Finding affordable housing being a foreigner in Kyoto could be a struggle, particularly if you have no idea of the language. But, it's nowhere near impossible.
Normally in Japan landlords require two considerations: Key money along with a guarantor. Key funds are considered a present on the landlord and is usually comparable to the deposit. It can be non-refundable and is required at the time of move-in.
A guarantor is just like a co-signer. This person will likely be accountable for all cost in the case the tenant does not pay rent or damages. The guarantor usually needs to be a Japanese national and never a relative or friend at home. This can be a problem should you be just arriving in Japan and lack any contacts. Luckily you can find people who focus on foreigners.
In Kyoto there are several "foreign friendly" apartments/houses. This usually means there are English speaking staff available, no required key money, no guarantor required. Some establishments can be very expensive while others are comparable to exactly what a Japanese local pays. It's worth spending time to search around and speak with other foreigners to find a place that may do the job.
It is critical to understand that a few of these "foreign friendly" places may be more casual and depending on hand shake deals. This can be employed in your favor or against you. Reports by foreigners who had been given a specific move-in date, then last-minute being told they can not move-in until a later date, aren't unknown. It's best to try find a person who is by the books plus more professional, however, this might not be possible. Try to be aware and careful.
A great option is to lease an apartment online before arriving. There are several short-term situations letting you rent month-to-month. Although these accommodations might be expensive, it may save you serious amounts of suffering inside the long-run. It may well get you feet on the floor in Kyoto and allow you a month to obtain the perfect place. It can be very risky to sign a long-term lease before you notice. Additionally, there are many guest houses that offer cheap weekly rates. This will allow you to definitely perform the same task.
Generally speaking, Kyoto is an excellent place to live for foreigners. There exists a huge foreign population enabling great resources after you arrive. Attempt to meet other people and acquire top tips. Foreigners in Kyoto are quick to assist other foreigners just arriving. Good luck!