Finding Sharehouses in Tokyo
So, you want to live in Tokyo? You may be moving to Tokyo because of business, family, or personal interest. The fact remains that you will have to pack up all your belongings and move into an apartment that is on foreign soil in a foreign city. It is where you will be living as a resident for a year or more, with a language that you actually might not be proficient in as a speaker. I would like to offer my sincerest congratulations on this big step in your life, as it will not doubt prove to be memorable. A lot of steps are waiting for you to climb before you are living as a resident inside Japan's capital city of Tokyo. Namely, you will have to find the right apartment that suitably meets your needs as a resident of Japan.
BFFTokyo is here to help you with locating the accommodations in Tokyo that will meet all your needs and provide info about the Japanese housing market in this guide, so you can rest easy knowing all of the upfront costs that come with the sharehouses in Tokyo.
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Types of Apartments
What do I need to know?
You will find that there are numerous types of apartments in Tokyo, the Japanese capital. A cheap apartment, a furnished apartment, a sharehouse room and even average apartments are all available to you as a resident of Japan. The place that suitably meets your needs as a Tokyo resident is the one that is for you. Here is an introduction to these types of accommodations, so that you may be better equipped when deciding on the correct one for you that will accommodate your lifestyle and become your new home in a new place.
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Sharehouses in Tokyo
What do I need to know?
The focus of this article guide for BFFTokyo will be the sharehouses in Tokyo.
You may wonder, what exactly is a sharehouse and how would renting a room in a sharehouse prove beneficial to me while I am a resident of Tokyo? A sharehouse is a building where multiple tenants are renting a room. If you pay the extra money, a bedroom you rent may have amenities like a kitchen or a bathroom; roommates will also be avoided if you pay extra money for a private place. Here is information that will help you become better equipped to decide if the best apartment for you is actually a room in a sharehouse while you are living in Japan.
To begin with, a former resident of a Tokyo sharehouse has written a passage in this guide to provide some insight into the sharehouses in Tokyo. You may or may not find that the dorm-like lifestyle of a sharehouse room suits you during your time living in Japan based on that section alone. So, what about the other sections?
Those are quick reads about sharehouses in Tokyo based on my research.
A collection of the top tips from the team at BFF Tokyo to find a sharehouse in Tokyo. This article should help, advise and guide on how to relocate. You might be thinking about relocating to Japan, Tokyo - You’ve seen the bright lights on instagram, seen the adverts, might have even seen Ghost in a Shell and was like wow! Some of you might have seen the food being offered such as blue ramen offered from Kipposhi in Shibuya but whatever the reason is, some of the seasoned travelers will know living in a foreign country can be a very stressful process.
No language ability? prepare yourself!
The process of moving and relocating to a country where you don’t speak the language is especially stressful so be sure to get as much practice as you can! If you are a beginner check out JapanSwitch (they offer online lessons too!). This guide about sharehouses in Tokyo should help you with the decision making process and hopefully our advice will make sure you nail the house on your first go!
Before we get into the main bulk of sharehouses in Tokyo, let’s start with what a sharehouse is and why you should live there.
A sharehouse is a house where multiple strangers or friends live together. This concept isn’t native to Japan but it is prevalent in Japan where house prices can very expensive. We’ll get more into that later on in the article so read through!
Is it a popular choice?
In a survey with one of the best rated Eikaiwa in Tokyo (according to glassdoor), roughly 97% of their teachers who are or were on the Working Holiday visa have lived in a sharehouse at one point during their stay. It was usually for at least the first 2-3 months of their visit to Japan.
So what is it?
Typically they are a big house that is split up into many rooms. Sometimes, depending on the price and location, it may be in a mansion (mansion is a flat for you British folk and apartment/condominium for you Americans).
If you are a couple and interested in a sharehouse, there are some places that offer rooms for you. Usually they will charge you an extra 10,000 - 20,000yen. Be sure that everything is explicit otherwise with the mixture of miscommunication and time crunch, you might end up with 2 separate rooms!
Have a valid residency visa for Japan. This does not include tourist visas.
If you are looking for types of visas and how to obtain them or if you’re eligible for any - check out our thorough read here
Initial fees or deposits
The initial fees from share house to share house will always vary but almost all will look roughly like this:
Deposit - from 15,000yen up until 3 months rent.
Cleaning fee - A cleaning fee is usually withdrawn from the deposit when it is returned. Sometimes if you stay in a room for over a year, they will waive the cleaning fee (granted you haven’t turned your room into that one scene from the warriors)
Guarantor fee - 10,000 - 20,000
This is probably something that doesn’t exist in many countries. It is someone or, more recently an organisation, that the company can pester when you don’t pay the bills, break something or run away.
That's not fair.. I won't do that
You might be thinking, “Well, I won’t do that! So, can I just not pay this?” Unfortunately, everyone has to pay. Even those with a Japanese passport will have to pay - though for those people it is usually cheaper or less of a hassle. There’s definitely a history of people coming to Japan and just leaving, to return home without any notice due to how elongated the process can be.
It is a requirement
It is a must for most places where you decide to live. This includes sharehouse and apartments.
Most of the teachers responded that it was a cheap/affordable option because they weren’t familiar with Japan. They also said that greatly helped them get together their finances, save money as well as get used to living in Japan.
“I wasn’t even sure if Tokyo was the place I wanted to stay!”
