Japan is a popular travel destination because it has so much to offer – a unique culture, stunning sights, incredible food, and much more. If you plan to travel to Japan, whether for an extended holiday or work, you’ll have plenty to organise.
One of the most important things to sort out before packing your bags and heading travel is accommodation. You’ll need to find where that’s suitable for your needs and aligns with your budget.
There’s a wide variety of housing options in Japan. Whether you’re looking for properties in Tokyo or Sapporo housing, you’ll find apartments and single-family homes to rent while you’re away.
Here are some tips to help you find the best accommodation and become a tenant while travelling in Japan.
Determine Your Budget
Before you can search for accommodation to rent in Japan, you need to figure out how much you can afford to spend on rent. Considering the cost of living in Tokyo, it’s best to plan your accommodation well. For instance, your rent will likely be one of the most expensive costs during your travels, so set aside a significant part of your budget for accommodation.
The average rent in Japan is between 50,000 to 70,000 JPY (377 to 535 USD) a month, but this can vary drastically from place to place. For example, Tokyo is the most expensive place to live in Japan, so you can expect the average rent to be higher.
Aside from that, Japan is also known for high consumption tax rates. However, despite this, people are still magnetised by this first-world country because of the high wages they offer workers and the high quality of life of the Japanese. But all the expenses will be worth it because the country has so much to offer tourists. You will have a grand time travelling solo, with friends, or with the entire family.
Decide on a Location
Every city and town in Japan has something unique to offer. You’ll need to decide whether you want to be in the hustle and bustle of busy cities like Tokyo or if you’d prefer to be in a quieter, more serene area like Izu.
Many young people prefer places like Harajuku, a district in Shibuya, Tokyo, because of the area’s unique and colourful fashion and vibrant youth culture.
For those who want to immerse themselves in Japanese culture fully, it’s best to visit cities like Sapporo, located in the northernmost part of the country. The city combines modern and traditional cultures in a stunning landscape amidst the refreshing taste of their world-famous beer.
In the most populated areas of Japan, people tend to live in high-rise apartments due to limited space. You may access more spacious accommodation in the less busy areas of the country.
Some places you may explore are Hokkaido, Okinawa, and Shikoku. Hokkaido is in the north, famous for its beautiful ski resorts and hot springs. It’s less crowded than many other parts of the country and has ample accommodations.
Okinawa, on the other hand, is in the south. It has a subtropical climate with beautiful beaches. Finally, Sukoku also boasts amazing coastlines and luxury resorts in the south. These three less populated areas are all beautiful and travel worthy.
However, know each area’s public transport systems and road networks. The quieter areas of Japan may be harder to reach and could limit your travelling experience.
Note that rental prices and the cost of day-to-day living will also vary drastically between different locations in Japan. Your budget should also influence where you decide to stay on your travels.
Read Travel Forums and Online Resources
There are lots of great online resources that you can use to find the perfect accommodation for your travels around Japan. You can use forums, question-and-answer websites, and informative web pages to widen your knowledge.
Reading online travel forums enables you to read about the real-life experiences of others who have travelled to the country and get advice from them. Getting advice from others gives you a better perspective on what it’s like to travel around Japan and which accommodation is most suitable for travellers.
Consider Booking a Ryokan
A ryokan is a traditional Japanese-style inn, and you’ll find this type of accommodation alongside conventional hotels and lodges in most of the popular areas of Japan.
You will find a few traditional Western furniture items in a standard ryokan, but you’ll still have a great travelling experience. You can relax on a comfortable futon and immerse yourself in Japanese culture while enjoying all the necessary travelling amenities. Most ryokan inns offer breakfast and dinner as part of their nightly prices, so you’ll only need to eat out for lunch.
On average, a ryokan will cost you around 10,000 JPY (around 75 USD) a night, but costs will depend on where in Japan you’re staying. In large, famous cities, such as Tokyo, you’ll find that a conventional hotel is cheaper than a ryokan. However, if you head out to the quieter areas of the country, you can find a cheaper ryokan that is just as incredible as those found in the city centres.
Don’t Book Too Far in Advance
When heading to Japan, remember that most Japanese real estate agents book up to one month in advance.
So, suppose you’re trying to book somewhere several months before your travels. In that case, you might need help to secure decent accommodation, especially in areas of Japan that are particularly popular for travellers and tourists.
Generally, you can reserve an apartment one or two months in advance, but you must pay a deposit to secure your place. Most Japanese tenants are offered a month-by-month contract. When you sign a contract for your accommodation, you’ll sometimes be expected to commit for at least six or 12 months.