In an older blog post I mentioned that clothes dryers are pretty rare in Japan. The cost of electricity to run it would be quite expensive so most people hang their laundry outside. In the winter, clothes simply won’t dry due to the shorter days and cold weather and as a result, many hang their clothes inside next to their air-conditioner heater so they warm up.
Here is an example of a clothes drying hack in Japan. Hang your clothes by your heater to have them dry while you keep your room warm.
If you’re lucky however, your home will come with a “dryer” in your bathroom.
My bathroom control system. We use the “Dry” button to dry our clothes.
Here is my bathroom which has an area for showering and tub. If you take a look at the top of the photos you will notice a few metal rods and some sockets as well as some panels against the wall. These panels are used to keep bath water warm. (Japanese families tend to share bath water- they shower beforehand so the water is relatively clean) and the panels are also used to improve drying conditions for when you want to dry your clothes.
Once I’ve finished washing my clothes in the washing machine,I set up my bathroom to dry the clothes. First, I move the metal rods so the clothes can be hung far apart, and then I lay out the panels.
Panels are laid out.
Then I hang up my clothes.
I shut my door and push the button to start the dryer.
It usually takes about 3 hours for the clothes to get dry, which is a big improvement from waiting 8 hours for your clothes to dry when you hang them outside!
Most people use the dryer in the bathroom for rainy days and cold winter days, but Masa hates hanging our clothes outside to dry. They tend to smell like “outside” which usually means car exhaust, ash (farmers sanitize their fields by burning them after harvest) or manure (if the farmers in the area are manuring their fields.) If it’s a really sunny day and I’m home most of the day I will hang them outside and take them in a soon as they are dry to cut down on smell, but mostly we use our bathroom to hang the clothes to dry.