- Dormitories usually provide furniture, but rental apartments don’t
- Ways of getting furniture (Beside buying first hand from shops, 100yen stores, websites)
- Personal connections, direct trade websites – can be free if you are lucky, but usually you have to go pickup or arrange delivery by yourself
- Recycle shops, second hand websites – not free, but still much cheaper than brand new ones. Usually has delivery service.
- Getting rid of furniture
- Pay the government to come pick it up
- Alternatively, use the above websites to give / sell your stuff away!
- List of resources at bottom
Written by: Nattanon Tharachai
Let’s start from the furniture culture in Japan. Usually universities’ dormitories will also provide furniture but you may want some extra appliances etc., Commercial apartments only provide basic utilities like the toilet, kitchen, and lighting. No beds, shelves, table, etc.
Furthermore, to dispose of furniture in your possession, the traditional way is to have it picked up at a trash place near your home and usually you have to pay. Small pieces can be picked up for free, but for anything from the size of rice cooker trash pick up tickets have to be bought from local government. The size and rate for each area is different.
But worry not, people have come up with better ways to get and get rid of furniture. There are communities in Japan where people who want furniture and want to get rid of their furniture connect with each other via personal connections, SNS, direct furniture trade website, etc. and indirectly via recycle shops, second hand websites.
Ways to get furniture / dispose of them
- Try joining groups / mailing lists of your nation’s student association, your university’s group etc. – you may have senpais who are about to graduate who want to get rid of their stuff.
- Furniture trade Facebook groups
- If you happen to know a lot of people living in Japan, why not try asking them?
Pros: Easy to contact. More trustable if it’s the person you know. People posting are likely to be people living near you, so delivery is easy. Get free stuff if you are lucky!
Cons: Offers get reserved fast. Hard to browse through.
Direct furniture trade websites:
- English site
- Sayonara Sale – a lot of choices, easy to post offers, very few free items
- Gaijinpot Classifieds – a lot of choices, easy to post offers, a lot of free items
- Craigslist Tokyo – a lot of choices, easy to post offers, some free items, also provide other offers like jobs, housing, etc. Covers Tokyo, Nagoya and Sendai.
- Japanese site
- JMTY – has some free items.
- Yahoo Auctions – an auction site. No free items.
Pros: Good if you are looking for a particular piece of furniture (the search function helps a lot). You can get free stuff if you are lucky!
Cons: Buyer has to go pick up or arrange delivery service.
- Local recycle (“リサイクル”) shops can be in a lot of places. They buy and sell second hand stuff and usually delivery services too.
- Franchise stores like “Hard-off”.
Pros: Able to see the stuffs and choices yourself. They also usually deliver bought items.
Cons: No free items. Japanese staff usually don’t speak good English.
Second hand website:
- Hardoff Website – the website of “Hard-off”.
- Rakuten Second Hand Website
Pros: Search from the comfort of your home. Usually has delivery and pick up service.
Cons: No free items.
Finally but most importantly, welcome to Japan!
(Image taken from flickr.com (2017/10/02))
These guide articles are meant to be advice based on the experience of current and previous scholars. Given how situations may change depending on the school, region or year etc., we urge any scholars to approach the relevant authorities in your school if you have any doubts or concerns.