One of the perks of being an Accountant by Day (remember kids — stay in school!) is that you get deployed to some really fun and fascinating places for work. What you do the rest of the time as a Supervillain by Night is up to you, as long as you don’t get into trouble with the law or do something really embarrassing for the company 8D
Which was how I found myself — barely two weeks into a new company, plonked down in the middle of Nihonbashi with two giant suitcases and a tiny shoebox apartment. Don’t get me wrong — I am loving the expereince so far! It’s really different from living in a hotel room (like on my other work-related trips) or in a dormitory (like we did on our holidays — money is better spent on things other than hotel rooms).
If you watch a lot of Japanese drama and movies, you basically know the contents of a typical studio apartment. There is an entrance called a genkan, where you take your shoes off before stepping into the apartment. This is usually attached to a hallway, which also doubles as a galley kitchen. Along this hallway, you can also find the bathroom and the toilet — they are usually separate from each other. The bathroom contains a shower and small tub, and the toilet has the, well — toilet, but if you’re lucky you get a washlet to go along with it.
A washlet is a super high-tech toilet attachment that has more buttons than a Playstation controller. It features heated seats, separate bidets for your bottom and your privates, and a water-saving feature that recycles the water you use to wash your hands to flush into your toilet bowl. Some washlets — particularly those found in public toilets, also come with a button that plays a flushing sound to cover up your weird toilet noises, and another button that releases an air freshener to counteract any unpleasant smells.
However, it makes up for in technology, it lacks in size. If you’re used to Manila flats that are fairly roomy — heck, if you still live with your folks in your family’s (comparatively) massive three-bedroom bungalow, then you’ll feel cramped and boxed in. Also, if you buy your own groceries and supplies and start comparing them with prices in Manila, you’ll probably have a mild heart attack. Is it better living in Japan than in Manila? I don’t know. Is it different? Yes, definitely. Each person has a different opinion; experience is key to finding your own conclusion.