How to find Short-Term Apartments in Tokyo

Japan’s centre of government and commerce is one place to be. The country is growing very fast and getting affordable accommodation in this city can be herculean in nature. Tokyo most major city in Japan has a reputation for being notoriously expensive. When you’re looking for a short-term rental while on vacation or an extended business trip to Tokyo, it is necessary to know how to go about it, and to maximize your budget. Renting a short-term apartment is the best ideal solution for those that are on vacation, or on business trip to Tokyo.

This article is put together to enable anyone with an intention to stay a couple of weeks or months in this technology hub find a place to stay quite easily and in no time.


To begin with, Japan has unconventional ways of securing a place to stay. Unlike other countries, you cannot just select any place you like and proceed with payments. The system requires much more than that, and many more if you are a foreigner – gaijin, as they call it.

Getting an accommodation in Japanese cities most especially the city of Tokyo requires you to satisfy some specific financial and general demands.

A short-term apartment can offer many of the conveniences of home ownership such as furnishing apparatus, functional living space, kitchen, as well as amenities such as meeting spaces, weight rooms or exercise equipment and many others. These kinds of facilities are non-compulsory and may not be available in all rental apartments. This article will address the art of finding short-term apartment that will suit all of your needs when you are in Tokyo.

There are several factors you ought to take note when you are interested in finding short-term apartment in Tokyo. These factors might consist of your budget, location, requirements and desires. The major reason why you must consider these factors when finding an ideal of short-term apartment in Tokyo to rent is to strike a poise of these factors. Let us check the following processes in getting a short-term apartment in Tokyo:

Set a Budget Plan

The first factor that must be considered when looking for a short-term apartment in Tokyo is budget setting. What is your budget for the apartment you desire to rent should be your primary concern and question you must answer within yourself before you embark on searching for it. In other words, your search for an apartment should begin with the process of narrowing down the search for apartments to those that are within your budget plan. For example, you may desire facilities like sauna, hot tub, a pool, steam room and onsite theater but these options may have not been included in your budget plan. In this situation, there is need for you to finding the middle ground and amendment which may include realizing not all of the desired facilities that were stated in your current budget plan or making the decision to add or adjust your budget plan to meet the additional charges for rent.

Apply for the accommodation

Securing accommodation for a short-term in Tokyo requires that you apply for the space online. This is not quite easy. You will need to check out with the service providers and make a good choice from the spaces they provide. This can be done within the space of four to five weeks as applications outside this time may not be attended too. The application can be done on the site of the provider or their office. Either way, you would need to make a form of application. The competition and demand for houses in this big city is often very much.

Search for your ideal space

Location is a very vital factor for you to consider when searching for a short-term apartment in Tokyo. An ideal location is one which is not too far from office, work or leisure activities. Although, this is a matter of personal choice and it only depend mostly on your desires or liking. Do you want apartment very close to your place of work or office? Do you want to close to your relatives or family that is resides in Tokyo and its environment? It may be your favor a shorter commute to work because it affords you more time to spend with the families. Moreover, you may not have family close by and may opt to rent an apartment further from work if it is near access to an activity you enjoy such as skiing in the mountains or surfing in the ocean.

Being a foreigner in Tokyo, you should also consider the surrounding areas when choosing a short-term apartment. It is widely observed that some tenants may enjoy being near social activities such as stadium, movie theaters and shopping centers while others may prefer to rent an apartment in an established neighborhood apart from the commercial areas of the city. Similarly, you may prefer living in an apartment which very close to where you can board public transportation while others tenants may not like this option. That’s why it is necessary to consider all these before you choose a location for your short-term apartment in Tokyo.

In the application process, you will need to search available properties for the one that suits you. This will require that you make your choice and fill up the form provided. The form also has fields for the purpose of your stay and others.

Consider the Amenities and Requirements

Being a foreigner, you should consider the amenities and requirements that the apartment entails when searching for an apartment. These amenities and requirements might include one or two bedrooms or more than two to three bedrooms, or a minimum square footage, etc. However, a single person who works from home may need an additional room to use as an office.

As earlier said, you should also consider the structures you would like to have in your apartment. This may include access to home theater, a swimming pool or exercise equipment or meeting facilities which are only available to residents.

Furthermore, share houses and guest houses have a tendency entails with basic amenities such as bed/futon, iron, ironing board, as well as sheets, and apartment hotels tend to come fully furnished, but you may wish to check with the realtor what exactly is included and what you should bring yourself. Further than these, the majority of apartments in Tokyo and Japan as whole are not furnished and do not come with household appliances. If the apartment you are considering to hire is without any furniture and other appliances, there is need for you to go for electronics, kitchenware and other appliances that can be purchase at moderately reasonable prices by making use of seasonal campaigns, especially at large retailers. There are recycle shops and second-hand stores where you get this household equipment in cheaper prices. Since you are looking for a short-term apartment that you can stay for only twelve months or less, you may consider going for renting furniture and appliances from a rental company that are available within the city or to actively search for a furnished apartment of your choice.

