The first step in finding an apartment in Japan is to log on to a real estate agency’s website and select the items from a checklist of amenities that you want. Maybe you want hardwood flooring or a pre-installed heating and cooling system, or maybe you want a corner room. Then you sift through the filtered results until you find your new home.
If you’re going to be sharing your apartment with a feline housemate, however, “pets OK” is definitely the very first box you’re going to want to tick, because usually that will instantly eliminate over half of the options, since most Japanese landlords don’t. don’t really like tenants having pets. However, you can skip this spec entirely with Necorepa Real Estate, Japan’s first-ever real estate agency that works exclusively with properties that allow cats.
Necorepa Real Estate is a collaborative venture between Neco Republic, an animal welfare organization that also runs a chain of cat cafes/rescue cat adoption centers (plus a cat hotel) and the Tokyo-based realtor Innov. The company not only lists apartments that simply allow cats, but those with features that make them more appealing to cats themselves, like the climbing/playing ledges seen in these photos.
▼ A special waist-high alcove for your cat’s litter box, with its own ventilation fan.
Extra-special properties earn the Nekorepa seal of approval if they meet three criteria: plenty of natural light (to facilitate comfortable cat naps), floors and walls with scratch-resistant surfaces (so your pet can run and play to their heart’s content), and a design that ensures your four-legged friend can’t get out of the apartment and get lost while you’re away from home.
▼ The Nekorepa Seal of Approval is listed in Japanese as ネコリパ認定物件, and comes with a cat silhouette inside a house.
▼ A cat door to the bathroom, which has room for a litter box next to the human toilet.
▼ Video tour of a Nekorepa apartment
It’s not like Nekorepa’s apartments are run-down properties that have had to resort to pets to make ends meet, as photos show that they’re well-maintained and spacious enough for some rather stylish interior designs.
In keeping with Neco Republic’s animal welfare mission, a portion of the initial rental fee, plus 222 yen (US$2) of each tenant’s monthly rent at properties directly managed by the company, is donated to Neco Republic cat cafes, to help keep felines healthy and happy while they wait to find forever homes.
Most of Necorepa Real Estate’s apartments are in Tokyo, but it also has properties in Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama and Aichi prefectures, with its full listings available online on its website. here.
Source: Necorepa Immobilier
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