(you can read more about Jet’s experience here LINK)
One thing that might help you make the decision is, unlike an apartment rental which are usually 2 year contracts, the contracts for sharehouses in Tokyo are between 1-3 months in length. That means you’re not locked into an apartment, weeping for your losses if you’ve made the wrong sharehouse choice!
We’ll break down the costs and give examples for the sharehouses that have been recommended to us, starting with the cheapest options. If you’re not familiar with the Tokyo wards, it’s time to open a separate tab so you can quickly google it!
*Main hubs being Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Ueno
Outside of central Tokyo; 30-40 minutes to the main hubs*.
Price range: 50,000 - 70,000yen per month. (usually this includes 10,000-15,000 for utilities)
The places that you would be interested in living in, and where a majority of the teachers said they first lived in:
Adachi City - Kosuge, Gotanno, Ayase, Takenotsuka, Nishiarai (Northern outskirt of Tokyo)
Itabashi City - Narimasu, Tobu-Nerima, Tokiwadai (northern tokyo area)
Saitama City - Kawagoe (northern & technically no longer Tokyo, it is Saitama)
Katsushika City - Shin-Koiwa, Koiwa (eastern outskirt of Tokyo)
Edogawa City - Funabori (eastern outskirt of Tokyo)
A cheap sharehouse in Tokyo will usually have the very basic furniture you can expect in a room. You shouldn’t expect any luxury furniture there! Living in a cheap sharehouse in Tokyo usually included a small desk, a lamp, a somewhat comfortable bed (questionable). The size of the room will often vary but if it helps, it usually could fit 2 single beds... at most. That’s without any space to move, again, don’t expect luxury!
Here is what you can expect in the rest of the house
Again, it varies house to house. Even the cheapest option usually has a decent kitchen! A western toilet, often with a bidet and a living room of sorts. Overall the defining factor whether the house is good is the management and good housemates!
Now, onto the midrange - expensive range.
Outside of central Tokyo; 15-35 minutes to the main hubs*.
Price range: 70,000 - 95,000yen per month. (usually this includes 10,000-15,000 for utilities)
The places that you would be interested in living in, and where a majority of the teachers said they first lived in:
Suginami - Ogikubo, Koenji
Shinjuku - Shinjuku, Shin-okubo,
Toshima - Ikebukuro
Nerima - Nerima
Adachi - Kita-Senju
Here is what you can expect in your single room
Usually living in a sharehouse in Tokyo around this price range will include a mini-fridge in your room, multiple windows (if you’re lucky)! Soundproof or at least a semi-soundproof room. Depending on what area, you may even have a private en-suite bathroom or at least a toilet. The furniture will again include a desk, but this time a bigger one than before. A small TV, Lamp and a wardrobe is to also be expected!
Here is what you can expect in the rest of the house
In Tokyo, if you find a sharehouses around this range you will definitely see a difference compared to the cheaper options. At this range you could start seeing a pool table, karaoke rooms and a big kitchen. It really depends on where you chose your location and the company that you chose!
Rules become stricter in Sharehouses around Tokyo when you start looking at the mid-range price. Companies become less and less lenient once the price starts to go up. The reason being that everyone is paying a premium so a lot of the bad experiences that you may experience are minimised.
No overnight guests or a flat fee of 5,000yen per night!
Price of Sharehouse
Typical room space
Typical contract lengths
Yes, for a fee
Yes, for a fee
That’s all the technical stuff out of the way.
While sharehouses exist all over the country of Japan, a main bulk of them are located in Tokyo. For a good reason too, the prices in Tokyo are greatly higher than outside of Tokyo, in Chiba for example. This causes some of the Japanese locals to live really far and a great many of them spend up to an hour on their commute into Tokyo.
This understandably forces some people into living in really expensive apartments or into sharehouses! This is a good opportunity for them as well as you. Living with a Japanese person for the most part will also give you an insight into their culture, work-life balance and uh, maybe their eating habits. (Please don’t stalk them!)
A good balance
The great thing about this arrangement and the sharehouses that market this is that they will try to maintain a good balance. While my sharehouse was not particularly one of those sharehouses, it did have a really good balance. Out of the 11 rooms available, 5 were foreigners and 6 were Japanese.
My experience with this ratio was amazing, especially when it came to buying food. I spent 2 months in Japan only cooking and eating soba. Yes, that’s weird, I know. The only time I ate rice was when I went to the local Japanese Curry restaurant.
The only reason I was forced to do this was because I couldn’t understand all the Japanese. I was used to the rice bags back home looking very different so half the time I couldn’t even register what a rice bag looked like! The other time I saw so many variations in the rice that I couldn’t understand why they had so many! Some aren’t pre-washed, some are washed but are from Saitama (I don’t know what the difference is!). It finally dawned to me that I could just ask, lo and behold, a few hours after I asked - I had a beautiful 2KG bag of rice.
Not into Rice?
Even if you aren’t into rice, you will receive many important letters in the months following your first. Mainly things to do with your insurance, MyNumber, maybe pension & credit card too. Sometimes that extra help could save you the stress.
Now, don’t go thinking every person in a sharehouse wants to socialise. As not everyone was a social creature and just wanted to be left alone. We’ll talk more about that further below but you’ll have great experiences and some not so great experiences. This is all part of the trade that you get for living in a sharehouse. But before we get to that let’s quickly talk about renting an apartment in Tokyo
We talked about the reasons why you would move in to a sharehouse in Tokyo. Let’s quickly talk about the reasons why you wouldn’t move into one.
