It’s been a long time since I’ve had Internet at my apartment, but I finally have a brand new modem and Internet provider, so I can finally update my blog. This one is way overdue, but let me show you my little apartment here in Maibara. Well, I actually live in a small, rural town right outside of Maibara called Ominagaoka, which is considered part of Maibara.
This is my apartment building, “Mountview.” My apartment is the one on the second floor to the left of the staircase.
And here’s my bike! I travel predominately by bike and by train. Thankfully, my bike has a basket to hold my groceries, and it has a headlight for when I ride at night.
This is the 玄関 (genkan), which is the entrance way into a traditional Japanese home. Here, you take off your shoes before entering the home.
Pretty much all restrooms in Japan have their light switches right outside the door, so you turn on the lights before walking into the room. In fact, many rooms in Japan are set up like this. In Japanese restrooms, you wear “WC slippers” (Water Closet), so that you don’t soil your feet with the relatively “unclean” floor. Also, there’s a sink on top of the toilet, and the clean water that fills the tank runs through the faucet first so that you could clean your hands. It’s one way to conserve water for the Japanese.
Here’s my little kitchen. I don’t have much storage space or cabinets, unfortunately. Nor do I have an oven or a toaster.
However, I do have a gas stove, fish broiler, rice cooker, and a microwave, so I get along fine.
In Japan, you have to sort your trash into multiple categories. Above are my trash cans; the yellow bin is for burnables, the blue bin is for nonburnables, and the green is for plastics. I have additional bags for bottles, aluminum cans, and batteries. Below is a picture of the trash-sorting instructions for my city. Each trash category has a different day of the week in which I may dispose of it.
Also, most sinks in rural Japan do not have trash disposals, so I have to rinse my plates over the little refuse colander.
Here’s my bathroom. In the second picture, you see a typical Japanese bath. In Japan, an entire family would draw a hot bath and use the same water for everyone. So, someone would thoroughly clean themselves with the shower head before stepping into the bath itself.
Like many Japanese apartments, I only have a washer machine for my laundry, so I have to hang up my clothes to dry them.
I have two rooms with tatami mats (straw mats). This room has my closet and a desk, but this room has no A/C, so its too hot right now to spend much time in this room. The type of sliding doors in this room is called fusuma.
And this the room I usually hang out in, because it’s the only room in my apartment with an A/C unit. At night, this is where I lay out my futon. During the day, it is best to roll up your futon to prevent it from getting moldy from the humid summer climate. And this type of sliding door is called shouji.
Lastly, this is a gift from one of my school’s principals. His hobby is shodou, or Japanese calligraphy, so he painted the kanji for “new” for me, since one of the readings for this kanji is “sara.”