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A New Adventure in Japan

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

View of Osaka City From Sazanami Plaza UR Complex

Clients: Jeffery, Lisa, and Family

Home Country: Canada

Length of stay in Japan: 8 months

Profession: Professor

Current Situation: Just arrived in Japan in early April and are currently living in crammed temporary dorm room. They have to leave temporary dorm by end of May. The only choice the University is offering them is to live separately in two separate dorm rooms. As a father this would be impossible for a family to live like this.

Location: Osaka Prefecture in Ibaraki city.

Surrounding area: The dorm is located in a 住宅地 Residential area with no shopping, and no parks large enough for children to play. If they want to visit Osaka they have to change trains several times before they arrive in Osaka city.

Jeffrey Goals: A memorable eight month adventure full of memories that would last a lifetime.

What Jeffery is looking for: He is looking for a spacious room that has easy access to the University and Osaka city. A larger park in the vicinity where his children can play, exercise, and study.

Case study

What is options are available for Jeffrey and his family?

1. Private Home/Private Apartment

2. UR

Example of the Inside a private Home I viewed near Kyobashi station In Osaka City

Normally I would consider a private home that is newly built, newly renovated, or show places that have been built within the past five years. I find private homes to be more child friendly than a private apartment.

Sound and choosing a private apartment

When your choosing a private apartment in Japan it is always to understand what materials the buildings was made of. Many private apartments in buildings in Japan are not made of Reinforced concrete this makes the walls paper thin and you can hear the littlest sound made from your next door neighbors. With children this kind of environment would not be ideal for a family.

The upstairs of the same private home I viewed Near Kyobashi station in Osaka City

Why I chose to show public apartments over private homes?

Their length of the stay in Japan determined what I was going present to the client.

Jeffrey and his family are only planning to stay for eight months in Japan. His length of stay in Japan is less than a year and this will prove problematic for renting any private property here

Terminating a contract for a private apartment before the end of the second year In many private apartments or homes contracts you will see a clause that states you can not vacate the apartment before six months. If you vacate the apartment before the last day of the first 12 months you have to pay a penalty of 2 months rent. If you vacate the apartment between the start of the 13 month and the end of the 24th month you have to pay a penalty of 1 months rent.

Contract Clauses

Flexibility in UR Contracts If you were even only living in the UR apartment for a week and decided you do not like the apartment and want to look for another one. You can easily terminate your contract with the UR and your security deposit will be refunded to you.

UR 千里竹見台団地

UR is know as public housing in Japan. UR stands for Urban Renaissance. UR is managed by the Japanese government and has a wide variety of apartment types. UR is child and foreign friendly. The contract is easy terminate. UR is very easy to understand initial costs. UR is located all over the Kansai Region. The downside to a UR is the amount of documents you need get sorted. UR also has an income requirement. Finding a UR apartment would be an ideal situation for Jeffrey and his family.

My Ideal Choice of UR Complex:

1. さざなみプラザSazanami Plaza. This is a large complex with many newly renovated spacious apartments. There are 3DK’s and 3LDk’s available. It also next to Kema sakurano Miya Park and by a River. Its also near Tenjibashi suji Roku Choume station, a great area for shopping. Its convenient to a train line to Jeffrey’s University.

2. プロムナーデ関目 Puromunade Sekime This complex is located by Turumi Ryokuchi Park. It has access both Keihan line which is a line that extends from Yodoyabashi in Osaka to Kyoto City’s Demachiyanagi near Kyoto University. This area also has an Aeon Mall for shopping. The buildings in this complex are also spacious, newly renovated, large balconies, and western flooring.

Unfortunately at the time of my first search there were no larger 2LDK's 3DK or 3LDK apartments available in both complexes.

What was Available

The best choice was UR千里竹見台(UR Senri Takemidai)located in Suita City on the Hankyu Senri Line. This complex offers many kinds of apartments and a combination of newer and older buildings.


The 千里竹見台 Complexe is located near Minimi Senri Station on the Hankyu Senri Line in Suita City. Senri Takemidai is a larger complex with both newer and older apartments.

The Hankyu Line is a major train line in the Kansai Region connecting Kyoto with Umeda, Kobe, Takarazuka, and the Osaka Metro to Tengachya in Nishi Nari Ku.

