It is very difficult for foreigners to rent an apartment in Japan, mostly due to language barrier and lack of guarantor. The rental procedure is quite complex, and you are required to pay a range of fees such as key money, agent fee, a deposit and first month's rental. However, with CLIHO Shared House you can rent your own private room in a Japanese house setting and environment very easily.
There are a total of 24 rooms split between 2 buildings, and half of them are rented out to foreigners. Each room has a bed, a small table, a large open wardrobe and even a small fridge to keep your fruits and beer cool. You will get a fresh bedding set on your first day, which includes a pillow and a pillow case, a bed sheet as well as a futon and a blanket. There is also a pretty fast Wi-Fi connection throughout the building and you can connect easily in your own room. Shower rooms and toilets are shared, so you need to keep these places clean, and please pick up your hair after each shower. Fortunately, there is a cleaner who comes every Sunday and Wednesday to clean up these public areas.
As this is a shared house targeted for people staying in Japan for more than a month, you will need to buy your own slippers, towels, clothes hangers and also hand soap. An iron and ironing board however can be borrowed from the first floor.
In conclusion, this is a nice cozy place for people looking for something between a dormitory and an own apartment. You have a shared space to mingle with other tenants (both from Japan and other countries) and your own room to work and sleep in. There are also plenty of eateries, convenient stores and a supermarket nearby, so getting everyday necessities and food is no problem. The shared house is also just a 2-minutes walk to the nearest train station and a 20-minutes train ride to Ikebukuro.
Amenities/Facilities located mostly at first floor (shared):
- Kitchen equipped with microwave oven, kettle and electric stoves. Pots, pans, mugs and cutlery are also available.
- Dining area with TV
- Shower rooms
- Toilet with bidet (on each floor)
- Wash basin (on each floor)
- Coin Laundry (¥200 per wash up to 4.5kg load)
- Laundry Dryer (¥100 for 20 minutes)
- Iron and ironing board
- Access to rooftop to dry clothes or to go for a smoke
- Assigned shoe rack space near the entrance
- Hot water available for wash basin and shower all day
- Automated mailbox for putting in parcels when you are away (Take note that this is only available at the Freshroom building with entrance facing main road, so you have to specify this in Japanese when ordering goods online)
- Just a 2-minutes walk to Chikatestu Akatsuka Station (Yurakucho Line) and Shimoakatsuka Station (Tobu-Tojo Line)
- Pharmacy selling also daily necessities like tissue paper, drinks and snacks
- Discount selling daily necessities and simple electronics (I would recommend ¥100 shops at Ikebukuro for small items)
- Convenient stores
- Plenty of restaurants and cafes, such as Saizeriya, Gusto, Sukiya, Matsuya, Freshness Burger, McDonald's, etc.
Fees: ¥61,000–¥74,000 monthly with a minimum of a month's stay.
For more information please consult their website. There is also always someone on the spot who speaks English to communicate with you.