Updated: Feb 16, 2013

Caveat: This is merely a listing gleaned from public media sources, we do not endorse any one service or agency, please do your own research and assessment on their reliability.

For parents who are needing domestic help or babysitting services, below is a listing of well known advertised and classified services below:

Many Japanese (at least my in-laws do) tend to use Duskin services with domestic help used to the way a Japanese-style house works:

4-44, Miharu-cho,
Yokosuka-city,
Kanagawa-Pref.,
Japan 238-0014
Tel: (814) 6824 8960
Fax: (814) 6824 5915

Note: Many parents find it convenient to have domestic help. Part time help is readily available for cleaning, laundry and babysitting. Some foreign maids will work outside their sponsor’s home one, two or three days a week. It is more difficult to sponsor a full time maid and the complicated sponsorship process must be arranged through the Immigration Office. You can also find domestic help services through Japanese agents for Japanese maids. The cost is fair but it can be difficult to find an English speaking maid. Some are dedicated domestic housecleaning services, others are babysitting services, a few offer combined help. If you can speak some Japanese, all-Japanese services likely come cheaper.

Chez Vous offers this budget-friendly option for families, integrating our housekeeping and babysitting services.
For further information, please contact Mr. Kunieda.
Tel.03-3402-6070

  • Happy Maid. Maid Services 2-11-11 Setagaya-ku, Tokyo Daisawa Tel: 03 54813679
  • KAJITAKU, Inc (Housekeeping/Cleaner)  | Serviced Areas: Tokyo 23 Wards | Hours: 10:00am-11:00pm, Daily | Holidays: None Tel: 0120-525-827 (toll-free)
  • M & H Housekeeping Services are maintained by professional Japanese housekeepers in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Your friendly housekeepers are Japanese, with bookings, contracts and cleaning check sheets available in English. Bookings can be made with confidence in English. See their plans here. Tel: 080-5380-3161
  • Mini Maid Service Tokyo. House Cleaning, Office Cleaning Services Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Misaki-cho, Tokyo. Tel: 03 32223210
  • Osouji Honpo are a large Japanese cleaning company in OKINAWA. They offer a variety of useful cleaning services in Okinawa including AC cleaning, Kitchen & Bathroom cleaning, wooden floors, washing machines and much more. Check out their website for a full list of services. They can also do weekly cleans or a full PCS clean.
  • R&R CO., LTD. – Housekeeping & Babysitting Services  Tel: 0120-918-079 (toll-free) | Serviced Areas: Tokyo, Yokohama, etc. Phone: 0120-918-079 (toll-free) | Serviced Areas: Tokyo, Yokohama, etc.
  • Tokyo Maid Service Over 40 yrs experience.  1-54, Kanda Jimbo-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 
    Tel: 03-3291-3595
  • Torabbit house maid service. (English page under construction) Vacuum, mop, laundry, ironing, shoe polishing, bed making, shopping, e.t.c. TollFree 0120-817901.   1F 2-31-9 Higashi-Ikebukuro Toshima-ku Tokyo

Specialized cleaning services:

  • 24Express Tokyo house cleaning service provides professional residential home. Cleaning service for 24 hours day. Cleaning services range from cleaning to scheduled floor care programs. These services extend also to the cleaning high rise offices, small offices, auto dealerships, medical offices, industrial facilities, retail shops, large retail stores, theatres, hotels, health clubs and warehouses. We provide specific cleaning and maintenance service programs and you decide what is best for your facility.
  • Carpet Doctor (Carpet Cleaning) Tel: 0120-520-225 (toll-free) | Serviced Areas: Tokyo, Yokohama  Carpet Doctor is Tokyo’s #1 carpet cleaning team, and a family-owned business serving the Tokyo community since 1990. Carpet Doctor was founded on providing high quality cleaning at reasonable prices and unprecedented customer service
  • Comet Dry Cleaning (Cleaner) Tel: 03-3492-9331 | Serviced Areas: Minato-ku, Shinagawa-ku | Hours: Mon-Sat 8:00am-8:00pm | Holidays: Sundays, National Holidays
  • MovingJapan.com offers maid and handyman services within Tokyo and greater Kanto area. Ideal for end-of-tenancy cleaning and spot repairs, prior to landlord inspection. Contact them via this page
  • Sugamo Kaseifu Introductory Service is a ‘kaseifu’ or housekeeper introduction service. These services act as “matching” agencies for housekeepers, ‘homehelpers’ (those that help the elderly or disabled in daily living tasks), or even home nurses and their clients, and often charge an introductory fee on top of basic rates. Rates for these firms vary, but Sugamo Kaseifu Shokaisho (Sugamo Kaseifu Introductory Service) offers part-time maid service from 9:00-5:00 AM from 1,500 yen/hour (three to five hours), plus a 10.5% surcharge from the service and a 670-yen registration fee. The client also pays transport costs directly to the housekeeper

