Many people around the world have dreamed about living in Japan, whether it is for a few months to get a sense of the culture or moving permanently to the Land of the Rising Sun. Regardless of the reason someone has chosen to move to Japan, there is no denying that one of the most stressful things is to arrange one’s accommodations beforehand or as quickly as possible after landing
Renting a house or an apartment takes time and money. For starters, you will be asked for a guarantor, and since you are not Japanese it will be very difficult to get one. What’s more, you will need to pay a lot of money upfront since you’ll have to cover some months of rent, the deposit, and the extraordinarily high key money that can be worth from one to three months of your normal rent. Keep in mind that the key money is more like a gift to your landlord for letting you live in their property, and thus you will never see that money again.
Then there are share houses, affordable options that let you live in a house alongside a multitude of people who share bathrooms, shower rooms, the kitchen, and who have designated garbage duties. Add messy people or those who simply don’t care about cleanliness and your belongings to the mix, and you are in for a horrifying experience.
And then, there’s Homii, a service that can make the experience of moving to and living in Japan so smooth.
Homii is an affordable service that allows people to live with a Japanese family. In that regard, it can be similar to a homestay, though homestays are only for students and tend to be more expensive. Homii guarantees that your hosts will be supportive, and the contracts are flexible since they can be as short as 1 month.
This sets Homii apart from other housing options in Japan that usually come with longer contracts that would tie the person to a property. This can be a particularly big issue if you end up feeling that the location is not convenient for you, or if the house or apartment does not meet your expectations.
So, how exactly does Homii work? It’s quite simple, actually:
Homii’s website provides a match-making service where prospective guests can see a list of hosts, prices, and locations. Here, hosts will provide their information to help guests make their decisions. As a guest, you will be responsible for cleaning your own room.
The hosts do a great job listing a lot of information regarding their home and their interests. This information includes things like photos of the place, a list of the features and facilities their home has, and special information including the things you can do as a guest to help your host, and the things you can learn if you stay with them.
What’s more, guests can also include what you can do if you would like to have a discount on your stay. For example, some hosts will offer 5,000 or 10,000 yen discounts if you take care of their kids or teach them English.
As a result, the cost of your stay in Japan can become even cheaper. This is one of the biggest advantages of Homii when compared with regular homestays, share houses, and renting your own apartment.
Perhaps the biggest advantage you can get from using Homii is the opportunity to actually learn something about Japan, whether it is the language, cuisine, or how families live.
Usually, building up the kinds of relationships that will allow you to truly immerse yourself in Japan and experience the culture take time. With Homii, though, staying with a Japanese host will make you skip that whole stage. For that reason, people who want to live in Japan for as short as one month can also get to enjoy Japanese culture with the help of their Japanese hosts. A 1-month stay at an Airbnb would never result in such a wonderful benefit.
After registering and finding a host you like, you can ask them any questions you may have and make your living arrangements.
For your own safety and security, all payments are through Homii. This ensures that, even though you are paying in advance, the host will not make any sudden changes or breach Homii’s policies. To make a payment, you can do a bank transfer (though you need to contact Homii beforehand) or do a simple credit card payment using Stripe. However, while credit card payments can be made easily on Homii, the fee is slightly higher than that of a bank transfer.
Contacting a host and getting a place is as simple as when using Airbnb, except that Homii has implemented a homestay approach and exceptional prices that rival those of share houses. As stated before, you can also secure discounts by performing tasks like teaching a language.
Prices usually range between 40,000 to 60,000 yen a month, and they include utilities.
Once you arrive in Japan and start staying with your host, you actually have two weeks to determine whether the arrangement was good for you. Homii will simply contact you to see how you and the host are feeling, and if either of you assesses that the match was not great or if you don’t like the place, you have two weeks to make new arrangements. Naturally, Homii will also help you find a new host.
If there are no issues, which is most likely the case, then you will continue living with your host and enjoying life in Japan. That’s pretty much it! There are no complicated procedures, and no hidden rules and fees.
With so many pros that include unbeatable prices, easy procedures, and caring hosts that teach you how to experience Japan like a local, it’s easy to see why Homii is such a great service for those wanting to live in Japan.