☆ being a dork,  ☆ i heart japan,  ☆ life,  ☆ photos

Living Tall in Japan, part 50

Update: THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of your kind words of encouragement!!! *^__^* They mean so much to me!
I am *still* working on the cover image, but I’m not going to bed until it’s all colored in (I only have the background to finish). I know that you guys will love it! So far, I’ve put in around 30 hours on it, I think, which is… a lot. But so worth it, even if it’s just one illustration. :3 Preorders will go up tomorrow for sure! I can’t wait!

So, for the moment, let me stroll back down memory lane again with the next installment of the story of my first year in Japan! Yay! 😀

☆ To see all of the parts in this series, click here

So… I had just moved. One month in, and I was OVER it. A guest house had been convenient, but I couldn’t take the noisy neighbors and the 2-hour commutes to work (each way!). Plus, my job didn’t like reimbursing me the $15 per day that it cost in train fees, so they were willing to send someone from the office with me to look for apartments. They’d also act as my guarantor and loan me the money to pay all of the terribly huge fees that moving in costs in Japan (check out my post on that if you haven’t)!

I searched for two days with a realtor, and found a few places, including one really hilarious one where the bathroom was so small that the sink was over the toilet and had to be pushed out of the way to go to the bathroom! Eda (who was with me at the time) called it the “gundam bathroom,” as it seemed like toilet and shower space might be limited in a giant robot. :3 I used to have a great video of us demonstrating that, but I can only share these words with you guys: BACK UP YOUR STUFF! T___T

I ended up choosing a place that wasn’t much larger. In fact, it was a studio apartment in Shinjuku, on the fourth floor in a five-floor walkup. It was 150 square feet. , if you took out the walls. Basically, there was an 80 sq feet (4.5 tatami size) main room, no closet. Between the room and the door, there was a closet-sized bathroom with a tiny tub. But at leas the sink wasn’t over the toilet! It just happened to be next to it. I could even lean on it. Oh, and my knees hit the wall when I sat down.

Even better was the kitchen, though. Oh my, the kitchen. XD;;;

Next to the bathroom was the entryway, a space just big enough for the door to swing open. And next to it, tucked into the wall was a low counter with a few shelves above it, a tiny sink, one lone burner, and… yes, the fridge. The fridge was UNDER the sink, and was not even tall enough to fit a single bottle of soda (the single-serving size) standing up. It was sort of awesome and sort of not. XD

Oh, and the one window (a sliding glass door that opened onto a small balcony) was facing south, so there was little light.

Oh, and how much did this cost?

$600 per month, plus utilities.

Welcome to living in the inner city of Tokyo. :3 I still loved the crap out of it! This was my favorite place that I lived in all of the nine years that I lived in Tokyo, and I stayed there for two years (the longest of any place that I lived). It was all thanks to the convenience! I could go out to meet my friends without it taking an hour or two, and that was worth all of the money in the world to me. <3

I may not have that video of the gundam toilet anymore, but I do have some photos of this apartment after it was decorated (these are from a few months after I moved in). Want to see?

I was quite secure in my otaku-ness. 🙂

There aren’t any pictures of the bathroom or kitchen that I can find, but I might have them… somewhere! I’ll see if I can find them! 😀

Until then, it’s back to work on my gorgeous cover now! <3 See you all later today again!

(714 geeks have read this)

Hi! This is Jamie Lynn Lano! I am a Washington State (USA) native who: ☆ Holds a Bachelors of the Arts in Media Arts & Animation from AiPx. ☆ Worked as an assistant mangaka in Japan for Konomi Takeshi on The Prince of Tennis. ☆ Was an essay columnist for Asahi Weekly from 2008-2013. ☆ Was the star of Asahi Pop'n Press on Asahi TV (Japan) from 2009-2013 ☆ Was a write for Metropolis magazine in 2010. ☆ Has kept a blog foreeeeeeeeever! First and Current blogs.


  • Momorin

    Hi Jamie! I’ve been following your blog ever since but this is the first time I’ve commented ^o^ I’m curious about the otaku stuffs in the photos above (I see a gachapon, TeniPuri volumes, eevee, and omg Killua?! and etc). I know this is kinda too much huhu but can you edit the pics and encircle, label the things in the photos? Waaa curious neko here. Thanks Jamie ///<

    I'm a girl btw, desuuu 🙂
    Kikumaru Eiji biased here haha xD

  • Madalina

    I squealed at the Kamenashi Kazuya poster 🙂 I used to be in love with him when I first discovered jdrama :p

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      I left the company, and they were my guarantor, so I wasn’t able to keep the apartment any longer. I ended up getting a house with a friend, and I liked the area there too, but I missed this apartment a lot!

  • zoomingjapan

    Haha, this reminds me a lot of my first apartment in Japan where I ended up living for FOUR years!!! Pretty much the same size, but a bit cheaper (pluse my company paid 50% of the rent) – I was living in the countryside after all.

    It was so easy to clean and I didn’t have to stand up to grab things. *LOL*
    However, at some point I had too many things to fit into this small shoebox.

    Apart from having to clean all of the rooms, I really love my current apartment. Actually it’s way too big for me. I have 2 rooms I don’t use at ALL!! I also have a parking lot for my car. And all of that is still LESS than what you had to pay for your small apartment.

    Coutryside for the win! 😉

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      Oooooooh, it would have been so nice having my company pay part of my rent! I’ve never had that luxury– I guess that I always pick the wrong ones!

      But for me it’s all about location. I have to be near things that I like and like to do often. So if I live in the middle of nowhere, I would have hated it! Actually, you know that I did end up living on the outskirts of Tokyo, and I hated it sooooooo much! I’d rather pay more for a tiny place in the city, as long as it’s quiet. 🙂

  • KC

    eheheh… i know how you feel!! my place is a tiny bit bigger, i think, but still, just one tiny room. with the “kitchen” in the entryway and no place to chop vegetables… *sigh* still, i’m quite near to Shinjuku and i love it. <3

    • Jamie Lynn Lano

      Hehee! It’s all about location!! Whenever I hear people talk about “tiny” apartments, and hear that they’re 400 sq feet, I want to laugh. That’s like a mansion compared to what we have lived in! 😀

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