Tokyo Unreal Estate

January 26, 2006

Finding an apartment in Tokyo is like a torrid and pathetic love affair. Hopeful renters flock to real estate agents’ offices and sift through pages after pages of resumes containing tantalizing words like “Will Bring in Lots of Sunlight,” “Quaint and Charming,” “Friendly and Sophisticated” — just like a dating service! And then you actually go visit that coveted studio not too far from Harajuku and discover the tackiest maroon-and-pink tile scheme EVER in the kitchen. You have to look long and hard to find your Only One.

Then reality hits hard: unreal prices.

Key money (2 months’ rent equivalent) + security deposit (2 months) + actual rent for the first month + rental insurance + real estate agent fee (1 month)

= a fortune!

I adore Sendagaya and would love to live there. I fell in love with a particularly swank studio near a publishing house — even prayed at the local temple to bring me good tidings! Nothing doing. My days of chasing after dream apartments are over. For the time being I’ll remain a “parasite single.” Sounds worse than a spinster!

Still reading Kyusaku Yumeno Complete Works Volume 2. Interesting to note that the entire book is a fierce and rigorous criticism of Tokyo written 80 years ago. I guess not much has changed since then. I must note with trepidation that if the Big Quake hits the Kanto area, we’ll have to start re-building this beloved corrupt city all over again.


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