Finding Cheap Apartments in Tokyo

By Skye, Lauren, and Zerah | Updated on February 17, 2021

This article on cheap apartments in Tokyo is part of the official BFFTokyo series on apartments in Tokyo.

Cheap Apartments in Tokyo

Looking to live in Tokyo and need a place that fits your budget? Sometimes living in a new country with a language and culture that you are unfamiliar with can be intimidating. I would like to offer my sincerest congratulations on this big step in your life that will no doubt prove to be quite a memorable experience in your lifetime.

 

This guide will be a one-stop resource to put you in the right direction for learning all about renting a cheap apartment in the capital city of Tokyo.  It will provide you with examples of accommodations in Tokyo with different price ranges and give you general info about the Japanese housing market. You can rest easy knowing the upfront costs of signing a housing contract and what you can reasonably expect, making the experience nice and simple.

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    Types of Apartments

    What types of apartments are there? 

    Depending on your price range, the cheapest option will be a sharehouse, mid-range would be an average apartment, and mid-high range would be a furnished apartment.

    This article will primarily focus on the cheap, average apartments.

    However, there are a lot of other factors that tie into why a place is priced higher than others, such as location, amenities, and benefits. The place that suitably meets your needs as a Tokyo resident is the one that is for you.

    Outer City VS Inner City Cheap Apartments in Tokyo

    What do I need to know?

    The monthly rent for an apartment in Tokyo fluctuates based on whether or not you are renting an apartment in the inner city or the outer city of Tokyo. Both locations have their own average rent per month and the ¥98,191 figure is actually the average of those two amounts.

     

    So, what is the average monthly rent in the inner city of Tokyo? Is it a lot more expensive for you to live in the inner city than the outer city of the capital of Japan? ¥123,578 is an estimate of how much money you will be spending when you become a resident of the Tokyo inner city. An estimate of how much you will spend as a resident of the Tokyo outer city is ¥72,805 a month which is about $700 a month.

     

    The definite price of your new home in a new city is also determined based on which direction your apartment is facing, the age of the building, the floor level of your apartment, and the amenities available in it. You can save even more by renting one of the cheap apartments in Tokyo in the outer city.

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    What are Cheap Apartments in Tokyo?

    (¥40,000 or $400 a Month)

    Price

    Cheap apartment types in Tokyo are apartments with a below than average rent for the Tokyo housing market. The rent is able to fall as low as ¥40,000 a month or $400 USD. This is relatively cheap in comparison to rent in New York City which is about $3,228 in USD per month.

    You are able to save money from the upfront costs of signing a housing contract because not all of the costs are a fixed amount. Many of the upfront cost amounts are decided based on your monthly rent for the Japanese apartment.

    Fees

    The real estate agent fee is one of the costs you pay when signing a housing contract that is not a fixed sum but is worth one month's rent on average. If you rent one of the cheap apartments in Tokyo instead of the average apartment, that means ¥50,000 or $500 is what you are spending on the fee for the agency.

    Size

    The average apartment size for one of the cheap apartments in Tokyo is about thirteen to twenty-five square meters. Average apartments in Japan for people who live alone are about twenty-five to thirty-eight square meters in size. You have twelve to thirteen square meters less to clean by renting a cheap type of apartment! That is why I would, personally, choose an apartment that is a cheap type in Tokyo.

    Remarks

    A cheap apartment in Tokyo may be the right choice for you because it meets your budget for paying rent and paying the upfront costs to sign a housing contract. It may also be the right choice for you because it gives you an opportunity to save money, allowing you to re-allocate the money into a different budget.

    Now, why would it not be the right apartment for you? It, quite simply, maybe too small. The thirteen to twenty-five square meter size is a possible curse just as much as it is a possible blessing for an apartment tenant in Japan's capital.

    Here are some sites that offer cheap apartments

    Other Types of Apartments in Tokyo

    Furnished Apartments in Tokyo

    (¥140,000 or $1,400 a Month)

    Furnished apartments are places in Japan where your apartment is furnished with furniture and a minimum amount of amenities before your arrival. All of the work is done by someone else and you only need to relax, as you arrive with your apartment pretty much finished. It sounds good, right?

    This type of apartment is also ideal for you if you have no working knowledge of Japanese. To get furniture into your apartment you may have to contact a moving company who most likely speaks only Japanese. Having your apartment already finished saves you the stress and painstaking time it takes to get pieces of furniture into your new apartment.

    Price

    Now, how much will the convenience cost you while in Japan?

