menu icon
Menu Close icon

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

This site uses an affiliate program to promote products.
  • What is a floor plan (madori)? Also explains the meaning of terms such as “R” and “K”

    For foreigners, renting a room in Japan can be a difficult task. In particular, the way floor plans (madori) such as "1R" and "3LDK" are written is unique to Japan, so it can be confusing. In this article, we will explain the meanings of Japanese room layouts and the meanings of terms such as "R" and "K".

    If you are looking for a room in Tokyo, we also recommend the following articles.

    Where is the cheapest rent in Tokyo? Introducing recommended areas

    What is a floor plan (madori)?

    Madori the layout of a room , and in English it means "floor plan" or "house layout."

    A floor plan shows information such as how many rooms there are, how large they are, and how the rooms are arranged.

    Other details include the locations of toilets, baths, kitchens, and closets, where doors are located and which way they open, and where windows and balconies are located.

    By looking at the floor plan, you can get a rough idea of ​​the room without actually visiting it.

    Characteristics of Japanese floor plan notation

    The floor plans of rooms overseas are often differentiated by how many bedrooms there are, with the assumption that they have a living room and kitchen.

    However, in Japan, sometimes there is no dedicated room for a living room or kitchen, so it is common to write letters such as "L" or "K" to indicate whether there is a living room or kitchen

    The next chapter will explain how floor plans are specifically expressed using alphabets.

    Meanings of alphabetical terms that appear in floor plans

    In Japan, room layouts are written with numbers and some alphabets, such as "1K" and "2LDK." It is important to know how to read this and its meaning.  

    There are five main alphabets that appear in Japanese floor plans: If you know the meanings of these five terms, you will be able to roughly understand the notation of floor plans.

    R (Room)The "R" that appears in the floor plan means room A floor plan with only one room and a kitchen inside is called a 1R (single room). R is added only in the case of 1R, and is not used as "2R" or "1KR".
    K (Kitchen)The "K" that appears in the floor plan stands for kitchen" Not only does it have a kitchen, but it also means that unlike 1R, the kitchen is separate from the room.
    D (Dining)The "D" that appears in the floor plan stands for " Dining ," meaning the room where you eat. It is often used in combination with K and L, as in "1DK" and "2LDK," and D is rarely used alone, as in "1D."
    L (Living)The "L" that appears in the floor plan stands for " living" and refers to the room used in daily life. In Japanese, it is sometimes called "living room" (ima). In Japan, there are Japanese-style rooms and Western-style rooms, but when we say "living room," we often mean Western-style rooms.
    S (Serve room)The "S" that appears in the floor plan means Service room A service room is a space that does not have large windows or adequate ventilation, so it cannot be considered a formal room. It is often used for storage, but it can also be used as a regular room. Service rooms are often written as "(floor plan)+S", such as "1LDK+S".

    What floor plan do you recommend?

    Now that you know the terminology for Japanese floor plans, let's think about the best floor plan for each number of people living in the house. We will look at living alone, living with two people, and living with three or four people.

    Recommended floor plan for people living alone

    If you live alone, having too many rooms can be inconvenient and the rent will be high. So, you will have to choose between 1R, 1K, 1DK, and 1LDK

    The difference between "D (dining)" and "LD (living/dining)" is somewhat ambiguous, but a spacious room of 8 tatami mats or more is often called LD, and a room of 8 tatami mats or less is often called D. is.

    Recommended floor plan for two people living together

    If you are living with two people, the recommended floor plan will change depending on whether you want to share or separate bedrooms. If you have the same bedroom, the rent will be cheaper if you choose a 1DK or 1LDK

    If you want separate bedrooms, we recommend a 2DK or 2LDK However, the more rooms there are, the higher the rent will be.

    Recommended floor plans for three or four people

    If you live with three or four people, you a 3LDK or 4LDK and each person can be assigned a room. If you want to prepare a separate work room, we recommend choosing a 5LDK.

    If all children are okay in the same room, four people can live in a 2LDK.

    Understand Japanese floor plans and find your favorite room

    Japanese room layouts are written as ``1LDK'' and ``2LDK,'' with the living room being written as ``L'' and the kitchen as ``K.'' It's confusing at first because the writing style is different from overseas, but once you get used to it, it becomes easy to understand as you only need to know the meanings of about 5 alphabets.

    Understand how Japanese floor plans are written and find your favorite room.

  • We at "Goandup" will continue our activities to convey the charms of Japan to the world.

  • If you found this article helpful or enjoyed it, please support us by supporting our operations.

  • We would appreciate it if you could donate any amount using the PayPal link below.

  • Related article

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