More and more foreigners are coming to Japan long term to pursue their dreams whether it be finding a job, studying abroad, or for an extended trip – with visitors from many countries eligible for 90 day visas (many extendable to 180 days).
One major problem anyone faces when they travel overseas for a longer period of time is covering their costs, of which accommodation is the biggest. Hotels are out of the question in terms of price, and while Japan's famous capsule hotels are definitely cheaper, staying there for a few weeks might not be the best experience.
Some companies and schools offer dorms, but not all, while there's always the fear of not getting along with your host family if you're thinking about doing a homestay. Even apartments, perhaps the best solution, can be pricey depending on the location and involve extra paperwork and utility setup. That's why we recommend Oakhouse when finding long term accommodation in Japan - convenient, affordable, and friendly.
What is Oakhouse?
Oakhouse, established in 1992, initially started off as a housing business for foreigners and returning Japanese, and that goal has remained mostly the same until the present day. Oakhouse not only just provides accommodation for those staying longer than the average tourist, but does so in hopes of the residents enjoying themselves and making connections with each other through interaction and cultural exchanges while assisting them with any needs they may have.
With over 5,000 rooms in more than 260 locations in the Kanto area, Oakhouse offers three types of accommodation – share house, apartment, and social residence.
Types of Oakhouse
- Share houses: Also known as guesthouses, these involve multiple people sharing a number of communal facilities, such as the lounge/living room, kitchen, dining room, and bathroom, while also having a small room to themselves. Share houses are ideal for socializing and making new connections, while also providing a place to enjoy some privacy. Their convenience and social nature has made share houses popular even amongst Japanese people as well; roughly 60% of Oakhouse's residents are Japanese. Oakhouse has promised themed share houses (with a “Women Only” share house already operating) in the future, increasing the likelihood of making new friends during your stay.
- Apartments: Oakhouse also offers a wide assortment of apartments, which better suit those who do not want to go through the trouble of living with others and sharing facilities.
- Social residence: These are just like share houses but with an even bigger emphasis on fun - activities such as language lessons, various workshops, and exercise classes ensure that there’s never a dull moment while you’re there.
Why choose Oakhouse?
In addition to offering different types of housing, what sets Oakhouse far apart from other types of accommodation is its combination of high quality facilities and low prices.
- Facilities All rooms are fully furnished, while some Oakhouse complexes include theater rooms, multi-purpose studios, and other special features. Appliances such as mini fridge and washing machines are also included, as well as car transfer between Oakhouse areas.
- Internet Wi-Fi is available in all lounges and each private room is equipped with LAN connections.
- Rent Amazingly, despite all those benefits and privileges, almost all share house rental rates fall between the 35,000 to 80,000 yen per month range. Apartments are slightly more expensive.
- Less Extra Fees: One major letdown many people face when signing a new housing agreement is the numerous fees involved in the contract; you may have gotten your hopes up after hearing about the cheap rent, only to be severely disappointed when finding out about agency fees, key money, security deposits and the like. While contract and maintenance fees are also required, Oakhouse does not require key money, gift money, nor agency fees, while also covering utilities and Internet. Furthermore, no guarantor is necessary, making things much, much easier.
One thing of note is that Oakhouse’s share houses, apartments, and social residences all require a minimum staying duration of one month.
How to book
- Oakhouse homepage: Share houses, apartments, and social residences can be found through Oakhouse’s home page and options can conveniently be sorted according to keyword, train station, address, commute time, and school. After selecting a room, either click on the “Web Inquiry” tab and fill out the request form.
- Telephone/Email: Accommodation can also be inquired for by phone at +81-3-6277-5131 (overseas) or 03-6277-5131 (inside Japan) during their office hours (10am-6pm) or by email at email@example.com. Oakhouse offers multilingual support in English, Chinese, French, and Korean.
- Information Center: Potential residents can also inquire in person at the Oakhouse Information Center in Shibuya, which actually offers special information about houses before they go online.
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Intern at Japan Airlines & rising 4th year (senior) at the University of Virginia. 3/4 Japanese and 1/4 Australian; born and currently live in Yokohama. My favorite spots in Japan (aside from Yokohama) are Hokkaido, Okinawa, and Tochigi, but hopefully someday I'll get to visit all 47 prefectures.