national

Staying at home in Tokyo's small apartments isn't easy

99 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

99 Comments
Login to comment

Prisoners live in much smaller spaces, and in many prisons live under terrible conditions with no entertainment, no smart phones (for the most part), no refrigerator, no privacy, no A.C., on and on.

Staying at home under these conditions for most people is a luxury by comparison, stop moaning about it.

-20 ( +26 / -46 )

I have a north-facing balcony (very rare in Japan) with a couple of chairs, a table, lighting and even fake grass, unlike all my other Tokyo neighbors. It helps a heck of a lot.

12 ( +19 / -7 )

My former office was a much tighter space, cramped with desks, shelves and office equipment. Survived for many year. At least at home there is no boss and you are free to go out for a walk or jog. In addition, I never heard anyone complaining when they, by choice, stayed home for long holidays.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

I have a north-facing balcony (very rare in Japan) with a couple of chairs, a table, lighting and even fake grass, unlike all my other Tokyo neighbors. It helps a heck of a lot.

A rich man, eh?

Tell us your address too. Id like to grab a beer on that balcony of yours.

Oh, wait! Social distancing....

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Life in Tokyo at home-it’s no joke!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Why people put up with such crap housing here....I will never understand it.

10 ( +25 / -15 )

In a Korean site, it says that the average housing space per person is similar among major capital cities (27-33 sq m, Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Londoan, Paris) except Beijing (19.5 sq m).

http://data.si.re.kr/2015br10-average-housing-space-per-person

I do not think Japanese particularly should complain.

BTW, I live in a rural area, and it is about 200 sq m for 3 persons. In Gangnam of Seoul, I can purchase a 40 sq m apartment at the 3x price of my house.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Why people choose to live in Tokyo is beyond me...

5 ( +29 / -24 )

Perhaps they would prefer a smaller hospital room or perhaps an even smaller coffin. Stay home!

20 ( +24 / -4 )

Prisoners live in much smaller spaces, and in many prisons live under terrible conditions with no entertainment, no smart phones (for the most part), no refrigerator, no privacy, no A.C., on and on.

Staying at home under these conditions for most people is a luxury by comparison, stop moaning about it.

What a weird comparison. You honesty don’t see any flaws with the equivalency you are trying to make?

13 ( +24 / -11 )

Why people put up with such crap housing here....I will never understand it.

They don’t want to rock the boat by demanding things such as insulation and double-pained windows. A cowed population is good for business.

9 ( +21 / -12 )

Yet they keep building tiny rat holes which keep getting smaller and smaller despite some areas that have the land space.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

One of the reason I decided I didn't want to live in Tokyo. Current house 150 sq m. Previous house 200 sq m. Plus both have front and rear gardens which are bigger than the diagram in the post.

And the rental cost is less than the space in the post.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Get ready for finding people passed away days/weeks before.

Already been happening with old people.

The scary thing is all the single occupant apartments - millions all over Japanese cities.

individuals staying home and online ostensibly their only outside connection.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Good opportunity to turn off the tv. Finally you can read all those books on your shelf.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

What a weird comparison. You honesty don’t see any flaws with the equivalency you are trying to make?

Don't worry. Reading comprehension problems affects a lot of people. My I suggest not focusing on the words on the surface but try understanding the underlying point: be happy with what you got. Things could be worse, and in fact, people are living in worse conditions than you are.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Staying at home in Tokyo's small apartments isn't easy

Not just in Tokyo. Japan's houses are absolutely crap too. House next to a house next to a house and then an empty lot which COULD have been used to give the 3 houses a modest little garden, but NO.

Why people put up with such crap housing here....I will never understand it.

Me neither.

People really need to start thinking about houses with gardens. The gov as well can encourage people to move out of tokyo by improving the Inaka transportation to the big cities and help young families buy houses with bigger gardens. This is so important to aid in social distancing which will become more important for future pandemics.

11 ( +18 / -7 )

Why people put up with such crap housing here....I will never understand it.

