Corporate Housing Solutions For International Transfers! (Part 1 of 3)

Anticipating an international transfer to Tokyo, Japan but unsure of where to begin with arranging housing? 

How about a corporate leasing package through our bilingual real estate agency?

At FREA, we provide complete guidance for incoming international staff seeking furnished corporate housing in Tokyo from start to finish! 

Read on for insight on the ongoing timeline of one of our current corporate clients, and learn how our streamlined housing process saves valuable time and effort for both the incoming staff and company.


  1. The Strengths of a Corporate Housing Contract in Japan
  2. The Initial Housing Search Phase
  3. Location Expertise & How It Factors Into Finding Housing
  4. Additional Relocation Services: Home Furnishings & Move-In Support


  1. The Strengths of a Corporate Housing Contract in Japan

You may be wondering:

“What is a corporate contract and how is it different from other lease contracts in Japan?”

Rental leasing in Japan primarily falls into two categories: personal (leased directly by one or more individuals) and corporate (leased under a company name). 

Leasing through an established company offers some notable advantages for incoming foreigner staff. Perhaps most significant is the added flexibility of finalizing housing prior to the designated resident’s actual arrival in Japan—for personal contracts the resident card is required at application time, but these are not issued until the individual physically arrives in Japan with their active entry visa.

Additionally, a corporate contract can boost acceptance rates in cases where the employee themselves lacks Japanese ability—one of the most frequent reasons we see clients struggle with securing a personal lease is the language barrier concern, as landlords heavily prefer a reliable means to communicate with the tenant.  In such cases, a corporate presence can often act as a liaison for the employee.


  1. The Initial Housing Search Phase

Once the budget and leasing timeline have been established, our bilingual agents establish contact with the individual employee to proceed with the housing search.  Initial criteria typically includes unit floorplan, desired size, and other building/area preferences.

Our client was scheduled to replace the previous overseas transfer who had selected a tower residence in the urban Shibuya area, and spoke positively of the “30 minute door-to-door commute” involving only a single train line.

Although the apartment had a sleek, modern interior and was conveniently located, our client admitted he was not all that fond of the constantly high-traffic feel of Shibuya.  He expressed interest in several areas further west, which his HR contact had mentioned were “less touristy.”


  1. Location Expertise & How It Factors Into Finding Housing

These “less touristy” areas happened to fall on extremely commuter-heavy lines (Tokyo boasts some of the most crowded morning rush hour train cars in the world), and would also require additional transferring between rail companies on a daily basis. 

We agreed to guide our client around those areas as requested but also suggested some additional locations proceeding in the direction of his future office location for comparison. 

Ultimately, our client ended up selecting Ebisu, which is well-regarded for its reserved, sophisticated city atmosphere. The station placement even knocked a few minutes off the previous Shibuya commute time, to boot.  Our client mused that he would have never thought to consider the Ebisu area, which is actually located only one train stop away from Shibuya on the JR Yamanote line.

Tokyo’s wide range of distinct and sharply differing areas located in close proximity of each other demands a keen grasp of both the city’s diverse characteristics as well as the finer workings of its sprawling transportation system.  Our staff had prepared area recommendations not only for the convenient workplace commute, but also because they felt the atmosphere of those neighborhoods would be suited to our client’s liking.


  1. Additional Relocation Services: Home Furnishings & Move-In Support

At FREA, our services extend beyond just the basic housing search services offered by most real estate agencies in Japan, with additional relocation services.   In our next article, we will cover the second key aspect of our corporate relocation process in detail: customizable leasing of furnishings for a comfortable and cost-effective residence immediately upon arrival!