How Much Is The Rent In Japan? Housing Guide

Are you planning to move to Japan and wondering about the average rent prices?

Japan is known for its high living costs, particularly in Tokyo, where rent, car ownership, and transport make up many expenses.

However, you can still find affordable housing options, depending on location and living within your salary.

Rent prices in Japan reflect the high demand for accommodation and limited space, with the national average rent for a one-room apartment between 50,000 and 70,000 yen.

Tokyo is the most expensive city to rent in, with an average of over 200,000 yen monthly for a two-bedroom unit.

But don’t let these prices discourage you, as there are ways to lower living costs by choosing local products and navigating the rental process.

This comprehensive housing guide will provide all the information you need to rent or buy a property in Japan, including tips for finding affordable rentals and understanding the rental process.

Sure! Here’s a table showing the average rent prices in major cities in Japan in US dollars:

Average Rent prices in Japan (US Dollars)

CityAverage Rent Price (USD)

Please note that these are approximate average rent prices and can vary depending on various factors such as location, property size, and accommodation type.

It’s always best to consult local real estate listings and agencies for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

Renting an Apartment in Japan

Renting an Apartment in Japan

When it comes to renting an apartment in Japan, there are specific requirements and processes that you need to follow.

You’ll need to provide a guarantor, usually a Japanese citizen, and you may have to pay several upfront fees.

Different types of apartments are available in Japan, such as 1LDK, 1K, and Mansion, and they can vary in size and price depending on the location.

Working with a real estate agent can make the process smoother, and they can help you calculate the initial costs involved in renting an apartment in Japan.

Renting Process and Requirements

To rent an apartment in Japan, you must go through a real estate agent or property management company. They’ll list available properties and arrange viewings with the landlords.

As a foreigner, you may be required to provide additional documents, such as a residence card and proof of income.

How to Rent an Apartment in Japan?

Use websites like Suumo and At Home, or work with a realtor to help you navigate the rental market to find apartments.

When negotiating rent, be aware that prices are often non-negotiable, especially in popular cities like Tokyo.

However, landlords may offer discounts for more extended lease agreements or if you’re willing to live in a less desirable location.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to finding a great apartment in Japan.

Renting in Japan as a Foreigner

Foreigner requirements for renting a property in Japan are not too different from those of Japanese citizens.

Still, landlords may hold foreigners to a different set of expectations. For those who want a hassle-free option, Gaijin houses are co-living spaces similar to dormitories for foreigners.

Short-term rentals are also available but may be limited due to a 2018 law.


Rent prices in Japan reflect the high demand for accommodation and limited space. The national average rent in Japan is between 50,000 to 70,000 JPY, but Tokyo is the most expensive city to rent in.

Requirements and Documents for Renting

As you search for the perfect rental Property in Japan, remember that renting requires a few critical requirements and documents.

These include a valid residence card, proof of income, and a Japanese bank account. These are like puzzle pieces that must fit perfectly to create a complete picture.

Landlords in Japan often have specific expectations for their renters. These include a clean rental history and a stable income. Background checks are commonly conducted to ensure potential tenants meet these expectations.

Finding a guarantor is a crucial step in the renting process. They act as co-signer and take responsibility for any unpaid rent or damages.

Rental agreements in Japan are typically written in Japanese. So, it’s crucial to have a translator or bilingual friend review the document before signing.

Understanding Japan’s renting requirements and documents is crucial to a successful and stress-free rental experience.

Types of Apartments in Japan

Types of Apartments in Japan

When considering apartments in Japan, you can be furnished or unfurnished. Furnished apartments are rare, and traditional Japanese-style housing has tatami floors that can’t withstand heavy furniture.

Unfurnished apartments and housing are available throughout Japan, but they are limited.

As for short-term rentals, prices vary depending on the location and type of Property.

On average, a one-room apartment can cost between 50,000 to 70,000 JPY (470 to 660 USD) monthly, while a two-bedroom unit can reach over 200,000 JPY (1,870 USD) monthly in Tokyo.

Furnished vs. Unfurnished Apartments

Opting for a furnished apartment in Japan may be a wise choice, as traditional Japanese-style housing typically has tatami floors that can’t withstand heavy furniture.

Furnished apartments are relatively rare in Japan, but they do exist.

They can save you the hassle and expense of furnishing a new place. Minimalist living is a popular trend in Japan, so that a furnished apartment can fit right in with that aesthetic.

Suppose you prefer to decorate your own space. In that case, an unfurnished apartment may be a better option, allowing you to create a personalized look and feel.

However, remember that unfurnished apartments are limited in availability and may require more upfront costs for furniture and appliances.

Renting a furnished apartment may also be more cost-effective than buying furniture and appliances, especially if you plan to stay longer.

Apartment sharing is a popular way to save on living costs in Japan, allowing you to split the rent and other expenses with roommates.

Ultimately, renting a furnished or unfurnished apartment in Japan depends on your preferences and budget.

Working with Real Estate Agents

When working with real estate agents in Japan, it’s essential to understand that there may be language barriers and cultural differences to navigate. Finding an agent who speaks your language and understands your needs is a good idea.

It’s essential to thoroughly review and understand rental contracts before signing, as they may contain unfamiliar clauses to non-Japanese renters.

By researching and finding a trustworthy agent who can help you navigate the rental market in Japan, you can find a great place to call home.

Calculating Initial Costs

Let’s discuss the initial costs you’ll need to consider when renting in Japan.

  • You’ll need to pay a security deposit, usually equivalent to one to two months’ rent.
  • You may be required to pay critical money, essentially a gift to the landlord, and can range from one to six months’ rent.
  • You’ll need to factor in agency fees, typically equivalent to one month’s rent, and other expenses such as insurance, cleaning, and changing lock fees.

