“Pianos permitted” in apartment that’s just a hallway with a toilet.
For most things, Japan likes to take a neat and orderly approach. But with buildable land being in short supply in the mountainous nation, sometimes residential property developers find themselves with building configurations that don’t conform to a typical apartment layout.
That doesn’t stop them from setting up living spaces, though, and Y-zawa Real Estate, based in Tokyo’s Suginami Ward, seems to specialize in such unorthodox properties. For example, here’s a compact one-room apartment listed with Y-zawa which is nothing more than an entryway (with an installed shoe cabinet) that leads directly into a narrow hallway with a toilet stuck at the end of it.
▼ Pets and pianos both allowed, in case you’re wondering how to fill up all 14.9 square meters (160.4 square feet).
There are, you’ll notice, no bathing facilities in the above apartment, however. If that’s a deal-breaker, perhaps you’d be more interested in this two-story property, which has two showers on its first floor and another three on the second, one for each bedroom.
▼ The first floor (pink area) showers are located at the bottom left corner and directly across the living room, while the three upstairs showers are located at each corner except the upper right.
Even when their number of plumbing fixtures is normal, Y-zawa’s floor plans are often anything but. Here’s an apartment with its bathroom in the very center, with doors opening up to the entryway, living room, bedroom, and shower area.
▼ That’s a lot of portals to lock every time nature calls.
The brown-colored section that makes up more than half of this next apartment is an outdoor wooden deck. You’ll notice that’s also where the toilet is, which is doubly odd since Y-zawa specifically states that the deck has no roof, meaning you’ll be feeling the sun on your privates unless you can hold it until the sun goes down.
▼ With its two front doors, Y-zawa recommends this property for use as a multi-generational home, but unless you’re a family of loveable woodland creatures, the almost entire lack of indoor space is sure to cause turf wars and squabbling.
Not a fan of the great outdoors? Y-zawa boasts that this property’s appeal lies in its fashionable “blockaded” atmosphere. Entry is through the elevator at the center, which opens into layered living areas starting with a bedroom, then a bathroom, and finally a living room/kitchen/dining room at the outermost position.
But what’s perhaps the absolute craziest thing about these apartments is that they all have tenants at the moment. While it’s possible they’re all being rented by open-minded eccentrics, no doubt an equally big factor is that they’re all located near the Honancho subway station, less than 15 minutes away from Shinjuku, in the heart of downtown Tokyo. Like they say, the three most important things in real estate are location, location, and location, which makes toilet normalcy, at most, the fourth factor prospective renters look for.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he guesses that if you positioned our piano properly in that first apartment, you could sit on the toilet as you play.