Apartments in this area of Tokyo — and actually in all of Japan for that matter — are pretty small by US standards. Space in Japan is at a premium, and the Japanese are used to having much less personal space. Our Tokyo apartment is 53 square meters — about 570 square feet. It is classified as a 2LDK… 2 bedrooms, with a combined living-dining-kitchen space. My kitchen here is just a corner of our small living room. We have a sink, small dormitory-sized refrigerator/freezer, and a cooktop combined with a small fish grill/broiler. No oven.
This is pretty typical for Japanese apartments. The Japanese traditionally don’t do a lot of baking, so ovens are not usually included in these small apartments. At home in the US, I did bake. I made cakes, cookies, pies, bread… and pizza. We are rather fond of pizza actually, so this has taken a little adjustment. Sure, there is pizza here in Japan. There are pizza restaurants in our area, and pizza delivery everywhere. Little pizza scooters deliver pizza from many of the popular US franchises — Dominos, and Pizza Hut — as well as local pizza restaurants.
But… to make a pizza here in our apartment has required a bit of creativity. I tried at first to bake a small pizza in the fish grill, but a broiler just doesn’t do the proper job. I make bread dough here, and use it for steamed buns cooked in my wok. I have even tried baking bread in my rice cooker (and this actually works… as long as you don’t try to make too big of a loaf.)
Anyway… so, how I finally solved the pizza problem, was to pre-bake the dough as a flatbread in my frying pan. Once it is cooked on both sides, I put on the toppings and cheese, and finish it off in the fish grill/broiler. This results in a reasonably decent homemade pizza. Maybe not as good as the local pizza restaurant that we go to (that actually has a huge and hot brick pizza oven) but not bad at all. Yum.
There are a lot of things to adjust to when living in a foreign country — some big things, and some pretty small and insignificant things, like… pizza. Learning to adapt the lifestyle we were used to, to fit with this lifestyle has been a fun part of this adventure.