    A furnished apartment in Tokyo cost has an average rent of ¥140,000 a month or $1,400 USD.

    Here are some websites that offer furnished apartments

    Sharehouses in Tokyo

    (¥30,000 to ¥95,000)

    A sharehouse room may be the type of accommodations in Tokyo, conversely, that is most suitable for meeting your needs as a resident of Japan.

    You are given a room that most likely has another person sharing it, unless you pay extra money for a private room. The room does have not more than a desk and a bed for you unless you pay extra for more amenities like a kitchenette and bathroom inside the sharehouse. You may find all facilities (toilet, shower, kitchen, living room) and more in the sharehouse building. Everyone else who rented a room possesses access to those same facilities as well.

    Price

    The lowest average price for renting a sharehouse room is ¥30,000 yen or $300 USD.

    A sharehouse room that costs an estimate of about $950 will most likely be a private room and may have extra amenities, like a kitchen, maybe a bathroom.

    The savings are only slighter lower than that of a cheap type of apartment in Tokyo because there are fewer upfront costs when you are signing a housing contract for a sharehouse room than when you are signing the contract for an apartment. You can think of sharehouses like dorms, as they offer a dorm-like lifestyle.

     

    Here are some websites that offer rooms in sharehouses

    Benefits to Cheap Apartments in Tokyo

    What do I get out of getting a cheap apartment in Tokyo? 

    You may have found that a cheap apartment in Tokyo sounds like the most suitable apartment type in Tokyo for meeting your needs as a resident of Japan.

    A small-sized apartment with a lower than average monthly rent may be more of a perfect fit for you as your new home than an apartment that comes with furnishings, an apartment that will offer a dormitory lifestyle or even an average apartment in Japan.

    It is a big decision to decide on an apartment. Here is a bit of information that may help you make sure you are looking in the right direction for the accommodations in Tokyo that will allow you to spend your time living inside an apartment perfect for you, a place that meets all your needs as a Japanese resident. To begin with, you are able to significantly benefit from the lower than average rent of a cheap apartment in an assortment of ways.

    Benefit 1: Have more discretionary money

    One of those ways is that you may be able to add more money into your discretionary budget when budgeting your income. This means more money for you to spend on other necessities like food, entertainment, or housing supplies rather than on rent.

    Benefit 2: Live comfortably

    A second one is that you may be able to comfortably afford the rent for the apartment, as opposed to straining your funds when budgeting for the monthly rent. Doing so will save you lots of money that you can use towards a more comfortable apartment. 

    Also depending on your occupation or preferences, sometimes an apartment is just a space meant for sleeping for you. If that is the case, this is definitely the option for you, especially when you're too busy and are constantly out.

    Benefit 3: Save money from upfront costs

    Upfront costs for signing a housing contract are even lower when you are signing a housing contract for a cheap type apartment than for other types. Enjoy the extra jingle of change in your pocket, because is a lot of money you can save with cheap places in Tokyo; you are able to even save money from the upfront costs of signing a housing contract as some costs are negotiable.

    You will find that many of the upfront cost amounts are decided based on your monthly rent for the Japanese apartment. The real estate agent fee is one of the costs you pay when signing a housing contract that is not a fixed sum but is worth one month's rent on average.

    If you rent one of the cheap apartments in Tokyo instead of the average apartment, that means ¥50,000 or $500 is what you are spending on the fee for the agency. Apts.jp is one of many companies that will only charge you a single month's rent when you hire their realty company's service.

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    Apartments in Tokyo

    Examples of Cheap Apartments in Tokyo

    What can I expect? 

    All of the examples of cheap apartments in Tokyo were found through UR Chintai. The website is English friendly and definitely is a one-stop website for finding apartments in Tokyo that are within your price range or desired location. Play around with the filters to find the perfect apartment for you.

    The website is especially useful in informing you of the fees associated with a specific property. If you go to the 'comment' section you will see which fees are omitted and which are required in your rental. Keep reading for further explanation on these fees and how to avoid them with a cheap apartment-style accommodation.

