03 Apr Kitchens in Tokyo Apartments – What You Can Expect
Although kitchens can be the dream room for some people in the house, Tokyo kitchens might not exactly be your “dream kitchen”. Or they might be! Depends on budget and expectations, really.
Tokyo’s apartments are relatively compact, leaving little space for your kitchen. The irony is that if you rent an older apartment, the kitchen sink can actually be quite large. -Although not for the desires you wanted it for, but for all those dishes you will be hand washing– More about that later!
Now let’s get to exploring Tokyo kitchen types/styles, plus a few tips on things you might need for your Japanese cooking life.
Different Kitchen Sizes and Styles
There are several common kitchen types in Tokyo. Below are the most common.
In general, the overall size of the apartment will mostly determine how much space is available for the kitchen, so if you’re interested in some of the kitchen styles that take up more space, make sure you set your rent budget accordingly (because there is not going to be a 20 sq m corner kitchen, in a 25 sq m apartment, etc.).
– Hallway Kitchen –
– Counter/Bar Kitchen –
– L Shape Kitchen –
– Island Kitchen –
– C Shape Kitchen –
Kitchen Appliances That Can or Can’t Be Found In Your Tokyo Kitchen
Included appliances for Tokyo kitchens, depend on the size of size of the apartment, as well as the “luxury” nature of it. Typically, MOST Tokyo apartments DO NOT have built-in Ovens, Dishwashers, and Garbage Disposals.
Baking and Casserole dinners are not a common thing here. The typical meal in Japan consists of many small dishes, not one big roast. A bowl of rice, miso soup, a small salad of some vegetables, and a main, typically grilled fish. Never needing an oven, as something like a turkey would.
The Dishwasher situation is pretty similar to the non-usage of clothes dryers situation. Most people in Tokyo wash their dishes by hand.
Garbage Disposal– What’s that? Instead, they have a small plastic bag in the sink collecting food scraps that gets thrown into the trash once full.
Although Ovens, Dishwashers, and Garbage Disposals are rare, they do start to become more common in higher end apartments. A 1 Bedroom over ￥200,000, or a 2 Bedroom apartment around the ￥300,000~￥400,000+, might have them. If your priority is to have one or all three of those amenities in your kitchen, please know that they are rare under ¥200,000.
A new and fun addition to your kitchen- common to Japan- is the fish broiler. If an apartment has it, it’s located right under the stove. It is a small mini grill with the primary purpose of cooking fish, but really can be used for mini casseroles, or quesadillas, even crisping up some carnitas after slow-cooking them. However, it’s probably not a good idea for baking.
Most stove tops in Japan are gas. The smaller studio kitchens tend to have IH stovetops, which require specific IH compatible pots and pans to be used on it. Seldom would you find an electric stove top, unless it is a built-in hot plate.
Tips to Help You Become The Next Iron Chef In Your New Tokyo Kitchen
★Already living in Tokyo? Check out these simple methods for upgrading your kitchen!
- If you don’t have a built-in oven, you can still get one here https://www.biccamera.com/bc/item/6996693/ They work as a microwave, steam oven and conventional oven all in one. You can even fit a whole turkey for Thanksgiving or two trays of Chocolate Chip cookies in the larger size (31L). Check out our blog on how to have a feast in Tokyo https://apts.jp/tokyo-life/how-to-have-a-holiday-feast-in-tokyo-without-breaking-the-bank/
- Small Kitchen? Go Vertical! Stack dishes vertically and get this dish drying rack that sits above the sink. Water drips into the sink, and you save counter space for food prep. https://www.nitori-net.jp/ec/product/8987475s/ also this storage saving rack https://www.nitori-net.jp/ec/product/8987566s/?rc=set
- You can even find yourself a countertop dishwasher. It will depend on how much counter space you have, but these dishwashers can come in handy https://www.biccamera.com/bc/category/?q=dishwasher
- Build out your kitchen! If your kitchen is up against a single wall, build a counter space that you can put bar stools, get extra storage, or even place your oven on. https://www.nitori-net.jp/ec/cat/CupboardApplianceBoard/OvenBoard/1/
- Don’t have a pantry room? Grab this trolley from IKEA https://www.ikea.com/jp/en/p/raskog-trolley-turquoise-10216537/ to hold the essential items. Time to master the art of minimalist shopping, no space for bulk buying, unless you have some storage space.
We hope that our overview of Tokyo kitchens helps give an insight into what’s possible. We know for some people, kitchens are a huge priority during apartment hunting. We will do our best to find you someplace that you’ll love to call your Tokyo home. BTW- we are currently accepting cookies as thank you gifts! 😉
Another article you might be interested in: 9 Steps for Renting A Tokyo Apartment https://apts.jp/tokyo-life/9-steps-for-renting-a-tokyo-apartment/