If an international student lives in Tokyo, is it apartment or share house / room share?
Hi there! Here is Okazaki (@okatom33_zak) for MOLE, the admin of JapanLIFE.
Last time when I wrote One day, international students might hate Japan, I’ve mentioned some of the crucial problems for foreigners in Japan. This time I would like to write in detail about one of those tricky matter: how to search for a house, what kind of options are available on the market (shared apartment, share houses, room sharing) and so on.
How much do house rents cost in Japan?
This is a map based on market price of 15㎡-apartments, year of completion around 2003.
Appropriate rent .com:
In Tokyo even 1R or 1K-type apartments are quite expensive. For example, in the inner, main area covered by Yamanote line, rents can amount to 150,000 JPY.
As shown in the map, rents are cheaper (60,000/70,000 JPY) in Nerima ward, Atachi ward, Edogawa ward.
We can find a similar range of prices even in Kawaguchi, Saitama prefecture or Kawasaki city in Kanagawa prefecture.
Estimated calculation for life expenses of a 28h per week working student, house rent 70,000 JPY.
“Could I really live in Tokyo with such expensive rents?” I think there are many foreigners who are worried about their budget.
Hourly remuneration 1000 JPY, 28h per week part-time job.
Let’s make a simulation of life expenses of a students who receive about 1000 JPY as hourly remuneration and work 28 hours per week.
￥1000ｘ28ｈ(Working hours)x4w(Working weeks)=￥112000 (Monthly salary)
If you manage to save your money and stay stick to your budget, you could make it, I guess.
Since life expenses, excluding rent, amount to 20,000 JPY and weekly food expenses amount to 5,000 JPY,in the end it is necessary to make some efforts.
Hourly remuneration 1200 JPY, 28h per week part-time job.
Let’s make a simulation of life expenses of a students who receive about 1200 JPY as hourly remuneration and work 28 hours a week
￥1200ｘ28ｈ(Working hours)x4w(Working weeks)=￥134400 (Monthly salary)
Pretty much better than 1000 JPY per hour: you can save about 5000 JPY each month!
Let’s see the average wage rate in Tokyo
Tokyo average hourly wage | [Townwork] website for the research of jobs or part-time jobs.
The national wage average for part-time jobs in Japan is about 1,001 JPY; in Tokyo you can earn 100 JPY more. Not bad Tokyo, uh! There are remunerations like 1,200 JPY per hour, right?
Let’s deepen through this matter.
Example of part-time job for 1200 JPY / hour
Let’s consider some data from one of the major part-time job recruiting service.
Part-time jobs for foreigners in Tokyo・Part-time jobs recruiting information-Job searching 【My Navi Baito Tokyo version】：
https : //baito.mynavi.jp/tokyo/word_%E5%A4%96%E5%9B%BD%E4%BA%BA/
It is known that hourly remuneration for part-time jobs in restaurants or convenient stores in night time is quite high. It seems that the remuneration for the staff working in hotels is high too. For those who have physical skills and like physical activity, it’s possible to apply for a part-time job in Asakusa for carrying Japanese traditional rickshaw or a part-time job for the popular UBEREATS.
Reference: how much do UBEREATS delivery part-time workers earn in one week? 【Published data】
Internships are recommended for students
Personally, I think that the revenue is closely linked to the kind of job and the necessary skill to do it (considering 100 people how many of them can do that job).
- Convenience store night time; when usually people sleep=high hourly remuneration
- Restaurant, pub etc., where it is necessary to deal with drunk people=high hourly remuneration
- Engineer; programming skill required=high hourly remuneration
Therefore, if you wish to earn a high annual income in the future when you will become part of the society, you need to acquire the kind of skills that other people don’t have.
In order to become an active part of the society, the best you can do now is to improve those skills through an internship in a company.
Recently, recruitments after long-term internships are becoming mainstream; you can receive an hourly remuneration and there’s the chance to get a job offer too. There’s no reason to not give a try!
