Japanese Apartment Living

Now that I’m somewhat over the jet lag, it’s time to introduce to you how I’ll be living for a year or more, in a sleepy countryside section of Akashi City!

A quick recap: my school is Higashi-Harima High School, which is in Inami, whereas I’ll be living in the neighboring city of Akashi.

Anyhoo, my apartment is a whopping 46 years old. That means back when it was constructed, Nixon was still president, duck-and-cover saved you from both earthquakes AND nuclear bombs, and flying machines were still the stuff of myth. Okay, maybe I went too far back on that last one.

Japanese apartment layouts are usually standardized. My best guess is that mine is a 3DK– three separate rooms plus the central dining/kitchen area. Two of these rooms have tatami (Japanese straw mat, similar in texture to a soft basket) flooring, while the other room (the study, on the left) is normal wooden flooring. This is pretty big by Japanese standards. For example, my apartment in Osaka when I studied abroad was just a 1K. The apartment was essentially a single room, where my kitchen space had been a sink and a single stove burner across from the bathroom, while the main room had my bed right across from the refrigerator I used to keep my groceries.

See video tour of my Akashi apartment below:

My shower and hooked up to the gas line. No idea how that’s safe but my program supervisor told me it’s waterproof. For hot water I have to turn on the gas, crank a lever to ignite a pilot flame, and voila. Meanwhile, I have no dryer (they’re just not a thing in Japan, everyone hangs their clothes to dry), and my washer is designed to flood my balcony to get rid of water every time I use it.

So, this is how I’ll be living for a year plus. And did I mention? My rent is a whopping $109 a month.

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