylight. That’s the way it is.
For short time visitors in Japan it’s not as much of a problem. Tourists are welcome, but long term visitors who intend to live in Japan is a different story. Foreigners from both of these two groups may want to rent apartments in Japan, so thereby the jungle of rules.
About apartments with pets. If you got a pet or would like to have a pet in Japan, please check if your Japanese apartment contract allows you to have pets in your apartment?
In most apartments allover Japan it’s forbidden to have pets such as a pet dog or a cat, unless you rent a specific pet allowed apartment! An apartment with pet allowance.
Maybe to you it sounds silly, but it’s an everyday life thing here in Japan. In Sweden nobody would forbid people from having pets in apartments – but Japan is different.
At least you can have a robot dog or a robot cat as a pet. Huge robot market in Japan. Even at the domestic Haneda airport in Tokyo there is a pet robot shop in the terminal.
Have you considered apartment hotels in Tokyo? They are an affordable alternative where you often get room service included in the price. One of my personal favorites.
An apartment hotel is a smart choice for you as a visiting foreigner. I tried this one above and it was great! Central location in Tokyo city and close to everything. Still cheap price!
You get service included and the price is less for a week in central Tokyo than what it cost to rent a room in Sweden for one night. It’s cheap and affordable to live in Japan.
As a summary I can honestly say that compared to Sweden you don’t need to queue in a half eternity to find a beautiful apartment in Japan. Plenty of apartments to choose from.
It sure is possible to rent or buy an apartment in Japan if you know where to begin and what to look for. There are more apartments in Japan than people who want to rent them.
I can’t say the same about Sweden where there is a constant lack of central apartments.
You need to respect the Japanese society no matter how discriminating it may look like in your eyes. If Japan wants to do it that way then it is their right to do so. It is their country.
I myself am a foreigner and I respect the Japanese society no matter how they choose to treat me or other foreigners. Adapt to the system and make the best out of it. It’s reality.
Filed under: Japanese Culture
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