The cheaper the location, the more likely you will experience noise complaints against you or be the one handing out complaints to other people! I’ve heard many stories and experienced it myself where hearing your room neighbour having sex is a common weekly occurance. Alternatively the 2AM solo parties are also a relatively normal thing.
Not everyone is aware of the mess they leave behind and sometimes, they just don’t care. I’m sure some of you might have read about bad roommates, if you haven’t - you are definitely in a good position. Trust me, I've been scarred by some of the stories I’ve read.
Things like dishes being left unwashed, pieces of rice or crumbs on the tables. Maybe even knives and forks with food stuck on them - are unfortunately things you see often.
Oblivious to mess
Sometimes it’s just people didn’t realise the mess they made, they left in a hurry or they’ve adopted an attitude that is similar to “It’s not my house, I’m only here for a few months, maybe the cleaner will clean it”
Personally, I’ve seen used underwear on the stairs. The item of clothing belonged to a larger male, the only one in the share house. The underwear stayed there for a week and a half before a cleaner came to dispose of it. Believe me, they were definitely used.
This one might irritate you more than you might think, I know it did for me. If you’re a person who cooks a lot, or likes to customise their meal you might be in for some trouble. Living in a sharehouse in Tokyo, my advice is to search for a smaller one instead.
The shared kitchen means you might not always be able to cook what you want, when you want. Sometimes I had to wait for like an hour to cook what I wanted. Sometimes you might find someone who tries to cook at the same time as you! I don’t know about you guys but that doesn’t sound like a good time.
Okay this one really depends on the place you live in and the tenants of the place you live in. Sometimes you might find that everyone respects everyone’s items but it’s not always the case. Things go missing, things get opened and moved. The worst things that might happen usually is when people leave ...uh rotting food… in the fridge. The smell is enough to make the cake you’ve been saving, revolting.
Another problem you might have is space. The space is often very small because the fridge is shared with at least 4 other occupants. This sometimes makes meal prep, hard! I know it definitely killed my ambition to cook as I couldn’t store multiple meals at once. If I made a big pot of curry that’s all I had to eat for a week, needless to say I probably had more food in the freezer than I’m willing to admit.
Shared toilets, bathroom
The teachers of OCE have said some of their biggest annoyance when living in their sharehouses have usually involved the toilets. Whether it be that the other tenants always take an hour shower, people always using their shampoo or skid marks. You are guaranteed to experience something that will make you question everyone's sanity.
In my experience, it wasn’t an issue until one person stopped doing it and it all went downhill from there. The bathroom’s rule has always been, remove your own hair after use. For the first 5 months living in a sharehouse, this wasn’t an issue! Everyone picked up after themselves, that’s until roommate X moved in.
Flaws and all
X wasn’t specifically a bad person but he definitely had his habits. One time he came to the rescue by removing the overgrown cockroach in the living room, the downside? He left the corpse and the juices there on the wall and just left.
Well X, I and a few others shared a bathroom. The hairs started to pile up, he had long ginger hair so it was easy to discern who it was. Another room mate left a note on the bathroom door. It was ignored. A few weeks this goes on and the water is no longer fast draining, now it pools up.
Personal footbath, yay!
We get our own personal footbath everytime we take a shower! It took multiple notices from the managing company, house leader and notes to fix the issue. (It wasn’t really fixed but it was more bearable than before)
Living in close quarters with someone will allow you a peek into their life that not many people get to see. Whether it be baggy sweats, no make-up or people’s hole riddled sock, there’s no denying you end up bonding with the people at your sharehouse. Sometimes this bond turns into somewhat of a convenient romance.
Sharehouse romances have a high % of ending up terrible. If you are part of the romance it’s great, you get to spend all the time together. However, if you’re another roommate, you soon become afraid of using the sofa because the couple are cuddling on the communal sofa.
Some people avoid this all together by going into women only sharehouses. Sorry guys, there isn’t a men only sharehouse.
The very short answer might be just to say impatient people. However there are so many factors to consider when answering this question. Needless to say that you need patience if you are to be living in a sharehouse for an extended period of time. There will be things that some days will seem like the biggest issue in the world and then wake up realising that it wasn’t a big issue at all.
Try be stay positive!
If you can’t adopt an attitude that assumes everyone does is non-malicious, you will end up paranoid. Everything that happens in the house will affect your experience if you start to think everything is malicious. Most of the time people are just trying to live their own lives without affecting others, sometimes it does affect others and if it affects yours - give them a friendly reminder!
Patience and the willingness to let things go
Remember the roommate I mentioned, X? Well let me introduce another sharehouse inhabitant, Alex. She was shy but generally speaking, she used to like spending time with people in the communal area. Notice how I mentioned it in the past tense? One day while cooking pasta, during the rainy season, she decided to bring in her laundry. Mind you it’s only 15-20 steps away to the door, she thought it was definitely not a hazard.
Have you met X?
Enter X, he doesn’t see anyone in the living room so he quickly turned off the stove. He also left a note, asking the supposed chef to be careful. Alex came back, unaware that the stove had been turned off and no X in sight. She spent another 5-10 minutes waiting for the pasta to finish boiling, except… it wasn’t. With her having to prepare to go to work, she no longer had time to cook the pasta and was visibly upset. If this was the first time, it might have been okay but as you can imagine, small things like this add up all the time.
