How Real Estate Agents list properties in Tokyo

photo-1465815367149-ca149851a3a9So many Real Estate Agents and companies to choose from!

There are a lot of Real Estate Agents in Tokyo. You can visit a small office near where you are staying. You can check online for a large number of English Speaking Agents. The choice is yours. All Agents offer a different level of service so you should ask what extra help is available.

How the Agents choose which properties to list

Most importantly, all Agents access the same National database for properties across Japan. There are 2 databases currently in use. Just contact any Agent and give them your budget and location requirements and they will do the search for you. Don’t waste time walking around town visiting a lot of offices! The Agent will get the key for you. They will show you through the apartment – after you choose from the listings.

How to choose your Agent

Ask the Agent what kind of extra services they offer. Do they provide an English translation of the contract? Can they connect your utilities? Will they help with advice about internet and furniture etc? What kind of After move-in care do they offer? Can they translate things like the remote control or hot water unit? Will they help with your move-out? Here at Tokyo Apartments, we do all of that for you! If you need more information about the total cost of renting, please contact us at Tokyo Apartments

Don’t be fooled by websites!

When you check online for an apartment, the website will usually be out of date, so the property you are looking at will probably be gone. Many companies keep old listings on their websites. They do this because a property name could be very popular and they need to direct traffic to their site. Properties such as Roppongi Hills bring a lot of traffic as the area is highly desired by foreigners heading to Tokyo.

Additonal Extra costs

In addition, many websites do not list the extra costs of renting. Be ready to pay up to 5 months rent to move in. You may need to pay Compulsory insurance and lock changing fee. Many apartments may not have light fittings or air conditioning. This can be extra. Your Agent can help with this information. Additional costs include car parking. Because your Agent will work for you to help you move into your new apartment, they will receive 1 month rent (or less) in commission.  This is the only payment the Agent receives because Agents are not paid by property owners.

How we are different

Tokyo Apartments Staff will translate your contract into English and help you understand it. We connect your water, gas and electricity for you. Our staff also disconnect those when you move out. We can help you connect your internet. If you are moving around Tokyo, we can help you transfer utilities from your old address. We will support you for the duration of your stay.  Our staff of Expats know exactly how you feel when you first arrive.

Hidden costs of renting in Tokyo

photo-1444212568492-d2799d30943bYou are moving to Tokyo and you want to know how much it costs to rent.

Key money (Reikin)

This amount is equal to 1 month rent. Key money is a one time gift to the owner at the beginning of your rental contract. It is a thankyou to the owner for letting you rent the property. It is not usually negotiable. Key money can be useful. It could keep the overall monthly rent lower than other properties in the same area. There are a few areas in Tokyo where owners require key money. In Minato Ku and Shibuya Ku you may be asked to pay key money. Azabu Juban, Shibuya, Ebisu Omotesando and Roppongi are popular with expats and key money may be required. The average rent in these areas is around 200,000.


Every property will require at least 2 months deposit. Equal to 2 months rent.

Cleaning Fee

When you move out of a property you will have a cleaning fee deducted. The cleaning fee is calculated per square metre and could be up to 1700 Japanese Yen per metre.

Guarantor Fee

You will often need to pay a Guarantor Company to sign the lease. This can be a requirement for many property owners. The cost can be between 1/2 month and 1 month rent. The Guarantor Company is responsible for paying your rent if you do not.


Insurance is not negotiable. The cost is usually 20,000 Japanese Yen for 2 years. This will protect your belongings if there is a fire or from water damage. It also protects the owner from damage to the property. It does not cover damage caused by a tenant.


When you move in, you need to pay 1 months rent. Rent is calculated monthly. Payment is required 1 month in advance. If you are moving in on the 15th of the month, you will need to pay 1 and 1/2 months rent. From the 15th to the end of the month and the next month in advance.

In total, you will need around four and a half months rent to move in to your new apartment. If your rent is 200,000 Japanese Yen per month, you should bring at least 1 million yen with you.

If you need more information about the total cost of renting, please contact us at Tokyo Apartments

Getting a Visa and moving to Japan


Tourist Visa

Moving to Japan? Coming to Japan for less than 90 days? You may be exempt from a Visa. For a list of those countries, click here
Tourists have many options for accommodation. If you are staying for a month in Tokyo, you can choose monthly apartments with facilities like cooking and internet provided. For stays less than 1 month,
Airbnb is a good choice or one of the many hotels.

