Things that are the Same
Internet - Ah yes, the wonders of the internet are here in
One of the other awesome things that keep us connected to the
Of course, we also occupy our TV time with other activities. For example, one Monday night after work, Dan had Rich over for pizza, beer, and Monday night football (previously recorded on Sunday). Yes,
Things that are Different
Refrigerator – Size is somewhere between a dorm fridge and a normal fridge. It’s ok.
Microwave – We were slightly confused at first about the large blue button on our microwave. Obviously, the upper right blue switch can be set to 'steaming coffee cup' for the purpose of heating things such as steamy beverages. But what in the world did the snowflake mean? Is this a special microwave that reverse heats? (Note: We eventually figured this one out, but were confused for a little while.)
Things that are Better
Better Windows, Better Curtains - At our
38 Degree Programmable Water - Ok, you can actually program it for other temperatures. But 38 degrees is a great temperature for a shower. No crazy water temperature variation; just set it and it stays warm. We first experienced this pleasant consistent shower phenomenon when we were in
Toilet – Like the toilet at the first Starbucks that we visited here in
Shower Room – The shower curtain is another feature of our current condo that may soon be replaced. Here, you don’t stand in the tub to shower; you have an entire bathing room. The room is approximately 1 meter by 2 meters. It has a deep soaking tub next to the area where you shower. The idea is that you soap up, shower off then soak in the tub when you are clean. While we don’t take the typical Japanese shower/soak, it is nice to have enough space to turn around in the shower. The picture here does not do it justice.
Washer/Dryer - It's awesome. You put clothes in, push some buttons, and wait. The clothes are washed then dried in the same device. No more asking, “Is it time to switch the laundry?” We totally need one of these at our condo.
Things that are Worse
39 square meters (worse? better?) – This is the smallest place Dan and I have ever lived. Well, maybe our college dorm rooms were smaller. Basically we have about 390 square feet. While this sounds super small, it is very well laid out. We have plenty of room to live. So far the biggest problem we have had is Dan getting used to the space. He has hit his hand on the ceiling of the closet, his head on the wall in the bathroom, his elbow on the shower wall, his arm on the bedroom wall, and his forehead on the cupboard (nasty bruise). However, his abuse of the apartment has decreased recently and he is living in more harmony with the small space.
Unconnected beds – For a week, we had 2 separate, twin beds. We knew from our experiences in
Instructions for Everything (Heater/Air Conditioner, Washing Machine, Bath Tub, Toilet) – All instructions are in Japanese. We had to get Kay to explain some of them to us. Some of them are still a mystery, including the rice cooker. However, the rice cooker will make us rice if we push enough buttons. Here is a picture of the controls for our shower room "Dry-Fan 24."
We love our Japanese apartment. It is helping us to realize our dream of owning and using less stuff in our lives. Every time we move, we wonder what we packed in the 35-45 boxes that are following us around. Now that we live in
A view from here on the 12th floor: