One word to describe my accommodation in Japan: cozy. Living at Ichinoya dormitory on campus at The University of Tsukuba for four months was quite pleasant, as although the rooms may be particularly small, they are air-conditioned individual rooms and can be very easily personalised to feel like a home away from home.

In my little 14m^2 room I had my bed, desk and chair, single gas stovetop, kitchen sink, and small bathroom. There was also a small bookshelf which I chose to turn into a pantry of sorts, and kept my clothes neatly in the space under my bed.

The toilet, shower and sink were squeezed into about a 2m^2 space, with the toilet in one square metre and the sink and shower combined in the other square metre, with a sliding door separating the two. There was a switch to divert the water between the showerhead and the sink tap, and so I had made the mistake a couple of times when going to wash my hands and surprising myself with a cold shower. Talking about cold showers, it is important to read how to turn on the hot water system first before trying to operate the shower. Trust me.

Ichinoya itself is a residential area, and four of the buildings were designated for international students: buildings 31, 35, 36 and 38. Building 38 had the biggest rooms, building 31 had the cheapest rooms, and buildings 35 and 36 were the most recently renovated and also gender separated (35 for females, 36 for males). On the ground floor of building 35 was the residential office for all enquiries or for borrowing items like bicycle pumps of vacuum cleaners, and conveniently enough I lived on the ground floor there.

I live in Building 35 and I paid under ¥40000 each month for my room. Much cheaper than my rent on campus here for sure!

Living at Ichinoya was very convenient for many reasons, including the convenience store in the middle of the residential area, bus stops on the university bus loop, and bicycle shelters outside each of the buildings. Not to mention living on campus, meaning that classes were only a short walk or bicycle ride away.