Minami Senri Station offers a verity of shopping and some chain restaurants and cafes.


Most UR complex apartment buildings look the buildings above. Five floors reformed apartments with rooms ranging from 1LDK, 2DK, 2LDK, 3DK, 3LDK etc.

This is the Lay outs of most 3LDK apartments I took Jeffrey and Lisa that morning

At the time of the viewing there were five 3LDK apartments available. We viewed each of the apartments in three different buildings. The apartments had a very similar layout and all were on the 4th and 5th floors. The buildings were older and the apartments were reformed.

An Amazing Quick Search

During the viewing I asked questions to better understand what Jeffrey and Lisa were looking for. I found out that during the summer Jeffrey’s parents were going to visit them. Living on the 4th an 5th floors would be difficult for his parents to walk up the four or five flights of stairs. With the large park and shopping near by they liked the outside of the complex but the buildings were old and they wanted something that had a more modern feel to it. While they were checking out the apartment I asked more questions to narrow down the specifics of what they really wanted. I started a second quick search and I found something amazing A spacious 80 meter squared 2LDK apartment at the Sazanami Plaza Complex.

The Amazing Find

I told Jeffrey and Lisa a newly renovated spacious 80 meter squared apartment with western flooring in a building with an elevator in Osaka city just become available. When they saw the layout and the pictures online of the apartment they wanted to see immediately. We decided to meet at 16:00 at Tenjinbashi 6 chome station. As soon as I could I reserved the apartment in Sazanami Plaza.

A quick Cancel to Senri Minami Takemidai, In order to view UR apartments you have to apply to reserve the apartment you want to see. This takes the apartment you want to view off the market. If you do not like the apartment or the complex you viewed you can tell the Real Estate agent to cancel the property in order to view another one.


Tenjin Bashi Shopping Street, Japan's Longest Shopping Street

I met Jeffrey, Lisa, and their children at 16:00 (4pm) at Tenjin bashi 6 Choume Metro Station. I first took them on a little tour of the area and showed them around Tenjin bashi Suji Shopping street.

After we headed to Sazanami Plaza. Samaznami Plaza is also located by a park where their children can play and exercise.

さざなみプラザ団地 The Building

Entrance of the Building

This building is one of many in the Sazanami Plaza Complex. This complex is located in Osaka's Kita Ward. There are many newer buildings with few older ones. Most apartments are newly renovated.

The Layout:

This is a Spacious 80meters squared 2LDK apartment In Osaka's Kitaku

Rent: 137,800 Yen per month (Great price for Osaka's Kita ward for an apartment of this size and newly reformed.)

Maintenance Fee: 2.500 Yen

A Spacious Entrance way

Hall way leading to the Kitchen, dining, and living room.

Washroom and Washing machine hookup. When your buying a washing machine for an apartment in Japan its always very important keep in mind the size of the washing machine. Always measure the space you have between the wall and your sink. Always take note where the water is also going to flow into the machine and out of the machine.

I love to cook and in my opinion it is important to have a spacious kitchen to prepare food with a larger sink. This is a perfect modern apartment set up for a family

Stove top and sink

Spacious Living and Dinning area

A different view of the Spacious Living and Dinning Room

In Japan apartments are measured in Tatami Mats. This room in the above picture about 10.5 畳 (10.5 tatami mats large).

A Very Spacious Balcony

The view from the Balcony. Its Amazing. What a great view to wake up to everyday. A great way to enjoy an eight month adventure in Japan.

The two pictures above are of the smaller Bedroom. The size is 7畳, 7 tatami mats large.

The larger bed room

The larger Bed room. The larger bed room. The room is 11畳 or 11 Tatami mats large. To give you an idea the spacious living and dining room is 10 tatami mats large.

Natural Lighting

You might have noticed this room has a lot of windows and its westward facing. There is a lot of natural light in the afternoon and evening.

After the Viewing Jeffrey and his family Loved the apartment. They could not wait to move in. The next step is the most challenging is sorting out the documents to apply and contract with UR.

Document that UR Requires to Apply

  1. 収入証明書 (しゅうにゅうしょうめいしょ)Document that states your yearly income from your company.

