So what exactly is a share house?
Q2. What types of share houses are there?
Q3. What kind of people live in share houses?
Q4. What are the advantages to living in a share house?
Q5. What do I do about rent, initial costs, and monthly fees?
Q6. Living with other people sounds like it could cause problems...
Q7. Is international exchange and language learning really possible at a share house?
Q8. I’m not very good at communicating with others, will I be ok?
Q9. Are there certain manners or rules to abide by in a share house?
Q10. It seems like there are a lot of share houses, how should I go about choosing one?
- So what exactly is a share house?
A “share house” is a residency that is shared by several people who live together. Every resident uses minimal space to secure their own privacy (the most basic being the bedroom), while the kitchen, living room, showers, etc. are shared by all residents in the building. Also, unlike normal room shares, a management company and/or administrator is present allowing for consultation regarding any problems you cannot talk with other residents about, which is one of the special characteristics of a share house.Recently, unique share houses with luxurious shared facilities you would never think to find living alone as well as those whose management hold various events seem to be on the rise. The share house lifestyle is starting to become mainstream, particularly for students and working adults in their 20's to mid 30's.
- Q2. What types of share houses are there?
There are types varying from individual rooms to dormitory style housing with 2 to 4 people sharing a room. As one would expect, the dormitory rooms are cheaper than the individual rooms. Although there are many who can’t imagine going so far as to share the same bedroom with others, if you find yourself with roommates you get along with, you can have a surprisingly enjoyable time living in a share house. Even in the individual rooms, the walls are thin and you cannot always guarantee privacy, and because some are furnished with televisions, refrigerators, or other luxuries of high design quality, it’s very important to confirm particulars you are concerned about.
- Q3. What kind of people live in share houses?
People from various walks of life of all ages live in share houses, but if we were to give an example, you may see the following kinds of people.
"People ranging from routine salary men to ambitious entrepreneurs."
"Foreigners studying abroad who are the same age as you with the same hopes and dreams."
"Foreigners or others from the region dropping for a short stay on business or traveling."
"Students or businessmen who have lived in share houses overseas, brimming with curiosity."
"Diligent students or business men focusing on language study (primarily English)"
"Temporary workers, part-time workers, or simply those on a journey to find themselves."
A simple list cannot attest to the variety of unique individuals you can find living in a share house. Also, although one would get the impression that many more men live in these quarters given the perception that "share houses" aren't the same as "communal living", over half the people living in share houses seem to be women. There are also many more share house specifically for women than before, so everyone is sure to be at ease in picking the share house that suits their tastes.
- Q4. What are the advantages to living in a share house?
After all is said and done, the charm of a share house is the sense of community. For example, there will be someone there to say “welcome back!” when you return home. You’ll have friends you can talk to about problems you can’t mention at work. The sense of security that makes you z refreshing change of pace, and the opportunity to improve language skills by living with foreigners are all but a few of the merits to living in a share house.Furthermore, there are many facilities that don’t require deposit money or guarantors, and with the bare essentials of furniture, televisions, refrigerators, and air conditioners in place along with microwaves and washing machines in the communal area suited for those looking for a short time stay, these are all great benefits for a leisurely stay.
- Q5. What do I do about rent, initial costs, and monthly fees?
Naturally it differs depending on the policies of whoever owns the share house. However, even when considering rent and other monthly fees (utilities, internet, etc.) added together, the costs are for the most part relatively lower than one room apartments in the area. When signing the contract, they may ask for a deposit, insurance fee, or deduct cleaning fee for when you leave, so be sure to inquire about these fees before making a final decision.
- Q6. Living with other people sounds like it could cause problems...
Because you would be living with other people, you cannot expect others to think the same way you do. People who are self-centered or overly assertive are likely to find themselves in trouble not just at a share house, but where ever they may go. However, living together with others is the same as being at school or in the work place, so respecting each other and avoiding actions that may upset others is very important. Also, it’s very common for problems to be resolved by consulting the share house manager or company administration.
- Q7. Is international exchange and language learning really possible at a share house?
There are many foreigners (primarily from English-speaking countries) living in share houses in the metropolitan area. Because there are a variety of people living in share houses such as foreigners planning for short term stays, businessmen on long term business trips, or study abroad students attending Japanese universities, communication is essential in “common areas”, so there are many people who have improved their English or made friends from other countries. However, foreigners who can speak Japanese very fluently may be present, so English is not always necessary for conversation.
- Q8. I’m not very good at communicating with others, will I be ok?
To get along smoothly living with others, it is a good idea to be prepared to communicate with others to some extent. However, just like you, residents are not expecting others to go out of their way to make friends, so if you go about living in the share house as you normally would, you will inevitably start up conversation, being talking, and become friends with people in the common areas. While this is not something you should think about too much, those who do not like interacting with others, like to seclude themselves in their room, or yearn for a quiet life, may not be best suited to living in a share house.
- Q9. Are there certain manners or rules to abide by in a share house?
Because you would be living with others, respecting each other’s way of living is very important. Although you may be living with others who are about the same age as you, they are all businessmen, students, or part-time workers, who live at a different pace, so you will probably be expected to have a mutual understanding of each other's living situation. Conversely, those who cannot easily come to understand the circumstances of others may have difficulty living in a share house. As a benefit of being in a share house, there will be opportunities to experience different languages and cultures, so living in a share house may be for you if you have interest in cultural exchange. By living with foreign exchange students who want to learn Japanese or another language, you teach each other new words and phrases as well as share your culture with one another.
- Q10. It seems like there are a lot of share houses, how should I go about choosing one?
For the most party, it's exactly the same as looking for a one room apartment. First, on the Tokyo Sharehouse website, there are not just a few details about the share houses, but pictures of the outside and interior design, moving in conditions, comments from the manager; we provide as much information as possible about the house. When you've found a share house you're interested in, be sure to first send any inquiries you have to the manager. If possible, make an appointment to go and check out the share house in person, at which point you can ask if there are any particular rules, meet the tenants, ask about any fees not published on our website, or even check the condition of facilities that are shared by tenants. We want you to find a share house that will make you say "if I live here, my life is sure to change for the better!"