Hi Friends!

Thanks to a great suggestion from Kara L., you are about to be treated to a virtual tour of our apartment! We’ve swept the floor, dusted, made our bed, and even done a few dishes, just for you! Welcome!

entrance - genkan

Come on in! You’ll want to leave your shoes in the genkan (entrance area), and step into a pair of comfy slippers. That’s a Japanese custom that we love to follow. It helps us to relax when we get home, and it keeps our floors a whole lot cleaner! If you were planning to stay for a good long while, we’d even find a place for your shoes in our handy shoe storage cabinet to your left. How are the slippers?

Kitchen

Come on into the kitchen. You’re welcome to make yourself at home — let’s grab a snack and sit for a spell. I know that Mike would love for you to sample one of his wild and weird culinary concoctions, but let’s stick with something simple, since it’s your first time in Japan. There are plenty of fun and new Japanese foods that are perfectly delicious to the average western palate. How about a mikan and a mug of warm green tea? (Mikans are mandaran oranges, but — this time, how about trying one freshly peeled, rather than out of a can?)

Hey — what do you think of our pink kitchen cabinets?! Where else in the world could you go and get pink kitchen cabinets? Here’s another fun kitchen novelty — our cooking situation is a little different. See the range all the way to the right on top of the cabinet doors. It has two burners, and a toaster oven inside. Then, on top of the refrigerator is our microwave. The microwave is a pretty amazing instrument. It actually doubles as both a microwave and an oven. As a microwave, it is an amazingly intelligent little machine. You put your food in, press the big red button, and it figures out how long to cook your food for (our clothes dryer works the same way too). But with a couple of small adjustments, it transforms into a regular (slightly smaller than usual) baking oven — pretty crazy huh?!

toilet

Should you need to use the restroom, let me show you to the toilet — it’s housed in its own little room. Mike wants to make sure that I show you all the cool features it has (Here’s the control panel: spraying water, heated toilet seat, the only thing it doesn’t do is play music!)

shower

You can take a peek in the shower room too. It’s housed in a separate room where there’s a large stand-up shower, right next to the traditional deep Japanese bathtub. Oh and one more technologically decadent feature to highlight, and then I’ll stop. See the control panel above the bathtub? That’s to enable you to control the water heat right down to a specific degree, or to ring the kitchen for service. No — I’m not kidding — you press the green button to intercom the kitchen — “More soap please?!”

bedroom

Let’s peek in the bedroom really quickly too while we’re in the back part of the apartment. The bedroom is probably designed for a couple who sleeps on futons (fold up matresses that can be stowed away during the daytime). We however, have two twin beds which we’ve managed to rig together with some added padding on top to create a very comfortable king-size bed which fills the WHOLE ROOM — It’s virtually impossible to fall out of bed!

Living room

Well now that you’ve gotten the basic tour, let’s retire to the living room to relax and chat a little more. This is the room where we often hang out, surf the web, watch TV or entertain guests. It also houses our clothes dresser (not shown, on the left), which for potentially obvious reasons, cannot fit in our bedroom. You’ll notice the view off of our little front porch is not particularly spectacular (just some neighbor’s garages), but the sliding doors do let through some spectacular sunlight, which is wonderful as the days get colder! Here — have a seat on the couch — and how about a refill on that green tea? Try a couple of senbei (Japanese rice crackers, seasoned with soy sauce flavoring).

It’s getting a little late, but maybe we can stay and chat for just a little longer — maybe share prayer requests and finish out our afternoon by lifting one another up to the Lord before we part ways. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit — of course you are welcome anytime! Don’t forget your shoes on the way out :0)

-Jen