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YeezyMode
July 14th, 2015, 10:49
Hey everyone!

I've been placed as an ALT at a school in Shinjuku and was wondering about some general things regarding living and working in Tokyo.

I've been contacted by a real estate service through email but I want to know specific information that users on here may have, about
finding a place in Tokyo, and what the prices are like. I'm capable of living pretty frugally but I probably want a place where at least
one other person can stay comfortably if they bring a sleeping bag. What's the best way to look for housing and are there any specific
resources you'd recommend?

Next, are there any suggestions you have for someone living in Tokyo that's specific to the region? Any sort of advice is welcome from
commuting to dining to entertainment.

Thank you all in advance!

BifCarbet
July 14th, 2015, 10:52
I've been placed as an ALT at a school in Shinjuku

Condolences.

Anyway,
Tokyo Apartments and Tokyo Guesthouses (http://www.tokyocityapartments.net/)

I used them for one year. At least one other poster has used them. Good company.poster has used them. Good company.

BifCarbet
July 14th, 2015, 10:54
double post

UPGRAYEDD
July 14th, 2015, 11:15
Where in Shinjuku is your school? Minami-Shinjuku? Main Shinjuku? Other?

What kind of budget are you planning for? For reference, a 1 room apt (studio type) within 30m of Shinjuku is probably going to run you about 70,000-100,000.

What real estate company are they fixing you up with and how much flexibility over where you live are they giving you? Depending on how they are doing things, you can just tell them which train line you want to live by and they will do all the searching for you.

Do you speak enough Japanese to navigate the apartment search on your own or browse Japanese rental listings?

johnny
July 14th, 2015, 15:35
Sorry I can't help you, but working in the heart of Tokyo will be neat.

Atalante
July 14th, 2015, 20:13
Shinjuku-ku is pretty big so you might not be near Shinjuku station, but either way it's a pricey area so don't expect to get a large apartment. There are some areas of Shinjuku which are cheaper than others but they've been constantly rising. If you don't mind a bit of a commute, you can just find a place that's on the same train line but a little further away.

If you can give us more info on your school's location I can definitely give you some neighborhoods to look into, or some agents to work with.

YeezyMode
July 15th, 2015, 01:20
The nearest station to the school is "Ushigome-yanagi-cho of the Toei O-edo Line". I don't need to be living right in the centre of the prefecture if I'm understanding the location of the school correctly? I'm using Relocation Japan, who contacted the rest of my cohort as well. I do not speak enough Japanese to search on my own but I could probably browse websites at a really slow pace if necessary.

patjs
July 15th, 2015, 01:28
Atalante probably is much more knowledgeable about the details of the area but with that location you could live in any number of places and commute by train. You don't necessarily need to be living right there in Shinjuku. But damn son nice placement.

YeezyMode
July 15th, 2015, 02:41
Atalante probably is much more knowledgeable about the details of the area but with that location you could live in any number of places and commute by train. You don't necessarily need to be living right there in Shinjuku. But damn son nice placement.

Ah yeah that's true, I'll have to figure out the commutes from the surrounding areas then. Thanks!

YeezyMode
July 15th, 2015, 02:42
Shinjuku-ku is pretty big so you might not be near Shinjuku station, but either way it's a pricey area so don't expect to get a large apartment. There are some areas of Shinjuku which are cheaper than others but they've been constantly rising. If you don't mind a bit of a commute, you can just find a place that's on the same train line but a little further away.

If you can give us more info on your school's location I can definitely give you some neighborhoods to look into, or some agents to work with.

I'm good with not having a large apartment. From my brief introductions to the acronyms for apartments, I think anything between a 1K - 1DK would suit my needs. My school's nearest train station is "Ushigome-yanagi-cho of the Toei O-edo Line" and the actual address is in Haramachi, Shinjuku. I'd appreciate any suggestions on living somewhere around the area even if the commute is 20-30 minutes. Thanks in advance!

