The cheapest accommodation in Japan: Jiko Bukken
If you’re moving to Japan and don’t want to spend your first few months cash-strapped, there is always a good option for you: a jiko bukken. You can get a 60 square meter apartment in a nice area in the center of Tokyo, all for yourself, for just a few hundred dollars or euros. Yes, this is real and yes, it’s a steal. You can save a lot of money every year by living in a jiko bukken, or give yourself much more space than in your typical cramped apartment for the same price.
By now you’re obviously wondering what a jiko bukken is and what the catch is. It’s too good to be true, right? Well, jiko bukken literally means “accident property”, perhaps best translated as a stigmatized property. What does stigma or accident mean, you ask? Well, it can mean a number of things under Japanese law, such a property by a graveyard, near a criminal gang, or made by a cult. But the most common form of jiko bukken is that where someone died, either from suicide, murder, or natural causes. The more gruesome and the longer the body was there, the cheaper the property is.
A lot of people tend to be uncomfortable living in these places, and a lot of them believe in ghosts, so a jiko bukken will go for a fraction of the original market price. It is also illegal for the real estate company to not tell you when a property is a jiko bukken, so all you have to do is ask. If you’re specifically looking for one of these places, the realtors will probably be happy to get rid of them (and think you’re a bit of a weirdo). There are even websites dedicated to finding jiko bukken, such as Oshimaland.
If you don’t believe in ghosts and don’t mind living in a place where someone died, just remember to look for any possible damage that the property might have suffered due to this “accident” — humidity, stains, pests, fire damage, and so on — to make sure that the structure is in no immediate danger and that everything is in order. Other than that, enjoy your nice, super-cheap apartment and give a toast to your friendly ghost roommates.
Hi, I’m Sergio.
I’m from Spain, lived in the UK for seven years and came to Japan in 2012.
I majored in journalism in London and have been teaching English in Tokyo.
I like traveling, cycling, photography, movies, and spending time with friends.
I wrote articles about life in Japan as a foreigner and anything that I might find interesting.
My email is ” firstname.lastname@example.org “, by all means contact me about anything!
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