This is my first post in Japan! So i have been here in Japan for 1 month (so approximately there is still 59 months left LOL!). So the first month was quite tough, adapting again with Japan, finding apartment, taking classes, and directly doing my research.
But now, finally I have settled in my new petite house! ❤ Say hello to my white-pink-shabby chic 25 square meters petite mansion!
Finding an apartment in Japan is quite difficult, especially when you’re picky (like me). And it is just impossible to find house that suits your criteria by 100%
So now, i will share some points that i have gained from my experience to find an apartment.
1. Try to understand everything (although it’s damn hard)
I know that you can always find an agent that speaks English, or you can always ask your tutor to accompany you, or ask someone whose Japanese is pera pera to accompany you. But you will still have to be able to(try to) understand everything by yourself. You are the one who will live in that apartment.
My Japanese was of course not good but at least being in my level (passing JLPT N4) i could already find apartment by myself although i could hardly understand the contract. But at least i could do verbal communication with my agent and don’t be shy to ask the agent, you have paid a lot of money of them, you should use them! LOL.
2. Try to understand the apartment renting concept
Apartment renting system in Japan is quite complicated. You have agent that will introduce you the room and yet you will still have the apartment broker/realtor (不動産) for that particular area. On top of the chain there is still the owner or landlord of the apartment. Seems like there’s so many people involved -_-
Please also note the difference between apartment and mansion in Japan. Apartment usually refers to building less than 4 stories-high while mansion refers to building higher than 4-stories, usually safer (equipped with auto-lock system) and slightly more expensive, with better facilities. In my point of view, it’s better to live in a mansion especially when you’re a woman and you live alone.
If you are not Japanese, some owner requires you to have Japanese-citizen guarantor (奉書人) or even some of them are reluctant to rent you a room. The moving in fee is also generally quite high (especially when you rent a mansion). There are so many things included from agency fee, rental deposit or shikikin（敷金）to gratitude fee or reikin (礼金）. But you can always find an apartment that omit those fees.
3. Know your needs
Finding an apartment depends on your own needs and you need to know your own needs very well. Some people don’t mind to walk quite far from the station because they consider it as an exercise. While some people prefer to have apartment closer to the station. Some people prefer quiet place some people prefer a little bit busy and bustling place. Some people want a separate bathroom some people want to keep pet some people don’t like morning sunshine while others want it. You should list your needs or kibou (希望) so that you can efficiently explain your criteria to the agent.
4. Be Careful about Garbage
Don’t forget to know about how to separate garbage, it could be problematic and i think they will not take the garbage if you put it out at the wrong day. You could get the English version on the local ward office!
So now let me share some pictures of my mansion. I bought all furnitures in Ikea Yokohama (there’s a free shuttle bus from Shin-Yokohama station to Ikea). Ikea also provided delivery service and assembly service as well 😀 My furnitures are all white and the small things are pink. My mansion is really petite but i love it! ❤ I really love the location as well, only 3 minutes walk from the station and it’s really near to shopping malls, convenience store, Daiso, and many restaurants ❤ I also haven’t tried the salon located on the first floor of this building ❤
I tried to decorate it as nicely as i could, because i hope i will not have to move out during my 5 years of stay… 🙂
Afifa Ayu Koesoema