Finding a house or apartment is fairly straight forward although we recommend a Japanese speaking friend to help you with the process. "Key Money" is still a reality in Japan and must be paid. This tends to be a whole months rent up front and has no other purpose than to say thanks for renting me your place. You will also need a guarantor and there are plenty of companies springing up in Japan to do this for you. A typical cost is around 60,000 to 100,000 Yen (about $600 to $1000). 

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Global trust networks

This is a good guarantee company located in Tokyo. They are very reasonably priced but be prepared to turn over two years worth of tax returns and estimated proof of income. 

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real estate agents

Daimaru Trading Co is one of the few real estate agencies in Sendai with a capable English speaking agent available. It is still a good idea to have a Japanese friend in on the process just in case something gets missed.