Our apartment is actually quite spacious. It’s larger than the apartment we lived in back in Canada.
When one enters our home from the parking lot, they will be standing in the shoe depository – a lovely tiled land where one exchanges shoes for slippers. The slippers must never be corrupted by the cold and alienating tile floor. Such an instance is strictly forbidden. When facing inwards, directly to your right is our laundry/washing room and adjoining shower room. Directly to your left is our toilet closet. Just in front of you would be an ascending staircase which joins our bedroom and guest bedroom with the rest of the house.
If you stumble beyond the stairwell, you will wind up in our kitchen. Our kitchen is vastly inferior to anything I have ever had the pleasure of cooking in before. It lacks any semblance of counter space. There is a minute fish oven, but no full sized oven. We do, however, have a toaster oven…but alas, it is largely suited only for toast. There is no longer a microwave/oven (yes, two in one, not to be confused with a microwave oven) as it was putrid and unusable. Unfortunately, there is also no rice cooker as sometime in the not so distant past, it’s liner succumbed to multiple vicious assaults with a metal spoon.
Adjoining the kitchen is our multi-purpose room. This is where we sit on the floor to complete various activities, including but not limited to: eating, watching anime, blogging, listening to music, playing video games, studying, swearing at MacBooks and iPhones, further threatening my iPhone with the fish oven, and so on.
Some fascinating facts about Japanese homes in general. There is no central heating. Hence our kotatsu, a table for eating at which is roughly a foot off the ground. Mounted to the base of the table is a kerosine heater. I’m sure one of my cultural lessons this winter with be learning a new definition of ‘a hot foot.’ As the air temperature inside will be roughly identical to the temperature outside our house, we have several kerosine heaters and a heated rug for the purpose of heating our living space. We would love to have company during the winter as your body temperature will greatly increase the air temperature of our house.
The Japanese also love to recycle and sort their garbage into more categories than you could possibly imagine. Unfortunately, they also love to individually wrap every morsel you may wish to inhale. Although I have yet to see them wrap every individual chip in a single bag of chips, I won’t be terribly surprised if I encounter such a bag sometime during our stay. Be weary of what you are purchasing. If too much garbage builds up, you may find yourself doing a ride-a-train-and-dump. Train stations are prime targets for disposing of regular trash. They are less stringent about sorting as passengers are generally in a hurry to get from point A to B-C-and eventually D.
Although there are many other interesting items worthy of mention regarding Japanese homes, I feel I must leave it at that for today as the primary reason for this blog entry was simply to show our home to others. It is cozy – weather permitting – and has most everything we need to survive. Now that we finally have something akin to a chair (bye-bye tatami cushions, hello glorious cushions with backs!), we are beginning to feel more settled and truly perceive our apartment as our home.