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House Hunting in Japan

February 18, 2016

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We have finally moved into our new home in Japan! Woohoo!!! After one week of house hunting in Japan and almost three weeks of paperwork, we were able to move into our home as of Monday. We will be doing a house tour, but we have to wait for our furniture to arrive from Korea. It ships out next week, and it should take a month to get here. Right now, though, we’ve got a carpet, a lamp, a small outdoor plastic table with plastic chairs, and a bed. So, not much to tour yet!

For those of you interested in how to rent an apartment or house in Japan, we’re going to talk more about it in detail now!

Problems with Renting in Japan As A Foreigner

In Korea, you either have the money for the key money or you don’t. There are few places that let you rent long term without a key money deposit, and those places are usually made for foreigners or short term visitors and are not very big. If you’re looking for something bigger, though, you’ll more than likely be needing to put down a big amount for key money.

Since the key money in Korea is so huge, you’re not going just leave Korea without it, so even if Korean landlords rent out the place to you, they’ll always have the safety of your key money even if you skip out on rent. The key money in some situations is just about the total rent you’ll be spending in your two years as a tenant. So, for us, we’ve never had any issue with renting places in Korea. If we had the money, nothing else mattered.

In Japan, though, there seems to be concerns about how to assure the landlord that they will get their money. As far as we know, there is no system in place to chase down a foreigner who just bounces without paying their rent, so there’s no way for the landlord to really feel too safe renting to foreigners. And so, we’ve experienced some problems with home owners just not wanting to rent to us when they found out we were foreigners. Even with our current place, it took a lot of work to convince the landlord that we were good for the money. We’ve heard similar stories from our other foreigner friends in Japan, and it doesn’t matter what colour your skin is or where you are from. All that matters is that you’re not Japanese with a Japanese family in Japan.

Getting a Guarantor

So, in Japan, we needed to get a guarantor. We did not need this in Korea at all! I think there was some insurance we had to file, but the process of getting a guarantor here in Japan was exceptionally more challenging.

In order to rent a place in Japan, either as a foreigner or a Japanese resident, you need someone to act as a guarantor. That is, someone who acts as back up for you if you act irresponsibly and/or can’t pay the rent. Most Japanese people just use their parents as guarantors. The funny part is, some people’s parents don’t necessarily even have the money to afford to pay for the rent, but the general theory is that your parents would feel emotionally attached to you and help out any way they could if you needed some help with rent.

If you don’t have a Japanese relative, you can use a third part insurance company that acts as a guarantor, but since we are working with a company, we had help from them. Thankfully. But there was even some obstacles there, because our company’s name isn’t a Japanese name: Breaker. That’s a foreign name! So our landlord was hesitant as well. But, after jumping through some more hoops, we were able to get a guarantor, and the landlord agreed to rent to us. I wish we could have just paid him for the two years rent right away. We do it in Korea! But that wasn’t an option, it seems.

Types of buildings: Apartment, Mansion, or House?

Apaato or Apartment (アパート) is for rented unit buildings, usually pretty low rise, like two or three stories high. Our real estate agent told us an “apartment” in Japan are often old, dirty and sketchy with no security at the front door, but they may not necessary be like that. We didn’t go to see any apartments so I can’t tell you our experiences with them.

Mansion (マンション), on the other hand, is what we lived in our first month as a short-term service apartment. We were a bit surprised that our place was a mansion, because when I think of mansions I picture a giant sprawling piece of property with fountains and pools and double staircases and all that stuff, but “mansions” means something totally different in Japan.

They can be low-rise, like one to two floors, but they usually have multiple floors, elevators, and a secure entrance system (we needed a key to get past the front door). They also have secure postboxes. They are usually more sturdily built than apartments with concrete and steel, and that matters, after all, since Japan has earthquakes! All the places we saw in Japan were labeled as mansions, but in our hearts we called them apartments because that is what we would call them in Canada :D

Houses, on the other hand, are rentable in Japan, AND THAT’S TOTALLY AWESOME, but prepare to live in a very Japanese suburb area. Although we are in Tokyo, you wouldn’t know from the quietness of our neighbourhood. We can see stars at night! STARS! With a 20 minute walk from the subway and a 15min express train ride to Shibuya Crossing, we’re located somewhat near all the craziness of the city but we’re able to have a little shelter from the non-stop hustle bustle of city life.

