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 with Alex

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 favorite 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 favorite 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 shared 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]

Resident Interview: Happy House Kagurazaka with Vijaya from New York


Vijaya started living in one of Tulip’s shared houses in July 2015, when she first moved to Tokyo from New York. She stayed in Happy House Herb for a few months and then moved to Chilli Pepper and Cream shortly after its opening. Today we got a chance to chat with her at Kagurazaka Saryo, a well-known green tea and dessert cafe near Chilli Pepper and Cream.

 First question, Vijaya, what interested you in our share house in the beginning?

I came to Tokyo with an English-teaching program but they didn’t provide an accommodation in Tokyo. Then I started looking things up on my own and went to see a few apartments with regular housing agencies, but they were all too pricey. I wound up meeting Norie-san [Tulip’s founder] at Happy House Herb. The price was really good and I could just move in without any hassle. No need to set up the electricity, the internet and so on. We arrived in July and a lot of my friends didn’t have internet in their apartments until December. Settling down in a share house was much easier.

 So you have lived in Happy House Herb and you are now living in Chilli Pepper and Cream. What do you particularly like about these houses and how would you compare them?

I like the people a lot. I made a lot of friends in both houses. I like that Happy House Herb resembles what I thought a Japanese house would look like, but the thing that made me want to move out was that the room was a little small. I would always be in the common area. Even though I like the people I was living with, sometimes after a long day of work I just wanted to read and rest in my own room. What I really like about Chilli Pepper and Cream is that there is always this friendly environment, but I can also just crash in my room when I’m tired. The rooms are big enough for an American like me to feel comfortable. I also like that there is a tumble dryer and an oven in the common area. The location is probably one of the things I like most too. The neighborhood of Happy House Herb was a little quieter. I really like that, but actually, my current neighborhood is more suited to me.

 How so? How would you describe the surrounding area you live in?

Kagurazaka reminds me a lot of my home in New York. Very metropolitan. It’s very cultural, but also very, very modern. I guess it’s more foreigner-friendly. The nicest thing is that you have all those small local Japanese shops, but at the same time I can just go to Starbucks and Burger King if I miss America. And it’s really close to Roppongi where I work. I can get up at 7:30 and still arrive to work at 8:00. The house is right across the station.

 Do you have any favorite spots in Kagurazaka?

The Canal Cafe is probably my favorite. When I first moved here, I saw people paddling the boat up and down the canal. Then I found out that we can get a paddle boat at the restaurant. It’s a bit expensive but it’s worth it. I like the variety of the supermarkets we have here too. There is one with really nice salad and imported goods. I also found a really nice whisky bar when I was taking a walk on one of the small streets.

 What are your favorite things to do in Tokyo?

Karaoke. It thought I was gonna hate it, but when I first went with my friends here, I ended up loving it. I also love going to the park. There are a lot of really nice parks around here, especially Shinjuku Gyoen. Though you usually have to pay to get in, they have some free days that I always try to go to. I also like walking by Yasukuni Shrine. Sometimes there is a flea market there.

 Has living in a shared space helped or changed you in any way?

Back in New York I always used to share a bedroom with my sister, but I guess the way you interact with strangers is a little different. When you talk to them, you make more effort to get to know them. One day I was talking to this Japanese girl next to my room in the kitchen. Then I found out that she actually went to a law school in New York. And that’s what I’ve been wanting to do, so we could connect from there.

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

In my share house, we don’t really run into each other in an unpleasant way. There are only 8 people for three toilets and two showers. There has never been any time where I have to wait for a toilet, and there isn’t a line for the shower either. Tulip has a cleaning staff that cleans the common space every week, so I don’t have to clean after other people.

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

I’ll be here for one more year, at least. When I came here, I initially thought I would stay for one year, but then I got to liking it. When they wanted prolong my contract, I was like “definitely.” My plan in Tokyo is to keep learning Japanese. Ideally, I’m thinking of going to a law school here if I could. But it would take me a couple more years to master the language. I will see how things go.

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

As a foreigner, I would highly recommend it. Share house is probably the best option if you don’t know how long you are gonna stay. My program is bringing in a lot of English teachers, and I’ve been telling people to take a look at a share houses. When you first move in at a regular apartment, you have to pay like 4 or 5 times rent up front. Then you need to buy electrical appliances and all other things. People only stay for one year end up being in debt because they had to pay so much in the beginning. With me, I’ve been able to spend my salary on exploring Japan and traveling around Asia.


