UR HOUSING in Tokyo: Finding an Affordable / Convenient Apartment in Tokyo or Yokohama

Are you looking for an Apartment in Tokyo?  Do you already live in Japan?
If you are a foreign resident in Tokyo you may have already experienced the headache of trying to find an apartment that matches your needs.
In this blog, we have a suggestion for you as a foreign resident.

The Best Kept Secret to Finding a Good Apartment in Tokyo

The best-kept secret to finding an apartment in Tokyo to rent is that Japan has a really great public housing system with units that are recently renovated.
If you make above a certain amount and can prove that you have been paying taxes in Japan – then you are entitled to start looking for an apartment through the UR Housing Agency.

What is UR Housing in Tokyo, Japan?

UR stands for Urban Renaissance – it is a publicly owned real estate holding company that owns and manages large apartment blocks all over Japan.
UR’s mission is to provide affordable apartments in Tokyo so that young families can jumpstart the Japanese economy.

Does UR Housing allow foreign residents to rent their apartments?

Yes, to rent a UR apartment – if you are a foreign resident.  You simply need to provide:

  • Tax certificate from your last year in Japan
  • Residence Certificate
  • Residence Card

This will enable you to sign a rental contract with them.

What is good about UR housing apartments for foreign residents/ex-pats in Tokyo?


  • No Key Money
  • No Guarantor Money
  • Your deposit can transfer if you move in-between UR units.
  • Setting up gas / electric / internet is easy.
  • Pro rated 1st months rent

Most apartments in Tokyo require short/long term residents to pay “key money”.  This is a thank you gift for having the landowner allow you to stay in their apartment.
What is “key money“? / “礼金” (Reikin)
Key money is a thank you gift to the landowner.  It has become a mandatory / market standard move-in cost for Japanese apartments and it’s usually 1/2 of the first month’s rent.
What is a “Guarantor Fee”? / “保証会社利用料”  (Hoshōgaisha riyō-ryō,)
It’s basically a form of insurance for both the renter and the owner of the unit. You are basically paying a company to co-sign with you on the apartment in the event that you abandon the unit early or cause damage to the unit that will cost more than what you secured in the deposit.
For these reasons – UR Apartment move-in costs are significantly lower than other Japanese apartments and based on price level and location – they are an excellent choice for foreign residents that are looking for an apartment in Tokyo.

How quickly can I move in to a UR Apartment?

If the unit is vacant – and your documents are in order – you can set a move-in date any time after you sign and pay for the contract.
This could be as little as 1-2 weeks.

Where are UR Apartments Located?

UR apartments are everywhere around Japan – Tokyo has hundreds of locations.
Visit the official website to see vacancies.  You can also practice your Japanese Kanji reading!

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