Found a Listing of My Old Japanese Place


By Bellingham Bill   Follow   Sun, 2 Dec 2012, 1:33pm   1,765 views   19 comments
In Bellingham WA 98226   Watch (1)   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

http://www.kichijoji-cjs.com/detail/2909420.html

This was the first place I rented in Japan, exactly 20 years ago now, Oct '92 through Feb '93.

Rent was ¥9万 (¥90,000), so it's actually gone own over 20 years, LOL. (The other place I was renting in 1992, in West LA was $700/mo then and I think around $1700/mo now)

Back in the early 1990s prices were still predicated on the dollar being ¥200 or so (just because the dollar went down to 130 didn't mean rents in Tokyo were going to change), so ¥9万 was about $450 in Japan PPP terms and $700 in current (1992) USD.

In 2012 USD, the ¥85,000 rent is ~$1050.

More information here, actually:

http://chintai.door.ac/detail/free2639184.htm

That tub:

was AWESOME on cold winter nights btw. Soak in that for a while with the water up to your ears, you'd be toasty for two hours, easily.

344 square feet and pretty crappy construction . . . Japan real estate is still pretty expensive, sigh.

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  1. curious2


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    1   1:49pm Sun 2 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I'm curious about the winking spectral figure with his super-sized index finger. Who is he, and why is he standing in the tub?

  2. elliemae


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    2   3:24pm Sun 2 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike   Protected  

    344 square feet - 21 photos. Thank heavens there were all those photos...

  3. Bellingham Bill


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    3   3:42pm Sun 2 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    I miss that place, sigh. Windows on 3 sides of every room! (albeit, there is only one room to start with . . .)

    I want to construct my own similar minimalist pad, maybe in Japan, coastal WA, or up in the hills somewhere in CA.

    Technically, we don't need to occupy much space for daily life.

    It's all our stuff that requires the space!

    This place had a really good layout, the poo pot was even in its own little room like an RV!

    The kitchen was 1980s minimalist -- just a metal sink, basically -- but nothing that a couple of appliances (microwave/convection oven, natgas burner) and some more counterspace and shelving couldn't fix.

    I could easily arrange my life to live in that tiny space again -- many consumer goods these days have gotten a LOT smaller than then -- a 11" laptop instead of the Mac IIcx I had in 1989, hell, a 50" flatscreen TV is actually smaller in floorspace than the 20" CRT jobbie I had then.

    *Two* people, though . . . that would be tough.

  4. Peter P


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    4   3:48pm Sun 2 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    I no longer like minimalism. I am now a full-fledged postmodernist.

  5. curious2


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    5   3:51pm Sun 2 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    elliemae says

    344 square feet - 21 photos. Thank heavens there were all those photos...

    LOL - yes it's a Japanese stereotype but seriously I love the clarity of information, including floorplans. It's much more efficient than the typical American realtor approach: lots of puffery to fool prospective tenants into a place they'll be unhappy with, generating another round of commissions when they move. Much better to see everything online, then visit only suitable places to check for unacceptable noises and smells.

    Still wondering about that winking ghost with the giant finger though...

  6. iwog


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    6   4:00pm Sun 2 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike   Protected  

    The ghost monkey is just a watermark so the source of the photos can be identified.

    Looks like a nice big tub although it has too many hoses and buttons and gadgets, kinda like a Japanese toilet.

  7. curious2


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    7   4:11pm Sun 2 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    iwog says

    Looks like a nice big tub although it has too many hoses and buttons and gadgets....

    I wouldn't object to the presence of gadgets, though I don't know what they're for. I would add a shower curtain.

  8. Bellingham Bill


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    8   4:16pm Sun 2 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    iwog says

    Looks like a nice big tub although it has too many hoses and buttons and gadgets

    LOL, the original equipment failed around January, and boy did it suck not having hot water. The nice neighbor lady called the gas company for me and they came out and fixed it.

    1960s - 1980s Japanese consumer tech was pretty gimcrack crap, fiddly and overly complicated. These days it's just over-programmed, you can now have your bath heat the water in it on a schedule, etc.

