What IS an Average Japanese Apartment Like?
Hey guys! Greg here. Topic: What IS a Japanese apartment like? Aiko and I filmed a tour of our Japanese apartment and we had a lot of comments. And, many of them were contradictory. So I want to take this opportunity to clarify things. On a side note, per the reason I created the X channel, was so that I could expand upon certain topics found in our regular “Life Where I’m From” videos. But I didn’t quite think I’d have to expand upon it so soon. But, here we go! We had comments like, “It’s so messy!” “It’s so clean.” “It’s so tiny…” “It’s so big!” “This wasn’t any different from a normal apartment” “W-T-F” Or, “This apartment looks so Japanese.” But the comment that really got me, that inspired me to make this video, was this one. *speaker reads comment* I really love the comments section especially when there’s a healthy discussion going on. But it’s the “fake, misleading” part that just kind of got me. So after getting slightly offended for being called not average, I don’t know why I want to be average, but, I don’t know, it kinda feels weird to me like, I’m not average? Ah! But, after that I checked out the stats. ‘Cause I wanted to see…is there some truth to this? Where’s was this person coming from? Or where are these people coming from? ‘Cause there’s lots of comments about “This place is big. This is not a normal apartment.” And before I get into wether or not we’re an average Japanese family, I have to that we’re very, very, very fortunate as people living on Earth. I mean, we’re in the top, you know, maybe one percent? Two percent? I don’t know. We’re in the top 5% at least, for our standard of living, and our safety and just our quality of living. We’re very fortunate, so yes, we had it pretty good. But what is an average Japanese family of four like? Or what is an average Tokyo family of four like? Well, I looked at the stats, and you know, I’m going to throw some up pretty quickly. I’ll leave the links below in the description so you can check them up yourselves. But, yeah, I’m not going to disclose exactly where we are in this whole mess of things. But, yeah, we’re fairly average. Now is this something common for something in Tokyo? Do we actually live in Tokyo? Yeah, we do. We live one of Tokyo’s 23 wards. Again, for privacy reasons we’re not going to say exactly where we live, but we do indeed live within the 23 wards of Tokyo. And, when you’re within the 23 wards of Tokyo, you can pretty much get to the core within 30 minutes. And, you can get to the other side of Tokyo within about an hour or so. So terminology wise, is this an “apāto” or a “manshon”? So “apāto” is I think it’s maybe a two-story type of building or one-story type of building. They’re smaller units and, this is definitely not an “apāto”, if that’ the definition you’re using. This is, I would say, considered a “manshon,” which is usually three-stories or higher. Ours happens to be a three-story unit building. It’s not a big one. No IC cards for the entry. No doorman. Nothing like that. And, in the area where we live, there’s a lot of these types of three or four, five-story “manshons.” Our building is 20 years-old which is not very old, but it’s also not very new. So a lot of the technology you see is 20-year-old technology. I had comments on our bathroom video saying, “This is like, a fancy bathroom. Only the rich people can afford it. This is not normal.” Well, this is 20-year-old technology built for a family type of unit. So yeah, this unit is a family unit. And actually, Tokyo has a program where they can kind of designate places as affordable family units. And ours falls within that category. And I don’t know too much details about the program, but it is part of that. So what is the size of this thing? Well, it’s a 3LDK. Which means 3 bedrooms, a living room, dining room, and a kitchen. Now the living room and the dining room part’s kinda misleading, because…I mean if you’re used to North American homes like I am, I mean, it’s really the size of a living room or a dining room. But they just say LDK. Like, we do film with a wide-angle lens, so it might have seemed bigger than it really is. But the total size of the unit is 70 square meters, which is approximately 750 square feet. Is that big for a Japanese 3LDK? It’s maybe slightly on the big size, maybe by a few square meters. But it’s not too off for a 3LDK. Oh I forgot to mention that “manshons” usually are reinforced concrete buildings. So this is a reinforced concrete building, which means the sound proofing is pretty good. And it should do pretty well in the case of an earthquake. And the insulation, I find, is very good in this place. So I hear a lot about Japanese places not being insulated. But this unit I think does a pretty good job. So out of all that square footage, we have three bedrooms. And the two main bedrooms, which is where I am in right now, which is like where I have my bed over here. And then I have my office over here. That is roughly, let’s see here, I think 10 square meters, which is roughly 100 square feet. And the same of the kids bedroom, which is the Tatami room. That is also the same size. And in the front – what we call a storage room which, we use it for storage but it’s just a room. That’s a bit smaller, by about I think about 2 square meters. So is this place expensive? Well, I guess I’ll let you be the judge. So it’s ¥117,000 (JPY) a month. And that’s for the rent and the maintenance fee as well. So that’s roughly about $1000 dollars U.S. Of course the exchange rate goes up and down, so it depending on what time, it may be different. But it’s roughly around $1000 USD for living in a major metropolitan area. Actually, the biggest metropolitan area in the world. Now we don’t live in the core of Tokyo, so the the rent could be double, triple, or quadruple, what it is where we live if we lived right in the center of Tokyo But we don’t, and you don’t have to. Because like I said, it’s about a 30 minute commute from anywhere within the 23 wards to the core of Tokyo. So it’s not too bad. As long as you live close to a station, which we do. Now if you don’t live within the 23 wards of Tokyo, you can get something that’s even bigger for the same price. Or just get something that’s much more affordable. So I did a search of Tokyo apartment rentals and and depending on what site you go to, you’ll find different pricing. So if you go to those executive sites for expats, you know, which are a lot of English sites out there, you will find prices that are a lot higher. Now I was able to find one site where they happened to have I guess more, I don’t know, regular listings. At least, they’re regular listings to me. And you could places that were around the price we’re paying in different parts of the city. So on the West side, or on the East side, or if you go outside the city, too, you’ll find different places. So…you know, you can find places like this. Now I should say that when I use Japanese apartment, I think that is misleading as a title. Because, I mean, Japan is a big place. So, I mean it’s like what happens if you’d said, “This is an average American apartment.” Or “This is an average Canadian apartment.” I mean, it really depends on what city you’re living in, what area you’re in. What income level you’re at, or what you’re paying. There’s so many different factors that go in. But is this a special apartment? No. Is it bigger than an average apartment for a single person? Yeah, it is. Yeah, if you’re a single person coming to Tokyo to live, I could easily see you being in a place that’s about 3 times smaller. And the rent is probably about half the price as well. And you’re probably living more into the core of Tokyo. But you know, we’re a family of four. We’re middle-age or almost middle-age? I don’t even know. I mean, I’m in my mid-thirties. Getting close to middle-age. So that’s kind of the live situation we’re at. We have two kids who are in school, I work out of home. So, I don’t know, to me, when I look around the area where we live in, I’ve asked my daughter about – she goes into homes, and I’ve asked my wife about it, too. And they said, “No, this is fairly average.” But, I think another thing is that our place is fairly, I guess, not furnished. I mean it kinda just depends on who you talk to. If you look at the comments, you’ll see people who say one thing or the other. But I think it’s not as stuffed as other apartments are. So it gives the illusion of more room than it is. But I must say that I’m very happy with the amount of space we have. I think we’re fortunate to have this space. And…yeah, so I guess I’m lucky. Yeah. *sighs* Yeah, I think that’s about it. That’s all I wanted to get off of my chest, and I think that’s all the details I wanted to throw in there. Please do continue to leave comments, I really enjoy reading them. I really enjoy the discussion that it creates. And thank you again for watching. And I’ll catch you on the flip side.