I’m sure things are different out in the country side as well, but we can’t really comment on it, because we didn’t look. Maybe two years from now we can let you know, if we decide to live out there!

Understanding Floor Plans: What is a 1LDK, “8-J”, and Tatami Mats?

We saw a lot of terms like 1LDK, 2LDK, or 1DK and had no idea what it meant! So here it is: L=Living Room, D=Dining Room and K=Kitchen. For example: 2LDK would have “2L” which would be two rooms (with closing doors) that could be used a bedroom or an office. A “D” is a space for a TV and couch, maybe even a dining room table. The K for kitchen can vary in size and many of them extend into part of the L space as you might have seen in our video. A 1DK would be one large room apartment while a 1LDK would have one private room.

Tatami mats (畳 or “jo”) are about 1.653 square meters in size. They are those straw mats you saw me kneeling on in that awesome huge home. The mats themselves are traditional flooring in Japan but even if your house doesn’t have it, it might be referred to as a unit of measurement in Japan, so room sizes might be described as 8J which means 8 Tatami mats. We also saw floor plans using metres as well, so it was a confusing blend of the two terms.

So that’s it for information! This has been a whirlwind month for us so far, but we’re finally done with house hunting in Japan, and now we can get to settling in. Woohoo! We’ll tell you some stories about our move in our next Eat Your Sushi segment and let you know a little about our neighbours, so stay tuned for that.

Oh, and we don’t have internet in our home yet, so our apologies for not being as responsive to comments this week. The internet should be set up tomorrow, though! Right now we’re at a Starbucks leeching off their internet. But not as of tomorrow. Yay!

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House Hunting in Japan

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  1. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun. Congratulations on a house! That’s awesome. What little we’ve seen already it looks quite nice.

    I just wanted to mention one thing – the “L” explanation isn’t quite accurate? The 2LDK would have “2” two rooms with closing doors, an “L” space which is room for a TV and couch, a “D” space which is room for a table, and a “K” kitchen. So 1R would be a 1 large room apartment (your service apartment it looks like), a 1K is a single close-able room with a separate kitchen usually about the size of the one in your first officetel (sp?) in Korea, a 1DK adds enough area to the common kitchen area to put at least a small table, and a 1LDK is what I would call a 1 bedroom apartment in the US with room for a TV and couch in addition to your dining and kitchen space. Holy run-on sentence batman.

    Anyways, that’s a bit pedantic. You guys are real adults enough that you weren’t ever going to be looking at less than a LDK place. My little 1K and I just wish we had that much room. :-) Nevertheless, I (we?) hope you enjoy it can’t wait for a proper house tour!

    1 year ago
  2. Tokyo is better off when it comes to renting places to foreigners. I live in a very small Japanese city were quite a number of foreigners live, and finding an apartment to live in there is ridiculous. When I was looking for a new place to live in that city I ran out of all of my nerves. The landlord srly profile you depending on where you come from. A lot of the places wouldn’t accept foreigners, in other places depending on which country you are from they won’t allow you to live in the building etc.
    The most shocking part I found out was that this kind of racial profiling and racism is totally legal in Japan!!!!! Japan has NO real LAWS against racism, rather their law supports racism.

    *sorry for my rant*

    1 year ago
  3. What if you are married to someone who is Japanese? Is it difficult for the Japanese person to rent since their spouse is a foreigner?

    1 year ago
    • That is no problem at all, as long as the person you live with is japanese. Especially, when you are married to a japanese person is no problem.

      PS: i live in japan :)

      1 year ago
      • If you’re a foreigner how hard it is to find a guarantor? Specially if you are not accompanied with a company or a friend somehow

        11 months ago
  4. Actually, the issues you mentioned in your blog post about the concerns with foreigners skipping out on rent are kind of…common, I guess? At least, in respect to any potential tenant, rather than just foreigners; although, I suppose they could run into some issues.

    At least where I live, in NYC, you have to go through extensive credit and background checks before you can even qualify for most places, so that the landlord can be certain you don’t have a history of missing payments or breaking a lease. Then again, I guess this is kind of common, everywhere, in the US. Typically, a landlord in NYC will want to see several months worth of wages and, potentially, some other kind of proof of employment (though, I don’t know if the latter is so common…). Essentially, your employer acts as a kind of “Guarantor”.

