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Finding an apartment in Tokyo (Minato-ku)

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Finding an apartment in Tokyo (Minato-ku)

Postby Tesu » Wed 11.22.2006 4:53 am

Hey everyone,

I'm hoping to land a new job really soon in Tokyo, in Minato-ku. I expect my salary should go up fairly considerably compared to what it is now, so I may be in a position to have a fairly nice apartment.

However, the prices in Minato-ku definitely don't appear to be cheap! I'm hoping I can get myself a nice 1LDK somewhere, but the cheapest on Gaijinpot is about 170,000 yen a month. Definitely not cheap. Although I may possibly be able to afford somewhere like this, I think communiting maybe a better option.

Trouble is, next week is the first time I'll have ever been to Tokyo and I know very little about it, or about commuting around Tokyo in general. Can anyone give me any advice regarding finding a nice apartment in Tokyo, ideally costing a little less but with a fairly short commute? Ideally I'd like to be paying around 80,000 yen a month in rent, but am beginning to appreciate I might be forced to pay a fair whack more than that.

Any advice would be appreciated :)
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RE: Finding an apartment in Tokyo (Minato-ku)

Postby Kagemaru » Wed 11.22.2006 7:15 am

Firstly, do you have a 保証人?
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RE: Finding an apartment in Tokyo (Minato-ku)

Postby Tesu » Wed 11.22.2006 8:09 am

Kagemaru wrote:
Firstly, do you have a 保証人?


Assuming that means guarantor, then no I don't. The company I'm hoping to be working with though does say that it can help with accommodation if need be (whether that is by acting as a guarantor or actually housing me I don't know)

I thought there were agents that would also act as a guarantor? especially when dealing with foreigners. I have no problem with most apartments requiring a 2 year lease, I'm just hoping I can find somewhere relatively affordable!

I was hoping for some more input on good areas of Tokyo to live, with a relatively short commute into Minato. Anyone have any advice/experience?
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RE: Finding an apartment in Tokyo (Minato-ku)

Postby Kagemaru » Wed 11.22.2006 10:27 am

I'm not speaking for everywhere, just the processes I went through to be able to live on my own. Others may have had an easier/harder time.

Like you, I didn't have a guarantor. To cut a long story short, I was able to provide an official document stating my annual income and period of employment. I am assuming that in your case you haven't logged a tax return, so I don't know how you would go about providing that information officially without that document.

Without a guarantor, this will be your first big challenge. This is one of the first prerequisites in renting an apartment on your own. This will also mean that without one, you will have to select from apartments/housing whereby the landlord is willing to risk you smashing up the place, and taking off back to your country.

I thought there were agents that would also act as a guarantor? especially when dealing with foreigners.


In my experience, the agencies who were prepared to act as a guarantor on your behalf, had the crummiest, run down, bad value for money joints to select from as they prey on the fact you are without a guarantor. In that, the first place these agencies advertise is Gaijin pot, Kansai flea market etc.

The second biggest problem I had was: As Japanese don't use signatures as such on official documents, it is highly likely you will have to provide an 印鑑証明書 {a certified paper issued from the 市役所(municipal office) stating your 判子(stamp) is registered} Without a registered stamp anywhere(bank, real estate, credit card apps etc) your stamp is useless. I believe this to be a valuable asset anyway, regardless if you need it or not at this particular time.

It's very easy to have a stamp made for you at the local stamp shop. Registering it at the municipal council is another story.

The company I'm hoping to be working with though does say that it can help with accommodation if need be (whether that is by acting as a guarantor or actually housing me I don't know)


By the sounds of it, it may well be company accomodation. It is very risky to act as someones guarantor.

And finally the back breaking 敷金(thank you/security money) I had to cough this up 1 month before I moved in.
In most apartments/mansions/housing I looked at, insurance was also compulsory.

Sounds tough? I am sorry if it came across that way. By all means it's not a walk through the park either, but it did wonders for my Japanese and moreover, took far longer than I had anticipated. I would hate to think what would have happened had I needed to vacate my prior place of residence within a time limit.

I would suggest investigating whether you require the these first before going to all the trouble of finding somewhere, as I stupidly did.
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RE: Finding an apartment in Tokyo (Minato-ku)

Postby keatonatron » Wed 11.22.2006 1:43 pm

Tesu wrote:
I'm hoping to land a new job really soon in Tokyo,


My suggestion is to get the job first and worry about the housing later. Unless, of course, the housing is the deciding factor in whether or not you'll even apply for the job.

The first thing to do is find out exactly what the company will provide. Company housing is usually pretty nice and really cheap. If you find out that they won't actually priovide a place for you, figure out how much you can spend on rent based on your new, confirmed salary (plus housing allowance, if the company provides that instead), walk into a Minato-Ku housing agency, sit down, and tell them what you want. Their job is to work for you so you don't have to do the looking yourself. They'll find places that match your criteria and lay them out for you so all you have to do is look at the pictures and chose which ones to go take a look at.

I've talked about my experiences a little bit in another thread, but basically I found a housing agency near the area I wanted to live, and they totally took care of me. I just said "I'm looking for a really cheap place, around 60,000 a month, and close to this area where'll I'll be going to school." They really worked hard for me and earned the "thank-you money". :p

I live in a very cheap area, though, (not in Tokyo) so you probably won't find a nice place for 60,000 :D
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RE: Finding an apartment in Tokyo (Minato-ku)

Postby AJBryant » Wed 11.22.2006 1:55 pm

One thing: If you get the job first, you can plan more carefully on where to live (that is, a place "convenient" to get to and from work on, with minimal train transfers and so on. The holy grail is to have an apartment in a burb-zone that's on the same trainline as your job. It might not sound like a big deal, but it really makes life easier.