YeezyMode
July 15th, 2015, 02:46
Condolences.

Anyway,
Tokyo Apartments and Tokyo Guesthouses (http://www.tokyocityapartments.net/)

I used them for one year. At least one other poster has used them. Good company.poster has used them. Good company.

Thanks, I'll use this service to browse some listings for sure!

UPGRAYEDD
July 15th, 2015, 02:55
There should be plenty of affordable places around Waseda University. You could easily bike to work in 10-15 minutes.

Even the immediate neighborhood should be cheapish by Shinjuku standards.

Here is a simple search looking at everything in the immediate area under 100,000 yen. Lots of places available. 528 to be exact. They are all sorted cheapest (and smallest) first.

http://suumo.jp/jj/chintai/ichiran/FR301FC001/?ar=030&bs=040&ra=013&cb=0.0&ct=10.0&et=10&md=01&md=02&md=03&cn=30&mb=0&mt=9999999&shkr1=03&shkr2=03&shkr3=03&shkr4=03&fw2=&ek=007050025&rn=0070
(http://suumo.jp/jj/chintai/ichiran/FR301FC001/?ar=030&bs=040&ra=013&cb=0.0&ct=10.0&et=10&md=01&md=02&md=03&cn=30&mb=0&mt=9999999&shkr1=03&shkr2=03&shkr3=03&shkr4=03&fw2=&ek=007050025&rn=0070)

UPGRAYEDD
July 15th, 2015, 02:55
I would rock a place like this if I were a single JET again.

【SUUMO】東京都新宿区原町3/若松河田駅の賃貸・部屋探し情報(100028986565) | 賃貸マンション・賃貸アパート (https://suumo.jp/chintai/tokyo/sc_shinjuku/bc_100028986565/)

YeezyMode
July 15th, 2015, 03:35
I would rock a place like this if I were a single JET again.

【SUUMO】東京都新宿区原町3/若松河田駅の賃貸・部屋探し情報(100028986565) | 賃貸マンション・賃貸アパート (https://suumo.jp/chintai/tokyo/sc_shinjuku/bc_100028986565/)

Awesome, that's a great selection for sure, thanks so much!

Ananasboat
July 15th, 2015, 08:45
I love the colors of that place. It's super cute.

Atalante
July 16th, 2015, 21:19
Ushigome-yanagi-cho is a fairly quiet neighborhood in Shinjuku, only a few stops away from Shinjuku central but in this country just a few blocks can be the difference between bustling and silent.

A decent sized 1DK in a newish building in Shinjuku-ku will easily be north of 100000yen a month, for a 1K you could probably find something livable around 70000. The price differences will depend on the following:

-Whether it's an apartment or "mansion-type". Apartments are usually older, cheaply built, and have thin walls. Mansion types are concrete apartment complexes which are much more comfortable to live in. I've lived in both and would never go back to an apartment-type again, but if this isn't an issue for you, then you can get really good deals on the apartment-types.
-Age of building, more of a bigger deal for the mansions but newer apartments are also pretty nice. Newer ones will have concierges, delivery boxes for packages, keyed-entry in the lobby (called 'auto-lock'), better AC systems, kitchens, bathrooms, etc. For the most part anything built within the past 20 years is fine for comfort. I personally wouldn't move into anything older.
-Commuting distance from Shinjuku. To be honest, the differences probably won't be more than 10000-20000yen/month unless you don't mind commuting like 45 minutes to an hour, and I would rather pay the money to live closer.
-Distance from train station.
-Size of apartment

I could recommend some realtors with English support, but to be honest you're probably just better off using Relocation Japan or whatever to just have a place to move into. Apartment hunting here is very time consuming and incredibly difficult if you're not familiar with the city. Using websites and such will just be frustrating as most places won't be interested in dealing with someone not currently in the country, or maybe even a foreigner in general. You'll likely pay a bit more than normal using a service like Relocation Japan (I'm not familiar with them), but since you don't have much time to find a place, you can't afford to be too picky.

