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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi All,

I just discovered this expat forum and joined so let me introduce myself briefly in this first post. I am a 27-year old and one of the 200,000+ Spanish young professionals who are emigratting from Spain in search of better opportunities. In my case, I have been transferred to my company's office in Tokyo, something that I have been dreaming with for years. I have studied Japanese for over 10 years although my level is not as high as I would like (barely passed N2 last year). I hope that my new life in Japan will help me improve it. I lived in Tokyo for one year in 2008 as I studied there so this will not be my first time living in Japan, although life as student and as an employee varies a lot, I know. Nice to e-meet you All and thanks for letting me join this forum!

I am planning to stay in a guest house during the first month(s) but I am already looking for my options for permanent housing and I must confess I am quite lost :(

My monthly budget is 83,000 yen. I am aware that one of the bad sides of living in Japan will be the lack of space but I would like to have some "minimum space" to avoid depression. Ideally I would like to have a balcony with nice views (at least some fresh air) so I am avoiding ground floor places. I know that the further I would go from the city the cheaper and nicer places I can find, but my company will NOT pay for my commute to work so I cannot live very very far from the city (my office is in Nishi Shinjuku)... On the other hand, I am a single woman living on my own. I think that living far from the city while living alone could be a bit lonely (what do you think?) which is why I am seeking for places not further than 25-30 minutes by train.

I know my situation is pretty bad:
- low budget
- no commuting paid
- looking for a minimal wide room
- with nice views (ideally)
- and not too far from the city

Which is why I am asking for your advice. Do you have any suggestions?

Thank you in advance!

Naure
 

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I assume the budget you listed is specifically for housing. If so, you should be able to get a one-room place with a bath/shower and kitchenette for that price. That's the quintessential "singles" apartment in Tokyo so there should be a fairly good supply in that price range. On the downside, it's not likely to be all that big.

On the plus side, almost all non-1st-floor apartments have some kind of balcony. Your view is likely to be more buildings if you stick close to the city -- that's just because there aren't that many open spaces that close to Shinjuku. But you should be able to see *something* and if you're lucky, maybe you can see the lights of all the tall buildings in Nishi-Shinjuku from your place.

I'd suggest going West from Shinjuku. If you really don't want a long commute, the three stations along the Marunouchi spur line, Nakano-Shimbashi, Nakano-Fujimicho, and Honancho. Since there's an extra train change between those stations and Shinjuku, you might be more likely to find a cheaper place (that's the way it always seemed to me but I haven't been apartment hunting for years so it's just a hunch). The main Marunouchi-sen has some decent neighborhoods, too. You can also go up the Oedo-sen but I'm not that familiar with the areas other than Nerima and Toshima-en.

If you don't mind going through Shinjuku station, you have tons of options but the commute could get to be a drag after a while because tons of people go through Shinjuku every day. The advantage of going West via Marunouchi or N-West via Oedo is because there are smaller stations right in Nishi-Shinjuku so you can avoid Shinjuku station entirely.

As for being lonely... I'm not sure being close to the city is any advantage. There are decent neighborhoods all over but most of the people you're likely to bump into around the larger stations don't live anywhere near there so there's less chance to build up a network of local friends. If you find a quiet neighborhood away from the city you can make local friends that you'll see on a regular basis since they all live in your area. Of all my Japanese-speaking friends, about a third are work-related and the rest live in my neighborhood. None are the result of my having lived "close to the city".

I'm kinda surprised that the company doesn't pay for your commutation. That's a pretty standard policy here. But if you were to save 10000 yen on rent and spent 2000 yen on the train, that's still a win so don't overlook possible neighborhoods just because they're too far out (unless the train ride itself is likely to drive you nuts). Look for a neighborhood with lots of shops and restaurants around the station. That gives you a lot of opportunity to meet people who live in the area. Also, since you'll be in a guest house at first, you could ask co-workers where they live. Having someone you know in the same neighborhood could be a plus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you very much for your reply and help Larabell!

Yes, the budget I gave is only for rent -a third part of my monthly salary.

I was already considering West Tokyo. Thanks for suggesting these specific train stations. I will look around these places.

Any "views" are fine by me as long as I can see a small piece of sky, not only the wall of my neighbour's house or a parking slot :(

I am aware that commuting is usually paid in Japan but my company is American and,let's say, pretty "special". Long story...

I will wait to be in Japan and consider my best options. Maybe moving to a further area would give me a bit more space and better "views" :)

Thank you again!

Narue
 
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