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What does a typical Japanese apartment look like? Explanation of size and facilities

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  • When foreigners living alone are looking for an apartment in Japan, they may be confused because the size and facilities are different from those in other countries. In this article, we will explain the size and facilities of a typical single-person apartment in Japan.

    Also, if you don't know the meaning of floor plan, we recommend the following article.

    What is a floor plan (madori)? Also explains the meanings of terms such as R and K.

    Are Japanese apartments different from those in other countries?

    Foreigners who decide to live in Japan may have various expectations and concerns. Especially since I often hear that Japanese apartments are very small, you may be worried about whether you will be able to find a room that you can comfortably live in.

    It's true that a typical Japanese apartment is different from those in other countries. However, if you understand what the differences are, there is no need to worry and you will be able to live comfortably in a Japanese apartment.

    If you are looking for a room in Japan, please contact GTN!

    GTN real estate banner

    If you are looking for a room in Japan, please contact GTN.

    GTN has the following characteristics:

    • Other language staff present
    • You can sign a contract even if you are overseas.
    • Even minors can consult about moving in.
    • Contract possible without a guarantor

    In addition to this, GTN also provides generous support for overseas users.

    The site also supports other languages, so even if you don't plan to live in Japan yet, please visit the homepage first.

    Click here the homepage !

    How big is a room for a single person in Japan?

    In Japan, apartments for people living alone are generally studios, 1K, or 1DK A one-room apartment is a type of apartment with only one room and a kitchen inside. 1K has one room but a separate kitchen. 1DK is a type that has a living room and kitchen, as well as a dining room for meals.

    The size of a typical Japanese apartment room approximately 6 to 8 tatami mats per room . ``Tatami'' is a unit that represents the area of ​​one tatami (tatami), and is often used to express the size of a room in Japan. 6 tatami mats are approximately 9.7 square meters, and 8 tatami mats are approximately 13 square meters. This includes space for furniture and beds, so the actual space for people to live in is much smaller.

    What is a “unit bath”?

    Baths and toilets are important points when choosing a room, and there are two types of bathrooms in Japanese apartments: "separate" and "unit bath."

    A separate bath is a type where the bath and toilet are separate rooms, while a unit bath is a type where the washbasin, toilet, shower and bathtub are combined In a unit bath, the bathtub, toilet, and sink are separated by a curtain, so you take a shower and take a bath inside the bathtub.

    Disadvantages of unit baths

    In a normal bath, you can fill the bathtub with hot water, soak in the tub, and take a shower in the space next to it to wash your body, but with a unit bath, you have to take a shower inside the bathtub, so you have to take a shower at the same time. You cannot crawl into the bathtub.

    The unit bath is very small, so it may be difficult to use until you get used to it. Also, the bathroom and toilet are only separated by a curtain, so when you take a shower, the bathroom inevitably gets a little wet.

    Advantages of unit bath

    The advantage of unit baths is that they are easy to clean because the bath and toilet are in the same room. Another advantage of apartments with unit baths is that they often have lower rents.

    What are the typical amenities in a Japanese apartment?

    For foreigners living in a Japanese apartment for the first time, you may be wondering what kind of facilities a typical Japanese apartment has. The key is to understand that a typical Japanese apartment has some amenities that most apartments have, and some that often don't.


    Typical Japanese apartments often do not have beds . This is because Japanese people often sleep on futons, so a bed is not always necessary. Therefore, if you rent a room without a bed, you will need to buy your own bed or get into the habit of sleeping on a futon.

    However, there are some apartments that come with a bed, so if you really want to live in an apartment with a bed, you should talk to the staff at a real estate agent.

    washing machine

    Some rooms are equipped with a washing machine and some are not. Even if your room does not have one, you may be able to use the washing machine if the previous tenant left it behind. The washing machine provided may be old and difficult to use, so you may have to buy a new one yourself.


    Typical Japanese apartments often have a small balcony where you can hang your laundry to dry. However, it is not always the case that one is provided, so be sure to check if you don't have a balcony.

    Japanese apartment balconies are very small, so it's often difficult to grow plants or relax on them. It would be best to think of it as just a place to dry your laundry.

    Stove/Air conditioner

    A typical Japanese apartment is almost always equipped with air conditioning. Most rooms don't have stoves, so if you want to use one, you'll need to provide your own.

    It is said that in cold regions such as Hokkaido and Tohoku, there are more rooms without air conditioning than in other regions. This is because it is cool in the summer so there is no need to turn on the air conditioner, and in the winter it is very cold so we often use the stove.


    Unless the apartment is very cheap, most apartments in Japan come with a kitchen. However, the typical kitchen in a Japanese apartment is very small, often containing only one or two stoves and a small sink.


    Typical Japanese apartments often do not have beds, and are characterized by having two types of baths: separate types and unit baths. Understand the characteristics of a typical Japanese apartment and find a room where you can stay comfortably.

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