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All you need to know about moving apartment in Japan. This information will help you take that big step; whether it is to move to a larger place or to a more convenient location.


When the time comes to change your apartment, you will find a plethora of estate agents in Japan enabling you to compare and consider different apartments. For those fortunate enough to speak some Japanese, there are also numerous websites to assist you.


Perhaps the first thing to consider is the budget. One must take into account not only the monthly rent for the new apartment, but also a considerable sum that must be paid upon the signing of a new rental contract. This sum relates to the following: deposit (usually equivalent to one or two month’s rent); Key Money (usually equivalent to one or two month’s aa agent’s fee (approximately equal to one month’s rent); advance rent (for the remainder of the month in which you move in, plus one full month); guarantor (hoshogaisha) money (payable annually) and insurance (payable biannually).


To give an idea of the sums payable, one might expect to pay approximately 100,000 yen for an apartment with a monthly rental fee of 35,000 yen. A sum of 300,000 yen might be expected for an apartment with a monthly rent of 60,000 yen. To be sure, budget for about 5 or 6 times the monthly rent.


Another important point to consider is the size. The size of each apartment is available in metres squared and the size of each room within the apartment is shown in “tatamiā€. A tatami is a type of mat used as a flooring material in traditional Japanese-style rooms. The average size of a room in an average Japanese apartment is 6(tatami), which equates to approximately 9.9 metres squared.


There are five main types of apartment in Japan. A 1 Room usually has a bedroom/kitchen combination, and a bath/toilet combination. A 1K is a similar size to a 1 Room, but the bedroom and kitchen are separated. A 1DK has a bedroom, and a kitchen/dining room combination. Overall, the size is slightly larger than a1 Room or a 1K. A 1LDK has a separate bedroom and living room. A 1SLDK is almost identical to a 1LDK, except that it has a large walk-in size closet.


The next issue to be considered is the location. The closer you are to a station, the more expensive your apartment will be; particularly if the station is on one (or more) of the main lines.


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