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hro52
July 9th, 2014, 03:04
I was recently upgraded and found out today that I will be staying in Tokyo. I also received an email from a home-stay organization. Does that mean that I have to stay with a host family or do I still have the option of having a place of my own. I would really appreciate any clarification.

TwilightsCall
July 9th, 2014, 03:40
The Homestay is temporary.

Immediately after the Tokyo Orientation (with JETs from everywhere) we'll be staying in a hotel for a couple of days, followed by Homestaying until the end of Prefectural Orientation. Once the Prefectural Orientation is over, you will be moving into your own place assisted by a designated Real Estate agent.

This is how it's working for groups A and B, I'm not sure on the specifics if you're in group C.

You should also have been contacted with some information and a short questionnaire from the Real Estate agent, attached to your general Welcome Letter (the same email with information about your specific school and contract). If you haven't received the welcome letter yet, I suppose there isn't much to do but wait for the BoE to contact you.

Again, I don't know much about how Group C is being handled if you're part of that, but rest assured that the Homestay is definitely temporary, and you will have a place of your own within the first few weeks.

jacklostinred
July 9th, 2014, 13:03
Bring a lot of money. Moving into a new apartment in Tokyo can be expensive. I haven't heard if Tokyo BOE will cover any of the move in costs but assume they wont and hope for the best.

ihatefall
July 9th, 2014, 14:01
Damn, who the hell turned down a Tokyo placement?!?

mrcharisma
July 9th, 2014, 14:12
Damn, who the hell turned down a Tokyo placement?!?

There's a subset of applicants who fantasize about living in some sort of Ghibli utopia with waterfalls, kindly old bags next door and fairies in the woods. They can swap their Tokyo placements with me if they like, as long as they don't mind replacing the natural idyll with closed-down shops.

word
July 9th, 2014, 14:19
There's a subset of applicants who fantasize about living in some sort of Ghibli utopia with waterfalls, kindly old bags next door and fairies in the woods. They can swap their Tokyo placements with me if they like, as long as they don't mind replacing the natural idyll with closed-down shops.That's actually a lot what my placement is like, except that the kindly old bags next door are nosy b*tches who go through your garbage and call the police if you have more than one car parked in front of your house, and the fairies in the woods are actually mukade and they want to lay eggs in your nostrils while you're sleeping.

ihatefall
July 9th, 2014, 14:33
There's a subset of applicants who fantasize about living in some sort of Ghibli utopia with waterfalls, kindly old bags next door and fairies in the woods. They can swap their Tokyo placements with me if they like, as long as they don't mind replacing the natural idyll with closed-down shops.

Do it! While I suspect you don't like me, we could go to overpriced shows with no opening act together. Or rather we'd be in the same building.



That's actually a lot what my placement is like, except that the kindly old bags next door are nosy b*tches who go through your garbage and call the police if you have more than one car parked in front of your house, and the fairies in the woods are actually mukade and they want to lay eggs in your nostrils while you're sleeping.

Ha!

therealwindycity
July 9th, 2014, 15:59
That's actually a lot what my placement is like, except that the kindly old bags next door are nosy b*tches who go through your garbage and call the police if you have more than one car parked in front of your house, and the fairies in the woods are actually mukade and they want to lay eggs in your nostrils while you're sleeping.

This, although beaches, onsen, and hiking pretty much make up for it.

Ananasboat
July 9th, 2014, 19:42
I have what seems to be a great spot in terms of ghibli magnificence, and I would turn down a Tokyo placement in a heartbeat. Not about that life.

Gizmotech
July 9th, 2014, 20:25
Before I came, I would have gladly had a tokyo position. I now know better, and would never ever want to be in that big of a city.

Ode to a Grasshopper
July 9th, 2014, 21:52
Just so incoming peeps know, Tokyo covers kind of a (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo) big (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonin_Islands) area (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izu_Islands).

Screw (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osaka_Prefecture) Tokyo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osaka).

word
July 9th, 2014, 21:58
Just so incoming peeps know, Tokyo covers kind of a (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo) big (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonin_Islands) area (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izu_Islands).


Yeh but most Tokyo JETs this year are actually being placed in the city; it's not like Tokyo is a guaranteed island placement anymore.

johnny
July 9th, 2014, 22:35
That's actually a lot what my placement is like, except that the kindly old bags next door are nosy b*tches who go through your garbage and call the police if you have more than one car parked in front of your house, and the fairies in the woods are actually mukade and they want to lay eggs in your nostrils while you're sleeping.


