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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I just arrived in Tokyo and I'm staying with family friends while I find a place for myself. Apartment hunting is not so easy here.

I'm thinking to rent a furnished apartment for 1-3 months while I look for a longer term home.

Does anyone know a good resource for short term / furnished apartments on a monthly basis?

Or do you know a great agent that can help me look?

My preference is Meguro or some other less busy location on Yamanote line.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

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If you're desperate you can try one of the "gaijin houses" which is a lot like a college dorm setup with shared showers, kitchens and such and either shared rooms or for a little more money a private one.

I had a friend who found one right in the heart of harujuku, they are all over. Downside is you have to share with a lot of people. Even some Japanese turn to these places when they can't afford their own.

Just google the term and you'll find lots.
 

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Try Sakura House. They have places all over Tokyo. There's one in my neighborhood and I've met several of the residents. They seem to like it and it doesn't look like one of the typical run-down gaijin houses I've seen before. Best of all, they have a web site.

If you can, try to find a Japanese-speaking friend or relative who can visit local realtors in the area(s) you'd like to live. My experience with English-speaking realtors like Ken Corp or Century 21 is that the places they list are priced well on the high-side of average... though others on this forum have actually recommended Century 21 before (check the forum archives).

HOME's has an English website with a map: (HOME'S: Real estate, rentals, housing information (condos, houses)). I have no experience with them but when I was poking around the listings in my area way back when they looked to be fairly average for the area.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks - Sakura House doesn't seem to have anything in the areas I want. The dorm style is definitely not what I want. I'm looking for something nice, but not 500,000 nice like some websites list. I talked to Hikari today who have a great English speaking staff. Their places are nice, but expensive and tiny small - seem more for business people coming for a short stay. But they have a lot of long term listings. I recommend them if anyone else is looking - they're a nice bunch.

Anyone else know a good option for furnished apartments?

Thanks!
 

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Furnished apartments in Tokyo mostly are for business people coming for a short stay. That's why they're so expensive. I think 500,000 seems way too high. You should be able to get something in the 1BR range for no more than 100,000 ~ 150,000 but it almost certainly won't be furnished.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks. Are you the guardian angel of the Japan forum or what?

Like you said before, the Japanese agents I've visited have some nice looking places under 100,000. I'll go again with my Japanese friend soon.

The agents specializing in helping foreigners, especially online, are very overpriced - I haven't seen much under 200,000.

Yes - there are "executive" apartments going for 500,000 - 700,000 to over 1 million. I'm sure they are very nice, but not in my budget.

I'm trying to find something 100,000 - 150,000 as you suggest, but so far not much (at least not on the Yamanote line, which I would prefer).

I did see a postage stamp for 200,000 today which made me want to immediately get drunk and/or head to the airport...

If anyone knows a good agent or knows of an available place, please let me know.
 

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Postage Stamp?? Probably a Revenue Stamp. I had to buy a Revenue Stamp for 40,000 when I bought my house. They're used to prove you paid various taxes and/or fees. I doubt a 200,000 stamp would actually be used for postage (maybe if you were air-mailing an elephant ;-).

Looking for places close to the Yamanote line is going to cost you. You're far better off going a few stops outside the Yamanote loop -- you'll get a lot more space for your money. Especially if you're looking on the West side of Tokyo. Try the Nakano area (shameless plug, I know). It's not that far away (40 minutes walking from Shinjuku if you miss the last train) and the prices are a lot lower than right on the loop itself. Quieter, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
"postage stamp" is an old fashioned American expression, meaning the apartment is extremely small, like the size of a stamp.. love it when jokes go over so well they need to be explained. :)

I will look further west - cheaper, larger and further from the tsunami - sounds good to me.

Thanks!
 

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If you can, try to find a Japanese-speaking friend or relative who can visit local realtors in the area(s) you'd like to live. My experience with English-speaking realtors like Ken Corp or Century 21 is that the places they list are priced well on the high-side of average... though others on this forum have actually recommended Century 21 before (check the forum archives).
Century 21 really surprised me when I used them a few months ago. Right after I moved in they started construction on my building that will take 6 weeks. I complained and Century 21 gave me back one month's rent as compensation and for not explaining the extend of the work to be done. Never had that happen before, and my place isn't cheap so I was very impressed.


I've never heard of postal stamp either.
 
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