Finding the Dream Home in Japan

Where do we start?

The thing that I visit most often on planning the relocation is finding the place to stay when we are there. Comparing to Singapore, the price to rent a place to stay in Japan is quite comparable (Around 150,000 YEN to 200,000 YEN per month). But If we compare with the space VS the cost, Japan is definitely still more expensive.

The website I used often and most Gaijin used is this –> Real Estate Japan. It provides quite a good number of options to choose from and most importantly, it is in English and they only provide listing that will accept rental from Gaijin.

A 2LDK Apartment in Japan. (source: from

Things doesn’t always goes as you’ve planned.

Having zero experience in working at overseas, I planned quite ahead in finding the right home and at the right price. I was even planning to go Japan to recce for the house/apartment next year February. However, I then realised that no one will want to entertain house viewing more than 1 month before you move in and rightly so.

So with that in mind, that means we will have to do our viewing only when we are in Japan. Which changes my plan to narrowing down a temporary house that can accommodate us for at least two months.

Short-term stay considerations.

For this house of two months, there are 3 key considerations:

  1. It must be really comfortable – Main reason is that we will need time and space to adjust to the living lifestyle there, so being comfortable is important as it can be stressful while we are trying to find a place and settling down.
  2. Convenient location – I am sure we will need to do some shopping, getting things done to settle the paperworks, etc. So it will be important that the location can provide those accessibility.
  3. Furnishing – Since this is a temporary lodging area, we do not want having to buy furnitures, hence it is important that the place has basic furnishing already provided.

With the above in mind, I am willing to fork out a little more for the place. Just a little more.

I took quite some time to look around at the listing and I must say I was spoilt for choices. Nicer house/apartment definitely cost more. Different listing also has different additional cost such as key money, lock change fee, deposits, etc. All these cost adds up to almost SGD 7,000 to SGD 10,000 just for the moving in. All those one time cost adds to the monthly budget so if you are going to stay for 2 months, it is better to look for apartment that does not have the above fees.

A Japanese park in Tokyo. (source:

Long-term stay considerations.

Finding the house for long-term stay also has the considerations for the short-term stay. However, they are not as important. My main considerations for the long-term stays are as follows:

  1. Cost – We are staying long term, so I am not too particular about the initial cost for moving in. What I am more concerned about will be the monthly cost. That is because I know I will return to Singapore, I still want to save as much as I can. This is my intention from the beginning.
  2. The Neighbourhood – The house I stayed in Singapore has a beautiful neighbourhood. Quiet, fill of greens and accessible. As much as possible, I would want the neighbourhood to have easy access to parks, sea and greenery. I would hope not to look at concrete jungle everywhere.
  3. Distance to our Workplace – We will be there to work and it is unlikely we will get a car in Japan. Though it is cheaper to own one in Japan than in Singapore. So it is important that we can get to our workplace within 30 to 45mins the max.
  4. Size of the house – This is a rather simple one. It is just me and my wife. We can have 1LDK but it will be fantastic if we can get a 2LDK as we can convert one room for work purpose.

So these are my considerations that I would like to share with everyone. If you have read through here, I would love to hear from you. Be it your own experience or your dream to relocate to Japan, or your love for Japan. Please leave a comment below or drop me a message via the contact form. So till next week!

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