They don't know any different.

 The gov as well can encourage people to move out of tokyo by improving the Inaka transportation to the big cities and help young families buy houses with bigger gardens.

While the jobs are mainly in the cities, this isn't realistic.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Not just in Tokyo.

Agreed, the housing everywhere in Japan is deficient. I know there are places in deeply rural areas that have space, but about 90% of Japan’s population lives in packed urban areas with very little space given to residential use (hence no gardens).

Even in smaller cities or towns where you’d expect things to be different, they aren’t - all the new houses being built in rural Yamaguchi prefecture are squeezed onto the same 120 square metre lots that ones in Kanto are. Its bizarre.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

While the jobs are mainly in the cities, this isn't realistic.

Income can be earned in places outside of Tokyo and the big cities. Tens of millions do.

In our city, Tatsuno, there is very little difference between the daytime and nighttime populations meaning all the people work in the city, which is actually more countryside/seaside than city.

50% of the population live outside of the big cities.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Yep. That's another reason why I got out. And, authorities have the audacity to tel people to stay, since they don't want people taking the virus back to their hometowns!! What a joke! And there were only 1000 confirmed cases in all of Japan over 3 months, when they said this. As if!!

People are waking up now and see what's happening overseas, and are putting two and two together. They know the numbers of infected are WAY higher, and are choosing to get out since if locked in, they will be confined in room not much bigger than a prison cell, in a tower block that might as well be a prison!

Then there is also the fact that companies are forcing them to travel into work, often needlessly, on those crowded trains. They are treated as slaves and are seen as disposable.

Good on people in getting out. And to others that haven't: your window of opportunity could close very fast.

After this crisis is finished they seriously need to re-examine the future of Tokyo, in particular. There needs to be a massive decentralisation of people back to the provinces, and a move away from exploitation and virtual consumer slavery.

This crisis should be a serious wake up call for Japan.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Why people put up with such crap housing here....I will never understand it.

Because they never expect to actually spend a whole hell of a lot of time there! They expect to be at work, and just need a place to fall asleep at night, take shower, and back to the trains in the morning!

Tokyo, a great place to visit! But wouldnt want to live there!

25 ( +26 / -1 )

The article doesn't mention the biggest issue for many which will be adjusting to working at home with their kids stuck there too. It's in at the deep end.

I've freelanced for twenty years, and have a very nice setup. I hope more people get to continue working at home when all this is over. For many jobs, it's long overdue.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

My apartment has 60sqm and 2 floors. Enough for me and my wife, before that we were living in a super tiny 1k (17sqm) apartment.. it wasn't great to be honest, because that's really too small, but if you really like each other then that's doable too. We didn't have a choice at that time.

And we stay at home a lot with or without virus.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Why people choose to live in Tokyo is beyond me...

there,s tons of reasons why people choose/want to live in Tokyo and there,s tons of reasons why other people choose/want to live outside of Tokyo or inaka... but when someone says something like “Why people choose to live in Tokyo is beyond me” that shows his/her ignorance and inability to respect or understand other people,s opinions and feelings which doesn,t sound very good to me...

7 ( +15 / -8 )

While the jobs are mainly in the cities, this isn't realistic.

That's why I said the transportation to and from the big cities to the rural communities is important

5 ( +5 / -0 )

here,s tons of reasons why people choose/want to live in Tokyo and there,s tons of reasons why other people choose/want to live outside of Tokyo or inaka... but when someone says something like “Why people choose to live in Tokyo is beyond me” that shows his/her ignorance and inability to respect or understand other people,s opinions and feelings which doesn,t sound very good to me...

These words must be coming from someone who lives in Tokyo! To each his or her own! No reason to get snarky about it!

Just don't bitch about it when things like this happen! Everyone has the choice, and now that they made it, they complain about it. Go figure huh?

