Whether you’re visiting Japan on vacation, or you’ve moved here for longer than a few months, you will need to find a place to hang your hat at the end of the day. For those of you who are on vacation your best bet will be to decide on your hotel and to make your reservation before you arrive in Japan.
These are just a few of the websites that you can use to arrange for your hotel. www.hotwire.com, www.travel.rakuten.co.jp/en, www.japanlifestyle.com/au, www.japanhotelsonline.net, www.hotels.com, www.jcha.or.jp/english/ or www.japaneseguesthouses.com. I personally like www.hotwire.com, because when I recently visited Toronto, Canada, I was able to use Hotwire to book a hotel room at a 4star hotel in Downtown, Toronto, for more than 50% less than the normal room rate. That’s the kind of savings that you don’t want to miss out on.
For people who have moved to Japan you really have 3 basic choices. First, if you’ve arranged a homestay in Japan then you are basically already set because your homestay family will meet you at the airport and bring you back to their house. If you aren’t doing a homestay then you can either stay in a hotel or short-term guest house until you find an apartment, or you can stay in company housing and then later find an apartment.
I would recommend going with option 2. Let your company do all the work for you in the beginning, so that when you arrive in Japan you won’t have to think about housing at all. Stay in the company housing for a few months and use that time to locate your long-term apartment using a Japanese Real Estate agent.
In my next Post I’ll explain how to find Japanese Real Estate agents, and I’ll explain the process of applying for and renting an apartment in Japan. The process is very similar to in the USA or Canada, but there are a few differences and a few hidden costs that you need to know about.