What Are Apartments Like In Japan?
No sense dwelling on small places!
Moving abroad and trying to adjust to life in another country can be both exciting and highly stressful. Starting over in a place like Japan is no exception. In addition to adapting to the culture, you must also be sure you can find an affordable place to live.
It’s important to know what apartments are like in Japan before you travel. This cuts down on the culture shock and also allows you to begin planning a rational budget that will keep a roof over your head.You may go into the research expecting the worst but find that Japanese apartments can be more awesome than you previously thought!
The Cost of a Japanese Apartment
The most important concern when it comes to apartments is always going to be the average cost. Depending on where you live in Japan, apartments can be pretty pricy. You can compare this to the level of varying expenses to living in cities in other countries versus less expensive apartments in smaller towns. However, the biggest distinction you’ll notice between Western apartments and Japanese apartments is how much space your money can buy you. In many cases, even a pricey apartment in Japan doesn’t get you a lot of space.
Keep in mind though that apartment prices will always vary based on things like location, size, level of demand, etc. It’s possible that finding a more affordable apartment is a matter living in one part of town versus another part. You may be able to find a cheaper apartment if you keep an eye on Japanese apartments in the classifieds, and should consider finding one or two other people who might be interested in being roommates with you.
Size of Living Space
Another thing to consider is how much space you need to be comfortable. If you’re not claustrophobic or laden down with possessions, you may be able to live in a micro-apartment. Often compared to coffins, these tiny spaces are usually no longer than 7 feet and wider than 3, and have just enough space to lie down.
Closet-sized homes aren’t for everyone. You may want some outdoor space and cushion storage for your outdoor furniture. Again, for a larger living space, do some research on the cost relative to the location and know what you can afford.
Japanese Apartments Are Blank Canvases…
One major culture shock for some Westerners moving into a Japanese apartment is that there is typically nothing there. Saying they come unfurnished is an understatement; there are no appliances like microwaves and washer and dryers.
This isn’t always the case. One woman wrote that her company provided these appliances for her. Some teach abroad programs will also pay for you to live in a furnished apartment. Or if you look carefully at ads and ask questions, you can find an apartment that has all of these items before you move in.
You shouldn’t panic about the idea of an apartment not having all the “fixings” before you move in. Think of it as a blank canvas. It gives you an opportunity to think about what appliances you really need and will actually use daily. This sort of thinking can guide you to only spend money on necessities and save cash in the long run.
Moving to Japan will likely mean stepping out of your comfort zone and adjusting to a whole new way of living. Some things you’ll find aren’t that much different from life in the West. Other things will be unfathomable, such as the fact that people actually live in spaces the size of a closet. That could be you if you decide such a tiny space is convenient.
Remember to do all the necessary research, consider the location and start saving before you leave the country. Try and find out if there are jobs available that can pay for certain costs or even provide you with appliances. If the costs are too much to handle by yourself, you could consider getting roommates. This may make experiencing a new country for the first time even better as you have at least one other person to share it with.
Kayla Matthews is a Diverse Japan blogger, anime nerd and Japanese cultural enthusiast. You can check out her productivity blog at ProductivityTheory.com and follow her on Google+ and Twitter @KaylaEMatthews to get updates on her latest posts!