New Staff Miki’s Share House Experience
My name is Miki, and since late October I have been a member of the staff at Kobe Nadeshiko Management, which manages and operates share houses, shared kitchens, monthly furnished rental apartments, etc.
As a staff member who manages and operates the share houses, I spent this year-end and New Year’s holiday at the share house we manage, Share House Palette Kobe Sannomiya, a 5-minute walk from Sannomiya Station, to experience what it is like to live in a share house.
Some of the residents were away on homecomings or vacations, but there were some whom I met for the first time during this stay, and that alone made this stay worthwhile.
During these three nights, I spent as much time as possible in the kitchen and common areas on the second floor so that I could meet the residents. What surprised me was that not only the rooms but also the common areas and hallways were not so cold.
I had brought warm clothes since it was forecast to be cold on New Year’s Day, but it was completely unnecessary.
I thought it would be cold in such a building with so many rooms (4 men’s rooms, kitchen, bathroom, toilet on the first floor; 6 women’s rooms, bathroom, toilet, common space on the second floor), but I was surprised that it was warmer than I expected, probably because the building is airtight and solid.
When I turned on the air-conditioner, the room would warm up so fast even though the common space was very open.
This time I stayed in room 205, which is currently vacant, and this room has a skylight, which is rare for a share house.
During the daytime, the room is so bright that no lighting is needed.
The ceiling is high and the room feels larger than it actually is.
There is also a “chabudai” (low table) and bedside table, making it very cozy.
Of course, I can hear the sounds of other residents,
However, as I usually live alone, the peace of mind that I am not alone is more important to me.
Before I joined this company, I was a sole proprietor and often did office work and translation at home, but that was mentally tough.
Remote work may not require the time and energy of a commute, but it also means that you see very few people.
Living alone, there are days when you don’t speak a word to anyone for the entire day.
This was surprisingly difficult for me, even though I am not a social person.
Perhaps people are creatures who cannot maintain a sound mind alone.
At that time, I wished I could have worked in my room while feeling the presence of others like this.
During these three nights, I spent time in my room when I felt too tired to face people or when I wanted to concentrate, and when I missed people, I spent time in the common space reading books, watching TV, and exchanging words with residents who passed by.
On New Year’s Eve, I watched Kohaku Uta Gassen(Japanese traditional TV program for New year’s Eve) in the kitchen for the first time in a while.
I had already given up possessing a TV in the course of my repeated relocations,
It was refreshing to have a big screen TV, which I would never have bought in a studio apartment.
I remember some residents eating dinner while watching Netflix on this big television.
On New Year’s Day, I went to nearby Ninomiya Shrine for “Hatsumode” (First prayer for the new year).
Hatsumode at a large and famous shrine such as Ikuta Shrine is great (it is also within walking distance), but smaller shrines in these areas are less crowded and more relaxed atmosphere.
Of course, there are shrines and temples in Kobe, but there are also many other religious buildings such as churches and mosques.
This is only possible in Kobe, where many foreigners have lived since long ago.
Visiting such places as sightseeing is one of the pleasures of Kobe.
From this share house, it’s easy to get to any sightseeing places in Kobe, Kyoto and Osaka.
JR, subway, Hankyu, monorail, and buses are all make up a very convenient transportation in Kobe.
Share House Palette Kobe Sannomiya is located just off a side street from the shopping district, which was one of the locations for the Japanese animation movie “Suzume”.
Although only a 5-minute walk from Sannomiya Station, the area still retains the atmosphere of a Showa-era downtown.
It is very quiet at night, despite being close to downtown and a large supermarket.
The road from the station to the share house is a wide and scenic one, and there are few dark places even at night.
On New Year’s Day evening, I went to a public bath called Ninomiya Onsen.
Ah, it has been a long time since I have been to a public bathhouse last time.
Where I live now, there are no public bathhouses within walking distance.
The baths in share house are much larger than the unit baths in studio rooms, but sometimes it’s nice to have a large bathtub in a public bathhouse.
Ninomiya Onsen is open even on New Year’s Day,
It is open from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m. the next morning.
On New Year’s Day, there were customers waiting in front of the “noren” (shop-curtain) even before it opened.
It seems to be a popular bathhouse for local residents.
It is near Sannomiya station, so perhaps some tourists were there too.
This was also a nice bath full of Showa-era atmosphere.
On the second day, I went to work from the share house.
Being close to Sannomiya Station is really convenient for commuting.
I was happy to have a more relaxed morning than usual, LOL.
On the 3rd, I attended to the resident who was leaving the share house to return to her hometown.
(Don’t tell anyone that I slept until the very last minute, LOL.)
I carefully cleaned up the rooms that were vacated and the room I was allowed to use during my three-night stay.
Then I also moved out from the share house.
It was my first time living in a share house for 3 nights,
I realized that there were many things that I could not see or understand when I only visited the share house for a few hours on business.
Above all, I was happy to have the opportunity to meet residents who I normally don’t meet during business hours and only exchange messages with.
If I didn’t have furniture, a refrigerator, and a washing machine,
I would definitely live in a share house. Too bad I didn’t.
With a share house, you don’t have to buy all the furniture and appliances, so the initial cost is lower.
Do we dispose of this furniture and appliances when we move out or carry them to our next destination?
Either way, you’ll need money and effort,
With a share house, you can leave quickly and easily with just a suitcase.
Since there are foreigners living in the share house, you will have daily opportunities to speak English even you are in Japan.
If there had been a share house like this when I was 18-year-old and living alone for the first time, I would have definitely chosen a share house instead of a tiny studio apartment.
These 3 nights were a blink of an eye, and I felt like I was on a little trip to the share house!