The very first few weeks in Tokyo can be a little bit difficult for newcomers, particularly those who are here for the very first time. The barrier of language, the new environment, the change in the daily rhythm of life, the change in eating habits, the administrative issues, etc… On the other hand, there is no need for you to feel overwhelmed because there is no reason that you have to deal with those changes all by yourself.
What is a guest house?
People from all over the world who want to visit Japan but don’t want to deal with the hassle of furnishing an apartment or paying exorbitant rent can find low-cost lodging in the form of a guest house, which is also sometimes referred to as a share house. You have the option to be a guestfor a month or longer, and some accommodations even provide weekly contracts.As a result of the upfront costs typically being much more reasonable, becoming a guest in a share house is also becoming an increasingly popular option among younger people in Japan. Although the majority of Japan’s guest houses are located in the capital city of Tokyo, one can also find them in a number of the country’s other major cities. Some of these homes are managed by the owners on their own, while others are owned by real estate companies that manage a number of properties scattered throughout the city.
There is a diverse selection of guest houses available, each of which caters to a specific guest demographic or demographics, such as women-only guest buildings, residences reserved solely for international students, or those offering special rates for students. Additionally, some share houses allow for the presence of certain pets, while others have parking lots, and the vast majority do not permit a guest to smoke. There is a diverse selection of guest houses that feature either Japanese or western-style rooms; some of them are designed in the style of dormitories, in which multiple guest share a room that is already outfitted with a bed, an air conditioner, a desk, a chair, and either a cabinet or a drawer in which to store your clothes and other belongings.
Staying at a Guest House Saves Money
Chukai Tesuryo, (Agency processing fees):
If you found a property through a real estate agency, you’ll have to pay the agent service fee, which is generally equivalent to one month’s rent. This type of fee is often paid by the landlord in the United States, however it is paid by the tenant in Japan.
The amount of this fee is determined by the quantity of work done for you by the realtor. If you don’t know Japanese, have never leased in Japan before, and have no idea where to begin, this agency charge may be well worth it.
Shikikin (Security deposit):
A security deposit, similar to what we call in Australia, is generally equivalent to one or two months rent. Depending on how clean you maintained the flat and how finicky your landlord is, you should get the majority of this back when you move out. Some landlords have been known to keep substantial sums of the deposit only to “fix” a mark on the floor.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you will most likely not receive your security deposit returned right away. In Japan, the landlord typically has a maximum of 60 days until they must return your deposit.
Reikin, (Service fees to the landlord):
This is a bribe for the landlord. A relic from Japan’s days when properties were scarce. Because Japanese consumers are not the kind to complain, this antiquated practice continues.
Expect to give the noble landlord one to two months’ rent as “thanks money” for enabling you to lease his unit.
Koshinryo (Contract renewal fee):
This is just another antiquated fee that still exists. This cost, which is normally equal to one month’s rent, is another “gift” to be given to the owner at the conclusion of your contract in exchange for the right to renew your contract. Do you consider yourself fortunate?(Contract renewal fee)
Tetsukekin (Reservation Fees):
Finally, you must pay the tetsukekin to secure your reservation. The money would be repaid once you signed the lease and moved in. This equates to one month’s rent.
As you will see, it is practically impossible for university students to get housing without the assistance of their parents. Renting an apartment is not inexpensive, and you must pay around six months’ rent in advance to lease a tiny studio (one-room) flat in Tokyo.(Contract renewal fee)
Guest houses are available in a variety of types and pricing ranges, ranging from individual rooms to dorm-style living, and because you can hire this location on a weekly basis, it is very practical. Although the Japanese rental market is famously hostile to foreigners, many guest homes invite foreign residents to contribute to the creation of an international living atmosphere.
Another benefit of staying in a guest house is also that you do not have to pay all of the fees that you would if you were renting an apartment. This alone has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars. Many will also provide basic furnishings, eliminating the need to purchase furniture.
