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Cheap Apartments For Rent In Tokyo For Foreigners

Apartments For Rent In Tokyo For Foreigners | FAIR Work in Japan

What are the best yet budget-friendly apartments for rent in Tokyo for foreigners? About how much does it cost, and what are the requirements?

In this article, you will be filled with up-to-date information on how to rent an affordable apartment in Tokyo especially if you are a foreigner who wanted to work and live in this capital city of Japan. 

Scroll down for more information.

Long Term Rentals Vs Short Term Rentals In Tokyo For Foreigners

In long term rentals, you would need to buy all the necessary things you need in a house – the advantage? You will be able to gradually invest in your house-needs as you continue living your life in Japan.

Commonly, long term rentals offer a 2-yr contract while short term rentals don’t. The difference? Your stay in Tokyo with a long-term apartment rental is much stable than in a short-term rental.

Short-term rentals’ daily and weekly rates might be affordable, but if you’re going to calculate it and compare it with the monthly rate for long term rentals, you will end up saying that apartments for long term rent is a way cheaper than any other rental options in Tokyo.

If you’re a foreign student, it would be best to look for a long term apartment for rent where you can establish your new home in Japan, and in preparation for living a comfortable apartment as you enter into the employment world.

Yes, long-term rentals in Tokyo for foreigners may require a lot of fees to pay compared to what you need to pay upfront for short term rent, but it’s all worth it as long term rentals will give you the mindset of staying in Japan for a long period of time which might let you decide to live in this progressive country for good.

Now, you already have an idea about the difference between a short-term rental and a long-term rental. So, what are the fees that you need to prepare for a long-term rental? Primarily, there are four.

4 Different Fees For Long-Term Rentals

Reservation Fee

This is an assurance for the lessor that you will really rent the apartment, and a guarantee for you that the lessor will not give the apartment to someone else. You will be refunded for this fee after signing the rental agreement. However, the reservation fee does not apply to some apartments for rent in Tokyo.


This is likened to a one or two months advanced payment used to shoulder future repairs on the damages you might have made while renting. Deposit is also used for cleaning services and minor makeover inside the apartment.

Service Fee

This is the fee that you need to pay if you prefer to hire a real estate agent who will look for an apartment for rent on your behalf. Clearly, this is a non-refundable payment. 

Key Money (reikin)

Literally means gratitude money, this is the amount that normally is equivalent to a one or two months rent and is given to the lessor as an appreciation for them letting you rent their apartment. So then, this is a non-refundable fee.

Additionally, to help you choose a budget-friendly apartment for rent in Tokyo, we came out with this top list.

List of Affordable Apartments for Foreigners in Tokyo

Apartment rentals in Tokyo for foreigners usually start from 100,000 JPY to 500,000 JPY per month. Below you will see cheap and reasonable rental costs with some that don’t have a lot of fees to pay.

Guesthouse / Shared House in Tokyo 

(rental option where you need to share your apartment and the monthly rent with other foreigners)

  • Nishiarai Daishi, Nippori: 33,000 to 36,000 JPY/month
  • Asakusa Kuramae, Asakusa: 45,000 to 50,000 JPY/month
  • Higashi Nagasaki B, Ikebukuro: 65,000 JPY/month
  • Harajuku C, Shibuya: 83,000 JPY/month

All of the monthly rates mentioned above include electricity, water, and gas consumption as well as regular maintenance fees. These guest/ shared houses have air-conditioned rooms and wifi access. 

Source: https://www.sakura-house.com/

Home-Stay in Tokyo 

(rental option where you will be renting a room in the host family’s house)

Yukiko’s House, in Chofu-shi

Rental Cost: 2,900 JPY/day – 20,000 JPY/week; 65,000 JPY/month

  • With a maximum stay of one year.
  • Inclusions: A comfortable bed, television, air conditioning, a desk, and a lamp. 
  • Amenities: Wifi access, laundry, kitchen, and the use of some house appliances. They also serve light breakfast which is included in the rent.

Reiko-san’s House, in one of Tokyo’s Commercial Area

Rental Cost: 3,000 JPY/night – 30,000 JPY/month

  • With a maximum stay of 1 year. 
  • Inclusions: A cozy bed, television, air conditioning, a desk and lamp, closet, hairdryer, and a vanity mirror.
  • Amenities: The use of laundry, kitchen, and wifi connection.

Yuriko’s House, in Arakawa-ku

Rental Cost: 3,900 JPY/day – 24,710 JPY/week

  • With a maximum stay of 270 nights.
  • Inclusions: A homey bed, air conditioning, a desk, and a lamp.
  • Amenities: Wifi access, and the use of some house appliances. They also serve light breakfast which is included in the rent. The house is wheelchair accessible, too.
  • One common rule: No smoking inside the house and within the area.

Source: https://www.homestay.com/japan/tokyo

Long Term Rentals in Tokyo for Foreigners

  • 1R Apartment, Tamagawadai, Setagaya-Ku: 59, 000 JPY/month with no required deposit nor key money. The maintenance fee is included in the rent. (Source: https://realestate.co.jp/en/rent/tokyo/setagaya-ku)
  • 1K Apartment, Kitazawa, Setagaya-Ku: JPY 87,000 JPY/month with required move-in fees including a deposit of 84,000 JPY. (Source: https://realestate.co.jp/en/rent/tokyo/setagaya-ku)
  • Koto Tokyo Monzennakacho: 89,000 JPY/month with a required deposit of 20,000 JPY and a valid passport upon contract signing. (Source: https://www.sakura-house.com/)
  • KDX Residence Azabu East, Minato: 100,000 JPY* with a required 2-year contract. Upfront payment for fees is also required but key money isn’t required.

Source: https://apts.jp/

*A management fee of JPY 10, 000/ month is an addition to the monthly rent.

Things To Consider When Looking For A Long-Term Stay Apartment In Japan

  1. The top requirement is to have a Japanese-citizen guarantor that has financial stability and can be a relative living in Japan, but if you don’t have one, you can choose the alternative way – apply to a Japanese rental guarantor company.
  2. If you are planning to live in Japan for work or schooling, more likely, the companies and universities can void the requirement of you having a guarantor. So, better verify it with your employer/ university.
  3. To save a lot of expenses, you have an option to get rid of a real estate agent service fee by searching an apartment for rent on your own.
  4. Always make sure to look for legitimate apartment rental websites in Tokyo to avoid occupancy delays and fraud which can lead to frustrations. A highly recommendable apartment-search website is the Tokyo Craigslist.
  5. Avoid the moving season. There’s a high demand for rentals in Japan during the beginning of the fiscal year (April). So then, it is recommended for you to wait until this season is over where regular monthly rates go back to normal.
  6. You might want to visit some recycling shops where you can find pre-owned appliances which are still in good working condition, as well as personal stuff, both at a very low price. One of the best recycling stores in Tokyo is the WATTMAN Super Recycle Shop.

With all of this information, it would be great if you prepare ahead of time. Planning in advance can let you search for a cheaper apartment for rent in Tokyo as well as for the things that you need to have without shelling out too much. Also, if you have ample time in searching for an apartment, you can best check for one that you think you’ll be comfortable in.

In conclusion, whatever apartment options you choose, it will be a sure thing that you will enjoy your stay in the heart of Japan – Tokyo.

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