Hello Kamikitazawa, introduce yourself

Kamikitazawa started to develop when the station Kamikitazawa opened, which happened in 1913. This area has been a residential area for years. It is peaceful and homey. If you like more a quiet place, outside of the city center, but still easy access to Shinjuku, this is the place. It takes 14 minutes to reach Shinjuku by Keio line. Kamikitazawa is located in the west side of Tokyo, therefore it is easier from this area to reach Fuji Mountain, Yomiuri Theme park and Sanrio Theme park. From Kamikitazawa station, these 2 theme parks are reachable in 45 minutes.

[Kamikitazawa in April]

When you walk around Kamikitazawa area and its neighbor Sakurajosui, there is one thing you will notice specifically. These areas have a lot of small green pockets, wonderful gardens and parks around. Just 5-minute from our two sharehouses Okura House and Happy House Kamikitazawa, there is a long narrow Public garden between houses, it called Tamagawa Josui Second Park. It is a part of the 2000-meter waterway Tamagawa Josui, which was created in the Edo period to supply drink water to Edo town (Tokyo city). That canal had transformed to a park, which is lovely and beautiful, especially during spring time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Tamagawa Josui Second Park, credit]

About 20 minutes on foot from Kamikitazawa station, there is a park called Roka Koshu-en Garden. This is a designated cultural heritage site, and the most unique part of this public garden is the original Japanese-style house from Tokutomi Roka (a Japanese famous author) and the high bamboos.

Beside of these two parks, you have Shogun Pond Park and Koshinomiya park in walking distance. And there is a small temple (Mitsuzoin) which its architecture is interesting. You can tell this residential area is good for a walk or a run.

[Roka Koshu-en, credit]

We need food and drinks, so some food suggestions in Kamikitazawa and Sakurajosui would be good to know too!

We noticed one unique coffee shop, Megane Coffee (Glasses in Japanese). We tried a Coffee Latte and a toasted bread with butter and Red bean paste (Anko). The coffeemaker with glasses makes his coffees by an espresso machine Simonelle Appia II and apparently it is a good coffee shop. It is also published on the website Good Coffee (https://en.goodcoffee.me/coffeeshop/).

 

 

 

 

 

[Megane Coffee, credit]

If you walk closer to Kamikitazawa station, there is also a local Bagel store, owned by a woman called Kepo and she called her bagel store, Kepo Bagel. They sell their own local bagels which are chewy, original New York bagels and other extra breads.  For more information about Kepo Bagel (http://www.kepobagels.com/).

[Kepo Bagel, credit]

For the ramen lovers, there is a small must-try ramen restaurant in Kamikitazawa: Ramen Koike. This restaurant is even recommended in the Micheline guide! Their recommended signature ramens are Niboshi ramen and Noukou ramen. Noukou ramen is made of chicken broth-based and Niboshi ramen is made of dried fish broth-based. There is a long line, but worth it to wait and try. (https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1318/A131809/13172994/)

[Ramen Koike, credit]

Kamikitazawa is overall a peaceful residential area, not crowded and loud. There are useful facilities around Kamikitazawa and Sakura josui stations, like drugstores, supermarkets and convenient stores. Beside of the 3 recommended food & beverage places, there are other izakayas, ramen and the well-known chain restaurants and cafes, like Doutor, Tully, Sukiya etc. To live here, it is a promising convenient place. It would be nicer to have a bicycle, then you are able to go to some popular spots around Kamikitazawa station for bigger nature areas, shopping areas, famous temples, like Gotoku-ji and other local restaurants.
This is a nice guide of Setagaya-ku, you can visit each area, store, touristic spots and others by bicycle: https://mitte-x-img.istsw.jp/kanko-setagaya/file/pamphlet/Setagaya%20Guide%20Book.pdf

 

For more information about the spots we listed up here:

Ramen Koike

Address: 4-16-13 Kamikitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: Wednesday – Sunday  10:00 to 17:00.

