Monday, April 2, 2012


The street before the path to our apartment
(the path is to the right of the camera)
The path to our apartment
Our host families house and the stairs to our apartment
Steep stairs up to our apartment (the one in the far back)
Our little apartment is wonderful. Admittedly it's a bit old and worn, but it's cozy. It consists of an entry area, bathing room, toilet room, living room, bedroom, and partial kitchen. The apartment is very small and feels much like a private dorm, but it is perfect for the two of us. The floors in the living room and bedroom are traditional tatami woven mats and almost all the doors are either sliding panels or a magnet latch door.

When you enter the front door there is a little entry area where you take off your shoes and then step up into the house. To the right is a bathing room that has a tile floor with a drain, a small shower wand and a tiny square bathtub. (More on bathing in a later post) The toilet was a Japanese style (squat over the top) that someone added a western style seat to, so it's functional enough for us to use comfortably. The biggest difference is that there is a sink on top pf the tank and when you flush it pours out water so you can wash your hands. Also the flush handle has two directions "big" for lots of water and "little" for just a small amount. And we can actually read the kanji symbols on that one.

The living room is square with a heating pad covered by a small carpet and a low square coffee table on top. There is a little couch that is low to the ground and a tiny little makeup vanity with a mirror. The heating pad has been very nice in the morning as it still gets cold at night and there is no insulation in the walls. The bedroom has a little cot with a futon on it for Brian (he has to pull his legs up to his chest almost to fit, but there are a lot of blankets. Although I think he might be sleeping on the floor from now on instead. There is a small armchair, a mirror, a dresser and a large open closet. In the closet is my bed, a futon consisting of a thin little smaller than twin sized mattress and several fluffy blankets. The first night I slept with this on the floor was extremely uncomfortable but last night I found a second futon mattress in the back of the closet and was able to double the padding.

The kitchen is beside the living room, but every room has a door that leads into the others. It is rectangular and might have once been a fully functioning kitchen and dining room (but tiny) but now just has a sink, fridge and a desk for computers or studying. Our host mother doesn't want us making our own food (or at least that's what we assume she was saying) but we can have juice and snacks in the fridge.

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