Renting In Japan

Tokyo & Osaka Cheap Apartment Guide

Cheap Apartments

In Tokyo & Osaka

Searching for cheap apartments in Tokyo or Osaka Japan is not just difficult. It can be confusing as well with all the hidden fees involved with JP listings. Here you will get to understand the market on cheap apartments renting as a foreigner in Tokyo and Osaka Japan.

Example Of Quality & Size

Of A Typical Affordable Apartment

There are many different ways to rent on the cheap in Tokyo or Osaka. Share houses for example can be a cheaper alternative from a private studio. However private studio apartments can be smaller than 10 m² and some older/cheaper studios are without a shower or bath.
Before we get into the cost let's give you an idea of a typical apartment rented out for cheap in both Tokyo and Osaka Japan. The size will be between 13 m² to 23 m² and will be anywhere from 15 to 50 years old. It will have a basic layout with a small bathroom, a small kitchen and A/C.

What's Rent Start Out At For This Quality & Size?

For this size and quality as shown above the cost of your monthly rent still depends on many things like location. We will be talking about location later on. A simple starting price for Tokyo will be a bit higher than 50,000 yen a month. However In Osaka that starting price can be a bit lower than 40,000 yen a month.

Can The 1st Month Rent Be Free?

Yes, if location is not important to you. You will find these deals more in Osaka. It is still possible to find the 1st months rent free in Tokyo but the selection will be very low if any selection at all.

Will There Be Up Front Fees?

Will There Be Key money Or A Deposit?

The good news is you can avoid key money and deposits in both Tokyo and Osaka. In the city of Osaka you can go a step further and avoid a main initial fee for example the insurance fee, guarantor fee or cleaning fee. However in Tokyo these main fees should be expect for the move in cost.
These examples below are just one out of many ways you will see the upfront cost. There are many different fees that can be associated with your move in fees.

Tokyo Example, Cheap Move In Cost

  • 1st month’s rent = ¥52,000
  • Insurance Fee: 18,000 yen
  • Guarantor Fee : 39,000 yen
  • Cleaning Fee : 44,000 yen
  • Realtor Fee : 53,900 yen
    Total : 206,900 yen

Osaka Example, Cheap Move In Cost

  • 1st month’s rent = ¥40,000
  • Realtor Fee = ¥40,000
  • Guarantor Fee = ¥20,000
  • Insurance Fee = ¥18,000
  • Changing Lock Fee : 16,500 yen
  • Total = ¥118,000


What should you expect.

Real estate is all about location, location and location. However when finding a cheap apartment in Tokyo or Osaka close to the description we have gone through in size, quality and price your area of search will be limited. To keep it simple this is what you should expect when it comes to commuting times on foot to the station and by train to the main stations of each city.

Tokyo Commuting Example

  • On Foot To Station: 10 min - 20 min
  • By Train To Tokyo Sta., Shinjuku or Shibuya: 20 min - 40 min

Osaka Commuting Example

  • On Foot To Station: 5 min - 20 min
  • By Train To Osaka Sta./Umeda, Namba or tennoji: 5 min - 30 min

Author, Derek Heidenreich

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