I’ve been talking about the weddings on Weddingbee for such a long time that I never got a chance to mention that Masa and I recently bought a condo here in Japan. This is not something I expected to be writing so soon after our wedding. I’ve always been just fine with renting and I never wanted to tie myself down to Japan with a 35 year loan. Yet here we are with brand new condo and a 35 year loan. I’ll get more into the details of the “why” and “how” we decided to buy a condo in Japan later. For the time being I’ll write about a few of the rooms in the place.
Let’s start with the genkan. The genkan is a room in the entryway of the home that is used for taking off shoes. In Japan, people take off their shoes before entering their homes and various buildings like schools, clinics, and some Japanese style restaurants to avoid tracking dirt in from outside.
I hated the hassle of constantly having to change my shoes when I first moved to Japan, but I quickly got used to it and now really love the genkan area of homes. Firstly, you always know whose home as soon as you walk through the door because you can see their shoes right away.
Secondly, most Japanese people store their shoes in the genkan since that is where you take them on and off. This means you can get big shoe closets like mine to store your shoes.
You enter our genkan as soon as you open the front door. The shoe closet is to the left and we have a small console table directly across the front door. We also have an umbrella stand and and slipper rack (the slippers are for guests to use so they don’t have to walk barefoot on the floor.) The genkan floor is made of tile as opposed to the rest of house which is made of laminate wood flooring. I don’t consider our genkan area officially finished yet from a decorating standpoint. I will probably add a few pieces of art work in the future and maybe something to the bottom shelf of the console table.
Do you take your shoes off when you get home? What do you think of genkan culture?