What is a Guesthouse?

July 24, 2019

Ever heard of a Guesthouse? If not, please proceed. 
If you have already, well, I will still tell you anyway. 

You do not a have choice in this.



A guesthouse (also known as share house) is an inexpensive lodging where people from around the world to stay, to avoid the hassle of furnishing the place and expensive rental cost. You could stay for a month or longer and some offers a weekly contract.

It is becoming a popular rental choice also among young Japanese people as the upfront cost are cheap. There’s a lot of guesthouses in Tokyo to choose from but it is also available in some major Japanese cities. Some of these houses are being handled independently and some are owned by realty companies that handles several houses across the city.




There are share houses that are exclusive for foreigners, some have student discount, some pets are allowed, (those that doesn’t bark or make noise, that are not messy, stay where you left them, hmm like a fish I guess?) some have parking lot and most are non-smoking, these things vary depending on the owner or the company catering the place.

There is an array of guesthouses that are designed with Japanese or western style rooms; some have dormitory-style with multiple people sharing a room, already furnished with a bed, air-conditioner, desk and a cabinet or a drawer for your clothing and things.

  • Ready for use!  The toilet, laundry area, shower room, and fully equipped kitchen are readily available. From the pan to the stove, not the mention the mystical Rice Cooker, all you need to do is use it.
  •  Affordable: As space in Japan is gradually increasing its value, Initial payment for a sharehouse is affordable and less stressful.
  • Intercultural communication!  If you are curious about other’s culture, then sharing daily life with foreigners in a guesthouse is perfect for you!
  • Keep your Privacy. You have your own room for solo time. And in case you were wondering, no the showers are not collectives. 
  • Less privacy, as the kitchen, bathroom, toilet, living room are common areas.
  • Small space, if you have a lot of stuff like a musician, a painter or a dedicated anime-figurine-collector, thinking on where to put your stuff might be a challenge.

Guesthouse or Apartment: What is different?


Renting an apartment in Japan the traditional way is more time-consuming than for a guesthouse.


Basically, a guesthouse and an apartment are the same. They both provide a place to stay for the guest but the difference is that an apartment provides more private space. It has its own kitchen, refrigerator, laundry, a private bathroom and some have television.


You can do things on your own pace and time. No need to think if someone might be using the things you want to use. You will just have to use it whenever you want. 

But remember,
Great Power comes with great responsibility…


The more power you have to do what you want the more responsibility to pay more. Yes, you got it! Apartments are more expensive than guesthouses and that is the most significant difference they have, which most people are taking in consideration when choosing a place to stay.



Ready for the Adventure?

Credits: Sofia Terzoni



Living in a share house for a foreigner is advantageous as it provides a great homely alternative to hotel rooms or apartments. 



All guest can gather in the common area and have the opportunity to meet and bond, as well as actively engage in exchanging information on where to get an #Instagram worthy shot or a good tourist spot. 


Besides sharing your home with natives, living in Japan will also make you experience the Japanese everyday life, the culture, the food and interaction with the locals


How much ?


Now that we know what a guesthouse is, 

let’s talk about the most awaited part, the “fees” and ta-da!


Depending on the room, the company and the location, the monthly rate for a sharehouse is basically around 40,000 to 60,000 yen per person. That’s only 360 to 540$ a month. Whether cost for utilities is included varies per company, though usually there is a fixed amount to pay for bills, so you do not need to worry about bill shock. Also, most of them are equipped with internet connection free of charge, just plug in your computer and voila! You can go ahead and surf the net, but if you do not have your own computer, worry no more, as most of them have a shared computer area where you can do your research and do some scanning and printing.

To give you an idea. Initiative fees for an apartment can equivalent to a three months’ rent. While for most guesthouse, all you need is a down payment to the first month rent. No key money, insurance fee or agent fee (awesome!) and you can already pack your things say goodbye to your old place, move in the next morning and start a new life. Easy right? No cash? No worries! Credit cards or PayPal are accepted too! There are instances as well that the room you wanted is already occupied but do not fret, you can temporarily choose a vacant room until the one you wanted becomes available. Then you can switch to the one that you really like, free of any service charges.

Are you excited now? 

With this information, I know you are already thinking of a place in Japan where you could search for a guesthouse. For whatever the reasons are. Whether it is a family conflict, a broken heart, soul searching, chasing someone, following your dreams, visiting a place or just a change of scenery. You will eventually find your happy place.

Credits: Jan Vašek

As the saying goes, sometimes our lives have to be completely shaken up, changed and rearranged to relocate us to the place we’re meant to be.


Ready to experience Japan? Well, happy searching!