Monday, October 29, 2012

Day 9: The Apartment

I registered at the Minato City Hall today (despite HR telling me it was the "Minato Ward Office" all signage refers to is as "Minato City Hall"). There was trepidation--imagine going to a DMV where you can't communicate with anyone!!! But it turned out to be misplaced. There are a lot of foreigners in Minato-ku and City Hall is prepared: they have some English forms and the lady at Window 4 (Resident Registration) spoke English well. They look at your passport, your Japanese visa, stamp the back of your residence card, and give you your welcome packet, which includes a 20 page Guidebook for Sorting Recyclables and Waste.  So many rules, you guys, so many rules.

Now that I'm officially settled in, I thought some of you might be interested in a virtual tour of my new digs.  It's stark, but much larger than I anticipated:

View from exterior door looking in, bathroom on the left.

High tech toilet!

For scale: I'm 5'1" and can barely extend my legs in the tub.

Light Switch

It's a microwave AND an oven.
It's comfortable.  I do miss the heated wood floors and re-circulating tub at the Oakwood in Roppongi, but the neighborhood here is much nicer by my taste.  Less solicitation, fewer screaming drunk chicks at night, and nicer outdoor spaces.


Metal said...

Looks like you're having a ball! And as a side note thats such a tidy apartment...and god I love Japanese heated toilets! Have fun!

E. McPan said...

Oooh, I want to know what high-tech features there are on the toilet! Also, how well does that micro/oven work? My sister (in the states) has one like that and I don't think it works that great as an oven, but hers looks smaller than that one.

Paragon2Pieces said...

Here are the toilet functions I've figured out (no english labels on the buttons):

1. heated seat
2. bidet
3. air-dry function
4. deodorizer

Our toilets at the office also have a button labeled with a music note. If you press this button, the toilet starts to play an audio recording of loud running water (I've also encountered toilets that play an audio recording of birds chirping). Someone explained that this is for modesty--so the ppl you work with won't hear you doing your business.

On the subject of funny toilets, when I was in New Zealand (south island), I also encountered a public toilet that played music. But, from what I could tell, this was for amusement more than modesty.

Unknown said...

I came here to say I don't really understand what that toilet could possibly do to need all of those function. Thanks for letting us know!

That's crazy!