Sunday, September 03, 2006

My new aparto

Here we see two views of my new apartment in Matsue, which I picked up in a day of rather unfrantic house-hunting accompanied by my ever-patient and very helpful supervisor, Dr. Naito (visible in my new dining room window in the first photo). This apartment is going to cost me 60000 yen a month, or about 650 - 700 dollars. It has 3 rooms and a large kitchen, internal laundry, separate bathroom, toilet and washrooms, and a hallway large enough to swing a leopard in. The photo on the left is the dining room viewed through the kitchen door, and on the right is the kitchen with a view of the balcony. Having open windows in each shot has kind of ruined the light, but I think we can all see the salient details. It has Japanese style sliding window shades of rice paper, tatami mats in two of the 3 rooms, a massive balcony, heaps of storage space and 2 airconditioners (although it doesn't seem to need them). The only drawback is the hot water system, which seems a little old and idiosyncratic, but I haven't had a chance to test it. The other drawback is the set-up cost, which comes to a total of 5 months' rent including rent in advance, and 1 month of that I don't get back (plus 3 months is a dubious-sounding bond).

Strangely enough, although I'm in Japan this is the biggest and cheapest apartment I've ever rented. How does that work? Japan is meant to have ludicrously expensive real estate, a fact I'm increasingly finding to be annoyingly untrue. This place is only 5 minutes' bike ride from the university, and right across the road from a supermarket, so it's convenient too. It also (unlike a lot of places in Japan) has real walls, which is good since I am going to get my speakers shipped over here soon ...

Finally, from the window and balcony pictured here, one can look across a small river to a stretch of forest, a large hill which takes an hour to climb, and beyond that Mt. Daisen, an 1800 m tall mountain which has snow on its peak even at this time of year. So when I move to Matsue (in precisely 2 and a half weeks!) I will not lose my rural seclusion, even though I am going to be moving to a bigger town. Which means, I suppose, that I can keep my suzumushi, the night-time sounds of frogs, the tanuki and foxes and all the other things I had not expected to be able to see or hear here. Without having to get up more than 10 minutes before I go to work!!! Now that is convenience!


Anonymous Deb said...

Your place is beautiful!! How come you haven't replied to the emails in which I announced that I am visiting? :(

12:25 PM  
Blogger Sgt M said...

I do believe you are mistaken dear boy!

TOKYO is expensive. Much like how the rest of Australia is cheap compared to Sydney which is known worldwide for its ridiculous rent prices (even here in New York).
Matsue couldn't be further from Tokyo (well, it could but I'm sure those finicky locals would get a bit uppitty if you tried to move it).

Anyway old chap, Congratulations on the new digs. I yearn to assist you trash them in a rock 'n' roll kinda orgy, but I fear that Nippon cannot handle a double invasion of the Sgt M variety. Best to let it them settle and rebuild.....the scars I'm sure run deep.....

10:21 PM  

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