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

That apartment is huge

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Really fascinating article. I clicked the link and I've got to admit I was a bit taken aback by just how small the spaces are in Japan that so many people have to live in. If you're single, I guess you can do it in some of the smaller places. If you're a couple, hard to imagine, although obviously people do it. You need your privacy, or at least to be able to sit in different rooms if you want to do different things. There's only so much time you can spend in the bathroom.

When we travel in Japan we have a 16 square metre minimum size requirement for hotel rooms, which is tight. We prefer 18-20 sq.m so as not to feel too cramped. The thought that some people - couples, even - spend all their time, every day in living spaces around that size - is just mind-boggling.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I work in Tokyo but live 70km away. Tokyo is expensive with a lack of space, crowded and these are among the reasons to endure 4 hours of commuting a day. In this kind of circumstances, being in the countryside has a lot of advantages. I see the whole town and green Erie’s from my balcony.

But there are no restrictions to got out and have a walk, so Tokyo residents, whatever the place they live, can breath air at anytime. The most inconvenience might only be the neighbor looking badly at you for always going out. But I am sure it won’t happen.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

According to Japanese government data, the average home in Tokyo is 65.9 square meters. 

Japanese government data. Where is my bag of salt.

The average is far lower than that even in other major cities.

Even in newly created residential areas far from the city center the houses are not big. The housing companies want to squeeze as many houses as possible and make as much profit as possible.

If there is no regulation that clearly defines the minimum size of a house or apartment the situation will never improve. Bureaucrats are known for formulating policies and regulations that favors J-inc at the expense of the people so don't see that happening.

The culture of people not visiting others or home parties is the reason people don't see the need for bigger space.

The use of futon too is another reason. Wish most japanese had the opportunity to watch HDTV, it will open their eyes that what they are paying way through their teeth for far lower quality.

How many homes here have dish washers. Very few indeed, you can afford one but then there won't be space to place it.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

In all major cities like Tokyo, London, New York there are too many overpriced tiny apartments.

In the UK there are regulations about the minimum size of rooms. A 4.5 mat room could not be a bedroom, it would be a store room.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It is only a question of time before families succumb to cabin fever holed up in these high-rise rabbit hutches, there is not even a “hamster wheel” attached to the wall to aid exercise physiology.

As for the analogy comparing these rabbitry repositories to prison cells, I would be interested to know what malfeasance their unfortunate occupants committed to warrant such punishment?

This whole National State of Emergency, comes with no plan or forethought. Only after to be for the Governors to add insult to injury, insisting near 42% of City populous confined 24/7, in high rise-hell.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The article doesn't mention the biggest issue for many which will be adjusting to working at home with their kids stuck there too. It's in at the deep end.

A friend's husband has the option to work from home but in spite of the risk to himself and his family prefers to go to the office because of the toddlers. He "can't get anything done at home because of the kids." Welcome to a housewife's reality.

The whole situation is nasty. Period. No matter which way you try to make the best of it. Wait until the rainy season followed by the summer heat hits in Japan. And they say without a vaccine, this virus may float around like a miasma for years.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

staying home safe and alive is better than kicking the bucket!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

 And they say without a vaccine, this virus may float around like a miasma for years.

I suppose it's the same as "They say" that ...oh forget it!

Why is it that people use "they say" when they dont actually know anything!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The plan doesn't seem to reflect the majority of Japanese (Tokyo or otherwize) apartments I've been in.

The bathroom is totally unJapanese, I don't believe I have ever seen a freestanding tub, even in nice houses. The toilet is seldom in the 'bathroom' space and 90% of bathrooms I have seen have an enclosed shower/tub room, which is actually super practical and I would love one in my home country, even though space is not an issue.

I have never seen a freestanding western style cooker/stove in Japan. Some new Daiwa homes etc., may have a built in oven but always in the so-called system kitchen, part of the bench. The sink is way too small and that open space underneath would have doors, even in a Leo. The futon? Maybe, but anything built post circa 1980 in Japan has some form of built-in storage space, for storing futons and attire. People hang their clothes on racks if there's no allocated space, not in wardrobes. And lamps? Who the heck has lamps? Only foreign people, there is no mood lighting, everything is floodlit.

