ALYSSA, I. SMITH - Anyone who’s been living in Japan for any length of time has probably seen their fair share of perplexing apartment layouts. Microscopic storage spaces, unfathomably low kitchen sinks and shared bathroom amenities immediately spring to mind.
A hashtag that started trending on Twitter on Nov. 14 took this one step further, giving people an opportunity to share the year’s most ridiculous living spaces.
The hashtag #クソ物件オブザイヤー2017 (kuso bukken obu za iyā, which can loosely be translated as “crappiest apartments of the year”) had the internet in stitches as it added examples of head-scratching layouts, cramped living spaces and, naturally, awkward bathroom or toilet placements. Standout entries in this year’s list are as follows:
• @ebiebieshrimp posted an image of a layout that boldly placed a toilet in the middle of the apartment. Not only is the toilet accessible by every room in the apartment through separate doors, it’s also the only route to enter the apartment from the genkan (entryway). The post garnered more than 18,000 retweets and 20,000 “likes.” It’s also worth noting that combined size of the entrance and shoebox was almost as large as either the dining/living space or the bedroom, with @m_and_ora saying, “More than the toilet, my eye goes straight to the genkan/shoebox that is too spacious.”
— 朱里＠海の底 (@ebiebieshrimp) November 14, 2017
• @otto_morgen posted an entry on Nov. 14 titled “The Conspicuous Bath Unit”. The post included photographs of a listing in which the bath unit is positioned in the middle of the apartment’s only room and is only accessible through the toilet. @otto_morgen’s accompanying comment notes: “The see-through bath is a favorite (design choice) for architects, but this apartment has a see-through unit bath in the middle of the room. The best part is a caption that accompanies the listing. The apartment is so strange that the only way even the realtor with a rich Osaka vocabulary [read: sense of humor] could describe it was with a one-liner: ‘It’s unique!'” The post received more than 10,000 retweets and close to 10,000 likes. Twitter user @SeriousMoonliGT admired the horror movie-esque starkness of the apartment, saying, “It looks like a room from ‘The Fly’ or ‘Saw.'”
• @Mrbr3R’s entry was another favorite, with the post showing a mind-boggling apartment layout with rooms nestled inside another like matryoshka dolls. However, astute Twitter users were quick to point out that the image is a hoax. @KurokoTail writes, “Excuse me for barging in but … this is 100 percent a developer tool in Chrome” and added a cute animal emoji. Still, the post attracted more than 11,000 likes.
• @jdf825 doubted the credibility of a supposed rotenburo (outdoor bath) in an apartment in Nishi-Nippori. While such facilities certainly sound luxurious, a closer examination of the photo shows it’s really just a standard bathtub and shower unit on a balcony. Most Twitter users were concerned about how cold it would be in the winter.
• Last, but not least, @Range1116 posted a listing of single long room that is 4½ tatami mats in space that has a toilet at the end furthest from the entryway. This apartment is listed at ¥96,000 per month.
For the complete list of entries this year, see bit.ly/crappyrooms2017.