Thinking of moving? Great! Confused and unsure as to where you should move to? Not a problem. In this article, we’ll be looking at some common factors potential tenants take into consideration when they think about moving. If you go with a rental agency such as Village House, you can, in your application or when you meet with their representative, let them know what you desire when it comes to selecting a ward or neighborhood.
If it’s convenience you’re looking for, then you might want to look for rental properties surrounded by or close to shopping streets – shotengai in Japanese, malls etc. This option may be particularly attractive for those with busy schedules, those with families, those with a physical disability, or those who just want easy access to the mall. Bear in mind that the price of a convenient location means that rent might be slightly more expensive and noise levels may be significantly higher due to the increased foot traffic.
If you’re an international or dual-nationality household moving to Tokyo and are looking for a more expat-friendly neighborhood with access to international shops and supermarkets, neighborhoods such as Roppongi, Hiroo, Shibuya, Azabujuban, and Omotesando may be an attractive, if rather pricey choice.
The pandemic may have somewhat reshaped the manner in which we work but commuting to the office or to school is something many individuals still have to contend with. Thus, when looking for new accommodation, it’s best to factor in how long of a commute you may have to make to the office or to school and whether or not this sacrifice is worth the lower rent if you choose somewhere further away; or worth the higher rent for a shorter time on packed trains and a later wake up. You may also have to consider whether or not your transport costs will be covered by the organization you work for – in Japan, it’s customary for most companies to foot the bill for the employees’ transport costs, but if they don’t or if there’s a monthly limit, you’ll have to offset this from your overall budget.
Not a fan of cooking? Inept in the kitchen? Or perhaps you are just too busy to put together a homemade meal? Well, then, you may want to consider moving to a neighborhood with a wide array of food options. Japan doesn’t lack for convenience stores where you get grab ready-made meals to be heated in the microwave, but if your palate runs a little more refined and you’d like access to some fine dining or proper restaurants, you may want to take into account neighborhoods and areas that are adorned with restaurants, izakayas, fast food joints, family style restaurants (if you have kids) etc.
Perhaps the most important factor to take into consideration – the amount of rent you’ll pay per month can really affect the rest of your budget and the kind of lifestyle you’d ideally like to lead. How much rent you can afford to pay is mostly dependent on your salary but your extracurricular activities, social life etc. will also have an impact on this matter. If you’re moving to Tokyo, the wards with the cheapest rent include:
- Adachi-ku, where rent can start from ¥ 67,700
- Edogawa-ku, where rent can start from ¥ 67,500
- Itabashi-ku, where rent can start from ¥ 78,400
- Nermia-ku, where rent can start from ¥ 72,500
If you don’t mind a longer commute or are lucky enough to work from home, you may want to consider areas outside of Tokyo’s 23 wards such as Hachioji City (¥ 50,600), Fussa City (¥ 45,800) or even another prefecture such as Saitama. If you’re thinking of renting with Village House, the agency provides rental properties in over 1,000 locations in all 47 prefectures of Japan.
If you’re in a household with school-aged children or are planning to start a family sometime in the future, it’s best to plan ahead now and try to relocate to a district or neighborhood with access to schools and other academic institutions. You may want to do research on the type of schools available and stack them up against your own personal list of academic requirements your children may have, or you may want your future children to have.
In conclusion, knowing where you should move to and which neighborhood may be the right one for you really depends on your own personal wants and needs, along with what your partner and/or family may want and need. Canvassing potential neighborhoods and doing research on what amenities the area has to offer, what schools are nearby, how cheap the rent is etc., can go a long way into ensuring that you find the home (and neighborhood!) of your dreams.