    There’s also a system ([small] claims court) whereby a person or private entity can file claims against you to get the payment you owe them. It goes to a processing agency that essentially tracks you down, as well as forcing you – sometimes – to go to court to settle the damages. If they have to, they’ll garnish your wages. Actually, it can even happen for library fines – or so my mom would always scare me about as a kid :P. Also, this isn’t really “American”, I believe it’s actually an element of English Law (I guess they called them magistrate courts)

    My friend, in Germany, had a roommate disappear for a few months, without paying rent, and it was only then that I learned this wasn’t necessarily universal.

    *I’m sure a lot of this is similar in Canada, come to think of it…

    1 year ago
  5. I didn’t realise how much Australian Real Estate was like Korean Real Estate until I watched your video…. I recently moved into an apartment just outside of the city and our “key money”, which we call a “bond”, was $2,640.00. Equivalent to 6 weeks worth of rent. And yes, our Real Estate will also keep that if they find any damage to the property after we move out, so you have to note down every scratch and dent on your condition report before you move in.
    Japan seems pretty easy going…….. as long as you’re a quiet person who doesn’t play music or keep pets :3

    1 year ago
    • Hi Kitteh,

      I don’t want to be rude or anything, but I just wanted to let you know that the combination of your logo and the user name can be offensive. A lot of times, world history is Eurocentric and you probably are not aware of this, but to Asian countries that were colonized by Japanese imperial army, the rising sun flag has equivalent symbolism to the Nazi flag.. Also Kamikaze pilots were suicide bombers that were living weapons to the army. The effects of Japanese colonization is still felt, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly.

      I’m sure you didn’t mean it in an offensive way, but I just wanted to make you aware of the history.

      All the best.

      1 year ago
  6. Was getting the place for one month also difficult? How long did it take to set up and did you use an agency for that?

    1 year ago
  7. I can’t wait to see more of your new house! It looks pretty nice so far though. When my sister and her husband were house hunting the places were supposed to be empty but a lot of times the family would still be there when the realtor took them to look around. My sister mentioned that was pretty awkward. In one instance the person refused to let them talk or see some of the rooms because ‘the baby is sleeping’. Needless to say, they didn’t purchase that house since they couldn’t look around.

    1 year ago
  8. Hey! I am certain you have the internet in the works but I have heard tons of bad stories of getting internet. In Japan you have to pay 2 people for your internet and configure your computer. Just thought I would post the service I used that actually made it all very easy! So it is called BB Apply, an English service that helps with everything! https://bbapply.com/ !

    1 year ago
    • Yeah, we have to pay for an ISP, and a Network as well, it seems. Supposedly it’s an anti-monopoly law. Our friends in Japan have confirmed as much as well. Well, we just got it set up an hour ago, and it seems to be working great so far. Hooray for fiber!

      1 year ago
  9. Maybe once you live there for a bit you can tell us what the neighbour culture is like there? Do your neighbours say hello to you or does everyone ignore each other?

    1 year ago
    • I would like to hear about this too — all that I know about Japan, I’ve “learned” through years of anime watching and I’m sure that doesn’t really count ;).

      1 year ago
  10. In the area of the US I’m in it’s cheaper to own a home rather than rent it. Since you have multiple pets did your landlord have any extra requests like pet rent? We have 3 dogs and have to pay 25 extra every month.

    1 year ago
  11. How’s Japanese (language) different to Korean? i know there are supposed to be three different alphabets but I would really like to know more about that

    Love from Colombia

    1 year ago
    • The Japanese writing system isn’t really an alphabet per se. (Korean is, with the letters put in syllabic blocks.) The Japanese writing system does have three main parts: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Hiragana (ひらがな) and katakana (カタカナ) are syllabic characters; each character represents either an open vowel or a consonant-vowel syllable (except for the nasal finals ん/ン). There are 46 characters in each set, not counting the modified-consonant characters. Kanji (漢字), on the other hand, are Chinese-derived characters. (Korean also sparingly uses Chinese characters, there called hanja, and written with the same characters.)

      Kanji are probably the most important part of the writing system as they are used to convey meaning, while hiragana is used mainly for inflection and katakana is used for both emphasis (like italics) and for foreign loanwords. There are 1,945 kanji that a Japanese student is expected to learn in 9 years of compulsory schooling, and nearly all of them can be read two ways: one a Chinese-derived reading that sounds close to the original Chinese reading, and another that is the same concept in native Japanese vocabulary. (Hanja in Korean generally are read only with a Sino-Korean reading, but are named with the native Korean word to explain the concept.)

