How to find a lodging facility in Japan

When you arrive at Japan, first you will have to find a lodging facility. Lodging facilities are largely divided into dormitories, commercial lodging facilities (apartments) or home stay families.

Most of schools in Japan have made  their dormitories available. Before you come to Japan and when you collect information on Japanese schools, check whether the school has a dormitory or not. At the same time, research the rent, the distance to the school, the commutation cost, and  the number of people who share one room.

Some schools may have no dormitories or their dormitories may be full and have no room for you. Just in such cases, you should also check that  the school you will enter provides you with help to find an apartment.

If you have to find a lodging facility yourself, you can simply go to a real estate agent or search  through the Internet. Some owners or real estate agents may be reluctant to lend their properties to foreigners who cannot speak Japanese. In such a case, you can ask for help from Japanese speakers or search through real estate agents that provide services to foreign customers. So, do not hesitate to search for an apartment.

You can also choose home stay, but it is not common in Japan, and very few families accept foreign students. In addition, compatibility between the student and the family can also matter, so you must carefully search for your host family. You can search for a home stay family mainly through consultation with the school you will enter or through the Internet.

About dormitory


It is recommended to stay in a dormitory provided or introduced by the school you will enter, which is  inexpensive and close to the school.

When you search for a lodging facility, first check with the school you will enter whether it has a dormitory or not.

How to search

Ask your school or search on the following websites that introduce dormitories across the country.

  1. Gakusei Kaikan GUIDE
  2. Gakuseiryo Dot Com
  3. Gakuseiryo Guide


  • Lower cost (almost all daily necessities are provided)
  • You can easily make friends.
  • You can communicate with students from different countries.
  • In many cases, they are located near the school.


  • Generally, you will share the room with other students (in many cases rooms are shared by two students)
  • There are rules for closing time, rising time, etc.
  • Kitchen, toilet and bathroom are shared.

Monthly rent for dormitory room: from about 5,000 yen  (plus food expenses, utilities costs, and commutation expenses, etc.

*The rent mentioned above is for an old type lodging facility. Rents may vary depending on the room or facility.
Recently many lodging facilities provide single rooms, of which monthly  rent is  about 40,000 yen.

Procedure for searching for a lodging facility through the school you will enter:

·In case of University of Ryukyu (Okinawa Prefecture)


You will be required to submit some application documents, so be sure to take contact with the school. * The procedures for international students are different from those for general students. Be careful about the due date.


If there are too many applicants, a lottery may be used.

3.Submission of necessary documents

Application form; passport; Residence Card, etc. (necessary documents vary from school to school, so take contact with your school.


Move in the dormitory according to its rules.

* Advice from a dormitory resident

If you plan to study in Japan for less than one year, you should definitely choose a dormitory. Your school or dormitory staff will help you so that you can safely stay in Japan. If you plan to study for a long period, stay in a dormitory of your school for the first half or full year in a dormitory, and after you have got accustomed to life in Japan, move to a privately rented apartment. Thus, you can experience daily life in Japan.
(Liu from Taiwan)

About commercial lodging facilities


How to search

  • Consult with the staff of the school you will enter.
  • Just go to a real state agent (have a Japanese speaker help or choose a real estate agent that provides its service to foreign customers).
  • Search through the Internet


  • You can live in a place you chose.
  • You can live your life at your own pace.
  • You can foster your independence


  • The procedures initially required are complicated.
  • You must have a guarantor (Japanese) sign to the contract.
  • You must yourself procure all necessary electric appliances and equipment.
  • Higher cost

Average monthly rent: about 50,000 yen (plus utilities costs, food expenses, commutation expenses, etc.)

* Rents vary between regions. They are higher in Tokyo or other major cities, or areas near train stations.

Procedure for moving-in a commercial lodging facility

The website operated by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Tourism provides a guidebook in several languages to help foreign people search for apartments. Consult the guidebook to successfully find a suitable room.

* Advice from a dormitory resident

Foreign people often struggle to find their apartments. In particular, it is a challenge for many international students to find a guarantor because the guarantor must be a Japanese. Even teachers in the school or Japanese friends may hesitate to stand guarantee for you. As one of solution of this challenge, contact co-op (Co-Op Kyosai) in your school (especially college/university). If you take its insurance program, you do not need to obtain a Japanese guarantor, because the insurance company will give guarantee for you. (Rin from China)
Co-OP Insurance

About home stay

How to search

  • Consult  with your school.
  • Search through the Internet (try with the key words “Japan, home stay, etc.” then you will find many websites.


  • You can improve your Japanese skill.
  • You can quickly learn Japanese customs, culture and manners.
  • You will have the second family in Japan or Japanese acquaintances.
  • Utilities cost and food expenses are included in the charge.


  • There are not many host families.
  • You could not get along well with the host family.
  • It may take a longer commutation time than that required in cases of other lodging facilities.

Average monthly cost: About 100,000 yen

(Including breakfast and dinner) (plus lunch, commutation cost, etc.)
* The cost may be different depending on host families.