This is my review of World Unite sharehouse in Kiba, Tokyo, Japan. I lived in World Unite Kiba Share House from spring 2021 to spring 2022. I’ve seen all the positives and negatives of living here, and I’m going to tell you what all of them are.
Pro: it’s cheap
At just 39,000 JPY per month (shared dorm room) or 65,000 JPY per month (single room with a key), World Unite Kiba is a bargain for any traveler.
On the other hand, it’s not that cheap, especially for something this far from the city center. Put another way, if you miss the last train, you’re staying out.
Con: A share house can be dangerous
I lived here throughout the lockdown days of the pandemic, so me and about 7-10 other people had a huge house all to ourselves. We all knew each other and felt safe.
However, I have heard stories about the “before times,” including one about a roommate who had hundreds of dollars stolen out of his locker. I mean look, he should have locked his locker. But still, yeesh.
And unfortunately, the dorm rooms don’t have locks on the doors, even though the individual lockers inside the rooms do have keys.
Pro: Found a Lizard on My Window Once
His name was Morton. He lad little pads on his feet. He tried to come inside when I opened the window. There’s a video of him on my Instagram account.
Con: Roaches…and Worse
Yes, World Unite has roaches. I saw a few at my time there.
But it gets worse.
A couple months after I left, some friends who still lived there reported a share house’s worst nightmare: bed bugs. Having once experienced bed bugs at a hostel in the past, I was only too grateful not to have encountered them again.
Pro: World Unite is Convenient
Travelers shouldn’t have to deal with Japanese-only landlords who almost always want 2-year contracts. First of all, they might not be understanding the details of the contract.
Moreover, World Unite seems like a great fit for foreigners who are notoriously less uptight, than Japanese people. That line of thinking is partially right and partially wrong.
The truth is, I found World Unite staff to be uptight and difficult to deal with. However, I’m sure it would have been worse at a Japanese-owned share house.
So you know.
And there are some positives. For example, World Unite also helps you out with things like buying groceries in bulk, bundling the WiFi cost in with your living accommodations, and offering bicycle rentals. If you don’t want to do all the legwork of getting started in Japan, you could do worse than World Unite.
Con: World Unite’s WiFi Sucks the Big One
Protip: if you move in, get something on the upstairs floor. The ground level has had shaky wifi since I’ve moved in. It’ll be fine for weeks, and then spazz out for days straight.
The owner kept promising to fix the wifi the entire time I lived there.
Pro: Beautiful Rooftop View of Kiba
Well, maybe “beautiful” is overselling it a bit. But you get a clear view of the Tokyo Skytree from the rooftop, which is nice.
I actually kept potted plants up there, which was a great bonus as well.
Con: Annoying World Unite Staff
The staff members here are really uptight, super German clean freaks. For example, if you leave your bowl or cup out to dry, it may end up in the trash. Or if you forget to take out the trash when you’re on trash duty, you may find your security deposit at risk.
Funny story, I was working online for a while, and the cleaning lady used to go over my feet with a bleachy mop while I was working in the common area.
She was really charming.
Pro: Bicycle Parking
Bicycle parking isn’t available everywhere you go, but at World Unite, there was space for me to park my bike. Here’s another great point: you can rent a bike there (bikes are kind of expensive in Japan, although registration is not such a pain in the ass as everyone makes it seem).
Con: World Unite Kiba is Far from Everything
At World Unite, you’ll be 1 good 15 minute walk from the train station. What’s more, Kiba Station is not exactly the central hub of Tokyo. 90% of the time, you’re going to need a transfer.
You might be thinking, “but wait, I can just ride my bike to the station.” Nope. Not so easy. There’s nowhere to park without a resident permit, and the cops tow bikes and give tickets around here very easily.
I’ve seen both happen.
When it comes to the trains, my 3 most common transfer points were Nihonbashi, Kudanshita, and Nakano.
Nihonbashi station hooks up with the Ginza line, Kudanshita station hooks up with the Hanzomon and Shinjuku lines, and Nakano Station hooks up with the Chuo line.
World Unite Japan Sharehouse Review
Thanks for reading my World Unite Kiba review. Like many things, there’s no one perfect answer to everything, so I hope you take all these factors into consideration before choosing a place to live.