Video Blog 13 – Our Japanese Apartment

Video Transcript

Kristina: So this is the tour of our Japanese apartment. The building we’re living in is translated to mean Towney Beetle, and this is the front entryway where you take off your shoes and you have a little rack that you put your shoes in, and we put other stuff in there, too. So this is the kitchen/kind of dining room area. When we first got the place we didn’t know that we weren’t gonna have a stove. Traditionally, in Japan, I guess you have to buy a stove, so that’s where it would have been, but we’re using this kerosene stovetop instead. And this is the only counter space that we have, so we have this little thing that goes over the sink for a little extra cutting space and whatnot. Here there would be a table if we were staying longer, but there’s not. We’ve got a big fridge and a microwave, which we’re thankful for because we didn’t have a big fridge in London, and then we have all of our recyclables because everything gets sorted as seen over here (indicates chart). Everything gets sorted on a different day and has to go in different bags and canisters, so it’s a lot of work. Here’s our lovely Sumo calendar that our lovely couch-surfing host gave us – very kind of him.

And then we go to the washer room. This is our Japanese washer, which we had to get someone to translate the settings for us because we can’t read any of it. But apparently “dry” does not mean the same thing as it means in the US, “Dry” just means “not as wet” instead of actually dry. This is our toilet and it has a little sink on top, and here’s all of the settings that we don’t use. Um, clearly that’s to wash something (points to button), and if we had an outlet in the bathroom we would be able to have the seat warmed, but we can’t. But usually in Japan the seats are warmed on the toilets, which is nice. And then this is our shower with a big tub, so the whole room can be a shower, and you can see how small the tub is. I fit quite nicely but Cody doesn’t. TAnd then, to turn on any hot water in the kitchen or the bathroom we have to turn it on from here, and then you have to turn it off when you’re done.

And then we have our own living room, which is probably the best part. Nice, big TV, a little couch and table, and a nice rug. And we have sliding doors. Very traditional Japanese sliding doors, and this is our bedroom which has Japanese mats which are very traditional as well. This is our single bed that we both sleep on. We could have bought a futon to put on the floor but then what would we do with the bed frame so we’re basically just dealing with this for a few months. Also, we have an outside balcony to hang our clothes dry. So this is our backyard and this is where we hang our clothes, and somebody else’s house and the main street.

So that’s our Japanese apartment! I’m trying to think of any other quirky things about living here. There’s no central air conditioning and no central heating, so we had to borrow heaters from PRI [Primate Research Institute]. The lights have three settings: “super bright”, “not a big difference”, and then “have to squint” which doesn’t completely make sense. There’s no three-pronged outlets, really, except for one, and that’s why my computer is charging from the top of the wall. So, that’s it! We have to walk about a half mile to get groceries, which isn’t too bad. We don’t have phone service, we’re just using wifi which foreigners can’t get wifi but we were lucky enough to have someone help us out with a contract. It’s really hard to get a drivers’ license over here. If you’re American you have to take a test because in America, Japanese people have to take a test, so it’s an eye for an eye, whereas if you’re European or from the UK, you don’t have to take a test at all, you just get your license. So we’re not even gonna drive here, either. So that’s our little tidbit on living in Japan and I hope you enjoyed our episode of Cody and Kristina’s cribs.

Thank you for watching.