Other Expenses to Consider

In addition to agency fees, there are other daily expenses that you need to consider when budgeting for your living costs in Japan.

These expenses include utilities like electricity, gas, and water, which aren’t typically included in your rent.

You’ll also need to factor in the cost of internet and mobile phone plans and any household appliances and furniture you may need to purchase.

Factors Affecting Rent Prices

Factors Affecting Rent Prices


Suppose you’re considering moving to Japan and want to know about the cost of living. In that case, it’s essential to know that rent prices can vary greatly depending on the location.

Affordable neighborhoods are outside central Tokyo, while prime districts are incredibly expensive.

Rent trends also vary depending on the city, with Tokyo being the most expensive and Kyoto and Osaka being more affordable.

Considering roommate options or housing subsidies may be beneficial if you’re looking to save money on rent.

However, remember that location often determines the availability of amenities such as public transportation and shopping centers, so it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of place versus amenities when deciding on a rental property.

Proximity to Amenities

Living in Japan is all about location, and being close to amenities like supermarkets, restaurants, and public transportation can make a massive difference in the quality of life.

Location accessibility is critical, and it’s essential to consider the proximity of local amenities when choosing a place to live. Transportation options are also a factor; living near a train or bus station can make commuting a breeze.

Walkability score is another consideration, as some neighborhoods are more pedestrian-friendly than others. It’s also worth looking into nearby attractions like parks, museums, and shopping districts.

Transportation Accessibility

Japan has some of the best public transportation options in the world, including trains, buses, and subways. Bike-friendly cities like Tokyo and Kyoto also offer affordable and eco-friendly ways of getting around.

However, owning a car in Japan can be expensive due to mandatory inspections, insurance, taxes, and parking fees.

Many companies in Japan offer to pay part or all of their employees’ commuting expenses, including train passes. Discount rail passes are also available to foreigners living in Japan.

It’s important to note that not all public transportation options are fully accessible for disabled individuals. Still, efforts are being made to improve accessibility.

Rent Prices in Major Cities

Rent Prices in Major Cities


Tokyo’s housing market is notoriously pricey, with the average cost for a typical two-bedroom apartment at US$1,903 (203,730).

Most landlords require proof of income that’s three times the cost of rent per month, making it difficult for ex-pats and foreigners to secure a rental agreement.

However, there are affordable neighborhoods in Tokyo, such as Katsushika-ku, Nerima-ku, and Itabashi-ku, where rent prices drop significantly.

Transportation options in Tokyo are abundant, with trains, buses, and taxis readily available.

Language barriers may pose a challenge in navigating the rental process. Still, Gaijin houses offer an inexpensive and hassle-free option for those wanting to stay in the city.


Osaka’s housing market is notoriously pricey. The average rent for the city is ¥86,970 ($826) and varies based on location, size, amenities, and other factors.

Despite the high cost of living, Osaka offers a variety of neighborhoods to fit different lifestyles and budgets.

The city boasts many attractions, such as Osaka Castle, Universal Studios Japan, and the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan.

The food scene in Osaka is also a draw, with street food and Michelin-starred restaurants. The nightlife in Osaka is vibrant, with many bars and clubs.

Despite the high rent, the amenities and attractions of Osaka make it a popular choice for locals and ex-pats.


Kyoto’s housing market may make your wallet cry, with average rent prices hovering around ¥83,523 ($759).

The city’s charming neighborhoods, rich history, and cultural attractions make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Japan.

Traditional Kyoto is a popular tourist area with many historical temples, shrines, and gardens. It can be expensive to live in.

However, budget-friendly options are available in local neighborhoods that offer unique cultural experiences and are close to the city center.

When searching for housing in Kyoto, consider factors such as distance from the nearest station, year built, construction material, floor number, corner unit, direction facing, and amenities.

GaijinPot Housing Service offers over 3,000 properties throughout Japan with full English service, no guarantor needed, and the ability to apply from overseas.


If you’re looking for an affordable and historically rich city in Japan, Hiroshima may be the perfect destination. The town offers an average monthly salary of $1,284 and an average rent for a 1BR apartment in the city center of $637 per month.

Depending on your preference, you can choose from various apartment types, including Mansions, Apāto, and Houses.

Real estate agents can help you find a suitable rental property that meets your budget and preferences. Moreover, the city’s mortgage interest rate is relatively low, making it an attractive option for those interested in owning Property in the area.

Renting in Rural Areas vs. Urban Areas

Renting in Rural Areas vs. Urban Areas
  • Offer a peaceful and serene atmosphere with a closer connection to nature.
  • Rent prices are also lower, allowing you to save money on living costs.
  • Often lack amenities and services readily available in urban areas.
  • You may have to travel far to access necessities like grocery stores and medical facilities.
  • It may also not offer the same cultural experiences and opportunities as urban areas.

On the other hand, urban areas offer a wide range of amenities and services, with easy access to shopping centers, entertainment venues, and restaurants.

  • Commuting options are also plentiful, with efficient and reliable public transportation systems.
  • Living in urban areas can be more expensive and crowded. Rent prices are higher, and living spaces may be smaller.
  • Offer a unique cultural experience, diverse population, and dynamic atmosphere.

Ultimately, the decision to rent in rural or urban areas depends on your personal preferences and needs.


By understanding the rent prices and the factors that influence them, you can make informed decisions that will help you save money in the long run.

Remember, when it comes to finding affordable rentals in Japan, location is vital.

Look for areas outside major cities like Tokyo and consider sharing a living space with roommates to save money.

By being diligent and patient, you can find a comfortable and affordable place to call home in Japan.

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