    ¥30,000 Apartments

    Example 1

    • Price: ¥39,300
    • Type: Shared UR Apartment
    • Location: Kanagawa-ken, Atsugi-shi, Tobio
    • Size: 24~26 sq meters
    • Distance From Tokyo: 2 hours one way and around 1000-1500 yen to Tokyo Station
      • 6 min bus ride to Odakyu Odawara Line
      • 90 min train ride to Shinjuku Station
    • Other Benefits: No Guarantor, Key Money, Commission Fee, or Renewal Fee

    Example 2

    • Price: ¥37,800
    • Type: Shared UR Apartment
    • Location: Kanagawa-ken, Hadano-shi, Shimoozuki 410
    • Size: 25~26 sq meters
    • Distance From Tokyo: 1.7 hours one way and around 1000-1500 yen to Tokyo Station
      • 12 min bus ride to JR Sobu Line
      • 70 min train ride to Shinjuku Station
    • Other Benefits: No Guarantor, Key Money, Commission Fee, or Renewal Fee

    Example 3

    • Price: ¥36,800
    • Type: Shared Apartment - 1DK
    • Location: Tokyo-to, Adachi-ku, Hanahata 5
    • Size: 27 sq meters
    • Distance From Tokyo: 45 min one way for 650 yen to Tokyo Station
      • 10 min walk to Keiseichiba Line
      • 35 min train ride to Shinjuku Station
    • Other Benefits: No Guarantor, Key Money, Commission Fee, or Renewal Fee

    Example 4

    • Price: ¥29,600
    • Type: Shared UR Apartment - 1DK
    • Location: Chiba-ken, Chiba-shi, Inage-ku, Chigusadai 2
    • Size: 27 sq meters
    • Distance From Tokyo: 40 min one way for 630 yen to Tokyo Station
      • 10 min walk to Tokyo Metro Tozai Line
      • 30 min train ride to Shinjuku Station
    • Other Benefits: No Guarantor, Key Money, Commission Fee, or Renewal Fee

    ¥40,000 Apartments

    Example 1

    • Price: ¥47,400
    • Type: Shared Apartment - 1DK
    • Location: Chiba-ken, Chiba-shi, Chuo-ku, Benten 2-23-1
    • Size: 29 sq meters
    • Distance From Tokyo: 45 min train ride and around 650 yen to Tokyo Station
      • 6 min bus ride to Odakyu Odawara Line
      • 1 min walk to Chiba Monorail station
    • Other Benefits: No Guarantor, Key Money, Commission Fee, or Renewal Fee

    Example 2

    • Price: ¥42,700
    • Type: Shared Apartment - 2DK
    • Location: Chiba-ken, Chiba-shi, Mihama-ku, Saiwai-cho 2
    • Size: 40~45 sq meters
    • Distance From Tokyo: 70 min train ride and around 700 yen to Tokyo Station
      • 10 min walk to Keiseichiba Line 「Midori-dai」station
      • 30 min walk to JR Keiyo Line 「Chiba Minato」station
    • Other Benefits: No Guarantor, Key Money, Commission Fee, or Renewal Fee, Internet

    Example 3

    • Price: ¥43,900
    • Type: Shared Apartment - 1DK
    • Location: Chiba
    • Size: 28 sq meters
    • Distance From Tokyo: 70 min train ride and around 700 yen to Tokyo Station
      • 3 min walk to JR Keiyo Line 「Inagekaigan」station
      • 10 min by bus to JR Sobu Line 「Inage」station
    • Other Benefits: No Guarantor, Key Money, Commission Fee, or Renewal Fee, Internet

    Example 4

    • Price: ¥44,400
    • Type: Shared Apartment - 1LDK
    • Location: Chiba-ken, Narashino-shi, Sodegaura 2
    • Size: 42~45 sq meters
    • Distance From Tokyo: 70 min train ride and around 700 yen to Tokyo Station
      • 5 min by bus to Keisei Hon Line 「Keisei Tsudanuma」station
      • 8 min by bus to JR Sobu Line 「Tsudanuma」station
    • Other Benefits: No Guarantor, Key Money, Commission Fee, or Renewal Fee

    ¥50,000 Apartments

    Example 1

    • Price: ¥58,500
    • Type: Private Apartment - 1DK
    • Location: Tokyo-to, Adachi-ku, Senjusakuragi 2-17
    • Size: 35 sq meters
    • Distance to Major Stations:
      • 15 min by bus to 「Kitasenju」 station
      • 36 min by train from Kitasenju station to Shibuya station
      • 31 min by train from Kitasenju station to Shinjuku Station
    • Other Benefits: No Guarantor, Key Money, Commission Fee, or Renewal Fee

