Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Japanese Apartments

Japanese Apartments
 Since there aren't any other girls here for ACA I get to have an apartment all to myself.  When I heard that we'd be living in a Japanese family style apartment I really had no idea what to expect.  I'd heard that their living spaces are small and there's not much room for anything and I'd seen that their tubs were so small that large Americans like myself couldn't fit in them properly.  However, living in a Japanese apartment really isn't so bad.

First off, it's got a (mostly) full kitchen.  I say mostly because the oven isn't much of an oven.  It's more like a toaster oven, so I'll probably only use it to make toast.  It's not like I need to bake a cake or anything anyways.  The apartment runs on gas, so that means both the stove and oven run on gas.  Not only that but you have to push a button to turn on the hot water before you can use it in the sink.

A Japanese bathroom is uniquely different from one I'm used to in the States.  Every component that you would find in an American bathroom is separate with the addition of a washing machine.  The toilet gets it's own room, the shower and tub have their own room, and the sink shares it's space with the washing machine.  This is done, I believe, for hygiene purposes.

What I find interesting about Japanese bathing is that they don't bathe in the tub.  You must first clean yourself either with the shower head or by using a bathing bucket and the spigot that comes out of the tub, as seen here, or the wall.  Then you soak in the small but really deep tub.  It's quite relaxing.  What else is interesting is that you can start filling up the tub by a push of a button.  You don't even need to be in the bathroom to fill the tub.  You can do it from the kitchen if you so desire!  This way you don't have to wait for the tub to fill up when you're done taking a shower and can just hop in.

The bedroom is pretty decently sized.  It fits four desks and two bunk beds, has a balcony and an A/C unit.  It does not, however, have a closet.  Fortunately, there are drawers under the beds where you can put your clothes and standing clothes racks (seen on the left of the second picture) to hang things.  And since I'm the only one living here I can use as much space as I want, not that I do mind you.

The interesting thing about the beds is that they each have two curtains on them, one along the long side and one along the side facing the desks, and there's an outlet on the wall for each of them.  The curtains are useful for if you want to sleep but your roommates want to stay up so you can just close them and shut out the world.  The outlet would be useful if I had brought my alarm clock or could use my phone, but for now I have no need for it.

The balcony isn't there for kicks and giggles.  It actually serves an important part to Japanese apartment life.  On the balcony is where you dry your laundry.  A long pole runs the length of the patio where you hang clothes either on hangers or using clips for them to air dry.  This means that you can't just wait to do all your laundry at one time or you won't have any dry clothes.  Just from walking around the neighborhood here you can see clothes hanging outside most of the time.

That's basically it for my Japanese apartment.  It's not very big, but it doesn't need to be.  It has everything I need and it's comfortable living for one person.  Now, if only the trash system wasn't so complicated.  But, I'll save that for my next post as I continue on my adventure in the land of the rising sun.

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