At last we have a home of our own! We greatly appreciate the help of our friends here in Japan in assisting us with our house hunting efforts. We found what is called a “5 DK” (5 rooms plus a dining/kitchen) available to rent at a great price. Plus it is within walking distance to one of the best parks around! This home is a real answer to prayer!
Now that we’ve found a home, we have been busy setting everything up. We moved in with just the bags we brought on the airplane. That has ment that a lot of time has been spent buying and assembling furniture over the past couple of weeks. While the furniture at IKEA is the cheapest stuff around (even less expensive than the local second hand shop), it does come in tiny bits. Chris spent many hours putting things together. Thankfully Thomas came to his rescue with power tools and the process proceded much more quickly!
We are not fully moved in yet, but I couldn’t wait to show you around our new home…
When you first walk into our home you find this entry way. In Japan you always take off your shoes before entering the home. Our house came with this shoe cupboard, but it did not come with a coat closet. So, I assembled a free standing coat rack and added it to our entry way.
From the entry way, you go up a step and are then in the main hallway. It is a wide hallway. Because of the extra room we moved the china cabinet, that was left in the house by the previous occupants, into the hallway. This gave us some more space in the small kitchen. At the end of the hallway you can see the staircase that lead to the second story. Like many homes in Japan each room is separate and has doors as opposed to an open floor plan. This allows you to heat or cool one room at a time and saves on utility bills.
To the right of the entry way is our living room. It’s difficult to tell from the pictures, but the living room is covered in a pale green textured wallpaper. I plan on hanging up the curtains I brought with me from the US on the window above if I can figure out how to get the hooks off of this curtain rod.
This photo shows our deep window sill where I have a bunch of photo frames. Now I just need to add pictures! LOL! Where the wooden chair is I now have a recliner that we just purchased (after the picture was taken) that matches the couch. You can also get a glimpse of our Air conditioner unit. Like most homes in Japan there is no central heat or air. We have an A/C unit in Wesely’s room, but we don’t have any heaters yet.
This is my IKEA “cubbie” that I plan to use as a TV stand. The books will be moved out and DVD cases will be moved in once those items arrive from our shipment from the Philippines. Also, in this photo you can see the sliding door that leads into our kitchen. We keep extra dining room chairs in front of this door.
Adjoining the living room is the eat in kitchen. Because of a lack of counter space and easily accessible cupboards, we got this occasional table from IKEA. We use it to house our small appliances, a few everyday dishes and for some of our food storage. I also use it as a workspace when cooking. Next to it is a fridge that a Japanese friend was kind enough to lend us (along with the convection/microwave oven).
This table folds out to sit up to 8 people. We plan to paint the chairs white to match the table. This is all of the built in kitchen that came with the house. Actually, we had to add the range. Thankfully a friend lent us one. The window sill is nice and deep and I use it to store our dish drainer, spices and canisters.
Across from the living room and to the left of the front door is the traditional Japanese room that we made our bedroom. The paper framed walls are window covers. Next to the bed behind the paper shades is a sliding glass door. As a side note, since this picture was taken we now have a lamp shade.
Our bed isn’t quite finished yet. I bought a duvet and a cover for it, only to discover that the cover was the wrong size. I still need to go back to Nitori, a local home furnishing store to get a full size duvet cover. I plan to get a Navy blue one.
This photos shows the closet doors and the sliding doors into our room.
Just past our bedroom and to the left of the staircase is the sink/laundry room. The vanity is typical of Japanese homes. The walls cannot support a towel rack, so I assembled a child sized free standing coat rack on which to hang our towels.
Adjoining the sink/laundry room is the shower room. Traditionally in Japan a person showers and then once clean, soaks in the small, but deep tub. You can see that this tub comes up well past Hudson’s waist when he is standing inside it. In most Japanese homes the tub is filled once and the water is saved for the entire family to take turns using it
Just to the right of the stair case is a small toilet room. Water comes out the top when you flush so that you can wash your hands. Other than that it is an ordinary toilet and not nearly as fancy as some of the Japanese toilets can be. There is also a toilet room just like this one upstairs.
Continued in part 2…