What is a share house?

Share houses have become more popular recently as a new style of living.
Though the number of people staying at share houses increases every year, there are still a lot of things that people don't know about them.
The Oakhouse Portal was created to help answer your questions about share houses!

Share houses have the appeal of “sharing” and “exchanging”

Share houses are known as rental places with shared spaces separate from your private room, where the residents can gather together to “share” and “exchange” in a new way of living.
Share houses have lower initial and monthly costs compared to regular rental apartments and one can live quite reasonably in them.

Shared spaces in share houses include the lounge, where residents can gather together, the kitchen, shower rooms, and bathrooms.
Also, some share houses have a theater room with a big screen, fitness studio, and soundproofed music room that you normally can’t have if you live by yourself.
Atmosphere and accommodations of share houses vary. Share houses that have unique design on inside of the rooms and furniture are popular. Of course, livability is important also.
Also, some share houses are community-focused, with themes based on common interests such as sports, cycling, gardening, and others. Whether it is a share house for aspiring business people with IT skills, or a share house with a day care with the aim of helping out single mothers, we are working hard to provide other themed share houses in the future.

If you are looking for a great way to meet new people and make new friends, or if you want to use a lounge or kitchen that are better equipped than in a normal apartment, then a share house may be right for you. Through the Oakhouse Portal, we believe you will be able to find a share house that would fit for you!

To share houses

A house with shared spaces

Shared spaces are places such as the kitchen, shower room, restroom, or lounge where residents can get together to share and exchange.


Kitchen (dining room)

Bathroom (shower)

Restroom (powder room)


Theater room


Are share houses cheap? Or are they more expensive?
If you just hear the rent price, you might think that it doesn’t sound that much different from the monthly rent at a regular rental apartment. However, consider the following:
With just these initial fees at a regular rental apartment, this could easily require 3 to 4 months’ worth of rent.

If you rent a regular rental apartment

Rent+ Key money+ Gift money+ Agency fee

With just these initial fees at a regular rental apartment, this could easily require 3 to 4 months’ worth of rent.
Furthermore, consider the monthly cost, outside of the rent like below:

Electricity+ Water+ Gas+ Internet+ Maintenance fee

These fees would also be necessary. Plus, if you were to buy new furniture and appliances, that could easily cost at least 100,000 yen or more. The reality is that renting a regular rental property takes a lot of money.

Share houses are reasonable

Basically, just rent + maintenance fee. That’s it!

  • Key money, gift money, agency fees: ¥0
  • No guarantor necessary
  • Fully furnished
  • One-time-only Contract fee
  • Internet fee: ¥0
  • Can transfer between share houses
  • Can stay from 1 month

Our share houses are fully outfitted with furniture, appliances, curtains, beds, wireless internet, and anything you would need for your lifestyle so you could move in with just one bag from day one.
If you think that you might want to live in different areas, there are many share houses you can transfer to as well!

Oakhouse Portal has many houses with special deals and reasonable prices.

*Some houses may have different prices for the first month, but still they are cheaper than normal rental places.

Room types

There are different types of rooms available for different needs at a share house.
Whether you want to stay with your friend as two people in a share room, or whether you just need a base camp to sleep in at night and choose a dormitory room, the reasons are innumerable.
Each room type is for different needs.

Single room: Private room type. Comes with refrigerator, air conditioner, and bed. Good for if you like your privacy and/or have lots of luggage. (Kitchen, toilet, shower shared)

Share room: A room for 2 people to share. Rent price more reasonable than a single room with more storage and personal space than a dormitory room.

Dormitory: 4 to 8 people in 1 room. Bunk beds. With security box.

Compartment: Sort of like a sleeping car on a train, small private rooms.

Semi-private: Wide room with partitions to maintain some privacy.

Apartment: With private kitchen, toilet, and shower. (1K/2DK, etc)

How is it different from a room share?

Manager mediation type= Share house

A room share is when two friends rent a room from an owner directly.

In the case of share houses, often a business operator leases the house by finding residents, administering, and managing the property. The management, cleaning, and responding to residents' problems are all the responsibility of the management company so you can live comfortably.

What is Room Sharing?

How is Sharehouse different from a Guesthouse?

A Guesthouse is a form of accommodation. Compared to hotels or traditional Japanese inns, the price of Guesthouse is low with an exchange of dormitories (shared rooms), no amenity facilities, and shared toilets, shower rooms, kitchen, and more.
On the other hand, a Sharehouse is a residence rather than accommodation. When a person moves in, they will need to sign a rental contract with the lender or the operator.

What is Guesthouse?

