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Kakio
On the suburban frontier west of Tokyo - Fall 2002
layout

Our apartment is large by Tokyo standards - three rooms, in sequence.

balcony
final room
middle room closet
closet
kitchen toilet
bath
(entry way, into kitchen)
The genkan, a lowered porch area for removing shoes, sits after the front door, in the kitchen, immediately adjacent to the sink (vigorous dish-washing leaves puddles in nearby footwear).

As you stand in the kitchen, toilet-room and bath-room are to your right. Ahead of you, the middle room, with a large closet. Simple wooden floor, otherwise unadorned. Glass-paneled sliding doors between. This is where we've set up a dining table and where we use our laptops. Also, to avoid disturbing our neighbors through the thin floors, we put a carpet this this middle passage.

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Past the middle room, the last room, bigger, with a smaller closet. Same wooden floors, wood sliding doors. An airconditioner. Outside, a narrow balcony with a hookup for a washing machine and facilities for a laundry line.

We bought our washing machine from Luca, Italian PhD, and he recommended a particular friendly mover. This middle-aged, backwards-baseball-cap wearing mover man was energetic to say the least, uttering a non-stop stream of mixed Japanese and English encouragements and rhetorical questions while he slipped in and out of his shoes, urging large machines into our apartment. On his way out, after setting up our washing machine for free, he gave us the little toolkit he'd used; "Here," he said, "fix your life."

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There are windows at either end of the apartment, by the front door shining in on the kitchen and bath-room from the entry stairway, and outside of the balcony at the back of the apartment.

For two people sleeping together, the last room is the obvious bedroom. For people who prefer separate chambers, the middle room would make someone a less-than-private bedroom/hallway.

index.html The layout of the apartment means you hang the laundry outside of the last window, on the balcony. There are metal hooks that hold long poles across the top of your balcony cubicle. So it's the best place to hang laundry, but as Jane lamented, when you hang sheets and pants and the like from the top of your balcony area, they block the light and the room gets dark.

Since our balcony overlooks a fairly busy 2-lane road, anything out there for more than two days aquires a thin black coat of road-dust and smog grime. This wouldn't be bad for short-term laundry, except that all the means of hanging become dirty themselves and tend to share their dirt with freshly washed, wet cloth.

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