After this, and of course a few other things, we saw less and less of Alex. Eventually, she moved out and didn’t tell anyone about it.
Best advice if you’re in Alex’s shoes? Learn from the mistakes or assumptions, and communicate the issues you have with people you live with.
No confidence to communicate
Reading that last section might have left you with a hint about the next section. If you aren’t a confident communicator, I don’t recommend you move into a sharehouse for a long period of time. Maybe a short stay might be more fitting in this case.
A tip that I’d like to depart on you for communication is not focus on the negatives. Make sure the person coming away from the interview isn’t feeling bad about what has happened or bad about how you feel. Offering help is also a good way to communicate a problem too.
It can be the difference between
Hi, you stole my food. Stop touching my food, get your own.
Hey, I think you might be using my hot sauce. I could tell you where to get it so you can have your very own, if you like?
Notice how there was also a solution or a suggestion mentioned there?
To understand this you may need a quick read of our credit cards in japan article. Japanese banking systems work very differently to what you may be used to.
Thinking about paying with paypal? Forget about it. Paypal isn’t used much here.
Thinking about paying with your international card? Forget about it.
Most banking here works only nationally. What this means is that you need a japanese bank card, specifically a cash card. A cash card is only used for… cash. You receive, withdraw and transfer. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a chip so you cannot use it for payments online.
Be prepared to make one of these or always pay in cash, in person.
Once you’ve sorted out your place to stay, there’s a very important step that you need to take. You need to go to the local ward office and let them know that you are a resident of their ward.
You MUST let them know within 14 days or it will cause complications later on.
If you’ve just arrived, you may not have an address on your card. Thinking about getting a phone number in Japan? You need an address on your card.
Thinking about opening a bank account in Japan? You need that address on your card.
The trip may take up to 2 hours depending on how busy the office is. Once you register with them, you’ll also receive a MyNumber card soon. All these technicalities will be left for another article!
The great thing about living in a sharehouse is that moving out is relatively easy and painless. Gather your belongings, tell your management company 1 month beforehand. Once that’s all done, all there is left is to grab a certificate of moving from the ward office. Bring that to the NEW ward office of the location you’ll be moving to and you’ll also get an updated stamp of residence on your card.
That’s all there is to understand about Sharehouses in Tokyo.
Prices will fluctuate depending on your budget or ideal hub station. If you have OCD about cleanliness or aren’t much of a team player - maybe if you don’t like cleaning, you’re better off without a sharehouse. However one thing you can do, to help make your decision is to visit our article on how to find, move and be comfortable in a normal apartment instead.
If you still feel like going into a sharehouse, consider a very short term stay. Regardless of what your plans are, you need to be on a valid residency visa. Students, Dependents and Designated Activities are completely fine.
Once you’ve got your sharehouse in Tokyo, make sure to visit the ward office to notify the local authorities of where you are living. You need to do so within 14 days.
Fret not, as a small reward I’ll let you in on a little secret that helped me in a time of need during my first year in Japan. Even if you are on a tourist visa, this option will definitely still be something you can consider. They are called “short-term furnished apartments” and unlike apartments, they actually come ready for you to live in. Granted, they are slightly more expensive and aren’t quite as affordable as a sharehouse but it is still an option to consider. Especially since you know what is still slowly spreading. You can stay in one of these if you get stuck in Japan on a tourist visa and can’t stay in a sharehouse.
To sharehouse or to not
Would I recommend living in a sharehouse? Yes. It’s a great money saving alternative that will allow you to get a better grasp of the currency and what exactly you want in an apartment. More importantly, it’s a great way to know if you want to spend the whole stay in Tokyo or if you would prefer to live in the countryside.
Just enjoy your time!
As many people come to Tokyo, there’s a big percentage of them who leave very quickly. Sometimes the reason has to do finance, sometimes it’s commitment to a city that they didn’t enjoy. Hopefully after reading this, you can make a better decision so you end up discovering all the small eateries in the alleyways that tourists don’t go to! You can only find those places with local knowledge, finance and the stress free mind-frame that comes with that!
Have fun, stay safe and make sure to be a team player!
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Sharehouses in Tokyo - Cons
What do I need to know?
Sharehouses in Tokyo have a lot of rules. The rules are one of the many characteristics that sharehouses in Tokyo have in common with student dormitories. There are normal rules that are common when two or more people share the same residence, as well as rules recently made in response to COVID-19 spreading everywhere. Here is a short summation of the cons.
One of the rules recently made as a precautionary measure against COVID-19 may be found at the Oakhouse company who owns sharehouse buildings all over Tokyo: no outside visitors. You cannot bring outside visitors into the sharehouse building where you rented a bedroom, as it poses as a potential health risk to others. This is NOT a normal rule and is not necessarily a rule imposed by other sharehouses in Tokyo during these times. Be sure to check with the sharehouse building you're interested in about whether you can invite guests!
So, what about the normal rules? Normal rules for sharehouses in Tokyo include a 30 minutes time limit for baths in the common bathroom, so that everyone has a fair chance to a bath.