Due to Pandamic situation, the opening hours might be different

Megane Coffee

Address: 3-3-3 Shimotakaido, Suginami City, Tokyo

Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 12:00 to 17:00 and 18:00 to 21:30

Due to Pandamic situation, the opening hours might be different

 

Tamagawa Josui Second Park

Address: 1 Chome-1-33 Kugayama, Suginami City, Tokyo

Roka Koshu-en Garden

Address:  1 Chome-20-1 Kasuya, 世田谷区 Setagaya City, Tokyo

Opening hours: Every day, 9:00 to 16:30

Due to Pandamic situation, the opening hours might be different

Kapobagel

Address: 4-chome-19-18 Kamikitazawa Setagaya City Tokyo
Opening hours: Every day  10:00 to 14:30 and 18:00 to 21:00

Due to Pandamic situation, the opening hours might be different

0

Inspiration by helping and be helped. Introducing Lifeline TELL Japan.

With the lifting of the State of Emergency in Japan, life has started getting back to normal gradually.

The shops are opening up after a long hiatus, companies are getting back to normal schedules, and morning trains are getting crowded again.

Although the restrictions are getting looser, it is important to practice the hygiene protocols and social distancing that we have been carrying out, as the experts opinion is that the battle with Corona is far from over.

How is life going to be after COVID-19?

This is something that has been in my mind for a while and I am sure that most of you have come across this thought. This pandemic drastically changed the way of life and would have long term social and economic consequences. As immediate consequences, getting back to social and working life may sound challenging and it is normal to feel anxious and worried in this trying times. Anxiety about not knowing how it would end, about our families back home or when we would see them again are normal, but it is essential that we keep our mental health in check and seek out help if needed.

 It is wonderful if we have friends or family listening to and being there for us. But being here in Japan, far away from our loved ones, there might be nobody we could come to, nobody to tell our problems to.

But wait! There is the Lifeline TELL Japan. It is a number you can call – somebody will listen to you.

Lifeline | TELL Japan

[Photo Credit]

03-5774-0992 (9 am – 11 pm every day)

• Free, confidential telephone counseling
• Anonymous, non-judgmental and caring
• Kids, teens and adults welcome to call
• English-speaking resources and support

And if you are a caring woman willing to help others in need, they offer a program to train and make you that wonderful person on the other end of the line, helping someone else through personal troubles.

Helping is beautiful. Seeking help no less. 🙂
Stay safe and courageous during this trying times!
2+

Happy House Asian – Results

In our previous blog, we explained about the renovation process of Happy House Asian. Finally, the transformation is finished and we would like to share the new Happy House Asian in Nakano!
Before showing the images of the new Happy House Asian, we would like to introduce our renovated share house.

Happy House Asian is a traditional, Japanese style house in a convenient area close to Nakano station and Araiyakushi shopping district. You can enjoy popular sightseeing spots, bars, izakayas, supermarkets and other restaurants. Happy House Asian has two large, private rooms and 4 hostel-style bunk dormitories. Previously, this house was lived by a geisha mistress and some of the furniture pieces are originated from her time living in this house. This house was built in the beginning of the Showa period (1926 – 1989) and it still has its original look. Right now, there is a cozy furnished living room with a television and a Japanese low dining table (kotatsu style), equipped kitchen, shower and a Japanese-style toilet.

Happy House Asian has been renovated in the winter period of 2019 ~ 2020 and we re-opened this house at the end of January, 2020. We kept the traditional architectural elements, which are the characteristics of this house. Between the entrance hall and the dormitory room there is an interior rice-paper window (shoji) and a rice-paper door (fusuma). We had to replace the rice paper, but the design is almost the same.
The main elements are the wooden beams and columns and the wooden ceiling, which we emphasized by keeping them dark brown and the fillers (walls) lighter colors. The challenge of this renovation was to make it homier and more like a sharehouse. We did that by adding more colors and making the rooms lighter, changing the lights, changing the curtains and other small changes. The damages before the renovation created also an old look, therefore it was important to repair the small damages.

Let’s start with the tour!

This is the Front Façade of Happy House Asian. We re-painted the lower walls and added a signboard by having a new Post box.