There's a subset of applicants who fantasize about living in some sort of Ghibli utopia with waterfalls, kindly old bags next door and fairies in the woods. They can swap their Tokyo placements with me if they like, as long as they don't mind replacing the natural idyll with closed-down shops.

Man, I hear you guys speak and I feel super lucky to have my placement. My city is actually growing, believe it or not. Obviously there are some closed shops, but for the most part the store spaces in the malls and on the street are full. My schools are actually expanding to meet increased need, too.

We have three huge employers in our city. We have a big Hitachi factory that makes bullet trains that are used domestically and shipped abroad. We have a huge pharmaceutical facility which apparently does its testing on ostriches of all things. We also have a steel factory. People are moving in for work from what I'm told.

It's not bad for a city of 50,000.

johnny
July 9th, 2014, 22:38
Before I came, I would have gladly had a tokyo position. I now know better, and would never ever want to be in that big of a city.

How would you feel about a mid-sized city? I think Kobe might have been nice. I also love Fukuoka.

Also, Tokyo might be nice in a way. I mean, I guess if you live in Tokyo, you spend most of your time living within a particular district, right. You might have your own little community within the big city I guess.

Ini
July 9th, 2014, 22:46
I feel super lucky to have my placement.

so you repay them by dossing around doing a half assed job? for shame.....

johnny
July 9th, 2014, 23:06
so you repay them by dossing around doing a half assed job? for shame.....

At least you're not screwing around at work when you're trolling me now. :D

ihatefall
July 10th, 2014, 11:24
Just so incoming peeps know, Tokyo covers kind of a (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo) big (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonin_Islands) area (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izu_Islands).

Those island placements aren't bad. You're still close to the city if you need your fix

Screw (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osaka_Prefecture) Tokyo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osaka).

Ya, I like osaka a lot too

mrcharisma
July 10th, 2014, 11:38
Do it! While I suspect you don't like me, we could go to overpriced shows with no opening act together. Or rather we'd be in the same building.


Nonsense. I like all of the regular posters in my own slightly hostile way.

As for cities, I'm baffled by the dislike for both Osaka and Tokyo on here, I'd gladly live in either. The midsize cities all seem much of a muchness except Kyoto.

There are JETs in my prefecture who have never heard of Yokohama. it seems strangely low-profile for the country's second city.

word
July 10th, 2014, 11:52
Nonsense. I like all of the regular posters in my own slightly hostile way.

As for cities, I'm baffled by the dislike for both Osaka and Tokyo on here, I'd gladly live in either. The midsize cities all seem much of a muchness except Kyoto.

There are JETs in my prefecture who have never heard of Yokohama. it seems strangely low-profile for the country's second city.
I just don't really like cities. They're fun to visit, and I'm kinda fascinated by Tokyo in an odd anthropological way, but I would nevar want to live there. Big cities give me the heebie-jeebies. I cannot think of a worse place to be in a crisis situation--even a minor crisis.

webstaa
July 10th, 2014, 12:56
Cost of living is way too high in the city for an ALT. Fuck that noise, I'll gladly live rent-free and super cheap in the inaka. There's plenty of chances to get to a big city for cheap anyways.

BeckyJones
July 10th, 2014, 13:30
Nonsense. I like all of the regular posters in my own slightly hostile way.

As for cities, I'm baffled by the dislike for both Osaka and Tokyo on here, I'd gladly live in either. The midsize cities all seem much of a muchness except Kyoto.

There are JETs in my prefecture who have never heard of Yokohama. it seems strangely low-profile for the country's second city.

My hatred for Tokyo is not necessarily about the city, and more about what it does to the surrounding area. There are communities dieing in Kanto because there is nothing to keep people, so people go to Tokyo. Since everyone goes to Tokyo, there is no reason to stay in the area. Its a cycle of suck, and it is a shame that Tokyo sucks the life out of the area. But if you are young, and smart, you know you HAVE TO go to Tokyo to find a job because there isn't much of an alternative.

Also I find it sad and amusing when I hear people talk about going to Tokyo for the weekend and going to Zawatami and Karaoke. You can find that shit anywhere, why take a 2-3hour train into Tokyo to do it for more? If you go to Tokyo, go get some crazy foreign food, or a hooker.

webstaa
July 10th, 2014, 13:52
Dear god, what the hell is this, I agreed with BJ about something...

