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Noise complaints on rise in Tokyo as stay-home campaign drags on

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The onus is on architects for improving sound absorption in Japanese apartments.

24 ( +28 / -4 )

Stop the "stay home" BS and problem is solved!

-17 ( +11 / -28 )

And the award for the worlds most highly strung people goes to...

7 ( +12 / -5 )

@Alexander

Exactly. I can hear my neighbor walking or taking shower (here every single drop).

Usually it doesn't bother me, except when they take their shower at 2 am. In my country, they are first regulations for noise in construction (so the shower noise case would never happen) and laws that forbid excessive noises after 10 pm. But Japan only have laws for factories or construction, none for neighbors.

Proper noise insulation is not expensive, so construction companies have zero excuses. And according to the article, it could actually save lives. Nobody likes being disturbed at home when relaxing after a day of work (or worse at night while sleeping). I had to move out 3 times in 4 years before I could find a place where the neighborhood was not too noisy.

27 ( +27 / -0 )

I agree with Alexander. I lived in a small two-story apartment over the winter and the sound-proofing was nonexistent. When the neighbours walked up their stairs, it was as though they were walking up my stairs. When they talked, coughed, laughed etc I could hear it all!

Why they're allowed to build such cheap quality apartments is beyond me. Ps. The building might have been cheap, but the rent wasn't: 90,000yen/month!

21 ( +22 / -1 )

I lived in Japan for almost 14 years, I visited Kanto three times Tokyo once and Yokohama twice. Living in a very rural area of Hokuriku area for many many years, I could not stand even two days in Kanto. If there in this I would not even know how to survive so I understand how people could not even stand all the noise or even being locked in there apartment the size of a homes enterence way would make anyone go insane..

11 ( +13 / -2 )

"Tokyo police received 24,245 phone calls reporting excessive noise in March and April"

And in 100% of those cases, they did nothing.

28 ( +29 / -1 )

"Norihisa Hashimoto, professor emeritus of the Hachinohe Institute of Technology in Aomori Prefecture, who heads the General Research Laboratory of Noise Problem"

Wonder if the professor's lab is a noisy place to work?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Maybe if they didn't build their walls from paper....

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Quite an awesome photo. Nice to see that outdoor freedom. They sure don't look bored.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

I learned my lesson early on in a very well built apartment building in Kobe. Even in that structure I could hear the woman above us vacuuming at 12 midnight, and the neighbor below complained when we had a birthday party on a Sunday late afternoon. After moving to Tokyo I have only lived in townhouses with 2 floors. I have had no noise problem after that.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Only if the walls were not built like tents and built like actual houses, people would have less to stress over. while it isn't your fault that you make noises when you move, it would still bum other people out if it kept up. Better lock your doors and double check who's knocking, it might be an angry neighbor who's fed up with it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I must be one of the fortunate ones, with very well insulated home and soundproof walls. Private home does wonders if built to the owners specifications. It was worth the price tag and investment. Soundly sleeping at night.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I must be one of the fortunate ones, with very well insulated home and soundproof walls. Private home does wonders if built to the owners specifications. It was worth the price tag and investment. Soundly sleeping at night.

It's possible to rent a decent detached house if you move far enough out of the centre of town for not much more than an apartment—for prices that simply aren't possible in the west (the same goes for buying). I'm considering doing just that.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I have friends in Tokyo with purpose built apartments to good specs and the neighbors can't be heard. Sound sleep every night.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese apartments are absolutely terrible, they are only built to withstand earthquakes and nothing else. I can't believe even basic things like double glazing aren't included. Detached homes are often very nice in comparison, or at least no noise from neighbours!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

it should be compulsory for new build homes to have decent insulation - for noise reduction and to keep the place warmer in winter and cooler in summer

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Years ago, my wife's friend and her boyfriend(now husband) lived in an apartment with really thin walls. So they rented an extra dirt cheap Leopalace apartment out in the country with no neighbors so they could do some "wrestling" anytime without noise complaints lol

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I live in a building built of reinforced concrete slabs about 15 cm thick. Even that doesn’t help if the upstairs neighbors want to be loud and listen to music at two in the morning.

The first time you call the police and they sort things out ... for a short time.

Next time, you take matters into your own hands and explain more sharply to them that I can arrange for them to experience the free fall from the ninth floor along with the sound system ... for now, they don’t seem interested.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Noise complaints on rise in Tokyo

Wait until the complaints start about theft by hungry people with no money.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Whilst there's plenty of blame to go around, people who have a very low tolerance for anything should NOT be living in crowded areas in the first place.

Having said that, I've got to agree with many of the previous comments about how construction standards really need to leave the dark ages behind. Poor noise insulation isn't the only problem. Proper heat insulating walls and at least double glazing are a must. While we're at it, electric water heaters should replace those inefficient gas ones.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Love thy neighbor, you may need them one day!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can hear my neighbor fart,snore, shower,talking on his phone,moving around his apaato, everything.Infact it's as if we live in the same room.Only a thin cardboard type wall separates us,I suspect it's either made from cartons or just papers and the rent is way up.

When I first moved in,some cops showed up and asked me about my car and my gaijin card and then told me that I should not have parties since gaijin are known to have noisy parties.They then told me that since the building and neighborhood has some young girls,I should keep my hands off them.WTF..

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The onus is on architects for improving sound absorption in Japanese apartments.

You might be surprised how often architects make a better plan, but the builders tell them to make changes in order to save money. Don't imagine that the architects just design whatever they feel like!

The onus is certainly not on the architects.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Whilst there's plenty of blame to go around, people who have a very low tolerance for anything should NOT be living in crowded areas in the first place.