Resident Interview: Living in Minato-ku with Phuong from Vietnam

Meet Phuong, a university student studying Japanese and currently living in our Witt-Style Peppermint shared house. We had the chance to talk to her about living in Asakusa and her experience in the house.

Witt-Style Peppermint

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

In the beginning, I was interested in trying a shared house because it’s cheaper than living alone. So I searched on the internet and found this house and thought it might be a bit pricey at first. But when I visited, it felt like such a good deal because it really is a great house.

 What is your favorite thing about living in Witt-Style Peppermint?

I like the facilities here and especially love the kitchen because I love cooking. I cook all the time and make food for my roommates sometimes. Also before I moved in, I talked with Tulip and really liked that I could start with one month and if I didn’t like it, I could stop. I’ve been living here for about four months now.

Balcony View and Peppermint Kitchen

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

Recently, I started to go running and jogging in the area and it’s really nice! It’s quite crowded around because it’s Asakusa… Sensoji Temple and Skytree are here so there are many people. Even late at night, there are restaurants open and people around. I love that the supermarkets are still open too. While I run, I see some coffee shops that look really nice and especially love running by the riverside. It’s so beautiful and I can see the Skytree really clearly. I love that site.

Skytree View from the Entrance of the House

What are your favorite things to do in Tokyo?

 I love a lot of places!  I like Jiyugaoka because it’s really peaceful and beautiful there. The area has a university so I see a lot of young people and many clothing shops, coffee shops…it’s really nice.

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

 When I used to live in Vietnam, I lived with my family so basically I could do whatever I want in the house. But here, for example, after I’m finished in the kitchen I have to keep the place clean – wash up and put things back in their places. I have to be quiet at night so I don’t disturb other people. At first I thought it was a bit hard but gradually got used to it.

 Is there anything cool in your space that has a special meaning to you?

 I keep many things in my room that I brought from my country or have bought here. I plan on displaying my friends’ gifts and postcards soon. I bought the Japanese lucky cat where the hand is up and I read somewhere that it means ‘‘welcome.’’ I actually got it nearby in Asakusa on the street in front of Sensoji Temple.

Japanese Lucky Cat & a Dragon from Vietnam

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

 Actually no, haha. I’ve had no challenges here. Living here is pretty easy and everyone is really nice.

 Do you have any plans in the future while you are living in Japan?


In general, I want to focus on studying Japanese but I also want to spend time travelling in and around Tokyo, maybe Hakone or Nikko. Hopefully during my summer vacation!

Night Stroll in the Neighborhood

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

At first, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to live in a shared house but after living in one, I think it is actually better. It’s so comfortable, convenient, it has everything, and when I come home, it really feels like home. I feel welcome and the housemates are very nice so I think that it has been great for me.

Cheers from Campions, a Local Pub!

Resident Interview: Tunisian cooking at Witt-Style Clover, Nerima

We know Sahar from last year while she was staying in Tokyo for 5 months and visited one of our shared houses. Unfortunately, Sahar couldn’t move in at that time due to limited availability. But when she came back to Tokyo this year, she contacted us again and finally moved in Witt-style Clover. When our staff visited her the house for the interview, Sahar welcomed us with her beautiful homemade Tunisian cooking!

Sahar preparing Tunisian Couscous with fried vegetables

Hi Sahar, what interested you in our shared house, and have you had any experience with this kind of share-living before Witt-style Clover?

Last year I stayed in Tokyo for work for five months, and my company arranged a room in a shared house near the office for me. There was no Japanese people in the house. Most of my housemates were men and it was hard to keep the house clean, if you know what I mean. I was desperately looking for an all-female shared house, and I really liked Cozy Village Jasmine when I saw it. It didn’t work out, but when I got another work contract in Tokyo this year, I decided right away to email Tulip.

 What is your favourite thing about living in Witt-style Clover?

I like that the house and the rooms are spacious, that common areas are always clean, and most importantly it’s all women. Most of my housemates are Japanese and though they are not fluent in English, they always try to explain things to me in English. I want to learn to speak Japanese with them too.

Surrounding areas of Witt-style Clover and Toshimaen theme park

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

I first picked Witt-style Clover because my company was located in Nerima, but they recently moved to Roppongi. It’s quite a distance, but it’s still very easy to commute to work from here with Toei Oedo line. I can get there in 30 minutes. Though Nerima is a bit out of town, the trains are so well-connected. I like all the parks around here, especially the small Toshima-en theme park where you can see many kindergarten kids. It’s usually a quiet hood, but it’s also cozy and lively with all the children.

 What are your favourite things to do in Tokyo?

