home > Student Guide > Living in Japan > Accommodation

Living in Japan
1.Currency and cost of living
2. Cost of study
3. Living expenses
4. Accommodation
5. Guarantor
6. Part-time Work
7. Expenses for medical treatment
4. Accommodation
  The national government, local governments and universities run residences for international students, but since these accommodations are limited, few international students are able to benefit from them. About 73% of international students live in private accommodation. The housing situation in Japan is not very good, and it is very difficult to find accommodation, especially in the Tokyo metropolitan area. When looking for private accommodation, one can inquire at a real estate agency in the chosen area as well as at school offices. Those with the status of residence of "college student" may seek accommodation through the Center for Domestic and Foreign Students.
  According to the Center for Domestic and Foreign Students, monthly rent of accommodations is as follows. However, the accommodations handled by real estate agencies tend to be higher than this.Monthly rent for an apartment in Tokyo:
Monthly rent for an apartment in Tokyo:
  a) 6-tatami-mat (9.6-square meter) room (shared toilet):
less than ¥40,000
  b) 6-tatami-mat room with cooking facilities and toilet:
about ¥40,000
  c) 6-tatami-mat room with cooking facilities, toilet and bath:
about ¥60,000
  d) 6-tatami-mat room with cooking facilities, toilet, bath and air-conditioning:
about ¥66,000

Condominiums built of reinforced concrete are usually more expensive than an apartment. Outside the Tokyo metropolitan area rents tend to be lower, except in large cities.

  Upon signing a contract to rent an apartment, Japanese customary practice requires the tenant to pay not only the rent but non-refundable key money equivalent to one to six months' rent, called "rei-kin" (kenri-kin) in Japanese (payable to the landlord, amount differs in each district). The landlord keeps a returnable deposit equivalent to one to two months' rent called "shiki-kin" (hosho-kin) in Japanese, as security in case the tenant should fail to pay the rent of the room. Part of shiki-kin will be paid back to the tenant when leaving the room. In addition, the tenant should pay a commission equivalent to one month rent to the realty dealer. The system of shiki-kin and rei-kin differs according to the district.

  The Center for Domestic and Foreign Students publishes "Ryugakusei no tame no Shukusha Annai (Housing and Dormitories for Students from Abroad)", and operates the 12 nationwide Student Housing Guidance Offices (Refer to Chapter 15) providing regional accommodation information. You can check the levels of shiki-kin and rei-kin at each district on the center's web site (http://www.naigai.or.jp).

* International students housing general compensation system

  This system is operated by the Center for Domestic and Foreign Students, and aims to provide for emergencies like fires and to avoid troubling the guarantor concerning moving in. There are two plans according to the compensation periods: the one-year plan (¥7,500 for insurance premium and other share of costs) and the two-year plan (¥14,000 for share of costs.)

  This compensation system is available to those who have entered (with the status of residence of "college student") or are sure to enter a university / junior college / college of technology / specialized training college's postsecondary course (senmon gakkou) in Japan; or those who have entered (with the status of residence of "college student" or "pre-college student") or are sure to enter a Japanese-language institute that is a sustaining member of the Association for the Promotion of Japanese Language Education (361 institutes as of March 3, 2003.)

  You can sign up at your institute, but you cannot apply if that institute is not a member of this system. For further information, inquire to the Center for Domestic and Foreign Students, or the institute at which you are enrolled or are going to enroll. You can check the institutes that are members of this system at the center's web site (http://www.naigai.or.jp/insurance/ryudata/Anshin2.htm).

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