living

Ever dreamed of spending the night in a bookstore? Junkudo offering the chance to do just that!

A little over a year ago, someone in Japan tweeted that they would “love to live in Junkudo”, one of the country’s largest book store chains. Little did they know that someone at that very company would not only see the tweet, but decide to make that pipe dream a reality, inviting a small band of book lovers in Tokyo to spend the night in the giant bookstore with sleeping bags, giving them entirely free rein to pick up any book or magazine they pleased.

This year, the company is bringing the “Try Living in Junkudo” project to an even bigger three-story shop in Osaka—and on Halloween, no less!

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Poop quietly: One-room Tokyo apartment’s toilet has only a curtain for privacy

When hunting for an apartment in the Tokyo area, it’s important to keep in mind what you’re really looking for in a living space. Housing is expensive in general in Japan, and that goes double for the neighborhoods in and around its biggest city, so after picking out a few features or aspects you have to have, it’s best to be willing to compromise on other factors.

For example, you might have your heart set on a corner room, but don’t mind tatami reed floors. Maybe you can deal with having a wall-mounted water heater if your living room gets a lot of natural light. Or perhaps being less than a 15-minute train ride from downtown Tokyo will instantly seal the deal, even if the trade-off is that the apartment’s bathroom doesn’t have any walls.

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Moving to Tokyo? Real estate agent picks five best neighborhoods for single residents

Tokyo is a big place, both in terms of population and area, and if you’re moving here from anywhere else, you might be at a bit of a loss in terms of where to look for an apartment. Obviously, a large part of that decisions is up to personal preference, but we do happen to have some advice for areas to look at if this will be your first time living alone!

These five areas were selected by a local real estate agent, so you know they must be good, right?

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Fancy a change? Magazine survey picks Japan’s 10 best towns to live in

The idea of living in a high-rise condo in downtown Tokyo makes for a nice daydream. Between the high cost of housing and the inescapable hustle and bustle of Japan’s capital, though, when it comes time to actually pick a home, many people decide they’d rather live in one of Japan’s other cities, or one of Tokyo’s suburbs at least.

Underlining this trend are the results of a survey by newly formed magazine Aene which asked Japanese housewives which town they’d be happiest living in. Central Tokyo failed to crack the top 10, although the number-one pick isn’t too far away from the capital.

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Ridiculously tiny apartment may be downtown Tokyo’s cheapest (with good reason)

Before marriage compelled me to look for nicer living quarters, I lived in a an apartment that was….less than spacious. At first, I ate my meals off the top of my microwave, since it took several months of rearranging my belongings to create enough floor space for a low-lying table.

In the five years I lived in that bunker, I never did figure out a configuration which would allow me to cram a chair into it, but eventually I got used to having an extremely Spartan home. Even still, I don’t think I could manage living in the apartment of one Tokyoite, which measures just under five square meters (54 square feet).

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Japanese Netizens ask: Would you move into an “accident site” apartment for cheaper rent?

Tokyo’s astronomical rent costs mean people will go to great lengths to find a cheaper deal. For many, this means living up to a 30-minute walk from their apartment’s nearest train station. Others might choose to live in extremely small or narrow rooms or may opt for what amounts to a cardboard box on an apartment building’s roof.

There is, however, another option that almost seems too good to be true: So-called “Accident Site” apartments. These are rooms in which a previous tenant has died inside, usually from non-natural causes. Some rental agencies specifically advertise rooms as “accident site,” while some agencies just list a room that’s mysteriously low-priced and let people figure it out for themselves.

Certain bargain hunting types with extreme mental fortitude and who don’t mind the occasional bleeding wall or mysterious, warm puff of breath on their cheek while they sleep, actually seek out these deals, but the large majority of Japan avoid them.

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Moving to Tokyo? Here are the three best, most reasonable neighborhoods to live in

Committing to an apartment in Japan can be nerve-wracking. On the plus side, there’s no penalty for breaking your lease, but on the other hand, you can expect to pay somewhere between four to six months’ worth of fees and deposits to your real estate agent and landlord. This being Japan, they’d like that in cash, and before you move in, of course.

Long story short, bouncing around from one apartment to another is cost prohibitive, so you want to make sure you choose a location you like. For everyone who’s looking for a place to live in Japan’s capital, we asked a real estate agency for the three best, most affordable neighborhoods in which to live in downtown Tokyo.

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The best place to live in the Japanese countryside? Kyushu, poll respondents say

Sometimes, it seems like all of Japan is slowly being drawn into Tokyo. As the county’s economic, educational, political, and even entertainment capital, for many people born elsewhere in Japan, it’s not so much a matter of if they’ll move to the country’s biggest city, but when.

But as in any society, not everyone in Japan is enthralled with urban living. After enough time in the concrete jungles of Japan’s major metropolises, anyone can find themselves thinking about packing up and moving someplace where the horizon is dotted with forests instead of skyscrapers.

Here are three places to consider if you’re ready to make the dream of living in the Japanese countryside into a reality.

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