“Welcome, please come inside.”The Entrance hall

Shoe shelves at the entrance

Dormitories | closed curtains

Livingroom

Kitchen

Balcony

 

 

Our website: https://tulip-e.com/
Our Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/tokyotulip
Our Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tuliprealestate.co.ltd/

0

Protocol of Corona Virus in the sharehouses

Dear Residents of Tulip Real Estate,

We post this information, since this message is related to anyone who can become a victim of Corona Virus.
You all live in a house with more residents in one house, therefore the risk is higher someone will get the virus and spread it in the house. We would like to share some information about it.

[Post Credit]

HYGIENE
Hygiene is very important right now and that doesn’t only mean outside, but also inside the house. Everybody touches the pans, the doorknobs of the doors, the flush buttons of the toilets and so on. It is crucial that everyone in the house is taking care of each other’s hygiene. To avoid getting sick and also to spread the disease, please:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 30 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home
  • clean/detox your room as much as possible
  • clean the common spaces (kitchen, toilet etc.) with detergent and water after using them.
  • use hand sanitizer gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid close contact with people
  • only travel on public transport if you need to
  • work/study from home, if you can
  • avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas
  • avoid events with large groups of people

SYMPTOMS OF CORONA VIRUS
Every person feels the illness a bit different. Some people get a sore throat and a fever, some feel a bit tired. The most warning symptom is when you have a higher temperature than 37.5 degrees here in Japan. If you are not feeling well, you need to consider your housemates’ health and avoid contact with them. Please visit a hospital and contact Tulip Real Estate first. You should wear a surgical mask to minimize risk to others and move quickly through any common areas. Avoid coming to the common spaces as much as possible, like the living room. Stay in the room as much as possible for at least 14 days. If it is confirmed a person in the sharehouse has corona virus, let us know if you are not feeling well, and we can come with urgent measures if needed.

※ We do not provide evacuation sites, even if the infection of residents is known.

Please note that financial compensation is not supported.

If possible, you should not even go outside to buy food or other products. Talk (by phone or mail) to your housemates to ask for their help to access necessary things you need or order things online.
People living in the same house, will infect each other easily. Therefore, it might be we also need to ask others to be checked and isolate themselves for 14 days in the room.

CONTRACT RENEWAL
We informed you all, that there is a change in our contract renewal procedure.
Normally, residents need to pass by our office to renew. From now until the end of April, we will put your contract in the mailbox of your house. We would like to ask you if you could sign and submitted back in the mailbox. Next time, we will pick it up. We will notify you again if there are any changes.

OTHER TEMPORARY CHANGES OF REGULATION
We want to inform you, it is not allowed to invite friends or other visitors in the sharehouses anymore. This rule might be until the end of April, but we will inform you for any changes.

Please keep the windows, especially in the common spaces, a bit open once in a while to have fresh air in the house.

OUR OPENING HOURS OF THE OFFICE
For now, we still work in the office every day from 10:00 ~ 18:00 and we still visit the sharehouses. If we decide to close the office, we will inform you accordingly. We would still be reachable by emails, since we would work from home. For contract renewal, moving in, moving out and viewing appointments, we would need to postpone.
Probably, we wouldn’t be able to clean anymore in the houses. This information will be informed as well.

USEFUL WEBSITES
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Infectious Disease Surveillance Center (in Japanese)
Http://idsc.tokyo-eiken.go.jp/diseases/2019-ncov/

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Bureau of Social Welfare and Public Health (in Japanese)
Https://www.fukushihoken.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/iryo/kansen/coronasodan.html

The statistics of victims and death
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Japanese news: Japanese Times (in English)
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2020/03/21/commentary/japan-commentary/japan-still-coronavirus-outlier/#.XnrW-ogzaUk

Japanese news: NHK world (in English)
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/

Take care! And keep in touch.

Best regards,

Tulip Real Estate

[Photo Credit]

0

Sakura Season 2020

It is not the brightest and the most romantic moment right now in 2020, the corona virus is still spreading and it hasn’t been decreased. You might probably know a lot of entertainment facilities are closed and a lot of events are canceled. End of March is almost coming, which means the cherry blossoms will full bloom soon. The governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike warns people, hanami (picnic under the cherry blossoms) is still a risky activity in this situation. She asks people to refrain doing picnic and having parties in parks. Although, she doesn’t want to stop people enjoying cherry blossoms, she said on March 12th: “We discussed what to do with hanami. It is open-air, therefore we still want people to admire flowers.”