You may find that the sharehouse building where you rented a bedroom has a rule about not putting shoes into the washing machine or that no guests are allowed to stay inside of the sharehouse building overnight. This is actually a common rule for sharehouses in Tokyo and isn't necessarily a response to COVID-19. If you want have a lot of sleep overs during your time living in Japan as a resident, then sharehouses in Tokyo may not be the right accommodations for you; the furnished, cheap, or average types may be better. A rule I can absolutely agree with is to clean the rice cooker in the kitchen shared by all the other residences in the sharehouse building. When you leave left-over rice in the rice cooker for a long period of time, it hardens and becomes difficult to clean off of the rice cooker. Countless times throughout my life I have had the 'pleasure' of cleaning a rice cooker that was left out for a bit following its use to make rice.
If you do not know this pain, I can assure that it is not worth the troublesome cleaning in the slightest.
Another con to the sharehouses in Tokyo is that the sound-proofing quality is often poor inside of the building. You have the potential to listen in on people singing to themselves in the shower, for example, or listen in on a group of friends watching loud television. You may even rent a bedroom inside one of the sharehouse in Tokyo that happens to have a group of residents who play D&D games every Tuesday night. Are there rules at least some of the sharehouses in Tokyo to help potentially curb the sound issues?
Oh, yes. Those are the rules that do not let have outsiders staying inside of the sharehouse building overnight for a sleep overs.
Some sharehouses in Tokyo may even limit the amount of time that an outsider is allowed to be invited into the building as a guest. Sharehouses in Tokyo may even go so far as to require to get permission from other residents inside of the sharehouse building to invite guests over to your bedroom or a common room. So, all that the poor sound-proofing quality ultimately amounts to is more rules. The last con that may help you decide whether or not sharehouses in Tokyo are the correct accommodations for you during your time as a Japanese resident is the potential for you to be harassed. You are able to meet new people when you rent a bedroom inside of a sharehouse building precisely because it offers dorm-like living to the residents.
As a result, you are able consequently to meet bad people just as you are to meet good people, some of which may potentially harass you during your stay at the place.
BUT if you are a woman and afraid of being harassed by the opposite gender while staying at one of the sharehouses in Tokyo, there are alternative options for you that will allow you to enjoy the dorm-like lifestyle without potentially meeting creepy men. Sharehouses in Tokyo, like the Ladies Only Sharehouse, do not accept male residents into the building. It is a sharehouse that is entirely meant for women. Oakhouse, conversely, offers a chart to show the current gender ratio inside of whatever sharehouse building you are viewing on the site.
While the potential to be harassed by other residents is a con, you may rest assured that there is a rule at sharehouses like the Ladies Only Sharehouse that prohibit male residents.
Sharehouses in Tokyo - Pros
What do I want to know?
So, now that the cons are over with, what are some pros to living as a resident of sharehouses in Tokyo and the rules that come with the dorm lifestyle? One of those pros is the flipside to the con of potential harassment: potential friends, with whom you can enjoy hanging out with inside of the common rooms. Here is a quick summation of the pros that come with sharehouses in Tokyo.
Let me start off by saying that the number one pro to living inside the sharehouses in Tokyo as a resident is the sharehouse manager.
You find that there are other pros to the dorm-like lifestyle that you enjoy more than the sharehouse manager, but the sharehouse manager is someone who will be there for you throughout your time as a resident in the sharehouse. All the sharehouses in Tokyo have a person managing them who will there to answer any and all questions you have during your time, including questions about all of the rules. The sharehouse manager is also the same person you will be handing over your rent every month and maintenance fee. Furnished, cheap, and average types of apartments are very much unlike all of the sharehouses in Tokyo in that there is not necessarily going to be a manager there to assist if you are needing assistance, like if the washing machine were to overflow and you can't handle the whole entirety of the mess by yourself.
A person living in any other type of apartment would have to go forward with resolving the issue by themselves, most likely. You can, also, find a pro in the sharehouses in Tokyo by looking once again at the flipside of the con where you be potentially harassed: you may potentially meet the person who will become your best friend during your time in Japan.
At the very least, you may find someone who will play board games with you on rainy days. There is even a chance that a local Japanese resident may be staying at the same sharehouse building as you, a resident who is willing to help you practice your proficiency in Japanese as a language, but that is not a guarantee. So, what else do you have to look forward to in sharehouse pros? Furniture. No lie. If you told a child that they could look forward to living in a house with free furniture, they might look at you weirdly and wonder why you were excited. After all, ice cream is better than furniture, right? A place with free ice cream would truly be something to look forward to as a residence. Adults, on the other hand, know that furniture is not cheap. How 'not cheap' exactly? Well, the price estimate for purchasing new furniture in Tokyo amounts to about ¥65,000 to ¥200,000 yen. If those figures converted into US currency, it'd be $650 to $2,000.
It's definitely not a small sum coming out of your own wallet at that amount. If you are someone who doesn't own a lot of furniture, sharehouses in Tokyo may save you quite a sum of money. There is one more pro that may help you decide if sharehouses in Tokyo are the correct option for your new accommodations in Japan: the move-in and move-out dates. You an move into the any of the sharehouses in Tokyo between zero to two days after signing the contract.
You can move-out as soon as three months after starting your residency inside one of the sharehouses in Tokyo. The exact time depends on the place itself.
Sharehouses in Tokyo - Bedrooms
What do I need to know?
