Japanese House

Electric blanket for Japanese winter bedding

By | Japanese House, Life in Japan, Property

The fun Christmas season of December is approaching. Japan is about to enter the winter season in earnest.
“Warm even in winter” is the most important factor in assessing the value of a home.

However, for foreigners, Japanese housing has the problem that it is very cold in winter. It feels cold not only for foreigners from hot Southeast Asian countries but also for foreigners from cold regions such as North America and Europe.
I spent my high school days in Hokkaido, and although it was cold outdoors, the inside of the building didn’t feel as cold as Osaka or Tokyo.

Most Japanese rental apartments do not contain the heat insulating material that should be put in the interior floor, wall, and ceiling in order to reduce the construction cost. The rental apartments where heat insulating materials are firmly installed on the floor, walls, and ceiling are very different from rental apartments where heat insulating materials are not installed. The comfort of living differs entirely.

Most of the general owners and lessees do not have any knowledge about this. In fact, there are many cases where construction companies skip the work process of adding heat insulating material to make construction easier.

In the case of detached houses, there are many properties where the underfloor on the first floor is left as soil. The old houses were still soil, and wooden houses were built on the soil. Therefore, turning the floorboard is the same as the soil like the field.

You can prevent the cold to some extent by pouring concrete over this soil to make it a “solid foundation”. At the cost of construction, the underfloor of a wooden detached house can be made of concrete.

But concrete is still cold in winter (and hot in summer).

Since the building is also made of concrete, when the concrete gets cold in winter, the room inevitably gets cold. Depending on the property, it might be warmer outside the apartment building in winter than inside the apartment building. This is because the concrete of the building’s frame gets cold.

Therefore, what is important is a heater that heats the air such as an air conditioner and “bedding”.

Please check the followings in order to make your bedding warmer for Japanese winter.

(1) Double the comforters.
The comforters we provide are ① one summer comforter and ➁ one spring / autumn comforter. Please snap ①summer comforter on ➁spring/ autumn comforter.  Then a winter comforter could be made. After doubling it, put the comforter cover on it in one piece.

How to set up 冬のふとん – 外国人駐在員・外交官向け 高級住宅 (

(2) Add a blanket to the comforter (VITGROE)
VITGRÖE ヴィートグローエ 毛布, ホワイト, 150×200 cm – IKEA

(3) Change the comforter cover from sheets to a blanket cover
KRANSSALVIA クランサルヴィア 掛け布団カバー&枕カバー(枕カバー2枚), ホワイト, 200×200/50×60 cm – IKEA

(4) Add another blanket to the mattress

(5) Change the blanket of the mattress to an “electric blanket”
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My recommendation is No.(5) electric blanket.
I love this electric blanket.
I have never felt that an electric blanket is bad for my body.
It is warm and makes people to sleep longer. The reason why people can’t sleep in winter is often due to the cold temperature. You can sleep well if the bedding is warm.
If you use an electric blanket, you will not want to get out of bed because it is warm and too comfortable inside the bed.

With an electric blanket, the winter bedding problem is completely solved.

The asset value of Japanese buildings is zero

By | Japanese House

Japanese wooden houses will have zero value in 30 years. No, it is not zero, and the cost of demolishing the building is 5 million yen, so the value of the building will be minus 5 million yen, and the value of the land alone will remain. Even if the remodeling work is added, the value of minus 5 million yen will not change.

Whether it’s a new wooden house or a new apartment, the price drops by 20% the moment you buy it. This is because the price of a new building is not the market price, but the price decided by the developer. Since the new construction will be used from the day after the purchase, the price will be decided in the competition of the real estate market, so it will be the purchase price x 80%. Since then, building prices have fallen steadily in Japan.

Even if you spend millions of dollars on a home remodeling, the value remains zero, diminishing the motivation for the owner to invest in the home remodeling in their building. Therefore, DIY is not popular in Japan. And it is not possible to establish a home improvement store that has a wide variety of products for DIY. The value of a building is calculated simply by its “age”. I think the Japanese real estate appraisal standards are significantly distorting the Japanese real estate market. Also, proper inspection that supports real estate appraisal is important, but not. And there is no legal certificate to show that the housing equipment has been renewed.

In the American real estate market, where you can buy a pre-owned home for 30 million yen, live for 10 years, renovate for 2 million yen, and sell it for 32 million yen 10 years later, the owner will spend zero on the home. Become. On the other hand, in Japan, if the value of a new house of 30 million yen becomes zero, you will have to spend 30 million yen for each move, and if you move three times in your life, you will have to pay 30 million yen. Yen x 3 times = 90 million yen will be spent. In a country where housing expenses are zero and in a country where housing expenses are 90 million yen, the level of pressure on households is completely different.

Every country in the world has its own housing policy. I think that the idea that “disposable” is good is flowing in the basis of Japanese housing policy. The national housing policy stipulates the law, distorts the appraisal, and as a result, the DIY of existing homes is locked out, and in fact the housing becomes increasingly poor, so the appraisal falls again and finally the value of Japanese buildings Has fallen below zero.

In Japan today, interest rates are so low that you cannot spend your old age on interest alone. I think this is the cause of the anxiety of the Japanese people. Whether or not a real estate building becomes an asset should be regarded as an important political issue in Japan. I would like to analyze and clarify why Japanese housing is not an asset.

