How it’s like to live in Tachikawa Garden Town so far 2018.05.31
Tachikawa is one of the biggest cities in the west area of Tokyo. Big buildings, skywalks, mono-rails are one of the things that stands out once you drop off the main station.
Image: Guilhem Vellut via Flickr
It is relatively a new city. Streets are bigger and easy to walk around. Even before I moved here, I could easily imagine that life here would be comfortable and convenient. However, the convenience is not the only attraction in my opinion. Since there are still big spaces left around the city, nature is so much richer compared to the center area of Tokyo.
Showa Kinen park is one of the biggest national parks in Tokyo and it's located in Tachikawa.
Within the walking distance from the station, there lies a park as big as 148.7ha, which is equivalent to the size of 5,600 full-size tennis courts. There are countless activities available inside the park such as biking, disc golf, BBQ, tennis, basketball etc...
The park is so massive that makes you forget that you're in Tokyo. This photo only shows like 2 percent of the entire park.
Enough with the introduction of the city. What I'd like to show you today is how my apartment, Tachikawa Garden town, look like and how I'm furnishing the space.
■ Tachikawa Garden Town and its rooms
My Living room (it's subject to change)
There are 24 households in Tachikawa Garden Town. Every room has the same layout, 1LDK apartment. It consists of one dining room, living room, and a bedroom. The size is officially 45 sqm. I used to live in Oakhouse Kichijoji 2 located in Kichijoji but I got married and a baby is on the way. Living in a share-house was simply not my option.
Kitchen in my apartment. It's not a shared kitchen.
I personally think Tachikawa Garden Town is comfortable enough to live as a couple. It's big enough for a single for sure. I know a couple who decided to move here because they wanted to have a bigger space with a limited budget.
The biggest difference compared to living in a share-house is that you don't have to share your kitchen and bathrooms. It sounds like a good thing but I think it's good and bad. It's good that you can take your space by yourself and you don't have to clean the kitchen when someone else didn't. You can get your own kitchen items and decorate the way you want.
In my opinion, though, it is better to have another set of kitchen somewhere outside my room. A common space, just like other Oakhouse share-houses. When I used to live in Kichijoji share-house, all the casual talk happen in the kitchen or living room. That is where you get social interactions with other housemates in a very natural way. You know, you have to eat no matter how reluctant you are to socialize. (but, at the same time, it's entirely up to you if you want to go down the living room or stay in your room)
A private bathroom and shower room, which comes with the apartment.
■ The difference between Oakhouse Apartments and Oakhouse Share-house
People usually think Oakhouse is a company running a bunch of share-houses in Tokyo. That is true but they run many apartments as well. The coolest thing about Oakhouse running apartments is that their apartment is run by the same system as they run their share-houses.
I talked many times about how initial cost can be expensive to live in Tokyo. Oakhouse's rent (both Apartment and share-house) is not always cheap compared to other apartment or share-house but their rate is highly competitive if you take the initial cost into account. For example, I paid only 44,000 Yen to move in Tachikawa Garden Town. This is extremely low compared to the apartments of the same range. Read my post "I only paid 44,000 Yen for moving and this is how I did it" for more information.
■ Furnishing Tachikawa Garden Town
Oakhouse provides basic house furniture such as a fridge, bed, washing machine, table & sofa, ceiling light in every room, even a dining table. I must say what you can do in Oakhouse Apartments is limited to making small changes. Let me tell you some of the things I've done so far.
1. Dish drying system
This is one of my favorite items I've got in my place. These grey bars are in one piece and you put it on a sink like this. This design makes a lot of sense because I can roll it up when drying dishes is complete.
2. The electric piano
At first, I was not sure about putting it in the living room but I eventually put it anyway. It matches with the floor lamp on the left.
The piano does not come with the apartment.
3. Balcony improvement
The balcony of Tachikawa Garden Town is something I like. Balcony is useless if it's too small but this one is not the case. Of course it's better if it's bigger but I thought this is decent and big enough to do something at least.
These are the wooden tiles I got in IKEA. (yes there's IKEA in Tachikawa!)
I spent around 7,500 yen for these tiles in total so it's not super cheap. I think it's worth the cost as the balcony now looks so much better now.
4. A living room with a projector
This is something I haven't done yet but I thought it's a cool idea. I told previously that Every Oakhouse room is furnished at a basic level. Tachikawa Garden Town is not a share-house but the system is the same. However, TV set is not one of the electronics that Oakhouse prepares for you.
First of all, I don't really watch TV and I'm even fine without it, but I like movies and Netflix shows. If that's how I use the display, I thought that a projector is a better choice than a 4K display or TV.
There's a little space above the sofa. My idea was to put a projector in this space and display movie on the opposite side of the wall.
These are one of the things I've done (and been thinking about doing). It will still take some time to do everything I want to do with this house.
The house I introduced in this article:
Tachikawa Garden Town
Oakhouse Kichijoji 2
Hi I'm Shima. I currently live in a share house in "Oak house Kichijoji 2". It's located in the area of Kichijoji ( It's been voted to the No.1 area where people in Tokyo wish to live since 2004).
Interested in living in Japan? Whether you’re into Japanese culture, language, or modern pop culture, it’s frustrating to know how little information out there about the actual life in Japan. On this series of blog posts, I’d like to introduce useful tips when you actually start living in Tokyo and hopefully in Oakhouse.
Let me know if you are interested to know more about life in my share house and Kichijoji! Message me here [ firstname.lastname@example.org ] for any questions.