LWIF EP44: What a Japanese Living Room is Like

Since everyone showed us what they’re living rooms were like, we’re now going to show you what our Japanese living room is like. We looked at a lot of new homes before we bought this one, and this is quite a large living room / dining room / kitchen floor plan. It’s 十八畳 (18 tatami mats) big, which is roughly 30 m² (323 ft²). I’d say the average that we’ve seen is more around 15 tatami mats, which is roughly 25 m² (269 ft²). Keep in mind, this is for the LDK area (which stands for living room, dining room, and kitchen).

The floor area of our three storey house is 101.25 m² (1,090 ft²). The average floor area of a home in Japan is 94.85 m² (1,021 ft²).

While our living room doesn’t have any tatami mats, they’re common in older homes, and in fact our relatives have them in theirs. They can be found in new homes, but they tend to be located in a separate room that’s attached to the living room and separated by a sliding door.

Dining tables and couches weren’t standard items in the past, but I think they have now become de facto items for families moving into a new home. Previously, a sturdy, low table (like an oversized coffee table) and perhaps some cushions was all that was needed. I’ll still visit homes where that’s the case (although they tend to be older homes).

Like most developed countries in the world, TVs seem to be a common fixture. You’ll also see rugs on the ground as well (since it’s quite normal to sit on the ground Japan).

Lighting is generally achieved by overhead lights. There’s a standard ceiling receptacle that makes it easy to attach a light to it, no tools necessary. Also, your basic LED light will come with a remote.

Most Japanese homes don’t have central air, and thus cooling and heating will either be done by floor units (like fans and floor heaters) or hvac units mounted against walls called aircon (エアコン).

Our home doesn’t have any picture frames attached to the walls, but you can find people who decorate their homes with them. I’d say though, that having picture frames on walls is more popular in Canada than in Japan, perhaps because of earthquake concerns?

To see what living rooms around the world are like (and to submit a video of what your kitchen is like), please check out this page.