      There is a not-often-recognized-as-such fourth component to Japanese writing that is ever more commonly used to write it if not necessarily to read it: rōmaji, “Roman characters”; these are commonly used to input Japanese text on computers and in corporate branding, and are the same letters used to write European languages where the Catholic Church had primary influence.

      1 year ago
  12. Not to be a creeper, but what area of the city did you end up renting in?

    1 year ago
  13. Congrats on the house!! This was so helpful:) there is a good chance I’ll be moving to Japan next year with 2 medium sized active dogs so I have a better idea of what to expect now. I’m potentially moving to Sapporo so I’m hoping the process won’t be extremely horrible

    1 year ago
  14. What’s the process of setting up internet (and other bills) in Japan?

    In London/the UK if you rent a private flat or house (not a service apartment or shared place) the utilities get transferred to you straight away but often you still need to call them.. but with internet you always have to set it up yourself and it will always take at least 3 weeks (sometimes more depending on when you move and where you stay).

    1 year ago
    • For utilities like water, gas, electricity you have to call the corresponding company and tell them you gonna move in and they should turn everything on, plus you have to give all your personal info. OR you ask the real estate agency to do it, if they are nice they do it for you.

      For internet you have to go to a provider like soft bank, docomo or KDDI and choose your plan and make an appointment for NTT to come in and fix up everything (that can take like weeks). After they fixed everything up you have internet. Depending in which district you live in its better to choose a different provider.

      And of course always go to the city hall, post office and change your address :)

      1 year ago
    • Our realtor got us in contact with a company that offers service in English. We just emailed each other, then we filled in their form, and they’re coming today. Woohoo!

      1 year ago
      • Hello!
        Me and my girlfriend are planning to move to Japan and after seeing your video, your realtor seemed very helpful, even setting you up with companies that offered service in English. We have lived in Japan previously but we had to go through everything in Japanese :( So I was just wondering the name of the realtor company that you used is? It would be really helpful! Thank you and good luck with your adventures!

        11 months ago
  15. I am here commenting before even finishing the video but I just wanted to say that it is illegal in the US (at least i’m pretty sure it’s the whole US) to stop someone from living somewhere based on children (or race, sexuality, and gender). When I was younger my mom actually almost didn’t get a place because when they found out she had a kid they tried to come up with some excuses as to why she suddenly couldn’t have the apartment. Luckily she nipped that but the guy couldn’t just come out and say it “oh I don’t want you living here because you have a baby” even though it was obvious that’s what the issue was.
    Anyway! I’m glad you guys are finally home renters and I’m super excited to see you enjoying your patio!

    1 year ago
  16. This was so interesting! Some of these places are so nice looking, and it’s great that you are in a very suburban area but so close to being able to get into the city. A 20 minute walk really isn’t that bad at all, I would give anything to live someplace that was more walk-able (I live in Southern California, but I feel most of the US isn’t conducive to walking, you ‘have’ to have a car). I’m excited for the house tour!

    On why houses may be so cheap to rent in Japan- in 2014 Freakonomics Radio released the podcast “Why Are Japanese Homes Disposable?”

    “It turns out that half of all homes in Japan are demolished within 38 years — compared to 100 years in the U.S. There is virtually no market for pre-owned homes in Japan, and 60 percent of all homes were built after 1980. In Yoshida’s estimation, while land continues to hold value, physical homes become worthless within 30 years. Other studies have shown this to happen in as little as 15 years.”

    Here is the link to their blog entry and it has a link to play the podcast as well. I found it very interesting when I listened to it the first time!

    http://freakonomics.com/podcast/why-are-japanese-homes-disposable-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast-3/

    1 year ago
    • At least historically, if you were one of the regular folk and you didn’t knock your house down within 30 years, Mother Earth was likely to do it for you.

      1 year ago
    • OMG I’ve read Freakonomics, and gotta say, they make so much sense, and their arguments are great. The stuff about naming children, and drug dealing it’s like a vail was lifted from my eyes. The guys are great. I didn’t know they were doing podcasts too.

      1 year ago
    • I thought about that freakonomics podcast, too, when Simon mentioned the “brand new” smell in all the houses they toured.