Finally the entrance/genkan. Yes, most apartments will have a small shoe removal area but that space in the pic is just shy of a quarter of the whole apartment area and it has an abundance of dead space. What's hidden in the corner near the bathroom and and that shoe/slipper rack? Are they planning on opening a clinic or eikaiwa?

Perhaps the apartment floor area is on the mark. It's not for me, but hey it's Tokyo, it's a lifestyle choice and you pay for the lifestyle.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Good time for meditation and yoga, Tai Chi.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Housing is terrible all over Japan, especially the houses, merely elaborate sheds with plumbing.

The social and health need for green space, in gardens and parks, is not even considered here. Plants, grass and, especially, trees are considered a nuisance.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

And, authorities have the audacity to tel people to stay, since they don't want people taking the virus back to their hometowns!! What a joke!

Not a joke. Many people in local areas don’t want possibly infected people from Tokyo coming into their communities.

Very understandable.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Plants, grass and, especially, trees are considered a nuisance

Indeed. When I first came to Japan I couldn't understand why people would build their houses right up to within inches of their land with no space at all for lawns, flower beds, or trees. I'd much rather have a smaller house and so gain a bit of green space outside.

But now I understand that Japanese society dislikes nature. Trees are seen as a nuisance because of fallen leaves, and no one wants anything that might attract insects. If you so much as put out a bird feeder, you'll soon be forced to take it down due to complaints from neighbours.

So perhaps many Japanese people will be okay in a lockdown after all, but as for me, I need to see some green space every day or I just don't feel right.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Well, you know what they say, Yubaru. :wink:

When I was younger and struggling I lived in some pretty tight spaces. Many years ago I spent some time on a hobby gamble, actively looking for a house that would offer me a series of impossible requirements. Impossible, yes, I know, but if you don't look you won't find, and I was not in a hurry. Nice big garden and plenty of free car parking space. Not too far from work, shopping and hospitals, but far enough away to discourage students from visiting. Room for children, and guests if necessary. What I eventually found had been derelict for years, but the landlord had made it livable. OK, it's not a castle or a palace, but I like to think of it as our cabin on the hill. And right now it is perfect for these weird times.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

When I first came to Japan I couldn't understand why people would build their houses right up to within inches of their land with no space at all for lawns, flower beds, or trees. I'd much rather have a smaller house and so gain a bit of green space outside.

I’ve heard many Japanese saying they regard a garden as too much work. Mendo...

I used to love the smell of mown grass, raking it up, and then putting a table and chairs outside to have a beer. Bliss.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

My mother in law is the only person with a street that has a proper garden. Everyone else has a patio, which increases heat in the summer and causes water to pool on the surface in the rainy season. A few years back neighbours complained to the council about one of her trees, saying the leaves were a hazard when they fall, bugs increased in the house etc. She had to get it removed. Japanese do not love nature, they like Nature as a theme park attraction.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

One problem when it comes to Japanese gardens are the upkeep costs especially if there are trees which need pruning. I prune my own but many think they don't have the necessary skills and will pay a gardener. Usually 3-4 gardeners, ¥100,000 twice a year.

I'm currently on my fifth garden which is pine trees and wild meadow flowers, which at the moment are yellow, light blue and purple. With newts, little green frogs, ladybirds, green stick insects, a variety of beautiful birds and butterflies. I can sit in my roka for a whole afternoon just taking it all in.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

