Living it Up!: Top 15 Japanese Phrases for Looking for an Apartment : Not all Japanese schools and companies have living arrangements set up for their international students and employees. Therefore, when moving to Japan, you may have to consult with a real estate agent in order to find an apartment. A popular option for students and those on a lower budget is renting a room in a shared house (or “sharehouse” as it’s known in Japan). Today, we’re going to make a call to a Japanese real estate agency and find a room to rent!    

Top 15 Japanese Phrases for Looking for an Apartment

You’re in your home country, and you’re getting ready to Skype a Japanese real estate agent. You look out the window at the big blue sky, and you hear the birds chirping. Living in Japan must be so exciting, you think. You can’t wait until the day you finally arrive and decorate your very own Japanese apartment!

The agent picks up the phone, and the two of you discuss your living preferences. You will be a student studying international business and want to improve your Japanese along the way. The agent suggests living in a sharehouse, and you think that sounds like a great idea. You’ll save on rent and utility costs, and you’ll be living and interacting with Japanese speakers every day! You ask the agent when you can move in.

JapaneseRomajiEnglish
いつから入居可能ですか?Itsu kara nyūkyo kanō desu ka? When can I move in?
ルームメイトは誰ですか?彼らの性別と大体の年齢、国籍を知りたいです。Rūmumeito wa dare desu ka? Karera no seibetsu to daitai no nenrei, kokuseki o shiritai desu.Who will be my roommates? I would like to know their sex, approximate ages, and nationality.
私は日本語を勉強中なので、英語が喋れない人とのシェアを好みます。
Watashi wa nihon-go o benkyō-chū nanode, eigo ga shaberenai hito to no shea o konomimasu. I’m studying Japanese, so I prefer to share with non-English-speaking people.
学校まで電車で何線でどれくらいかかるか教えて頂けますか?
Gakkō made densha de nani-sen de dore kurai ka kakaru ka oshiete itadakemasu ka?Could you tell me what train line to take to my school, and how long it takes?
洗濯機と乾燥機は一回いくらですか?それらは、シェアハウスの中にありますか?
Sentakki to kansōki wa ikkai ikura desu ka? Sorera wa, sheahausu no naka ni arimasu ka?How much are the washing machine and drier? Are they in the sharehouse?
礼金、敷金はいくらですか?Reikin, shikikin wa ikura desu ka?How much are the deposits?
家賃はいつ、どのように払いますか?クレジットでの支払いも可能ですか?Yachin wa itsu, dono yō ni haraimasu ka? Kurejitto de no shiharai mo kanō desu ka?When and how should I pay the rent? Can I pay it by credit card?
収納スペースは、どれくらいありますか?Shūnō supēsu wa, dore kurai arimasu ka?How much storage space is available?
何か特別なルールはありますか?Nani ka tokubetsu-na rūru wa arimasu ka?Are there any specific rules?
門限はありますか?Mongen wa arimasu ka?Is there a curfew?
食器や料理器具は揃っていますか?Shokki ya ryōri-kigu wa sorotte imasu ka?Are there any plates and appliances that I can use?
今日は、部屋を見せて頂きありがとうございました。Kyō wa, heya o misete itadaki arigatō gozaimashita.Thank you for showing me your room today.
明日までに、入居するかを決めてメールでご連絡します。Ashita made ni, nyūkyo suru ka o kimete mēru de go-renraku shimasu.I will decide whether I move in or not by tomorrow and let you know by email.
それでは、8月1日から入居しても大丈夫ですか?良かったら引越の時間は、何時がいいですか?どのように鍵を受け取りましょうか?
Sore de wa, hachi-gatsu tsuitachi kara nyūkyo shite mo daijōbu desu ka? Yokattara, hikkoshi no jikan wa, nan-ji ga ī desu ka? Dono yō ni kagi o uketorimashō ka?Could I move into the house on August 1st? If so, what time should I move in? How can I get the key?

Examples

Itsu kara nyūkyo kanō desu ka? (When can I move in?)

He says that depending on room availability, it’s possible to move in on the same day you sign the contract. However, there are some cases where it may take a few days or weeks to get the room ready. This sounds reasonable to you, so you move onto your next set of questions: the roomates.

