Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Chapter 7: Our House: Before Container Comes....

Here come more pictures that words.  A relief to some of you.  Brevity is the soul of wit, and i am cursed with fast typing skills and thus long-worded or is it long-winded??

We live in Meguro-Ku near Shibuya-Ku, in Kobama-Todaimae, just behind Tokyo Univeristy. For those who grew up in Tokyo tuning into my blog, our closest stop is Kobama-Todai, Inokashira Line, just two stops to Shibuya station. 

Here is the front of our home on 3-12-22 or san chome kobama dori:

Niko's room is the dormer window to left of fireplace. cars are the landlord who lives in house to the right. this is much more space than we need. We chose this place for several reasons:  it borders the campus of Tokyo University so the back windows all face greenery, and across the street are single family homes, and behind them another park and more greenery, so at least a chance for niko to experience a park.  The location is very close to one of Mari's best friends from high school, and most important just minutes from his bus stop, about a 5 minute walk or run. 

Most of the space is empty. We live from suitcases for now, and we sleep on futon.  Here is what it looks like before the arrival of furniture:

this is the view from kitchen area. we overlook Tokyo University tennis courts.

this is the kitchen. two small windows overlook the park. yes, that is an espresso machine out back, and there is an espresso maker on the stove. yes, my priorities are the caffeine.
the kichen area with chairs that are on temporary loan from mari's office.

large living room and dining room, fireplace in far corner facing a tv.
a little bit of outdoor space, enough for a barbecue and to hang out clothes to dry, a nice luxury.

a large genkan or space just past the front door, lots of space for shoes, then you step up onto the home's flooring in socks. this is a great Japanese tradition, i think.  then we head upstairs:
more stairs:
at the top of the landing there are stairs to the left to a small third floor attic space, niko's cave and den where we will store his books and burgeoning bey blade collection. it will be the space of zen concentration.
and up here we have more bedroom space than we need. 
this will be niko's bedroom. for now, it is a toy and sporting goods repository.

this is an empty room for guests. no furniture for this room for a while.
this is ojisan (grandfather's room). three nice windows, large casements, and his own tv, and this is a quite corner of the home.

this is our current master bedroom. yes, those are flat futons. they are very, surprisingly comfortable. it only hurts to get up quickly. then your joints creak and crack to remind me of my age.
this is our view from master bedroom, nice treetops from the todai campus.

mari's walk in closet, i mean our walk-in closet...

and this is the upstairs study from which the blogs are generated. it is hard to type from the floor, but the blog must be obeyed.
That finishes the house tour.
Here is a picture to let you know where Mari is working.

Yes, there is a UN University, which is located in Tokyo, and there are lots of small UN offices here. Mari is Director of the UN Information Bureau. She has a staff of 12, and here is just a shot of the building, which is a 15 minute walk from Shibuya, 5 minutes from Omotesando/Harajuku area. 
with respect to the house, just to put it into perspective. mari's good Japanese friend lives in an apartment with her husband and two kids, which is a bit smaller than the living room and dining room area.  these large gaijin style or western style 2-story homes are the most expensive places to live in tokyo. prohibitively expensive, and the domiciles of successful businessmen, a sort of CEO row. frankly, even with a UN subsidy, it is pricey, but we chose to live there for its safety, proximity to greenery, the short 10 minutes from one of her best friends with 2 kids Niko's age with whom he loves to hang out, and most important of all, the short 5 minute walk to niko's bus stop and a very short, reasonable commute for Mari. 

Chapter 8: Meiji Shrine Visit: Niko Gets a Dose of Culture


  1. Nice place! You haved ended up in CEO row at last.

  2. Risto - love your descriptions - similiar memories flowing to my mind but from another era - only the volume of everything has changed.
    Didn't know about that bathroom in Yoyogikoen - by Saarinen!?