My apartment has 60sqm and 2 floors. Enough for me and my wife,

I was thinking the same. My husband's and my 2F house has barely 60sqm, yet it is a 3 LDK. I even have my own private little room. I go for a walk and jogging each 1h per day. That is enough to make us happy.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Gonna be some corona divorces I reckon.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If your biggest struggle in life is figuring out how to stay inside your apartment, I'd say you have a pretty good life. Deal with it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A comme on. I am isolating myself in a 1 bed room in a Hostel and are also surviving it...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Probably 4 billion people don't have an apartment. Hut, shanty shacks. No running water. Toilet (hole in the ground) shared by 20 families. No healthcare or high tech hospital. Many less doctors and nurses. Social distancing not possible. Millions of day labors who live on the streets.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Be grateful for what you have. There's always people worse off than your"tiny" abode. The weather is too nice to have articles whinging about a minor inconvenience. You don't like it change it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I have 67 square meters inside and a roof garden of 55 square meters. Two Weber grills, lots of herbs and plants. Not cramped or stressful at all. Ones gets to appr I ate tight spaces, and personally I find it weird to visit friends and relatives stateside. It seems like a full time job of vacuuming and dusting.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@rcch

You are absolutely correct.

There is no way I can understand why somebody wants to live in cramped accommodation and sit and stand on top of the next person whilst paying more for just about anything-comprehensible!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Can’t believe nobody’s mentioning Hong Kong. They have some of the most cramped living spaces in the world and many elderly have been forced to stay inside for weeks. Tokyoites have it good comparatively!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Good. For the sake of a healthy ecology, most of the human race deserve to live in small spaces and get the hell out of the natural world.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

That floor plan at the top really lays bare the cost of Japan’s cultural aversion to indoor footwear. The area of the apartment devoted to spending 5 seconds taking your shoes off each evening takes up about a quarter of the floor space. Ouch.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

rainydayToday  01:49 pm JST

That floor plan at the top really lays bare the cost of Japan’s cultural aversion to indoor footwear. The area of the apartment devoted to spending 5 seconds taking your shoes off each evening takes up about a quarter of the floor space. Ouch.

To be fair, not all of it is consumed by the need to take off shoes. You only need maybe 2 sq m (1x2) to do that. You can see half the space in the picture was taken by the bathroom and the other half simply isn't used as efficiently as it could be. Imagine some full height rather than half height closets in that space and the space allocation looks significantly better.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I lucked out, inheriting my FIL's house in the medium-sized town of Kumamoto in an area with small lanes which prohibit construction, so we're surrounded by vacant lots which have returned to nature. We open our window to a view of a grove of trees. Quality of life trumps income opportunity.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I have a north-facing balcony (very rare in Japan) with a couple of chairs, a table, lighting and even fake grass, unlike all my other Tokyo neighbors. It helps a heck of a lot.

You want south facing in Japan for sunlight, north facing is generally cold and more susceptible to mould.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@rainyday

That floor plan at the top really lays bare the cost of Japan’s cultural aversion to indoor footwear. The area of the apartment devoted to spending 5 seconds taking your shoes off each evening takes up about a quarter of the floor space. Ouch.

I think the space for taking off one's shoes is actually usually on the small side in Japan. The Nordics have the same habit, and usually one 'room', the hallway, is dedicated for taking off your shoes, coats, gloves and so on, also in the smaller apartments. And I for one am so happy both cultures have this - wearing dirty shoes indoors is a repulsive thought.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@zichi

In Tokyo a 4.5 mat room is not a bedroom, it is an apartment.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Even in smaller cities or towns where you’d expect things to be different, they aren’t - all the new houses being built in rural Yamaguchi prefecture are squeezed onto the same 120 square metre lots that ones in Kanto are. Its bizarre.

which is why you dont buy a new home there are literally millions of unused homes in Japan, and while many of them are is bad condition there are plenty that aren't. My last city home was a used designer home sekisui house earthquake resistant etc new price the last owner bought it was 50million we bought it from bankruptcy action for 18 million renovated for about 2 million, basically a aesthetically new home for 20million 130sq/m

Lived in it for 7 yrs before deciding it was too small, we sold it for 1million less than it cost us so basically lived in it for 7yr at a cost of 1million yen for 130sq/m

We spent over year viewing dozens of homes/buildings when we finally found one that was too good to pass up. 20yr old building , most importantly , steel frames reinforced concrete floors and concrete walls. Build cost 20yrs ago was 80million yen we basically stole it for 25million including the land, reformed for about 4 million so now have a 3 storey home 440sq/m. has enough spaces to park 5 cars so no need to rent expensive city parking spaces.