Ode to a Grasshopper
July 10th, 2014, 13:57
I just don't really like cities. They're fun to visit, and I'm kinda fascinated by Tokyo in an odd anthropological way, but I would nevar want to live there. Big cities give me the heebie-jeebies. I cannot think of a worse place to be in a crisis situation--even a minor crisis.Me neither, actually. Truth be told, if I was in the middle of Osaka city proper I think I'd go insane. I live about a half-hour away from the City-city, and work just a little short of where my city's residential area stops and the mountains begin. There's enough green around that it's not all concrete jungle, though it is just a little busier than I'd like. And yeah - expensive...but then I'm Australian, so it's not really much different cost-of-living-wise, slightly cheaper in fact.
TBH a big part of me would really like to go Ghibli, but it's really convenient where I am, my (still-very-limited) Japanese is all Osaka-ben, and there's a certain practicality about the local attitude/regional outlook (as much as such a thing can be said to exist) that I really appreciate.

mothy
July 10th, 2014, 14:05
I don't mind big cities but Osaka is a cesspool. It's the Baltimore of Japan.

Ini
July 10th, 2014, 14:05
Osaka is the Saitama of the west.....

word
July 10th, 2014, 14:10
I can't speak for the regional outlook, but as far as "going Ghibli" is concerned, it's really not that bad. Even in the ultra-inaka, life can be pretty convenient. The worst aspects are usually transportation and company. Japan's inaka is an under-appreciated wonderland just waiting to be discovered (though I don't expect the Japanese population to realize this fact anytime soon).

coop52
July 10th, 2014, 20:15
I grew up in the middle of nowhere, so even staying in Tokyo a few days makes me feel all claustrophobic and stressed. The town I'm in now (about 200,000 people) is a good size. It's not too crowded, but still urban enough to have restaurants and shopping within a reasonable distance. I live in a more rural part of town and still have 2 grocery stores, 3 combini, 2 100 yens, a home center, 2 liquor stores, and at least 4 coin laundries within a 10 minute bike ride.


I wonder why Tokyo hasn't gotten their shit together and found apartments for the new people yet.

uthinkimlost?
July 10th, 2014, 20:20
I grew up in the middle of nowhere, so even staying in Tokyo a few days makes me feel all claustrophobic and stressed. The town I'm in now (about 200,000 people) is a good size. It's not too crowded, but still urban enough to have restaurants and shopping within a reasonable distance. I live in a more rural part of town and still have 2 grocery stores, 3 combini, 2 100 yens, a home center, 2 liquor stores, and at least 4 coin laundries within a 10 minute bike ride.


I wonder why Tokyo hasn't gotten their shit together and found apartments for the new people yet.

Probably because they're starting to realize how hard it will be to find a reasonable place on an alt pay scale.

TwilightsCall
July 11th, 2014, 03:22
I wonder why Tokyo hasn't gotten their shit together and found apartments for the new people yet.

Because they've hired real-estate agents and put them in contact with us so that we can pick our own places. I don't think the BoE plans on having much more to do with where we live than what they've already done.

greyjoy
July 11th, 2014, 06:26
Because they've hired real-estate agents and put them in contact with us so that we can pick our own places. I don't think the BoE plans on having much more to do with where we live than what they've already done.
How has that been so far? Are you going to actually be going out and looking at potential apartments when you get over there?

ihatefall
July 11th, 2014, 09:53
Because they've hired real-estate agents and put them in contact with us so that we can pick our own places. I don't think the BoE plans on having much more to do with where we live than what they've already done.

Are they subsidizing the rent a little bit?
This is kind of cool in a way, you're like one of the first JETs back in the 80's.

webstaa
July 11th, 2014, 10:29
I think that's part of the reason for the home-stay - give them a place to stay and people to talk to about how to live in Tokyo (as 90% of the advice they'll get from other JETs won't be of too much use - 90% of JETs live in the middle of bumfuck-nowheresville in West-Tent-Flap, Tokohoku.)

TwilightsCall
July 11th, 2014, 10:46
The way they've described it, it's basically going to be a one-day thing where they take us out to look at places. They gave us the Realtor's contact info a week or two ago, so there's been back and forth messages about expectations and realities going on since then. I suspect that their plan is to have a place they've basically decided, and then have us go take a look on the last day of Orientation to make sure its okay. We do have veto power on it, but I didn't get the feeling they were much interested in having us shop around - it seems to me they want everything as decided as possible before we arrive.

