Most people think that just because Japan is small and has 127 million people, most houses are tiny. Indeed, the media shows some apartments in Tokyo that are 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 debunk some exaggerated ideas about houses in Japan being small and crowded and also address some issues related to houses in Japan.
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are not that small
Tokyo is one of the biggest cities in the world, many young Japanese and people from all over the world dream of living in Tokyo. This makes nearly a third of the Japanese population 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 are going to be their homes.
Still, walking through different neighborhoods of Tokyo I managed to find several traditional Japanese houses with a very pleasant size, more than enough for comfort and inviting friends. Of course, there are thousands of tiny apartments, but it's 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 bedrooms, what about small towns? Japan does not suffer from a lack of space, in fact it is the opposite, the government is predicting cities being extinct due to lack of residents. Below we will see what is the standard of houses in Japan and their respective sizes.
How are the houses in Japan?
Note some interesting data from a survey conducted in 2012 that may answer all your questions.
- There are about 53 million households in Japan (houses and apartments);
- It is believed that each home has 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, it is possible to understand that houses in Japan are not small. The land is not gigantic like the 300m² in Brazil, but a house with 90m² is quite big. My house is about 78m² and I think it's gigantic. So one of the most acceptable complaints is the size of the land, which most of the time is just a garage and a tiny backyard.
Not everyone can afford a house in Japan, most foreigners or singles live in 1 or 2 bedroom apartments, even large families can end up living in 1 or 2 bedroom houses. All this to save on rent. It is worth remembering that most houses have 2 floors, below we will talk a little more about these houses and apartments.
Practicality 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 homes have sliding doors, closets and secret, built-in compartments. Sliding doors are super practical and can transform a huge living room into a separate guest room. Another thing that can be noticed is that there is no wall between the houses, thus proving the confidence and freedom that one has.
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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 place on the first floor. On the second floor it had 3 bedrooms and another bathroom. The owner said she financed and paid about 25 million yen at the time, something around 700,000 reais, a low value if you take into account the Japanese salary and compare with the houses 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 Osaka city.
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 if the person really lives in a house or an apartment. The only thing that can be called small is the land, which, in my opinion, takes less work to clean. Is that you? What do you think of Japanese houses?