Now it doubles as my home and business and my monthly bank loan is less than what it cost you to rent a 2 bedroom mansion in Tokyo. Yes I live in a semi rural area , but only about 50 minutes commute by car to Osaka.

What Im basically saying is you don't need to be wealthy to live in a spacious home in Japan, if you can sacrifice the so called convenience of city living , you can save a lot of money and stress associated with city living. Ironically we are within 5 minutes drive to 3 supermarkets and 15 minutes of 2 shopping malls, everything else we can get online, driving and parking is a breeze in rural Japan, we actually have more convenience where we are now compared to our last city home. LOL

4 ( +6 / -2 )

You see the need for a good quality home when events like this one happen.

A garden to grow vegetables if needed, and to get fresh air or watch the stars is the bare minimum I wish for my life.

Paris I think lost something like 25% of its inhabitants now !

16% were real inhabitants (not tourists nor foreigners).

They prefer the go to countryside when you can't go elsewhere thzn to your butcher's, baker's or supermaket...

In Japan, you will still be able to entertain so not as important, except if you are 60 or 70 when you risk way more your life, or a comorbidity acfection already.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hello Kitty 321

@zichi

In Tokyo a 4.5 mat room is not a bedroom, it is an apartment.

In Tokyo a futon cupboard is a one up, one down apartment.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Although I have mostly in large house I am always attracted by those tiny houses on wheel people build in America. Having lived off the grid for ten years, they appeal to me. Maybe in my finale years I will built one and park it on a beach and wait for the tide to come in and take me away.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

oldman is right. Prisoners are people too, and prison living spaces should be more humane.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why people choose to live in Tokyo is beyond me...

Because we work here and don’t want to spend 4 hours a day in commute.

Unless you are obsessed with living in downtown, there are plenty of good options around Tokyo. I am loving my WFH, plenty of exercise spending more time with wife and kid...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

which is why you dont buy a new home there are literally millions of unused homes in Japan, and while many of them are is bad condition there are plenty that aren't. 

True, I own a home here that I bought when it was 10 years old and its way nicer than what I would have gotten if I had bought a new one for the same price.

But for reasons I don’t fully understand, Japanese buyers insist on buying the tiny ugly grey cubes that are the only thing developers know how to make anymore, even when they could get way nicer places if they bought used ones.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Good observation; the ugly grey concrete cubes are endlessly promoted through hysterical, blanket advertising campaigns promising that it will last 100 years...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

At last the drawbacks of living in the most centralized society are showing up.

There are a few thousand islands around, but enjoying is very regimented.

Anyone on this channel missed his/hers motorcycle?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think many prefectures/cities have "house banks" which are for sale/rent. Good prices for used properties.

This is the link for on in our city.

https://www.city.tatsuno.lg.jp/machimiraisozo/akiyatouroku.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thanks for the link zichi. I pay more in annual rent in Tokyo than some of those houses cost to buy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No thank you, that’s why I bought a house, I would go nuts if I lived like that with my family. Our Japanese house is smaller than our American, but still having a house in Fukuoka is way more comfortable as well as spacious compared to Tokyo.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Is it Yen opposite of the quality of life what we are seeing in the early morning sky... three planets mars, jupiter, .. and is it an known over here?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sorry, but I've never seen an apartment here as tidy as in that model. You need to add at least twice the furniture, a bunch of files and old phone bills or other papers, dishes with no where to put them, and heaps of other stuff, then cut the size of the place in half. What kills me about most apartments here (I can deal with the clutter and relatively small space) is the whole "contract renewal payment", where you have to pay a month's rent or so every two years to "renew" your ability to stay there and pay rent. Along with key money, it's basically just a gift for absolutely nothing in return.

