One of the pros of living in the countryside in Japan is the abundance of reasonably priced apartments. We found our apartment online on a Japanese website while in Vancouver, and were able to find several decent options. Eventually settling on one with a view of the rice fields, we put in our request with the Board of Education. It was as fairly hassle-free procedure, (aside from all the papers that needed signing, photocopies of passports, and the list of fees associated with renting an apartment) and we moved in.
With two bedrooms, a living room, galley kitchen, and bathroom separate from toilet, it felt substantially larger that what we were used to in Vancouver (and may I add, much more gentle on our wallets). Several corners of rooms are found empty, but it feels like the fresh start that we were looking for.
One the first day, we enjoy beers on the balcony.
Along with a rice field, we also face a kindergarten. Every 12pm and 5pm, a school song plays through speakers, and I often catch myself humming the tune throughout the day.
We are on the second floor, with our own “げんかん” (genkan, a traditional Japanese entryway).
For the first few weeks, we have only a few household items, including futons, TV, island table and a second-hand cabinet.
A few weeks into our stay, one of the first furniture orders comes in from Nitori. Two delivery men come in and lay out blankets by the front door and top of the stairs. It’s the most considerate, unobtrusive delivery I’ve seen yet, with blankets laid out by the front door, top of the stairs, and in the living room. There, the men carried up our furniture in boxes while constantly relating to the other where their box edge was. They assembled our furniture, while consulting me every step of the way on placements.
It so happens that we have two deliveries on the same day. 20 minutes after our first delivery, the door bell rings and we receive our second. We assemble this batch ourselves.
All settled in!… for now.