Au pairs are one way to go, for those who like or are used to the concept:

Another “frugal” option is use your local Silver Jinzai Center, or Senior Citizen’s Work Center. The concept is explained below in the excerpt from Japan Inc’s Frugal Housecleaning/Helper Services post:

“The concept is ingenious: retired Japanese folks (men and women, usually in their 60s or 70s) who are still healthy and desiring of a way to earn money, feel useful, and contribute to society register with the Center. The Center, in turn, dispatches them to households in the area with various needs. The list of jobs that these folks can do is amazing: basic household chores such as cleaning, laundry, shopping, meal preparation, housesitting/petsitting, help after the birth of a new baby, accompanying aged relatives needing nursing care on walks or to the hospital, gardening, weed-pulling, babysitting, light carpentry work, light office work, kimono repair, and even mail/pamphlet delivery.

Each locality(city/ward/town/village) runs its own Silver Jinzai Center, so prices and services vary by location. I’ve used the service in the past for gardening (1,000 yen/hour) and housecleaning before a move (16,000 yen for 4 hours/2 people). A friend in Kyoto swears by their babysitting service, which she has used for her two children three days a week for three years (800 yen/hour).

Who uses the service? Many people! Families where both spouses work (especially those with children), singles who work long hours, and even stay-at-home moms looking for a break once a week to accomplish some shopping, get a haircut, or just relax away from their children.

A few things to be careful about: the staff registered with the center may be not be able to do more heavy cleaning (such as A/C cleaning or heavy lifting)/construction work due to physical limitations or their age. Also, the relationship between the staff member and the client is more that of a “volunteer/helper” and friend than that of a service provider/client. Thus, sometimes it can be difficult to get precisely what you want out of the service due to personal issues and other concerns. Altogether, however, I hear mostly good things about the service.

To find your local Silver Jinzai Center, check your locality’s newsletter (Koho), or call or drop by the City/Town/Ward Hall to inquire about it. Usually the Silver Center is housed in a different location, but the city hall staff can usually point you in the right direction. (Be sure and ask for Shiruba Jinzai Sentaa in Japanese!)”

The following childcare services can be especially useful when taking care of a new baby or as a backup when your regular babysitter isn’t available.

  • Ai no ki’ sitter service 3200-7504
  • Alpha Kids Club babysitters service
  • Baby Life Center, Tel: (813) 3485 0630
  • Culture Bay 5-23-4-403 Higashi Gotanda, Shinagawa-ku Tel: 444-9255, fax: 3441-3940
  • Family Support 
  • Homeaid, Tel: (813) 3781 7536
  • Japan Baybsitter’s Service [24-hrs service and this is Japan’s oldest babysitting service] Shuwa Jingu Residence 501, 3-3-16 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku Tel: 3423-1251, fax: 3423-6738
  • Kinder Network, Tel: (813) 3486 8278
  • Nippon Babysitter Sitters.  Tel: 048-882-1357;  3822-8058 (Will pick up kids from school)
  • Poppins Service, Tel: (813) 3447 2100
  • R&R CO., LTD. – Housekeeping & Babysitting Services

    Tel: 0120-918-079 (toll-free) | Serviced Areas: Tokyo, Yokohama, etc.

