Thursday, March 31, 2011

Apartment win

Good news: We found an apartment. We went through Sakura house ( I can recommend them after my experience, but some important tips would be -
-If you can go view the apartments. You have no idea of the area they are in or what they really truly look like unless you see them in person.
- If you can't see them, or want one before you lease your country/city, watch the videos of the apartments as they give a better idea than the pictures.
-Try to ask your real estate agent if they know much about the area and see if it is a very old area, and what transport it is most close to as the areas shown on the website are very broad.

When you are happy with an apartment you pay a bond up front. Ours was ¥30,000ea and we get ¥20,000 so long as the house is very clean and undamaged when we leave.
The rent is a lot more than we wanted to pay at ¥140,000 a month (about $410 a week AUS$) but for what we wanted we had to pay a price.

We looked yesterday at some places and the guy seems eager to just get rid of us, but today a new guy took us around to an apartment in the outer suburbs of Tokyo. It was a cool place.. to visit.. not to live though. It was probably from the 70's in a traditional Japanese style in a very old town and the back yard was a graveyard! It was a totally surreal place and town. Its really amazing how diverse the areas are in Japan.

He was very keen to help us in any way as we had a connection, being that he studied at the same University as my partner and lived right near my uni in Brisbane!
His favourite architect designed the museum in Ueno, which is near our hotel so we are going to check it out tomorrow.
He was so super helpful and researched exactly what we wanted and found us the perfect apartment. I cant wait to post pics. I really wanted to photograph all of the places we went but I thought it would be a little rude. (I'm very big on being polite and respectful... unlike the awful, loud, demanding Americans that were at Sakura house too *frown*)

One downside to Sakura House is that they charge you to have guests stay. I guess this is a measure to stop subletting, but it kinda sucks if you want your friend or family member to come visit for a few days. I think it works out to be about $22 a day, but if you need an extra bed/futon you gotta pay for that too (a hire+installation kind of deal)

Anyway i've rambled enough. I'll do a post on the railways soon for anyone who wants to know if they come to Japan. I think we have gotten pretty pro at them in only a couple of days.

Weary arrival at the apartment.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cherry blossom girl

Today was my first proper day in Tokyo and I slept till 3pm. haha. I really needed it.
We went to the first place we saw that served ramen. I swear I was more impressed than i looked. It was DELICIOUS!
Then we headed on a long walk through Asakusa to find some cherry blossoms.. and found them! The first blooms of the season here. They are super cute.
Hanging with some blossoms
Not many trees are blooming, but when they are this will all be pink. Kawaii!
Everything is so clean! Look at the road. Amazing.|

Dinner of Champions (and lazy tired people)

We are going to look at apartment tomorrow. Wish us luck! :D

Monday, March 28, 2011


Finally arrived in Tokyo!

Battled the ATM's to get out some yen (because I was so busy finishing off my life in Australia to remember to get money out), then battled the trains. It really made me realise that I have to step up my Japanese lessons. I hardly know anything and it's really vital to living here.

I have massive luggage regret. I bought a cheap massive canvassy suitcase so that I could cram pack it full of clothes. It was the silliest thing i've done as its almost impossible to transport easily around. Everyone here has spinners and I spent half the evening glaring at my partners back as he manouvered his suitcases around with ease.
If you travel invest in a spinner. Don't ask questions, just do it. You will thank me later.

I haven't seen much of Tokyo, just a couple of train stations, what i saw on the train trips to my suburb, and the three blocks i walked to my hotel.. but its BEAUTIFUL! Even the man hole covers in the road are elaborately decorated. And everything is so clean. It's an OCD persons dream.

I'm staying at a hotel in Asakusa for a week and we are looking for an apartment during this time.
The hotel has rice husk pillows (my new fave thing), a little hotplate on the desk to make tea and the smallest bathroom i've ever seen. SUPER KAWAII!
I can't wait to go exploring my new home tomorrow.
Now i need to have my first proper sleep in in about two weeks. Bliss!
I will post photos soon I promise.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Greetings from Kuala Lumpur

I am currently in transit at KL. We decided to stick with Tokyo and our new home is now only 11 hours away. I'm so tired, but still excited.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Well its supposed to be 12 days before I leave for Japan. I've sold/given away most of what I own and my lease on my house is up on the 28th.

Its going to be interesting to see if I can actually get to Japan in leiu of whats been happening. Massive earthquake = Tsunami = Power plant explosions.

Each time I see the news or pictures of the disaster my heat breaks a little more. Not because I might not get there to see my beloved Japan, but it breaks for all the people and places that were killed and destroyed.

I hope everything holds together and people band together and Japan can start healing.