16 May House Hunters International
Our Tokyo home search. No we are not doing the show House hunters international We can’t Erika’s company frowns on that sort of thing, in fact they’re probably not to happy about this blog either. What can I say, I’m an artist and I’ve got to do something besides drive the Mama-chariot (an electric bicycle ridden by Japanese house wives and salary man usually equipped with a basket and a child seat). On with the house hunt … We’ve been constantly reassured on how safe Japan is by our handler from the relocation firm. He has lived here 15 years and like most non Japanese (Gaijin) we’ve met he came for a year or two and stayed. My only issue with safety in Tokyo is an element here of Gaijin here that have to think about exploiting everyone they can at every moment. The Japanese are so accommodating I think it’s easy to mistake that for naive. Miko from the furniture rental, a self proclaimed Music geek, told us that the Nigerians that work the door at every bar and strip club on Roppongie street,
“tell lies to girls that they are DJs from New York to get them to go out with them” .
It’s a wonder to me that crime as we know it is almost nonexistent in a city like Tokyo with so many people from so many places. I will admit I feel much safer being the only Gijin in a big crowd. When there are too many westerners around I start to feel like I need to know where my wallet is.
This is the HGTV Photo contest bandanna We were limited because of some special needs. We have kids so we need to be local to their schools. You can drive in Tokyo but it’s not easy. I’m going to try not to drive, I’m certainly going to try not to park there is no parking but there are places to shop that parking is included and getting out of town to explore in a car is something I really look forward to. If I get stuck driving one rainy day the schools have drop off lanes too. the other issue is we have a 50Lb dog. when moving 6000 miles from home you take your dog. By Japanese standards a dog is a pet like a cat or ginnuie pig that you can pick up and put in a bag. I saw a number of signs that said
“pets aloud, please carry your pet in carrier here”
That means Zsa Zsa Gabor with a poofey dog in a hand bag. Nowatal our Xoloitzcuintli (/ʃoʊloʊ.iːtsˈkwiːntli/ SHOH-loh-eets-KWEENT-lee) Mexican hairless standard, was not what they were thinking of. In fact though he is considered a medium sized breed to the the AKC, in Japan he’s a large dog. This we were told severely effects our choices within our housing allowance.
From looking at the 14 listings they sent ahead we knew what we wanted before we started by the time we got there there were 4 to see including the 3 described below see if you can guess what we got from the descriptions.
#1 High end and easy. Located in the same building as Sofi’s school in Roppongie by far the most decadent area for expats with High end shopping right across the street English signs and speakers everywhere. Hardwood in front Carpet in Three bedrooms. 2.5 Japanese style bath tub and shower in same room, separate bidet toilet sink room. Two washer/dryer combined units. Gas equipped galley style kitchen. Pantry and laundry storage closets in each room with built-ins but no additional storage. Corner unit surrounded by connecting terrace. Indoor parking, car wash, pet wash, in garage. Separate elevator for pets 24 hr English speaking concierge 5 days a week. Other Amenities included access to high end health club and pool located in near by Roppongie Towers as well as a half dozen other associated resort property locations. Erika’s walk to the train would be about 5 minuets by escalator through the mall and a short walk up a steep hill to our apartment. About a 20 minuet walk to Lennon’s School for me.
#2. New kitchen Park Paradise, Across the street from a beautiful city park. Brand new eat in Island, hard surface, dream kitchen with induction/ gas cook-top and electric oven Tons of cabinets & drawers. Huge storage, trunk closet, hall coat closet walk in closets, built ins in every room. Gannet floors in foyer Hardwood floors in living/dining room. White pile Carpet in bedrooms. Large balcony space and rooms connected by terrace. 2.5 Dated western style baths. Close to more appropriately priced Azu-Juban shopping district. 7 minute walk to Hiro-o Subway 3 long flights of stairs but direct train to Erika’s office. 15 minute walk to Sofi’s school 5 minuet walk to Lennon’s school.
#3 Homat Compound Gigantic (larger than our house by about 2x) Slightly dated. Off White Berber Carpet throughout except for foyer bathrooms and kitchen. Tons of storage trunk closet, 3 hall closets my grandmother had in her house to store everything. The master walk-in closet with built-ins was as big as one of the kids rooms. 3 kids bedrooms with built-ins in every closet shearing a massive 2 sink Japanese style bath with tons of storage. Maids quarters (Mother in law room) with private bathroom & large closet Gas range, microwave, full size side by side fridge with water and ice in door, video phone door security, Multi- Zone Security & fire/Co2 system, Earth Quake Proof glass Doors & cabinets, full maintenance building,Fiber optic internet, Communications Satellite, broadcast Satellite Sky TV, & Cable TV . 15 minute walk to Hiro-o subway. 25 minute walk to Sofi’s school.