Rūmumeito wa dare desu ka? Karera no seibetsu to daitai no nenrei, kokuseki o shiritai desu. 
(Who will be my roommates? I would like to know their sex, approximate ages, and nationalities.)

He says that there are a variety of different sharehouses that cater to a variety of different demographics. He asks what you prefer, and you say that you would like to live in an all-female sharehouse if possible and with people around your age. You really want to use this opportunity to practice Japanese, though, so you emphasise the importance of living with Japanese speakers.

Watashi wa nihon-go o benkyō-chū nanode, eigo ga shaberenai hito to no shea o konomimasu. 
(I’m studying Japanese, so I prefer to share with non-English-speaking people.)      

The agent makes note of that, and he finds a nice place in his database near your school. You ask what the transportation will be like for your daily commute.

Gakkō made densha de nani-sen de dore kurai ka kakaru ka oshiete itadakemasu ka? 
(Could you tell me what train line to take to my school, and how long it takes?)

He says that you will be taking the JR Chūō-Sōbu Line, and it will take approximately ten minutes.

That sounds great to you. Now it’s on to the amenities and appliances the sharehouse provides. You’ll be arriving from another country, and, unfortunately, carrying around dinner plates and a toaster isn’t very feasible.

Shokki ya ryōri-kigu wa sorotte imasu ka? 
(Are there any plates and appliances that I can use?)

He says that at this sharehouse there are plenty.

Sentakki to kansōki wa ikkai ikura desu ka? Sorera wa, sheahausu no naka ni arimasu ka? 
(How much are the washing machine and dryer? Are they in the sharehouse?)

He says that a washer is included and is free to use, but there is no dryer. Japanese people usually hang their clothes out on the balcony to dry. 

You will be bringing your snowboarding equipment as well, so you ask about storage space.

Shūnō supēsu wa, dore kurai arimasu ka? 
(How much storage space is available?)

Storage space is limited within individual rooms, but if you have large items, the landlord can arrange for a storage facility within the house or somewhere on the property.

After a few more questions, you’re ready to move on to the subject of costs.

Reikin, shikikin wa ikura desu ka? 
(How much are the deposits?)

You’re in luck! In the past, Japanese apartments used to charge everyone a moving-in fee on top of a deposit for damages. However, times have changed recently, and the sharehouse you’ve chosen doesn’t charge any of these fees. The only charge is the contract renewal fee every two years.

You then ask when and how you should pay the rent.

Yachin wa itsu, dono yō ni haraimasu ka? Kurejitto de no shiharai mo kanō desu ka? 
(When and how should I pay the rent? Can I pay it by credit card?)

In Japan, paying rent by credit card is very rare for normal housing, so the agent tells you that for this sharehouse it is only possible to pay by bank transfer. The rent is due the first of every month, which will be deducted from your Japanese bank account (which you will set up through your school when you arrive).

You thank the agent and hang up. 

Next month, when you move to Japan, you meet the agent and take a look at the sharehouse together. Everything looks very nice, and you are happy with your decision.

Kyō wa, heya o misete itadaki arigatō gozaimashita. 
(Thank you for showing me your room today.)

You are pretty sure you’ll decide to live there, but you tell the agent that you’ll let him know tomorrow of your final decision—-just in case.

Ashita made ni, nyūkyo suru ka o kimete mēru de go-renraku shimasu. 
(I will decide whether I move in or not by tomorrow and let you know by email.)

When you wake up in the morning, it’s a no-brainer. Of course you’ll take the room! You sit down and write the e-mail.

Sore de wa, hachi-gatsu tsuitachi kara nyūkyo shite mo daijōbu desu ka? Yokattara, hikkoshi no jikan wa, nan-ji ga ī desu ka? Dono yō ni kagi o uketorimashō ka? 
(Could I move into the house on August 1st? If so, what time should I move in? How can I get the key?)

Searching for apartments can be stressful no matter what country you plan to live in. Everyone wants the ideal living arrangements and at a reasonable (or even really cheap!) price. However, learning these Japanese phrases and using them the next time you’re apartment or sharehouse hunting in Japan will make your experience much smoother and quicker. You may even be able to get a discount if you’re good at haggling! Not to mention, it’s also a lot of fun to use Japanese while apartment shopping in Japan!

Good luck, and happy apartment hunting! Remember to get out there and practice what you’ve learned!

PR

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