People who have a very low tolerance and do not have a choice in the matter have options. One, invest in custom made earplugs that eliminate almost all noise but alarms. Noise cancelling headphones are a second option, but not easy to sleep in.

People from the city who move to the country for quiet are often upset by the amount of noise made by animals such as crows, gulls and even little morning songbirds. It may not be the solution they hope for.

In Japan's buildings without adequate soundproofing it might be time to institute policies that people enjoy their music with headphones only.

...some cops showed up and asked me about my car and my gaijin card and then told me that I should not have parties since gaijin are known to have noisy parties.

Ken, the party guy in my building was Japanese. So much for the accuracy of bias, belief and prejudice.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

People are very inconsiderate of others today. Give your neighbors a break and turn down the volume, and don’t just let your children run wild all day.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@philly1

I completely agree.Cops here or rather most Japanese people are very biased and assuming when it comes to judging foreigners.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

philly1 nailed it as far as I am concerned. I wear ear plugs every night for a good night's sleep. And I have invested in a great pair of noise reduction headphones and when I am wearing them I hear zilch from anyone living in other apartments. Highly recommended for your sanity!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm just glad I don't live in an apartment! Standalone house is the way to go!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

re: @ Alexander O'NeillToday 06:53 pm JST

It's possible to rent a decent detached house if you move far enough out of the centre of town for not much more than an apartment—for prices that simply aren't possible in the west (the same goes for buying). I'm considering doing just that.

Well my home is in Tokyo and the majority of the homes are all well built by great homebuilder. Rent? no way why put my money into someone else's bank when it is just fine in mine. Not sure about the west, my home is here n Japan. It was worth the investment and costs. Highly recommend for any youngsters to set their goals and work towards achieving the goal of owning the home vs rental for 20 plus years. Get 2 jobs if that is what it takes to get into a home, stay away from credit, 1, if you have to charge you can't afford it unless it's an emergency 2. if you need to check your balance at the ATM then you should be at the ATM at all, leave the money in the bank, one should always know their balance everyday.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

re: rgcivilian1

I agree for sure. I just don't know how long I can stick around yet. But it's definitely cheaper to buy in Japan than in Canada.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Rent? no way why put my money into someone else's bank when it is just fine in mine.

Well if you're in the U.S. and single just rent and use the remainder for stock and bond investments.

Pro Tip: Too noisy? Let the doom and gloom people stay home and open the economy back up for the rest of us.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Japanese apartments are absolutely terrible, they are only built to withstand earthquakes and nothing else"

They're not alone.

25 Million homes in the UK are poorly built, lack insulation, cockroach/rat infested, creaking floor boards, decaying wallpaper, you can hear your neighbours passing w..d.

Nothing particular in here.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

When I used to rent, the apartment quality was variable - Paper thin walls where you could hear literally ... everything, through to solid stone - impenetrable WiFi... and no sound from the Neighbours.

Nowadays, I have a detached house but because the foundations are sort of close to the Neighbours, I can on occasion hear their muffled "Randy" activities in the early hours (maybe once per year), or some occasional loud music - depends upon the Neighbour - it's nothing though, in comparison to living in a high-rise complex where you have it from 8 sides at best.... (L, R, UL, U, UR, DL, D, DR).

In general, when you live with permanent Neighbours (in such a situation) you all (in general) learn to appreciate your Neighbourly behaviourisms. However with the come and go Neighbours.... things are different, and should you dislike that, the alternatives can be quite expensive should you be able to afford it.

@zichi - I believe you have a place out in the sticks, so it must be quite tranquile for you ? And, on the plus side you probably aren't living in a Shoebox too...! (Something for people to bear in mind when deciding where to live here in Japan).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Time to invest in SONY's Noise Cancelling headphones. Pricey but worth every cent.

Actually, all these lockdowns with folks being told to stay at home...is a golden opportunity for SONY and other Japanese audio companies. Rather than neighbors killing each other, SONY would make a killing if they marketed their noise cancelling headphones now. They could sweeten the deal with free delivery.

Oi, SONY ! You listening?

Wait, was that a pun? Listening? Tee Hee!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

As long as it’s not rap music, I can usually deal with the extra noise.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

And to think on top of all the noise problems we get the pay 'gift' money to renew our contract every two years to a real estate company that spends nothing on maintenance. Landlords in NZ are now forced by government policy to make sure their rentals are very comfortable, safe and sound. This apartment in Tokyo is like an ice box in winter and the tropical jungles of Borneo in the summer; we had to buy two air cons in order to keep from frying like eggs on an Aussie outback road.

Problems with noisy neighbors may come from the fact that people just do not seem to know how to communicate well with their neighbors here. Again, in NZ or Aussie (many other locations for sure) one normally just pops next door with a polite attitude and ask, please can you keep the noise level down a little and 99% of the time most people say "sure bro" while the other 1% have noise control (third party) deal with the problem. Most of the people I know in Tokyo don't even no the names of their next door neighbors, let alone are able to talk with them about issues.

It is extremely sad to read that someone gets killed over noise and high stress, a terrible way for a young guy to loss his life. Time to make a difference and it all begins with us taking the first steps in order to get alone with each other in a time of great stress. Take care people of Tokyo because it's a long road ahead...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I guess I am the lucky one a corner mansion with no neighbors on either side, well built, yes my rent is a little high but not as high like living in central Tokyo and since I teach out of my home a tax deduction. In addition, my home is near the station and with no car, no insurance and all the other jazz that goes with owning a car so I figure cheaper than living in Canada.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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