The advantages of living in a Share House
The restroom, laundry area, shower room, and kitchen that is completely stocked with appliances are all easily accessible. The only thing left to do after placing the pan on the stove is to use it.
Initial payments for a guest house are more manageable financially and alleviate stress. This is because the value of space in Japan is gradually rising.
Often web or internet services are included within the room rental fee
Intercultural communication with other housemates, the guest house is ideal for you if you are a very sociable person because of the other people you will be living with there.
The negatives of living in a Share House
There is a decrease in the level of privacy available; however, you will still have some privacy within your own room.
If you have a lot of personal belongings but only a limited amount of space, you might find it difficult to decide where to put them all.
What makes a guest house different from an apartment?
Both apartments and guest houses, in their most fundamental sense, serve the same purpose, which is to provide visitors with a place to sleep. In comparison to houses, apartments typically offer more living space as well as increased levels of privacy. It comes with a fully-equipped kitchen, a refrigerator, in-unit laundry, a private bathroom, and in some cases show a television as well. You are free to complete tasks at your own speed and in your own time.
You don’t need to worry about whether or not someone else is making use of the things you want to use. You will simply be required to make use of it whenever you see fit. Keep in mind, however, that with great power comes great responsibility. The more freedom you have to act however you please, the greater the responsibility you have to foot a larger bill. Yes, you got it! The price difference between apartments and guest houses is the most notable distinction between the two types of lodging, and it is one that the vast majority of people take into consideration when selecting a place to stay.
A foreigner may find that living in a guest house is preferable to staying in a hotel room or renting an apartment because it offers a more homey atmosphere. All of the guests are welcome to congregate in the common area, where they will not only have the chance to get to know one another and form new relationships but will also be able to actively participate in the exchange of information regarding the best places to get an Instagram-worthy photo and the most interesting tourist attractions.
This will also be helpful in experiencing Japanese everyday life, as well as Japanese culture, food, and interaction with locals. Because this is a guest house, showing respect for the other people living here is obviously required. This includes respect for their personal space, privacy, and belongings. If you treat other people the way that you would like to be treated, then everything will go off without a hitch.
Now that we are familiar with what a guest house is, let’s get to the most anticipated part: How much money will you actually be able to save?
The monthly rent for a guest houses is typically somewhere between 40,000 and 60,000 yen per person, although this can vary depending on the room, the company, and the location. That amounts to only $360 to $540 U.S. dollars per month. The cost of utilities may or may not be included, depending on the company; however, since there is typically a set amount to pay each month for bills, you do not need to worry about being surprised by the total amount.
Additionally, the vast majority of them come furnished with a cost-free internet connection; all you have to do is plug in your computer and you’re good to go. You are free to browse the internet, but if you do not have your own computer, there is a good chance that the establishment offers a shared computer area where you can conduct research, as well as print documents and scan documents.
To provide you with an example. It’s possible that the initiative fees for apartments are equal to three months’ worth of rent. Although the majority of guest houses require only a down payment for the first month’s rent, there are a few exceptions. No key money, no insurance fee, or no agent fee (which is awesome! ), and you can start packing your things, bidding farewell to your old place, moving in the next morning, and beginning a new life the very same day. Is it that simple? Lacking cash? No worries!
Additionally, credit cards can be used! You might find that the room you wanted is already taken, but you shouldn’t worry about it because you have the option to move into another room that is empty while you wait for the desired room to become available again. After that, you are free to switch to the one that better suits your needs without incurring any additional fees.
Are you pumped up right now? With all of this information at your disposal, I have no doubt that you have already begun considering potential locations in Japan where you might find a guest house. for whatever it is that motivates you. Whether it be because of a disagreement in the family, a broken heart, the need to do some introspective thinking, the pursuit of someone, the pursuit of one’s dreams, travel, or even just a change of scenery. You will one day arrive at the destination that brings you the most joy. According to the proverb, sometimes in our lives we need to have everything completely uprooted, changed, and reorganized in order for us to be moved to the location where we are supposed to be.
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