Life in Japan


1 July 2013

I’ve been very busy with house-hunting the past few days!

It’s so tough because my list of criteria is bloody long, but the money I’m willing to pay is not proportional lol.

The type of layout I like!


This is a happy problem though, because we are relocating due to Fu landing his dream job! :D :D :D

Housing in Japan is quite different from other countries, and the first time I had to look for a house it was so stressful because I was bombarded with all these new housing lingo. Add to that I was the only one who could speak Japanese at that time! -_-||

But this is our third time moving, so I’m like a pro now, heh.

I won’t go into the details of house hunting in Japan – there are many excellent posts out there. I’ll just share a few things I personally find er, different? Interesting? Although in the end they sound more like rants lol.

1. The toilet and bath are separate

This was how older apartments in Singapore were designed – with the toilet and shower areas separate. But in Japan, having them separate is considered a mark of good quality!

I was very unaccustomed to it, because I’m super OCD about cleanliness and being unable to wash the toilet area is just so… ugh! The toilet cannot be wet because it would damage the flooring and potentially lead to leaks in the apartment below.

2. Windows in the shower area are very uncommon

When I come across one with windows, I’m like “Wow, this one has a window!” and will give it extra points because it is the norm to not have windows in bathrooms here. Probably because Japan has 4 seasons?

I really don’t like it though, because without windows, the air feels dank and stuffy. So gross! D:

3. The kitchen is IN the living/dining area

Many layouts have the kitchen placed together. My current home is like that.

But WHY?! Why do the architects here design it that way?? Sometimes even without a window near the kitchen for ventilation! The smells from cooking invades the entire living/dining area and it’s so irksome!

4. All the money

It’s bloody expensive to move in Japan. On top of the rent, there’s:

  • Deposit. Sometimes up to 2 months’ rent.
  • Gift money, or what I call “goodbye money”. Basically money gifted to the landlord, and money you will never see again. Up to 2 months’ rent.
  • Insurance
  • Keys (usually in the range of a couple of hundred dollars)
  • Agent fees. Usually 1 month rent.
  • Guarantor company fees (depends on landlord)
  • Moving company fees

So yeah, sometimes without before even stepping foot into the new house, one will first need to cough more than a few thousand dollars upfront.


5. The art of moving houses in Japan

This video says it all:


Surprisingly, when I inquired with the moving companies for the upcoming move, the difference between moving and moving+packing+assembly is only about 15,000 yen! That’s half the cost of my Hada Crie!


I’m going to look at a few more apartments myself tomorrow. I hope we’ll find a good apartment soon! *fingers crossed*


  • Reply yy 8 July 2013 at 9:05 pm

    OMG the packing service is like the BEST. THING. EVER!!! Although I don’t actually want people to pack my stuff for me..maybe I should move to Japan an be a professional mover…..

  • Reply Rin R 8 July 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Best thing ever, but not from the point of the person moving? I think you just found your life’s calling…

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