Business Visa

Coming to Tokyo for business? Your company will usually arrange the Visa for you. Applying outside Japan, you will submit your application to your local Japanese Embassy for approval. If you are inside Japan, you can collect your Visa from the Immigration Office after processing.
Once you arrive to start work, you will need to find temporary accommodation for up to 2 weeks. At Tokyo Apartments, we can help. Moving to you long term apartment, it will take about 2 weeks. You will need to visit apartments and then complete an application form for the place you like. Screening of your application can take 5 business days. You will need a copy of your Passport, your Residence Card and your offer letter which details your salary for your application. The total rent must not be more than 1/3 of your salary and only one individual will sign the contract.

Your apartment in Tokyo

Your apartment in Tokyo will not have curtains and some may need lights and a gas stove. We can help you arrange everything you need to move into your new Tokyo apartment. We can help you connect your electricity, water, gas and internet and advise you on where to buy furniture.

Moving to Japan shouldn’t be stressful. Our bilingual and native speaking staff can help! contact us

Trend on the cost of Tokyo Apartments

There are good and bad times to rent apartments in Tokyo.


1. Worst times to move

For those of us moving within Tokyo, there are a few times of the year to avoid looking for property. New recruits start work in April. Apartment prices increase. The number of available apartments decreases significantly. September and December are also key months for the Expat community to move around and in or out of the city.

2. Best times to rent

The best time to rent apartments in Tokyo is Summer. Many owners offer campaign prices and discounts on move in fees. ‘Key money’ is often waived. This is a compulsory one month rent payment required by a property owner and can be a big saving on move in costs.

3. Average Rent Cost

The average rental price of a 1 bedroom apartment in Tokyo located in Minato Ku, Shinjuku Ku or Shibuya Ku is currently 150,000 yen with 2 bedrooms closer to 240,000 yen. Prices are set to rise by 0.4% in 2016 increasing steadily until the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. The increase will be 3.8% by 2025 compared to 2015 and closer to the peak levels seen in 2006.

4. Buying apartments in Tokyo

Are you interested in investing in property in Tokyo? The average price of buying an apartment has risen by 8% since 2015. Prices are expected to rise as we approach the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Further forecasts of an increase of 2.5% in 2016 and 1.2% in 2017 with a fall forecast for 2021, according to the Residential Property Price Index.

5. How we help you rent

Tokyo Apartments can help you find the best property by narrowing down your requirements and working to find the most suitable apartment within your budget and needs.
contact us at Tokyo Apartments and we will help you move. All agents in Tokyo work from a National database of properties so if you find an apartment on another website, we can show it to you. Our English speaking staff work with you to select and choose the property. Additionally, we will guide you through the renting process and set up your utilities and internet.

Tokyo Apartments can also help you buy a property by researching the Tokyo property market to help your investment grow. All our services at Tokyo Apartments are in English and our contracts will be English translations. We support you when you rent or buy apartments or homes in Tokyo.

The easiest way to find apartments in Tokyo

Searching for an apartment in a big city like Tokyo can be daunting but there are many specialists ready to help.


The best thing to do is visit stations by train and look around the neighborhood. Once you think you’ve found a location you like, contact us at Tokyo Apartments and we will help you move.

All Agents in Tokyo work from the same database so you don’t need to visit a lot of Agents. We can all get keys and show you anything and our website does not list all of the available apartments.

1. Defining your options: Apartments in Tokyo will be smaller than home but you can still choose how much space you need. Your budget will limit your choices but please tell us if you want a studio, 1 bedroom or even larger. The main questions to answer are size, location, separate bathroom, balcony and floor.

2. Choose the apartments you want to visit: We will give you a list of available apartments and you can choose the apartments you would like to see.

3. Visiting apartments: On the day of our meeting, we will pick you up and drive you to view the inside of the apartments. Please wear comfortable shoes because you need to take them off. Please take a lot of pictures so you can remember and compare your favourites when you get home.

4. Once you decide your new home, we will help you collect what you need for the application. We also translate the contract into English and guide you through the screening process.

5. From viewing to move in it usually takes about 10 – 14 days.