Introducing Our Newly Open Okura House!

We are excited to announce the opening of our newest share house, Okura House. Located in Setagaya’s peaceful Sakurajosui neighborhood, Okura House features a unique mix of both beautiful, traditional Japanese rooms and stylish, modern rooms.

This share house is only a 6-minute walk from Sakurajousui station and if you want to go to Shinjuku, hop on the Keio Line and it’s a 15-minute train ride away!

Private Room 1 | Occupied

Private Room 2 | Occupied

Private Room 3 | Occupied

Private Room 4 | Rent: 66,000円

Private Room 5 | Rent: 56,000円

Private Room 6 | Rent: 60,000円

Private Room 7 | Rent: Occupied

Private Room 8 | Rent: 54,000円

Private Room 9 | Occupied

Private Room 10 | Rent: 53,000円

Private Room 11 | Occupied

Private Room 12 | Occupied

Security Deposit for all rooms | 30,000 JPY

Decorated with lovely plants and bright pops of color, the garden is an oasis to stroll or relax in.

The hallways, living room, and dining room feature cozy design accents to create a stylish yet comfortable atmosphere for residents to lounge in the shared space together.

Okura House has two kitchens, two bath tubs and three bathrooms._o8d0439

Interested in living in Okura House? Feel free to contact us to make a viewing appointment to see the space and a room of your choice at contact@tulip-e.com

We hope to support your stay as you enjoy the Tokyo life!

Resident Interview: 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!

Working Holiday in Japan: Where to Live?

If you’re planning a working holiday in Japan, accommodation will be high on your list of priorities.

For those on a yearlong visa, renting a normal apartment is usually a no-go. 2 year contracts are necessary and initial costs can go through the roof. Often they will ask for a hefty deposit, plus 2 months’ rent upfront, plus key money, management fees and they will probably ask for a Japanese guarantor. You’re also likely to be hit with the disheartening ‘no foreigners allowed’. For someone on a fun year abroad, this is stress you don’t need.

Hostels are traditionally the go-to accommodation of working holiday makers. Much cheaper than a hotel and easier to make friends. This is the best option if you’re only staying very short term to sight-see. Some even let you stay for free in exchange for cleaning duties or other work around the hostel.

But of course, a working holiday isn’t just about the ‘holiday’ part, for most people it’s also necessary to work. In order to get a job you’ll probably have to stick around one place for at least a few months. The idea of coming back to a rowdy hostel after a long day’s work is a bit unappealing.

These days, many people look to Airbnb, since you can search a range of properties and easily compare prices. Sometimes you can get whole apartments to yourself at a relatively cheap price. But since the site itself takes a chunk from the rent, it can hike the prices up.

But with apartments and hostels out of the mix, where can working holiday makers stay at a reasonable price?

The answer to that is international share houses. International residents are welcomed, as they can contribute to culture and language exchange within the house. Even if a private room is out of your budget, increasingly in big cities like Tokyo, room shares and dormitories are possible, meaning the prices are very reasonable. Unlike normal apartments, short term contracts from 1 month upwards, are very common. You can usually book from abroad, making them perfect for Working Holiday-ers.

In international share houses, you can make friends from all over the world and practice your Japanese in casual, daily life situations with your housemates. By living in this environment, you can learn more about Japanese life and culture than you would in a hostel. They are usually safer and cleaner than most cheap hostels. A share house also gives you a stable address to apply at the city hall for health insurance and make a bank account for your income.

A working holiday will probably form one of the best memories of your life and it’s bound to contain a few downs, as well as all the ups. This is what makes it such an adventure. But by snagging some stable accommodation, you can eliminate at least some of the uncertainty!

Resident Interview: Sahar from Ariana, Tunisia

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: 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!

 

Resident Interview: Klaudia from Poland

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

         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 Hydrangeas During the Rainy Season

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 quite 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.

Strolling Through the 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 often 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. Overall, It is a good and unique thing to experience here!

Resident Interview: Ms. S from Hokkaido

We met with Ms. S, a resident at our Happy House Herb shared house, who has enjoyed the shared house life for 7 years. Happy House Herb has recently been revamped with some lovely design touches that fit the house’ name. Please check out our interview with her and the why she feels that the house is unique.

Happy House Herb

What interested you to live in a shared house?

 Before I moved to Tokyo, I had been living alone. When I came home and no one was around, it felt a bit lonely and so I thought about a shared house! Things have really changed since I’ve moved because now I come home and talk with the housemates about things that happened that day, something interesting we saw, or anything at all and it makes me feel very happy.

What is your favorite thing about living in Happy House Herb?

 The location is great. I can go to Ikebukuro from the Seibu Ikebukuro Line or to Shinjuku from the Oedo Line so it is very convenient! With the small number of people in the house, it is nice to know everyone’s face and know the housemates better.

Delicious and charming bakery

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

There are several universities around so there is really a college town feel. For drinking parties or hanging out, a lot of students gather near the station to meet but it doesn’t feel dangerous because the police station is near. There are quite a lot of great small Japanese restaurants, curry shops, restaurants with International dishes, as well as many antique stores and handmade craft shops.

    Ms. S’s favorite japanese restaurant

What are your favorite things about Tokyo?

 In Tokyo, you can meet many people with similar interests as you do. For example, I have an interest in music and moving here has allowed me to meet many like-minded people.

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

 Living with people from other countries allows me to discover new things. I learn about the food differences from other cultures every day – different seasonings, cooking utensils…I’ve even seen a red colored crepe being made! I also think about how to communicate with others more since we all live in a shared space. With the international people in the house, I can practice some English together and even resolve things in English. If there is ever a more complicated issue in the house, we can always contact Tulip.

Cute entrance to the cafe we went to together!

