Renting an apartment or a house in Japan is a very common thing to do. To rent or to own? This is not actually a question for some. Because of being an earthquake-stricken prone land, most people opt to rent. This is also why Japan has one of the lowest housing interests in the world. But wouldn’t it be nice if you get to stay in a house for two years rent-free in Kamakura? This is actually something which Mujirushi Ryohin, an interior goods company, is promoting in order to choose from a handful of applicants who are willing to join their project.
It is quite a difficult task to rent an apartment or a house in Japan. Anyone renting an apartment will need a guarantor. This person will be the one to cover the debts or damages incurred by the tenant in case he won’t be able to pay. Some Japanese have to ask their relatives or company to stand as guarantors for them. If you’re lucky enough, you can also find some apartments not needing a guarantor. Most of the time, these are monthly apartments available for short-term use and are more expensive than regular ones. Regular apartments normally need 1-year to 2-year contracts and are cheaper in the long run. You will actually need a whole lot of cash before moving in the country and you have to budget accordingly. A standard apartment costs 80,000 yen per month but expect to pay upfront costs that are usually several times the rent. But of course, there are certain conditions you need to consider that will affect the price of a property and there are also regulations regarding pets and the use of musical instruments.
Kamakura is one of the best places to stay in Japan. It is considered a natural fortress as it is surrounded by hills in the east and west and an open water in the south. It is a popular tourist destination due to the presence of several temples and its proximity to Tokyo. It is regarded as a quiet town which was once considered a political capital of Japan. There are so many places worth visiting in the place such as the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine which is the largest Shinto shrine built in the country. Another is the Hase-dera temple which is also known as “Hase Kannon.” It is home to the largest wooden statue in Japan. If you want to live in the place, you have to consider your housing cost, food cost, transportation cost, electronics cost, and everyday goods and services. If you’re just in for a day trip, there’s a pretty good selection of accommodation you can try such as Kamakura Hase Youth Hostel, Sotetsu FRESA INN Kamakura Ofuna and Kamejikan Guesthouse. It would really be easy to pick out a useful map before you head out. The place is close to the mountains and the sea makes it an ideal destination for nature lovers.
Mujirushi Ryohin is a famous retail company in Japan which sells several varieties of household and consumer goods. It is known for its concept of “minimalism” in which it avoids wastage in the production and packaging process. They also put a strict emphasis on recycling. The name of the company means “no brand” (Mujirushi) and “quality goods” (Ryohin). It strictly adheres to the policy of having no logo or no brand so as to make items reasonably priced. Its slogan is “Lower priced for a reason” by avoiding wastes in the manufacturing process to cut the retail price. It also means that the company is spending a small amount of money on advertising and classical marketing. It also takes careful inspection of the materials it uses in order to lower the usual price of the items. Some of the products it has continuously produced are clothing for men and women, food items, stationery, kitchen appliances and the like. It is now operating in several countries. In Japan, around 284 stores are being operated with 117 outlets. It has expanded simply by the word of mouth and has been really attractive to customers who love unbranded products for aesthetic reasons.
Mujirushi Ryohin has been known for its “Mado no ie” or “Window House” residences which make use of natural lighting in its theme. At this point in time, it is all set to start its Window House Construction in the town of Kamakura where it will be choosing a person who will be lucky enough to live for 2 years in the house rent-free. The home is going to have 2 floors with a total floor space of 80 square meters. It will also have a garden and a space for parking. The house is going to be very classy and sleek and will be fully furnished with Mujirushi-brand appliances. It is going to be a spacious place suitable for many occupants. However, the chosen occupant/s will still have to pay for his own groceries and utilities but will never be required to pay a single yen for the house. In exchange for living in the house for free, the occupant will have to participate in the company’s photo shoots, presentations, and feedback programs which are part of their project. Rest assured that the occupant’s privacy will be prioritized and as such, no hidden cameras will be installed in the house. The person will not be closely monitored as well. Everyone is welcome to apply, Japanese or non-Japanese, as long as he or she is fluent in the Japanese language. Groups are also allowed such as families, friends, and even pet owners.
Kamakura is such a cozy place for a long-term stay and is close to historically significant sites. Why not try applying for the position and who knows? You might just be the lucky winner. Applications will only be accepted until the 31st of August 2016. Chosen candidates will be allowed to move into the house in March 2017. As part of the company’s project, this is one of the ways they are trying to promote their minimalistic house concept.
Muji Window House Information *Japanese only