However, you should cautiously and carefully contemplate these options and determine which are most important to you before you proceeding to the next step.

Doing an inspection

Having secured your living space online, you will have to get some direct information on how your prospective home looks like. This exercise is made possible with the aid of the housing agents. You would have to book an appointment with the agents who would provide you the chance of inspecting the place you want to be, first hand. This service may not be possible if you are not residing in Japan already.

The main application

Having seen the accommodation first hand, you may now apply. The application process involves the creation of a real estate services account. This exercise will enable them set up an account for you. The process would also require you to submit some vital documents. These vital documents would usually include your identification cards and other necessary papers. You will also be asked to provide the purpose of your visit or relocation.

With the preceding details provided, the company proceeds to do a background check on you to confirm your claims and/or identity. After a complete background check, you will be notified if your application is accepted or declined.


After your application has been approved, the total cost of your rent is calculated and sent to you to enable you proceed with payments. The companies usually accept different forms of payment to make the process easier for everyone involved.

Beside Payment, You Must Pay Extra Fees

Even though, it is noted that situations can differ extensively from realtor to realtor, renting an apartment in Japan majorly Tokyo usually requires more than just the payment for first and last month’s rent, this includes security deposit. If you are looking to hire a short-term apartment from an agency more conversant with lend out to Japanese locals, be fully plan and ready to pay a security deposit, a brokerage fee, for key money, administrative expenses, as well as renewal fee, and all sorts of extra expenses. Specifically key money is a big issue in Japan and ingenious negotiation can bring down the fee in Japan.

Key Money

The issue of key money is practicing in different countries and it differs from each city to another. In Japan, the key money is an additional payment that expresses appreciation to the property-owner, just like a gift. That may seem strange to people who have not experience such before or it may be call another name where you are coming from. On the other hand, if your property-owner (landlord) request for key money, you may have better chances at negotiating a cheaper rent. However, not every apartment or house rental will demand for key money. Usually, the key money is about one month’s cost of rent in Tokyo.

Security Deposit

Security deposit is an additional fee that the tenant pays to the landlord or property owner in case if the tenant does not pay rent or damages the property within the apartment occupied by the tenant. On several occasions, the security deposit is used to renovate or renew the apartment, so if your security deposit is low, you may be faced with a slightly costly bill at the end of your contract. The standard fee of the security deposit is mostly equivalent to one month’s cost of rent but then differs by property, of course.

Brokerage Fee

Brokerage fee is another extra payment you must be ready for. This fee is for the real estate agent that assists you to acquire the apartment. If possible that you secured your apartment through an estate agent, it is not continuously mandatory. And at the same time, if it is, you may have better chances at negotiating the rent itself. By law, there is a certain amount on how high the brokerage fee can be. Usually, the brokerage fee it is almost half payment for complete one month’s worth of payment.

Maintenance Fee & Common Service expense

As the name suggest, the maintenance fee is an additional fees which is meant for the maintenance of various amenities within the apartment, such as parking lot, elevator, garbage disposal areas, as well as repairs on the building, and so on. On the other hand, the common service expense is a collective service payment which includes electricity bill for shared spaces (think entries or lobbies), switching light bulbs in those spaces, as well as water linkage, and so on. Moreover, it differs by property to property whether these fees are payable with the rent fees, or need to be paid separately. The price are differs. On many places, these additional two payments are usually included in the rent fees, so be sure to take note and check or ask about the maintenance fee and common service expense when searching for your short-term apartment in Tokyo.

Renewal Fee

Renewal fee is usually applicable to long-term tenants. It mainly for renewing a rental contract after your time has been expiring. For instance, if you’ve signed for a year rent, and you want to stay longer in the apartment, there is tendency for you to face with the renewal fee. It is a common practice to Japan and entails you to pay one month rent fees to renew your contract. It varies by property whether this fee is required or not, so this is a key fact to check beforehand.

Sign the lease

With the application approved and payments made, as would have many other processes, you may sign the lease. This may be done at the office of the service providing company. Better still, you could be sent a copy of the lease as a file via email where you may print, sign and send back as a copy.

Finally, after you have observed and fully committed to these requirements, the next step is to practically move into your house. The companies that usually provide these sorts of short-term goals often have English staff as well as those from other countries.