Living abroad can be an immense experience in and of itself. Especially when considering all of the new and exciting things that surround you on a day to day basis. As far as I’m concerned the only way this gets even better, is when you have someone to share these experiences with. And where better to find these people than in share houses in Osaka?
Share houses are awesome places to live for a number of reasons, not least the chance to meet new and interesting people. Have you ever been in a slump, not really wanting to go outside, not really wanting to do anything special but wish you had someone to hang with? Share house. How about when your friends back out of a promise and you suddenly now have no plans for the weekend? Yes, that's right, your share house will more than likely have something—or someone—interesting with which to fill that void.
That said, Osaka is an excellent city to live in. Not as big and sprawling as Tokyo, but no less packed with fascinating little pockets of culture to share. Without further ado here are six of the cheapest, cleanest and most excellent share houses in the Osaka area.
(Note that while the cheapest share houses start at about 22,000 yen a month, these are almost exclusively women only establishments.)
Once upon a time a women’s dormitory, CYCLE YARD OSAKA has been reformed into a beautiful, clean shared house that caters to both men and women. According to the company’s website, “Creating a public space in which people can gather comfortably in a vibrant atmosphere has been our main focus during the renovation process.” This becomes very clear when examining the pictures there. A natural wooden theme makes up the majority of the interior while remaining very stylish and cosy.
A long dining room table makes for an almost izakaya-like atmosphere; perfect for those long, late night sessions. However, what would an izakaya style dining table be without good food and beverages! That’s where the kitchen comes in. Fully equipped with all the essential cooking tools and more, it's a space where the beginner and expert can enjoy the art of cooking together. For a spot of relaxation, a large corner sofa can be found inside; outside a bench under a lit canopy is set for those hot summer nights.
Now, what's unique about this share house, is that it also has spaces to wash and work on your bicycle! Considering the name of the share house and its close proximity to the Yamatogawa River, it makes total sense that taking care of your bicycle would be a top priority. The rooms are smaller but no less convenient, with a single bed (for single rooms), a toilet in each room—which is something you won't find at many share houses—a desk with a locking drawer and a personal kitchen and fridge. It's almost like living in your own apartment, only with a shared washing machine.
Location: Showacho Station Price: 33,000 - 43,000 Yen
Located near Showacho station on the Midosuji line, Orange House is one train away from the largest most popular locations in Osaka including Tennoji, Shinsaibashi, Namba and Umeda. Based in an amazingly convenient area, within walking distance are supermarkets, convenience stores, fitness gyms, cafes, and even the ward office and tax office are nearby.
Fun fact: Only a fifteen-minute walk from the house is the tallest building in Japan, Abeno Harukas!
Orange House, unlike other share houses in Osaka, has an interesting room layout. All rooms are equipped with a mini-kitchen, which includes a sink and a gas cooker, small fridge, and a heated table in the centre of the main room. An air conditioner is of course included as is the standard in essentially all buildings in Japan. There are thirty rooms split into three floors.
The common area is a 100 square meter rooftop lounge. Spacious and comfortable there are three sofas around a table with a big TV at the head of the table. Netflix is available along with a various comic books, novels and a shared PC with free wi-fi. Coffee, tea and Japanese tea is also freely available in the rooftop lounge. The website even claims that a party is held in the rooftop lounge at least once a month. Outside the lounge is a clothes drying area with hangers and other necessary equipment. For rainy days there's a drying area inside the rooftop lounge too.
A bathroom can be found on each floor with washlet equipped toilets and interestingly… a urinal. No bathtubs but there are shower units with more than enough space. To wrap up, each floor has a toaster, vacuum cleaner, iron, washing machine and a tumble dryer which costs 100 yen for 30 minutes.
Location: Esaka Station Price: 32,000 - 43,000 Yen
It’s difficult to explain how incredible this share house in Osaka actually is. On the first floor is a yoga studio. Yes, a yoga studio. The share house really begins from the second floor. Each floor is packed. The second floor living room is split into two parts and has a mind boggling amount of space. Half of one room has a ten seat sofa around a wall mounted TV and the other half is a japanese style tatami floor with two low tables and cushions.
The other part of the room could literally be mistaken for a restaurant. Three tables with eighteen seats and a counter with up to seven or eight. A huge kitchen with three separate sinks and cooktops. All the necessary utensils and three giant fridges. Just when it seems like it can't get any better, there's a dish disinfecting and drying machine and an ice box. Absolutely fantastic.
