Kyoto Styudy

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Renting for Foreigners in Kyoto, Made Simple with SAKURA RENT

Renting for Foreigners in Kyoto, Made Simple with SAKURA RENT

You’ve just arrived in Japan, or maybe you’re still just looking forward to it. You’re going to study abroad in the ancient capital of Kyoto, city of thousand year-old shrines and temples! Not to mention, a great many universities and other schools…and perhaps even a few companies you’d like to work for after graduation.
But first thing’s first: you’ll need a place to live.

Renting in Japan—and in Kyoto in particular—can be a daunting process for international students and other new, non-Japanese residents. Tradition is one of Kyoto’s charms, but traditional rules are often upheld in the process of renting an apartment, too: for example, when you move into a home, you may be required to pay “key money,” a kind of non-refundable deposit. In many cases, you’ll also be required to have a guarantor. There are a lot of unfamiliar steps! This can become even more complicated when you don’t have a lot of time, or maybe aren’t even in the country yet.
No need to worry, though. There are ways to simplify the whole complicated process! One good way is to consider SAKURA RENT, which is a Kyoto rental agency servicing foreign renters, and the staff here are well-versed in the types of difficulties international apartment-hunters might face, and offer stream-lined services to make the whole process much simpler.

Renting an Apartment in Kyoto as an International Student

First of all, what is it even like for an international student to rent an apartment in Kyoto? While some universities have dormitory housing, there are often a limited number of rooms, and unlike in many countries, it’s common for most Japanese students to rent an apartment of their own. If you’re a student at a Japanese language school, you might find it convenient to rent a room close to your school, too, or perhaps even find a share house where you can practice your Japanese with other residents!

Still, it’s not only a big step to living independently in a foreign country: renting an apartment in Kyoto can be complicated and expensive. Many landlords require either a guarantor or guarantor company, and some may even stipulate that the guarantor must be Japanese. The parents of Japanese students will often act as guarantors for their children, but if you’ve recently arrived in the country and don’t yet know someone well enough to ask, this can be a difficult requirement to meet. Guarantor companies are sometimes used in place of an individual guarantor, but of course, it requires another fee on top of what can be quite a hefty list when you’re first signing up for an apartment!

In Kyoto, many of the traditional fees are still required, which can add up to several months’ worth of rent! It’s also common for landlords to ask for a fee of about one or even two months’ rent to renew an apartment contract. If you don’t pay close attention when signing your contract, these kinds of fees can catch you by surprise.

Fees aside, you’ll also need to furnish your apartment and buy electric appliances, and so on as well!


There is however, a real estate agent that can make the often complicated rental process simpler, and offers services with international students in mind. Study Kyoto recently sat down with SAKURA RENT to hear more about the services they offer for foreign renters in Kyoto!


So what does SAKURA RENT do?

Mr. Hamaguchi, one of the directors of international services, explained: the company offers apartment and share house rental services for foreign residents in Kyoto, mainly via subleasing. What’s more, the properties are fully furnished and come with appliances (many apartments in Japan don’t come with these!), including a refrigerator, microwave, kettle, gas cooking, dinnerware, washing machine, lights, Wi-Fi router, desk, chair, bed, and futon coverlet. It’s also a relief for foreign residents that these rooms do not require either a guarantor, or a guarantor company!

SAKURA RENT also boasts a friendly and courteous total support system that ensures its international renters have a smooth experience from day one until they move out. New renters are carefully guided through the entire process, from the initial selection of rooms, to contract, and with any problems you may run into while living in your apartment.

How do international residents contact the staff, and what languages do staff speak?

Renters can contact staff via LINE, WeChat or email. Sakura Rent has two English-speaking staff members including Mr. Hamaguchi, and one Chinese-speaking staff member.

If you’re not feeling confident in your Japanese skills just yet, you don’t need to worry about communication!

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