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student appartments?


10 Mar 2003
Allright then. I will tease this forum with odd questions for a while now, since I've decided to really make this studying in Japan happen.

I'd propably live in a some sort of student appartment in Japan, and I'm thinking Osaka. What are they like? How expensive are they (rent), and what do You get if You take something really cheap(is there any )? I'm just a student, trying to work at the same time, so unfortunately I don't have pockets full of money.
I really need some exact info, to plan this programme with some instructors, think about loans etc.

There's also a big question crawling to my mind when I read some threads about Visa. Is it a must have thing when you move to Japan, even for a few months? I have a Visa Electron, is that good enough?

And anyways, since I'm thinking about studies in Osaka, anyone living there could tell me some facts about the city :)
What I'm mostly interested about right now, is the price-level. Does it differ at all from Tokyo?

...sigh, I have sooo much more to learn before I know anything...
Hmm... i'll try to answer some of your questions as best I can although I think some of our current members residing in Japan might have some better advice for you.

Limited supply and high demand usually result in somewhat smaller accommodations than what you're probably used to along with high rental rates (not sure about Osaka region but I am assuming it is around the national average). Furthermore be prepared to drop some serious cash early on if you do find a place you like. You will have pay the Fudo-san (real estate agent) a typical deposit amount to a number of months' rent, and is usually figured out in the following way:

1) One month deposit.
2) Three months shikikin ("key money") to the agent.
3) And two months reikin ("thank you money") to the landlord.

Unfortunately, little to none of this six-month deposit will be refundable. In addition, this money is almost always expected in advance and in cash 8-(

In addition, unless you are lucky enough to find a furnished apartment you will most likely have to supply all of your own appliances as well (something I actually enjoyed doing as it allowed me the opportunity to shop on my own and for myself, fun fun!) I was fortunate enough in that my contract with my visa sponsor had a provision for me to live in a 3LDK (three bedrooms, living room, dining room, and kitchen area) fully paid for (including utilities, kerosene, etc.). Needless to say these kind of properties are hard to come by especially if you will be going it solo and I highly recommend looking into a smaller studio-sized apartment (trust me, you won't need that much space anyways).

My only advice would be to try and make a good impression when dealing with a potential landlord as that often goes a long ways. Also, if your Japanese isn't quite up to snuff it might be a good idea to have a Japanese speaking friend accompany you in case you need to hammer out any details. I've heard stories about landlords discriminating against potential tenants although i've never witnessed it firsthand-a smile and a bow or a handshake goes a long way :cool:

Re: Your visa questions I encourage you to check out the following link as they should answer any potential questions you may have about what is required, actual process, fees, etc.


And oh yes, price ranges for living in Tokyo are an entirely different matter as they tend to be astronomically high especially the closer you get to Tokyo proper (think Manhattan) although I can't say for certainty what price ranges you could expect to find in Osaka (great choice btw, beatiful city). Hope this helps, i'll try and find some more concrete info for you but i'm sure some of our other members will know better than I.
Chipi- Iron Chef has it just about right re: paying a lot up front. All of the people I knew who rented apartments in Osaka were in country for a month or so before they found something they could afford. There is a really good English leaflet that makes the rounds...the name unfortunatly escapes me... and has a good deal of apartments for pretty cheap. Of course price depends a lot on location, location, location. I remember the bargain basement monthly rate being at around 500 USD (not including deposit, key money, utilities etc.). Sometimes people would share apartments and things would get really tight!

When my girlfriend was in Osaka she lived in a nice place for about 700USD a month.

The link below to to a site that has lots of foreigners living in Japan who can and will be very happy to answer your questions. Post in the disscussion forum and you will get plenty of current info. BE WARNED, they love to complain so take everything they say with a grain of salt. They are not as nice as folk here either so hurry back!

700USD a month..hmm. Well that's pretty much what I thought it would be, but if I understood right, it pretty much doubles the prize, when i pay some more money to the landlord etc..?

The room size isn't a problem, I'm not that demanding :)
Just as long as the appartement has a shower, wc, some sort of a small kitchen, I'm happy. I'm now living with 2 girls, we share the kitchen and bathroom etc, and my own room is just 13,5 squaremeters. It's enough for me though, I have lived in a room half from this one..and made it just fine ;)

But thank you Iron Chef and Mandylion, I will check up on the things you mentioned and study some more. You guys are unbelievably helpful!
There's a wide variety of places available. Yahoo has 110,000 listings in Osaka alone. If I go to the middle, I get to this page:


So by this method, average rent + mgmt fee is around Y70,000.

