Last week we talked about being careful of portal sites, specifically with leases. It is a bit tougher with properties for sale, but there are instances where the properties on specific websites outside of the major portals sites which has false advertisements. Again, if it seems to good to be true, then it probably is.

There is a TV program in Japan called ”幸せボンビーガール,” a rough translation being “Broke Girl’s Happiness.” There is a segment on the show where they follow a young girl who is planning to move to Tokyo for school and or work. To start a new life in Tokyo. Usually the young girl being between the age of 18 and 22 who is from the “country side” in Japan.

How does this relate to real estate and last week’s blog post you ask?
Well, anyone who is moving to a new area usually will need a place to live. If living accommodations are not taken care for you, then of course you must find living accommodations on your own. These girls have to find accommodations on their own. The camera crew follows them on their journey to find a new place to live.


As we all know Tokyo is the largest Metropolitan in the world, approximately 38 million people live in the Tokyo Metro area. As being such, Tokyo is also one of the most expensive places to live in the world. The cost of living in Tokyo compared to a small town in Kumamoto Prefecture isn’t even comparable.

Being human we tend to compare or use what we know as a reference to anything we do. It doesn’t matter how much we read or do research we tend to go back to what we know as normal, in this case, cost of living and lifestyle.
For the most part these girls being between the ages of 18 and 22 are living at home and are planning to leave their home town (their comfort zone) to start a new life and or career.

Tying this to real estate, some of these girls might have an idea of what the rental market is in their own town, some small towns don’t really have a rental market because everyone owns. These girls need to educate themselves on what the rental market is for their desired area to live in Tokyo.
So what do they use to research or find out this information? The internet of course!

Real Estate Rental Search

Just like anyone, these girls look for potential homes online before moving or making the trip up to Tokyo for property viewings.
There budget and conditions are understandably quite tight. Rental budget usually being between ¥30,00 and ¥50,000, and having certain amenities like having a closet and the toilet and washroom being separate.
So, these girls do their research, find properties online and or real estate agencies to make an appointment for a viewing.

Once they sit down with the real estate agent they go over their budget, conditions, preferences, etc. Sometimes the real estate agent is speechless or makes an interesting face. Why? Because their expectations and preferences doesn’t match reality. Again, they have their own ideas in their heads from back home, which is their normal as reference. But their has to be something else which feeds their “idea” of what it will take to live and start their new life in Tokyo. This made me think, these girls are most likely looking at “dummy” or false advertisements online. They have to know that cost of living in Tokyo is expensive.

Personally, I don’t know what the rental market is like in Tokyo, but I do know that rents in Tokyo are more expensive than rents in Osaka.
As a reference, a unit which is under ¥30,000 in the Namba most likely won’t have a washroom (bath/shower).

The show is interesting, it sometimes frustrates me because of the certain conditions these girls request. Can’t fault them for not knowing.
I can also empathize with the real estate agents on the show, but our jobs isn’t just to find houses for people. We have also educate those who might not know or those who receive “false information.” We are the experts in the real estate field or “pros” as they say in Japan. It is our duty to educate/inform our clients and potential clients as well.

In all I have nothing but respect for these girls moving to Tokyo at such a young age. Taking the opportunity at hand and the challenge to chase their dreams which happens to be in Tokyo. I hope nothing but the best for the ボンビーガールズ.

For those who are interested in the show, it airs Tuesday nights from 10 pm. The show is one hour long.

Youtube purposes, search 幸せ!ボンビーガール.