“What a $500/Month Tokyo Apartment Looks Like”


Eye-watering rents for tiny Tokyo apartments seem to have reached a new low, with “capsule apartments” in central Tokyo making their TV debut.

The rent for the tiny Shibuya tomb is quoted at ¥45,000:


The “residences,” part of a “super tiny share house,” appear to be intended to provide ultra-convenient sleeping space in some of Tokyo’s most in-demand areas, rather than as conventional dwelling space.

The monthly rent of some ¥45,000 has been massively criticised as a huge rip-off even for central Tokyo – and it is indeed hard to ignore the fact that even in Minato city, Tokyo’s most expensive area, it is possible to find conventional (if dreadful) 1-room apartments for ¥50,000-¥60,000.

Comparisons to Hong Kong’s “cage” housing are also all but inevitable:


The boxes – despite reporting to the contrary overseas – are almost unheard of in Tokyo and have been the subject of much enthusiastic scorn and mockery online:

“Poor Tokyoites!”

“This is a joke, right?”

“Even Japanese would not want to live in this.”

“I like these tiny spaces – though not at that price.”

“I could understand it if they were paying ¥5,000 for it…”

“10k is the limit for this.”

“Guys – you can get a rubbish apartment in Tokyo for 50k, no problem.”

“Come on now – 50-60k gets you a one room apartment even in Tokyo.”

“I’m surprised anyone thinks the merits of living in central Tokyo extend this far.”

“These are just country bumpkins showing off.”

“They are probably in the very top residential district in Tokyo though. But if you could live in these, wouldn’t you be better off making a 1 hour commute into Tokyo from the suburbs?”

“When I was a kid this is how I imagined prison cells.”

“This much would get you 3DK public housing in the regions.”

“Good way to keep yourself working – have a dwelling so dismal you don’t want to go home.”


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