Sunday, July 22, 2007

Eight Things I'll Miss about My House in Japan

Once upon a time, long ago and in a land, well, not so far away, I requested list requests and promised to make said lists "soon." I'm not so sure that this qualifies as soon, but the time has come! I think that I'll fulfill Heidi's request for things about leaving Japan in multiple lists, and since this is our very last weekend in our house here before we move into a hotel for a week, I'm going to talk about my beloved home here. So here goes: Eight Things I'll Miss about My House in Japan:
  1. The bathtub. Our bathtub is digital. Seriously. We set the water level and water temperature, hit the big green button, and walk away. When the bathtub is full, it beeps upstairs and a lady talks to us from the intercom downstairs. Awesome. It's also huge and has a built-in seat. Chloe loves swimming in it.
  2. Our heated toilet seats. Even in summer, I love these things. And can you say "Michigan winters?" Yeah. We all need one. After two years of such a civilized amenity, sitting on something cold feels, well, just a little bit barbaric.
  3. The in-room heating and cooling units. I know, central heat and air are preferred by all, right? Not me. You know how your bedroom is freezing if your living room is toasty, and your living room is sweltering if your bedroom is comfortable? We haven't experienced that in years. Each room or area of the house has its own wall-mounted unit, right up by the ceiling, and you adjust the temperature to what you want it to be in that room only. It's quick, you get the temperature you want where you want it, and it saves a lot on electricity (or gas - they're electric heaters, though). 'Nuff said.
  4. My patio, back deck, and balconies. We have a sliding glass door in every room of our house that opens onto some kind of outdoor space (except the bathroom). I love it, love it, love it.
  5. Our fish broiler. We don't have an oven, not a real one, anyway. In Japan you get a stovetop with a fish broiler built in instead. It's perfect for fish, but I've also cooked burgers and chicken and who knows what else in there. Sniff, sniff.
  6. The different transportation options. I know that this isn't strictly about my house, but it sort of is! We have a car, so if I want to drive to Jusco and get lots of groceries, I can. If I want to go into Sakae and not worry about parking, I can. If I want to toss Chloe in the stroller and jog over to 7-11 or someone's house, I can. In Michigan, not so much. All car, all the time. Poor Chloe's going to be spending more time in that awful carseat than ever!
  7. The wood floors. Just because I like them.
  8. The shoe closet. Do you know how convenient it is to just toss your shoes into the shoe closet when you walk into the house? No wandering around trying to figure out where you took them off, no big mess in the bedroom closet, and it keeps the dirt in the entryway. Do you think it would affect the resale value of our house in Michigan if we tore out a wall to put one in?



Blogger Betsy Joy said...

Those are definitely things to miss. I know the feeling, anyway. There's plenty that I miss about my "flat" in Glasgow, Scotland... I don't know why America hasn't picked up on certain things. (Especially that transportation one.)

7/22/2007 03:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh YES! I miss those at the apartment. When I moved in there, I hated the location because it is on the hill. But in retrospect, it was good exercise.

7/22/2007 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Hi Meika, Yes I know. I already miss good 'ol New Village Yagoto Tsukimigaoka. You didn't mention the automatic unlocking/locking doors. Those were cool.

7/22/2007 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger Ben Wildeboer said...

Your house in Japan does have great amenities...we loved the shoe closet as well- Especially after having to vacuum our apartment entry way once every two days during the winter to pick up salt we had walked in.

It is also clear that Japanese toilets are several evolutionary steps above American toilets...dual flush, heated seats, built in bidets...

7/22/2007 08:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

We want to import our fish fryer. It's fantastic!

When Chris and Julie moved into their house, they asked if it was OK to cook CHICKEN in the FISH fryer. After much debate and discussion, the management company finally told them that maybe a chicken was too big! Ha ha. I'm sure that's exactly what they meant when asking the question. Us poor, spatially-challenged gaijin!

7/23/2007 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Meika said...

Hi Steve! See you in America soon! Re: locking-unlocking doors: I think these would be cool except that my fancy key-fob hasn't worked in about a year and a half. :) Mike yells at the door a lot because it locks-unlocks-locks-unlocks any time he gets too near.

How could I forget to mention the dual-flush option on the toilets?? You pull the handle one direction when you need a little flush and the other direction when you need a big one. So simple! So sensible!

Chicken. HAhahahaha!

In other news, I have somehow managed to get this comment page to show up on my computer in Japanese. It's pretty fabulous. Also a good thing I already know what it says.

7/23/2007 09:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many of those toilet amenities are available in the States...for a price. We now have a dual-flush toilet, but no sink on the back. I checked into the heated seat and it was going to cost about $200. so I will probably just keep adding that and rain chains to my Christmas list for the next 20 years!

I'll bet if you built a shoe closet that had adjustable shelves it could be adapted to be used for backpacks, briefcases, etc. by someone who doesn't want to use it for shoes.

I liked the public transportation, too. We probably would have done better in that regard if we hadn't grown up in a state where they invented the car.

Take a picture of your fish broiler, Meika. I don't remember that. Mom

7/23/2007 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger JudoKik said...

Oh, the fish broiler. A pain to clean but so easy to use! I've never thought about cooking anything besides fish, though. Will have to try it!

8/02/2007 01:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just stumbled upon your blog. We are now living in New Village Yagoto, unit B. I love it except the people in C do their laundry until 3 a.m. Did you have any problems like that and if so, how did you solve it? I am working to get the rules page of our book translated so I know what it says, but I think after 10 we are supposed to be a bit more quiet than laundry. Hope you have repatriated well. Mimi

4/12/2010 01:36:00 AM  

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