How to Looking for Housing

Japan’s houses are small. Most students live in a room of a 1LDK apartment. Most properties are equipped with a kitchen, toilet, and bath, however you have to purchase appliances and furniture. At some properties where rent is cheaper, toilet and baths may be shared with other residents. Also, there are also properties furnished with furniture and home appliances. It is common to find it by yourself, but some universities have their affiliated real estate agents and introduce them to you.

Condominiums and Apartments

Since you look for a place by yourself, you can choose any conditions such as location and rent.

Student Dormitory

This is an accommodation that the school prepares. As the cost is lower and you will live in a group, you can live while helping each other even in a foreign land. Some facilities prepare equipment for living in advance and some of them offer meals as well.

Real Estate-Related Terms

  • Advance payment of security deposit, key money, and compensation money … You pay few-months-rent-worth of money in advance. The payment may be either refunded or non-refunded at the time of vacancy, depending on each property.
  • Administrative expenses, common service expenses … For places such as apartments, it is paid for maintenance and repairs of the whole building and shared spaces. Rent is the sum of the room fee + administrative expense (common service expenses).
  • Agent commission … It is a commission fee to pay for the real estate agent when looking for a room assisted by the agent.
  • Deposit … You can hold property temporarily by paying it like a reservation fee when you are undecided on which one to choose from. If you eventually decide not to live there, you usually are not refunded.
  • Guarantor … You need a signature of a guarantor, who takes responsibility when there is any problem when signing a contract. If a landlord claims something and you do not pay for it, there is a legal responsibility for the guarantor to pay it.

About Guarantor

In general, you will be asked to submit the following documents. Documents to be submitted vary in some cases, so it’s good to check it in advance.


  • Given Letter of Guarantee
  • Guarantor’s resident card
  • Pledge
  • Certificate of Employment, etc.

When applying to Japanese educational institutions, universities, and etc.

The reason why you need a “guarantor” when applying varies a lot, such as “to economically guarantee tuition”, “to ensure there is no problem with visa procedures after admission,” and etc.

When you rent an apartment

When you move into an apartment, not only foreigners, but Japanese people will also need a “Guarantor”. If you fail to pay the rent until the deadline, or If you break room facilities and do not pay the repair cost, the landlord will request a payment to the guarantor. For foreigners who have less Japanese acquaintances, there may be a system that school officials (institutions and faculty), etc. underwrite the guarantor.

# International Students Comprehensive Renters
It is operated by the Foundation of Japan International Education Association. It is a system to ensure that provision is made in the event of fires, etc., and not to cause problems to the guarantor for the tenant. There are two courses; a course of one-year compensation period (insurance premiums contribution: 4,000 yen) and a two-year course (insurance premiums contribution: 8,000 yen).

Also, those who are already subscribed can extend the period for 6 months upon request (insurance premiums contribution 2,000 yen). People who can use this compensation system are people who enter Japanese universities, junior colleges, technical colleges, educational schools, and Japanese educational institutions, determined by an announcement of Minister of Justice. In principal, those people who have a staying qualification of “Studying Abroad.”

Subscription is done at your school office. For details,Subscription is done at your school office. For details, inquire the school or the school you intend to enroll or to the following. Concerning schools using this system and details, you can check it via the following website.

〈Contact〉Foundation of Japan International Education Association (JEES) Division Insurance and Compensation Division
TEL: +81-3-5454-5275
FAX: +81-3-5454-5232