Moving Apartments

Marty and I are moving this week.  We have been told that it’s easy to move apartments in Japan but we are still finding it stressful.  First there is the expense.  We need to pay the agent, key money, and a deposit.  This comes to five months rent!  The key money is the bit I find strangest.  We have to pay the value of two months rent to the building owners as some sort of gift before we move in.

Then we need to pay the moving company.  We knew that this would be expensive and I started to investigate a variety of different companies.  But it turned out that there was no point in researching it.  The building we are moving into only allows us to use one moving company.  They told us that we are getting a discount by using them because we don’t need to rent “panels”.  I have no clue what the panels are for.

Actually “no clue” is starting to sum up the whole experience.  I have no clue what anyone has said to me on the phone when they have rang about the move.  I have no clue how to sort out the utility bills and services.  And I have no clue how I am going to understand the three woman who are coming to pack tomorrow morning.  At times living in Japan does leave me feeling clueless.

3 Responses to “Moving Apartments”

  1. Barbie Says:

    Karen Pauley … the japanese Alicia Silverstone!

    Hope the move all goes well 🙂

  2. Tatsuhiko Miyagawa Says:

    key money = Reikin? People hate that tradition and these days and I always tried to avoid the apartment that requires the gift money. I never paid that.

    Re: the moving company, my current apartment that I stay when I’m in Japan had the same restriction of only allowing one moving company, but I negotiated and was able to use another one. I selected the moving company by letting them estimate and did negotiation to get the cheapest price, before knowing the restriction and I’m not sure if it was any cheaper.

    About utilities, you need to make calls to gas (Tokyo Gas) and electric (Tokyo Denryoku) to tell them you move. If you pay by credit cards or bank transfer, you don’t need to anything besides telling them your new address. You also need to make a call to water management office (Suido-kyoku) and they’re less flexible because they’re government based. If you move inside Tokyo that’s less annoying than moving to another, in which case you need to set up your account and bank transfer etc. again.

  3. karen Says:

    We aren’t very good at negotiating in Japanese. Marty did try to get a reduction in the gift money but wasn’t successful.

    So far this morning everything is going well with the packing company – well apart from me not knowing the word for “valuables”. I am finding it a bit strange having three woman in the house packing lots of things for me.

    We had problems with the water when we moved into this apartment – as we didn’t know if was something you had to pay for. But someone arrived at the door one day and asked me when I had moved in and all the payments were sorted out. I’ll try ringing the utility companies in the morning – or I will cheat and have my Japanese teacher do it for me 🙂