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Life in A Japanese Share House: Costs, Benefits and Social Life

Thinking of opting for a share house in Japan? Dive into this guide to understand Japanese share houses' benefits, expenses and social environment. Discover if this living arrangement aligns with your preferences!

By 4 min read

In Japan, many appreciate the solitude of living solo in apartments. However, share houses are increasingly favored by young adults, foreigners and students. Share houses offer private bedrooms usually furnished—with shared communal areas. Whether you’re inclined towards private or shared living, GaijinPot Apartments and Tokyo Roomfinder are the best places to start looking for your new home.

That being said, a share house offers more than just companionship for foreigners. It offers you a chance for cultural immersion. Daily interactions to learn and practice Japanese. Engaging with locals also gives you a deeper understanding of Japanese customs, traditions and the subtle nuances of daily life that might be overlooked in other living situations. Want to learn more? Here is everything you need to know if it’s the right choice for you!

Why a Share House Might Be Right for You

Living in a share house in Japan presents distinct advantages that could align perfectly with where you are or what you aim for. Here’s why you might want to think about this type of housing:

  • Budget-Friendly: Compared to other living options, share houses are more affordable, making them an excellent choice if you’re just starting your journey in Japan or looking to save some cash.
  • Flexibility and Short-Term Commitment: share houses can be an excellent solution if you move frequently or plan a short stay in Japan. With share houses, you don’t have to worry about lengthy lease agreements or large deposits, which gives you the added flexibility you need.
  • Cultural Immersion and Social Connection: Living in a share house allows you to experience local customs and traditions firsthand and live alongside Japanese-speaking individuals. The communal nature of share houses also fosters a sense of community, which is perfect if you want to socialize and form new bonds.
  • Ideal for Students: Since many share houses are located near academic institutions, they can be a great option for students. Not only can they help you save on living costs, but they also give you a platform to connect with fellow students.

Types of Rooms in Share House

A share house could be an excellent way to practice Japanese (if your roommates feel like talking).

Share houses offer various room options, each differing in size, quality, and price. Additionally, some share houses are exclusively for women, catering to those who seek women-only spaces. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

  • Private Rooms: Most share houses provide residents with private rooms. These are typically furnished with essentials such as a bed, wardrobe, desk, and sometimes an air conditioner.
  • Shared Rooms: Although private rooms are common in share houses, some have dormitory-style rooms where multiple residents share one space. These rooms are usually equipped with multiple mattresses and wardrobes. Choosing this option can be more cost-effective but also means having less personal space.
  • Common Areas: Regardless of the room type chosen, all share houses feature communal areas. These can include kitchens, living areas and shared bathrooms. Such spaces are designed for residents to cook, unwind and socialize with one another.

Cost and Utilities of Share House

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Don’t expect a lot of space, but you’ll have the necessities.

Their location primarily determines the cost of share houses. share houses located in prime spots or trendier neighborhoods usually command higher prices. Here’s a quick overview:

  • The 23 Wards of Tokyo: Monthly costs typically range between ¥40,000 to ¥80,000.
  • Outside of Central Tokyo: The monthly rates are often more affordable, with prices usually falling between ¥25,000 to ¥70,000.

Besides the location, the age and condition of a share house can also influence its price. Generally, newer, well-maintained share houses are more expensive due to their modern facilities and comfort. share houses with premium features like private bathrooms or rooftop terraces are usually more expensive.

Most share houses include utilities such as water, electricity, gas and internet in the rent. However, some may bill these separately. So, clarifying these details before moving in is important to avoid any confusion later.

Social Life in Share House

Three multi-ethnic female roommates are playing a board game at their shared apartment.

Living in a share house is akin to being part of a large family, where you encounter people from diverse backgrounds, from both Japan and other countries. Each person has a unique story, which makes communal living fun and interesting. Shared meals, movie nights and hangouts provide opportunities to bond and get to know each other better.

However, the joys of communal living bring their own set of responsibilities. At the core of this community, mutual respect is crucial. You need to be aware of and considerate towards others, especially in shared spaces. This means adhering to agreed quiet times, ensuring that communal areas are kept tidy and contributing to the overall well-being and harmony of the share house. Doing so, you help ensure that the living space remains welcoming and comfortable for everyone.

For many, especially those new to Japan, a share house can be a stepping stone before moving to a more permanent residence or returning home. However, they might not be suitable for everyone. So, it’s always essential to weigh the pros and cons before you choose where to stay in Japan.

Have you ever lived in a share house in Japan? If so, please share your experience with us in the comments!

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