During my first five months as a student of Nagoya University I have been living in the International Residence (check the views from it).
The residence is a great idea because at the beginning you get a very cheap place to stay until you get used to the new environment.
Unfortunately, this stay could only be extended for 6 months so I had to start looking for a new apartment to move out and I found one in the building above.
I decided that I wanted to be close to the University but also have shops around and live in a busy area. Fortunately, there was such a place, it's name was Irinaka. So I went to the Irinaka office of a famous state agency called Minimini. A very kind Japanese woman, Mami-san, showed me different apartments by car and it was very easy to find the one that I wanted. If you are looking for an apartment around Nagoya University I recommend you to contact with her (she can speak English very well): email@example.com (tell them you saw the link in my site :D). *May 2012, she no longer works there.
I am very happy that my apartment in Irinaka, apart from being close to the University (around 10 min by bike or by subway), is very close to a Book-Off store (my favorite shops!).
In this zone, there is also a great bookshop and rental shop called Sanyoudou (三洋堂書点) which has several floors.
On the top floor there is a big Manga shop where I can buy materials for drawing comics. I have the intention of drawing new comics soon.
In the second floor I can rent movies, animation series and even mangas. It is a great way to read mangas for a very cheap price and not having to store them at home.
I pay around 36000 yen/month and I have a simple apartment with a bed, desk, small kitchen and bathroom. Just what I needed!.