For reasonably nearby stations that have good deals, check out "Otsuka / Shin-Otsuka", Shin-Otsuka is a Metro station which would require you to transfer to the Oedo line, the transfer is kind of a long walk but it's reasonable enough. Otsuka is an insanely underpriced area for the location, only low because of having a bad reputation that's more or less irrelevant for foreigners. It would also be within reasonable biking distance.

The Oedo line runs through the CBD of Tokyo so there aren't any cheap neighborhoods at any of the stops. If you don't mind going to the end of the line, it will slowly get cheaper when you get to Nakai and go along the stops in Nerima-ku, but as those stations are at the other side of the loop, you'd have to make a fairly easy transfer to get to the other rotation.

No other transfers are really going to save you much money vs. time spent commuting, you could go way out into the suburbs or even other prefectures, but I really don't recommend doing that unless you want to spend an extra 9-10 hours a week just for commuting.

YeezyMode
July 16th, 2015, 23:22
Thanks for all this info, it'll definitely come in handy! The extra cost of using ReloJapan is something I've been thinking about, but can't really concretely figure out. I do know some foreigners who have lived and worked
in Japan for a few years now who would probably be willing to act as a guarantor for me and help me find a place. Knowing this, would it be better to pick a realtor with English support and just go with them? I haven't received
much communication from ReloJapan and I'm assuming not much can get done until I'm physically present in Tokyo and in the temporary accommodations that JET provides us with. I'd like to be moved in as soon as possible if anything so yeah.

Atalante
July 18th, 2015, 09:54
I wouldn't necessarily count your mates being your guarantor, it's kind of a big deal to be a guarantor and not all places accept foreigners with non-permanent visas. Either way your JET organization should help you with that, or at worst you can use a guarantor company. I've been using companies for my places and haven't had any issues with them.

For some decent options-

Real estate agency based in Suginami, Tokyo. Land Housing English Top page (http://special.landhousing.co.jp/english/) My friends have used these guys and have raved about them, I'm not sure how easy it is to use from overseas but it's probably worth checking out either way.

Apartments in Tokyo, Japan - Find jobs and apartments in Japan (https://www.kimiwillbe.com/apart/) This agency seems to be popular enough, they're a bit pricey for what you get but you can be guaranteed that any property will accept foreigners and they'll help you out with all steps with the moving-in process.

http://en.leopalace21.com/ Although I would never want to live in a Leopalace apartment, they can be booked from overseas and have monthly contracts, so at worst you can find a place and stay there for a few months to get situated while you start looking for a place while in the country. They have places everywhere and they're not really a bad option if you don't want to deal with the stressful parts of apartment hunting.

That should be enough to give you some ideas of what to expect while you're here. I sure hope that Tokyo JET gives you a housing stipend!

YeezyMode
July 20th, 2015, 14:24
Nice, these are useful resources as well! From what I know about Leopalace, I definitely will not be using their service so hopefully I can find a place using other realtors. Thanks!

Atalante
July 21st, 2015, 21:07
Yeah, good luck with everything! It's definitely an exhausting process! I know a lot about the neighborhoods of Tokyo so if you have any questions about properties or whether or not it's a desirable place to live, just let me know!

YeezyMode
July 23rd, 2015, 02:36
Sweet, I'll be sure to do that. I think I'll have more specific questions once I'm actually in Tokyo and look around for myself. Thanks for all your help!

Ace
August 12th, 2015, 02:28
Sweet, I'll be sure to do that. I think I'll have more specific questions once I'm actually in Tokyo and look around for myself. Thanks for all your help!

Is there an update to this story? I'm actually going to be moving to Tokyo too (post group C) but more west like an hour away from Shinjuku. Most of the places I am looking at are much more reasonably priced like 430000 - 560,000 for studios and 1 bedroom apartments. Idk how willing you are to live outside the main Tokyo area, but this might save you some money in the long run if you consider transportation and utilities too.

