Video Content Description
Here is a nice video tour of a 1dk or what an ALT might typically live in. Most ESL teachers get something pretty close to what you'll see right here. Set in the country side surrounded by rice fields. It also closely resembles what Japanese college students live in.
What you will see in this video is quite typical of a 1dk. Your entry way leading to your dining and kitchen area will cause borderline claustrophobia as it is quite narrow.
Another thing that is quite common in this video and in general is that the stereotypical image of a tatami room is not present because when you walk into the room you are already in the kitchen. Tatami isn't used in kitchen areas for pretty obvious reasons like lack of durability, they are easily damaged or soiled and flat-out are not suited in that application. You will typically find a thin wood panel floor as you will see in the video below.
Food preparation area is extremely limited. If you do have a refrigerator it will be the type you would typically find in a college dormitory - maybe a bit bigger. You can expect a shoe box in your entry way for shoe storage.
Got to admit that the kitchen in this video is way, way on the small side but the loft bed with storage adds a nice touch. Plus Dave (the video host) also has a luxury most don't - a heater in the bathroom above the shower. This is used or can be used to dry some laundry. For example a towel after a shower. Just hang it up, flip the switch and it will be dry in no time
In your typical 1dk you won't find the high-end washing machines that have a dryer built directly into the washer itself meaning there will be no second compartment designed specifically for drying clothes. It is a 1 step push button process. If you are even a little bit curious as to how they cram all that functionality into a single unit you might want to check out our Japanese apartment page which has a nice video on it at the bottom of the page.
All things taken into account it is best to think of a 1dk as a single occupancy apartment. Trying to cram two people into this tiny space ( roughly 20 square meters) would be nothing short of harrowing.
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