With all the language students off to their first classes I though I would take a moment to show you guys I-House. This post will contain a bunch of pictures of I-House along with commentary about I-house and life here more generally.
This picture was taken from the inside door of my room; behind me is my wardrobe, door to my bathroom, mini fridge/food storage shelf and the main door leading to the common areas. As you can see in the picture the room is not especially huge; but, like everything in Japan, comes with a lot of stuff packed into the space. There is so much storage space in this room that after unloading all of my luggage I barely filled 1/8 of the available space and had to go on a minor shopping spree to fill up some of the space and make it look less empty; as you can see by the goodies displayed on the right hand side of my room. The room also has air conditioning, which I suspect will be used a lot in the coming summer months, a desk, which has been mostly abandoned in favor of studying from bed, and a little balcony; which I use primarily for drying clothes. Overall I am a huge fan of the room; it is well organized and has pretty much everything I could ask for.
[My Area’s kitchen!]
I-House has around 8ish kitchens each with its own set of stuff; including rice cookers, portable elements and jugs. Sharing kitchens can be busy at times but overall is pretty good; particularly as I seem to eat earlier than everyone else currently due to my diet. The only annoying thing about the kitchens is that the drying towel is about the size of a flannel and needs time to dry out between people, which it seldom has, or it is entirely useless at drying dishes.
[The main entrance!]
Rather simple area used for general I-House meetings, parties and just general hanging out. The boxed cabinets you can see inside are for shoes; the area inside the two sets of doors contain mailboxes, umbrellas and a keypad for gaining entry to the house. From this picture you can also see the second level; which is much the same as the bottom level just for the upstairs residents.
[The gaming/TV room!]
As the name implies; this is pretty much to social gathering point of the house; containing a big TV for watching hilarious Japanese TV, various board/card games and a comp suite in the back there behind the green barrier. On the right there is also a smaller video gaming setup with a N64, Gamecube and Wii U; used primarily for playing smash. The room is almost constantly occupied and seems to be generally accepted as the place to go and relax, and often get drunk, in I-House.
A simple, quieter room away from other rooms where people go to chill and warm up at the kotatsu table.
Recycling and washing rooms!
Less exciting, but one thing you learn very, very quickly in Japan is that they are big on recycling. Each kitchen has a set of 6 bins; for burnables, non-burnables, plastics, plastic bottles, bottle caps and cans. Also, a washroom!
And that is pretty much the gist of it. I really like it here thus far and the people are awesome; particularly the students left over from last semester who are super helpful. The house is very social; but you still have places to escape to if you want some quiet time. Another awesome thing about I-House is that it is very centrally located; with the university, electronics store, groceries store and tonnes of restaurants within about 5 mins walk. So overall, I-House is just awesome!