May 2019

Our monthly online newsletter,"L'ESPACE".
L'ESPACE is a diverse French word that means place,area,cosmos,and gap.

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Housing Rules

Trash and noise are two types of problems that cause a lot of trouble in living areas. This collection of Japanese housing rules will help you understand the differences in the customs of your country and Japan so that you can live comfortably here.

How to dispose of your trash

Make sure you know the proper way to dispose of trash

Rules for trash differ depending on the area you live in.
Always make sure of the following.

  • Putting trash out: Day of the week and time
  • Putting trash out: Place
  • The proper way to split up trash and put it out for pickup.

There is a pamphlet with information on the trash disposal rules for your area available at the local government office. Foreign language pamphlets are also available in some areas.

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How to split up your trash

Trash is divided up into burnable, non-burnable, and recycling categories.

  • Combustible trash
  • garbage (Kitchen garbage), waste paper, fallen leaves, etc.
  • Non-combustible trash
  • glasses, bowls, umbrellas, hangers, small household appliances, etc.
  • Recyclable trash
  • bottles, cans, plastic bottles, magazines / newspapers, etc.

Make sure to put each out for pickup properly on the right day of the week.
If you put your trash out on the wrong day or at the wrong time, or if it is not separated or put out properly, your trash may not be picked up in some cases, so be careful.

How to dispose of over-sized trash

Large items such as desks, chairs, futons, and bicycles are called “sodai gomi” (over-sized trash).
An application is required for disposing of over-sized trash. There is also a fee.
TVs, air conditioners, refrigerators, and washing machines cannot be thrown away as over-sized trash. For these items, ask at the store where you bought them or the store where you’re buying your new appliance.

How to Use Your Apartment

Be careful of “souon” (noise)

“Souon”(noise) means sound which other people living nearby may find too loud.

  • Talking in a loud voice
  • Watching TV, listening to the radio or a music player, or playing a musical instrument
  • Running a vacuum cleaner or washing machine
  • Slamming doors open or shut

These kinds of sounds are noise.
Since sound can easily pass to units next to yours in apartments and condominiums, it’s especially important to be careful of noise from late night to early morning.

How to use your kitchen

You must not wash trash and oil down the drain.
Soak up oil with newspaper or other absorbent materials and throw it away with your burnable trash.
When cooking dishes which produce smells or smoke, turn on the ventilation fan to keep smells from building up in your room.

How to use your bathroom and toilet

If the drains for your bathroom or toilet get plugged up, the water will overflow.
If this happens and the units on the floor below you are damaged, you may be the one who has to pay for the repairs.
Be careful of the following.

  • Do not wash hair and other materials down the drain.
  • Do not flush any objects other than toilet paper down the toilet.

Do not use paint or nails

You must not paint the walls or floors or apply wallpaper without permission. Also, do not open up any holes in the walls with nails or other hardware. Small pins can be used in some cases. Ask your landlord or the company that manages your apartment or condominium.

Do not rent your apartment to someone else

The apartment you are renting is a space for you to live in. You cannot rent it to someone else or live with roommates without permission.

Do not keep pets

Most apartments and condominiums do not allow pets.


How to Use Shared Spaces

Hallways and staircases

Spaces such as hallways and staircases which are used by everyone who lives in an apartment or condominium building are called “kyouyou bubun” (shared spaces). In a fire or other emergency, these spaces are exit paths. You cannot put trash or baggage here without permission.


Verandas are also shared spaces. These areas are also fire and emergency exit routes. Avoid placing large objects here which could obstruct these paths.

Get the key.

Bicycle parking area

Bicycles should be parked in the bicycle parking area or other proper place. In some cases, you also have to apply a sticker or mark your bike in some other way to show it belongs to a resident of the apartment or condominium.

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