      1 year ago
    • That’s super interesting! Thanks for the link :)

      1 year ago
  17. If u have any tips about real state agencies or something it’d be really helpful too! I’m moving soon to Tokyo and I could use that info :D Thanks so much for the video though! n_n it’s always nice watching you guys :D!

    1 year ago
  18. I think the idea of visiting houses and apartments before people move out is fairly common. I know in the states, I have looked at apartments with people still living in them, and when leaving, we have always had realtors call us to tell us that people were coming to look at the place. But usually the agreed way to do it would be to leave the place. Same with buying. And as for renting, in the states there are lots of apartments that won’t rent if you have pets. I’ve been places that allowed dogs but not cats, but usually they allow cats but not dogs. Or only will rent to places that have dogs that under a certain weight. I have never had landlords let things slide with pet rules though, so you were lucky to be able to have Spudgy stay.

    1 year ago
  19. I always thought that people were saying Pension instead of Mansion. I kind of like calling it a Mansion instead. :-)

    1 year ago
  20. Congrats! You guys didn’t answer my biggest question though, where did Martina get her green blouse/dress/whatever it is??

    1 year ago
  21. This was really interesting! I had an unrelated question though, what resources did you guys use to learn katakana and hiragana? I have been trying to learn Japanese myself, but a lot of the lessons I’ve found online seem to assume that you know how to read some already. I already know some spoken Japanese, but I’ve been hoping to learn to read characters too. Seeing you guys practicing your katakana reading has made me really curious how you guys got started!

    1 year ago
    • Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese is excellent. I took Japanese in high school, and then in college for a bit, and I could have just skipped that and used the guide instead.

      1 year ago
      • Thanks so much, it looks like a great guide, I’m gonna get started right away!

        1 year ago
    • You should try the Memrise app and Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese,(both of them are free). Thats how I started to learn hiragana and katakana :)

      1 year ago
      • Thank you! Apps are really handy learning tools, so I’ll definitely check it out!

        1 year ago
  22. So cool to see the different types of places^^Looking forward for the house tour but I’m happy you found something you liked^^

    1 year ago
  23. Wow congrats on your house^^ I’m actually moving to Okinawa in a couple weeks so I’m looking at your post to get an idea on what to expect & look for when I get a house. I’m US military though so I know there are companies that specifically deal with us. My experience might be a bit different from yours. I’d gladly take earthquakes to be back in Tokyo again. Now I’ll have to deal with typhoons T^T

    1 year ago
  24. Congratulations on your first Japanese home! Man, it sounds so different from what you guys were used to in Korea, let alone Canada.

    In Mexico we need guarantors as well when you’re both renting and buying a place, and deposits are a huge deal too. I had never heard of “gift” money, which does seem like a slightly dated concept… ah, Japan. I’m in the US with my fiancé now and we’re lowkey trying to find our first apartment together for when I finally move to the US permanently. The landlords we’ve met have asked all sorts of questions, but still nothing like our musical abilities or future children or lack thereof… which is a good thing, I guess, since my fiancé likes to drum lololol

    I’m really happy you guys finally found a place, it must be amazing to move into your very own first house together – and it even has a pretty backyard! Do you have an update on Spudgy and Meems? I’m sure you guys miss them like crazy.

    Congratulations once again, you both! I’ve been watching your videos since pretty much 2008 and I’m really really very happy for you both!

    1 year ago
    • Oh, and I’m just talking about renting places, I don’t know about buying a place, I think that you do need a guarantor in that case, just like you said :)

      1 year ago
    • I’m mexican too and I’ve lived in different states. In my experience, it depends on the city you’re living if you need a guarantor or not (and also the landlord or whatever). For example in Mexicali, Baja California, I never ever had that problem. But in Mexico City in a lot of places they do ask you for that. Not everywhere though, as I manage to rent different apartments without a guarantor there anyway haha. And I’ll also move out of Mexico soon! not to the USA, but to Tokyo n_n my husband is there and I’ll be a resident, yeeey!!

      1 year ago
  25. Congrats on your new house that little garden area would be awesome for planting herbs (>^.^)> sending lots of love!