Anyway, I can see this being hell for people who don't normally get along, let alone when they're forced to spend much longer times together than usual.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Asking this because I really don't know, would it be ok to go outside and go for a walk, as long as one wore a mask and gloves, and practiced social distancing? Because I can see how staying indoors 24/7 would be a drag.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Number one reason people DONT buy larger nowadays....freakin taxes! Even down here me and my wife pay nearly 350,000 per year in taxes, on our house and land.

In Tokyo, for the same size house, on 100 tsubo of land...... yeah right!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

...I live in a 43m2 1LDK apartment and I love it because it’s the biggest I’ve lived in since I came to Japan. ha. Totally fine for one person. But for couples or families stuck in apartments this size or smaller it would be terrible.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

 I would go nuts if I lived like that 

Not everyone is tough enough for Tokyo, I guess.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Dang, how I'd love to live in a place as big as the one at the top of the article. I live in a 1K that's about 1/3 of the total size of that one on the photo.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

When you're spending all day glued to your Mobile phone , Gaming machine, or Computer - you don't really need much space - and Social Distancing is something that such people have been practicing for as long as they can remember.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

there are many people in Canadian cities that live in a rooming houses, small bachelor apartments and one room condos right next to the ones that own a 4000 sq Ft. chateau style houses.

In the USA in Tucson Arizona I saw hundreds of small dilapidated bungalows converted into rooming houses, totally unkempt, filthy with one person per room sharing the one kitchen and two bathrooms.

At least in Japan I never saw something dirty and unkempt.

But if you are used to socialize does not mather where, lockdown is not a pleasure, it is a necessary evil but necessary and should be respected for our own good.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not only in Tokyo. My apartment in Mexico City is 26m2. But I've been living here all my life, I get used to it. My parents house is about 70m2 + 10m2 patio. Apartments are very expensive here. But I don't really complain about it, it's enough for me and my husband.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

But for reasons I don’t fully understand, Japanese buyers insist on buying the tiny ugly grey cubes that are the only thing developers know how to make anymore, even when they could get way nicer places if they bought used ones.

exactly, the area I live in was originally a bubble era zone, people had plenty of money so built large home/buildings. The street I live on is like main street, and was once a popular shopping area back in the late 80 , 90s. Much of the buildings are large 1,2, 3 stories, but as people got older and retired its now basically turned into a residential street. While the older people slowly pass away theyre now knocking down some of the older buildings 30yrs + and replacing them 2~3 cube homes that are pumped out nowadays.

The reason I got my building so cheap is crazy, first its way to big for the average Japanese family to even contemplate living in, second the only person who'd what to buy it is a developer who'd probably split it into 2 or 3 apartments and then rent them out, so the owner was actually forced into a situation of selling it cheap or demolition it and selling the land. Being all steel and concrete, the foundation slab is about 4ft thick, Id hate to think how much that would cost.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In 5 minutes I can be in the mountains on a trail, in 10 minutes in front of a pure waterfall full of energizing ions.In 15 minutes I can be watching the waves lap the shore with a drink in my hand.

In Tokyo go 15 minutes anywhere and the view doesn’t change...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I am 5 minutes walk away from a riverside trail, 15 minutes away from a beach, and a 15 minute train ride away from Tokyo station.

As I said plenty of options in Tokyo, you need to know where to look...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

and a 15 minute train ride away from Tokyo station.

doesn't matter what you do in Tokyo you still have to share your transport you recreational spaces with 1000s of others, just last week I drove 15minutes to a local river with my family there are cherry blossom trees lined on both sides at least 200 for about 500m. Ive never liked cherry blossoms not because of the viewing but because of the ridiculous crowds.

