I have a few days of officially moved of apartment from Nishi-Azabu to Shinjuku and I must tell you that it took several weeks for me to make the change; from the moment I found the best apartment for me until the day I gave the keys of the previous one.
In Japan, the process is a little bit different so that’s why I will explain a little more for you to take into account when coming here. I’m going to focus exclusively on private or semi-private apartments as I will talk later on about the well-known Share House.
So, which is the main difference between these two? Private or semi-private are those with a bath and/or own kitchen and/or washing machine and as for the Share House, everything is shared with the other habitants of the house so the only private thing would be the bed.
As it is a bit more clear the difference, let’s see a little more of what to take into account of the apartments in Japan:
- Initial cost: In almost all apartments, there’s different types of payments that are made as the first one. This may vary depending on the owner but basically those are: rent, maintenance fee, fire insurance, agency fee (if you find the apartment through an agency), security fee, cleaning fee and guarantor company fee. This is just for the first month, as for the following ones, the payment would be the rent and the maintenance fee.
- Types and furniture: In this section, I mean what the apartment has and that not all of them are furnished so it is also an expense to consider if the stay is in a long or short period of time. In addition to that, the types can be diverse, which are the following: R = room, K = kitchen, D = dining area and L = living room. These acronyms go along with a number to describe the amount of rooms plus the types of area that come with it, for example: 1DK, is one of the most common one and it refers to a room plus a dining area and kitchen.
- Services: In some cases, the services may be included such as water, gas and electricity but you must not exceed a certain limit and other times, you must make the contract and payment separately. This can work in your favor if you perhaps are not all day in the apartment and do not use the air conditioner or heater at night since the electricity can be one of the most expensive services in Japan.
- Location: This is a very important factor as it not only affects the value of the apartment but also the shops and restaurants in that certain area. I just experiencied it, as for an example, the supermarkets have their products 200¥ cheaper where I live now and the restaurants offer dishes that starts at that price without considering the tax.
In the end, everything is according to the tastes and needs of each person, as for me, the first department was very serious and it did not feel homey nor well designed compared to the new department despite being the same size, all the space is very well used. In addition to other personal factors like being close to the University, good area for college students, has an elevator and a little cheaper than the other one.
The photos are from my old apartment to say goodbye officially because it was my home for a month and few weeks. And what about you, would you choose to live in a Share House or on your own apartment?