Life in Japan


Although student dormitories operated by local governments and universities are available, approximately 79% of international students live in private houses or apartments. It is advised that you begin doing research on accommodation as soon as you receive notification of your acceptance to the university. You can find information regarding accommodation 1) at the school's international student office, 2) online, or 3) by checking with real estate agents in the area you wish to live in.

Student Dormitories


  • Lower rent and overall expenses compared to apartments (no need for shiki-kin (security deposit), rei-kin (gratuity money) or renewal fees)
  • May come equipped with furniture, electrical appliances, etc.


  • Due to limited numbers of rooms available, not all students can stay in dormitories
  • Rules such as curfews and wake-up times
  • Shared kitchen, toilet and bathroom



  • Freedom to live according to your own lifestyle
  • Development of understanding of finances


  • In many cases, you will have to pay shiki-kin (security deposit equal to a few months' rent), rei-kin (gratuity money), real estate agent's commissions, or other fees in advance
  • Complicated rental agreements and a need to find a guarantor
  • Need to purchase all furniture and electrical appliances

Average Rent by Area

Area Average Rent (Yen)
National average 38,000
Tokyo 50,000
Hokkaido 30,000
Tohoku 34,000
Kanto 44,000
Chubu 29,000
Kinki 37,000
Chugoku 27,000
Shikoku 24,000
Kyushu 26,000
Source: 2021 Lifestyle Survey of Privately Financed International Students (JASSO)

Important Point

Guidelines for monthly housing expenses

Student dormitory: 28,000 yen (for the JASSO Tokyo Japanese Language Education Center)

Apartment: Varies significantly depending on the popularity of the nearest train station, the distance to the nearest train station, the age of the building, etc. In more rural areas, you may find an apartment for around 30,000 yen to 40,000 yen a month, but within Tokyo 60,000 yen would be reasonable target.

Taking out the garbage: Japan has strict rules regarding garbage disposal, and failure to follow them can be source of conflict with neighbors. Be sure to separate your garbage properly and dispose of it in the specified location(s) at the specified times.

Joint Guarantor

A joint guarantor is generally required when renting an apartment in Japan. If you do not pay the rent in time or cause damage without paying for repairs, the landlord can demand that the joint guarantor pay for the overdue rent or repairs. There is a system in which school-related persons (student office or teaching staff) can serve as joint guarantors for international students with limited Japanese connections. A joint guarantor may not be needed if you conclude a contract that requires the payment of a guarantee charge.

∗Comprehensive Renters' Insurance for Foreign Students Studying in Japan

This insurance program, which is managed by the Japan Educational Exchanges and Services (JEES), is designed to cover unexpected emergencies, such as fires, and to help an international students avoid unnecessarily inconveniencing their joint guarantor.

∗To find out if you are eligible for this insurance program, please contact your school.

Point When Searching for Apartments

  1. Rent and initial costs
  2. Distance from school and time required to reach school
  3. Size and facilities
  4. Convenience of surrounding environment (Distance to public transportation, convenience for shopping, etc.)

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