With its lovely people, delicious food, and gorgeous sights, Japan is an absolutely stunning country to live in. But for foreigners looking to rent a place in Japan, it can be a difficult experience. Thanks to a recent Buzzfeed article, about the difficulties of renting apartments in Japan if you're a foreigner, Eat Your Kimchi decided to dive into the topic at length this week.
The author notes in the aforementioned article that renting was difficult in Japan due to racial issues over being a foreigner, but Simon and Martina think this isn't the reason why renting is so hard. The Buzzfeed article touches on how Japanese culture puts great value on social harmony yet doesn't go in-depth, but Simon and Martina think this is the crux of why renting is so difficult for foreigners rather than any outstanding racial problem.
Having lived in Japan for quite some time now, Simon and Martina found that it was initially tough due to various cultural differences, such as separating rubbish and keeping noise to a minimum. For Japanese people, anyone who doesn't follow these rules can be seen as disrupting the community.
While the couple settled into Japan comfortably, they do understand why this is an issue. Martina noted that their foreigner friends who have lived in Japan even longer than they have still haven't integrated themselves into the community because they think it is "weird," such as adhering to rubbish rules and keeping the noise down. Couple the refusal of some foreigners to adhere to Japanese culture with things such as pets and children, this has resulted in landlords being hesitant in renting out apartments to foreigners.
In short, Simon and Martina think the aforementioned Buzzfeed article missed the crux of the issue and conclude that renting is difficult for foreigners not because of racism, but because foreigners don't want to integrate into the Japanese community.
Listen right here at to Simon and Martina talk about why it is hard for foreigners to rent apartments in Japan at the 32:06 mark:
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