Easy Come, Easy Go

Business - May 2nd, 2008

IICHI takes the stress out of moving

by Michael Mahoney

Picking up your life and relocating to Tokyo can be a daunting task; finding a room or apartment, buying and moving furniture, even getting an internet connection can all be incredibly difficult, especially without Japanese skills. This is where ICHII Corporation comes in. ICHII Corporation is a real estate group that takes the guesswork out of moving to Tokyo. They offer reasonably priced, furnished housing to foreigners, with accommodations ranging from guesthouse rooms with shared facilities, to private fully furnished apartments, in over 80 different locations in central Tokyo.

What’s special about ICHII is the simple, userfriendly way they do business. With ICHII, no guarantors, security deposits, or exorbitant ‘key money’ deposits are required. (With the exception of a few buildings, only the first month’s rent, plus the first month’s utilities fees are required in order to move in.) Monthly leases are available, meaning you get exactly the type of lodging you want, for exactly the time period you need. Furniture, electronic appliances, even silverware and linens are provided in the company’s modern Western-style apartments, making ICHII housing perfect for those looking for hassle free short-term or longer stays. “In short, our apartments are ready to accommodate tenants who just have a suitcase and have come straight from the airport,” says Daisuke Uruno, Sales Chief of ICHII.

Company President Masao Ogino adds that IICHII staff provide “worry-free support” to their clients in seven different languages. Drawing on his own experiences visiting different guesthouses in Europe, Ogino started ICHII in 2004 to aid the increasing foreign population coming to Tokyo. “Most building owners hesitate to rent their apartments to foreigners due to the language problem and differences in living habits,” Ogino said. He formed his company—an offshoot of the ICHII parent company—to serve as the ‘middleman’ between foreign tenants and Japanese building owners. By managing the buildings and subleasing the owners’ apartments to foreign tenants, ICHII found “a huge business opportunity in renting apartments to the rapidly growing foreign population in Tokyo”. ICHII has grown rapidly since then, from subleasing 200 apartments in 2004 to over 600 today and with the goal of reaching 1,000 by the end of 2008. According to Sales Chief Uruno, presently the clientele is made up largely of single foreigners (70–80%), many of whom are IT engineers from India and students from Korea, although they are continuing to target a diverse group of people.

When asked about the future, Ogino says that ICHII is looking to add a concierge service to their furnished apartments, to upgrade their housing to “well-serviced apartments” and will begin to rent furnished offices to foreigners, with a low initial cost. He further states; “We aspire to bring a breath of fresh air to the real estate business by creating a new lease system that everyone from all over the world can readily understand […ICHII is] looking ahead to Japan’s future internationalization, by [helping] the increasing foreign population to find their own apartments in Japan”.

For more information on IICHI Corporation call 03-5437-5233 or see www.japt.co.jp/e-top/index.html