Sharehouses in Tokyo commonly have private rooms where you can live inside of the sharehouse building as a resident without sharing your bedroom with any of the other residents. If you pay the extra amount that is charged to your monthly rent for the privacy, then you can also enjoy a few amenities inside your new room completely by yourself. There may be a kitchenette inside of the private room where you can cook if you're unable or do not want to use the kitchen in the common areas of the building. What else? Well, you may reasonably expect a bathroom if you pay enough money. You would not need to use the shared toilet in whatever sharehouse you rented a bedroom.
So, what about the shared rooms where other residents are staying inside of your bedroom too? Well, there are the semi-private rooms and the shared rooms. The only real difference is that the semi-private bedroom inside of sharehouses in Tokyo will provide a divider to separate the residents staying inside of the room, thus leading to a sense of privacy. Both room types at sharehouses in Tokyo will provide a small storage space for each resident staying inside of the bedroom and so you do not have to worry about sharing any of the storage space with other residents in the room. Also, they're cheaper than renting a private room at sharehouses in Tokyo. Are they the cheapest, though? No. The title of cheapest goes to the dormitory and compartment type rooms that a resident may find inside of sharehouses in Tokyo.
Sharehouses in Tokyo with a dormitory type room will feature bunk beds housing each of the residents inside of the bedroom, making it the most like dormitory living out of all the sharehouse room types. The compartment type room, now, is like a capsule hotel. The maximum occupancy for a compartment room is a total of four tenants.
Here is an article on capsule hotels, if you aren't familiar with them.
Sharehouses in Tokyo - Size
What do I need to know?
|13.5-24.0 sqm||13.5-24.0 sqm||19.44 sqm|
Sharehouses in Tokyo
What are some options?
(¥60,000 a Month)
A sharehouse is a building where people may rent one of the bedrooms and share the common rooms of the building with other residents. The common rooms include rooms like the living room, the kitchen, and the bathroom.
You may find that other people are also sharing your bedroom in a bunk-bed style or partitioned style. Perhaps you paid extra money to have a private room to yourself, as well as extra money for your own kitchenette and bathroom. If you are uncomfortable sharing a building with common spaces you may share with the opposite gender, then I have good news for you! A sharehouse is not always mixed gender. The Ladies Only Sharehouse, as I wrote earlier in this BFFTokyo article, is one of the sharehouses in Tokyo that only accepts women as residents of the building. You can reasonably expect the staff for the building to be all-female and always around the building to help you, too, so you can relax and enjoy your time as a resident.
You will not find yourself experiencing the same trouble that it is possible when renting a room in sharehouses that are mixed gender. A male resident of the sharehouse will not find themselves able to harass you in the common areas of the building, for example, because no men allowed to be residents.
Need more convincing about the Ladies Only Sharehouse? The fact that the Ladies Only Sharehouse only accepts women as resident of the building is only the start for what you can enjoy from this sharehouse. The monthly rent is an about an estimate ¥60,000 a month. If you were to convert that amount into the currency used by the United States, then it would amount to an estimate of $600 a month. Don't know exactly how cheap that is? Well, the average rent in Tokyo is about ¥72,805 to ¥123,578 every month, for a comparison. An amount of ¥72,805 to ¥123,578 in USD is about $700 to $1,171 a month. You are saving about $100 to $571 a month by renting a room at the Ladies Only Sharehouse. Are there more savings? Yes, absolutely.
The bill for the water, the bill for the gas, and even the bill for the Wi-Fi are all paid by the Ladies Only Sharehouse. You can be reasonably expecting to save an estimated amount of ¥15,000 yen on the utility expenses every month you are a resident.
How about services? What kind of services can you expect from the Ladies Only Sharehouse as a resident of the building? The all-female staff of the building clean common areas and the bathroom.
Yes, that's right. You are only expected to keep whichever bedroom you are renting clean. Free parking is also available on the premises for residents of the Ladies Only Sharehouse. You cannot find many residences in the area who offer that perk. Last, but not least, you can go to Ikebukuro's cafes and stores within 10 min. It only takes 10 minutes to get to Ikebukuro from the Ladies Only Sharehouse, so going to Ikebukuro will never take up too much of your time. Where else can you go within a reasonable amount of time from the Ladies Only Sharehouse? Well, only a simple 15 minutes away from the building is Shinjuku and Akihabara. There are so many things that Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, and Akihabara can offer you. Salo cafe is a close walk of 8 minutes from the station you will be getting off of at Shinjuku, for example.
Now...is that all? No, it is not. My personal favorite characteristic of the Ladies Only Sharehouse is the rooftop access that is available to residents of the sharehouse. It actually is one of the benefits offered to the Ladies Only Sharehouse. The rooftop views allow you to watch fireworks when they are set off during summer time, to experience a view of the Skytree in Tokyo, and to have yet one more place of enjoyment during your time as a resident. You can see pictures of the rooftop sharehouse space using the following link. So, ultimately, you will want to rent a room at the Ladies Only Sharehouse for a few reasons. If you own a vehicle and would like to have free parking as one of the perks to your residency while you are living in Japan, then this sharehouse building is one option for you.
You may be like me and find the idea of sharing common rooms in a building that does not accept male residents to be more comfortable than the idea where you are in a sharehouse accepting of male residents.
You could also just enjoy the free cleaning benefits.
