Everyday life in Japan — Part 3


Laundry. This is my combination washer/dryer. It sits next to the bathroom sink outside of the shower room. It came as part of the furniture/appliance rental package that we have here at our apartment. It is a decent size for the amount of laundry two people need to do, but I am still trying to figure out the best way to use it. Washing is not a problem, but drying is. The dryer function is not very efficient…  It is a top load machine, so it doesn’t tumble the clothes adequately to get them dry. Everything ends up damp and twisted, and wrinkly.


As you can see, the controls are all in Japanese — and Braille! — Neither of which I can read yet. We did get a cheat sheet from the relocation company that provided the translations of most of the buttons, but not all. It has been a bit of an adventure figuring it all out. The first time I used the dryer function, I couldn’t get it to work at all. It kept giving me error messages — which I didn’t understand. I finally figured out that you had to have the external door cover closed so that it can lock before it will run. It has two doors…  A door that closes over the tub, and an external door over that. Who knew?


So…  since the laundry usually doesn’t completely dry in the washer/dryer, I end up hanging clothes in the bathroom…  which is actually what most Japanese people do. They don’t really use clothes dryers much here. This bathroom unit has a “dryer” in the ceiling. It has a heat/ dry/ cool unit over the tub. We can heat up the shower room while we are taking a shower, then turn on the dry function when we are done. That dries the bathroom to prevent mildew, and dries any clothes or towels that are hanging over the bars. In the summer, the heat is turned off and it just blows air to dry the bathroom and the clothes.

Also… when the weather is nice, most Japanese people will hang clothes outside or in front of windows and doors to dry. Many apartments have drying racks on the balconies. Our apartment is up so high (on the 30th floor), that we can’t leave anything out on the balcony because of the risk of high winds blowing things off. I have hung towels and sheets out on the balcony on nice days, but I have to keep an eye on them so they don’t blow away. In our bedroom we have hooks from the ceiling so that we can take the hanging bars from the bathroom and hang clothes in front of the sliding door.

Anyway… I am slowly figuring out the best and most efficient way to get the laundry done here. I am so used to just taking clothes directly from the washer to the dryer, and I am not used to having damp clothes hanging all around. But… it is just another one of the little adjustments we have had to make… living here in Japan.

Published by


My husband and I were both born and raised in Kansas, but for the past 20+ years we have been living in Atlanta, Georgia. Now, with our children grown and out of the house, we have the opportunity to spend two years living in Tokyo. My husband will be working with the Japanese counterpart to his American company. UPDATE 2023... After 4-1/2 years in Tokyo, we returned to Atlanta. Now we are heading to London for a three year job assignment!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s