Monday, August 15, 2016

Hi Tech Home

Late afternoon, Tokyo on a warm summer day.Nannie and the old guy are sitting on the couch in living room after a long flight, hauling the suitcases unto the apartment and spending a few minutes with Chris trying to figure out how to turn on the air conditioner. 

One might think that task not too difficult for a librarian and a teacher who specializes in helping students learn to read. Of course all the controls are labeled in Japanese and  It turns that the air conditioning system is also a heating system and when they old guy clicked the wrong button, cold air was reluctant to enter the apartment. With a little exploration, however, That mission  was soon accomplished and they get a brief overview of the rest of the apartment.  

"Here's the controls for the bathtub. You turn the system on, then click this button to fill the tub. The water will come in at the preset temperature and stay there. "

Later that evening Nannie went into the little room that was the "bathroom" ( and contained nothing but the bathtub and an adjacent handheld shower sizzle attachment. She click the buttons, took a bath and luxuriated in stepping into a hot bath and steeping the stress away.

The old guy found that a couple of glasses of water and the passage of some time were resulting in a need to relieve himself of extra liquids so he went into the "toilet" room (which contained nothing but the electronically controlled porcelain throne). He sat down to discover that the seat was warm and the control panel on the wall adjacent offered a number of interesting choices in Japanese again, but luckily these included helpful pictures :

As one might note from the picture above, a person can adjust the temperature of the seat as well as the temperature and force the water sprays in addition to the force of the flush (which happens automatically when you stand up ). Very interesting.

The stove controls are fairly simple : on and off for each burner and up and down arrows for the level of heat desired.

But the washing machine. Here's an interesting conundrum. Our Muzungus were given a brief exploration which included something about timed wash and etc. but they haven't quite figured this all out yet. They do greatly appreciate the two English words found there as quite appropriate "fuzzy control"

The exploration continues, as does the adventure ...


  1. I'm so jealous of your trip to Japan, and am really really looking forward to reading your blog posts. Lindsay and I have on the top of our bucket list "living in Japan." We spent roughly a month in Tokyo last year on our trip, and another month(ish) traveling around other parts of Japan. Honestly, although Japan and India could almost not be more different, they are the two countries that in our travels probably suck out as our "favorites".

    Regarding the washing machine, when we stayed in Tokyo we lived with a girl in an apartment and had a washing machine. We ended up finding it very useful to watch a youtube videos on the subject (something like this:

    Also, I love all of the confusing buttons / switches / etc. There are so many things that align with my personality in Japan and that is one small examples. At times it seems (and probably is) excessive and silly to have so many controls / buttons, at times it feels like a way more advanced set of features than you have in the US, and at times it feels like you're in a future timeline.

    Anyway, again, very excited to read about your travels / experiences in Japan.

    For what it's worth, we really enjoyed using this website (which is a bit difficult without Google Translate!) to find good places to eat ramen:

    Also, probably my very favorite thing to do was go to the local / small sentos. Even in Tokyo which is obviously a HUGE city, the local / small sento are very very cozy and almost remind me of something like a strange version of an American dive bar, if you find the right place.

    Happy Japaning :)

  2. Took me a bit how to figure out the toilets in Japan. you get a surprise if you hit a certain button!

  3. I am green with envy on all the tech... especially the porcelain throne. I am booking my ticket for a visit.

  4. Thank you for sharing your experience, will enjoy and live your experience through you. Happy adventures!

  5. Oh my. We are not in Mumbai any more, are we?