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Working Holiday in Japan

Kyo

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Hello everybody.
I'm new to this board. よろしくお願いします~

I'm currently 18 years old, and I'm planing to go to Japan with the working holiday visa for at least one year, shortly after I graduate from high school in May 2003.
My two main intentions on this trip are:
1. Improve my japanese skills (by now a bit below JLPT2), I will study for the JLPT1 since I want to enter a japanese university for that a JLPT1-certificate is neccessary.
2. Have some fun. 🙂:

Preferably I'd like to stay some time in Yokohama, for I really love that city.
Since the thing with the organization is not that easy I might need some suggestions, please. I hope a few people that either were or currently are working holiday makers can post their opinions here. I'd greatly appreciate it. Of course any other help is welcome, too.

Example: accomodation
I'd like to have a small but private apato. Nothing like dormatory or any other share accomodation. How do I get one?
Do I have do find one a soon as I am still in my country (Germany), or when I will be in Japan?

Thanks!
 

Maciamo

Twirling dragon
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Normally, if you want to rent an appartment, you'll need to show your gaikokujin tourokusho ("alien" registration card). Even if you get your visa before coming, you'll need to apply for this card at the kuyakusho or shiyakusho of the ward or city you intend to stay in. Afterwards, it is usually necessary to have a warrant and pay up to 5 months rent in advance (deposit, "gift to the owner" + actual rent). Remember that credit cards are not common in Japan and some real estate companies will ask you to pay cash, even 1 million yen (some people buy their house in cash !).

Whatever you do, you'll need to stay either in a "gaijin house", youth hostel or weekly mansion until you can find an apartement. The good thing with these 3 kind of accommodation is that you don't have to care about bills (water, gas, electricity...), don't need to pay a deposit you won't get back, nor to have anything else than your passport (even with a tourist visa).

You'll find a few weekly mansion and gaijin house sites on my site about Japan. You can also stay a full year in this kind of accommodation. They are a bit more expensive compared what you'd get for this price in a normal "mansion". But check what is really cheaper in your case as a normal apartment will cost you a few months rent you won't get back (so it's ok for the long term, but maybe not for just a year).
 

Kyo

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Thank you for your reply & happy new year to everyone.

I read the same thing about the 5 months rents in advance. Does that mean I have to pay for 5 months but can actuall only stay one or two?
I saw that gaijin houses also provide private apartments. Are there any major differences between those gaijin house apartments and real private apatos beside the financial thing?

Anyway, I plan to do a homestay in the first month, since I made great experiences last (2002) year. The host family might be able to help me finding a suitable accomodation.
 

Maciamo

Twirling dragon
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I read the same thing about the 5 months rents in advance. Does that mean I have to pay for 5 months but can actuall only stay one or two?
When you sign the contract, you have to leave something like a 2 month deposit and 1 month gift money + your first 2 months of rent. Rules vary from a place to another, but usually, that means that you won't get back the equivalent of 3 month (few people get their deposit back). So it's like a registration fee. After, you pay month by month, normally.

Are there any major differences between those gaijin house apartments and real private apatos beside the financial thing?
I have't tried them, but they are usually reserved to non-Japanese (some won't let you rent it with your Japanese girlfriend) and they are normally more expensive on a monthly basis (but you have no deposit nor gift money, so on the short term it's about the same).

Homestay is surely is very good alternative. ;)

Good luck !🙂
 

Kyo

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Thank you.

Homestay really is a good thing. Until I have my private apato and everything organized that is probably the best solution.

Just for information, are there any sites on the web about gaijin houses in Yokohama? Have only found some about gaijin houses in Tokyo.
 
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