In Japan, the price of land is expensive and the housing conditions regarding rent and size are not good compared to other countries. Accommodation is a very serious problem, even for the Japanese, especially in urban areas, which do not have spacious and cheap housing.
1. Japanese rental housing
In Japan, there is both social housing and private housing. Apartments make up the majority of rental housing.
(a) Public housing
Public housing is provided by official bodies such as prefectural, urban and municipal governments and housing supply companies. Any non-Japanese who has a registration from abroad can apply for this type of accommodation regardless of nationality. There are two types of housing: Koei Jutaku (public housing) is for low-income people; and Tokutei Yuryo Chintai Jutaku (delux family housing) and Kosha / Kodan Jutaku (public housing) for people with middle-class income.
These apartments offer a certain level of facilities at a relatively low rent. It is necessary to pay a rent for two to three months as a guarantee (bond) to your rental, but the key money needed for private accommodation is not necessary.
(b) Private rental housing
Private rental housing is owned by private individuals and businesses. The type varies according to rent and size.
1. Aparto (Apartment)
These are mainly two-storey buildings constructed of light steel, wood or mortar, and house of 4 to 8 households. Some of them share a toilet and / or do not have a bathtub.
2. Mansion (Apartment)
In Japan, a dwelling that is larger than an Aparto and built with reinforced concrete is called a mansion. The insulation is better than an Aparto, and privacy is better. Some have a caretaker who lives on the first floor or others have underground parking.
3. Detached House
Detached houses were recently designed using a mix of Japanese and Western styles. Some of them have a garden. There are several rental houses designed especially for non-Japanese but not many.
2. The size of the typical dwelling and the floor plan
The area is indicated in square meters (m2) as well as the original Japanese units, "jo" and "tsubo". A jo means a tatami and measures approximately 180 cm x 90 cm. ("Tatami" is a unique Japanese floor covering). A tsubo measures 182 cm x 182 cm or about 3.3 m2 and is equivalent to about two days. There are Japanese and Western style rooms. This Japanese-style room features tatami flooring and a Western-style room with parquet or carpeted floors. Below, a typical plan of Japanese housing.
• K, DK, LDK – K stands for kitchen, D stands for dining room and L stands for living room. K means only a kitchen and DK means a dining room and a kitchen, and LDK means a room that has the function of a living room as well as a dining room and a kitchen. Therefore, 2DK means a house that has two rooms in addition to a room having the function of kitchen and dining room.
• UB – UB stands for bath unit (unified bathroom), which includes bath, toilet and sink. ] • Oshiire (closet) – This means storage space in a Japanese-style room
• PS – This means a pipe space containing drainage pipes and wiring ducts
• MB – This means the meter box for water and gas.
Floor plan for one-roomed rooms (one-room apartments)
(Example) The facilities are compact and there is a room that can be used as a living room. The kitchenette is very small, so an elaborate kitchen is not possible. Some of them do not have room for a washing machine in the room.
Plan of the Apartment
• Most single-family homes in modern Japan have Japanese and Western rooms.
• Some of them have a garden and a parking place.
3. Customs Regarding Japanese Housing
a) Shoes – In Japanese housing, there is an area to remove shoes before getting into the main entrance. The Japanese sit on the floor and sleep on a futon on tatami mats, traditional Japanese floor mats, so stepping on with shoes is not allowed. If you walk into a room with shoes and dirty carpets, you may have to pay a repair fee.
b) Bathroom – In Japan, washing the body, it is also relaxing in the bathtub. Recently, bathrooms made up of a Western-style bathroom with toilets have become popular, but the traditional Japanese bathroom is separate from the restrooms and has a space for washing the body at the bathroom. 39, outside the bathtub. The baths are mainly made of plastic or stainless steel. If you live with a Japanese family, you should keep the water in the bath as clean as possible, as the rest of the family will use the water after you. Do not use soap in a Japanese style bathtub. The water is heated mainly with gas.
c) Tatami mats – The tatami mats are a traditional straw flooring sewn to make a carpet of about 5.5 cm thick and bound by a woven braid. A tatami (jo) is also the unit used to indicate the size of a room. The new tatami is green and the tatami mats are changed both or whenever the move
d) Futon (thick bedquilt), bed and oshiire (closet) – In a Japanese house, usually the futon is deployed every night and folded in the oshiire every morning. During the day, the futon is kept inside the oshiire. In this way, one piece can be used for various purposes. If a bed is placed on the tatami mats, they are bumpy and damaged, so it is recommended to put boards under the feet of the bed.
e) Town gas and propane – Electricity or gas is provided for the stove and the bath. There are two types of gas: town gas (coal gas), led to each household gas companies' tanks, and propane gas, supplied by resellers in the form of bottles. City gas is managed by Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. and propane gas is managed by individual dealers. F) Water Supply and Drainage – Almost all areas of Kanagawa Prefecture have water supply facilities. You can drink tap water. In most cases, there is a drainage or a tank for purifying water. The drainage system is not suitable for a grinder.
g) Toilet – The Japanese-style toilet has a cover (dome) at the front. When toilets are shared with other tenants, separate toilet slippers must be used
h) Air conditioning / heating – Some units are equipped with air-conditioning / heating, but in most case, tenants must buy. The fuel for heating includes electricity, gas and kerosene. Sometimes the use of kerosene is prohibited.
I) Fusuma and shoji – These are unique Japanese sliding doors that separate the pieces. Fusuma is a wooden frame with fusuma paper glued on both sides. Shoji is a lattice wooden frame with shoji paper windows. It is possible to enlarge a room by removing the fusuma to connect the rooms. Fusuma paste should be done by a specialist, but when the shoji paper is torn, you can buy shoji paper and fix it yourself.
4. Common Problems and How to Solve Problems
a) Remove shoes – Do not enter a house with shoes. Make sure to remove the shoes at the entrance.
b) Deposit – Most rental issues involve deposit. In Japan, when you rent a house, you have to pay a deposit to the owner of the house. This deposit is given to the owner of the house and returned without any interest when the lease is canceled. However, the repair costs are deducted, so the deposit is not usually returned in full. As the specific rent agreement is contained in the rental agreement, please check the contract thoroughly and do not break it. For other expenses at the conclusion of a contract, please refer to page 39.
c) Number of residents – The number of residents is confirmed at the conclusion of the contract . D) Noise – Do not make loud noises late at night. In the apartments, the sound echoes more than you think. As the sound of a large amount of water also disturbs the neighbors, do not try to take a bath or wash late at night.
e) Animals – There are almost no flats for pets birds and goldfish. If you find one where you can keep animals, please follow the rules.
f) Kitchen – If you cook with a large amount of oil, clean the area quickly by wiping the sink and cooking area. The fan should also be cleaned regularly.
g) Garbage Removal – Garbage is collected by the municipal government. The collection point, date and method are determined in each zone. There are areas where flammable and non-flammable waste must be separated. For large garbage, there are places where the collection date is already determined, or you can sometimes make sure that they are picked up. Please consult your neighbors or the municipal government.
h) Long-term absence – When you are not home for a long time, you must notify the owner of the house. I) Remodeling the Room – If you want to remodel a room, for example by putting a nail in a post or by attaching a hook to the wall to hold clothes, you should first consult the owner. It is assumed that you will leave the room in the state in which it was when you rented it. If you remodel the room and it can not be returned to its original condition, your deposit will not be returned, or additional payments may be required.