Finding an apartment in Japan is one of the great challenges of living in this country —a true rite of passage. Aside from obvious complications like language barriers and location scouting, random and unexpected complexities tend to emerge: High deposits! Obscure trash sorting rules! Noise complaints if you so much as sneeze! None of these make starting a new life in Japan as fun as it should be.
Enter the social share house. Social Apartment is a pioneering concept by Global Agents, a housing company with over 40 innovative properties and counting across Japan. Specializing in apartments that intersect private and public life, these housing units provide both individual rooms and community spaces designed to support and enhance the lives of young professionals, both Japanese and foreign. They are convenient, trendy, and yet also genuinely affordable.
Next Stop: Terminals Takatsuki
The company’s latest addition is their first Osaka-based property, Terminals Takatsuki. The design is inspired by local transit lines; previously, the building was a dormitory for employees of the JR West train company. Now, the building has taken on a new life as a stop for young people from all over the world to live, work and play under the same beautifully designed roof.
From billiards to a home theater, the facilities are designed to encourage making connections
The design philosophy of Terminals Takatsuki implies intersections of all kinds: work and play, privacy and community, friends and neighbors. It bridges not only the major cities of Osaka and Kyoto but also people of many cultures and backgrounds.
Every single shared space is intended to bring people together. Residents have unlimited access to a lounge equipped with pool and ping pong tables, video game consoles, and an abundance of comfy couches and chairs. Other shared facilities like the workroom and kitchen afford ample opportunities to strike up a conversation which could lead to new friends, business partners or maybe even romance.
One of the most interesting common spaces is the studio; housing a projector, seating, and a large mirror. Guests can use it any way they like and are encouraged to host events like movie nights, yoga lessons, and dance practices. There is a message board outside anyone can post to, making organization easy and facilitating both personal and professional development.
The residents are mostly Japanese, so this is equally a valuable opportunity for expats to meet locals. Too often foreign residents living in Japan end up only befriending people from their home country. The social apartment concept provides the chance to make friends and get to know your neighbors in the long term.
Every resident gets to live in their own private, customizable retreat
When you do get in the mood for solitude, luckily there’s a place you can escape to. Couples (same-sex or otherwise) and individuals get their own private room.
In a way, the rooms are the least remarkable part of the stylish complex — they are compact and minimal. However, residents are encouraged to decorate their rooms in any way they please. The white walls and bare floors are each resident’s canvas. As long as you don’t leave a gaping crater in the floor when you move out there are no cleaning fees to pay, and you’re guaranteed to get your deposit back.
The white walls and bare floors are each resident’s canvas.
Both furnished and unfurnished rooms are available at Terminals Takatsuki. Furnished rooms include a bed, mini fridge, desk, chair, lamp, and curtains. All 55 rooms have closet space. While rooms don’t include their own bathrooms, there are toilets and showers on each floor.
Facilities are decked out with state-of-the-art luxury amenities
Every inch of Terminals Takatsuki includes something to make your life easier. The entire building is equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi. Multiple washers and dryers are on each floor and free to use. A nice bonus is that cleaners come in every day, so you never have to worry about vacuuming again. Now that’s luxury.
The best tools are in the kitchen. Japanese apartment kitchens are typically little more than an alcove with a single burner, but this one has it all. Plenty of burners, microwaves, and ovens are available and all the cookware and cutlery is provided, too. Fancy brand names like Le Creuset and Panasonic are immediately recognizable —not something you’d expect to see in a share house!
It’s conveniently located between two of the nation’s most popular cities
Terminals Takatsuki is located in Takatsuki City. People new to Japan or not familiar with the area probably haven’t heard of the place. However, you’re likely familiar with Osaka and Kyoto —Takatsuki is right in the middle of these amazing cities. Living only a 15-minute train ride from both opens up residents to many exciting work and travel opportunities.
The building itself is only 5 minutes on foot from JR Takatsuki Station (which makes sense since its employees used to live there), a bustling area with many shopping centers and restaurants. Terminals Takatsuki is located right next to a large shrine, and to get there from the station you actually walk through a giant stone torii (gate). Doesn’t get more Japan than that. And whisky fans might like to know that the Suntory Yamazaki Distillery, the first commercial distillery in Japan, is also located in Takatsuki.
The affordable cost and bilingual services remove the stress of moving
Unlike typical Japanese apartments which include fees like key money and multiple months worth of deposits upfront, Terminals Takatsuki only asks for one month’s rent as a deposit, plus it’s refundable.
Rooms start at only ¥46,000 a month — that’s only about $400. Plus, the longer your lease, the lower your price; signing a one-year lease gets you a ¥3,000 a month discount while a two-year contract saves you ¥6,000. Utilities (water, gas, electricity) are fixed at ¥10,800 a month which means tenants can keep their monthly costs low.
Utilities (water, gas, electricity) are fixed at ¥10,800 a month which means tenants can keep their monthly costs low.
The best bit? While paying for all this stuff in Japan is often complicated by complex bank transfers involving difficult kanji, at Terminals Takatsuki residents can set up automatic monthly withdrawals from their account. Initial costs can be paid by credit card, meaning you can easily apply from overseas before you come to Japan.
Where do I sign?
Online applications only take a few minutes to complete and are approved within days — including from overseas. To apply, fill in the contact form in English, selecting Terminals Takatsuki first. You can find out more about Social Apartment at the official website. Plus, check out this video for a virtual tour of the new space.