If you’re moving into your first apartment, you might be a bit lost when it comes to household appliances. Which ones do you need? Which ones can you do without? We’re here to help with a guide to household appliances!
Most of us don’t know what to buy when we’re renting an apartment for the first time. We get confused and call out mothers, asking if we really need to buy a slow cooker. Even if you’ve rented apartments before, it can be harder to know what you need when you’re in a new country. If you’re used to rented apartments and houses coming with a refrigerator and washing machine, you’re in for a surprise when you move to Japan. Furthermore, the kind of appliance that’s typically used varies from country to country. In western countries, it’s common for people to have an oven in their homes. However, you shouldn’t expect to have one in your Japanese apartment. You’ll probably be buying an appliance known as a “toaster oven” instead. Now that you understand that apartments in Japan are a bit different from the ones in your home country, you’re probably wondering what exactly you should be prepared to buy. Don’t worry, we’ve got you! Here’s a guide to some useful household appliances.
You’ll need to buy some basics in Japan
As we mentioned earlier, you shouldn’t expect your Japanese apartment to come with a refrigerator or washing machine. Some don’t include air conditioners either. While it’s uncommon to buy major appliances when moving into apartments in some countries, it’s the norm in Japan. Make sure that you have ¥100,000 to ¥300,000 set aside for the appliances that you’ll need to buy when moving into your new home. If you’re on a budget, we recommend going to a recycle shop. You can often buy used appliances that cost much less than new ones at recycle shops.
These stores are especially useful for people who plan to live in Japan for only a few years. Used appliances typically don’t come with warranties, but this isn’t much of a concern if you plan to be in Japan for a short amount of time. You should also expect to buy a microwave and/or toaster oven.
Beyond the basics, it’s nice to make cleaning easier
While you don’t need a vacuum cleaner, having one will make your life easier. Sure, you can just buy a floor sweeper or broom. However, having a vacuum is far more convenient. It’s much faster and easier to clean up messes without one. If you buy one cleaning appliance for your home, make sure to get a vacuum. You’ll thank us as soon as you eat something messy or spill some ingredients in the kitchen.
Stay cool…and save on your electricity bill too
You might want to consider buying some other appliances for the summer. Running the air conditioner can make your electricity bill go up a lot. It’s a good idea to buy a fan for slightly cooler days. Fans require less electricity than the air conditioner and are fairly inexpensive. It’s best to see if your fan can keep you cool before you turn on your air conditioner in the summer.
The same logic applies to cold winters. Small space heaters are often more cost-effective than running the heater. Try using one. If you live in a warmer part of the country, it may be all you need. On the other hand, if you live in northern Japan, you might have to run the air conditioner and plug in a space heater just to stay warm. Either way, you’ll be glad you got one.
The kitchen is a space where you might be in for quite a bit of culture shock. You’ll probably have to learn to cook a bit differently than you did in your home country. If you’re used to using a large oven, you’ll have to learn to adjust to a toaster oven. You can still bake cookies and roast meats, but you won’t be able to cook as much food at one time as you used to be able to. Furthermore, you will probably have to learn how to use a fish roasting drawer, which comes built into most oven ranges in Japan. There’s a lot to get accustomed to, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time. For more information on kitchen appliances, check out our article Essential Kitchen Appliances.
Most Japanese homes have a TV, but you might not need one
The vast majority of homes in Japan have a television set. This is true even in this day and age, where you can stream most TV shows on your computer, tablet, or phone. While you feel like you might need a TV because everyone in Japan has one, you probably don’t. If you want to watch TV from your home country, it’s much easier to find it on Netflix or another streaming service than on Japanese TV. Furthermore, many Japanese networks are available through streaming services. Instead of spending your money on a television set (and the subsequent TV bills), we recommend subscribing to a streaming service. Additionally, if you’re subscribed to one in your home country, make sure to find out if you can use it in Japan before canceling. Many have been updated so they can be used no matter what country you’re in. The days when Netflix stopped working if you traveled abroad are long gone.