For guests of an Ota City certified private lodging

With Ota City certified private lodging, you will stay in a private house in Ota City, but your host will not live together with you. These ten hints will help you have a pleasant first lodging in a Japanese private house. You may find yourself at a loss in this unfamiliar environment, but we hope that you will enjoy the opportunity to take in and understand Japanese culture.

Hint 1: Take your shoes off in the front hallway

Japanese homes have what is called a front hallway. When you enter a house, make sure you take your shoes off in the front hallway.

Hint 2: Read the house rules and manual carefully

When you reach your room, read the house rules and the manual, and ask if anything is unclear. Unlike a stay in a hotel or guest house, your host, who is familiar with the facilities and the area, will not necessarily be in the building at all times. For your peace of mind, make sure you know what to do in an emergency, and how to use the equipment in the room.

Hint 3: Go easy on the partying

Particularly early in the morning and late at night, be considerate to neighbors by watching how much sound you make. Even at the weekend, please try not to raise your voice or make loud sounds. Houses are packed closely together in Tokyo, so even for a moderate amount of noise, neighbors may call the police if they feel bothered by it. Please also try not to raise your voice or make loud sounds in the hallways and entrances of apartments.

The manual in your room will have details of rules on inviting guests and rules regarding noise. Keep good relations with neighbors to ensure you have a pleasant stay.

Hint 4: Separate your garbage

In Ota City, garbage is separated into burnable garbage, non-burnable garbage, lunch boxes, glass bottles, cans, and plastic bottles. Please see the manual in your room for details on how to separate garbage.

Hint 5: Be careful with electricity, gas and water supplies

The manual in your room will tell you how to use the electricity, gas and water supplies. Please leave the lights on only in rooms that someone is in, and make sure to turn them off when you go out. Make sure to turn off air conditioners and other devices (except fridges) when you go out as well.

Hint 6: Washing clothes in Japan

Most Japanese washers don’t have a dryer function. Even if yours does, it’s possible you may feel that it doesn’t dry as well as overseas models. In many houses in Japan, laundry is dried on the balcony or indoors. If a laundry pole or clothesline is provided, use that to dry your laundry. Sometimes it may be windy, so make sure to use clothes pins to stop your laundry blowing away if you are drying outside. High rise apartments sometimes have rules against drying laundry outside. Check your manual for details.

Hint 7: Try a Japanese futon

If a futon is provided in the room you stay in, lay out the futon when you go to sleep. A futon set is made up of a mattress which is laid directly on the floor, a quilt or comforter to cover your body, and a pillow. The mattress, quilt, comforter, and pillow will each have a cover provided, which you should put on before using. A futon which is left laid out may grow moldy, so hang it in the sun from time to time in order to dry it out.

Hint 8: How to use a Japanese style room

Take your slippers off before walking on tatami mats. Please also make sure not to put suitcases and other heavy items on top of tatami to avoid leaving marks. The “tokonoma” (a wooden, raised area) is not a space for storing objects. Tokonoma originated around the 14th century, and are said to have originally been installed in the houses of Zen monks as places for private prayer.
Vacuum cleaners can be used on tatami. If you want to clean off a small amount of dust, you can wipe them with a lightly dampened cloth.

Paper screens (dividers made of wood and paper), which are installed in windows in place of curtains, are easy to break, so please treat them with care.

Hint 9: How to use the bathroom

Many Japanese houses now have western-style toilets. Many of these western-style toilets come with a bidet function that produces warm water for washing and air for drying. Please see the manual in your room for details on how to use the bidet function.
If a Japanese style toilet is fitted, please squat facing the front of the toilet (the side with the cover) to relieve yourself.

Used toilet paper can be thrown in the toilet and flushed away. Please dispose of sanitary products in the trash can installed beside the toilet.

If special slippers are provided for the bathroom, please don’t walk around the room wearing these slippers.

Hint 10: How to use a Japanese bath

A typical Japanese bath comes with a space with a shower for washing, and a deep bathtub. The traditional way of taking a bath in Japan is as follows, and applies equally if you visit a hot spring or public bath. Before getting into the bath, rinse your whole body simply with warm water to wash off dirt. Next, soak in the bath for a while, then return to the washing area to properly wash your body and face. Once you have washed off any soap and shampoo, you can finish with a final relaxing soak in the bath. To a Japanese person, taking a bath is not just a means of washing off dirt, but a way to relax by warming your body in the hot water.

If other people may take baths after you, ordinarily, you should not let the water out of the bath.