If you are moving into an apartment in Japan, there is a big chance it might be unfurnished. Buying furniture from either brand stores or used furniture shops, furnishing your apartment in Japan can be an awfully expensive part of moving somewhere new.
You might be unsure of how much to spend on furniture. The answer will obviously vary depending on personal circumstances but if you are planning on staying in Japan for a while you probably want some good quality furniture – this doesn’t have to be at a great expense though!
Some of our first choices for cheap furniture in Japan are Nitori furniture, Ikea furniture, and anything at the many Second-hand furniture stores.
Apartment Furnishing Tip 1: Ikea Furniture
Ikea, the Swedish favorite, is one of the most popular furniture stores around the world for a variety of good reasons. Its chic Scandinavian style is very practical and it’s also accessible thanks to Ikea’s low cost. You can get a sprung mattress for as little as ¥6,999 and a set of 4 chairs and a table for ¥9,950. Walking through the maze of showrooms will definitely give you plenty of inspiration, with great examples of interior design that will work well for Japanese apartments.
For prices so low, the quality of Ikea furniture is surprisingly high. The furniture is sold as flatpacks for you to assemble, so they are able to cut unnecessary costs. As a bonus, if you’re into puzzles or Lego, you can really make a day out of assembling the flatpack Ikea furniture! If you need large furniture but don’t have access to a car, Ikea furniture might be a great option for you since they offer a delivery service, starting from ¥4,500. If you’re planning on getting an Ikea furniture delivery, try to order it all in one go so that you only have to pay the delivery price once.
Though you might be looking for Ikea furniture, the stores are also popular for their meatballs and other meals served at the café, so do take a break from all the shopping to try them out! They have great options for vegetarians and vegans too.
Apartment Furnishing Tip 2: Nitori Furniture
This Japanese furnishing and interior design store will have everything you need and more; including furniture, appliances, and bedding. They are lovably known as the cheaper alternative to MUJI – the minimalistic Japanese lifestyle store, popular across the World. Some of the most loved Nitori furniture includes their comfortable futons at affordable prices, with a 3-piece set starting at ¥3,990. Their non-sticky frying pans are a best seller too, they’re incredibly lightweight.
The furniture is designed for Japanese apartments so it’s really functional and great if you’re tight for space. I love how the kitchen storage units have designated rice cooker spots where you can cook your rice without damaging the furniture!
There is also cheap delivery for Nitori furniture and goods – the price varies between ¥550 and ¥2,200 so Nitori furniture is a great option if you can’t easily pick up furniture.
Apartment Furnishing Tip 3: Second Hand Furniture Shops
Off House and Second Street are two of the best-used furniture stores, with locations all around Japan. In fact, Japan is a wonderful place to consider trying out second-hand goods since most things sold in second-hand furniture shops are as good as new since they’ve been kept impeccably well.
The downside of used furniture stores is that you can’t guarantee what each store stocks so it might take a bit more time and patience to find what you need, but when you do it will be a bargain worth the effort. Nevertheless, you can check online to see what kind of items each store usually has.
These stores often offer delivery too, at a cost!
Apartment Furnishing Tip 4: Facebook (the online used furniture store)
There are Facebook groups, such as Sayonara Sales, where people moving out of their apartments can sell their furniture for cheap. This is a great option if you have access to a car, you’ll be able to find some great deals since people just need to get rid of their furniture due to the high cost of disposing of it. The prices will beat the other new furniture stores and even the second-hand furniture shops! It isn’t that easy if you’re looking for larger furniture and don’t have the means to transport it. It’s still worth keeping your eyes peeled because every so often people are able to deliver their goods to you.
Mottainai Japan is another group where everything is given away for free so it’s definitely worth checking these out. You should be able to find more locals groups too by searching ‘sayonara sales’ or ‘mottainai’ and the area, for example, ‘sayonara sales Osaka’.
These groups get very busy around the start of spring since it’s a popular moving season in Japan so it’s a great time for finding new furniture. If you are getting furniture directly off a person through the internet, make sure you stay safe by taking any necessary precautions (such as meeting in public places). Though Japan is known for being expensive, there are so many places where you can get affordable furniture from Nitori to the used furniture stores, and everything in between.
You can opt for more traditional Japanese-style furniture when considering the interior design for your apartment in Japan. You might want to try out life with a kotatsu, which you can often find at used furniture stores. The kotatsu is the incredible heated table and blanket combination sure to provide a lot of comfort and warmth in the winter months, it can even help you save on the bills too so it’s a worthwhile investment! There are also plenty of furniture stores offering goods that will help make your apartment feel like a home away from home if you are looking for more international-style furniture.
Good luck with the furnishing!