To-do-list in Kamikitazawa & Sakurajosui

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. 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.

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.

Guide
Map of Kamikitawa, in Tokyo

Kamikitazawa and Sakurajosui stations are in 13 minutes reachable from Shinjuku station by train and Fuji mountain and Yomiuri theme park are reachable too from these two stations. The train which is coming to Kamikitazawa station and Sakurajosui station.
– Keio line

Some historical facts about Kamikitazawa
– Kamikitazawa started to develop when the station Kamikitazawa opened, which happened in 1913. So it has been residential for a long time, but it is developing more and more, since more people prefer living outside of the city center.

Interesting points about Kamikitazawa
– A lot of green and low built houses. Nature-friendly and peaceful area
– Some owners of hybrid café & shop like Kepo Bagel, Okaz design and Megane Coffee, started with their unique business because of their passion. Passion for design, food and coffee.

For knowing the area a bit better, a map with images:

Guide

Guide
Map of the main facilities in Kamikitazawa and Sakurajosui in Tokyo

To know more personal opinion of Kamikitazawa our reviews are interesting to read too. Edith from sharehouse Kamikitazawa tells her story of the neighborhood:
Resident Interview Happy House Kamikitazawa with Edith

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Shinto

Hi, This is N, the oldest staff among Tulip Real Estate’s members.
 I attended Shinto ritual for opening new share house in Shinjyuku  last week. Marguerite” last week. The owner of the house, builders and I as the representative of the share house managing company got gathered and greeted to the spirit of the land. It’s approximately 1.5 minutes movie. Please take a look.
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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

 

 

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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]

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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)

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)

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)

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)

 

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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)

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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!

 

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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, dishware, 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 is IH stoves as 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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For other life hacks, see our page:
Gomi Guide (Trash in Japan)

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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.

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