I am living in a pit

A few days ago, I moved into the latest in my string of temporary residences: a "gaijin house", which is Japan-based English-speaker English for "guest house aimed at (or restricted to) foreigners". It's a fairly large two-story building with five bedrooms, one kitchen and one bathroom on each floor. I am paying 50,000 yen per month for the right to live in a room that smells curiously of leather and is seven square meters in size.

The deposit, though, was only 30,000 yen, and 20,000 of that is refundable (allegedly), so it's not really that bad a deal.* Right now, money is more important to me than comfort, and it's not like I'm going to be home all that much given my new job and easy access to the Yamanote line.

The strange thing is that my street is lower than both the one before and the one behind. And I mean a lot lower. I live on the second floor, and when I open my window I'm still slightly below ground level of the street behind. So, I'm either living in some extremely fiercely eroded but long-dead river channel... or in the only barely metaphorical jaws of an old earthquake rift, all set to swallow this building whole when The Big One hits.

I imagine that it is the housemates that make or break a place like this. So far I've met three of the other four people on my floor, and they all seem either cool or happy to keep to themselves, and that works for me too.

* Please do not comment to tell me how bad a deal it is, unless you also have the means to hook me up with a better one.

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Is that like a British second floor, or an American second floor?

I see you've taken steps to ensure that all commentators either know some Japanese or are unafraid to stab at links they don't understand.


Yeah, it's my attempt to weed out those who are both riff-raff and timid. I'm still working on a Javascript Maitre D' to peer snootily and intimidatingly at visitors as they load the page.

(Seriously, it looks like Blogger just finally got around to localizing the comment UI. I don't even think I _can_ change that.)

Oh, and it's a Japanese second floor which is like an American one. I have a whole opinion about all this. I like the "ground, first, second" system OK (as a nerd, I'm drawn to counting systems that start from zero or an obvious substitute), but not "ground floor, first floor...". That is confusing. "Ground floor, first stor[e]y, second stor[e]y, etc." I can get behind.

But since most of the people I talk to in Japan use the Japanese/American system, I've come to just use the "first floor, second floor" system.

This comment was remarkably wordy.


Please do not comment to tell me how bad a deal it is, unless you also have the means to hook me up with a better one.

Considering my apartment is the same size, costs 65,000, is similarly inhabited with transients (though not gaijin) and is not anywhere near the Yamanote line, it sounds like a good deal to me. The extra 15,000 must be for the private bath and the "no-leather-smell" surcharge.

Hello, I've been reading for a while but I'm a lazy commenter.


Hey Matt,

I'm looking abour for a vectorised Kanji font or two. Do you knowwhere I can track one down?

I'm trying to put the words TOKYO MONOGATARI into some artwork.




Homodachi! Hello. I read your livejournal too but I'm also a lazy commentator. How's BB? I'm presuming too happy with her new man to bother blogging.

Skander: Nope, sorry, but I'll look around for you when I have some time.

Comment season is closed.