Andrea Urbinati

Renting an Apartment in Yokohama, Japan

Di Andrea Urbinati

blogger, andrea urbinati, marketing, copywriting, seo

Looking to rent an apartment in the vibrant city of Yokohama, Japan? You’re in for a treat! Yokohama offers a perfect blend of modern living and traditional charm. From the bustling streets of Chinatown to the serene waterfront parks, this city has something for everyone. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the essential steps to finding and securing your dream apartment in Yokohama. Let’s dive in!


The Charm of Yokohama

Ah, Yokohama, the city that stole my heart! Let me take you on a journey through its charming streets and vibrant culture.

Yokohama’s Blend of Old and New

The diverse blend of traditional Japanese culture and modern urban development gives Yokohama its unique charm. Wander through the historic streets of Yamate or indulge in the futuristic delights of Minato Mirai. It’s like stepping into a time machine and experiencing two worlds at once.

The Allure of Yokohama’s Waterfront

Yokohama’s stunning waterfront offers a mesmerizing view of the port and the iconic Ferris wheel. Whether you’re taking a leisurely stroll along the promenade or unwinding at one of the chic seaside cafes, the waterfront is an enchanting escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

A Tapestry of Cultural Delights

From the captivating beauty of Sankeien Garden to the immersive exhibits at the Yokohama Museum of Art, the city is a treasure trove of cultural experiences. It’s like a vibrant tapestry woven with the threads of tradition and innovation, leaving you spellbound at every turn.

Culinary Wonders of Yokohama

Oh, the food! Let’s not forget about the delectable culinary scene that Yokohama proudly boasts. Whether you’re savoring a steaming bowl of authentic ramen or delighting in the freshest seafood at the renowned Yokohama Chinatown, every bite is a tantalizing journey for your taste buds.


Yokohama isn’t just a city; it’s a captivating adventure waiting to be explored. Its charm is irresistible, and once you’re under its spell, there’s no turning back. Join me as we delve deeper into this fascinating city and uncover all its hidden gems.


Understanding the Japanese Apartment Market

Types of Apartments in Japan

When it comes to renting an apartment in Yokohama, Japan, you’ll encounter various types of apartments, each with its unique features. From the tiny one-room apartments known as “1K” to more spacious “2DK” or “3LDK” units, there’s a wide range to choose from. If you’re looking for a more modern living space, you might come across “APA HOTEL” apartments that offer hotel-like amenities for residents. Additionally, there are also “kyosho” apartments, which are typically furnished and equipped with everyday essentials, making them a convenient choice for those moving to Yokohama for a short-term stay. Each type caters to different needs, so understanding these options will help you find the perfect fit.

Key Terms to Know When Apartment Hunting

Navigating the Japanese apartment market can be daunting, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the key terms used in the rental process. Reikin” refers to a non-refundable “key money” paid to the landlord as a gesture of goodwill, while “shikikin” is a refundable deposit ensuring that the apartment is left in good condition. Another essential term is “guarantor,” a person who will act as a guarantor for your lease, often required for renting an apartment in Japan. Additionally, “hoshonin” is the co-signer or guarantor company that may be necessary if you don’t have a Japanese guarantor. Understanding these terms will help you navigate the rental process with confidence.


Step-by-Step Guide to Renting an Apartment in Yokohama

Finding the Right Neighborhood in Yokohama

Before starting your apartment hunt in Yokohama, it’s essential to identify the neighborhood that best suits your lifestyle and preferences. Whether you’re seeking a bustling urban setting or a serene suburban area, Yokohama offers a diverse range of neighborhoods to choose from. Websites like Yokohama Neighbourhood Guide provide detailed insights into the various neighborhoods, including information about local amenities, transportation, and community vibes.

Choosing the Right Real Estate Agency

Selecting a reputable real estate agency is crucial for a smooth apartment rental experience. Companies like Yokohama Apartment Rentals offer a wide selection of properties and provide assistance in multiple languages, making the process more accessible for expats. It’s advisable to read reviews, seek recommendations, and explore the services offered by different agencies to find the right fit for your needs.

Documents Needed for Renting an Apartment

When renting an apartment in Yokohama, you’ll typically need to provide various documents, including a valid passport, proof of income or employment, and a Japanese resident’s card (if applicable). Some landlords or agencies may also require a Japanese guarantor or a “guarantor company” service. Additionally, having a solid rental history and references can strengthen your application. Websites like Yokohama Expat Rentals offer detailed guidance on the documentation required for renting an apartment in Yokohama.

Understanding the Cost Structure

Renting an apartment in Yokohama entails several costs beyond the monthly rent. These may include a security deposit (usually equivalent to one to two months’ rent), agency fees, and sometimes key money (a non-refundable gratuity to the landlord). Understanding the breakdown of these costs is essential to avoid any financial surprises. Yokohama Housing Costs Explained offers a comprehensive breakdown of the typical expenses associated with renting in Yokohama, giving you a clear understanding of the financial aspects involved in the process.


Making the Move

Setting Up Utilities

When renting an apartment in Yokohama, setting up utilities is a crucial step. Understanding the process of activating electricity, gas, water, and internet services is essential for a smooth transition. Services like Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), Tokyo Gas, and Yokohama Water are the main utility providers in the area. Using a service like Yokohama Municipal Citizen’s Hotline can provide guidance for the entire process, making it much easier for newcomers.