They aren't subsidizing our rent at all (sob), but the Realtor's seem to know our situation as the shortest commute time available on their questionnaire was 30 minutes. I kind of lucked out as far as commuting goes since my school is in a nice little suburb with very reasonable rent prices, but I suspect most people won't be living anywhere close to their school, if they're living in Tokyo at all. We do get our first paycheck before we sign the lease though, so we'll be less strained with startup money than we could be otherwise - especially since my realtor has told me to expect to pay six times my rent when I get the place.

greyjoy
July 11th, 2014, 11:33
Six times. Jesus, I hope that's just so that it seems like you get off lucky when you only have to pay three or four times your rent.

uthinkimlost?
July 11th, 2014, 12:15
my realtor has told me to expect to pay six times my rent when I get the place.

We've found out how they're fixing the economy, guys: fleecing gaijin, one weeaboo at a time.

Seriously, that is ridiculous. I don't like to make waves, but you might want to find out why and argue it down.

webstaa
July 11th, 2014, 12:25
key money sucks

coop52
July 11th, 2014, 12:33
You can negotiate it down. I did when I rented my place last year.

Ini
July 11th, 2014, 12:41
Unless its a shoebox 6 months rent will be more than your first paycheck. Better get saving......

UPGRAYEDD
July 11th, 2014, 13:00
Seriously just tell the agents to fuck off and find you a place without key money and whatnot. Seriously, there are TONS of foreigner-friendly options in Tokyo with reasonable deposits.

Also, why is Tokyo not considering hooking you guys up with municipal housing (都営)?

jacklostinred
July 11th, 2014, 13:00
6x rent = first month, last month, deposit (1-2x?), Key money (2x?)

TwilightsCall
July 11th, 2014, 14:21
This is the list I was given by the agent:



★When renting a room in Japan, the list below will cost as initial fees.
※Please understand the prices may change, depending on which room you
stay in.
1. Key money (the price will approximately cost 1~2 month of the rent)
2. Deposit (the price will approximately cost 1~2 month of the rent)
3. Proceeding fee (the price will cost 1 month of the rent)
4. Daily rent (daily fee of the month you move in)
5. Daily Common service fee (daily fee of the month you move in)
6. Rent for the following month
7. Common service fee for the following month
8. Room cleaning fee (will cost 32,400 yen~)
9. Fire insurance fee (15,000 yen/2 month)
10. First compensation fee (16,200 yen)
11. Daily compensation fee (daily fee of the month you move in)
12. Compensation fee for the following month
The contract money will approximately cost sextuple of the rent fee.
※Further information about the contract will be explained, when the room
is decided.
▲Number 6,7,12 will cost every month



From my own personal research, none of the places that are around my area are asking for Key Money, so I suspect that will be a non-issue for me. I by no means expect to actually pay near that much, but I still suspect it'll be a good chunk of money.

Antonath
July 11th, 2014, 14:28
What the hell is a compensation fee?

TwilightsCall
July 11th, 2014, 14:32
That is actually something I was going to ask the agent about myself lol

johnny
July 11th, 2014, 14:34
A room cleaning fee? Wow. I would have thought the deposit would cover that.

Antonath
July 11th, 2014, 14:40
I assume the common service fee is water, gas, electricity. Proceeding fee will be the agent's cut. I agree with Johnny that you'd think deposit would include cleaning, but maybe the deposit is only big things like tatami, scratches on walls, etc.

Gizmotech
July 11th, 2014, 14:41
That's a pretty absurd list.

coop52
July 11th, 2014, 14:57
Deposits usually are for damage. Cleaning fee is to clean the place after you leave. Common service fee is to pay the old lady who comes around and sweeps the front of the building. I think they mean processing fee rather than proceeding, which is probably the realtor fee. No clue what compensation fee is, so you should probably ask. You might be able to talk them down on the key money and deposit, but everything else is probably not negotiable.

It's pretty ridiculous. Hope you Tokyo kids have 50-60k yen ready to go.

Ini
July 11th, 2014, 15:15
That's stupid and you are being ripped off bad. Tell them thanks but you will use the week of home stay to find your own accommodation. Fuck, I'll find you somewhere to live and only charge you half of that crap if you want....