(¥63,000 to ¥77,000 a Month)
A sharehouse is a building where you can enjoy a dorm-like lifestyle by sharing the common rooms of the building with other residents and renting a bedroom. Residents of the Ladies Only Sharehouse are able to enjoy other amenities like a free parking space on the premises or an all-female staff that is responsible for cleaning all the common areas and the bathroom. What can you expect to enjoy as a resident in Oakhouse? Oakhouse is a company, as I wrote earlier in this BFFTokyo guide, with multiple sharehouse buildings where a resident of Tokyo enjoyably live as a resident. No security deposit is required by Oakhouse to be provided by residents. You can reasonably expect NOT to pay key money to the landlord or guarantee fees to any of the guarantor companies in Tokyo.
The only initial fee you will be paying as a future resident of Oakhouse is the contract fee that is about an estimate of ¥50,000.
That amount is about $500 when converted into the currency used in the United States, which is cheap. Doesn't sound cheap? Initial fees for renting a room in sharehouse buildings can go up to as much as ¥110,000.
¥110,000 amounts to, when converted into the currency of the United States, an estimated figure of $1,100 as a fee for moving into the sharehouse building. So, you can save as much money as $600 by choosing Oakhouse. What other benefits can people experience as a resident of an Oakhouse sharehouse building? Well, one modern requirement is a good environment to work from home, especially as a significant portion of the population worldwide is working from home due to the prevalence of COVID-19. Oakhouse can help. Internet connect fee is included. You can reasonably expect to have a working W-Fi connection from the first day you move into your new bedroom. Not only that, but a number of the common rooms available in an Oakhouse building are study rooms where you can work in peace.
You may also find soundproof studios or perhaps a theater room where you can comfortably make Zoom calls with your professor or coworkers. Extended monitors, desks, and office chairs are all available to the residents of the Oakhouse to rent for their work.
So, Oakhouse is the perfect sharehouse for you if you have to work from home because of COVID-19 measures or a different reason. Measures that were taken by the Oakhouse company to combat COVID-19 include cancelling Oakhouse events, until the foreseeable future, as well as requests to avoid gathering in groups with others residing in the Oakhouse building. Alcohol disinfectant and soap are both provided based on availability and you are recommended to wash your hands frequently and gargle mouthwash in your mouth. Ventilating rooms by opening windows is also recommended by Oakhouse and a resident of Oakhouse cannot bring overnight guests anymore. It is not even permitted to bring outside visitors at all.
You can visit the official website where Oakhouse frequently provides updates on COVID-19 related matters to the residents and future residents of Oakhouse buildings in Japan.
You can decide if renting an Oakhouse bedroom is right for you and able to protect your safety by reading all of those updates with this specific link.
So, how much are you paying for all of these benefits if you decide to rent one of numerous rooms offered by the Oakhouse company at their sharehouse buildings? I found by looking through their website that a resident can expect to pay anywhere from ¥63,000 to ¥77,000 a month on rent. If you were to convert those figures to currency used in the United States, then those figures would amount to about an estimate of $630 to $770 a month. Doesn't sound cheap? Well, as I wrote earlier, average rent in Tokyo is about ¥72,805 to ¥123,578. An amount of ¥72,805 to ¥123,578, when converted into the currency used by the United States, amounts to a figure of about $700 to $1,171 a month. You are saving about $30 to $401 a month by renting a room from the Oakhouse company. What is the exact amount you are saving if you choose Oakhouse?
Well, that depends on whatever room you choose that is available in one of the sharehouse buildings in Oakhouse. A private room, a room with an extended monitor and desk chair, a sharehouse room with a kitchenette, will all cost more.
So, ultimately, why would you want to choose an Oakhouse room when renting a sharehouse room during your time as a Japanese resident? You may find that the ability to work from home in an Oakhouse building, due to the amenities that are available for rent and the quiet environment found in the study rooms, is a plus capable of fulfilling one of your requirements as a Tokyo resident.
The comfort available from renting a room owned by a company that has taken extensive measures to guard against COVID-19 is also a benefit.
(¥59,000 to ¥67,000 a Month)
Now, what kind of sharehouse rooms are available for rent from the Oakhouse company? An example of what you may find when looking through the official site accompanying Oakhouse is building located in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo.
Now, anyone renting a room here has the ability to experience services that I've already previously written about in this BFFTokyo guide.
The Oakhouse website will be frequently providing updates on COVID-19 related matters to you and will go distributing alcohol disinfectant based on it's availability. Extended monitors, desks, and office chairs are all available to the residents of the Oakhouse to rent for their work. You will have the ability to rent all of those pieces of equipment to work from home at your room in the Oakhouse building located in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo. If you are more comfortable working in a study room or sound-proof studios, you may find those inside of the building. Oakhouse is here supporting you in these new times. So, what does this one building owned by Oakhouse have to offer you as a potential new resident?
To start, it can offer you spectacular views of Shinjuku from the rooftop of this one building. You can see the sights from the rooftop using this following (link). All of the residents can expect to pay somewhere between ¥59,000 to ¥67,000 a month on monthly rent based on the room they are renting and its amenities. If you were to convert those figures into the currency used by the United States, then it would amount to about an estimate of $590 and $670 a month. So, in addition to that beautiful views, you can let your wallet relax with savings. One of the rooms, the room that costs about ¥65,000 a month for the rent, is a single room where you will not have to share with anyone else. If you do share with one other person, then you will have to pay ¥20,000 extra a month. That amounts to an estimate of $200 when converted into United States currency.