Getting to Know Your Neighborhood

Getting acquainted with your neighborhood is an exciting part of living in Yokohama. Exploring local supermarkets, parks, and public transportation options can help you integrate into the community quickly. Places like Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse and Yamashita Park are popular spots that offer a glimpse into the city’s vibrant culture. Additionally, understanding the nearest healthcare facilities and schools can provide a sense of security and familiarity.

Tips on Living in Yokohama

Living in Yokohama offers a unique blend of modernity and tradition. Embracing the local customs and etiquette can significantly enhance your experience. Learning some basic Japanese phrases, adapting to the local cuisine, and understanding the city’s transportation system are valuable tips for a smooth transition. Engaging in cultural activities, such as tea ceremonies or cherry blossom viewing, can also enrich your stay in Yokohama.


Things to Know about Yokohama

Lifestyle and Culture

Yokohama boasts a vibrant and diverse lifestyle, influenced by a rich tapestry of cultures. From the bustling streets to the serene parks, the city offers a blend of modernity and tradition. The renowned Chinatown in Yokohama stands as an emblem of the city’s multicultural identity, beckoning visitors with its ornate gates and authentic eateries. The Yamate district, with its historic Western residences, takes you back in time to an era of international exchange. Whether immersing yourself in the heritage museums or savoring the local delicacies, Yokohama’s lifestyle and culture unfold like a vibrant tapestry, weaving together the city’s past and present.

Public Transportation

Navigating Yokohama is a breeze, thanks to its efficient public transportation system. The extensive network of trains, buses, and trams makes getting around the city and beyond a seamless experience. The train system, intricately woven across the city, offers convenient access to key attractions and neighboring areas, including Tokyo. For those inclined to explore at a leisurely pace, cycling along the picturesque waterfront promenades is a delightful way to soak in Yokohama’s charm and scenic beauty.

Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Yokohama takes pride in its commitment to ensuring safety and preparedness. The city is equipped with comprehensive emergency response systems and a dedicated force of law enforcement personnel. Visitors can explore with peace of mind, knowing that Yokohama prioritizes the safety and well-being of its residents and guests. Should the need arise, medical facilities and services are readily accessible, offering reassurance to all who traverse the city’s streets.

Yokohama welcomes visitors with open arms, inviting them to immerse themselves in its rich culture, explore with ease via its robust transportation options, and rest assured in the knowledge that safety and preparedness are integral to the city’s ethos.



As we reach the conclusion of “Renting an Apartment in Yokohama, Japan,” it’s evident that this port city, nestled just south of Tokyo, offers a unique blend of international influences and traditional Japanese charm in its real estate market. This guide has aimed to navigate through the complexities and nuances of finding an apartment in Yokohama, catering especially to those unfamiliar with Japan’s rental system, including foreigners and international students.

Yokohama, while close to Tokyo, presents a distinct character in its living spaces. Apartments for rent in this city range from modern high-rise buildings offering panoramic views of the harbor to more traditional Japanese apartments, complete with tatami mats and sliding doors. This variety ensures that whether one is seeking the vibrancy of urban living or the tranquility of a residential neighborhood, Yokohama has something to offer.

For foreigners, especially those new to Japan or living outside of Tokyo, Yokohama emerges as an appealing option. The city is notably foreigner-friendly, with a diverse international community and resources to ease the transition into Japanese life. The process of renting apartments here, while similar to Tokyo, is nuanced by Yokohama’s unique real estate landscape, including its range of properties and pricing.

The basics of apartment hunting in Yokohama involve navigating through rental agreements, understanding key fees, and recognizing the importance of location. Proximity to train stations, particularly those connecting to the greater Tokyo area, adds immense value to an apartment due to the convenience of commuting. Moreover, Yokohama’s neighborhoods each carry their own charm and advantages, from the bustling streets of Minato Mirai to the historic ambiance of Yamate.

One of the key points for foreigners renting in Japan, and particularly in cities like Yokohama, is the increasing availability of foreigner-friendly rental options. These often include properties with less stringent requirements for guarantors and leases that are more accommodating of non-Japanese tenants. Additionally, with multilingual support becoming more common in real estate agencies and listings, the barrier to finding a suitable apartment is significantly lowered.

Living in Yokohama also means embracing a lifestyle that balances the hustle and bustle of a major city with the laid-back atmosphere of a coastal town. The city is rich in cultural experiences, from its famous Chinatown to the numerous parks and waterfront areas. For those who value a mix of convenience, culture, and calm, Yokohama is an ideal place to call home.

In conclusion, renting an apartment in Yokohama offers a unique opportunity to experience a side of Japan that blends modernity with tradition, and international flair with Japanese culture. Whether you are a student, a professional, or a family, Yokohama’s real estate market is accommodating and diverse, providing a range of options to suit various needs and preferences. As you embark on your apartment hunting journey in this captivating city, remember that each step brings you closer to finding not just a living space, but a place where you can truly experience the rich tapestry of life in Yokohama.

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About the author
blogger, andrea urbinati, marketing, copywriting, seo

Hi! I’m Andrea, a passionate freelance writer with a knack for captivating storytelling.

With a decade of marketing expertise and a genuine love for crafting compelling content, I bring your ideas to life!

Let me know if you need a writer for your blog!

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