    The Japanese are really anal about natgas safety. Water heaters are generally tankless and the meter will auto shut-off if the usage pattern resembles a gasleak (long, continuous), there's an earthquake (so natgas space heaters that are knocked over won't start a fire), or the water heaters won't start at all if their igniter gets wet in windy weather (the water heater is that white thing out on the "veranda").

    If I do ever build a place in Japan it's going to be mostly of Canadian and N European fittings. These people understand how to live in cold weather. Japanese, not so much, south of Sapporo at least.

  9. curious2


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    9   4:20pm Sun 2 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Bellingham Bill says

    Water heaters are generally tankless and will auto shut-off if the usage pattern resembles a gasleak (long, continuous)....

    How do people shower there? Or do people only take baths? A shower without a curtain would splash all over the place. Also, it seems like all the windows are translucent but not transparent - is that correct, or only an artifact of the camera?

  10. Bellingham Bill


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    10   4:23pm Sun 2 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    iwog says

    Looks like a nice big tub although it has too many hoses and buttons and gadgets

    yeah, the tub itself was more like a hot tub. When you get in, it's up to your neck!

    The hoses are for washing up outside the tub, which works pretty well. When I was there the heater was in the room which is why the piping looks retrofitted -- it was.

    The long faucet can rotate to either fill the tub or fill your wash basin. There's also a handheld shower thing to shower up.

    There also appears to be a little sensor that detects when the water gets high enough. Generally I wouldn't need to bother with this now, I like waiting for the water to start flowing over the top, that told me the bath was ready (Japanese bathrooms are totally waterproof and a good bath is supposed to overflow when you get in, LOL). Takes a good 20 minutes to fill that tub . . .

  11. curious2


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    11   4:25pm Sun 2 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Bellingham Bill says

    (Japanese bathrooms are totally waterproof and a good bath is supposed to overflow when you get in, LOL)

    Glad to hear about the waterproofing, but they could reduce their carbon footprint by not wasting so much hot water.

  12. Peter P


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    12   5:30pm Sun 2 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    I laugh every time I hear "carbon footprint."

  13. Bellingham Bill


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    13   6:43pm Sun 2 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    more oceans is good!

  14. curious2


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    14   6:56pm Sun 2 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Peter P says

    I laugh every time I hear "carbon footprint."

    OK, they could reduce their "fuel bills" by not overflowing the bathtub with hot water spilling onto the floor.

  15. Bellingham Bill


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    15   7:08pm Sun 2 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    My unabomber shack will be run on PV (well, lead acid recharged by PV), with microhydro as a possible backup.

    Water heating would actually be by geothermal taps I would hope : )

    We are bombarded by so much energy all the time that it's pretty stupid to pay for it . . .

  16. Bellingham Bill


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    16   7:14pm Sun 2 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    oh shit, geothermal actually contributes to AGW, LOL

  17. Peter P


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    17   7:47pm Sun 2 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Only countries with too much time worry about global warming.

    We should focus on energy independence instead. Build nuclear power plants!

  18. iwog


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    18   8:20pm Sun 2 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike   Protected  

    Bellingham Bill says

    My unabomber shack will be run on PV (well, lead acid recharged by PV), with microhydro as a possible backup.

    Water heating would actually be by geothermal taps I would hope : )

    We are bombarded by so much energy all the time that it's pretty stupid to pay for it . . .

    You want one of those too eh?

    My problem is finding acreage in California with 12 month flowing water rights. I refuse to compromise.

  19. debtregret


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    19   7:35am Mon 3 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    curious2 says

    iwog says

    Looks like a nice big tub although it has too many hoses and buttons and gadgets....

    I wouldn't object to the presence of gadgets, though I don't know what they're for. I would add a shower curtain.

    No need for a shower curtain in Japan! The entire room is a shower -- there is generally a handheld showerhead (in addition to a faucet that you use while standing or sitting outside the tub to scrub yourself clean, after which you soak in the tub. The 'shower' drain is in the center of the room, and you don't need to be careful about getting anything wet. Great approach.
    I lived there, too, for 10+ years up to '92. Great time, I must say.

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