    Example 2

    • Price: ¥58,600
    • Type: Private Apartment - 1DK
    • Location: Tokyo-to, Itabashi-ku, Narimasu 2-9-5
    • Size: 31~32 sq meters
    • Distance to Major Stations:
      • 5 min walk to「Narimasu」 station
      • 31 min train ride from Narimasu station to Shibuya Station
      • 27 min train ride from Narimasu station to Shinjuku Station
    • Other Benefits: No Guarantor, Key Money, Commission Fee, or Renewal Fee, Internet

    Example 3

    • Price: ¥56,400
    • Type: Private Apartment - 1DK
    • Location: Tokyo-to, Katsushika-ku, Higashikanamachi 1-36
    • Size: 30 sq meters
    • Distance to Major Stations:
      • 1 min walk to「Kanamachi」 station 1
      • 45 min train ride from Kanamachi station to Shibuya Station
      • 40 min train ride from Kanamachi station to Shinjuku Station
    • Other Benefits: No Guarantor, Key Money, Commission Fee, or Renewal Fee, Internet

    Example 4

    • Price: ¥58,800
    • Type: Private Apartment - 1DK
    • Location: Tokyo-to, Koto-ku, Kitasuna 7-7-1
    • Size: 31~39 sq meters
    • Distance to Major Stations:
      • 15 min walk「Minamisunamachi」 station
      • 36 min train ride from Minasunamachi station to Shibuya Station
      • 30 min train ride from Minasunamachi station to Shinjuku Station
    • Other Benefits: No Guarantor, Key Money, Commission Fee, or Renewal Fee

    ¥60,000 Apartments

    Example 1

    • Price: ¥67,700
    • Type: Private Apartment - 1LDK
    • Location: Tokyo-to, Adachi-ku, Kurihara 2-5
    • Size: 39~40 sq meters
    • Distance to Major Stations:
      • 10 min walk to「Nishiarai」 station
      • 52 min train ride from Nishiarai station to Shibuya station
      • 48 min train ride from Nishiarai station to Shinjuku station
    • Other Benefits: No Guarantor, Key Money, Commission Fee, or Renewal Fee

    Example 2

    • Price: ¥64,000
    • Type: Private Apartment - 1LDK
    • Location: Tokyo-to, Adachi-ku, Kohoku 6-30
    • Size: 41 sq meters
    • Distance to Major Stations:
      • 1 min walk to「Nishiaraidaishinishi」 station
      • 52 min train ride from Nishiarai station to Shibuya station
      • 48 min train ride from Nishiarai station to Shinjuku station
    • Other Benefits: No Guarantor, Key Money, Commission Fee, or Renewal Fee, Internet

    Example 3

    • Price: ¥68,600
    • Type: Private Apartment - 1DK
    • Location: Tokyo-to, Arakawa-ku, Minamisenju 7-31-3
    • Size: 32~35 sq meters
    • Distance to Major Stations:
      • 6 min walk to 「Minamisenju」 station
      • 37 min train ride from Minamisenju station to Shibuya station
      • 32 min train ride from Minamisenju station to Shinjuku station
    • Other Benefits: No Guarantor, Key Money, Commission Fee, or Renewal Fee, Internet

    Example 4

    • Price: ¥64,000
    • Type: Private Apartment - 1DK
    • Location: Tokyo-to, Edogawa-ku, Seishincho 1-3
    • Size: 31~32 sq meters
    • Distance to Major Stations:
      • 10 min walk to「Nishikasai」 station
      • 39 min train ride from Nishikasai station to Shibuya station
      • 34 min train ride from Nishikasai station to Shinjuku station
    • Other Benefits: No Guarantor, Key Money, Commission Fee, or Renewal Fee

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    Fees Associated with Cheap Apartments in Tokyo

    What else do I have to pay when getting one of the cheap apartments in Tokyo? 

    So, what are these payments made when you are signing the housing contract for a Japanese apartment that I keep writing about? What else will you have to pay besides the agency fee?

    You will be required to purchase fire insurance for the apartment, for one, and will also be required to pay for new locks to the apartment. You may find a landlord that requires you to gift them key money and you will definitely need to go providing a security deposit to the landlord. You may also find yourself in need of services offered by local guarantor companies.

    Fire Insurance

    (¥20,000 to ¥40,000 Yen)

    A person cannot go about avoiding purchasing fire insurance when signing a housing contract. A few of the payments you are able to reasonably expect to be charged when signing the housing contract for your new home in Tokyo may be avoidable, but the fire insurance is absolute.

    Price

    It will cost you about an estimate of ¥20,000 to ¥40,000 every two years which is about $200-$400 USD.

