★ Tsuru Apartment Information
Long time no update! One of the things I said I would post was the floor plan of the apartment. This is a sketch I did of the apartment. All the apartments are more or less like this, or flipped.
Hopefully, the futon room makes sense. It’s basically like a little cave where your futon is and you climb up a short ladder to it. And know that there have been many times I’ve almost fallen off when climbing down half-awake! That little “cave” is on top of the storage closet, which is accessible from the hallway. The hallway looks larger on the drawing by the way, but it’s actually a lot narrower.
The main room really is just a big open space. It has a studio or loft feel. My was really open because I had my desk in one corner, sofa and TV against one wall, and the set of storage drawers against another wall. People come over and hang out a lot anyway, so it’s a great area for that.
I lived on the second floor, #204 (if I’m remembering the correct number!), right by the stairs. I had a small blue sofa. #202 had the kotatsu, just the table though, and for some reason not the heater part. And oh, I forgot to add to the list of included furnishings — a small TV.
Paying for Rent
Rent is 50,000 yen a month, utilities, PG&E, water, Internet, yes everything included. You pay this in cash to Takiguchi-sensei every month. You put it in an envelope. It’s rude to give anyone money directly. You’ll notice you always put it in envelope when giving money to someone, and when you go shopping, you always place money down on a money tray.
Before I had my post office bank account set up, I was withdrawing cash from the international ATM on campus, right next to the cafeteria. I forgot the withdrawal limit, but there is one. I always withdrew the maximum amount though because of international fees my bank here at home charged. Also know that the post office bank account and all Japanese banks close after a certain time, and they charge you if you take out money after hours. I’m pretty sure they were closed on the weekends too, or at least on Sundays.
Other things about your apartment
Really close to campus. 10-15 minute walk, maybe more if you are trudging through snow. Be aware that you have to cross train tracks, and you may want to try and beat when the train comes through every morning since they’re more strict about you coming to class on time. I have woken up late before though, and I’ve ran to class in a little less than 10 minutes.
Yes, you do have a heater, which THANK GOODNESS because it was freaking COLD since I went during the fall semester! Yup, you get snow. This never happened to me, but I was told by someone who studied at Tsuru before me to not overuse it. She said Fumi-san will talk to you if your heating bill goes way up. Keep your heater around 23~25C and definitely don’t go 30C, and don’t leave it on all day like my neighbors! And close your main room’s sliding room to keep it warm.
Things nearby. A lot. There are a lot of things in walking distance:
- 2 grocery stores. I mainly went to Ogino, the one closer. It tends to have better produce. If you go on the right day, you can also get eggs for 100 yen. The other one, I’m blanking on the name, is better for buying meat. They also have a little bakery.
- Seria, the 100 yen shop. There’s seriously nothing you can’t get here. I got all my school supplies here. If you know the dollar store Daiso, think that, but better and with even more stuff. Just a word of advice, don’t buy soaps, towels, shampoos, etc. there, they’re not great quality. The handtowel and placemat I got were fine though.
- Welcia, the local drug store. I would get my contact solution here. It’s a bit farther, going away from the school, but very walkable.
- Post office. It is going away from the school, but also very close by. Way more convenient than the bank.
- Train station, which I’ve mentioned above, is on the way to school. You’ll definitely be going there a lot!
- Convenience stores (konbini), bowling alley/arcade, gym, karaoke, many restaurants…