    Oh and I do believe there are some apt/community homes that are made just for like single people or older people that don’t want kids running around

    1 year ago
  26. Congratulations guys! I’m so jelly! :) I had the pleasure of staying in a house in Ikegami with some friends while I visited Tokyo for a month, 2 years ago, and it was amazing! I hope you have the greatest time in Japan! :)

    1 year ago
  27. In Wisconsin, deposit is about 1 months rent. If they allow pets there is usually a separate pet deposit and a monthly upcharge for the pet. Lots of places don’t allow bigger dogs. You get the deposit back as long as there isn’t damage, and normal wear and tear doesn’t count (bad landlords try). Landlords can do a credit check to see if you can afford rent and make sure that you don’t have too many unrelated people living in a house, but you can’t forbid children, unless it’s like a senior citizen living community. Instruments aren’t asked about either. There’s noise ordinances and I can tell you, landlords get pickier if the neighbors call the police on loud neighbors :) after a certain number of complaints, the landlord also gets fined. (I used to feel guilty about calling the cops, until our next door neighbors had a huge all night party complete with keg throwing at 5am. I’m a night owl so it it wad too loud at 2 am for me to sleep, especially since city ordinance is after 10 is supposed to be quiet, we called. Our neighbors began to improve drastically.) There’s a ton of things you can’t ask because of anti-discrimination laws and unless it’s student housing, which states the number of people, a single family home can only have 2 unrelated people, no matter the size. So a 3 bedroom house could rent to a family or 2 roommates.

    1 year ago
  28. Actually in Canada there have been legal challenges lately against landlords refusing people because of children. I suppose new condos must be built like hotels (where you can hear most of everything) but older apartment buildings in Toronto are built for soundproofing, I never heard anything from my neighbours unless they were yelling right outside my door (mailslot) or installing a light in the ceiling below me when I lived in the city. Can’t wait for a tour of your house and yard. Too bad we can’t post response videos on youtube any more or all the Nasties could also post videos of our homes.

    Cyber_3 – if you can luck into a coachhouse in downtown Toronto, that’s always the better option than a condo/apartment.

    1 year ago
    • I’ve never heard of a coachhouse, and I’m from Toronto. Can you explain?

      1 year ago
      • In downtown TO, almost all of the older Victorian-esque houses, say south of Bloor, north of Queen, bordered by hmmm…..High Park and Danforth but skipping downtown proper (Spadina-Yonge?) all had a carriage house or coachhouse for their buggy/horse and most of them were converted to garages over the years as horses became obsolete in the city but most stlll had a half or full upper floor for hay or a stable boy. A lot of enterprising landlords have converted these garages into apartments for rent if they are already renting the house that goes with it. I had one near Ossington and Bloor that was two storeys: giant open bedroom and storage on top – living room/kitchen/bathroom on the main floor and a separate fenced patio/courtyard from the house. Sometimes you can access these properties through a path from the main house but sometimes it’s off the back alley like mine. If you’re in a residential area, the alleys are pretty safe. It was like having my own little cottage and my cats loved being able to go outside. My coachhouse easily could have accommodated my husband if he had been willing to move to Toronto, a family though…..eh…..tight in mine but some are quite big. They are pretty premium places however, I just happened to be able to move quickly and my sister knew the person moving out.

        1 year ago
      • I’m in Calgary, Canada. Here carriage house refers to a living space built on top of a garage. I know the government here is giving grants out to build them to try to increase rentable spaces near downtown.

        1 year ago
      • In Chicago a coachhouse refers to a building that used to be used for carriages back in the old days. They were pretty large, and so a lot of people converted them into little cottages rather than using them as a garage. They can be really nice.

        1 year ago
      • Not the OP, but they’re built adjacent to an older house, originally used for storage, or for your coach or carriage if you were fancy. I’ve always heard of them being called ‘carriage houses’ though.

        One of my best friends and his partner lived in one in Bloorwest Village, north of Runnymede station. You had to walk thru the main house’s driveway to get to their place, and it was part of a laneway with a bunch of other carriage houses. It was like a tiny cottage in the city. Super cute, but because it was never meant to be lived in, the insulation wasn’t the best, they didn’t have AC, and the floors would slope from one side to the other. We tested it with a marble one time after a lot of drinks. It was pretty funny.

        1 year ago
        • I guess that I am saying that old coachhouses and old houses are the same. Some have been taken care of, and some not. The advantages of living in a coachhouse are huge compared to a condo so you have to weigh the pros and cons on a case by case basis.

