Resident Interview: Vitamin Color in Nakano

Resident Interview: Klaudia from Poland

 

We met up with Klaudia, a resident in our Happy House Vitamin Color shared house. We strolled through the park with her and ask about her experience in the house.

Happy House Vitamin Color

Klaudia, what interested you to live in a shared house?

 

As a foreigner, looking for a place to live in Japan is pretty difficult. It was a much easier method than an apartment and I really liked that Tulip’s shared houses are for women only, so I don’t have to worry about feeling uncomfortable.

 

What is your favorite thing about living in Happy House Vitamin Color?

 

I work and am a student so I actually don’t spend too much time in the flat. But I love to cook so I use the kitchen often and also love to relax in my room. I have a balcony in my room so I can even sit out there!

 

Admiring the rainy season’s hydrangeas

 

How would you describe the surrounding area you live in? Do you have any favorite spots?

I think Nakano is great because it is a bit of a student’s area.  Other areas like the main Shinjuku area or Shibuya are very loud and are like party places. I’m a student so for me, it’s better to live in this area because it is so much more quiet. It’s so nice because there are a lot of parks, temples, and shrines around here.

 

Taking a stroll at the nearby park

 

What are your favorite things to do in Tokyo?

I am busy working usually, haha! But I love travelling outside of the Tokyo area like to Kamakura or Yokohama because of the port. At night, it really looks like a movie with all of the beautiful lights. I like the Chinatown in Yokohama too.

Has living in a shared space help or change you in any way? How so?

I love cooking at night and early in the morning, but I think about others more like, “Oh, people are asleep right now. I can’t be noisy!” In Poland, we make a lot of food that will last us for a couple of days. But because there is not so much space in Japan, I get to cook more and am more aware about space now.

Klaudia’s favorite jogging route

 

 

Have you had any challenges in the house that you were able to overcome or resolve?

I don’t have any problems with the house or the people living here. I’m so relaxed so if someone is making a little bit noise, it doesn’t bother me. I’ve heard some people singing in the house sometimes and I think it’s really funny!

Do you have any other plans in the future while you are in Tokyo?

I would firstly like to finish my Japanese studies and would like to have some time to travel more in Japan. Since I love to bake pastries and cakes, it would be great if I can open my own business here one day and run a bakery.

  

             

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers about your experience in your shared house?

 

If you have never lived in a shared house before, it might take a bit to get used to at first. It’s important to remember that you are in Japan, so the size of the spaces are different if you come from a western culture. It is a good and unique thing to experience here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resident Interview: Witt-style Roppongi in Roppongi and Azabu area.

We visited Alex at Witt – style Roppongi shortly before Christmas and then took a short walk with her before we stopped at Starbucks for a chat. Alex has been living in Japan for 7 years, and is now working near Tokyo Tower. For 3 months, she had been walking pass the house that would become Wit t – style Roppongi everyday. When we turned the building into a share house in June 2017, she became one of our first residents.

Tulip: Hi Alex, what interested you in our share house, and how was your experiences with shared houses before Witt – style Roppongi?

Alex: I lived almost door-to-door an hour away from where I work. And though I loved where I used to be, I was looking for a place closer to work because I did not like riding the train during rush hour. While I was looking for an apartment on Craigslist I came across an ad for this share house. I emailed your company, viewed the house and then moved in by the end of that month. As I’ve lived in shared apartments in Japan in the past I was looking forward to moving and being closer to work and friends.

Tulip: What is your favourite thing about living in Witt – style Roppongi?

Alex: I’m most happy about the convenience of living here. It’s really close to my work so I don’t need to take the rush – hour trains. And I hang out with my friends around here too because they all live near the area. About the house itself, I wish there were more common space s that would allow more socializing, like a proper living room. But I like the set up of the kitchen, with the common dining table and TV. It’s good for the size of the house.

[Witt-style Roppongi]

Tulip: How would you describe the surrounding area you live in? Do you have any favorite spots?

Alex: The surrounding area is surprisingly quiet though it’s just right off the main Roppongi Crossing. You only hear people walk up and down Roppongi and the Izumi Garden area. It’s such a nice area and again, it’s so convenient if you want to go shopping or go out for food. I eat out a lot so I can name a few favorite places. Down the street, there’s this place called Downtown B’s Indian Kitchen. Right across from there, in Izumi Garden, there is a Thai restaurant and a salad restaurant I enjoy going to. Right next to the share house is another Thai restaurant. If you go further down to Roppongi Hills there is a soup dumpling place that’s really good [Nansho Mantoten] and a French place called Brassaerie Va-tout. They serve really good lasagna. Everything is just within a fifteen-minutes’ walk from the share house, including my favorite sushi bar, Uramakiya.

[Downtown B’s Indian Kitchen (left) and a cute, little bar down the street (right)]

Tulip: Thanks so much for the recommendations! Do you have other favorite things to do in Tokyo?

Alex: I run, so I really like to go running around the Imperial Palace and seeing what’s around there. That’s my favorite place to run in Tokyo.
Tulip: Do you discover new places while you run?

Alex: I don’t technically go and explore. I figure out where things are while I run. For example, I didn’t realize how close we are to Hibiya Park. One day while I was lost I ran by Hibiya park and it was a nice discovery. I like exploring, but I especially like going outside of Tokyo. I don’t like being around a lot of crowds so I tend not to go to places that are crowded on the weekends, like Yoyogi Park, Harajuku or Shibuya. I try to leave Tokyo on the weekends. Whenever I can, I go snowboarding or go visit friends where I used to live in the West Coast of Japan. One of my favorite hiking spots around Tokyo is Mount Takao, and I really enjoy going on trips with the Tokyo Snow Club. I go snowboarding with them in winter and on fun trips in the summer.