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

We experienced the big earthquake in East Japan. Fortunately, there was no major damage in our house but that was a very uneasy night. One of the residents had a radio, so we all gathered together listening to the radio and all slept upstairs on the second floor.

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

I want to try learning about the tuning fork (a musical pitch resonator) in Tokyo. I believe that there can be a healing effect with that.

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

If you don’t want to be at home alone but want your own space, I think that a shared house is great. Living here allows you to meet people that are different from you and you won’t know who you can get along with until you try! Because the living is very affordable and the moving process is very reasonable, how about trying it sometime?

Resident Interview: Edith from New York, USA

Meet Edith, a resident in our Happy House Kamikitazawa shared house. We chatted with her at a lovely park nearby about how she is liking the shared house life.

Happy House Kamikitazawa

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

Well, I was looking to get an apartment in Tokyo and it was such a pain! You need to have key money, a guarantor, getting gas and electricity set up, etc. and it was just too much work. I was looking at share houses and all that stuff is done for you! You pay one monthly rent, the internet is taken care of, it’s just so great.

 What is your favorite thing about living in Happy House Kamikitazawa?

I like that it’s actually really quiet.  I come home from work and it’s just nice and quiet! Everybody is very peaceful here, there aren’t a lot of loud things going on in the neighborhood or in the house itself, so it’s a really great place to unwind after a long work day. Also, people are really conscientious in this house and everyone is good about sharing our space together, I never feel like we’re ever in each other’s way.

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

The bagel shop near the train station is definitely my go-to! This area is just incredibly beautiful, there’s a park backing right onto the house so you can go immediately into the park. The river nearby is good if you like to exercise, I jog there at night and never feel unsafe. It’s just a gorgeous area especially during cherry blossom season, actually it’s been beautiful every season of the year – even winter. The people are also nice in the neighborhood, they say hello when I walk out and things like that. There’s a real community feeling.

Edith’s favorite spot in the neighborhood

 What are your favorite things to do in Tokyo?

 I’m kind of a shopping addict so I practically live in Shibuya for shopping. The sizes are good if you are a more of a western-size body and there are a lot of chains like H&M, Forever 21, and Zara. Recently, I’ve been really into picnics! The weather is nice so every weekend I’m at Yoyogi Park with a bunch of friends having a picnic.

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

 Well, I did go to college and went through the whole dorm thing and it’s so much better than dorms! I think it takes away from my daily stress; I don’t have to worry about bills or worry about my home because I know somebody will always be there. There are other people around in the house so it’s a comfortable feeling.

           A walk in the park

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

Not particularly. I’ve been really happy here since the beginning and haven’t had any problems since then. Sometimes I’ll get annoyed over little things like if someone leaves their clothes in the dryer, but usually it’s so fast and someone will come and take it out right away and then it’s all good!

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

 I’m actually looking forward to the Olympics and hoping that there will be some cool opportunities for English speakers around that time. They always need volunteers during Olympics time so I’d like to help organize things or even teach people to be more prepared so they can deal with an onslaught of foreigners. Also, if I can get involved in the games in any way I’d be totally into it.

New Yorker-approved bagels

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

 My friends have asked me, “Isn’t it inconvenient sharing with other people?” and I find that that’s not the case. It’s actually a really good experience in terms of having a community there but you still have your privacy. There are so many advantages too like having a big kitchen, huge shower, having a house that is actually a house and not one, tiny box. That’s the great thing about shared houses, it’s a house and not a tiny space, so I think people who are interested in shared houses should think about that.

Saladサラダ Night at Happy House Vitamin Color

Our lovely houses members Nsan received  from lots of Japanese smoked ham and salmon and Ksan from Poland received  a luguage-full of Polish food and sweets  from her family. So one Sunday evening  we turned them into salad サラダ night.

Happy House Vitamin Color  Ladies`s Salada Night

Japanese smoked ham and  Salmon cooked with Polish spices by Chef K.   Simply delicious!!

Cucumber Dressing with Japanese yogurt, cucumber and special prickle salt from Poland

A pot-full of salad for 6 and Polish stuffed cookies , Ohagi, and Sakurabo jelly which is a gift from a grandpa at the vegetable shop near polish station at Numabukuro station  : )  If you pass by please stop by for good and fresh vegetable. The shop is small and run by very  kind old couple: )

 

Food tastes better if you share it with friends. Thank you Nsan and Ksan for turning just another one Sunday evening into  a heart-full lovely night.

With Love!

 

 

Website:http://www.tulip-e.com/en

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Happy House Herb

We made a blog post last month about our plans to add more design touches to our Ekoda shared house, Happy House Herb. We are excited to finally introduce our new and improved shared house to you, now more colorful and cozy than before.

The shared living area is bright with floral prints for a more colorful space to relax together.

Washing up has never looked so relaxing! We added assorted stones and a little nature to compliment the warm wood. All of which we found at the 100 yen shop.

Floral curtains and covers around the house give the house a spring and summer garden feel all year round. We used  a lovely vinyl sheet at the local homegoods shop and crafted up a beautiful curtain. Covering surfaces with 100 yen tablecloths was an inexpensive and easy way to add color and function to the house.

We made our own floral-arranged basket and hung it from the ceiling  and worked our way upstairs to add a more  warm and cozy  aesthetic.

We found some great postcard packs with assorted images in each pack so you get a variety. With the help of some simple twine, mini wooden clothing pins, and cute laser-cut pieces, the walls are lined with some lovely art! All purchased at the local 100 yen shop.

After a lot of teamwork and creativity, we were able to create a brighter atmosphere in Happy House Herb and the current residents are loving the changes! If you or a friend is looking to live in Tokyo, feel free to contact us for more information on our houses.

We look forward to giving you a tour of the house sometime!