    Why Do We Need It? 

    So, why is fire insurance worth spending that amount of money? Why is it required? It does only cover incidences wherein a fire accident occurs in or around your apartment. You can opt for your fire insurance to cover any damages that are incurred from an earthquake, for example; I would recommend opting for insurance that covers earthquakes as well if you are going to become a Japanese resident.

    You may not know, but Japan invests a large amount of resources into preparing for any possible future earthquakes because Japan is situated on an intersection of four different tectonic plates, so there is a real risk that you may actually need the insurance.

    You are absolutely able to purchase other types of insurance as well. There is even one insurance type that will cover accidents that occur in the household of your Tokyo apartment, like, for example, a washing machine overflowing and ruining all your carpeting inside your apartment.

    What Does It Cover? 

    So, you will find that the standard fire insurance will cover three different categories of insurance. You may reasonably expect the insurance to cover the home contents to ensure that your belongings are safe, to cover accidents in the household of your apartment like that overflowing washing machine, as well as to cover personal liability.

    What do I mean when I write personal liability? If the water overflowing from the washing machine actually seeped through the floor and dripped into the apartment below, then your insurance will have you covered.

    Security Deposit

    (¥45,000 to ¥50,000 Yen)

    For the security deposit, you will only have to make the payment once and that is when you are officially signing the housing contract.

    Price

    You will have to make a payment that is between about ¥45,000 to ¥50,000 yen to your landlord which is about $450-$500 USD.

    Is it Required?

    It is also not a payment that is always required when you are renting an accommodation in Tokyo because some landlords for the cheap apartments in Tokyo do not charge for the security deposit, making it one of many benefits offered by cheap places.

    You will find that not all cheap type apartments do not charge a security deposit, though.

    Average Apartment Security Deposits

    The average apartment in Tokyo has a much higher security deposit than the security deposit for one of the cheap apartments in Tokyo. Remember when I wrote that the standard measurement for all the payments is the monthly rent for the apartment selected as your future accommodations?

    A resident of Japan living in the average Tokyo apartment would need to pay about ¥98,191 or $930, minimum, for the security deposit because the standard amount for the security deposit is about one month's rent for your new place. 

    Remarks

    A person signing the housing contract for one of the cheap apartments in Tokyo would not need to pay as much! Renting one of the apartments in Tokyo is a good way to save.

    Agency Fee

    (¥45,000 to ¥50,000 Yen)

    Agency fees are like that security deposit for your new apartment in Tokyo, in that the agency fee is not always a payment you are required to make when finding your own apartment in Tokyo and signing the housing contract for the accommodation, for a simple reason.

    You see, the agency fee is not a payment you are making to your landlord. It is a payment you are making to whatever service or agency you used to locate the apartment in Tokyo, the one meets all of your requirements as a future resident living in Japan's capital city of Tokyo, and this is their fee.

    Price

    A person who picks one of the cheap apartments in Tokyo will ultimately have to make a payment of about ¥45,000 to ¥50,000 for the agency fee charged by the agency which is about $450-$500 USD.

    The agency fee is just one of the many ways you can save money by choosing to rent a cheap apartment in Tokyo; it actually has a proportional relationship to rent. The higher the monthly rent, the higher the agency fee for the place.

    How To Avoid Paying For It

    You could avoid the agency fee entirely if you decide to find an apartment by yourself where you will be able to comfortably reside during your time as a resident of Tokyo, although I would not recommend that course of action.

    One of the services that a real estate agency will provide is calling up landlords to make sure they are accepting foreigners, for example, and help you with the language barrier. BFFTokyo has an informative guide on real estate agencies in Tokyo where you can learn more information on the topic.

    Lock Exchange Fee

    (¥9,800 to ¥12,000 Yen)

    So a lock exchange fee, on the other hand, is like the fire insurance payment in that you are definitely going to pay a lock exchange fee. It is a guaranteed payment that you will have to make when moving into a Tokyo apartment and a lock exchange fee is not measured based on the monthly rent of your new accommodations.

    Price

    You will make an estimated payment of about ¥9,800 to ¥12,000 regardless of whether the apartment is a cheap apartment in Tokyo which is about $98-$120. So, you are not saving anything on the lock exchange fee by signing the contract for a cheap place in Tokyo.

    Why Do I Need This?

    Well, it is standard for the apartment landlord to change out the apartment locks whenever a new resident signs a housing contract for renting the accommodation. Replacing the locks is a safety measure. The amount of money is worth it because your personal safety is vital.

