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Pet Friendly Housing?

By Emily C - Posted on 01 June 2012

My boyfriend and I would really like to bring our dog over to Japan (yes, we know it's an extremely difficult process). I was wondering if pet friendly housing was available, period, to JETs in Fukui-ken.


In the past, I've known at least one JET who owned a cat while they were here, so I definitely think it's possible to have a pet here. It might take a bit of work though--a lot of talking with landlords and supervisors. Sorry I can't be of more help. I'll keep my eyes and ears open for info!


Hi Emily

I'm sure it is possible, but as hard as the process of getting the dog here is, I think finding suitable accommodation might be just as difficult. I looked into getting a dog while I was here, but many landlords won't allow pets due to the concern that it will put other people off renting neighbouring properties. This is especially the case in "mansions" (apartment buildings) where the landlord usually owns most of the apartments in the building. Most jets are placed in mansions. However this is not always the case and you CAN look for your own accommodation in most circumstances; depends on how cooperative your supervisor is, too.

The bigger problem is outside space. Most properties here have little to no outside space that you could let the dog out, keep him out while you're at work, let him go to the toilet.

I was thoroughly disappointed because I really did want to buy a dog here, but it turned out to be too difficult for me.

BUT that said, I'm sure there is some way you can get around it, it could be incredibly hard work though. Just depends on the circumstances. I'd recommend waiting til you're here and making arrangements from this end to get your dog shipped rather than prepare things in advance. It'll keep hassle to a minimum and you'll know what kind of conditions your dog will be living in.

Sorry I can't help more.

At the risk of sounding discouraging, there's a chance that you'd have to find and pay for your own housing (i.e. no prefectural subsidies paying half your rent for you) simply because your apartment is under contract with the prefecture, which simply rotates new residents in and out as they take over at a given school, and most apartments in Japan simply don't allow pets at all. Even if the one you were in did, there's the consideration that the prefecture (and by no means do I speak on their behalf) may be concerned about your successor (already!) and that they may, say, have an allergy to dog hair. Having talked with a landlord or two in America in the past, it's pretty difficult for landlords to not notice if someone's brought a pet with them to their apartment, and so it's pretty hard to get away with lying about it to landlords who don't allow them.

Once you get your placement, of course, you can start asking around (and I'd recommend reading up on things like the quarantine process for animals being brought into Japan, if it's even legal to do so), because it's entirely possible that it's a possibility, but for the time being I'd strongly recommend leaving bringing your dog along as a "would really like to" rather than an "absolutely must" or "already plan to."

I don't want to burst your bubble, but I think it will be very hard and expensive for you to find housing that will allow a dog.

Just for example my wife and I are moving and looking for a new apartment in Fukui City. We went to the largest real estate agent in town (sorry I don't recall their name. The one with the smiley face and headset on). They have a HUGE office with every available apartment on nice little plastic slats so you can easily search for an apartment. Out of about 1000 apartments, 2 allowed dogs. I am not exaggerating in the least. 2 out of about 1000. We have our eyes on 1 of them and the other was way out of our price range. We found about 10 others if you searched on-line, but I think most pet owners in Japan it seems are also home owners. With the average cost of a new puppy dog costing between 100,000 and 500,000 yen (again NOT exaggerating in the least) you basically have to be a home owner to afford one.

As for JET apartments:
Depending on where you live, you will probably only pay 10,000 to 20,000 yen. Some JETs pay zero. I think the MAX you will have to pay is 40,000. If its more JET will cover it (I could be wrong on about that, but I think that's the case). The apartment my wife and I are looking at that will allow a dog is next to a fast food restaurant, 1 block away from the highway. 50,000 a month plus 100,000 key money and an extra 10,000 a month for a 2nd car. Just the 1st month rent and key money is the same as I pay for 1 1/2 YEARS for my JET apartment.

ALSO If anyone is reading and is interested, next year I am looking to get started some volunteer activities with animal rescue and adoption help. There is NONE in Fukui. Fukui puts to sleep 100% of ALL animals it captures. 3 dogs a day on average. People will go pay at the mall 500,000 yen for a new puppy even though 3 were killed that day. There is a man working at Fukui U who rescues some cats. He has 12 right now he is taking care of them. There is also a news letter that a group posts at Y-plaza about once a month to try and find homes for the couple dogs they rescue. That's IT! There are no animals shelters or NPOs helping out at all. No spay and release programs at all! Even India has a government run spay and release program... Not Japan they just kill the animals instead.

I'd be interested in doing volunteer activities with dogs.

Wow, I didn't realize I got so many comments! Thanks for the advice guys, I really appreciate it. We do have a place for our dog to live if things don't work out - due to the quarantine, she has to stay in America until November anyways. And I would be very interested in doing some animal volunteer work!

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