Missed giving you all an update because we were moving out of our hotel and into new apartments. I actually had my keys in hand for several days, but it took so long to organize the delivery of my shipment-- and at the same time the other new teachers took a bit longer to make their decisions. (One of them still hasn't-- and understandably so. We all want to make sure we're making the best possible choice, and these choices take time.)
The walking tour and pictures continue after the jump -->
Well, onto the tour. But now that I think about it, I really should have taken some pictures of the outside building and surrounding areas. Ah, a subject for another post.
When you open my front door, you'll see the first picture-- my entrance hall, or genkan, where you take off you shoes. The cabinet to the left is for storing all your shoes. Guess they're expecting me to have a lot of company.
The next two pictures are the bedrooms, located on your right. The empty one will probably stay empty for a long while, as I got to prioritize my furniture purchases for next few months. But if anyone wants to come to visit me, here's your guest room! The other room is slightly larger and has closet space. The dresser and bed/headboard were left behind by my predecessor, for which I can't be more thankful. It gave me a comfortable sleep on my first night in a new place.
Okay, if you go down the hall, you'll see all the way into the money shot-- that great view. I took another picture of the living/dining area and a couple of close ups of the windows. Basically, it looks like I'm in the middle of a forest. Which is kinda what the apartment complex is backed up into. Beautifully landscaped, it's hard to believe I'm in Tokyo! (Well, the suburb I'm in is pretty much removed from the hustle and bustle of major intersections and metro stations. Believe me, that's both good and bad-- and I alternate on just HOW good or HOW bad it is many times a day.)
Next to the living/dining area is the tatami room. Pretty much every Japanese place has this. The mats are called tatami and are built into the floor, and that's where most Japanese people sleep. There are huge cabinets to the left where you're suppsed to keep these futon-like mattresses that are your bed/bedrolls. And yup, those are sliding wood-and-paper doors on the far side of the room, but they open to glass sliding doors and my balcony. I'm looking forward to making this my "Japanese room" and maybe have some cushions and a small tea table or something. Alternatively, I'll set up some stuff to make this more of an artist studio or something.
In between the bedrooms and the living rooms is the kitchen and the bathroom(s). The kitchen is pretty straight forward. Except that sink is huge-- enough room for two sinks! And there isn't really an oven (nearly every Japanese house won't have an oven) and no one ever includes a refrigerator. The bathrooms(s) need separate explainations. First of all, the toilet is in its own tiny room. Yup, I got one of those fancy Japanese toilet seats, too, that warms itself (ew) and has a bidet and spray functions (double ew). The little toilet room even has its own little sink. How cute. The shower and bath have their own room, too. The entire little room is the whole shower, actually, with the bathtub to the side. (You're supposed to shower first and then go in the tub to soak. Except the tub is pretty much a basin, so you can't strectch out like a spa or anything.) The anteroom to the shower area is a wide area with the bathroom sink and an area for a washer/dryer.
Weird to end the tour in the bathroom, but there you go. So who's coming to visit?