Space – January 6, 2013

Japan and America have very different ideas of space usage. In America, we have a bigger landmass, so there isn’t as much pressure to fit in (literally). However, in Japan things are different. When we first arrived at the Kinuya Hotel, we noticed that the doors were very small. As we entered our rooms, I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were two beds that were smaller than twin size, and very much closer to the ground. Don’t even get me started on the bathroom.

80% of our hotel room is represented in this picture. No, that is an exaggeration... more like 70%.

80% of our hotel room is represented in this picture. No, that is an exaggeration… more like 70%.

Usually small rooms get cramped and crowded, but these rooms weren’t uncomfortable at all. After this experience, I began to notice other slimmer accommodations. The roads and the cars that drove on them were much skinnier. An American Hummer car would actually cover the entire road here, that’s no joke. Beyond this, business have less cubic feet of space per floor, but make up for it by having multiple floors; a video game arcade with five or six floors is pretty common. Space costs a lot of money here, and that’s not just Tokyo. Fukushima is a smaller city, and the tight architecture was still there. As Armstrong-sensei told me, Japan grows up and America grows out. The trip is still young though, I might see something different later on!

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