Dealing with Japanese apartment sizes
アメリカや ヨーロッパの 国々の アパートは 平均して約80㎡ であることが 多く、40㎡ 以下に なることは ほとんど ありませんが、 日本の アパートは15㎡か それ以下が 多いです。
日本の アパートの 特徴を まとめてみました。
It is no secret that Japan has a problem with land availability, and due to its high population density, real estate and construction companies have had to become imaginative with their space arrangements. You have probably seen Japanese capsule hotels on TV or an article, and we are all aware of the stereotype of Japanese people living in very small spaces.
This is, however, a very real issue that people moving to Japan will have to get used to. While apartment in Western countries tend to average around 80m2 (or around 800ft2) and very rarely go below 40m2, you’ll find apartments in Japan as small as 15m2 or even smaller. This is due to the exorbitant price or housing, especially in the big cities. A single salary is often not enough to afford anything too spacious. If you don’t land a well paying job, you’ll have to get used to tiny kitchenettes and your bedroom being your living room. On top of all that, you might have to give up on having an oven, dishwasher, clothes dryer, or other conveniences. Interestingly, bathtubs are the last thing Japanese people will consider doing without, as they don’t consider showers good enough, so the bathroom shouldn’t be a problem at least.
The way Japanese people measure their apartments is different to what you’re used to. When you’re looking for a new place you’ll often see terms like 1LDK. Here, the number indicates the number of bedrooms, and the letters stand for Living, Dining, and Kitchen. So a 3LDK would be a big apartment, and a 1K a small one. Another thing you might have to familiarize yourself with is tatami mats. Many apartments have tatami, and are sometimes measured in tatami mats. One tatami mat is 1.65m2 or 18ft2.
Another downside to the size of apartments here is that they tend to cram as many apartments per floor as possible, to the detriment of lighting. Small apartments in Japan tend to get less sunlight than you might be used to, and places like the bathroom often have no windows at all.
The limited available space means you’ll have to be inventive about organizing your things and not live surrounded by clutter. While you might be used to having plenty of closets, drawers, or even a storage room, you’ll normally have to make do with a single closet in Japan, with no bar for hanging your clothes. The good news is that Japanese supermarkets and 100 yen stores offer a lot of storage solutions, such as plastic drawer chests, hanging bars, adjustable shelves, and so on. Or just get rid of your clutter and live a frugal life!
Hi, I’m Sergio.
I’m from Spain, lived in the UK for seven years and came to Japan in 2012.
I majored in journalism in London and have been teaching English in Tokyo.
I like traveling, cycling, photography, movies, and spending time with friends.
I wrote articles about life in Japan as a foreigner and anything that I might find interesting.
My email is ” firstname.lastname@example.org “, by all means contact me about anything!
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