  2. A copy of your work contract.

  3. 住民票 (じゅうみんひょう)Jyuminhyo, this is a document that states your a resident of the city you live in. You can get this documet at your local city hall, ward office, town office etc. You need to fill this out with specific Information requested by the UR such as visa and residents information. **VERY IMPORTANT MAKE SURE IT DOES NOT HAVE YOUR (個人番号は禁止 or My number on the document)** I have had clients who have this number on the document and it was not accepted by the UR.

  4. 印鑑 Inkan (family stamp in Katakana)

  5. 緊急連絡先 Emergency contact that could be Japanese or a foreigner, just someone you know.

  6. 在留カードと社会保険証や国民健康保険証Copy of your Zairyu Card and your blue, green, or yellow Social Insurance Card.

The documents listed above are the basic documents needed to apply. If you have worked for your company longer than a year you will also need two other documents. Japan Loves accurate documents if any of the documents have mistakes on them the UR will tell you to get new ones with the correct information they requested. This is why you always need to double check the documents while your still at the city office and be present while your company is filling out the income certification so that you know all the documents are up to UR standards before you go to Umeda to apply for the apartment.

Question from a previous client,

Is there an application fee for apply for apartments in Japan?

At Remax Winners there is no application fees. UR has no application fees.

Is there an agent fee for UR apartments?

REMAX WINNERS is a UR registered Agency there is NO AGENT FEE our UR service is free of charge for the client.

UR Initial Costs:

2 months Security Deposit + Prorated Rent = What you have to pay when your contracting with UR.


Ex. Average UR rent in the Kansai Region

50,000 Yen

Maintenance Fee 5000 Yen

What is a Maintenance fee?

Maintenance Fee is for the upkeep of the grounds of the building and complex and the stairs and elevators.

Monthly Rent Calculation:

Rent + Maintenance Fee = Monthly Rent

Monthly Rent 50,000 + 5,000 = 55,000 Yen Per Month

How are the initial costs counted:

Moving in on October 1st.

2 months rent as security deposit

50,000 + 50,000 = 100,000 Yen for security deposit.

Since your moving in on October 1st 1 months rent: 50,000 + 5,000 = 55,0000 Yen

At the singing of the contract you will pay:

100,000 + 55,000 = 155,000 yen

Moving in on October 15th.

(The UR calculates every month as a 30 day period for calculating rent for Initial Costs)

50,000/30=1,667 Yen per day.

5000/30= 167

1667 x 16 = 26,672 Yen

167 x 16 = 2,672 Yen

26,672 + 2,672= 29,344 Yen

100,000 + 29,344= 129,344 Yen for Initial Costs.

The Application and Contracting

I made a date to sign the go to the UR office in Umeda with Jeffrey. At the UR Office:

I applied for the apartment with Jeffrey.

Jeffrey presented the document.

The UR checked in the documents were correct and filed them appropriately.

Jeffrey paid for the Initial costs.

I translated everything about the apartment to Jeffrey from moving in, rules and regulations, how to throw away rubbish, what to do if any problems occur in the apartment, etc.

Jeffrey signed the contract.


Jeffrey needed furniture for his family. Winners service goes above and beyond your typical Japanese Real Estate Agency. One of our services is finding used furniture for our clients. We also find services where you can Rent affordable furniture and appliances to furnish your apartment.

Jeffrey chose a combination of finding his own furniture and using a furniture and appliance rental service we suggested. The site website we provided to Jeffrey and Lisa was Rental Life (レンタル生活)They provided a good service for Jeffrey and Lisa with the furniture they needed.

Testimonials From Jeffrey and Lisa:

Me and my family came to Japan from Canada for 8 months so I could work at Osaka University as a JSPS visiting research fellow. We stayed in the on-campus housing at first, but life there was quiet and rather dull (not even restaurants nearby), so we needed to make a move. My wife found Holly, Franz and team on Facebook, and we are very, very happy we did. We’re living in downtown Osaka now, with so much to do and see. There is absolutely no way this could have happened without their help. Not speaking the language was a big problem, obviously, but there was so much more to this process, from processing a tonne of paperwork, to having deep local knowledge to find good options. Holly and Franz were absolute pros. This move literally transformed our trip from boring to epic, and we can’t thank them enough.

– Jeff, Lisa, Wes and Fraser from Canada

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