Also, I'm not sure if this applies to you but another JET working in my school and the rest of the people working there are strongly suggesting to me that I don't use ReloJapan based upon overcharging. Ask your supervisor if they know of a good real estate agent to recommend to you.

Gizmotech
August 12th, 2015, 12:46
I recommend an edit to remove some zeros there :p

Zolrak 22
August 12th, 2015, 14:39
How much does an ALT get paid?

Isn't the amount he's saying about $4,000-5,000ish?

(I would imagine he means overall monthly costs if it wasn't a mistake).

word
August 12th, 2015, 15:04
Yeh, like Giz said, I'm pretty sure he's just added a zero to the figures by mistake.

Ace
August 14th, 2015, 22:21
My mistake :lol: I added an extra zero on both.

Atalante
August 17th, 2015, 18:38
Where in west Tokyo are you? Being placed there, it does make sense to rent in the area as the properties are cheaper and you get much more for your money, but working in Shinjuku and having to commute from the west is a whole different matter. Those train lines are busy as hell in the morning and night, and I think it is absolutely worth paying a little extra to not have to deal with that crap on a daily basis, I've done it before on the Saikyo and will never do so again, it just isn't worth the stress and daily wear, and that was only on a 15 minute journey to Shinjuku. You won't really start seeing great deals in West Tokyo until you start going past Mitaka city or plan to walk 15+ minutes from the station. In his case, including the requirement of a transfer, it'd probably come up to around an hour of travel, which is a good 10+ hours each week wasted on packed trains. No need to deal with that if you're just starting out fresh as a single person in Tokyo.

Ace
August 18th, 2015, 04:23
Where in west Tokyo are you? Being placed there, it does make sense to rent in the area as the properties are cheaper and you get much more for your money, but working in Shinjuku and having to commute from the west is a whole different matter. Those train lines are busy as hell in the morning and night, and I think it is absolutely worth paying a little extra to not have to deal with that crap on a daily basis, I've done it before on the Saikyo and will never do so again, it just isn't worth the stress and daily wear, and that was only on a 15 minute journey to Shinjuku. You won't really start seeing great deals in West Tokyo until you start going past Mitaka city or plan to walk 15+ minutes from the station. In his case, including the requirement of a transfer, it'd probably come up to around an hour of travel, which is a good 10+ hours each week wasted on packed trains. No need to deal with that if you're just starting out fresh as a single person in Tokyo.

I got my work Visa today, which in my book means that everything is set in stone for me to go to Tokyo-To. I'm currently waiting on my boss to get back to me on his real estate agent, but my CO is in Fuchu-shi like an hour or so away. As for train lines being busy, it's not an issue for me. I've lived and worked in NYC all my life so I have a very good idea about congested train lines, and having to fight for a spot on the train. Though I will say, it will be a lot more convenient to not have to put up with such BS in delays, service suspensions on the weekends, and unexpected detours that NYC's transportation system deals with on a consistent basis.

Atalante
August 18th, 2015, 19:06
Yeah, Fuchu isn't a bad area, it's close enough to central Tokyo so that you can get there easily enough on your weekends. It's also fairly close to the Tama Costco, which is a nice bonus.

Heh, I'm from the City myself. The MTA trains can get pretty bad at times, although I feel like Tokyo is consistently worse on a daily basis. At least people are well-behaved here.

Ace
August 19th, 2015, 00:06
Yeah, Fuchu isn't a bad area, it's close enough to central Tokyo so that you can get there easily enough on your weekends. It's also fairly close to the Tama Costco, which is a nice bonus.

Heh, I'm from the City myself. The MTA trains can get pretty bad at times, although I feel like Tokyo is consistently worse on a daily basis. At least people are well-behaved here.

Thanks a lot for letting me know about the Costco nearby. This will definitely be a good place for me to get some stuff. I guess I should get a membership card now while I'm still here at home.