[Post Credit]

Even though, hanami is very fun and it is a tradition in Japan, it is better to listen to the governor of Japan. But how and where can we enjoy sakura (cherry blossom) this year? It is better to go to small local parks in the residential areas instead of the popular big public parks, where a lot of people (locals and tourists) come. Before going to the list of suggestions. Here is the list of sakura festivals which are canceled:

Ueno Sakura festival 2020
Chiyoda Sakura festival 2020
Nakameguro Sakura festival 2020 (along the river)
Shibuya Sakuragaoka Sakura festival 2020
Bunkyo Sakura festival 2020
Jiyugaoka Sakura festival 2020
Sa*kaso Sakura festival 2020 in Asukayama park
Koganei Sakura festival 2020
Sumida Koen Sakura festival 2020

In other small places, there are no festivals hold, but they are still nice to walk around or sit there. According to the cherry blossom forecast, the blossoms have started blooming in Tokyo on March 14th. The best moment is around March 27th. Probably in the weekend of March 28th and 29th you can enjoy the beautiful scenario.

For Happy House Mint and Witt-Style Clover
Two big parks in Nerima ward with a lot of cherry blossoms. Hikarigaoka Park and Toshimaen Park in Nerima ward.

[Post Credit]

[Post Credit]

For Happy House Koenji and Happy House Kamikitazawa
A popular spot for locals and less for tourists, it is the Wadabori park in Suginami ward. Big cherry blossom trees along the Zenpukuji river.

[Post Credit]

For Happy House Orange, Vitamin Color and Asian
Nakano has a lot of Cherry Blossoms and not specifically in parks. Nakano dori is full of cherry blossoms.

[Post Credit]

For Witt-Style Nakameguro and Witt-Style Mishuku
One of the most popular spot to see sakura is in Nakameguro, along the Nakameguro river. It might be less busy compare to the previous years, but probably it is better to skip to go there for this year. In Setagaya ward, there is a park called Kinuta Park, which has about 930 cherry blossoms blooming.

[Post Credit]

For Happy House Kagurazaka & Chilli Pepper and Cream
PersonallyI went to Iidabashi area for hanami last year, it was not super crowded along the Kanda river, so probably there won’t be many people walking this year. It is beautiful though.


[Post Credit]

 

0

Tulip Staff Introduction II

Hi, this is Yuka and I have worked at Tulip for more than half a year, but I hadn’t introduced myself yet. This blog is about me, my home country the Netherlands and my experience in Tokyo.

I was born and raised in Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands. My parents decided to live in the Netherlands a long time ago, because they really fell in love for this country when they were in their twenties. Even though they like to live there, I decided to move to Japan. In 2010 I had the opportunity to do an exchange program in Tokyo and since then I have liked Japan a lot. I haven’t always lived in the Netherlands since I had started my bachelor study, I was going somewhere else to get more experience in architecture. Because of my nomadic lifestyle, I have started to see how great the Netherlands is. I didn’t understand why people like to visit the Netherlands, but now I do understand!

Windmills and tulips in the country side of the Netherlands (Photo Credit)

The Netherlands is a very small country in Europe, close to Germany and Belgium. The size is about the size of the island Kyushu in Japan. Probably, people know this country as the country of tulips, and windmills. We indeed have windmills and tulips, but generally speaking you won’t see them in the main cities of the Netherlands. So, what is the Netherlands beside of the suburban iconic elements? You might know, it is the country of the tallest people on earth, the LGBT rights are the most progressive in the world, a flat landscape which is 70% below the sea level and the country of legalized soft drug law.

Amsterdam canals, Amsterdam houses and house boats (Photo Credit)

The Netherlands is well known of the brick Canal houses along the canals. Normally, they are about six-stories high, have quite big windows and steep stairs, and lean a bit to the front. The relationship between the buildings and the canals are potential urban elements what I miss a lot. A lot of Dutch cities have chill public spots between the buildings, for example big plazas with terraces around (good places to have a cold orange juice or beer in the sun) and canals to sit on the side and stare to the boats. There are even cafes and restaurants along the canals; Beautiful, cozy and enjoyable. The country of water!