  • Reiyukai Baybsitter Shokaijo 1-10-4 and 1-7-8 Azabu-dai, Minato-ku Tel: 3586-7852
  • Supersitters Tokyo
  • Tokyo Domestic Services, Tel: (813) 3584 4769 [all sitters have 10 yrs of experience at least]
  • Tokyo Maid Services Tel: 033-291-3595
  • Tom Sawyer Agency, Tel: (813) 3770 9530

Babysitters.jp 2,000 yen per hour hotel baby-sitting arrangements may be had at these hotels:

Shinagawa Prince Hotel
Tokyo Prince Hotel
The Strings by Intercontinental Tokyo
Grand Hyatt Tokyo
ANA Intercontinental Hotel Tokyo
Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel
The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo
Hotel Grand Pacific Le Daiba
Park Hotel Tokyo
Mercure Tokyo Ginza
The Westin Tokyo
KEIO Plaza Hotel Tokyo
Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu
Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu
Hotel Niwa Tokyo
Citadines Apart Hotel

Pasonas’ concierge maids services

Other expat arrangements:

English-speaking agents will take care of all arrangements for you. Well-versed in both Japanese and foreign customs, we can help negotiate all your terms as we assist in every aspect of securing your accommodations

See suggestions on top agencies and going rates here and at this blog article: Salaries of Domestic Help in Tokyo

A much-resorted listing of babysitters and other help in the Tokyo/Yokohama area can be found on the former electronic Tokyo Area Babysitting Bulletin Board which became part of the new Tokyowithkids.com, a.k.a. Japan with Kids Website.  See the many posts on Tokyowithkids, now a.k.a. Japan with Kids:

http://www.tokyowithkids.com/discussions/messages/153/153.html
http://www.tokyowithkids.com/discussions/messages/42/47.html
Some phone nos. and referrals at http://www.tokyowithkids.com/discussions/messages/3/111.html

Field of Mugi –  a free Internet membership website for present, future and past working mothers and other women willing to support working mothers

Childcare facilities:

Japan Babysitter’s Service is Japan’s oldest babysitting service
24-hour service for newborns to 6-year-olds. Located at 501 Shuwa Jingu Residence, 3-3-16 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku.

Kids World(in English)  (or in Japanese here) is part of a chain of private child-care facilities that has expanded its locations throughout Tokyo since first opening in 1994.

Each location is staffed by at least one native English speaker in addition to other bilingual teachers. Drop-in service is available and several parents have mentioned how much their children enjoy the fun activities at Kids World. The many convenient locations in central Tokyo have made this company especially popular among the foreign community. For more information, contact the head office at 0120-001527.

See also personal ads placed with the following websites or blogs:

Nanny World’s Japan page

Angelita’s Housekeeping Services in Tokyo Angelita is fluent in English, Japanese and Tagalog and has extensive experience working in various 5 star hotels in Tokyo and also several housekeeping companies. She can provide general cleaning, changing of bed linens, washing laundry/dishes, ironing, window cleaning and running errands. Her cooking of Japanes Food is outstanding which I’m sure she could also provide. Charges can be billed by the job or by the hour. She charges 2,000 per hour plus round trip train ticket cost from Shinjuku. Tel: 080 588 01777  Email contact

Expat Blog Housekeeping/cleaning page

Gaijin Pot classifieds page.

***

NY Times article  Sunday, November 18, 2007 :  Japan’s newest growth industry: Baby-sitting

By Miki Tanikawa

When Yasuko Nakadate founded her baby-sitting company, Family Support, 13 years ago, demand for baby sitters was limited to a tiny group of high-income families, willing and able to ignore the lingering disapproval of a culture that sees child care as the unequivocal responsibility of a mother.

These days, Nakadate is swamped with customer requests for her professional baby sitters, requests she must often decline. There are simply not enough baby sitters to go around.

Despite powerful cultural disincentives in a country that – despite rapidly changing social norms – retains traditional notions of home, family and motherhood, demand for home child care is booming, far outstripping the limited supply of women willing to provide the service.

The shortage of baby sitters “is the biggest bottleneck for growth of our business right now,” said Nakadate. The company brought in ¥300 million, or $2.7 million, in revenue last year.

The trend is driven by the increasing numbers of women competing with men in the professional work force. Expected to put in 12-hour days and to devote a portion of their off-hours to company social activities, these women find themselves unable to pick up their children from day care centers and nursery schools in the early evening.

With their husbands also toiling in the office and entertaining clients late into the evening, professional mothers often have no choice but to seek out a baby sitter, a service still relatively novel to Japan, where access to one’s home is considered an intimacy not easily shared with strangers, and where the notion of mothers delegating child care duties in the home to strangers is still considered distasteful.

