After you have completed all of your paperwork, and have begun the moving process, you will begin to think about what is needed for your new place. Some apartments and houses, come fully furnished with appliances and furniture, while others can simply be the room and hookups, leaving you to furnish the whole thing yourself. There are a few things you can do if you find yourself in an unfurnished situation.If you find that your apartment has nothing in it, you may start to worry about where to go to get the items you need. There are lots of places to go to find the things that you need. You won’t need to buy all of it brand new either. There are a lot of recycle shops in Japan, and when you see the sign that says “RECYCLE” it usually means a secondhand store. These shops are great for finding appliances, furniture, and anything else you may think you need for your place. The items they resell are usually in very good condition. They even sell broken items and label them as such if you want to use the parts, or you like to tinker with things. These shops are all over Japan and they always have something that you may need, and sometimes things you didn’t know you wanted.
When you begin to look for what you may need, the first may be a stove. Depending on the apartment or house, you will either need a gas or electric stove. There a few brands to choose from, each with different styles and sizes. Some have very specific hookups as well, so you will need to check if it will work in your apartment. You also have to think about size, as most kitchens are very small, and you may not have room for a multiple burner stove type. You can get stoves brand new starting at around 12,000 yen, about 120 US dollars. If you use second-hand stores, you may pay around 8,000 yen for the same stove.
If your new apartment has a washer hookup, then that should be the next item you look for. You won’t have dryer hookups in any apartment in the city. Some houses may have it, but it isn’t a usual thing in the country as a whole. Washers can come in many sizes as well, and some can be very expensive. The standard washers are your best bet to find something within a reasonable price range. Once again, secondhand stores are really helpful for this. If you must have a dryer, and don’t want to hang your clothes out to dry, you can use laundromats near your apartment. The further into the city, the more laundromats there will be.
Refrigerators are a little different, as you can usually find them in secondhand stores that specialize in house products. The typical shop may not have it, but all appliance stores will. The usual size of an apartment-sized refrigerator is a slim two-tier version. The larger sized ones that you would find in a typical US home, are usually meant for houses. These can go from as cheap as 9,000 yen to 100,000 yen. There is also the usual problem of transportation to your new place, but a moving company can move it with all of your stuff, or the store may have a delivery service of their own.
Other small appliances are easy to find at any store and are usually well priced. There aren’t many places that can allow for a full oven in the kitchen, so smaller sized toaster ovens are available. They come in a variety of sizes, and styles, and can fit any apartment set up. The same goes for microwaves, as there are lots to choose from. There are different small appliances you can buy as well, like sandwich makers, Takoyaki makers, flat grills, and so on. As long as your new place can fit it, you can buy it and use it. For these smaller ones, buying a new or used one is good, as they usually stay within a good price range for each kind of product.
Next would be bedding, and this is usually where personal preference comes in. Many places sell futons, and usually for a decent price. There are different kinds of bedding available for futons and some are meant for different seasons as well. There are full beds available and they come in the usual sizes. A single bed frame with mattress will usually cost around 30,000 yen for the cheaper versions. Depending on how much room you have available, you may go for one over the other. Some places benefit from futons far more than a full-sized bed frame. You can change a single room apartment from a bedroom into a living room by storing the futon during the day. There are specialty recycle stores for bedding and things like that as well. You will have to make a decision based on what you have to work with.
For furniture, Japan has a large number of stores to choose from. You can find any kind of furniture you want to put into your room. There are some stores from western countries that have familiar products, and there are Japanese versions of them that you can use to meet all of your needs. Tables, chairs, dressers, and things like that are all priced about the same as their western versions. You will be able to find everything that you would need to make your apartment as comfortable as you’d like.
Even though there are a large number of stores that can offer you everything you need, there are online forums where you can get severely reduced or free items. Some are giving things away for free, some are leaving the country and want to get rid of it for extra money, and others sell used things they find. You can find many things this way, but it isn’t always guaranteed to be in the best condition. You will have to decide if they are good enough to give a chance.
Finding everything you need isn’t as hard as you would initially think. Many of the creature comforts you have in your home country are all found in Japan as well. Even though some options seem better than others, it all depends on your needs at the time you move into your new place. Use the one you think would help you out the most, and enjoy your time in the country.