Apr 16

Kamiooka Tea House

The first house I saw, back in February, was a 5LDK about 20 minutes from Kamiooka station.


My wife wasn’t available that weekend, so I went with my friend Maiko in order to put the non-English speaking real estate agent (Hirasawa-san) at ease.

I fell in love with the place. It’s 111 square meters (or heibei, as we say here) on 148 square meters of land. It’s elevated above the street and has a nice-sized garden, perfect for a friendly BBQ. The first floor was a bunch of tiny rooms, a terrible bathroom and kitchen area, and a lot of windows and doors (I counted 6 doors to the yard, and on a later visit discovered 1 more!). Built in Showa 46 (1971), the downstairs looked like a place someone’s grandparents might live.

The kitchen had gas, but it was obvious that the other rooms were heated via kerosene heaters (yuch!).

The second floor was an addition, built in Showa 61 (1986), and was almost entirely washi (Japanese-style). The two main rooms, 6 jo and 8 jo, were exquisite and made you feel like you’d walked into a room in a Ryokan (traditional Japanese inn). The third room was a small tea room.

I thought it was great.

Then my wife and I started looking at other houses, and we went back to look at this one because she hadn’t seen it.

After having seen some houses that were in better condition, I fell out of love. The first floor was very dingy, and it became apparent that we’d have to do major renovations in at least the kitchen and bathroom in order to move in.

This house dropped off the list.

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