All About Japan

How to Choose Your Apartment in Japan

First Time in Japan Life in Japan FAQ

When I moved into my new apartment, winter was already well underway. I had a chance to do the walk-through but I didn’t notice any real issues. I went into the apartment with my jacket on so things seemed to be okay. The things that struck me most were the things I wanted: more space and bigger windows; this apartment had just those things. There was a set of three large window panels in the main living room area and more living space.

Now that I’ve had a chance to settle in and live here for almost a full year, I realize that my current apartment has a much harder time retaining heat than my former apartment did—due in large part to the large windows. If I open my curtains, the heat rushes out of my apartment like air from a punctured tire. The tatami bedroom also loses heat quite quickly, which is no fun when you’re trying to get to sleep. In addition, when I close the doors to the bathroom or the hallway (the coldest parts of the house), there are much larger-than-normal spaces at the base of the door. The crack at the base of the door shouldn’t be large enough to see clearly into the adjacent room, but they are. As a result, the living room loses a lot of heat.

If you’re getting a Japanese apartment, try to get a clear gauge on how well insulated your rooms are. Check the air-conditioner by turning it on and off and see how fast heat leaves the room. Stand near the windows and see how much of a temperature difference you feel. Check your doors and frames to see if their construction allows heat to escape.

For the complete list of things to check for when searching for you new apartment visit The Japan Guy at the link below!

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