What’s about, Bean Sprouts?
Today, because I am at work and am bored and literally have nothing to do (because summer in Japan, yay), I want to present to you: Apartment tour–Hobbit Hole edition! Many of you have probably never seen a Hobbit Hole before, and I don’t blame you. It’s hard to venture out into Hobbit Hole Central (ahem I mean Japan) to see these majestic abodes for yourself!
Don’t let the name fool you–anyone can dwell inside of a Hobbit Hole, big or small! Short or tall! Hobbit Holes have got it all!
For anyone moving to Japan, knowing what to expect in terms of your humble abode is a must, so let’s take a look at my Hobbit Hole in good ‘ole Hoshiga-oka (literally means “Star Hill”).
Let’s start with the door and entry hallway! Take note of the other doors on the floor, for a grand total of four. These are the other Hobbit Holes! Downstairs on the second and third floor are family Hobbit Holes, which are twice the size of regular Hobbit Holes. Wowza!
Notice the small black thing to the left of the door. This is the creeper doorbell. Fear not, for if someone ever rings the doorbell and tries to break into your dwelling to steal your things or assault you, the creeper doorbell has got you covered! The creeper doorbell takes video in real time and then takes photos of your guests so you can remember them for all eternity! Quite handy in case of the aforementioned potential break-ins, plus you get souvenirs of your friends whenever they come to visit you!
Now, let’s open the door, and take our first look inside of the Hobbit Hole! The entryway is called the genkan, and is where you must absolutely put your shoes, because the world will literally crumble into a pile of nothing if you don’t remove your shoes upon entering your home. This is why to the left of the genkan, a shoe rack has conveniently been provided to place all your difficult-to-put-on shoes, which apparently are much better placed on your feet while standing up, despite how many times you stumble and fall on your face. Above the sliding doors, if you will, is a portrait of a Hobbit Hole in the wild. I really like to pretend that my Hobbit Hole actually looks like that.
But wait…what is the door to the left, you ask? That’s a surprise for later, silly! Now, onto the main (ahem…only) room! Upon entering the main room, one must remember to fully shut the sliding doors, otherwise all the warm/cold air will escape. The Hobbit Hole has no insulation and is essentially cold blooded, meaning that it is largely dependent on external heating and cooling devices in order to maintain a comfortable, stable temperature.
The main room of the Hobbit Hole consists of a kotatsu (a heated table), a sofa bed, some bookshelves, a lonely TV, and a wardrobe. The wardrobe exists because the closet did not come with any shelving or hanging units. Literally just an empty, tall, rectangular box. There is no real bed because the Hobbit Hole does not have adequate space for both somewhere to sit and somewhere to sleep.
There are two large windows in the Hobbit Hole, with frosted glass. This gives you the convenience of being able to be naked with the curtains open without anyone knowing, but has the added drawback of also not being able to see out of the windows, either. It’s a little inconvenient when you want to check the weather without actually going outside.
The smaller window in the Hobbit Hole lies along a diagonal wall with an awkward support column jutting out from it. This support column both reduces space and makes it virtually impossible to fit any piece of furniture against it in a normal way! It also causes the overall apartment to be shaped in what I like to call an “awkward trapezoid.”
If we open the closet, you’ll notice that shelves were added to give the illusion of space in the main room. But…the closet is a hot mess so we’re not going to open it. There is such a thing as too real. Sometimes, these shelves fall down, causing me to wake up in terror in the middle of the night when I think an axe-murderer is in my apartment Hobbit Hole!
Next, let’s move to the left, into what we will refer to as, “The Hallway of Shame.” Shame? Why is it shameful, you ask? Let’s take a look!
Inside the Hallway of Shame, you will notice that there was originally no built-in counter space. This is where the “kitchen” is. An additional cart was purchased to provide some slight extra kitchen utility space. Across form the support counter space is the washing machine, which is the least shameful thing in the Hallway of Shame. Other than entangling my clothes in a bear trap of impossible ensnarement, it does its job.
Moving deeper into the Hallway of Shame, we will reach the “functional” part of the “kitchen.” First, take a peek on the right, where you will notice a refrigerator, a microwave oven, and a toaster oven, all stacked on top of one another because Hobbit Holes only have vertical, not horizontal, storage space. Also note the lack of a real oven–we can’t overheat the Hobbit Hole with that! Looking to the left of Appliance Mountain, here lies a sink and a hot plate. A single hot plate. There is only one burner in the Hallway of Shame, which is the first reason why it is so shameful! After all, why would you ever need to cook more than one thing at once?
If you look across from the kitchen, you will find reason number two for the shame in the Hallway of Shame–the Claustrophobic’s Nightmare Shower, which is approximately two feet away from the kitchen. There is no window in the Claustrophobic’s Nightmare Shower, making it extra cozy. It makes taking long showers very uncomfortable, but there is the added convenience of being able to make a snack while you’re in the shower should your tummy get rumbly!
Looking more into the Claustrophobic’s Nightmare Shower, you will find the Hobbit Bathtub, which is just the perfect size to cry yourself into relaxation in the fetal position, because normal humans can’t properly extend inside of it.
Finally, we will come across the Hallway of Shame’s most shameful point–the Twin Sinks of Shame! The kitchen sink and Bathroom Sink are literally right next to each other, because God forbid you use the same sink for more than one purpose. How dare you even think it. How dare you!
But wait…we’ve seen the shower and bathroom sink, you say…So where’s the toilet? Do you even have one?
Psh. Don’t be silly, of course there’s one! Let’s go back to that secret door in the entryway! Here, on the complete opposite side of the apartment from the rest of the bathroom, is the toilet, which doubles as extra closet space!!! Note the water conserving sink attached to the top. Gotta love how eco-friendly it is!
Finally, we’ll go to the star of the Hobbit Hole, which is the balcony. While small, the balcony is just large enough to dry a few days worth of laundry, and has stunning ocean views of Osaka Bay and the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. When it rains, it gets cloudy and the bridge and ocean become invisible, making you feel like you live on the edge of oblivion! Neato!
I hope you all enjoyed my little tour of my humble abode.
Maybe one day you can live in your very own Hobbit Hole!
Until next time.
When I live in a hopefully bigger apartment.
Until next time.
Peace out, Bean Sprouts,