          1 year ago
        • I agree that some of them have issues and modern conveniences like A/C don’t come with like a condo (I bought a window a/c unit) but you will get this exact same problem with all the old houses that are next to them. People don’t notice the problems in houses as much because rental units rarely take up enough of a building to make defects obvious and most big issues are in the basement where you can’t see them (unless you are actually buying the house or in a basement apartment).

          1 year ago
  29. Congratulations on the new house! I’ve been binge watching HGTV lately, so I’ve been dreaming of moving out of my apartment into one.

    1 year ago
  30. Congratulations on the new house! I’m not sure if you guys are still in Musashino city, but I’m going to guess maybe you are since (if I remember correctly from my time in Tokyo) the KEIO Inokashira Express Line takes 15 minutes-ish from Kichijoji to Shibuya. Anyway, in the Eat Your Sushi video you mentioned some trouble with your trash separation so I thought an English guide might be helpful: http://www.city.musashino.lg.jp/dbps_data/_material_/_files/000/000/003/299/gomieigoban-270316-1.pdf Sorry the quality isn’t the best. They should have some printed ones available at your city office when you go to register your new residence, though :)

    1 year ago
  31. I live out in the more country side of Kanagawa and got super lucky on my place!

    You should totally check out Hakone When you get the chance

    1 year ago
  32. Congrats on the new house!
    I’m currently touring Japan and using Airbnb so I have gotten some experience with the housing. In Fukuoka, I guess I stayed in a “mansion” but it was pretty nice since it had a kitchen/dining room, I think two bedrooms, and bathroom on multiple floors despite being one building. In Hiroshima, I’m in an apartment-like room with a kitchen/dining room and a tatami room. I think it’s surprising that apartment buildings look so grundgy outside (I’m currently right next to the red light district) yet they look so comfy on the inside! :P Optical illusion!
    Anyway, congrats on your mansion. It is freaking huge!! :D

    1 year ago
  33. Congratulations, guys!
    I am so glad that you were able to find a house! As I am a Canadian renting a Condo in the UK, I know exactly how confusing navigating a foreign housing market can be. We had tons of people not even let us view places because we were foreigners! We also had the issue of having a cat, which most places in Britain have carpet … so you can guess why they didn’t want us. Another thing we encountered was that the few places that would let us view wouldn’t consider us because we didn’t have British credit or British references. We ended up lucking out with the place we ended up getting because the Landlords both went to McGill and cut us a break. Although we still had to pay 3 months’ rent upfront as well as a deposit and my hubby had to get a notarize letter from his work stating that what his salary was going to be and that it was assured for the whole 2 years of our rental agreement.

    1 year ago
    • I’ve lived in Canada for 9 years almost but I’m from Britain and I can say it’s just as arduous and difficult for British citizens as it is for foreigners! Also, credit scoring in the UK is much more rigorous than it is in Canada. I believe in Canada your credit score is really only affected by whether you’ve been given credit or not (credit cards, lines of credit etc) and how well you managed those things. In the UK even your utility and bill payments will be recorded on your credit score so if you’re ever late making a payment (and many people are if they ever have to deal with job insecurity, poverty or even learning how to be a responsible adult!). Your credit score is also affected by whether you register to vote or not! So as you can imagine if you have even the slightest difficulty with finances it can then be suddenly very hard to rent a home (whatever kind it may be). When I was 18/19 (around 16 years ago, eep) there were more ‘private lets’ available – where you can just go directly with the landlord and they don’t usually do credit checks but they will ask for a deposit of 1-3 months rent and often for a guarantor if you’re young. I believe that’s still the case outside the big cities but nowadays you often have to go through letting agencies (sort of like realtors or management companies for rentals) and that’s where the strict rules of credit checks, larger deposits etc come in.

      This is getting long but I mostly wanted to say that moving to Canada from the UK I was so surprised to learn how informal and laid back the whole process of renting places is compared to where I come from! I’m on the west coast but from what I understand from others in Canada and the U.S. renting has far less bureaucratic processes and you’re much less likely to be denied by landlords and you don’t have to use agencies.

      1 year ago
  34. Not to be too picky… Particularly since you already have the house…

    BUT, while LDK do indeed stand for living room, dining room and kitchen the rest of the explanation is just a little off. The difference between LDK and DK is just the size of the room. An LDK is bigger and has room to be a living/dining/kitchen, while a DK is smaller with just enough room for a table and cooking. The number is the number of additional rooms. So a 1LDK has one private room and one large living area that includes kitchen space. A 2DK has two private rooms and one small dining kitchen. A true one room apartment is 1R.

