Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Serviced Apartments in Japan By Richie Johns

Most serviced apartments are located in city areas in convenient locations and provide you with a more 'homely' stay than a normal hotel. In most cases, what separates a serviced apartment in Japan from a normal hotel are: 1. A separate work space 2. A kitchen area 3. Lounge area 4. Customer service is superior (usually a bilingual concierge) 5. Housekeeping (at the more expensive ones) 6. Furnishing which creates a 'homely' atmosphere Services provided at most serviced apartments - free internet service - front desk services - laundry/dry cleaning services - high security The only real disadvantage to a serviced apartment is the drawn out procedures for applying and the paperwork involved. The lease agreements usually need to be signed and submitted at least one day before moving in. You also have to transfer the rent amount for the period you are staying to the designated bank account or pay by credit card.

Making reservations

At most places, to make a reservation at a serviced apartment usually takes about one week. Below are the common steps involved in applying for a serviced apartment in Japan: 1. Make an appointment to inspect the apartment or fill in the online inquiry form 2. You will be notified of the room availability, often by the next day 3. Make a decision on whether or not to rent it 4. Check leasing terms and fill in the reservation form. Depending on the apartment, some allow you to stay for months while others will only allow you to stay for one week. The leasing terms also differ depending on whether or not it is a corporate or individual rental. 5. Make payment either by credit card or bank transfer. 6. Provide your flight details (usually one week in advance)

Pricing

Serviced apartments are on average 15-30% cheaper than hotel accommodation of equivalent quality. Most have daily, weekly and monthly rates. Typical prices for central Tokyo are around 18,000-20,000/day for a studio room up to about 28,000/day for a 2-bedroom place. Monthly rates also vary greatly, from around 200,000 yen to over 3 million yen. Generally, the longer you stay the cheaper it gets.
Some alternatives for those who can't afford Serviced Apartments are Weekly or Monthly Mansions which are covered in separate articles.
Richie Johns, a long term resident of Japan, runs a site called Bignavi.jp, which allows users to easily search for information on housing, classifieds, jobs, travel and other Japan related topics. This site also includes unique tips on living and working in Japan.
Article source: Serviced Apartments in Japan