Things to Keep in Mind When Living in Japan

  • Advice

If you are to live in Japan, there are some tips and terms that you should remember.


Japanese people use LDK–”living room, dining room, and kitchen”– to describe an apartment layout. A number in front of LDK means the number of rooms not including the combined living room, dining room, and kitchen. 2LDK, for example, is a house two bedrooms, a living room, dining room, and kitchen.


Jyou is used as a measurement of a room.

1jyou is equivalent to a largeness of a tatami(a type of mat used as a flooring in traditional Japanese-style rooms.

1 jyou=180cm×90cm

Tsubo is used as a measurement of land.

1 tsubo=3.3㎡


Washitsu is a traditional Japanese room with tatami on floor, while Youshitsu is a similar room with wooden floor.

Japanese Customs


Neighborhood community association called Chonaikai or Jichikai exists in every region in Japan. In the association, people usually gather once a month and exchange local information, hold festivals, do anti-criminal activity, conduct disaster drills, and other engaging activities.

Additionally, on a Kairanban(回覧板) or information board residents pass around notifications.


Garbage is separated into different kinds and taken out on the specified day of week.  For example, in Shinjyuku, Tokyo, garbage trucks pick up combustible trash on Tuesday, incombustible trash on Wednesday, and waste can on Thursday.


Since Japanese residences are close in proximity to one another, it is best to be cautious about  not to excessive loud noise at inappropriate hours such as music instruments, vacuum cleaners, and television.


Japanese bathrooms are typically divided into part shower and bathing areas.

Be sure not to flush hair, trash, or oil down the drain.

Shoe Removal

When entering a Japanese household, you are expected to remove your shoes because Japanese people sit on the floor to rest. Every Japanese house has an entrance area called Genkan(玄関), which is a Japanese traditional entrance to remove your shoes.

Using Room

Japan sees very humid weather during the summer, while during the winter condensation forms on the windows due to the temperature differences inside and outside of rooms. Thus, good ventilation is a must-have when staying in a room in Japan. Also, it is usually prohibited to paint or make holes on the wall. You should clarify such details in your contract document before doing so.

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