Tony
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RE: Finding an apartment in Tokyo (Minato-ku)

Postby Tesu » Wed 11.22.2006 8:14 pm

Thanks for those replies!

Yes, I appreciate that it may be very difficult to do this, but I'm prepared for that journey. It's all fun and games right?

The reason I was asking is just to get more of an idea about what is possible. This interview will be my second one with the company, and I think its looking really good.

If the company provides accommodation that would be perfect, since it's a relatively small company I'm not sure how likely this will be. I'll find out next week anyway, but yes that would be great if possible.

Thanks for your input guys =)
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RE: Finding an apartment in Tokyo (Minato-ku)

Postby Mike Cash » Wed 11.22.2006 9:20 pm

Tesu wrote:


However, the prices in Minato-ku definitely don't appear to be cheap! I'm hoping I can get myself a nice 1LDK somewhere, but the cheapest on Gaijinpot is about 170,000 yen a month. Definitely not cheap. Although I may possibly be able to afford somewhere like this, I think communiting maybe a better option.


The problem is that you're looking for info from folks who cater to expense account expats. You'll need to crawl over to the Japanese side of the web and do a little digging around. Within two minutes I found these for you, right in Minato-ku.

Click around on the 並び替え options to reorder them, if you like.

There are lots of sites on the web to search for real estate info. I just posted that particular one as an example.
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RE: Finding an apartment in Tokyo (Minato-ku)

Postby AJBryant » Wed 11.22.2006 9:51 pm

Yahoo Japan also has links to real estate and rental information. When I was contemplating taking a job in Japan a couple of years back, I spent a lot of time there fantasizing about 2LDKs (of course, this was *not* in Tokyo!).

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RE: Finding an apartment in Tokyo (Minato-ku)

Postby Tesu » Thu 11.23.2006 5:33 am

Mike Cash wrote:
The problem is that you're looking for info from folks who cater to expense account expats. You'll need to crawl over to the Japanese side of the web and do a little digging around. Within two minutes I found these for you, right in Minato-ku.

Click around on the 並び替え options to reorder them, if you like.

There are lots of sites on the web to search for real estate info. I just posted that particular one as an example.


Obvious problem for me is that I can't read Japanese yet. I'm probably around 4kyuu still (Hey, I've only been here 2 months!)

Thanks for those links though, I'll try to check around. I have a good Japanese friend who lives in Tokyo right now, hopefully she might be able to help me find something for a decent enough price. If the company offers me some assistance as well then I might be okay finding something for a fair price =)
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RE: Finding an apartment in Tokyo (Minato-ku)

Postby Matsumoto_hideto » Fri 11.24.2006 2:07 am

Tesu wrote:
Click around on the 並び替え options to reorder them, if you like.

There are lots of sites on the web to search for real estate info. I just posted that particular one as an example.


Obvious problem for me is that I can't read Japanese yet. I'm probably around 4kyuu still (Hey, I've only been here 2 months!)


Ive been here 3 months and Im halfway to 2 kyuu. Study hard my friend or else you WILL have a bad experience.

[Fixed quotes -Paul]
Last edited by Matsumoto_hideto on Fri 11.24.2006 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Finding an apartment in Tokyo (Minato-ku)

Postby Mike Cash » Fri 11.24.2006 6:01 am

Matsumoto_hideto wrote:


Ive been here 3 months and Im halfway to 2 kyuu. Study hard my friend or else you WILL have a bad experience.


Not necessarily. There are any number of folks who stay here for decades and live quite happily never even approaching anything resembling proficiency.

You're going to be here how much longer, exactly?
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RE: Finding an apartment in Tokyo (Minato-ku)

Postby keatonatron » Fri 11.24.2006 8:57 am

Mike Cash wrote:
Not necessarily. There are any number of folks who stay here for decades and live quite happily never even approaching anything resembling proficiency.


Strong evidence supporting the "ignorance is bliss" theory.

They can't know how much fun they aren't having if they don't understand what fun there is to be had.
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RE: Finding an apartment in Tokyo (Minato-ku)

Postby AJBryant » Fri 11.24.2006 1:43 pm

Not necessarily. There are any number of folks who stay here for decades and live quite happily never even approaching anything resembling proficiency.


I used to work with one of those. He couldn't even order demae over the phone from the office without coming across as an idiot. He was one of those "speak louder and they'll understand you" types. It left me totally gobsmacked.

I also knew a fellow who had lived there for about five years when I met him, and he didn't even know about demae (!) -- the only delivery food he could grok was pizza.

Tony
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RE: Finding an apartment in Tokyo (Minato-ku)

Postby Matsumoto_hideto » Sat 11.25.2006 12:47 am

Mike Cash wrote:

Not necessarily. There are any number of folks who stay here for decades and live quite happily never even approaching anything resembling proficiency.

You're going to be here how much longer, exactly?


Sorry dude that doesnt make anysense what so ever.

So you mean not functioning as a memeber or society is being happy? Because to function in japan your need to speak and understand japanese or else your just goig to be a hermit. (unless your with the military etc...)


2nd why would anyone want to live in japan without learning the language? That also does not make sense.
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