What are the top factors to keep in mind when searching for a place to live in your city? Proximity to school or the school bus route is important to families. For all transferees, proximity to transportation is an issue. Certain neighborhoods have higher concentrations of foreigners, and thus shops and facilities catering to foreigners. What are the most popular neighborhoods in your city for expats? There are a variety of areas in terms of nature: mountains, city, ocean, man-made island, quiet residential areas. People may find neighborhoods that are similar to their home country. Do expats tend to buy or rent their homes? Renting a house will be much easier for a foreigner than buying property in Japan Typically, will I be required to pay additional money up front (such as a deposit) before moving into leased housing? If so, how much is common? Deposits equivalent to three to six months' rent are common, and tenants also pay a commission to the real estate agent. This commission is generally equivalent to one month's rent. Non-refundable key money (1-2 months' rent) is sometimes required. Are utilities generally included in the price of rent, or are they extra? Utility expenses are usually paid by a renter. Are there special security concerns I should be aware of in regards to my home or choice of neighborhood? Japan is a relatively safe country, but we suggest finding a house/apartment with 24-hour security. I’m not sure if I should bring my appliances. What is the electric current, Hz and plug shape in your city? 100-volt alternating current, 50 Hz cycle in Eastern Japan (Tokyo) and 60 Hz cycle in Western Japan (Kobe, Osaka area). Bringing large appliances is not recommended, as the voltage may be different and many rental properties supply the necessary large appliances. Small appliances may not work correctly due to the difference in the current and/or the cycle. It is a good idea to purchase hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens, etc., in Japan. Do you have any other accommodation information that might help me? Apartments and houses are usually renovated before the next tenant moves in. However, it is likely that you will be charged a cleaning fee when you move out if the owner finds stains, spots or scratches on walls, carpets and doors. It is suggested that you check a house/apartment with the landlord when you move in. Landlords do not provide curtains or drapes and expect the tenant to remove them prior to vacating the premises. IMPORTANT NOTE: Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.