The first step in looking for an apartment in Japan is to log on to the website of a real estate agency and select items from a checklist of amenities you want. Maybe you want a hardwood floor or a pre-installed heating and air conditioning system, or maybe you’re set on getting 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 roommate, though, “pets OK” is definitely the very first box you’re going to want to check, because usually it’s going to instantly eliminate more than half the options, since most Japanese landlords aren’t too keen on tenants having pets. However, you can skip that specification entirely with Necorepa Real Estate, Japan’s very first real estate agency that exclusively works 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/adoption centers for rescue cats (plus a cat hotel) and Tokyo-based realtor Innov. The company doesn’t just list apartments that merely allow cats, either, but ones with features that make them extra attractive to the cats themselves, like the climbing/play ledges seen in these photos.
▼ A special waist-high alcove for your kitty’s litter box, complete with its own ventilation fan.
Extra-special properties earn the Nekorepa Seal of Approval if they satisfy three criteria: abundant natural sunlight (to facilitate cozy cat naps), floors and walls with scratch-resistant surfaces (so your pet can run and play to its heart’s content), and a design that ensures your furry friend can’t slip 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 is accompanied by a silhouette of a cat inside a house.
▼ A kitty door to the bathroom, which has space 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 allowing pets to make ends meet, either, as photos show them to be well-maintained and spacious enough for some rather stylish interior layouts.
In keeping with Neco Republic’s mission of animal welfare, a portion of initial lease fees, as well as 222 yen (US$2) of each tenant’s monthly rent in properties managed directly by the company, is donated to Neco Republic’s cat cafes, to help keep the felines healthy and happy during their wait to find permanent 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 through its website here.
Source: Necorepa Real Estate
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