Column headings are:
Train Line
Closest Train (or bus) station
Minutes to walk (and ride bus) to station
Rent (x 10,000 yen)
Management Fee (monthly)
Key Money / Security Deposit
Deposit / (Nonrefundable?) Security Deposit
Type of Apartment
Size in square meters
Date unit was built
Building Type
More Details Link

What do you mean by "Visa Electron"?
i assume that would be an electronic travel visa, they are basicly a regular travel visa but you dont have to do all the paperwork and wait for it to all be approved and so on. generally the airlines or travel agents dish them out. they are limited to the countries who have deals with your country for them. for the most part cant be changed over while in country, again depending on the agreement between countries. the one i got for australia was/is valid for one year from the date of issue allowing me to stay up to 3 months. though i could always take a 4 hour plane ride to new zealand stay a night and it would be reset for another 3 month stay, after that id have to actually go back to the states to reset it. though im sure the rules for japan and finland are drasticly different, you get the idea.
Ummm. The Visa Electron card, that I have allready, is just a basic credit card...or actually it's between bank and credit card.
It's quite common at least here in Finland, but the system is quite new, I think, so every shop and so on doesn't accept them (depending on computer systems). I'm under 26, so I luckily don't have to pay for it. It's an international card, and you can raise cash and pay with it in about 130 countries, including Japan... here's a page on it, all though it's in Fnnish, sorry ..at least there's a picture ;)

Tervetuloa Nordeaan - Palvelut henkilöasiakkaille

..maybe I could join in to the visa electron marketing crew
Now what a missunderstanding ^_^
VISA and visa...

I actually would like to know how do you plan to enter a japanese university. I intend to do the same thing, so maybe you could tell about your plans.
Are you already an university student? Do you intend to go there just for a year (exchange year) or for full studies?
What about the JLPT? I heard the Level1 certificate is necessary for most universities to enter.
Hi Kyo 🙂

No, I'm not a university student, but I am studying clothing and fashion in Helsinki Polytechnic. That's sort of an university, but more focused on training in certain professions and actual working life.
I'm not aiming to go to a japanese university necessarily, I know there are colleges that might be suitable. Everything depends pretty much on if the studies match some studies I would have here in Finland.
...and I'm not planning on studying a whole year either :) There are some engineer students from my school that have been in exchange to Japan for 3 months, I was thinking something between 3-6 months. Schools just have to do some correspondance and make an agreement, that's what makes the whole thing possible. The problem is, that my studying field doesn't have any existing contracts to any Japanese school, that's why I should work all that out by myself , and then make a suggestion to my school.
And the language issue. Well, I might just say, that I could be in deep...*bleeeeep* ... if there's the need for a the certification, on exchange programme in a college..I have just learned some basics, and I have time just from 1 to 1,5 years to leave..
..uh.Maby it _is_ a too big of a dream :(
Originally posted by Chipi
..uh.Maby it _is_ a too big of a dream :(
I wanna go to Japan too, for like a few years, kind of like what Iron Chef (the member here, unless he's actually the Iron Chef :p). I don't know if I can pull it off, especially if I'm going to do it by myself and currently don't have good connections with anyone in Japan. :( Maybe a dream (of doing it while I'm young...). But we shouldn't give up! 👏 ;)
No, we shouldn't never give up our dreams :sing:

I'll graduate this year in May from high school and will have my Abitur (German university entrance "ticket").

I plan to go in June 1 year to Japan with working holyday visa (not VISA) 🙂

First of, I need to work a bit on my Japanese, 'cuz all I have is the JLPT2. If I manage to find an university that is satisfied with the lev2, maybe I can start thinking about studies in Japan in reality. Another thing to think of will be, how do I manage to pay those unbelieveably high study-fees? :(
Don't ever give up on your dreams because you never really know when you'll get the chance to see them come to life. For me, being in Japan had a lot to do with being in the right place at the right time along with a healthy dose of luck (all covered in my member intro thread) but I also know for a fact that a lot of it has to do with how badly you want to pursue this to see it through and the subsequent actions you take on your own behalf to make it happen. I commend you all for expressing an interest in Japan and I sincerely hope you every one of you get the chance to experience it firsthand as many of us will attest it's simply a wonderful place and you'll never be the same afterwards. :cool:
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Hi all !

What Iron Chef said about key money and deposit is true, but the proportion varies a lot from one apart to another. In Tokyo, the "reikin" to the landlord is usually between 1 and 3 months rent, but more often 1 or 2 (otherwise it dissuade people from renting). There is a theoretically refundable deposit that also amounts to 1 or 2 months rent. You only get it back if you are lucky, as just a poster pin in a wall is enough for the landlord to keep it.

Fortunately, there are a few other good option for foreigners willing to stay in Japan for a few months or even a few years and who don't want to bother about all this fuss. Have a look on my site. I have explained the difference between guest/gaijin houses, apartments for foreigners, weekly and monthly mansions. I should have listed student apartments and homestays too.

The good point with all of these is that there is no big deposit, key money, "thank you money", or anything. If there is a deposit, it's something like 20.000 yen and you'll usually get it back.

Guest houses are usually restricted to foreigners. There are lots of them in and around Tokyo, a few in Kansai (Osaka, Kyoto) too. Some are very quiet, other are more like party places where you'd stay if you want to meet people. There are also cheaper than normal apartements, but you'll get a smaller room or share it with a someone. In these condition, it is perfectly possible to find a place to stay for 40.000 yen/month in Tokyo (don't know Osaka, but probably the same).

Private apartments for foreigners are bigger and more expensive, but some companies (like Sakura House) do both guest houses and apartments exclusively for foreigners.

The minimum stay is often one month, but some have weekly or even daily rent too.

Japanese people can use weekly and monthly mansions, which are much more numerous, but not always so clean or cosy. Gaijin houses usually have free internet access and even satelite tv, whereas weekly/monthly mansions more often than not don't have them.
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