Furthermore, most of Japanese people can speak Japanese only.
There are usually many international students who can speak English, therefore it is possible to search some internships that requires English or English combined to other skills like a particular subject of study.
Shared apartment? Share house? Which option is the most recommended?
I might have changed a bit the topic into “job” so I would like to come back to the former one: “house”.
In Tokyo there are basically 4 kinds of “house”.
- Dormitory for students & Student’s hall
- Shared apartment or flats (for oneself)
- Share house or Room share
About dormitory for students & Students’ hall
In the past, what was called a dormitory for students was a kind of structure where bathroom and toilet were shared and old women in the cafeteria were in charge of cooking and serving meals to students (meals expenses were included too).
However, recently there is an increasing number of dormitories that are not so different from living alone.
Dormitory for students are divided into those managed by the school (or the university etc.) and those managed by the private sector.
Dormitory for students & Students’ hall PROS
- Meals expenses are included
- You can make new friends
- Cheap rent
Dormitory for students & Student’s hall CONS
- Sometimes there is a sort of “curfew”: you can’t go out or come back at the time that pleases you
- You can’t invite friends to your place
- Shared bathroom and toilet
About apartments and flats
This option consists in leasing a flat in a condominium or an apartment for living alone.
Recently, it seems that there is an increase of foreigner-friendly properties as well as a growth in the number of companies that “review” tenants in behalf of the owner.
Sometimes is even possible to try to negotiate the upfront costs or the payment by credit card.
Apartment or flat PROS
- You can invite friends and have home parties
- You are free to use bathroom and toilet whenever you want
Apartment or flat CONS
- Expensive rent
- You need to prepare your meals
- Utility costs must be paid month by month
About share house and room share
Share house and room share options have recently become popular.
The difference between Share house and Room share
First of all, let’s understand the difference between these two options.
About Share house
This definition refers to a property used, by an individual or corporate management company, as a shared house.
In the case of a share house, facilities like bathroom and toilet are usually part of the shared area. Regarding the tenants, it seems that they are subjected to a “preliminary examination”; it is also necessary to follow some stated rules.
There are basically two room types: the private type and the one which can be used by two or more tenants like a dormitory.
With the purpose of increasing the number of tenants, management companies or managers, who has started the business related to share houses, are trying to promote various differentiations: properties that stand for brand-new concepts that have never been seen before.
The deciding factor is “concept”! 10 unique share houses in Tokyo.
Share house PROS
- You can choose the share house with the concept which most reflect your personality
- You can live in a high-quality property at an affordable price.
- You can meet people with same hobbies as you
Share house CONS
- In some cases, rules are strict
- You may have some troubles with your share mate
- Toilet and bathroom may be shared too
About Room share
This definition refers to those who choose to lease a unit with a friend, a relative etc.
Recently, it seems that foreigner-friendly properties where 2 tenants are allowed to room sharing are increasing.
Living with your best friend sounds a lot of fun!
Room share PROS
- You can split monthly expenses with your roommate
- If you are in good terms with your roommate, you don’t have to be worried about cohabitation problems
Room share CONS
- If your roommate leaves, you need to pay for the entire monthly rent.
- If you and your roommate don’t get along you may have lots of stress on you
JapanLIFE recommends you share house or room share.
Many thanks for your attention.
I’ve written about “job” and “house” topics; what do you think?
I’ve provided a simulation about the remuneration in case of 28 hours per week part-time job; however, I still suggest students to focus not too much on part-time jobs but rather on the improvement of special skills.
To succeed in giving priority to that improvement, we recommend a share house or room sharing option: you can save money in term of monthly expenses and you have the chance to interact with people not only at school.
JapanLIFE can support you in 15 different languages. Don’t hesitate to contact us for any question.
Not only share houses, we offer support in the research of dormitories, Shared apartment, flats and other solutions too.
Let’s enjoy life in Tokyo!!!