I am now staying in Yamato-city, Kanagawa-ken

February 28, 2009 by: Clement Nyirenda

I moved from the Komaba Kokusai Koryukaikan (Komaba International Student House). I am now staying in Shimotsuruma, Yamato city, Kanagawa Prefecture, a 10 minute walk from the Chuo-Rinkan Odakyu and Tokyu Den-en-toshi stations. My campus, Suzukakedai, is just three stations away from Chuo-Rinkan. I like my new environment because it is far from the hustle and bustle of Shibuya. The farther you are from Tokyo, the cheaper the yachin (rent). I pay 53,000Yen for a 2K (two rooms and kitchen) apartment every month. This would cost 100,000Yen or more in Tokyo.

Searching for an apartment in Japan can be difficult for a gaijin (foreigner) in Japan. Most landlords do not accept gaijin. A Japanese friend of mine told me that they do so because of language problems. In my case, I did not face such problems. Ricardo Sotolongo, a Cuban friend of mine, refered me to the Able office in Chuo-Rinkan. He advised me to go there with a Japanese friend so that he could speak on my behalf. But I went there alone because I wanted to give them an impression that I am perapera with Nihongo (good at Japanese). I thought that by doing so, it would be easy for the landlords to accept me. At the Able office in Chuo-Rinkan, I was ably helped by Mizunuma-san. She could not speak English at all. I spoke with her in Japanese throughout. She showed me three 2k apartments in the Chuo-Rinkan area which were vacant and finally I settled for the one I am staying in right now. I did not pay key money (reikin). I only paid rent for the first month, the deposit, the agent fee and tax. In total, I pay 135,000Yen for the contract.

My wife and two kids have now joined me in the new apartment. They arrived from Malawi two weeks ago.


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