Average private apartment rent per month: ¥50,000 ~¥110,000 

If you enjoy personal space and privacy, having your own apartment is probably ideal. Although it tends to be pricier than other housing options, a lot of benefits come along it. You won’t be constrained by dormitory rules or other people in your living quarters, and you can even let your friends from abroad stay over if they come for vacation!

Living alone in Japan poses some challenges for foreigners. Being unable to speak the language can cause communication difficulties, but there are countless resources that ease the process. Universities often partner with real estate agencies, which provide the essential details you’ll need to find a place that’s right for you. It’s also possible to find accommodation outside of universities on various websites that offer support in multiple languages. Regardless of which method you choose, though, you’ll need the following in order to rent a private apartment:

Identification Documents

  • passport
  • visa/residence card

After you find a potential place to live, you’ll need to work through the real estate agency and guarantor in order to secure a deal. It’s imperative that you have all of your identification documents handy.

Financial Security and Reputability

  • Service Fees
    • agency
    • guarantor
  • Rental Costs
    • gratuity
    • deposit
    • maintenance
    • utilities

There are many fees that you’ll need to cover when finding an apartment. Fortunately, more and more listing sites and brokerage services are making it easier to avoid some of these charges. It’s impossible for everything to be free, though, so here’s a rundown of some basic costs you may have to cover.  Many Japanese rental agencies operate free of charge, so be sure to know what exactly you’re paying for if asked for payment – it’s likely that you can find a free service that’s just as reliable. After finding an apartment, you’ll need to find a guarantor, who must be a Japanese national. They support your reputation and finances in case of any issues with your tenure, and can be found through guarantor companies (unless you already know someone who will take the role). You can expect to pay these companies a typical fee of around half-month’s rent as well as a yearly renewal fee around 10,000 yen.  Oftentimes they will serve as your emergency contact as well. The most dreaded fee is the non-refundable 礼金 (reikin), or key money; a payment of gratitude for the landlord upon moving in. Luckily, avoiding it is becoming easier since the practice is quite outdated. Most of the charges mentioned above, in fact, are not necessarily needed in order for you to find a good apartment. Deposit, maintenance, and utility fees will differ with each location, but these details can be found on some of the most practical websites available, which are compiled below.

You’ll easily be able to browse apartments through customizable features that allow you to choose your budget, location, and other specifics to find exactly what you’re looking for. Details pertaining to guarantor and agency services as well as contractual agreements are also accessible on these sites. 

GaijinPot Apartments


Suumo Rentals

  • https://suumo.jp/tokushu/foreigner/english/

Apaman Shop Real Estate Leasing Company

  • http://www.apamanshop.com/en/

Sakura House Apartments

  • https://www.sakura-house.com/en/general_page_extend/change_page/4?sort=price_lh&by_area=&room_typ=1

Leopalace Apartments

  • https://en.leopalace21.com/

Residence Tokyo

  • https://www.realestate.co.jp/residencetokyo/en/rent/listing

Rent Yokohama

  • http://www.rent-yokohama.com/english/

MiniMini Rental Agency

  • http://minimini.jp/h/guesthouse/english/about/index.html
    • MiniMini Guidebook (http://minimini.jp/h/guesthouse/english/pdf/guidebook.pdf)