After cleaning my apartment today, I thought, I should take some photos. My family and friends have been hounding me for apartment pictures for months.
But, you know when you move to a new place (or take over a place from someone else), you need some time to nest, to make it yours? It’s taken me a while to get to that place, mostly because I’ve been busy with work, completely confused, and/or on a budget.
Apartments in Japan ARE NOT CHEAP. You have to pay key money, which is like a six month rent deposit which you really do not ever get back, and thanks money and cleaning money up front.
I do have a large apartment, compared to the other JETs. My predecessor also left me some great things: futon, couch, kotatsu, desk, kitchen appliances, shelves, etc. And, of course, there was some junk. Ab machine? Broken bike? Broken VCR? I finally figured out how to get rid of the stuff I did not want (gomi in Japan….muzukashii!), bought a few carpets, and that’s about it. I would still like to get a real table, instead of using my kotatsu.
Okay, here we go. Apartment tour!
The outside isn’t that pretty. (And look, it’s warm, so all of our snow is melting.) At first, I was kind of disappointed. It’s a weird juxtaposition: apartment buildings, asphalt, cram school, and a rice field.
Here is my entrance. There are four apartments in my building. I don’t see my neighbors very often. (I think we are all at work most of the time.) I am on the first floor, which is not the norm. The JET Program usually does not put – females, especially – on the first floor, but my school has had teachers living in this apartment for years and years. So……I guess it’s okay.
Inside, we have the genkan (entryway). Mine has a nice cabinet where I store my shoes, mittens, gloves, and mail. I also store my kerosene here since I do not know where else to put it? It’s kind of an eyesore.
A door opens to my kitchen/dining area. I think this is also supposed to be the living room, but I use one of the bedrooms for my living area.
The shower/bath area is separate from the toilet area. I also have a washing machine. THANK HEAVENS.
Shower things. They have Dove in Japan!
Japanese-style bath. I’m becoming a bath person.
Bathroom mirror, with extremely yellow-lighting.
I have two traditional Japanese tatami rooms, or washitsu. I use one for a bedroom and the other as a living room/kotatsu room. The kotatsu is a heated table, excellent for burying your legs under and staying warm in the winter. The television (that was left to me) actually does not work. I need to get rid of it, but it belongs to my school, so that involves someone driving over to my place to pick it up and take it back to school. So, I’ve just left it here for the moment.
Even though this isn’t quite what I imagined my place would look like in Japan, I am liking my little Japanese apartment. NATURAL LIGHT!
Next, I’ll have to do a neighborhood tour. There are, like, five combini stores near me. I also live down the street from a temple……that I have yet to visit!