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Your neighbourhood guide
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.
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We offer lovely share houses for women all throughout Tokyo.