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?
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.
Tulip: How would you describe the surrounding area you live in? Do you have any favorite spots?
[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 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.
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]