On weekdays I usually work until late and come straight home after work, but if I’m not tired during the weekend, I like taking the train to Shinjuku for shopping or just meeting up with my friends. I also like to hang out in the park, or attending Matsuri (festivals). Today, I’m going to a Matsuri in Kamakura with a friend. In summer, I particularly love watching fireworks and trekking. I have hiked Takao Mountain twice.

 Has living in a shared space helped or changed you in any way?

Before I came to Japan, I was always living with my family. At my parents’ house, I can leave dirty dishes in the sink until I have time to clean them later. But in Tulip’s shared house, I need to follow the rules and clean everything right away. I suppose I have become more mature and responsible. I have also learned how to better communicate with and interact with other people in the same house. Oh I learned how to separate the trash too! You guys are quite strict about it! In my hometown we don’t do this at all.

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

On my first or second week someone used a hairdryer at 4 am and the noise woke me up. That morning I emailed your office to complain. Your staff said it was against the house rules, and warned my housemate about it. You guys have so many house rules, but they keep things in order. I feel very much at home here. Then there was this one time that I got accidentally locked out of my bedroom at night. My Japanese housemate who has a bicycle, kindly biked to your office to pick up a spare key for me!

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

My work visa here lasts for three years, and if things keep going well, I would really like to stay in Tokyo even longer! If I get a long holiday, I want to visit Hokkaido and Okinawa, and also Sendai, to experience the devastated areas. Last year, I went to Hiroshima and Kansai.

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

For us Muslim women, we have the impression that it’s going to be hard living in Japan. We have many restrictions when it comes to eating and drinking, for example. But it’s actually not too bad. It’s not so hard to get by once you are used to things here. So I’d say “just come to Japan!”

Ice-cream at the IMAX theatre close to the house

Resident Interview: Living in Harajuku with Ms. K from Kagoshima


Witt-Style Jingu is conveniently located to one of the most loved spots in Tokyo. Because Ms. K loves Harajuku, she has enjoyed life in this shared house for a long time.

 Witt-Style Jingu Dining Room

 What interested you to live in a shared house?

 Harajuku and Meiji-jingu are places that I really love, so I didn’t want to be too far away from there! As for living in a shared house, it is very helpful and for me, it just works out perfectly. But while I was looking for a place to live, it didn’t come easily until I found this one. I thought… “What should I do?” and found the Tulip website and was able to make an appointment to visit the house.

 What is your favorite thing about living in Witt-Style Jingu?

 The living room is very comfortable and spacious, it always feel cozy. The kitchen and living room have a counter in between, so you can pretend like it is an izakaya! This house has a lot of useful and comfy shared spaces for the residents so I think it doesn’t get any better than this. I have visited some other shared houses before I chose to live here and I’m very glad I did.

Jingu dinner parties look like fun!

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

It is very easy to go to my favorite places, Harajuku and Meiji Shrine from here, also to areas that I go to often such as Shinjuku and Roppongi. I can bike easily to Shibuya too. It’s perfect! You can easily go to Shimokitazawa and finish all of your errands from morning to noon. I definitely take advantage of all of the supermarkets near the house.

  Ms. K’s favorite Yoyogi cafe

 What do you enjoy doing on your free time?

 There is a sports gym in Yoyogi that I sometimes go to and I also go to Yoyogi Park. Since dance-related events are usually at night, after work I’ll go to the events by bike. Sometimes the events will be until dawn!

 How do you like living in a shared space with others?

 There are sometimes people simply hanging out in the living room and I learn a lot from them. For that, I am very grateful. I’m not very good at using the computer and the people here will help me out. There is also a professional chef living in the house and she teaches me about cooking. Even when she makes a simple miso soup, I think it is really cool. Your private space is reserved for you, so when you leave your room and can be around others, it is great. Most people in this house have said that they really love that and hopes it doesn’t stop.

We leave it up to Ms. K to guide us around

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

 I wonder if my sense of values have changed…I think I might now think that values and common sense are connected. Until now, I taught dance to many children and because I teach, I can see that people have various perspectives and angles. I also have a different points of view too and I think now have a better understanding that everyone has their own ways and perspectives.

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

 Not in particular. We have some basic rules in the house and some people may feel that they are troublesome, but everyone becomes more reasonable because of them and it makes living easier. By taking care of the rules, then less time is wasted and there is more time to create your own free time.

Yoyogi Park is Ms. K’s favorite dance spot

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

 I came to Tokyo in 2001 for dance-related work, attending events, and have been able to meet many people because of it. I decided to make it a limit when 2018 comes around.

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

 You can meet many different people, you can learn about various things, and there are many opportunities that can be had!