Tokyo JET Program Apartment (15m² 1K + Loft)
Depending on your apartment building you’re going to have some kind of doorbell. This is going to be outside where someone can reach you if they need to And this is an intercom so you’ll have a phone inside your building or another intercom like this that you can answer and you don’t have to answer your door right away you can just talk to the visitor via this and confirm their identity before opening the door. So, let’s go inside! When you walk into a Japanese apartment the first thing that you’re going to see is — the first thing you’re going to walk into is your “genkan”. This is a kind of like a mudroom — place where you’re going to keep your shoes and etc. Then most Japanese apartments open into the kitchen. This will be the first thing you walk into. And my apartment is a 1(S)K so one room with some storage and a kitchen. The kitchens are very much like this: usually just the hallway unless you have an LDK (a living dining kitchen). Upon move-in there were no shelves or anything in this area, also no washing machine, but you’ll have this area set aside for you to furnish it as you like. I bought my washing machine and then I got this shelf from Nitori along with the suspension bar at the top. So if I need to dry clothes inside if the weather is not conducive to drying outside, then I can dry inside with no problem. Some bathrooms will have air dryers / dehumidifiers in the bathroom where you can dry clothes inside. I do not have that though. There are two types of bathrooms in apartments in Japan; you can either have a bathroom like this where the toilet and the bath, shower, sink are all in one room. This is a unit bath — means that they have been made separately and attached to the building or put inside the building as like a puzzle piece. Otherwise you’re going to have a washroom which has the tub shower sink separate from the toilet room and the toilets in the toilet room will have a sink on the top of the toilet where the water will go into the tank after washing your hands to conserve water. As I said I have a one-room apartment with a loft so this is my one living room. This is a 15 square METER apartment, 17 including the loft, so you can get an idea for the size of the apartment. Because my kitchen is so small my refrigerator and other kitchen appliances go in my one living room along with some storage and a desk. I have a lovely bay window but obviously this is going to be something that you want to pay attention to when you’re looking at apartments: how much light do you want in your apartment, how many windows are you going to want? You can see even with a 15 square METER apartment I can fit about six people in here comfortably when I have friends over. I have a two person couch here. When sleeping over, people can sleep on the couch. And then I also have room for two beanbag chairs which stack to get out of the way when I don’t have guests. All Japanese apartments are going to come with a balcony — well, I say all… the vast majority of them — because your (laundry) drying is going to be done outside on the balcony. So the (laundry) bars came with the apartment but they may or may not. Similar balcony across the way out there, etc. Very small balcony but obviously this is going to differ according to your building. I have, as I said earlier, a 1(S)K — I believe the S stands for storage because I have this very large closet on both sides. You can buy these closet organizers and such at Dollar (100yen) Stores, Nitori, etc to really make the most of your space. And then as I said I have a loft. The loft will manifest in various different ways as for ladders and how tall the roof of your loft is I’m on the second floor which means there’s no floor above me which means I have a very high ceiling in my loft. Let me go ahead and share with you how that works. The loft may take a different form in other apartments — I have a friend who has a loft with built-in stairs along the side of the wall so she doesn’t have to worry about taking down the ladder and putting back up but I like this because it saves space. The loft space is big enough for my bed so essentially this is where I sleep in order to provide myself a separation of spaces between my living and sleeping space even in such a small apartment. This is what you can generally expect from your apartment for outside of Shinjuku. This is one stop from Shinjuku on the Keio line and a few stops from Shibuya a little bit north of Shimokitazawa** so it’s quite central in Tokyo. As you leave the central area you’re going to find apartments that are a little bigger a little cheaper and obviously there’ll be a variety of options for you to choose from in your stay in Tokyo. If you have any questions please read the wiki and feel free to contact any of your LACs, PAs or TJET Committees. Thank you!