    1 year ago
  35. Congratulations guys! I have been following your videos for 4 years now. Since 2014, I am living in Japan and its so fun to watch you experience the same I did. As I live in Tokyo as well, we might bump into each other! :D Dont be scared if an unknown girl suddenly will weep when seeing you ;D
    When searching for an apartment, I did experience the same procedures. Luckily, I am living with my Japanese boyfriend, so the questions concerning my stay in Japan weren’t so personal.
    One thing did surprise me. We were asked by our landlord to not have children, as long as we say in the apartment. …
    It is actually forbidden to hang our laundry at the veranda. (I even was told that panties are 100% NG). The reason for that, is that our mansion is new and the hanging laundry makes it look uninteresting and boring…(Yeap, I was told that that my panties are boring!)
    I was told to write all about my company, its capital, net sales (I sure remembered that!!, nope I actually didnt..)common stock etc. I had to write my salary, my mothers salary and so on…
    In my case, the apartment hunting was quite exhausting… So, as Japanese would say, Otsukaresama!

    1 year ago
    • But but…panties can be so exciting! Some of mine have Mario, tiny bumblebees, or stars on them. COME ON!! SO EXCITING! Yes, when we bump into each other on Tokyo mention our panty conversation and I’ll remember you! Hahaha Simon and your boyfriend will think we are crazy. ;)

      1 year ago
  36. I’m living this whole “moving to Japan” experience careslessly through you, guys! I know it sounds silly, yep, but hey, living in Japan, it’s the dream. I’m sure many fellow nasties know what I’m talking about ;) It’s wonderful to see you guys all excited, I bet your new house is great!

    1 year ago
  37. Congratulations, guys!
    I’m surprised to hear that there are so many procedures for renting a house/apartment in japan and Korea. Here, in Russia, it’s much more simple to rent a house but also more tricky, as you have no guarantee that you’ll get all the money as a landlord or you’ll not be kicked out of your flat in the middle of the month as a tenant. My mother once rented out a flat for a year and she got a way too many problems with the tenants as they kept the place dirty, were noisy, they didn’t pay household bills and if they had broken something my mother would have to pay for this thing out of her own pocket. As a result, my mother asked that family to move out within a month after she informed them about it and they disappeared without paying any money in two weeks after that.
    Btw, we have the same thing with asking about musical instruments, kids and pets here and I think that’s totally fine. First of all, when people have problems with tenants, they usually complain to the landlords adn it’s quite understandable that they don’t want to hear how noisy and annoying their tenants are all the time. Furthermore, pet culture here isn’t so well developed and some pet owners don’t have any papers proving that their pet is OK and won’t cause any threat to the neighbours + many people just don’t care to clean after their pets, to wash their pets and to look after their pets. So, I think it’s better to make things clear beforehand.

    1 year ago
  38. It’s good to hear that you found a place! It’s exciting that you guys are in Japan now. I’m in Osaka so please do give a heads up if you visit again! I’d love to do a meet and greet.

    1 year ago
  39. Some of the processes you’ve had to go through are pretty similar as a foreigner in the UK, although I’ve never rented a full apartment myself here but it’s all applied for renting a room as well.

    I needed a deposit, normally 6 weeks rent. This money would have deductions taken from it at the end of my tenancy if I damaged it in any way (or the landlord tried to blame me for damage that previously existed). It’s very important to take photos on move-in day so you don’t get your deposit taken from damage that the landlord won’t fix and just wants money from. I also needed a guarantor because I did not have a well enough paying job in the landlord’s opinion to afford my room. They don’t seem too picky about this, but if I don’t pay my rent for the term of my rental agreement then my guarantor is responsible. Thankfully my employer offered.

    Additionally, if I did not have a guarantor and/or a job I would have had to pay 6 month’s rent or more up front. Potentially the whole tenancy!
    Renting in Canada seems so much easier now.

    1 year ago
  40. Congratulations on the new house, guise!

    “[W]e don’t have internet in our home yet.” Oh man, when ever I’ve moved house and have had that statement apply, it usually meant I was about to have several weeks of pain trying to get the internet service to work. I hope you have better luck!

    1 year ago