Kyoto Styudy

For those considering study abroad in Kyoto For international students in Kyoto

How to find a dwelling

Here we will explain about housing which is important for life as an international student in Kyoto. We will describe the types of housing as well as the process from finding housing to signing a lease agreement.

Types of housing

●School dormitories

Some schools provide accommodation such as dormitories for international students.
Accommodation varies depending on the school, so please confirm the details with the person in charge at your school.

●International student dormitories

There are also a small number of international student dormitories operated by the Government of Japan and private organizations. These international student dormitories offer good amenities and are relatively cheap, however vacancies are often limited and eligibility criteria may apply.
»Kyoto International Student Orientation Center
*Prospective tenants are asked to confirm the details with the person in charge at NATIONAL STUDENTS INFORMATION CENTER.
»Mukaijima Gakusei Center
»Kyoto International Students House

Refer to STUDYKYOTO MAGAZINEs as well!

●Public housing

Public housing is provided by Kyoto Prefecture and municipalities within Kyoto Prefecture. To be eligible, you must be a resident of Japan for a period of one year or more and reside together with family members in the area. However, conditions are relaxed for international students who are given preferential treatment in some cases.

●UR (Urban Renaissance Agency) (former name: Public Housing)

UR ensures the appropriate management of around 750,000 houses and apartment flats in Japan. There are no guarantors, honoraria, commissions, or renewal fees. However, security deposits equivalent to a rent for two months are required. International students can live in the apartments under the same terms and conditions as Japanese people.
»UR Kansai(Japanese only)

●Private rental housing

Broadly speaking, there are five types of private rental housing available
Apartment It is wooden or prefabricated building, and is usually a two-story housing complex. Kitchen and toilet facilities may be private or shared. Some places may not have a bath.
Condominium reinforced concrete building; usually a three-story or taller housing complex. Has a separate kitchen, toilet and bath. It is often the case that the higher the floor the higher the rent.
Detached house An independent house; usually a one- or two-story structure with a small garden. Has a separate kitchen, toilet and bath.
Homestay A form of accommodation whereby you are accepted into a Japanese home and treated as a member of the family. Many international students desire homestay as it provides a chance to learn about Japanese culture and customs.
»Homestay in Japan
Shared housing A form of accommodation whereby you are provided a private room in a house consisting of multiple rooms and share the living room, kitchen and bathroom, etc. with other household members. Shared housing is a good way to live in a desirable location for a relatively cheap price.

●Temporary housing

Temporary housing is housing in which you can stay temporarily after arriving in Kyoto while looking for more permanent housing. It is possible to sign a monthly or weekly lease agreement. (Guest houses and hostels are handled differently because they are for accommodations and not permanent housing.)
Monthly / weekly housing Housing rented on a monthly or weekly basis often comes furnished with equipment such as a television, air-conditioner, bed and refrigerator. It is easy to move in and to move out and possible to stay at relatively low cost.
»Monthly KYOTO
»KYOTO Apartment
»Kyoto Apartment Kinsyo.Co.,Ltd
»Apartment Japan in Kyoto
Guest house / hostel An accommodation facility with a shared living room, kitchen, toilet and showers, etc. You may need to pay a deposit before moving in.

How to find a dwelling

Many schools have independently concluded partnerships with real estate agents and will help you find safe and secure housing. So it is best to contact your school about housing after you have enrolled. If searching for housing through a real estate agent by yourself, it's a good idea to take a Japanese friend or guarantor or a person fluent in Japanese to assist you in negotiations.

Finding housing through your university or school

Japanese universities, vocational schools and Japanese language schools can introduce private accommodation for students located in the vicinity of the school. Try enquiring at your school's office.

Finding housing with a real estate agent

Real estate agents act as an intermediary between property owners and prospective tenants. Many signboards such as "◯◯ real estate" and "×× homes" can be seen around train stations.

Finding housing over the Internet

You can search for housing over the Internet by area, the name of your university and monthly rent, etc. If you find a property you like, you can make an enquiry over the Internet or visit the real estate agent directly.

Kyoto Housing Search for International Students

Opening of Multilingual Kyoto Housing Search Site for International Students. Search for student housing in Kyoto with this site just for international students!

kyoto housing search

●List of housing-related businesses

The following resources contain a great deal of housing information for students. Please take a look.

Concluding a lease agreement

You will conclude a lease agreement with the landlord or real estate agent. When you conclude the lease agreement, you will have to pay a deposit (an amount equivalent to a few month's worth of rent), key money and brokerage fees. You will also need to prepare furniture, as it is not provided in most housing.


In almost all cases, a "guarantor" is required to move into housing. The landlord may demand the guarantor make payment on your behalf in the event you have failed to pay the rent on the due date or have damaged room amenities and failed to pay repair costs, etc. *The following option is available if you cannot find a guarantor.

International Student Housing Comprehensive Security System (Japan Student Services Organization)
Some schools are able to act as a guarantor for students under this system. The following requirements must be met to use this system.

  • ・The school is a member of the International Student Housing Comprehensive Security System
  • ・You enroll in the insurance prescribed by this system
    (Premium: 4,000 yen for one year, 8,000 yen for two years)
  • ・The landlord agrees to the university acting as your guarantor under this system.

Please enquire at your school's office for further details.

After moving in

After moving in to your new home, you will need to complete procedures to start using water, electricity and gas as well as subscribe to fire insurance. Have the real estate company explain the procedures to you. Water, electricity and gas charges are to be paid separately in addition to the rent.