Japan's Must-Read Magazine

Gaijin Houses – The best bet for staying in Japan short term!

So what are Gaijin Houses?

Gaijin Houses (Guest Houses) are shared houses or apartment buildings where travelers and locals live together, sharing the facilities. Living in a guest house is a great way to start out in Japan as it is a wonderful opportunity for networking.

Renting an apartment in Japan for the first time can cost as much as 6 times the first month’s rent or more! By comparison, guest houses are a much better deal. With only a small deposit and no extra fees, they provide safe, clean, affordable accommodation while searching for an apartment or on a short term stay. They come equipped with kitchen facilities, Internet access and laundry facilities, and each room is usually furnished with a small fridge, TV and a futon or bed. Since the actual features and overall quality of each guest house can vary enormously, you need to be careful when choosing a gaijin house, it can make the difference between a successful and a miserable stay in Japan. 

So what are the pros and cons staying at a “Gaijin House”?


·         Networking – If you are new to Japan you can get a lot of information from locals living in the Gaijin House.

·         Cheap than hotels and aprtments (short term only). No key money, agent fees etc. usually just a small deposit. 

·         Kitchen with appliances – Make meals at home and save money.

·         Internet in your own room at no extra cost.



·         Small rooms.

·         Shared bathrooms and showers.

·         Expensive in the long run. If you are planning on staying in Japan more than 1 year getting your own apartment is a better option.

In the past Gaijin Houses were mainly located in Tokyo. Now Gaijin Houses can be found all across Japan from Okinawa to Hokkaido. The only problem now is trying to find all these places in a foreign land.

You can expect to pay anywhere from 1,500-4,500 yen per night with the norm being 2,500 yen. Monthly fees can be anywhere from 30,000-90,000 yen. Most places ask for a refundable deposit of 30,000 yen

Top 5 picks for finding a Gaijin House

·         Gaijin House Japan  My top pick – they have articles on every Gaijin House in Japan including photos, making the difference between a successful and a miserable stay in Japan. 

·         Metropolis Magazine  A free magazine found in many locations across Tokyo.

·         Tokyo Notice Board  Another free magazine found in many locations across Tokyo.

·         Gaijin Pot Classifieds Everyone knows the pot for Job searching they also have a decent classifieds section.

·         Seek Japan – This website itself has a great classifieds section for finding accomodation