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Residence Types in Japan


There are a lot of different types of houses in Japan. 

Unique Japanese Style

In English, all housing complexes are called “apartments,” but, in Japan, we call housing complexes “mansion” and “apartment”, even though “mansion” means “a very large and expensive house” in English. There are no strict definitions for each, but we conventionally distinguish them. The main differences between the two are structure and number of floors.

“An apartment” is a wooden or lightweight steel-framed apartment house with three or fewer stories.

“A mansion” is an apartment building constructed of steel, reinforced concrete, or steel-framed reinforced concrete with three or more stories.



Detailed information is explained in the respective sections.

In this article, “Mansion” is written as “Apartment (Mansions)” and “Apartment” is written as “Apartment (Apartment)”

1. Apartment (Mansion)

In Japan, there are two types of apartments (mansions)

1) Rental apartment (mansion)

A rental apartment (mansion) generally refers to an apartment where the owner owns a single building and rents it out one unit at a time. The owner remains the owner, and those who rent the units pay monthly rent to the owner or management company. Rent varies depending on the layout, age of the building, location, etc., but is higher than that of an apartment (apartment). These are more soundproof and have stronger security than apartments (apartments).

| Who is recommended to rent an apartment (mansion)?

✔️ Those who are considering moving in the future.

✔️ Those who want to live quietly and safely.

2) Condominium 

A condominium is a condominium consisting of one or more buildings that are sold one unit at a time. The sold units are owned by the person who purchased the condominium, the so-called “condominium unit owners”. Compared to rental apartments (mansions), condominiums are often purchased by long-term residents, so they can be remodeled within the scope permitted by the condominium’s rules and regulations, or they are designed to enhance living conditions, such as with guest rooms, fitness studios, and other common facilities. The cost can be purchased with a mortgage, and once the loan is paid, the ongoing expenses are property taxes, management fees, and reserve funds for repairs, which can reduce housing costs compared to rental apartments (mansions) where you need to continue to pay rent as long as you live.

|Who is recommended to live in a condominium for sale?

✔️ Those who want to live in a condominium for a long period without having to move.

✔️ Those who value the quality of facilities and amenities.

2. Apartment (Apartment)

An “apartment” is a wooden or lightweight steel-framed apartment house with three or fewer stories. Compared to apartments (mansions), apartments (apartments) are structurally inferior in terms of soundproofing and security, but rent can be kept low. 

Apartments (apartments) are very popular among university students.

|Who is recommended to live in an apartment (apartment)? 

✔️ Those who want to keep rent low.


3. Shared house

A shared house is a place where several people live together in one house. Generally, a shared house consists of common spaces such as a living room, toilet, bath, and kitchen, as well as private rooms. Private rooms may be assigned to each person individually, or may be shared by several people. In a shared house, you will live with a variety of people, so you can make new friends and save on initial and moving costs since the rooms are already furnished.

|Who is recommended to live in a shared house?

✔️ Those who want to save on moving costs and initial expenses.

✔️ Those who want to save on rent.

✔️ Those who want to meet new friends and people from various backgrounds.

4. Detached houses

There are two types of detached houses in Japan: used houses and newly-built houses, but in recent years, the number of contracts for used houses has been increasing. Used houses are more affordable, and more people are buying used houses and remodeling them. Prices in Osaka Prefecture exceed 10 million yen, so they are recommended for people who can afford it and will live there for a fairly long time.

|Who is recommended to purchase detached houses?

✔️ Those who can afford to live in a detached house.

✔️ Those who want to reside there long-term.

✔️ Those who want to keep pets.

✔️ Those who want a house with a garden.

✔️ Those who are concerned about the noise of their neighbors.

▲Detached House


In the end

There are a lot of types of housing in Japan. With SUGEE Housing, you can find the housing that best suits your budget and lifestyle.

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 with 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:



[1] LIFUL Co., Ltd. “アパートとマンションは何が違う? どこに注目して物件を選べばいい?”LIFUL HOME’S, 2022. Retrieved 26th April from .

[2] LIFUL Co., Ltd. “分譲マンションとは? メリット・デメリットや相場、賃貸マンションとの違いを分かりやすく解説” LIFUL HOME’S, 2022. Retrieved 26th April from 

[3] LIFUL Co., Ltd. “大阪府の新築・分譲一戸建て価格相場情報” LIFUL HOME’S, 2022. Retrieved 26th April from 

[4] Speee, Inc. “戸建てとマンションで向き不向きの人の特徴を解説!メリットとデメリットを知ろう!” イエウール, 2022. Retrieved 26th April from 

[5] Speee, Inc. “新築と中古でどっちか迷うべきでない10の理由を解説” イエウール, 2022. Retrieved 26th April from 

[6] Hidamari. “シェアハウスと一人暮らしの比較。メリットとデメリット、向いている人の特徴まで解説します” Retrieved 26th April from 

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