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A shared house occupied by non-Japanese in urban Japanese centres such as Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto.

Rooms are generally rented on a weekly or monthly basis, and it is pretty rare for a foreigner to stay much longer than three months.

The vast majority of gaijin house residents are foreign workers, who use the facilities as half-way houses until more permanent (and private) accomodation can be found.

Gaijin houses are advertised in the foreign-language press (usually free weekly inkies) in all major cities.

BYO Domestos and double up on the flax -- these places can be somewhat unhygenic...

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