What are the differences in the types of housing in Japan?


What are the differences in the types of housing in Japan?

I have some time wanting to share this post, since I wrote about my change of housing in “The ‘Odyssey’ of changing apartment“, there I explained a little about the types of housing but here I will give more details that can be very confusing.

I remember when I arrived, I had no idea what terms are commonly used here. For example, a room may or may not have a kitchen or bathroom and a private shower, so you should be aware of what you are going to choose besides asking to see the apartment before any decision. The most used abbreviations are R = Fourth, K = Kitchen, D = Dining Room and L = Room.

So far, everything is understood a bit of what is a room. However, there are still several agencies or department owners who follow traditions such as “key money or gift money”. In addition to that, you get to pay commission to the agency and an insurer for as long as you stay in said department. The good thing is that you only pay once but what you have to be paying each month is the cost of rent, maintenance and services if they are not included.

The following is to know more about the differences between the “Share House” and private or semi-private departments:

Share House

  • You can meet with other residents to learn about other cultures.
  • They have a much lower initial and monthly cost than common departments.
  • Commonly include living room, kitchen, bathroom and shower room.
  • There are different types of shared houses, including those that are just for women.


  • You have your privacy that can become sacred in a country of so many inhabitants.
  • You have control over the services you use and how much you spend.
  • You do not have to be carrying kitchen utensils and watering cans.
  • You can decorate and use whatever you want in the department besides adding furniture.

Questions: Have you stayed in some kind of housing in Japan?, what did you like and what not? Which one are you most interested in: Share House or Department?

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