Tiny apartments with 12-foot ceilings and lofts are being rented for $340 to $630 a month in Tokyo's most desirable areas like Harajuku and Shibuya. A real estate developer that specializes in microapartments has built over 1,500 units in 100 buildings in Tokyo and demand is high. Most of the renters are in their 20s. The New York Times has an article with photos.
Over two-thirds of the buildings' residents are people in their 20s, who in Japan earn on average about $17,000 to $20,000 a year, according to government data. (Wages in Tokyo are on the higher end.) Some are drawn by the minimal initial fees and the lack of a deposit or "gift money" — a nonrefundable payment to the landlord that can be as much as three months' rent — for many rentals.
The small spaces work for the lifestyle of many young Japanese. In Japan, it is not customary to host guests in homes, with nearly a third of Japanese people saying they have never had friends over, according to a survey by Growth From Knowledge, a data provider for the consumer goods industry.