Japan is known for its high living costs, especially in Tokyo which comes at the ranking among the most expensive cities in the world every year.
However, costs depend on the location or living place in Japan. Some places like Tokyo may seem more expensive than other cities in Japan.
Living in an expensive country like Japan might have its own challenges and struggles. Renting a house and then buying appliances for it may need a high amount of budget.
As a newcomer, it’s hard to find and buy house items from a famous shopping mall because there, fees may be more expensive than perceived.
Places to find low-cost house items in Japan
There are many physical stores in Japan, which offer low-cost items.
It’s known as the Ikea of Japan (Ikea itself is the largest furniture retailer in the world).
Though it has a smaller range of furniture they have very beautiful designs and people mostly like the design. Here you can buy Japanese necessities such as Futons, Futon Cover, Kotatsu, electric carpets, etc.
This store is also recommended for buying curtains, bedding, rugs, small household items, and accessories.
Reuse shops are very famous in Japan, where you can find many Japanese and non-Japanese items including furniture, house goods like refrigerators, air conditioners, even clothes, etc.
- The Off group: The Off stores are probably the most well-known secondhand stores in Japan with close to a thousand establishments across Japan.
- Book-off: Stores where you can find books priced at ¥100 excluding tax. If you’ve read a book and you do not need it anymore, you can sell it to a Book-Off, instead, so someone else can buy and read it.
- Hard-off: They are famous for selling used furniture, kitchen appliances, musical instruments, and toys for children, among other things.
- Second Street: Second Street Japan has more than 7,000 shops all around Japan. The best thing about this is that you can order your needed item online, too. All you need to do is go to the website and from its webpage, you can order online.
How social media helps you to find your house item
Nowadays, technology conquers the entire world and has made life easier for us. It’s interesting to know that after China, the United States, and the United Kingdom, Japan has the fourth largest e-commerce market in the world.
There are many groups on social media such as Facebook, by the name Sayonara Sale for every area, where people buy or sell their used items. As for most of the people who want to move from one place in Japan to another, it will be not easy to take all their house goods with them. Here you may need to pay an extra fee for delivering your house items to the destination you want so many people to prefer to sell their items. Sayonara Sale is actually a good source for this purpose. In some cases, some people even announce giving items for free as well. And prices are mostly negotiable between the seller and the buyer.
Here are some other websites to buy your house items from.
Until 1995, Amazon was only a book seller site but after that, it changed a lot and you can find nearly whatever product you wish to buy.
You can buy any product related to the kitchen like food containers, pans, glasses, etc. at a low cost.
Some other famous websites are:
- Yahoo! Auctions Japan
- Qoo10 Japan
In conclusion, you don’t need to worry about living in an expensive country like Japan. You can have your dream place with many beautiful low-cost items. And when you decided to move from Japan, you can easily sell the items by using the above sources and information.
Lastly, there is always the option of buying items from someone else rather than from an actual store. As an example, it will be easy for you to find deals made with students who are returning back to their homes or countries, and soon want to get rid of their furniture and appliances, they may come up with websites/groups such as Sayonara Sale and Craigslist (beware of scammers).
Another option could be a good old flea market. You may find a wide variety of items there on offer and locations across cities and towns in Japan. The only thing you would do is to take time and search for what you want.
If you are thinking of moving but have not yet decided on a new place to live:
SUGEE Housing, operated by SUGEE, is a real estate agent service specializing in foreign nationals. We have English-speaking consultants ready to assist you in your apartment hunting. If you are looking for a new place to live in Japan, please feel free to contact us.
Talk to a SUGEE consultant:
 “Living Costs” japan-guide.com, Publish 4 June 2022, Retrieved 15 June 2022 from https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2202.html
 “Going Full Cheapo at Japan’s Secondhand Shops” JAPAN CHEAPO, Publish 30 June 2017, Retrieved 21 June 2022 from Secondhand Shops in Japan: Going Full Cheapo | Japan Cheapo
 “Top 10 Ecommerce Sites in Japan” Ecommerce Guide, Publish January 2020, Retrieved 26 May 2022 from https://ecommerceguide.com/top/top-10-ecommerce-sites-in-japan/
 “How to buy from 2nd Street Online – Japan’s best thrift shop!” From Japan, Publish 18 April 2021 Retrieved 23 June 2022 from https://blog.fromjapan.co.jp/en/fashion/how-to-buy-from-2nd-street-online-japans-best-thrift-shop.html
 “Tokyo is the fifth most expensive city in the world for ex-pats” Time Out, Publish 13 June 2022, Retrieved 23 June 2022 from https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/news/survey-tokyo-is-the-fifth-most-expensive-city-in-the-world-for-expats-061322