UPGRAYEDD
July 11th, 2014, 15:28
If they can't bring the deposits down to at least 2 months rent, I would highly recommend finding your own accommodation.

Which agency is the city using?

My company refers our gaijins to Able Corporation (エイブル) and they only charge 40% commission and we have generally good feedback on them.

greyjoy
July 11th, 2014, 15:29
Tell them you want to live at the BOE

word
July 11th, 2014, 15:54
I don't know anything about life in Tokyo, but I'd trust Ini and UPGRAYEDD here; they know what they're talking about.

johnny
July 11th, 2014, 15:57
Unexpected Fees to Expect in Japan | GaijinPot (http://blog.gaijinpot.com/fees-in-japan/)

Fwiw, this article came up on my Facebook freed today. They discuss apartment fees.

Also, Word is right, you should trust Ini on this. He may be a jackass, but he usually knows what he's talking about. I've learnt some really helpful stuff from him.

Upgrayedd seems nice though.

UPGRAYEDD
July 11th, 2014, 16:12
I gota get back to work but the moral of the story is that 6 months worth of deposits is absolutely not the norm in Tokyo for the low middle-class type of bachelor housing you will be moving into.

Please do not let the agents take advantage of your situation as a foreigner. The apartment search market in Tokyo is huge and there are literally hundreds of agencies who will compete for your business and pocket that sweet commission when they find you a place. If you can't find an agent who will find you an apartment with a foreign-friendly landlord with no shady key/gift money type of deposits, you can take your business elsewhere.

If you want some agent references, hit me up.

mothy
July 11th, 2014, 17:42
Yeah that really looks like real estate agents trying to make money off of noobs. That's seriously ridiculous. I don't live in Tokyo, but I live close enough to know that's bullshit.
I'll let you sleep in my dog's room for 4 man, no deposit.

TwilightsCall
July 12th, 2014, 03:30
I appreciate the advice everyone. It's good to know that I shouldn't be expecting to pay as much as I thought.

For now I think I'll wait until I hear more about the specific costs of my place before I jump ship, in case that list was just a "make super sure you are prepared" kind of deal.

That being said, one of the advantages of using the agent is that I don't need to worry about finding a guarantor for myself. What is the process of finding a guarantor like?

coop52
July 12th, 2014, 07:57
1. Ask your boss 2.Watch them suck teeth and chotto for a minute 3. Remind them that if they don't do this for you, you'll be homeless 4. Profit

Seriously, as long as your boss isn't a complete asshole, they'd most likely do it for you.

word
July 12th, 2014, 09:30
1. Ask your boss 2.Watch them suck teeth and chotto for a minute 3. Remind them that if they don't do this for you, you'll be homeless 4. Profit

Seriously, as long as your boss isn't a complete asshole, they'd most likely do it for you.
word

I've always been able to get my kocho to do it for me.

BeckyJones
July 14th, 2014, 11:04
I gota get back to work but the moral of the story is that 6 months worth of deposits is absolutely not the norm in Tokyo for the low middle-class type of bachelor housing you will be moving into.

Please do not let the agents take advantage of your situation as a foreigner. The apartment search market in Tokyo is huge and there are literally hundreds of agencies who will compete for your business and pocket that sweet commission when they find you a place. If you can't find an agent who will find you an apartment with a foreign-friendly landlord with no shady key/gift money type of deposits, you can take your business elsewhere.

If you want some agent references, hit me up.

What this man says is true. At most you should be expected to pay 2 times the rent, maybe 3 times the rent.
but you should be able to find plenty of places near, or in the city for less.

windar
July 15th, 2014, 12:57
Very glad to see this thread! A friend was placed in Tokyo and sent me a freak-out email about all of the proposed up-front costs.

I'd done a search a couple weeks ago on "homes.co.jp" for apartments in the area of his nearest train station, and found 1K and 2K in the 4-6 man range, many with only one months deposit, and no key money, etc. (and of course still including the cleaning and finder's fees). Now they send him a price list in the same area with 1.5 to 2 times the amount of rent, with all of the ridiculous fees added in, as the OP shared.

I sense that the company, "relocation Japan," is using this contract as a way to get money out of new JETs . . . I can't find much information at all about their apartment-finding wing online, they're a "holdings company"... Shame on the BOE for throwing them to the wolves.

I'd like to find him a place if I could, but I'm too far south to be of any help. Thanks for the suggestions, UPGRAYYED.