We finally did it – we moved into our own apartment. Well, actually we already moved the weekend before last (18.04.), but I really don’t know where the time in between went.
The Friday I packed everything up, stuffing all our clothes back into the suitcases, as well as all the additional things that my husband had bought since he came here in November and everything I bought since my arrival a month ago. Sadly the amount was about equal…
I was so looking forward to move, but of course on Friday afternoon I was taken down a peg when my husband told me that the father of his chefs’ wife (who currently lived in the same apartment as them) was not feeling well and might be admitted to the hospital the next day (our moving day). But if that would not be possible he would have to stay in the apartment (aka no moving for us). Though I felt bad for him I couldn’t help but pity myself a bit (…okay, a lot) and was somewhat frustrated by the thought that we might have to wait until Monday.
The next day my husband got up early because he and another colleague had promised to help move his chef and I concentrated on cleaning up the room we stayed. My husband promised to keep me updated about the decision (hospital or staying at home) and the implications for us.
Around 11 I got a call from him telling me he couldn’t yet say how it’ll work out but that we would definitely move all our stuff that day to the new apartment. Of course a reasonable decision, but that also meant that I had to go ahead and open everything up again and repack so that my husband and I both had “hand luggage” with a few clothes for the next days.
Half an hour later I was done and again at scrubbing the floor, still in my pajamas, when my husband told me we could move completely (*yay*) and that he would call again when they are on their way to pick the luggage, and me of course, up. Just when I was getting ready to enter the shower five minutes later, I got the next phone call telling me they would arrive in about 8-10 minutes. Of course panic ensued and I got washed and dressed as fast as I could.
I had only seen two or three photos of the apartment beforehand, and only really small bits with things that we could take over if we wanted (like the sofa) and so I was very curious how it would look. You know how you try not to have too many expectations so that you don’t get disappointed? I did try, but in the end it wasn’t necessary, because I absolutely love our new apartment!
It’s a bit unusual, because when you enter there is only the genkan (place where you take off your shoes) and a storage room besides the staircase to the second floor. Here you enter the big living room/dining room/kitchen space from which you can go to the bedroom, bath and an additional room that will be our place for (hopefully) many guests to come. The cut is really nice and the large windows let a lot of light in. There’s also a little balcony on which I’m pretty sure I could fit a little table and two chairs (when there’s no laundry hanging about to dry).
Of course the feeling of spaciousness is also partly contributed to the fact that we don’t have any furniture… But the kitchen is complete and we have a sofa, so at least you can pass your time 😉 And of course the bedroom and guestroom have build in closets, which is really convenient. What I’m missing though is a table and chairs. While having picnics now and then can be fun, it isn’t when you have to use cardboard boxes as make-shift dining table every day.
The furniture store
Even though it was pretty late on moving day we all together went to the furniture store. Otherwise my husband and I wouldn’t even have had a blanket and pillow to sleep on ^^”
In Germany I’d probably gone to IKEA and even though they have IKEA here in Japan as well, we went to the Japanese equivalent Nitori. While the others only wanted to pick up some dishes and towels my husband and I were trying (very tired and under time pressure) to choose the right duvet, pillows and of course if possible a mattress. It turned out to be a bit more complicated as expected because mattresses here had a delivery time of two to three weeks and we got a confused look when we told them we wanted to take it home NOW. So instead of buying a mattress we opted for a futon (which you usually put on top of the mattress apparently) which is actually much better than expected.
I loathe camping. Not because I don’t like to be outside (I really love the fresh air) but because until now I always slept on a camping pad and felt every bone in my body the next morning, in addition to being unbelievably cold. And I don’t like being so close to earth that bugs can walk into my tent and right onto my nose, but that’s another problem…
Of course the futon was better than sleeping on the naked floor and I was sure I could manage a few days. As it turned out, I slept much better than the last weeks and I didn’t even have problems with my back. So the futon is definitely staying and we didn’t rush the decision to by a mattress but will take a look again together during golden week when my husband has a few days off.
My husband wasn’t keen on living here (in Saitama) because he would have preferred to live in Tokyo. He insists that “nothing’s here” even though I don’t think one can complain with a supermarket a few meters away and another 3 big ones in 10 minute walking distance. I have to admit, the station could be a bit nearer to be convenient (you need about 15-18 Minutes) but in my hometown in Germany it took about the same time. We were just spoiled in our last apartment in Düsseldorf, because it was just behind the station.
Otherwise it is, of course, not Tokyo, but I’m not sure I’d want to live anywhere like Shinjuku or such. You can find here everything you need and even though the apartment is right next to a highway it isn’t much louder than in our older apartment. And right now the azalea are blooming which makes for a really pretty picture.