pachinko gambling pachinko gambling in Japan

On arrival in Japan, one of the first things you'll need to organize is a place to stay. Of course, the best Tokyo hotels are among the most expensive anywhere. But for the short-term visitor there is something for every budget, with the sliding scale consisting roughly of: hotels, ryokan (Japanese-style inn), pensions (B&B), minshuku (family-run guest house), business hotels, capsule hotels and youth hostels.

A suite at the Park Hyatt, Shinjuku

A suite at the Park Hyatt, Shinjuku, where the movie Lost in Translation was filmed

Long-term visitors or those planning to stay and work have two choices: share houses (often referred to as gaijin houses) or renting an apartment or house.

A typical gaijin house scene

A typical gaijin house scene can vary from this...

Tokyo share house this (check out the 20-minute vlog on YouTube)

Gaijin houses are plentiful and cheap and have weekly or monthly rates while finding an apartment can be a frustrating and expensive experience. Most people start off spending a few months in a gaijin house and move into an apartment when they've put some money together. Free magazines available in bars, pubs and restaurants usually have listings of gaijin houses and their rates.

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