The Little Things That Make Japanese Apartment Life Easier

The little things that make Japanese apartment life easier.

Something unique about Japanese apartment life is the little things. I’m talking about the tiny objects that make living in a tiny space a tiny bit easier. This won’t be an exhaustive list, because let’s face it; there are millions of these items, but there are a few notable products that are uniquely easy to get in Japan, and are a must if you’re looking at renting an apartment. These range from cleaning products to drying racks; they are little things that I wish I’d known were household staples when I first moved to Japan.

The Kitchen

You might not be surprised to hear that Japanese kitchens can be rather small. Because of this, dishwashers are rare, and stove-tops are usually limited to a two-plate gas burner with a small “fish grill”. If you’re from the states, you might be surprised to learn that garbage disposal systems are also non-existent. Instead, Japanese kitchens have a basket in the sink, with a grease trap underneath. Food scraps washed down the sink will end up here, and the basket requires constant cleaning. The Japanese seem to have identified this as a problem too, as there are heaps of products available to make this job a little less disgusting. First of all, invest in a sink deodoriser (above, top left). This will neutralise any smells coming from the sink and slow the buildup of bacteria. You should still clean it out every day, but this will make it more bearable. For those who just can’t stomach plunging their hand into soggy food scraps, there are single use nets (above, top right) that can be put in the sink basket and simply thrown out each time.

You’ll find yourself needing multiple bins in Japan if you want to be …continue reading