Word of the Day - January 28, 2019

Where is the Washing Machine in My Japanese Apartment? – Real Estate Japan’s Word of the Day

The word-of-the-day is:

Sentakki Okiba

洗濯機 置き場, せんたっきおきば

  • English definition: Hook-up area for washing machine
  • Unless otherwise stated in the listing, most Japanese rental apartments are unfurnished. They generally do not come equipped with any furniture, a refrigerator or washer/dryer. Some rental apartments also do not come with curtains and overhead lighting fixtures.
  • In Japan, most people dry their laundry on their balcony or by hanging it up inside their home.
  • You can buy two-in-one washer/dryers where the two functions are combined, but most people buy a standalone washing machine, then air dry their clothing.
  • A new small, entry-level washing machine costs about ¥8,000 to ¥10,000 ($73 to $91). Entry-level machines are able to wash about 4.2-kg of clothing in a load and are designed for single people.
  • You can buy a washing machine at home goods chains like Yamada Denki or BIC Camera, a local shop or even online. If you buy your washing machine from a bricks-and-mortar store, the delivery person will help you hook up the machine when they deliver it. Online retailers may also offer free hook-up service.
  • The hook-up area for a washing machine is located near the entryway to an apartment, in the kitchen area, bathroom area, or outside the apartment itself (on the balcony or outside the front door).
  • In a Japanese apartment floor plan the washing machine hook-up area is usually indicated by a big “X” inside a square located near the front door, bathroom, or kitchen area.
  • Some rental apartments do not have a place to hook up a washing machine as part of the rental unit. If you want to have a washing machine in your apartment, be sure to check the listing (and to check during the room view) to make sure that there is a place to hook it up.
  • If you don’t have a washing machine hook-up in your apartment, one option is to go to a local coin laundry.
  • Also, buildings that don’t have hook-ups in individual units sometimes have coin laundry machines on the first floor.

The washing machine hook-up can be located in various places in a Japanese apartment

Example of a washing machine hook-up nook in the bathroom area.

Example of a washing machine hook-up area near the kitchen kitchenette in a studio apartment.

In some apartments in Japan, the washing machine hook-up will be located on the balcony, not inside the apartment itself.

In some older and smaller apartments, the washing machine hook-up will be located outside the front door.

In this floor plan, the washing machine hook-up is located in the living/dining/kitchen area between the kitchenette and a closet.