Terraces along the canals (Photo Credit)

Since a big part of the country is below sea level, water is the weakest and the strongest element in this country. Since ages ago, Dutch people have fought against water; high dunes, dikes and other water systems were created. Even the wind mills are water systems, you will notice that the most of wind wills are next to the water. They also appreciate water by creating a lot of canals, lakes and water leisure parks. Also, the Dutch team during Olympic Games is strong at water related sports, for example Swimming, Ice skating, Beach volleyball and Sailing. But probably the Dutch people are mostly proud of their high-skilled water technology and innovative water ideas. Dutch companies are often been asked by other countries for tsunami disasters, rising water level and drink water.

There are so many other Dutch characteristics, cheese, cows and milk, the direct and open communication, an orange colored festival, famous painters etc.

Beside of explaining about the Netherlands, I would like to tell a bit about my experience in Tokyo. In Tokyo, I like Aoyama, Yanaka and Kagurazaka. Since, we have two houses around Kagurazaka, which are Happy House Kagurazaka and Chilli Pepper & Cream, I will tell a bit more about Kagurazaka.

Kanda river in Kagurazaka during cherry blossom period (Photo Credit)

When I am planning to visit this area, it is mostly because I am going to meet someone to eat in one of its restaurants or cafes, to visit the Akagi shrine or to visit my friend’s contemporary art gallery when there is a new exhibition. The restaurants are very nice, I enjoy eating Japanese food and French food in this area. I recommend Rito Kitchen, a beach house restaurant where they serve meals cooked with products of the small islands of Japan. For French, I really enjoyed the food in the very popular restaurant Maison de la Bourgogne. If you go to the canal side, there is Canal café, maybe because I come from a canal country、I like to sit there with a cup of tea staring to the big canal. During spring sakura time, along the canal it is a popular spot to enjoy Hanami (picnic under the cherry blossom trees). Along the canal you have big cherry blossom trees.

 

 

 

 

Rito Kitchen in Kaguraka (Photo Credit)

I like architecture and Akagi Shrine in Kagurazaka is renovated by a current famous Japanese architect, therefore I like to go there for my prayers. The same architect also renovated an old book warehouse in Kagurazaka. It called La Kagu and it is currently an event space with shops and a restaurant.

La Kagu, an old book warehouse to an event space with shops, exhibitions and restaurant (Photo Credit)

Still many things to explore in this area and other places in Tokyo. Even though I have come to Tokyo so many times and have lived here for 2 years now. For more information about our two houses in Kagurazaka area, check our website.

Happy House Kagurazaka: https://tulip-e.com/en/estateinfo/27/

Chilli Pepper & Cream: https://tulip-e.com/en/estateinfo/30/

0

How to prepare for an earthquake?!


Regularly, we feel a small earthquake in Tokyo. It is quite common here, but it has been predicted that there will occur a big one in Tokyo before the year 2050. For foreigners who haven’t experienced any earthquakes, it can be frightening. How to prepare for any kind of earthquake?

 

1.)Install this useful app Yurekuru on your phone. It gives warning notifications a few seconds before an earthquakes happens.

2.)  On the website of Japan Meteorological Agency, you can find out about the latest Japanese earthquakes. It updates immediately after any earthquake. It is good to know where the main core was, in the case you would like to escape to other cities.

(link: https://www.keishicho.metro.tokyo.jp/multilingual/english/natural_disasters/respond_to_eq/index.files/english.pdf)

3.)  Discuss with other girls in your sharehouse, about a safe place outside, if the sharehouse is not safe to be in after an earthquake. At least you wouldn’t be alone outside after the disaster.

4.)  Let the embassy of your country know you are living in Japan by registering your contact information. The embassy can assist you more before, during and after the earthquake. In my experience of the earthquake in 2011, the Dutch embassy contacted the Dutch people who had lived in Japan, that the embassy could arrange airplane tickets from Japan to the Netherlands for free.

(link: https://www.keishicho.metro.tokyo.jp/multilingual/english/natural_disasters/respond_to_eq/index.files/english.pdf)

5.)  Make your house dangerous free. So check if the bookcase is standing against the wall and if certain breakable items are not on the top of a furniture. If necessary, you can tape certain cabinets or closets on the floor, just in case.

(link: https://www.keishicho.metro.tokyo.jp/multilingual/english/natural_disasters/respond_to_eq/index.files/english.pdf)

6.)  Prepare an emergency kit. You can buy those kits in Don Quijote, Amazon.com, home good stores and home centers. Or you can prepare an emergency kit by yourself.
What kind of items are useful to have before the earthquake:

  • A couple bottles of water
  • Flashlight + spare of batteries
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Cash
  • Medication
  • Radio + spare of batteries
  • Canned food and other ready-to-eat food
  • Work gloves
  • Big plastic sheets, like garbage bags or poncho
  • Copy of all your important documents, health insurance, bank information, passport etc.
  • Whistle
  • Swiss army knife
  • Pen + paper

(link: https://www.keishicho.metro.tokyo.jp/multilingual/english/natural_disasters/respond_to_eq/index.files/english.pdf)

 

0

Tokyo’s Hidden Gems: Livin’ in a Grandma’s Paradise – Sugamo

Our sharehouse Apricot Terrace is in Sugamo. Sugamo is a slice of pure, classic Tokyo, served up at your grandparents’ house because you told them your mum hasn’t fed you yet.

Sugamo is known locally as ‘Granny’s Harajuku’ and it’s easy to see why. Geriatrics visit Jizo Dori in their hordes to get the best picks of traditional Japanese sweets, premium matcha tea and old-timey fashions.

But this grandma’s paradise holds plenty of attractions for any ages. Especially visitors who want to see a more old fashioned side of Tokyo. These are our favourites.

(link:http://japan-local-guide.com/ja/sugamo_a_paradise_for_tourists_who_want_to_take_a_look_at_old_japan/)

Obligatory Cute Mascot Sugamon

The mascot of Sugamo is a very round, white duck called Sugamon and he is adorable. A replica of his butt is stationed at the entrance to Jizo Dori, which can be stroked for a boost of luck in love. His schedule is written only in Japanese, but you can be sure he’ll make an appearance at all Sugamo’s festivals and events. His bum also looks like the shio daifuku that Sugamo is famous for. Mochi filled with red bean paste and flavoured with salt to counteract the sweetness. http://sugamon.jp/

 

Maruji Red Pants

You may notice an abundance of bright red panties. Not so much Sugamo’s saucy underbelly, rather these underwear are believed to grant you good health if you wear them. Judging by the average age of their patrons, there may be something in it…

(link:https://matcha-jp.com/en/greatertokyo/place/ChIJSQZuOp2NGGAReuli9ZYo2Ic)

Koganji Temple (Togenuki Jizo Temple)

This temple is more commonly known by its nickname of Togenuki Jizo, meaning ‘Jizo that draws out the thorn’ in reference to a story about the Jizo deity that is enshrined there. A samurai drew 10,000 pictures of the deity in order to cure his wife’s disease and after that the pictures were also used to cure a woman who had swallowed a thorn. Even now, this temple is very popular with people who want to cure their ailments.


(link:http://japan-local-guide.com/ja/sugamo_a_paradise_for_tourists_who_want_to_take_a_look_at_old_japan/)

Ganso Sennari Monaka

Purveyors of traditional Japanese sweets, you can watch fresh dorayaki being made in front of your very eyes. They also offer cute, colourful monaka for only 100 yen each. A sweet traditionally served with tea, consisting of a jam filling (there’s a choice of flavours such as red bean paste or plum) sandwiched between crisp mochi wafers. A perfect souvenir of your time in Sugamo!

(link: https://haveagood.holiday/spots/290884)

 

Traditional Japanese Clothing

Although the vast majority of the clothes in Sugamo are geared towards a more mature market, if you want to buy some traditional Japanese wear there are bargains to be had. Old ladies know where to get value for their money. Yukata, which are light, summer kimonos can be found for unbelievably low prices.

If you want to know even more about Sugamo, read our previous blog about the market that takes place there!

(link: https://matcha-jp.com/cn/3997)

0