“In Japan, there is a unique sense of privacy, one that denies the entry of a stranger,” Takehiro Amino, a specialist in child welfare at Tokyo Kasei University. “But the pressing demand for child care was so strong, it overrode it.”

The cultural awkwardness in the work is just one factor deterring women from entering the baby-sitting profession, contributing to a stubborn shortage of caregivers, especially in rural areas. Baby-sitting jobs are generally part-time, highly demanding and moderately paid. Skilled caregivers often find work at day care centers to be more rewarding and reliable.

“There are certain areas or prefectures in Japan where there are no service providers at all,” said Mitsugu Fujii, general affairs manager at the Babysitter Association, citing the conservative regions of Tohoku and San-in as examples.

Even in Japan’s cosmopolitan cities, demand for qualified baby sitters far outstrips supply. According to All-Japan Babysitter Association, an industry body, there are only about 27,000 professional baby sitters nationwide, up from 16,000 in 2000, serving a population of 130 million people – 13.6 percent of whom are children under the age of 14.

Megumi Muto, who works for a government agency in Tokyo, says she makes sure to secure a baby sitter for her 4-year-old son well in advance.

“It’s too risky to ask on the spot,” she said. “You may not find anyone who can come to help you.”

Aware that demand for baby sitters well outstrips supply, she tries hard to be a good customer.

“I ask the same company for other services, for example, like cleaning the house and so on,” she said. “I want to maintain a good relationship with them.”

Professional baby-sitting in Japan emerged in the 1970s, when a small minority of working women began assuming professional responsibilities at the office. With the withering away of the Japanese extended family, asking a professional to look after one’s children also became marginally acceptable when parents had to attend important social engagements, like funerals.

“Demand for child care began to diversify for the first time then,” Amino said. “Until then, the overriding thinking was, ‘Mothers should come and pick their kids up, regardless of the situation.’ ”

Baby-sitting took another step toward respectability with the passage of an equal employment law in the late 1980s. More recently the government – which contends with frightening demographic prospects if Japanese women do not start having more babies – began to expand public day care services and some municipal bodies started offering subsidies to working couples who hire baby sitters.

Nonetheless, both customers and service providers agree that engaging a baby sitter remains a privilege reserved to high-income earners. The words “hiring a baby sitter” are closely associated with the popular image of upper-class life.

“It’s a kind of luxury service,” said Kozo Morishita, general manager of the nursery division at CombiWith, a Tokyo child care service provider. “It’s for people with a certain amount of wealth.”

Customers typically pay between $15 and $20 an hour, plus transportation fees, for trained baby sitters, many of whom are licensed nurses. For professional couples using baby sitters on a daily basis, the bill often comes to more than $1,000 a month.

In the United States, baby-sitting is often handled by neighborhood high school girls working for pocket money. Such arrangements are rare in Japan.

Most Japanese parents prefer to hire a complete stranger, through a credible private company, rather than risk exposing intimate details of their household to their neighbors.

Another factor is the perceived risk in asking an inexperienced, unlicensed high school girl to take responsibility for the children, explained Aya Abe, a government researcher who spent her high school days in the United States and often worked as a baby sitter for American couples.

“American parents would just want you to give a call in an emergency, and that’s all what you are expected,” said Abe. But Japanese parents are much less likely to “ask a kid to take care of a kid.”

In addition, young girls in Japan are reluctant to take on the burden of baby-sitting for fear of the consequences of an accident.

“You cannot take on a job that involves taking care of someone’s life for a convenience-store wage,” said Morishita of CombiWith.

But even with adult professionals, the awkwardness of having a stranger in the home sometimes triggers suspicions. When a Louis Vuitton bag went missing in the home of one customer, Morishita said, the baby sitter immediately was suspect.

Noriko Nakamura, the president of Tokyo-based Poppins, the largest baby-sitting agency in Japan by revenue, said that Japanese customers apply very exacting standards to their baby sitters. Fastidious parents give caregivers low marks, for example, when laundry is not folded in precisely the right way.

Some say that a baby sitter might inject a much needed dose of fresh air into the typical Japanese home, known for its seclusion, which critics say has bred such negative phenomena as hikikomori, the Japanese term for acute social withdrawal.

“I believe in the concept of ‘social parents,’ where children are raised with lots of adults around them,” said Amino. “Sociability of children is fostered when they are exposed to different adults in a much more balanced way.”