[HoneyBaked Ham sandwich shop (left) and the small park nearby (right) are some of Alex’s favourite lunch spots.]

Alex: I’m used t o sharing space. Every year from when I was nine, I used to go to sleep – away camps and at one time we had 21 girls in one cabin. At a sleep – away camp you learn to share your space. In college , I was living with roommates too. I had my own room but we sha red a common space just like in the share house.

Tulip: How would you compare your living experience in Japan, between living in a share house and living in your own apartment?

Alex: I miss having my own apartment where I can decorate and call everything my own. I had my own apartment when I was living in Toyama. But at the same time, I work all day and I go and see friends, so it’s also enough just to have my own room to come ho me to. It’s a nice space and we rarely get in anybody’s way in the share house.

Tulip: Have you had any challenges in the house? And what did you do to overcome or resolve those problems?

Alex: I sometimes have to remind people to remove their hair from the bathtub, but there aren’t so many challenges. I think we’re doing okay in this share house. There’re bound to be issues that come up when eleven people live in the same house, but when something comes up , you can contact the management to help you communicate with your housemates in a polite and understanding way.

[A view of Tokyo Tower from Sengokuyama Mori Tower]

Tulip: Do you hang out with your housemates sometimes?

Alex: Occasionally . Most everyone in the house ha s different schedules. Mostly we just hang out in the kitchen if we see each other .

Tulip: Do you have any other plan in the future while you are in Tokyo?

Alex: For now, I’m really enjoying my work and I don’t plan to leave Tokyo anytime soon. I have some personal 2018 goals such as running a half marathon and doing the 2018 Spartan Races . But for my living situation and my professional situation, they aren’t going to change anytime soon.

[Izumi Garden (left) and Shiroyama Garden (right)]

Tulip: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers about your experience in your share house?

Alex: I’ve had a good experience in the house so far. I’m really happy with my living situation . The funny thing about this house is that I passed it every day for about three months on my way to my friend’s place to train for the Spartan Race. I remember that 2 or 3 weeks before I found your advertisement, I was jokingly wondering if one of the houses in the area ha d a room for rent. I really wanted to move closer to the area and when I came to the house for a viewing, I was like, I know this house! And now I’m here . Overall, I think it has been a good experience and I am glad I was able to move here.

Tulip: Thank you so much, Alex. We’re glad to hear that you’re enjoying your time in Japan and in Witt-style Roppongi. We wish you a lovely holiday!

[Around Witt-style Roppongi]

تجربتي كفتاة عربية في كوكب اليابان (Resident Blog)

 

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You may remember our lovely resident Sahar from her interview. At that time, she touched on the problems facing Muslim women living in Japan when finding accomodation. We invited her to give us the full story in a guest blog! She has blogged in Arabic to share her experience and advice with other Arabic speakers who may have similar trouble.

انا اسمي سحر فتاة قادمة من تونس ، أعمل مهندسة باليابان. أول مرة جئت فيها إلى اليابان سنة 2015 وذلك للقيام بتربص يتعلق بختم الدراسة الجامعية.

لم أكن أعرف شيئا عن هذا البلد العظيم ولأني أنحدر من بلد صغير يقع لشمال افريقيا فإن كل ما رأيته كان جديدا بالنسبة إلي وغريبا في نفس الوقت إذ أني لأول مرة في حياتي أزور آسيا وخاصة هذا البلد المتقدم.

وقد قامت الشركة التي احتضنتني للقيام بالتربص لديها بكراء غرفة لي بمبنى مختلط (إناث وذكور) لعدم معرفتهم بثقافتنا وتربيتنا وعاداتنا وتقاليدنا فكانت صدمة بالنسبة لي كيف لي أن أعيش في دار مختلطة مع أناس لا أعرفهم ولم أرهم في حياتي قط. وقد كانت تجربة مخيفة خاصة من ناحية النظافة لذلك بدأت أبحث عن منزل آخر . وأخيرا التجأت إلى google  وwebsite « tokyoshared house » أين وجدت ضالتي .

« tulip »هي دار مخصصة للبنات  فقط  سعدت كثيرا عند رؤيتها وبما أنني مسلمة أحسست بارتياح للعيش فيها بأمان سواء من ناحية النظافة أو من ناحية عدم الاختلاط.

وسارعت بمكالمة القائمين عليها الذين أجابوني في الحين ورحبّوا بي بكل تلقائية وها أنا قد انتقلت للعيش في تلك الدار والحمد لله.

وكما تعرفون فالبنات يتميّزن عن الذكور بالشعور بالمسؤولية والنظافة والاحترام والسلوك الطيب ومنذ أن انتقلت لم أتعرض إلى أي مشاكل .

ومما أسعدني أيضا وجود هذا المبنى بالقرب من محطة (Oedo line) التي تعتبر استرتيجية من حيث انطلاق سفراتها إلى عدة أماكن معروفة ومهمّة في طوكيو في وقت قصير للغاية:

Shinjuku –  (17 دقيقة)

Roppongi –  (35 دقيقة)

وقطار  Fukotoshin يوصلني إلى Shibuya  في 20 دقيقة

و قطار Seibu ikebukuro line  يوصلني إلى ikebukuro

حقا لم أتخيّل يوما أني سأفوز بدار مخصصة للبنات فقط في بلاد كاليابان حيث يطيب العيش فيها فكل شيء متوفر وسهل الحصول عليه بدون مشاكل أو تعقيدات.

وفي الختام ، أنصح كل فتاة مسلمة اللجوء إلى هذه الدار للسكن فيها متمتعة براحة البال والسكينة والنظافة إلى جانب موقعها الممتاز والاستراتيجي الذي يساعدها في تنقلاتها.

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