    Guarantor Fee

    (¥25,000 Yen)

    You will have to pay a guarantor fee if you employ the services of a guarantor company when renting an apartment in Tokyo.

    What is a Guarantor Company?

    It is a Japanese company offering to sign as the guarantor when you are signing the housing contract for your new Japanese home. The concept of a guarantor may not exist in your country, but in Japan, it is the person or organization the landlord is able to contact to pay the monthly rent for the apartment if you fail to pay the rent. The guarantor companies serve to fill that position.

    So, a friend or relative is the typical person who signs as the guarantor when you are signing the contract for new accommodations in Japan. As the guarantor is required to be a resident of Japan too, you may find yourself in need of the services offered by the Japanese guarantor companies unless you happen to have friends or relatives who are currently living on Japanese soil.

    Price

    A guarantee is not a one-time payment. You can reasonably expect to pay an estimated amount of ¥25,000 yen plus a fee that you will pay for every year that you spend living inside the apartment you chose for your residency in Tokyo which is about $250 USD.

    The annual fee itself will change depending on what company you hire in Japan to sign as your guarantor during the process of completing the housing contract.

    Key Money

    (¥45,000 to ¥50,000 Yen)

    Key money is a payment that is not always required when renting cheap apartments in Tokyo. In the case that you are asked to make a key money payment, then it is one of the payments that are measured on the monthly rent for the apartment that you have chosen to rent.

    Price

    You can reasonably expect to pay about ¥45,000 to ¥50,000 to the landlord as a gift for accepting your application as a potential tenant of the apartment which is about $450-$500 USD.

    A fee for key money is a non-refundable charge that you are paying the landlord and is a traditional gift to the landlord of the apartment for accepting your application as one potential tenant.

    Origin

    It is actually a tradition leftover from World War II, during a period of time when the housing market in Japan was experiencing a shortage. The tradition has survived to this day and is still a common payment that a landlord may ask you to pay when signing the contract for your apartment. 

    Cleaning Fee

    (¥0 to ¥50,000 Yen)

    A cleaning fee is not a payment you have to make when signing the housing contract before moving into your new cheap apartment in Tokyo.

    It is actually a sum of money subtracted from your security deposit at the end of your stay in the Tokyo apartment, providing the landlord the money to clean up the apartment. You are given all of the remaining money in the security deposit by the landlord.

    An exact number for the amount of money is dependent on the state of your apartment when you decide to move out, so a clean, maintained apartment will be a ¥0 fee.

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    Calculator

    Total Initial Costs for Cheap Apartments in Tokyo

    (¥239,800 to ¥277,000 Yen)

       Rent (¥50,000 Yen)

    + Insurance (¥20,000 to ¥40,000 Yen)

    + Deposit (¥45,000 to ¥50,000 Yen)

    + Agency Fee (¥45,000 to ¥50,000 Yen)

    + Lock Exchange Fee (¥9,800 to ¥12,000 Yen)

    + Guarantor Fee (¥25,000 Yen)

    + Key Money (¥45,000 to ¥50,000 Yen)

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    ¥239,800 to ¥277,000

     

    You will find that it is possible to find the average total cost when moving into one of the cheap apartments in Tokyo, by adding all of the average amounts for the payments that are standard when signing a housing contract.

    In total, you can reasonably expect to find yourself paying an estimated amount of ¥239,800 to ¥277,000 yen during the process of acquiring accommodations for your time staying in Japan as a resident which is $2,398 to $2,770 USD.

    Are Cheap Apartments in Tokyo a Bargain?

    So, how much are you saving in move-in costs by renting one of the cheap apartments in Tokyo? How does the $2,398 to $2,770 price compare to moving into an apartment in Tokyo with average rent for the Tokyo housing market?

    Well, a few payments are measured based on the monthly rent for the apartment you have chosen to rent. The monthly payments for rent in Tokyo are about ¥98,191 on average. If you used the same equation to calculate the move-in costs for the average apartment in Tokyo with those figures you can easily come to an answer.

    A housing contract and moving into an apartment would normally cost at least ¥490,955 which is about $4,695 dollars. You are saving about the following amount by renting cheap: ¥2,297 to ¥1,925 yen which is about $2,297 to $1,925.

    You will not be able to save money on the guarantor cost or the fire insurance because your payment for those costs does not change by renting a cheap apartment. The cost of both is not dependent on your monthly rent.

