There's also another giveaway coming. This one is for Chasing Dreams, Book Two in the Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy series. This one's running from September 22 to September 30, 2019, so get it while you can. Here's the link:
It's time for Virtual Tour of my Truly Tiny House. I get questions about living in such limited space, especially since I also work here. I'm not sure I could do it so happily if I hadn't lived on a sailboat for so long (and loved every second of it; people don't seem to live on boats here, or I would seriously look into it). This is about the size of a 40 foot powerboat.
Minimizing is crucial. Accumulation is the enemy. Being relentlessly tidy helps: everything has its place and it must go there. Dishes can't wait. Laundry -- the never-ending enemy -- can't pile up. My skis are in my kitchen, tucked beside the refrigerator behind the Swiffer-clone and the vacuum. I sweep daily. I get nervous and claustrophobic if surfaces aren't clean.
This apartment is not done yet, but it's getting close. I have 6 A-4 (a little bigger than US letter) sized photographs of Taiseki-ji, a poster of the San-Mon (historic huge gate) with Mt. Fuji in the background, and a couple of local maps. Where I'm putting them I do not know, but now that the basics are in place, they'll tell me where they want to go. The walls are starting to demand pictures!
This is the front hall; it's what you see standing in the genken, at the front door. I have a place for umbrellas, shoes and my purse, the internet connection device and modem (there are plugs out here; Japanese construction is notoriously short on plugs). My Wonderful Trash Sorter is there with the Incredible Hot Water Kettle above it and room for either my rice cooker or my blender. Maybe both. Such luxury!
Look! I have a tiny little laundry room! That's the washer on the right. It sits in a pan (in case of leaks) but has a drain hose that runs into the floor. There's no place to dry things in there. The "dry" setting on the washer really only means, "less damp."
This is the bathroom. It's what is called a "unit bath," which means the tub/shower, sink and toilet are all in the same room. They are built as a unit, and the whole thing is installed as one. The tub is nice and deep. The sink faucet fills the tub. There is no shelving or storage, a big defect in Japanese bathrooms. I had to buy a little shelving unit for this room and the laundry room. You can just see it on the left. It's maybe six inches deep, but there's no room for more.
This is Room #1, and this is the kitchen. Visible are the burner (there is ONE), the sink, the microwave and refrigerator. On the floor in front of the only cupboards (what you see is what you get) is a trap door that opens to an in-floor pantry. On the left is my chest of drawers, which I love, and next to that the rolling rack housing my purses (top), clothes and coats (middle) and room for some shoes or what have you on a bottom shelf.
This makes me happy. You can see the sleeve of my raincoat on the right, so you can tell where I am standing. This is my Butsudan, with its own floor chair permanently sitting in front of it, and a small two-drawer chest on the left to hold the fruit, a lamp, with last year's Oeshiki flowers behind. It's really nice to have such a large dedicated space and not have to move chairs. It feels very comfortable.
Standing by the outside doors in Room #2, here's my bed. On the right is a back rest so I can use it as extra seating and work there. There is continuity of color, also important in tiny spaces. Of course, I have a nightstand and lamp. That's a lovely carved lacquer piece that I really like.
From the doors to the outside, standing at the foot of the bed, you see my desk and a rattan chest of drawers. They aren't all full, but drawers are nice. Lack of storage spaces is a universal feature and I don't like the stacked plastic boxes that most people seem to have. On the left is a really nice step-stool that has many uses. That's my little heater/mock fireplace on top. I couldn't do without that!
This is about two/thirds of the width of Room #2 -- you can see the foot of the bed on the left and the edge of the step-stool on the right. The whole wall, pretty much, is glass. This is my outside. The deck is all mine, with laundry-drying facilities, of course, though the gas dryers next door keep seducing me, a chair I enjoy, and places for plants. Several of the plants are annuals and the rest will come in when it gets cold. The weed patch is beyond and I'm excited to see what, if anything, I'm going to do with that!
This ends your virtual tour. Now you know why I won't be asking you over next time you're in Tokyo -- there's no place to put you, but it's suiting me just fine.