You will find an air conditioner, a single bed, lighting, and a refrigerator in the room for your personal use. The ¥14,000 maintenance fee or $140 maintenance fee is included with the rent. You will not have any contract fee to pay when signing the housing contract.
A ¥20,000 extra fee every month is standard for the rooms in this Oakhouse building when a second person is added to your private room.
The average size of all these rooms available in the sharehouse is about seven square meters. Now, what can someone expect from the common rooms of the Oakhouse sharehouse building located in the Shinjuku, Tokyo district? There is a lounge, a kitchen, a bathroom, washing machines for your clothes, and even a Chinese restaurant located just opposite the building. The bathroom is just a shower room. The room with a toilet is separate from the shower. If you want to see pictures of all these common rooms, you can view them on the site and even see a few of the rooms available inside of the Oakhouse building. You will see from all the images there is a section where can find a postal box for your room inside of the entrance in the sharehouse.
You have have also noticed from my words, and from the pictures, that the toilet and the shower are in different rooms. This is a very common thing in Japan that you not have had any experience with previously.
Personally, this is one of my favorite characteristics about Japan. The concept of the toilet being a different room from the shower or bathtub allows people to, for example, use the toilet while you are taking a shower in the other room. If you are like me and germophobic, you may enjoy the cleanliness that comes with keeping the toilet by itself in the building too. The United States does not follow this concept and it is definitely not a thing. You find that in your own country it is not a thing, too, and Japanese life is just what is going to introduce it to your life. You can consider this either a sharehouse building where you may seriously find yourself comfortably residing during your time as a Tokyo resident or just one of a number of examples on what you can expect from Oakhouse.
There is even pie graphs on the website for the sharehouse building that sorts all of the residents according to gender, age, and country that you may look at and decide if you potentially may picture yourself as one of them.
The gender at this building is absolutely leaning towards males at 65% as one example.
So, why would someone want to rent a room at this particular sharehouse building owned by the Oakhouse company? The benefits that are offered to all the Oakhouse residents by the company itself are definitely a perk. You can comfortably work in a room with your rented desk and office chair. You may also find yourself enjoying a beautiful view of Shinjuku from the rooftop of the Oakhouse building or enjoying reasonable monthly rates of $590 to $650 on rent.
All of these may be a reason anyone may find themselves right at home inside this place.
What do I want to know?
When you imagine sharehouses in Tokyo, feel free to imagine a building where an assortment of residents rent bedrooms and share common spaces like the kitchen, as a part of the dorm-like lifestyle. The kitchen may have a rice cooker sitting on the counter that is steaming and full of rice to make lunch.
Inside the cabinets, too, you may find an assortment of condiments like soy sauce.
Let's get away from the kitchen for a minute and go back to imagining all of the common rooms inside of the sharehouses in Tokyo. There may a lounge where you can read your books and relax before going to bed, there may be a gaming room where you can play games other residents, or, alternatively, a study room where you can concentrate on studying for classes or on teleworking. I wrote about the study rooms at the sharehouses owned by Oakhouse earlier in this BFFTokyo sharehouse guide. If one of your requirements for the sharehouses in Tokyo is to have a quite common room for you to work, it may be right for you.
All of the items I wrote about can be found at sharehouses in Tokyo. Lounge rooms with books to read before going to bed, living rooms with gaming consoles to play solo-player games or games with the other residents, and always well-stocked condiments in the cabinets are all items you can expect the sharehouses in Tokyo to offer residents. What items in particular, though, depends on which of the sharehouses in Tokyo you chose to rent a bedroom. A regular apartment in Tokyo would not be able to offer you these sort of amenities.
So, if those amenities seem like something you would enjoy during your time as a resident of Tokyo, renting a bedroom in a Tokyo sharehouse may be just the right accommodation choice for you.
Sharehouses in Tokyo - Tips
What do I want to know?
Choosing the right apartment can be a difficult decision, especially when you have to make the choice in a short amount of time. Here are some tips to help you make your decision without compromising on your needs as a future resident of Tokyo or the limited time you have to find the accommodations inside Tokyo that is right for you. You, to begin with, do not need to stick with one apartment from the start; if you take advantage of the low minimum-stay requirements of a sharehouse, you can spend a short amount of time living in the inexpensive housing while you spend a comfortable amount of time to search what will be your more permanent home in Japan's capital.
If you choose a furnished apartment, which also has a low minimum-stay requirement, you can live in that apartment while you look for your more permanent home and still enjoy privacy. You can also wait inside pre-furnished accommodations while the moving company sends over your furniture from across the ocean, before moving out into your more permanent home in Japan's capital while the Tokyo moving company is unpacking your belongings in the place. To be more clear, let us say that you do not have a lot of time to look for the right apartment because you need a place to stay in Tokyo sooner rather than later in your schedule as you leave for Japan.
A sharehouse room is not expensive and you can leave a short time after signing the housing contract, you do not need to stay for a long time. The furnished apartments in Tokyo come with furniture and in those, too, you can leave a short time after signing the housing contract. You can use either one of those places as a temporary home while you search for a more appropriate accommodation to suit your needs as a resident of Tokyo.
Perhaps you may find that place to actually be one of the sharehouses in Tokyo.