The washroom has two washing machines and three sinks with two unit showers. Even the toilet has three cubicles and sinks. Each toilet has a washlet and heated seats. A spacious outdoor veranda for drying clothes. Rooms 203 and 204 have an exclusive small kitchen and bathroom with a bathtub.
The third floor has three washing machines, showers, a mini kitchen and more toilets. The fourth floor has an incredible living room, or rather, communication room. With a two-seat sofa, coffee table and footstool it's a great place to relax. But then the bar style counter table with revolving bar stools is a great place to chat and hang out with a friend and a drink. Again a mini kitchen, three washing machines and a couple of showers all also available for common use. The fifth floor also features all of the previously mentioned fabulous facilities albeit with a more European classic wooden style. A very clean space with quite proper vibes.
The bedrooms are all kitted out with the standard share house gear. A single bed, a small closet, and a desk with a chair. Some rooms are a little different with either a theme or more space. One of the rooms has a very Japanese style interior with sliding fusuma style windows and shelving. Some rooms have one window and some have two. The nearby area has a lot of shops and a stone's throw away from Umeda.
Location: Kireuriwari Station Price: 30,000 - 36,000 Yen
J&F House Osaka is huge! Splitting 91 rooms over 4 floors makes this quite possibly the biggest or one of the biggest share houses in Osaka if not in the entire Kansai area. A 6-minute walk from the Kireuriwari Station on the Tanimachi line provides excellent access to the most sought out area of Osaka including a direct line to Tennoji and only taking 30 minutes to reach Namba and Shinsaibashi. In the immediate area there is also access to convenience stores, a late-closing supermarket, a park and even for your clothing and fashion needs, a Uniqlo.
More importantly though, it would be hard to imagine a more stylish share house than this. The kitchen wouldn't look out of place in a mediterranean mansion. A turquoise tiled kitchen countertop, an island cooking table, three separate sinks and four—yes, four— ovens and cooktops with all the cooking utensils and paraphernalia you could ever need. This is essentially a dream for kitchen lovers. The living room has a multi-language TV and enough tables for at least a small to medium size party. Washing machines, showers and tumble dryers are available for use. Even the hallways have an interesting design with art posted here and there inside. Don't miss it!
The bedrooms are set up with a desk, a chair, an air conditioner, a small refrigerator, closet, bed, free internet connection. There's also a floor for women only that is code protected for maximum safety. An awesome share house in Osaka, this house has received a lot of attention, even featuring on the KBS Kyoto show Chu Chu Station.
Seven minutes from Kintetsu Fuse station on foot; it's a forty minute train journey to explore the tranquil gardens of Nara, or a dive into the hustle and bustle of Namba in just thirteen! And for those homebodies, Beehive House Fuse has a sports club, supermarket and a wonderful shopping street all within four minutes of walking. With all of the exploration available nearby, Beehive House Fuse offers excellent relaxation facilities.
An open rooftop is a great place to set up a chair, kick back and enjoy some sun. If it’s too hot, or raining, no worries; the living room features a large TV with a HDD recorder, Bluray and DVD player with a table for six. The unisex bathroom is clean with a medium sized tub and shower attachment; basically it is what they call a unit bath. Next door is the washing room and tumble dryer which are both free to use. For anyone with a bicycle there is also a parking area just outside the house, also free to use. There are rooms on all three floors, all featuring the same basic layout. A single bed, a desk and office chair, a small closet and a veranda. The desks aren't huge, maybe enough to have a small TV or PC, but perfectly sized for study or work.
In conclusion, all of the share houses above, while offering similar facilities, each have their own particular appeal. Be it the massive gathering space of Orange House, the proximity to the beautiful cycling road by the Yamatogawa River near Cycle Yard Osaka, or the incredible shared kitchen of J&F House Osaka. With all of the locations relatively near the middle of Osaka, getting in and around town shouldn’t be a problem at all; you might not even feel the need to get out and about so much with all of the shenanigans that go down at some share houses. This blog post focuses on price as an important aspect of the decision making process, however just as much —if not more—stock should be placed in considering the unique nuances of each establishment and its location in the city.
For those that have have experienced living in a share house in Tokyo. They would find the prices of rooms on average about 50,000 yen per month and MUCH smaller than all of the rooms listed above. They would also find a shared area with only the bare minimum; a small sofa, a TV, a table and a slightly cramped kitchen. In comparison for being cheap, these Osaka share houses have a lot of merits. Putting luxuries aside, many say that the true value of living in a share house is the chance to make a lot of new friends and help open your eyes to other cultures and ways of life.