By Bertram Allan Mullin
“New Kid in Town” by the Eagles was playing in my head the other day, and for a good reason. When it comes to housing options for foreigners in Nagoya, SHARE HOUSE 180° is not only new but offers some options that haven’t really been available to foreigners before.
One year ago, when I moved to Nagoya, there weren’t many choices. The Internet fooled me into believing I had alternatives. Upon calling and emailing around, every Japanese rental agent who had posted an ad online quickly pointed me to “Option Gaijin” once they figured out I wasn’t a native and that I couldn’t speak Japanese.
Knowing Japanese might help you with some of these agents, but most of those large apartment rental companies are set up to deal with Japanese tenants and subsequently they require foreigners to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Now there’s a new kid in town for English speakers, called SHARE HOUSE 180°.
SHARE HOUSE 180° has recently opened Share Houses in the Kanayama and Osu Kannon areas. The basic philosophy is that English-speaking foreigners who are new to town want to learn Japanese and make new friends. At the same time young Japanese are interested in cultural and language exchange as well – so the two can share some pretty awesome accommodation while doing both!
And it is an attractive option when you look at all the incentives they offer. There’s no deposit, no key money, or intermediate fees required. They also offer a special discount to foreigners from English-speaking countries. SHARE HOUSE 180° won’t even ask you for a guarantor. All you do is pay the first month’s rent before you move in.
The cozy rooms in SHARE HOUSE 180° have beds, though the managers offer a convenient (optional) futon rental if that is what you prefer. The five-story Kanayama location has an elevator for the handicapped, or for those coming home from a long night exploring Nagoya’s nightlife options. Yes, that means you, you booze hound.
Another plus is that SHARE HOUSE 180° will rent to couples depending on the room. My favorite part about the place: the ritzy sinks in the toilet area to wash your hands, which is a rare sight to behold in Nagoya. There’s also a luxurious rooftop where you can have BBQs with your share mates and friends.
SHARE HOUSE 180° has a modern feel. In fact, the fully equipped king-size kitchen is something right out of a cooking show. If you need to leave a note for your share mate but can’t find paper, you can write on the kitchen walls. They’re lined with dry erase boards. And the kitchen is equipped with everything you need to cook with – just buy the food. Special fridges allow everyone to store their own stuff.
And you won’t have to go to Starbucks or 7-Eleven when you need to use the Internet. SHARE HOUSE 180° has free Wi-Fi. Oh and your rent includes all the utilities. If you’re lazy like me about cleaning, no worries, they will send professionals to do the dirty work for no added fee. All you have to do is clean your own room.
Concerned you’ll be living in this strange new land and won’t meet anyone? With SHARE HOUSE 180° you’ll have the opportunity to experience Japan with your Japanese share mates. For example, you’ll see cherry blossom season alongside natives who can tell you about the cultural significance first hand.
Only staying one month? Okay with them. One year? Fine, too.
SHARE HOUSE 180° also holds various parties for residents, from Halloween to Christmas events – so if your dance card isn’t entirely full – you will have some options to help you meet some new friends.
SHARE HOUSE 180° has over 300 rooms around Nagoya in addition to their locations in Kanayama and Osu. Check out their website to see which options are available in the area you are interested in living. After you’ve had a look contact them to get the best available room.