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    Important Details to Know About Cheap Apartments in Tokyo

    What do I need to know when getting one of the cheap apartments in Tokyo?

    Size of Cheap Apartments in Tokyo

    (13 to 25 Square Meters)

    Average apartments in Japan for people who live alone are about twenty-five to thirty-eight square meters in size. You will have twelve to thirteen square meters less to clean by renting a cheap type of apartment! That is why I would choose an apartment that was a cheap type in Tokyo, personally. You may find that all of the convenience that comes with an easily cleanable apartment is what suitably meets what needs you have as a future resident of the capital.

    A thirteen to twenty-five square meter apartment may also not fit your needs as a resident of Tokyo for a number of reasons. You may be the kind of person with a lot of friends and want an apartment where you can invite those friends to play board games or have a sleepover with pillow fights. In that case, the cheap apartment type is not for you.

    The cheap type of apartment is also not for you if you own a lot of belongings and need places to put those belongings. I know, personally, that I need a big closet because I happen to own a lot of clothing.

    You may, then again, be perfectly fine living a cheap Tokyo apartment because you spend the majority of your time outside your accommodations. The jobs in Japan are known to have long hours expected of the employees, so the time you spend inside your apartment may be short.

    The free time you have maybe spent indulging quite understandably in the many entertainment facilities available in Tokyo that make it world-renowned like the Samurai Armor photo studio. If that sounds like you, it actually may be the right type of apartment for you in Japan.

    Tatami Measurement

    (1.65 in Square Meters)

    So, you should be aware that if you rent an apartment in the Tokyo housing market the sizing of the apartment may be measured in terms of tatami mats. A listing for a place you are looking at may show you a slide of pictures, a reasonable price, and list all a tenant may expect from it.

    But the size? You may find it, sure, but it will be written in terms of jo. Jo is the unit measurement used by Japan when measuring sizes by a tatami mat. Here is how you may interpret jo if you come across it during your time looking for accommodations inside Tokyo.

    An average tatami mat in Japan is estimated to be about one point sixty-five square meters in size. If the size of the cheap apartment you are looking at on a real estate listing for the Tokyo housing market is measured as about thirteen jo, then you can reasonably expect to cover the flooring of the entire apartment with thirteen tatami mats.

    The apartment is approximately twenty-one point forty-nine square meters according to that figure. After you know the size you can decide for yourself if it appropriately meets your needs as a resident of Japan.

    Pricing for Cheap Apartments in Tokyo

    What do I need to know?

    A section at the beginning of this BFFTokyo guide already mentioned briefly what can affect the final monthly rent of your apartment in Japan. The definite price of your new home in a new city is also determined based on what direction your apartment is facing, the age of the building, the floor level of your apartment, and even the amenities that are available.

    So, what does that mean for you? What are the amenities you can reasonably expect from cheap apartment prices in Tokyo? If you pick a cheap apartment as your home, then not much.

    You may find that the cheap apartment has Wi-Fi and a phone line. There may be tatami flooring because older apartments were often fitted with tatami flooring, both variables contributing to a low rent for the place.

    Older apartment buildings inside of Tokyo are where you will commonly find the cheap apartments of Tokyo, and so, you may find yourself signing the housing contract for an apartment with at least partial tatami flooring. Oh yeah, one more thing you should probably know about all the amenities is that soundproofing is not one of those amenities.

    So, the lack of effective soundproofing due to the age of the apartment in Tokyo may actually be a deal-breaker for you as you consider what apartment type is the right one for meeting your needs as a Japanese resident.

    You may, just like me, love to listen to loud music while you clean your house. You may want to invite your friends over and hold a sleepover, which may involve a dungeons and dragons game session that proceeds well into the night. Both possible situations would need better soundproofing than in a cheap Tokyo apartment.

    Discretionary Income

    What do I want to know?

    A person looking to rent an apartment in Tokyo may be able to significantly benefit from the lower than average rent of a cheap apartment in an assortment of ways. A major benefit of renting one of the cheap apartments in Tokyo is how much money you are able to save every month.

    While you may choose a cheap type of apartment in Tokyo for your accommodations because the monthly rent would not be a strain on your income, you may also have chosen it because you will be able to put a sum of money into your savings every month if you one of your priorities is saving.

    You see, putting money into your savings is one of the perks of renting an apartment below your highest budget for rent. It is definitely a possible perk that will make your wallet happy and relieved.

