Micro-apartments in Tokyo

With an area of just 377,973 km², Japan is a small country with an enormous amount of population, 126.8 million, and on top of that, rapidly progressing and active tourism. Every year, around 29 million tourists visit this country and an exceptionally large number of these reside in Tokyo throughout their vacations. This is no surprise, though, as it is the capital city, a major metropolitan area and one of the most technologically advanced places in the world.

As much fascinating as it may seem, it is not the same for those who live in the country’s capital. The real estate system of Japan is so distinct that it is almost difficult to believe how different one can be from the rest of the world.

An Overview of Tokyo’s Population

Tokyo is the world’s most beloved city and a food station for sushi lovers. With millions of people coming to the city just to enjoy its magnificent nightlife and tasty delicacies, it is not astonishing that it is a top destination for many.

While Japan’s population density spans just 337 people per square kilometer, Tokyo’s mammoths up to a striking 6158 with an area of merely 2188 km². With increasing demands of accommodation facilities by the locals, students (including international) and tourists, steps are being taken to bring this problem of “crowdedness” to a halt.

That being said, the country’s real estate companies are tremendously contributing to the development of mini-apartments, or more popularly known as “micro-apartments”.

What Are Micro-apartments?

These types of residential places are extremely different from what we’d commonly see in Western countries. A micro-apartment is a small residential flat with a single room that is purpose-built to accommodate living area, sleeping space, a tiny bathroom and a kitchenette which usually spans around 50 to 350 sq ft. Unlike the traditional apartments and studio flats, a micro-apartment promotes and encourages a better social life by giving access to communal a kitchen, patio and roof gardens and even bathroom and shower rooms.

Though some places may not have these features, those that do allow provide all their residents with unconditional permission to use these amenities as per their desires and also get to know their neighbors in the process.

From a professional point of view, micro-apartments are great for urban professionals, freelancers, and entrepreneurs as they provide complete privacy, small space, no distractions, and an easy-to-adapt lifestyle. There are pull-down beds on which you can hop on, foldable desks and tables to keep your room clean and tidy, and extra small appliances which can help you in your daily life.

Since the start of this decade, micro-apartments have become very popular in the urban centers and metropolitan areas, especially those of Tokyo. From privacy-conscious students to single individuals, these residences are relatively cheaper and easier to find. In fact, it is more difficult to find a large apartment in the capital than a mini-flat, the likes of which we have mentioned.

Are Micro-apartments Worth It?

The cramped-up lifestyle of a micro-apartment has raised much controversy from high-class families, international students and adventurous tourists who prefer to experience the country in the traditional Japanese way but cannot because micro-apartments are the new and “cheaper” trend in accommodation. A great number of people raise queries and question the quality of life in such residential areas. Even though it is true that these flats are often less than 300 sq ft and offer a limited space to comfortably spend time in, many individuals like young graduates and college students have been able to, thanks to these, live in their favorite parts of the city which would otherwise be economically impossible.

In addition, there are others who assert that this new trend in Japanese real estate is downgrading and ruining the values of the better accommodation options while others who are attempting to become financially independent and begin a new life on their own are in absolute support of these.

Here are some of the reasons why you should consider trying a micro-apartment:

The Price Factor
This is perhaps the most important concern for anyone who wishes to rent or buy a micro-apartment. In most of the cities of Japan, Tokyo being at the top of the list, the cost of living has far exceeded the wages of an average man. More so, the business centers and metropolitan areas are unimaginably expensive, making it impossible for young graduates, professionals, international students, and even the middle-class locals to afford residential units in these places. For those whose minimum budgets are far lower than what the city offers, they tend to live in suburbs and far-off places.

Unfortunately, this has meant a sudden rise in the traffic of Tokyo along with long commutes being the standard way of traveling to and from the workplaces. Shared accommodation is no better either with tens of individuals packing themselves inside a single room with bunker beds, no privacy, and excessive distraction.

Although it is certainly true that micro-apartments require the sacrificial of space, they sure give in exchange priceless features such as one’s own apartment room at an economically-friendly price and the comfort of being located close to the main centers of the town. In addition, this also encourages the residents to physically walk or jog to their desired destinations instead of traveling in automobiles. Some of these individuals don’t even need to buy an automobile, that is how convenient a micro-apartment can be for someone in a city as crowded as Tokyo.


Enjoy a Minimalist Lifestyle
Anyone who is used to living in large houses or flats with everything available in their house may not find this to be a great idea, being cramped-up in a tiny room with nothing to see but walls around you. However, for those who enjoy freedom and want to spend every second of their life actually living will find this concept of micro-apartments to be liberating. Let’s take a look around ourselves, how much unnecessary junk have we gathered in our houses? Perhaps there are things which you haven’t used in years or even worse, things which you don’t even know exist in your garage. A minimalist lifestyle is all about having things which you absolutely need for your daily life and spending the remaining time outsides.

No matter what background you are from, you must have, at some point in your life, thought about how clean and tidy it would feel to just chuck away all the materialistic possessions you have and keeping only the basics with you. It is not about throwing away your work laptop, your table or something but rather about the things that don’t matter. Consider having a room to yourself with a small kitchen, one bathroom, some foldable tables, and shelves, would you not be forced to improve your social life, attend parties more and get out of the house often? This is precisely what micro-apartments are aiming to bring in our lives. After all, to have a simple and carefree life, you need a place where there is an absence of excessive physical baggage and presence of ease. Micro-apartments give their residents the ability to enjoy life the way they want without having to worry about too many belongings. They are free-spirited.

Spectacular Surroundings
With proper research and some homework done beforehand, you can find apartments in the heart of the Tokyo city with tons of good places to visit and nearby malls and shops. If you are someone who loves to wake up to the rays of the sun shining on their face and the skyscrapers gleaming at night with glittering stars roofing them, a micro-apartment in this metropolitan hub may be your best bet.

They are Environment-friendly
With small size comes a lot of energy savings. Micro-apartments are designed in a way that massively reduces energy usage in all areas. There are fluorescent light bulbs that absorb light and electromagnetic radiation as a source of their fuel. The tiny area uses only a fraction of electricity in comparison with a full-fledged residence. There is also no way that your utility bills would spike up either and the fact that these are located in key locations of Tokyo, you will not be requiring gas or patrol for your automobile if you prefer to have any at all.
The “green” nature of these micro residences promotes a healthier atmosphere with reduced emissions of carbon dioxide and better cardiovascular health due to daily physical activities, even if it be walking to and from your workplace.