Furnishing your new apartment is a thrilling mix of stress and excitement. Enjoy crafting your space into a livable home for your life in Tokyo! Here are some resources to help.
Soon after your arrival in Japan, current Tokyo JET volunteers will be arranging meet ups to help you meet current and new JETs in your area while shopping for your new homes! We encourage you to reach out to your Local Area Coordinators to find out when those events will be held.
Inheritance and GiftsEdit
Unfortunately, Tokyo JETs are not in the best position to inherit things from our predecessors. You CAN do it, if you arrange it early enough.
Some schools have been willing to help facilitate this process, so contact your supervisor to see if they are willing to help you find a place to hold the appliances/furniture before you arrive and move into your new place. Unless your school is in the extremely unique position to arrange for you to inherit the apartment, you will only be able to get the furniture and appliances from your predecessor. In this case you have to be careful that your new apartment will fit the things you choose to buy/inherit.
But Tokyo is a fantastic placement for inheriting things from JETs and other expats. Keep an eye on the Tokyo JET Facebook page for people posting about furniture and appliances they are trying to get rid of. Also check out Mottainai Japan, a Facebook group for recycling and giving away things for FREE among English speakers in the country.
There are companies that rent appliances to residents in Japan. You pay a monthly fee for the appliances which are delivered to your apartment. In the long run it is not very cost-effective.
You can buy gently used furniture and appliances from recycle shops, too! Recycling appliances isn't very popular in Japan, so you can usually find high quality appliances for very cheap.
You can search Google Maps for "リサイクルショップ" (Recycle Shop) and see if there's anything in your area or try to find a big chain store near you.
You can also check Craigslist and look for "Sayonara Sales" -- when expats are leaving the country and sell everything they own.
Of course, if you've the money, the fastest and easiest way to get appliances is to buy new. In that case, there are plenty of places to go shopping.
- 100Yen Stores (actually amazing)
Things to ExpectEdit
- When shopping, take photos of the item numbers or take the slips of paper that correspond to the item you wish to buy. Then turn these in to a salesclerk who will help you with the ordering and delivery process.
- Some stores like Nitori have apps that let you scan barcodes in the store and add things to your shopping list. You can then take the app to the front counter to order your items or pay from the app and have everything delivered to your apartment.
- Delivery can take up to several weeks depending on the availability of the item you wish to purchase.
- After you tell the salesclerk which item you want and you fill in your address with them, they will tell you when your expected delivery date is for the item. If the delivery range is not ideal, you can ask to choose a new item and they will check the delivery for it.
- The process can be a bit frustrating, but it is normal and is nothing to worry about.
Furniture and Appliances ChecklistEdit
Here's a basic list of things you might want to have to help get you started.
- Microwave / Toaster Oven
- Range (gas/IC), your apartment may come with one already installed
- Rice cooker
- Pots & pans
- Plates & bowls
- Silverware & cooking utensils
- Drinking Glasses
- Kitchen organizers/shelves (check your local 100 yen store!)
- Hair dryer
- Living Room
- Sofa / Sofa-bed
- Bed / futon
- Table / desk
- Kotatsu / Coffee table
- Cupboard / Shelf / storage
- Fan / Space heater / (De)Humidifier
- Entertainment center
- TV / monitor