Are Japanese houses really small?

Most people think that just because Japan is small and has 127 million inhabitants, most of the houses are tiny. Really the media shows some apartments in Tokyo absurdly small, and for sure the Japanese houses are smaller than the houses of our immense Brazil.

During my experience in Japan I had the opportunity to understand that many Japanese houses are huge as well as practical. In this article, I will disprove some exaggerated ideas about Japan's houses being small and crowded and also address some issues related to houses in Japan.

They're not that small

Tokyo is one of the largest cities in the world, many young Japanese and from all over the world dream of living in Tokyo. This causes almost a third of the Japanese population to live in Tokyo or other large cities like Osaka. Of course, if 13 million people want to live in just one city, thousands of tiny houses and apartments will be home to these people.

Still, walking through different neighborhoods in Tokyo I managed to find several traditional Japanese houses with a very pleasant size, more than enough for comfort and to invite friends. Of course, there are thousands of tiny apartments, but it is no different from Brazil where thousands of people live in shacks or kitnets.

If even in Tokyo you can find big houses with up to 4 rooms, what about small towns? Japan does not suffer from lack of space, in fact it is the opposite, the government is predicting cities to be extinct due to lack of residents. Below we will see what is the standard of houses in Japan and their respective sizes.

Are Japanese houses really small? - japan house

How are the houses in Japan?

Note some interesting data from a survey conducted in 2012 that can answer all your questions.

  • There are about 53 million households in Japan (houses and apartments);
  • Each home is believed to have an average of 4 bedrooms;
  • It is believed that each home has an average of 94m²;
  • More than 50% of homes are located in rural areas;
  • More than 40% of the houses are built of wood;
  • Most houses have 2 floors;

According to these data, you can understand that houses in Japan are not small. The land is not gigantic like 300m² in Brazil, but a 90m² house is quite large. My house is about 78m² and I think it is gigantic. So one of the most acceptable complaints is the size of the land, which in most cases is just a garage and a tiny yard.

Not everyone is able to buy a house in Japan, most foreigners or singles live in 1 or 2-room apartments, even large families may end up living in houses with only 1 or 2 bedrooms. All this to save on rent. It is worth remembering that most houses have 2 floors, below we will talk a little more details about these houses and apartments.

Are Japanese houses really small? - houses in japan

Convenience and comfort

For some, Japanese apartments and houses may be small, but their practicality is undeniable. Most houses have bathtubs, the toilet is not in the same place as the bath. In addition, many traditional houses have sliding doors, cupboards and secret and built-in compartments. Sliding doors are super practical and can transform a huge room into a separate guest room. Another thing that can be noted is that there is no wall between the houses, thus further proving the confidence and freedom that one has.

My experience

During my trip I stayed in a huge house, and in this neighborhood there were several similar houses. The house had a large kitchen and living room and another room downstairs. She owned the bathroom and the bathing and washing room on the first floor. On the second floor it had 3 bedrooms and another bathroom. The owner said she financed and that she paid about 25 million yen at the time, something around 700,000 reais, a low amount if you take into account the Japanese salary and compare it with homes in Brazil.

In total I visited 3 apartments and 3 houses, and none of them I found small. Only one of the apartments that can be considered small, had only 1 room with a kitchen at the entrance and with the toilet next to the bathroom. It is probably an apartment for just one single person, this apartment is located in the city of Osaka.

Are Japanese houses really small? - japan houses

So I came to the conclusion that the houses in Japan and Brazil are not so absurdly different in size, everything will depend on the financial condition and whether the person really lives in a house or an apartment. The only thing that can be called small is the terrain, which, in my opinion, less work to clean. Is that you? What do you think of Japanese houses?

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