Tokyo’s Smallest Studio Apartments

There is a stereotype of Japan as a nation of workaholics who labor all day, only to come home to tiny, cramped apartments at night.

Since we primarily cover the property market on Real Estate Japan, we won’t go into the first part of that statement, but as you can see from many of our other articles, there is a abundance of jaw droppingly-spacious apartments available for rent and sale in Japan.

Park Court Akasaka Hinokicho The Tower Model Room

The view from a model room in the Park Court Akasaka Hinokicho The Tower building. The most expensive condominium sold in Tokyo in 2016 was the 203.96-sqm (2,195-sqft) penthouse in this building, which sold for ¥1.5 billion ($12.7 million).

In this post, we take a look at the opposite end of the spectrum and describe some of the smallest studio apartments currently available for rent in Tokyo, and explain why someone might want to live in such small spaces.

The apartments below are studio apartments, what in Japan would be described as 1R (1 room) or 1K (1 room plus a kitchen) units, which means that they are private apartments, complete with a private kitchen and bathroom, and not just a private bedroom in a share house, where you would be sharing cooking and bathing facilities.

Studio Apartment With Built-In Loftable Bed

studio-apartment-for-rent-koenji-tokyo-2

Even if you’ve been in Japan a long time, you may never have seen a studio apartment with a built-in bed! And you know space is at a premium when the bed takes up the whole width of the room AND is loftable so that you can use the living space underneath it.

This is the kitchen unit in the apartment.

This is the kitchen unit in the apartment.

  • Where: 12-min walk from Koenji Station on the JR Chuo-Sobu line. 7-minute direct ride to Shinjuku.
  • Rent: ¥51,000 ($488) a month
  • Size: 14.16-sqm (152-sqft)
  • Rent Per Sqm: ¥3,602/sqm
  • Key Money: None
  • Deposit: None
  • Agency fee: ¥55,080
  • Lease term: Two Years
  • Why? 1. Excellent location with fast, direct access to Shinjuku. 2. Koenji is a great neighborhood with great shopping and lots of discount clothing and music shops, and 3. Low move-in costs. It is interesting to note, however, that if the rent is calculated per sqm, it works out to ¥3,602/sqm versus the average rent per sqm in Tokyo of ¥2,936 per sqm (based on 2015 data).
  • See this article for a detailed breakdown of: rent per sqm in Tokyo’s 23 awards, to see how your rent compares to the average rent, in terms of rent per sqm.

9.74-sqm Studio Apartment, 16-min ride to Shinjuku

studio-apartment-for-rent-hounancho-shinjuku

The view of the living space from the lofted bed. This is a 9.74-sqm (105-sqft) studio apartment! Located in Hounancho, about a 16-min ride to Shinjuku, with one transfer.

This is how you climb up to the lofted bed.

This is how you climb up to the lofted bed.

Here is the kitchen...

Here is the kitchen.

  • Where: Hounancho Station on the Marunouchi Line, 15-min ride to Shinjuku with one transfer.
  • Rent: ¥55,000 ($488) a month
  • Size: 9.74-sqm (104.8-sqft)
  • Rent Per Sqm: ¥5,647/sqm
  • Key Money: None
  • Deposit: None
  • Agency fee: None
  • Lease term: Two Years
  • Why? 1. If you really want to live in Hounancho, can fit yourself and your belongings into a space about the size of a large balcony, and don’t mind the view from your lofted bed! 2. Low move-in costs.

Furnished Studio Apartment in the college town of Takadanobaba

furnished-studio-apartment-takadanobaba-tokyo

This is a fully furnished 16.46-sqm (177-sqft) studio apartment in the college neighborhood of Takadanobaba, near Waseda University.

All lined up. The kitchen area, washing machine, and shower are lined up along the opposite wall from the lofted bed.

All lined up. The kitchen area, washing machine, and shower are lined up along the opposite wall from the lofted bed.

  • Where: Near Takadanobaba Station (on the Yamanote Line) near Waseda University
  • Rent: ¥108,000 ($1,039) a month
  • Size: 16.46-sqm (177-sqft)
  • Rent Per Sqm: ¥6,561/sqm
  • Key Money: None
  • Deposit: None
  • Agency fee: None
  • Lease term: Two Years. Short-term (from 1 month) also available.
  • Why? If you want the ease and convenience of being in Takadanobaba and Waseda University without having to pay high move-in costs and buying furniture, this apartment may be for you!

Would you be able to live in these tiny studio apartments? Please comment below!