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Figuring Out Student Accommodation Options In Japan

Study In Japan | 6 Minutes Read
Written by : Aliza
4 September 2021

Figuring out a suitable accommodation as a student in a foriegn country can be quite challenging. From expenses to location, and to commute time; there is a lot to be considered. In case you’re not sure about how to pick out the most suitable accommodation option for yourself, we’re here to help you figure it out. Let’s work this out together and make Japan feel like home!

Before we move on to consider the accommodation options available for international students in Japan, let’s talk about some factors that could potentially affect your accommodation choice.

Firstly, set a reasonable price range - for rent- that you would be willing to pay for your accommodation. For students, it is suggested to find an affordable place to live that is closer to public transport stations. And that brings us to the next essential factor, which is commuting. Commuting in Japan during rush hours can be very tiresome - especially in big and busy cities. It would save you hours of commute time if you can find an accommodation which is closer to public transport stations in Japan.

While some students may not care much, others might want to consider a ‘pleasant and secure location’ with access to multiple local facilities. And lastly, you might also want to consider the meal options available at or around different types of accommodations.​

Now, let’s talk about accommodation options.

1. Student Dormitory

Student dormitories in Japan are usually operated by local governments and different universities. If you want to live around new people and make friends fast, this may be a suitable option for you.

Student dormitories are quite affordable as they have comparatively lower rent, other utility expenses and more shared spaces. There is usually no need to pay a security deposit or rei-kin (gratuity money) for dormitories; however, some universities may require you to pay. These dormitories are fully furnished and equipped with necessary appliances. All you would need to do is pack your luggage, grab your favorite pillow and move in!

Wait!!! We feel like we should warn you though. Students living in dormitories are subject to strict rules and curfews. Lastly, ask yourself, how do you feel about sharing a washroom and kitchen?

***Here’s a tip: Try to book your rooms as soon as you get your visa approved. You may not be easily able to find a room later due to limited numbers of rooms available.

2. Private Apartments

A lot of international students in Japan prefer to live in private serviced apartments. These apartments are comparatively more expensive than other accommodation options available due to higher rent, higher utilities, and the additional cost of furnishing the apartment and buying other necessary electrical appliances.

Students are required to find an agent / Japanese guarantor and sign necessary agreements. It’s likely that the owner may want the student to pay a security deposit for a few months' rent, a utility deposit, and rei-kin (gratuity money). There will also be a further payment of agent's commissions. Looks pretty complicated, no?

So, why do the majority of the international students still prefer this private arrangement? For freedom and independence. Most international students prioritise FREEDOM over anything else. If you have moved all the way from home to a new country, would you still want to follow the rules and curfews? Your answer to that question will bring you a step further in selecting your preferred accommodation.

3. Shared Houses

Share houses are also one of the most widely used accommodations by international students. The name itself pretty much explains the type. It's a house, shared amongst several students. Students can have their own private bedroom or share the room with roommates. The other common spaces in the house are shared, such as washrooms, toilet, kitchen and living room.

These shared spaces are not much crowded like those in dormitories and gives students the perfect opportunity to mingle with other students living in the house. These shared houses are located in multiple different locations and cities all over Japan and hence have different rental costs. There is no need for students to make a contract, pay a deposit or find an agent or Japanese guarantor, making it one of the economical options for accommodation.

Out of the 3 options, which option you think is best for your needs? 😉