Anyway. I thought you guys would like to see what a Japanese house in Tokyo looks like!
Tokyo, as many of you know, is a BIG city. Like, 12-million people big. It is hooge. So a lot of people in a small area means smaller houses. The place I'm about to show you, Matt and Hiroko's place, you may think, is small. But realistically, it's a decent-size house for the Tokyo area. Plus, it's near a train station, and location is everything in Tokyo.
And so, I give you, A PLACE IN TOKYO.
This is the entrance. The floor where our shoes are is where shoes come and STAY. There is no wearing shoes in a Japanese house, ever. They're very clean. In fact, the Japanese word for clean, kirei, also means beautiful. It's a theme in Japanese houses.
Standing in the doorway, you can see the staircases.
Go up the stairs and you'll find Matt and Hiroko's room! The elevated area is where they sleep, and it's hard to see but there's more floor space than there appears.
Matt at the balcony just inside their bedroom.
This is where things get interesting. Remember that three-part bathroom I talked about earlier? Okay, well here's the first part. On the left, not pictured here, is the shower, and straight ahead in a separate section is the toilet. The slippers there are part of the "clean and beautiful" theme; the space near the toilet is considered "dirty", so when you use the toilet you slip on those slippers, do your business, take the slippers off and then step back into the front section of the bathroom, so that your feet remain "clean" at all times.
The toilet! On the left is a control panel. If you didn't look up what a "bidet" is, it's a spout of water that cleans your butt. Yep. Japanese. There are five important buttons: "Small", to flush only some water, used when you pee, "Big", when you do your other business. Then there's a bidet for your crotch, your butt, and the "stop" button when you want the water to stop shooting at you.
This part is cool. There's a drain just along the edge of the bath tub. Remember the clean theme, now. So when you want to shower, you close the door of this room and lock it. Then you take the spout and actually shower and use soap, shampoo, etc, on the "floor" of this room. Once you're all clean, you fill up the tub (as full as you want, usually overflowing; but it's okay, there's a drain!) and relax inside of it. Some Americans in Japan just shower and do the relaxing thing once in a while, but I think for Japanese people using the bath along with the shower is more regular.
Once we've gone down all the stairs, you find this door (it says "President's office" - it was kind of a joke with the previous owner, but this is where he did his work. And translated my two favorite games!!).
Right now I've made this place a mess, but you get the idea. There's a flatscreen on the left, my bed is on the floor, a couch in the corner, books, suitcases, etc.
Back up the stairs and through the entrance is the kitchen! The fridge is to the right there.
Past the kitchen is the living area! The table is near to the floor and we use cushions to sit near it. In the winter, a big, heated blanket is used and everyone gets real happy about it (can't wait to use one). Underneath the table is space for your legs when you're sitting next to the table, if you're not sitting cross-legged or on your knees, and when you're not using that space for your legs, the cushions go there! Past there is where Matt and Hiroko work on their computers, and at the very back is a porch!
Kawaii!! (cute!!). It's more spacious than it appears, but it's kind of triangular in shape so it's hard to picture.
Also, if you're wondering about the title, Matt and Hiroko's friend (who I'm actually JUST going to miss, he's coming into town in two and a half weeks or so) used to live here, and he's a translator like they are. He worked on translating Final Fantasy X and X-2 here, my two favorite games of the entire Final Fantasy series. For realsies. It's awesome.
Also, if you want to have an idea of what the transit system looks like in Tokyo, here's a hand-held map:
And that's just above-ground.
Thanks for reading! See you guys soon!