Anyway we parked on the side rd had bento beside the river and there wasn't actually any need for social distancing since we only saw 1 other couple walking along the river on the other side, we spent about an 1hr there totally alone. Didn't have to fight our way back to the station to cram into a train to get back to our pigeon hole you'd call an mansion. lol

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I don't really complain about it, it's enough for me and my husband.

use to live in a similar size apartment in Umeda , central Osaka. city living is great when your single, throw a marriage and 2 kids into the mix believe me it gets very tiring very quickly. Now when the kids drive me nuts I can go to the 1st floor garage and work on my car or the 3rd floor take a run on my treadmill and watch the news or netflix while I do it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How many homes here have dish washers.

I have a dish washer, two fridges 900L for both , clothes dryer washing machine and a 800L industrial freezer, its 10yrs old and never been used still has plastic on it. last owner really only used it to store 10kg bags of rice to keep it fresh, they sold it with the building.

Like I said plenty of used bargain homes out there if you take time to look, you don't need to be wealthy to live comfortably/ spaciously , certainly not the case with living in Tokyo

0 ( +0 / -0 )

wtfjapan

How many homes here have dish washers.

I have a dish washer, two fridges 900L for both , clothes dryer washing machine and a 800L industrial freezer, its 10yrs old and never been used still has plastic on it. last owner really only used it to store 10kg bags of rice to keep it fresh, they sold it with the building.

We have no need for a dishwasher we are only two people. No need for a clothes dryer, the sun works for us.

Most home kitchens even in large house would not have a kitchen big enough.

I hope you are generating your own power.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have a north-facing balcony (very rare in Japan) with a couple of chairs, a table, lighting and even fake grass, unlike all my other Tokyo neighbors. It helps a heck of a lot

Yes I suggest such a place or rent a home with sun room, those are nice and adds to quality of life. Japanese arent so keen on QOL, they like to suffer. Beats me as to why. The excuse "nippon semai kara" is the tired one, but thats not really true. Homes in Japan are for the most part all the same and unimaginative, with the same companies building them, same appliances, same fixtures, same everything, although you can see some interesting homes where foreigners once lived 100 years ago.

A balcony with an East to West sun travel, is also good. In winter helps warm the room.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In 5 minutes I can be in the mountains on a trail, in 10 minutes in front of a pure waterfall full of energizing ions.In 15 minutes I can be watching the waves lap the shore with a drink in my hand.

In Tokyo go 15 minutes anywhere and the view doesn’t change...

Yes, you have discovered the key. Stay out of Tokyo, or surrounding cities. The hard part is finding a job out there but if you can, the open space is great. Tokyo IMO is one of the worst places on earth to live.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yep.

I was born in London and  I vowed never to be part of a rat race again.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@kurisupisu - curious what do you do to make money to live off ? Any good ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

little late to comment here but i really don't want to hear about sizes of your homes, and why you don't like to live in Tokyo .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

lol, the size of aparment on the story look way much bigger than the reality of the 1LDK people living in this single places.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have a house in Tokyo so internal space isn't an issue as such but I do miss having a garden. There are actually a couple of really nice parks close to mine so we use those a lot but I miss a private outside space.

There are great places to live in Tokyo and i'm very happy where I am.

It just seems as if the Japanese almost 'like' to live on top of each other. I often see clusters of houses all cramped up together in the countryside.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

doesn't matter what you do in Tokyo you still have to share your transport you recreational spaces with 1000s of others

You need to do that no matter what, if you stay 2 hours out of Tokyo you need to spend 2 hours in a crowded train. So until I get rich enough to have an island all for myself, I am staying put in Tokyo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Didn't have to fight our way back to the station to cram into a train to get back to our pigeon hole you'd call an mansion. lol

Generalizations are generally based on ignorance , not every apartment is a pigeonhole .

When you have a job in Central Tokyo, your kid goes to a school in central Tokyo and your wife works in Tokyo, why in the world would you put everyone through a 2-4 hour commute everyday just to be able to spend a few hours at a secluded spot on the weekend!!!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites