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)

 

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)

Happy House Asian – Transformation

One of our share houses is Happy House Asian. It is located in a Showa
(1926 – 1989) developedlively and cozy area close to Nakano station.
Happy House Asian is a house of two-stories, lived by a geisha, which its architecture is the traditional Japanese style. Interior rice-paper windows (shoji), rice-paper door (fusuma), wooden exposed beams and columns, bamboo finish and old style entrance (genkan) make it a true geisha house.

It is built in the beginning of Showa period and hasn’t been renovated for a while. In the beginning of this house as a share house Happy House Asian, the most parts have been kept from the original when the geisha was living here. Finally, it has been time to renovate this geisha house!

Tulip Real Estate started to think of ideas in September and step by step the house has changed. The idea is keeping the geisha character, but making it brighter and cozier. We are trying to finish the new look in Happy House Asian in the end of January.
The current stage:

 

Image below: There will be some new items in the house!

Image below: Ready to repair some corners. A collaboration between the Tulip staff and the professional handymen.

Image below: Spraying the umbrella racks to a goldish color to fit more in the new entrance.

Image below: The carpenters repaired wooden parts. In the kitchen the upper wooden part was rotten and it really needed reparation.

    

Image below:  Planning to use some Japanese patterned curtains and cushions.

Image below: We are keeping the beautiful original wooden ceiling, but we had to repair some parts.

Image below: The dormitory space is already emptied and the wooden work had been done too. It is time for paint.

In January 2020, we will give you an update and show the transformed version of Happy House Asian. Wishing everybody a happy new year!

 

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

 

Why Koenji is an awesome place? ChapterI

Tokyo’s one of the coolest hipster area, Koenji. It is already popular among the local Japanese and step by step the tourists discover this area too. Koenji has a young and energetic vibe in an area with low-rise buildings, which makes it cozy and cute as well. Why is Koenji an awesome place to live and to be in?

Since, we have one share house called Happy House Koenji, close to Koenji station, we would like to share some cool or convenient spots in this area. This time, we have listed up some of Koenji’s characteristic popular spots! Go there, if you have time.

Koenji is well-known of the various vintage second hand stores, like second hand book stores, music record stores and especially second hand clothes stores. The most of these stores are in the south of Koenji station in the famous street called “Look Street” and in the north of the station in the street “Azuma Street”. Here are some examples of second hand stores.

CLOTHES
There are a lot of different clothes which you cannot find anywhere else and they are still in good condition! For Vintage clothes, Loversoul, Re’all, Chart and Small change are interesting. These are the most popular ones where they sell clothes, shoes, bags and other accessories.

Small change: https://www.smallchange.jp/shop_koenji.html

Lover Soul: http://koenjilook.com/modules/shop0/index.php?id=290

Re’all: http://reall-koenji.com/  

Chart: https://ameblo.jp/whistler-and-chart/

Re’all
credit: http://img11.shop-pro.jp/PA01294/717/slideshow/slideshow_img_6d22fc.jpg?cmsp_timestamp=20190109205535


Small Change
credit: https://media.timeout.com/images/102566928/750/422/image.jpg

 

BOOKS
For interesting and unique books, you might like Ehonya Rusuban Bansuru Kaisha, Cocktail, Tomaru and SUB-store. Enhonya Rusuban has a lot of children books from all over the world. Cocktail is transformed from a full bookstore to a bar with some books. Tomaru is more for people who can read Japanese and the last one, SUB-store is a place where you can eat, drink, listen music and read books.

Rusuban: http://rusuban.ocnk.net/page/36

Cocktail: https://www.tokyocreative.com/sights/7509-cocktail-koenji

Tomaru: https://nakadori.jp/shop/0333373690.html

SUB-Store: https://substore.jimdo.com

SUB-Store
credit: https://experience-suginami.tokyo/exstcms/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/054-720×540.jpg

Cocktail
credit: https://www.tokyocreative.com/sights/7509-cocktail-koenji

 

MUSIC RECORDS
Beside of that, Koenji has some music live bars and music lovers come to Koenji for music. Beside of live band performances, you can find second hand music records in small shops between the streets.
EAD records focuses on New Waves, Jazz Funky and Dance & House Classics. For Punk and Metal, Record Shop Base is the place to be. Be-in-records has vinyl records of the most famous international musicians like the Beatles. This store actually has a lot of different kind of music genres. If you are curious about Japanese indie music, you will like Enban. Enban sells CD and DVD of Japanese artists.

EAD records: http://www.eadrecord.com/

Record shop Base: http://www.recordshopbase.com/

Be in records:http://www.bein.co.jp/

Enban: http://enban.web.fc2.com/

SUB-Store
credit: https://www.lifein.tokyo.jp/thegear/content/theme/media/article/archive/20-180528_%E3%82%88%E3%81%BF%E3%82%82%E3%81%AE_SUBstore/SUB%201%20Dadang%20Pranoto.jpg

Record Shop Base
credit: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DBzSEkqUIAAQixk?format=jpg&name=4096×4096

Tulip’s Japanese to English Share House Cheat Sheet – You’re Welcome!

Are you new to Japan and trying to settle into your new share house or apartment? Or have you been living in Japan for years and still haven’t cracked the code of Kanji? You’re in luck because we have made a Share House Cheat Sheet Series for your electronic appliances so go ahead and finally give Google Translate a rest!

Image result for learning kanji

Tulip Real Estate is a female-run share house company located in Tokyo that aims to support women who want to enjoy the city life, maintain their careers, or start up their own business ventures all while saving up their finances. When living in a share house, not only can you practice your language skills and meet new people, but you can also save a ton of yen by not having to buy your own home appliances. Tulip Real Estate share houses provide furnished living rooms, kitchens, dish ware, cookware, utensils, and electronic appliances.

Being able to use all of these appliances freely at your fingertips is amazing, but if you can’t read the language,  be prepared to run into some issues. Luckily we have got your back, enjoy these cheat sheets and let’s memorize them once and for all!

Air conditioner/Heater remote controller translation from kanji so you can finally know right away not to turn on the heater on a sweltering summer day in Japan.

Next up is our kanji cheat sheet for the washing machine and drying machine. Say goodbye to the days of pressing that one, standard button for all types of clothing or accidentally pressing the wrong button with no return. Wash your delicates with the love and care that they deserve!

  

Most Japanese kitchens do not have a large, industrial oven like many households might have in the west. Instead, 2-in-1 microwave ovens are quite standard in order to save space.

Another common appliance in most homes in Japan are IH stoves opposed to the gas stove. Take note that some power buttons require you to hold for about 2 seconds!

The most-loved toilet around the world, Japanese electronic bidet toilets. These bidets can be found not only in homes but are pretty common in many establishments all around Japan. There are also two flush settings you may find on the handle with 小 (small) and 大 (large) in order to save water. Eco-friendly and luxurious!

Who knew that there were so many ways to cook rice! Check out the rice cooker kanji guide so you can cook rice properly, it is after all a staple in every Japanese meal.

There you have it, hopefully you are one step closer on your journey to mastering kanji!

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Aoyama Girls Night Out – Tulip Team Style!

Omotesando’s more down-to-earth neighbor and Harajuku’s more sophisticated older sister; Aoyama is a place to refresh, get inspired and feel fancy. So it only makes sense that our staff decided to make it our go-to destination for a girls night out – Tulip style!

There is a certain air to Aoyama that gives it an exclusive feel, perhaps because it is tucked away in the hilly slopes of Tokyo, but the small streets do not feel too narrow. Or maybe it’s the effortlessly fashionable artists and designers that can be overheard talking about their up and coming projects in passing. The tiny, boutique shops and local bars’ dedication to their craft to produce top-notch quality and protect the artisan culture, or maybe it is the eclectic architecture that somehow the groups of tourists have not yet discovered.

Heading over to dinner, we passed by Sunny Hills, designed by one of Tokyo’s most beloved modern architects, Kengo Kuma. Fans of Kuma’s work should definitely check out his many projects scattered around Kagurazaka, where we also happen to have two lovely share houses, Chilli Pepper & Cream and Happy House Kagurazaka.

As we approached the restaurant, we were taken aback at the gorgeous exterior and atmosphere. Walking through the bar area (and slightly regretting our outfit choices), we were shown to a table seated by a lit-up terrace. 

Cicada is located just a minute’s walk from Omotesando Station and specializes in modern Mediterranean cuisine. The space itself has a Euro-chic atmosphere but the flavor of the dishes were deliciously authentic. We started with some toasted pita accompanied by various dips of your choice – we went with the classic hummus and a carrot, yogurt, & mint spread.

The cocktail menu was very impressive, which is expected as the restaurant is owned by Tysons & Company, the founders of T.Y. Harbor Brewery.

After our lots of chatting, laughs and “kanpais!” we scoped around the area for a place to grab some cocktails. We stumbled upon Radio Bar and were intrigued by its retro atmosphere, like something out of an old Japanese movie. It turned out that Radio Bar has been around since the 1970s, and THE place to go for cocktail connoisseurs and aspiring mixologists to enjoy a proper pour (which is hard to come across in Tokyo nowadays amongst all the Lemon Sours and Whiskey High Balls).

Accompanied with an incredibly delicious spread of fresh fruits and cheese came Bar Radio’s original cocktails served with impeccable presentation. Each cocktail has been meticulously crafted and perfected over the decades and we appreciated the attention to detail until the last very last drop. Because of the high standards of the establishment, the cocktails are not at all cheap and be prepared to be on your best behavior, that also means to dress accordingly!

Satisfied and slightly emotional over how exquisite our night has been so far, we were not ready for it to end. We decided to check out the nearby Commune 2nd, suggested by our staff Jan who is in the know about many Tokyo’s hidden gems.

At Commune 2nd, you will be greeted with hip, neon clad signs, beer and food stands with a modern-style food truck-like layout, and groups of merry making locals and foreigners alike enjoying themselves over drinks and food.

Commune 2nd closes at 10 PM, let’s clarify that all the shops and eating spaces close at 10 PM sharp! We had too much fun in the lively atmosphere and did not want to leave, but had to take a team pic while we were getting kicked out.

Although at first a bit intimidated and unfamiliar with the Aoyama area, it has become one of our favorite places to explore. Stay tuned for hopefully an Aoyama Part 2 Guide by the Tulip Team and also a possible share house that will be newly opening up  in Aoyama some time in the future 😉

Thanks for reading and enjoy Tokyo to the fullest! Tulip Real Estate specializes in female-only share houses in Tokyo. Send us a message to ask about our share houses and we are more than happy to recommended our favorite places to check out nearby.

Tulip Website: www.tulip-e.com

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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!