DIY and Japan-Vested interests and affiliates of contractors

By | Japanese House

The Japanese Architects Law is a national qualification enacted in 1950, and there are first-class architects, second-class architects, and wooden architects. In Japan, if you want to build a new wooden building with a total floor area of ​​more than 100 square meters, you must be a first-class architect, a second-class architect, or a wooden architect to design and supervise the construction.

Furthermore, when you ask a Japanese building material manufacturer for a product, most manufacturers say, “We can only sell it through a contractor.” As a result, ordinary consumers have less opportunity to purchase building materials directly. Building materials can be purchased at large home center such as Kohnan etc, but they are called “Pro shop” and are purchased by contractors, and the general public only has very small building materials such as shelves in Japan.

In the United States, it seems that even beams are sold at home centers. In other words, ordinary people who are not contractors can build their own homes by going to a home center for DIY. Some Americans think that even in foundation work, they can DIY with the advice of an expert, but in Japan that is completely unthinkable.

Before the Act on Architects of 1950 was enacted, carpenters did all the design and construction in Japan. I also doubt that design and construction are separate. I don’t think people who have never done construction can make a good design with just the paper on the desk. Besides, if I’m just constructing something designed by others, I don’t think the work is interesting. I think that the joy of making things should be done by the same person in both design and construction. It can be imagined that the old carpenter who was in charge of design and construction at the same time was doing creative and fun work.

I think that the Japanese Architects Law works to protect the vested interests of contractors in the name of protecting the safety of consumers. In addition, building material manufacturers and contractors seem to be affiliated and organized.

The average Japanese has a high hurdle to build their own house with DIY, and it is hard to reach, so it is unavoidable to ask a contractor to do the construction. The higher the quote of the contractor, the slower the maintenance of the building. In Japanese real estate, only land is valuable, and buildings lose their value over time. Japanese buildings are not assets. It has become clear that the cause lies in the vested interests of the Japanese construction companies mentioned above.

Construction of insulation wall

By | Japanese House

I have been introduced many properties to customers through the real estate brokerage business for over 20 years, but I did not know about “insulation”. However, by doing the wall insulation work by myself, I understood ​​what insulation is. Then, the actual conditions of heat insulation of Japanese houses became clear.

I am ashamed to say that I have not been able to correctly explain such important points to customers and provide real estate property information.

If the apartment is made of reinforced concrete, it will be very cold this winter season if it is not insulated. On the other hand, in summer, the room gets hot like a burning hell. Therefore, the air conditioner is fully rotated to adjust the room temperature. Even if you operate the air conditioner, the sensible temperature in winter changes greatly depending on the presence or absence of heat insulation.

If you do DIY construction on your house, I think that you will install insulation nearly 100% of the time. If you ask a contractor to do insulation work, it will be expensive, so if you rent a house you own to another person or sell it for sale, you will not do insulation work. Insulation construction is a tedious task for a contractor, and for rental apartment owners, the insulation work is simplified because they want to keep construction costs down.

First, studs are erected on the wall to make the wall vertical and flat. The studs are filled with foamed styrofoam or kanelite foam to a thickness of 15 mm to prevent condensation. These insulations are pressed against the concrete wall to secure it, without creating any gaps in the concrete wall. Completely cover the concrete wall with airtight tape to keep air out of the wall.

Then fill it with 50mm glass wool. In this way, I don’t think anyone has done the heat insulation construction of Styrofoam + glass wool, but I think it is a very effective construction method to prevent dew condensation.

The walls are completely airtight to prevent humid air from entering. I think this will prevent condensation even with glass wool.

Cover the glass wool with a moisture-proof sheet and secure it to the surface of the studs with an air tacker. Stick a soundproof sheet on top of it, and then screw the gypsum board onto it.

It seems that many construction shops do not want to do glass wool because it is vulnerable to condensation, but I think that it is a very good heat insulating material if it is installed correctly.

A solid insulation wall has been created.

The reality of Japanese architectural construction

By | Japanese House

Today, January 17th, is 26 years after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, January 17, 1995. I also experienced this big earthquake at my home in Osaka. This quake was the biggest quake in my life.

On January 17th of this earthquake, a concrete pillar on the Hanshin Expressway broke and rolled over.

I recently noticed when I was doing skeleton remodeling work on a Japanese apartment. It is the fact that various things that are completely unrelated to concrete are mixed in concrete. I discovered Styrofoam.

This fact is not often pointed out, I think that the reason why the concrete pillar of the Hanshin Expressway broke was that something other than concrete was mixed in the concrete.

There is a lot of “garbage” in the concrete of Japanese apartments and public buildings.

Then, the reason why “garbage” is contained in concrete is to reduce the amount of concrete. In other words, to reduce the cost of construction.

It is unlikely that Japanese ordinary person like me does DIY concrete work. As a result, such information is not known to the general public. In the case of apartments, the concrete part is not seen by the consumer. Moreover, I don’t think there are any general consumers who cut concrete and look inside the concrete.

Japanese housing is undergoing a great deal of shoddy construction work where the general consumer cannot see it. In this blog, based on my actual experience at my own site, I will clarify the reality of how Japanese housing is constructed, what materials are used, what problems there are.