Thursday, February 19, 2009

Apartment Living

Well I got myself an apartment, as I stated before. I'd say I got pretty lucky with my current living arrangement. To get an apartment in Japan is typically a rather expensive investment. The deposit is usually a few months rent; there is a fee to the landlord which amounts to about one month's rent, and a fee to the real estate company (if used) that also amounts to about one month's rent. I did not have to pay a deposit, and I did not go through a real-estate company. I knew the guy that lived there last semester, so I basically transitioned in when he moved out. It was quite convenient. I did have to pay a "cleaning fee" (aka key money) to the landlady that was about 1/2 a month's rent. You might hear horror stories of how expensive rent is in Japan, but in Nagasaki it's pretty reasonable. If you're a foreigner, you have to have a guarantor sign for you in order to get an apartment as well. There are agencies in Nagasaki setup to do this in the event a person can't find one. Last semester I lived with my host family in Togitsu town, but my current apartment is located in Nagasaki City. This means I had to go to city hall and change the information on my alien registration card and reapply for the Japanese national medical insurance. That was fun. Except not. I live a greater distance away from the school now, but I'm closer to Sumiyoshi (area of massive convenience). As for food, there is a 100 yen store like 4 minutes away, and a large grocery store just a few minutes further.

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