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Real Estate in Tokyo | An apartment & house in Japan: Equipment and furniture

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Category : Study for renting propertyLiving in Tokyo

Things to know before renting an apartment| Rental Apartment Equipment and furniture

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Most rental apartments/houses in Japan are not furnished. Tenants are supposed to provide furniture from tables, beds to curtains, with their lifestyle in mind. For rental apartments/houses which rent is less than about 300,000 JPY per month, home electronics such as refrigerators, washers, and dryers are usually not equipped.

Rarely furnished, but still available to find

Even in Japan, you can certainly find furnished apartments/houses as well as serviced apartments, most of which are located in urban areas – Roppongi, Shinjuku, Shibuya, and the surrounding easy-to-access districts when it comes to the area in Tokyo.

Although furnished apartments/houses are expensive to rent and the availability is less if compared with unfurnished ones, moving in a furnished apartment/house allows tenants to reduce initial costs and save time for preparing necessary furniture and home appliances that can be troublesome especially for foreign residents. One more thing to know in terms of renting a furnished property is that the contract often made without having a viewing done. If you intend to go to a viewing before you sign up, the property may have already been contracted with someone else while arranging the viewing.

What to consider when selecting a rental property based on residency period

For people finding rentals in Japan, their choice will mostly be an unfurnished apartment/house. However, the type of rentals should be selected depending on their personal situation; the period of residence and place, budget, and interior preference. The residence period is particularly crucial for foreign residents.

In case of a short-term stay, the suitable option will be a furnished or serviced apartment/house. Fully western styled apartments/houses, ideal for people who are unfamiliar with the Japanese lifestyle are available for rent in urban areas. For those staying short but like to prepare equipment in one’s preference, renting an unfurnished apartment and use a furniture rental service can be a suitable option. The use of the rental service allows tenants to reduce the cost of moving-in preparation. Also, the rental service company helps tenants to carry rental items in rooms. When the tenant moves out as the contract is over, the service company takes the rental furniture away, which can also be a convenience for the tenant.

* The rate for rental furniture varies depending on the length of the contract period, whether the rental items are new or old as well.

For people who intend to stay for more than 2 or 3 years, it can be economical to rent an unfurnished apartment/house and provide necessary items by themselves. If you live on a budget while staying in Japan for study or work, it is advisable to choose a shared residence or guesthouse.

Items to prepare for living in a rental apartment/house in Japan

Here you find some items which you will need to provide when living in a rental apartment/house in Japan (The rent less than about 300,000 JPY/month). Some of the items mentioned here may have been equipped at some places that you should check them out when selecting a rental property.


Not usually equipped. Tenants are to provide by themselves.
It is advisable to measure the place to install before you get it.

In Japan, We have our own Refrigerator and when we move, bring it every time to new home.
-Please ask your agent if a Refrigerator come with the apartment or not.


Not usually equipped. Tenants are to provide by themselves.
Many washing machines available in Japan have no dryer. If you need a washing machine that comes with both washer and dryer, make it sure when you get it. Drum-type washers usually come with a dryer.
It is advisable to measure the place to install before you get it.

This same situation as Refrigerator. Japanese has our own Washer/Dryer
-Please ask your agent if a Refrigerator come with the apartment or not.

Light fixtures

Light fixtures are usually not equipped but may be there in some cases, such as the left by the previous tenant.
Light bulbs are to be provided by tenants.


Not usually equipped. Tenants are to provide by themselves.
It is advisable to measure the places to hang before you get them.

Air conditioners

Usually equipped(1~2 unit(s)). The responsibility where to lay for trouble on the air-conditioner varies depending on the state of installment; whether it was equipped by the landlord or it is a left item by a previous tenant. If the air conditioner, the one installed by the landlord as equipment, that has a problem, the landlord has the responsibility for the repair. If the air-conditioner is a left item by the previous tenant, the new tenant needs to repair by oneself to use it.

As for old or inexpensive rentals, air-conditioners may be not equipped. If you want to install or replace a new air-conditioner in your rental apartment/house, you need to ask the landlord for permission. In that case, you are to get an air-conditioner by yourself and cover the installation fee. Also, you are supposed to remove your air-conditioner when moving out.

Cooking Stoves

The cooking stove commonly used in Japan comes in 2 types; gas stove and IH (Induction Heating) or electric stove. The IH stove is more commonly equipped recently both in furnished and unfurnished rentals, especially in studio apartments. Gas burners are more used at houses for families.

When selecting a rental property, it is important to check what type of energy system is provided – gas or electricity. At the electricity-supplied house/apartment, you are to use IH stoves which take only IH-compatible cooking ware. If you don’t have any flying pans or cooking pots that are compatible with induction heating, you need to get them.

At the house where both gas and electricity are supplied, you are supposed to use a gas stove. The gas stove may not be equipped at some places, especially at old or inexpensive rental property where the tenant needs to prepare the one. Note that there are two types of gas supplied in Japan, the one is City Gas called Toshi gas, and the other is LP Gas (liquefied petroleum gas). It is strongly advised that you make sure and get a proper gas stove that can be used with the gas supplied at your rental house. It is also advisable that you ask a service company for the installment as handling gas equipment involves danger. The gas stove of yours is to be removed when you move out.

Japanese cooking range rarely comes with a Western-style oven

Japanese cooking ranges, often called Gasu Renji in Japanese, are quite different from those commonly used in western countries. The Japanese cooking range comprises of a gas top with 2 or 3 burners and a small oven called “Sakanayaki Guriru” or fish griller, which is too small to place a turkey. People from western countries should carefully check what type of cooking range is equipped when selecting a property.


Other items you may need for comfortable living are: tables, sofa, bed or futon, TV and microwave – and a rice cooker and bathtub lid will be added as a “must” in the list if you are a Japanese. At second-hand stores here in Japan, offline/online, you can easily find used-in-japan products, allows you to get necessary items on a budget instead of purchasing new ones.

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