    You do not need to worry about how to spend your saved money, though, if you don't put it into your savings. You are now living in Tokyo, a city world-renowned as a place where you may find entertainment worth spending all of your savings, like the Robot restaurant or even the Louis Vuitton store in Omotesando that are available to consumers.

    Contract for Cheap Apartments in Tokyo

    What do I need to know?

    A sign housing contract will be involved no matter what apartment in Tokyo you ultimately choose to reside in during your time as a Japanese resident. Whether an apartment with a lower than average rent, an apartment that comes with furnishings, a building that offers a dormitory lifestyle to tenants, or even an average apartment in Japan, is what you select there will be a contract.

    Now, is there any information that you absolutely may want to know beforehand? Are there any details that change if a particular apartment type, like the cheap apartments in Tokyo, is being rented out to new people?

    You may find that the details will, in fact, change based on the type of apartment a person decides to sign the housing contract for in Tokyo. In the case of a cheap type apartment for residents of the capital city in Japan, the cheap apartments in Tokyo actually may be found to go quite easy on the tenants. What does 'quite easy' contextually mean, exactly? It means that you are able to reasonably expect the Japanese landlord to give you the keys to the apartment as soon as one day later, following the day you sign an official contract.

    So, you may even be able to contact the moving company you hired and tell them tomorrow is the perfect day to send over your belongings. A wall of boxes inside the new accommodations may surround you during your first day as a Tokyo resident, a towering wall that will keep you company as you eat your first dinner inside what will become your new home on foreign soil. That is the kind of situation you may find yourself to be in just a single day after signing the official housing contract for the accommodations in Tokyo. Is it the scenario you are wanting?

    A single day may be the soonest you may expect to receive the keys to your new accommodations in Japan. Now, what is the longest amount of time you go before receiving the new keys to your apartment when renting a cheap type of apartment, reasonably? The answer is twenty-one days. A full twenty-one days may pass by the time you are able to find yourself in that scenario, surrounded by a towering what of boxes as you eat your first dinner inside your new Japanese home. Please refer to whichever realty company you hired or the landlord of the apartment for the exact, specific time range. This just a simple estimate.

    You may not expect 'quite easy' to mean you are able to leave your apartment after living in those accommodations for less than half a year, though. After you sign the housing contract and move a wall of unpacked boxes into your new home in Tokyo, there is no leaving the apartment for about two years. The average minimum stay stipulation for the housing contract of cheap apartment types in Tokyo is a full two years. Now, what does that mean? It means that you will have to pay a penalty if, ultimately, you need to leave before the two years are complete.

    So, a penalty payment will be waiting for you if you have to suddenly leave or just simply want to leave your accommodations before two years have passed. It is for this reason you may find a cheap apartment in Tokyo just does not meet your needs as a resident of Japan. What if you change jobs and your new job has a commute too far away from your accommodations? What if you have to leave the country for months because of an emergency and you still have months left on your Japanese housing contract? A cheap type may not be perfect for you.

    Saving Money | Cheap Apartments in Japan

    Tips for Saving Money on Cheap Apartments in Tokyo

    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.

    Tip 1: Find an Apartment with Less Fees

    When looking for an apartment, keep in mind that there are some apartments that have no fees! You could save a lot of money just from finding a place that doesn't have any of those extra costs. While the fees might seem minuscule, they definitely add up. During your search, I recommend starting to look for places with no fees and then determining what suits your needs.

    Tip 2: Don't Go to a Real Estate Agency

    Why spend $500 on having a real estate agency find your perfect apartment when you can find it yourself? UR Chintai is an amazing resource for English speakers who are looking for an apartment in Tokyo!

    If you have a certain budget, want to see what locations and room preferences best suit you then I definitely recommend looking for your own apartment.

    This is also a great option for you if you are not familiar with the Japanese language and want to find a place on your own.

    Tip 3: Find an Apartment That Doesn't Charge a Deposit

    Deposits can be very expensive when getting an apartment in Tokyo. There are a lot of apartments that don't have a deposit. You can easily find this out by going on UR Chintai when searching for an apartment!

    Tip 4: Don't Buy New Furniture!

    Since Tokyo is highly populated, there are a lot of people moving in and out of their homes and are looking to get rid of their furniture. The best part about this aspect is that the furniture is in VERY good condition, and almost new. And what's even better is that Japanese people will either sell at very low prices or even give out the furniture for free because they want to get rid of it!

    You could save a lot of money and painstaking trips to IKEA or the furniture store by conveniently getting good quality, second-hand furniture. You can find a lot of different offers on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and more.

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