Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Guesthouse Room in Tokyo

Did I ever mention about the living situation in Tokyo? Maybe not. So presenting...

Drum roll...

Duh dadada...


My tiny ass guesthouse room!

Clocking in at a whopping 2 meters by 3 meters, or 4 jo for those who hate both metric and standard measurements, it's definitely on the small side. C'mon in!


This is where I spent about 12 hours a day for the past year. Maybe more like 14 hours a day. Wow, now I'm depressed.

But I'm moving next week. Now I'm back to normal.

Can you spot the whiskey in the picture. Now I'm happy.


This room has a kitchenette in it. Perfect for brushing teeth, boiling water, or peeing in the sink when you sleep in and have to multitask.


The view from my bed. Lately I've been falling asleep watching Japanese dramas, then waking up and continuing where I left off. I don't feel bad about this extreme level of sloth though. It's studying a new language, right?


Empty wall space, never! Ed Hardy shirt collection to the rescue.

Cameo by Kermit the Frog, who I rescued from the trash at my school in Kure.

I made a video showing the rest of the place. You want more videos? Too bad, I can't stand the sound of my own voice. Sounds much better filtered through a skull.

Want to know more about guesthouses in Tokyo? Here comes the factoid section of the blog. Feel free to skip if you don't plan on living in Tokyo.

A guesthouse is a shared living space. Usually you have your own bedroom, and share the kitchen and bathrooms. Shared spaces are cleaned regularly, in most cases. The standard rate in Tokyo is about 70,000 yen it seems, which includes utilities. This is about $700 a month. Also expect to pay around 15,000 yen management fee and maybe 20,000 yen refundable deposit. The farther from the city center, the cheaper it gets. Buildings range from a couple rooms to a massive 71 room dormitory. You can usually find these places online, and they all have management who speak English and will help you with everything, even if you are coming from overseas.

  • Fuck that, let's start with the cons!
  • The location is usually less than ideal. Both places I've stayed at were a 15-20 minute walk from a station. You may be thinking, "Hunh? There ain't even no trains near round me!" But this is Tokyo, you'll be on the train everyday.
  • Sharing isn't always caring. You'll meet some slobs who make a big mess in the shared spaces. Cigarette buts strewn about on the lawn. And yes, it's true, someone pooped in the shower... 3 times.
  • If noise is a problem for you, beware. Actually, I have a verbal agreement with my neighbor, loud music anytime is ok. This was our first conversation a year ago. Sometimes he blasts some rock at 3am. Sometimes I bump some 2 $hort at 4am. It's all good. Don't expect the same from your neighbor.
  • Wierd charges. One place might have a coin operated shower, or coin operated air conditioner, or bicycle parking charge, or rental fee for a pillow. Read the contract.
  • Obviously not having your own bathroom or kitchen is a negative point. A deal breaker for many people.
  • Safety can be a concern. We've had situations with perverts living here and freaking the hell out of some of the ladies. If you get a midnight knock on your door soliciting some adult fun, tell the manager.
  • It's pretty social, like a college dorm. Get your drank on.
  • Cheaper than an apartment, by a lot. Apartments are not only pricey month to month, but you have to fork over almost 6 months of payment. All non-refundable. So you're looking at 5 to 6 thousand dollars to move in. If you're only in Tokyo a year or 2, this makes a guesthouse look much better.
  • Did I mention that a lot of apartments won't rent to foreigners? Welcome to Japan, you white devil!
  • Again, it's social. Group dinners and parties are common.
  • Almost every house advertises that you can "have cultural exchange" with many countries. This either means you can learn things like strange foreign cooking, or maybe it just means you can have sex with a lot of nationalities. Connotation is in the eye of the beholder.
  • Free internet!!!!!

Some links:
  • Mayflower - I had a friend who lived here. The room was even smaller than my place now. But it was in central Tokyo. 2000 yen cab ride from anywhere.
  • Tiger House - I've heard good things. Akihabara location for you otaku wannabees.
  • Oakhouse - Where I'm at now. They have about 100 spots in the Tokyo area. Nothing very central though. Good management, clean buildings, I can't complain.
  • Sakura House - A lot of central locations, but they have a really really really bad rap. A bad rap about both the management and the people staying there.
  • Artist Guesthouse - I used to live here for 6 months. The rooms were mad big, 16 jo I think. That's 4 times the size of my current place.

Oh, by the way, the perspective is all whack on these shots, making my room look kind of big, because I got a new lens. Sorry if I confused you.


What kind of place are you living at in Japan? Hit up the comments-


Ojisanjake said...

Ha!... I live in more than 60 tatami,... bought it outright for 600,000 yen.

Ramen Adventures said...

Say what? Are you missing a "0" somewhere. If you told people in America they could move to the Japanese countryside for about $6000 you'd have thousands of out of work ex-bankers taking up residence. I suggest you keep this secret-

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Navy ship living, except you have your own room. The incident in the shower is included also, unfortunately. I remember the link I told you about before where they say you can show up with your luggage and they will find a place for you. I recommend going ahead of time though. Are you going to do a video of your new place when you move?

Ramen Adventures said...

Yeah, I'll make a video of the new place. It's like the Jetson's, every room has some sort of computer control panel. I set off an alarm somehow today.

blauereiter said...

Your room might be small, but it looks comfy. :] I'm also living in a guesthouse. :]

Anonymous said...

Well, now I'm nervous. I've been to Japan twice before, but just with host families, so this is gonna be my first time alone. I'm a poor student so my budget is about 25,000 a month. -_-"
I'm going to stay in a place called "Yotsuba Crib" at 18,000 a month. Size of 1 tatami. Yeah... after reading your blog (pillow rent? seriously!?) I'm thinking of switching.... XD

Ramen Adventures said...

Holy shit! Yotsuya Crib!

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the link! I mean, Christ. I knew it was small... but just a capsule?! I can usually rough it but I'll have a suitcase bigger than that room... I don't think I'd be able to handle two months living on my bed. XD

Crap... now I'm not sure what I'm gonna do. Like I said before, I'mma poor student. :P

I guess it's back to searching the net for dorm rooms for me~~

Anonymous said...

Can you even have sex in guest houses? I know in Borderless House they don't allow it.

Ramen Adventures said...

Borderless House, among others, has dorm style with 2 or 3 people in one room, no? For those I would imagine there would be some sex rules.

Actually, the two places I stayed in Japan had strict rules about guests staying, and you were actually meant to pay them like $20 if someone stays. But it was never really enforced.

A lot of people had sex on the 3rd floor, where I was staying.

Anonymous said...

you pee in your sink.