The Origins of the Share House?

Gaijinhouse view
“Gaijin House” (“foreigner house”) is a term that gained traction in the 1990’s

At the time, other than extremely expensive penthouses, there were hardly any places for working foreigners to rent. Japan also has a unique contract system with guarantors, key money, and other intricacies. Foreigners could not easily find a guarantor, and this was a very high hurdle for foreigners who wanted to live and work mid- or long-term in Japan.

Around this time, businesses catering toward foreigners began to arise. One particular place was 90% foreign residents, so instead of a “share house”, it was known as a “gaijin house”.

Guest house view
Guest House for Japanese Backpackers

Young Japanese backpackers were traveling around the world, for example to Thailand, India, Europe, South America, or the United States, and they began to find cheap places where they could stay for the long-term called “guest houses”. In an era with no internet, this became a hub for them to exchange information and meet new people.

Once they ended their journey and returned to Japan, they found the same needs that they encountered on their journey: foreign visitors coming to study or explore and needing a low-cost place they could stay for awhile. These Japanese returnees found each other through word of mouth, and started guest houses where foreigners looking for work in Japan could gather and find information. With the convenience and connection guest houses provide, over time Japanese residents increased from 10% to over 50% of the total residents.

Establishing the Share House Living Style

Share house Premiere Sangenjaya exterior
Share Houses from 2000 to the present day

From long ago in Japan, people have wanted cheaper living, more enjoyable living, and a place where people can gather together, such as tenement houses. However, there are sometimes demerits to simply all living together in one place.

From the end of the war, this situation did not change. There were many issues, such as people who could not follow rules or morals, buildings that had not been maintained, or difficulties which arose due to mis-communication between people of different countries or cultures. Gradually, property managers began extending services that catered to these needs and solutions to these problems, and the merits of this lifestyle began to outnumber the demerits, leading more and more Japanese people to use those kinds of houses.

Why are Share Houses so Popular now?

Recently, “sharing” has become the key word of the times, whether it is “car sharing” or social networking, and many services sprung up to cater to the needs of those who need logic and simplicity. In this climate, the “share house” was a topic on TV dramas, variety shows, newspapers, magazines, and other media, leading it to become a popular topic in Japan. Also, there has been a “social shift” among young people who desire to connect with others ever since the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. With this changing of values and stage of life, share houses were seen as necessary due to their logical fees (no key money or other such fees).

Also, in recent years, there have been many vacancies in normal rental properties, and the real estate industry has been putting effort into renovation, and there were many cases where old houses or old community dormitories were transformed into share houses, with emphasis on interior design, furniture, and share spaces where people can gather. These houses also provide people with valuable furnishings they may not be able to have if living alone, such as a theater room with a large screen, a fitness studio, a soundproofed room for playing musical instruments, or a nice, spacious kitchen.

What Kind of People Live Here?

Who are share house residents?

Currently at the share houses run by Oakhouse Co., Ltd., 40% are foreigners and 60% are Japanese, and we have residents from all over the world. There is opportunity every day for international exchange and to meet great new people.

Our ratio of men to women is about 50/50. Sometimes people find love at our houses, and a few have even found their husbands or wives here!

It is said that there are between 20 and 30 thousand rooms in share houses across Japan.

Many are single, working people, the majority of whom are in their 20s and 30s, and many of whom have lived in regular rental apartments before. It is precisely because they have experience living in regular rental apartments that they feel the merits of share house living, including exchange opportunity with other people, low initial costs and rental price, and other reasons. Working styles have become so diverse, and people are marrying later and looking for simpler ways of living, so it could be said that share houses are the most natural place to find a fun and fulfilling lifestyle.

New Arrivals & Campaign Properties

Click here to see the new arrivals and campaign properties!

Newly opened houses Campaign houses

How to choose a share house

As the number of share houses increases, so do the choices.
When searching for a share house, what should you look out for?
We explain a smart way to choose a share house.

Share house Q&A

Oakhouse staff and actual residents answer questions and concerns about share houses.
We would love to answer your questions too!

How is Sharehouse different from Room Sharing?

Even though Room Sharing, which people need to prepare everything by themselves, gives people a higher degree of freedom, it is still difficult to manage it. People will often need to be careful not to get into a bad relationship with friends they used to have a good relationship with.

How is Sharehouse different from a Guesthouse?

Sharehouse and Guesthouse are often being compared, even though they have a big difference from one another. In this part, we will be introducing the distinction between Sharehouse and Guesthouse that originated from low-priced accommodations used by international backpackers.

Share houses

Recently viewed properties