On the Joys of Renting in Tokyo

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The Green-eyed Geisha has a very interesting post on renting in Tokyo. After reading her spil I must say that I have felt her pain. Renting in Tokyo (and other parts of Japan) “is” a dirtly little secret. Please read her article below and let us know your thoughts and experience with renting in Tokyo.

“More so than cheating and extra-marital affairs, rent in Tokyo is one of this city’s residents’ dirtiest little secrets. Rent amounts are asked for in whispers at parties and given in barely audible tones or sign language, if at all possible. “How many mats?” you’ll hear. “I don’t do mats, but it’s around 20m2” will come the reply. “Do you have a 1K?” “No, but I’ve got a 2LK.” Drug talk and illegal arms negotiations? Nope, it’s real estate talk. People in Tokyo are embarrassed about how much they pay in rent, especially knowing that moving east to Chiba or north to Saitama they could pay a fraction for more space. But then you wouldn’t be able to make bad decisions after a night of drinking to drop 4000 yen on a cab home because it’s close enough to justify in your inebriated state. Hell, I’ve justified it when I’m stone-cold sober on occasion. Some people prefer clean air, open space and easy living, while some prefer bars that aren’t all snacks, the thrill of a salaryman’s body pressed close during the morning rush (and on trains that run underground at that) and more Starfucks than you can poke a stick at. I respect people in the inaka, their experience is certainly different from my Tokyo existence and interesting to me because of that, but it’s just not for me at this stage.

Living in close proximity to everything in Tokyo is something worth paying for in my books, and I find it has warped my sense of perception when I hear myself proclaiming a 120,000 yen shoebox to be a fabulous steal to someone I’ve just met. Someone I’ve just met and yet we are already airing our dirty real estate laundry, taking pains to assure one another that we both have great deals on our small and expensive apartments. It’s a sickness, really.”

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3 Comments

  1. Living in close proximity to everything in Tokyo is something worth paying for in my books

    Agreed. Being able to hit anywhere in the city within 45 minutes on a bicycle means I can cut the crowded, expensive trains out of my life – something I couldn’t do from even Setagaya.

  2. When ever I go to Tokyo I use usually stay in Sangubashi it’s very close to trains near shinjuku and I can walk to shibuya, the cost is about 102,000 Yen the room I rent is about 16 sq meters which includes everything I rent it from Sakura House It’s kind of small, I’m from New York. Now after I rent the room Sakura House sends a notice that they are coming in to check the fire system they come in the room put a different unit in the room with a microphone, they always say don’t touch it but I do and see the mic they install, I’m a recording engineer, one time I put wax on it and they came back to check and replace it, and the police just watch where I go in Japan. Being Black in Tokyo is a different experience I can only imagine what it’s like for others that rent and live in Tokyo.

    [From Zurui: Which Sakura House? Are you sure a microphone was installed and if so, did you approach the management to complain? What issues, if any, did you have with the police?]

  3. The Sakura house is this link http://www.sakura-house.com/ I’m sure it was a microphone, no I did not complain to Sakura house. I’ve been coming back and forth to Japan to research on the major musical instrument manufactures products like Roland, Yamaha, Korg, AKAI (just brought out by an american company 2 years ago). I work for my website doing instructional videos on all their equipment, that’s popular, when ever I come back to Tokyo I get an apartment with Sakura House and they do the same thing. I have no problem with the police but I’m black traveling to Japan 2 or 3 times a year and I stay for 3 months most times visiting my music friends on J POP Records sometimes I produce as well. From what I can tell there is always someone following wherever I go whether it’s Akihabara, Shijuku, Shibuya, Yoyogi Park, with my girl to the Blue Note. I don’t come to Japan to confront anyone on race issues but I do observe my surrounding being a New Yorker. I will go to the Yamaha music store in Shibuya to look at some song books on the second floor, look at a music score, and someone will follow me in and watch to see which books I’m looking at that just how it is there.

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