Home > Focus on Japan 2010, Hibarigaoka > Signed, Not Yet Sealed

Signed, Not Yet Sealed

March 23rd, 2010

Well, we laid our claim on the apartment with UR yesterday, so if we find that we indeed like the place, and if we don’t find a better place in the next month, we will likely be moving in sometime in late April or early May. We still want to look at a few places we’ve singled out from UR’s rather considerable inventory, in particular a place 9 minutes’ walk from Kokuryo Station on the Keio Line. However, I must say that I am more and more enamored of the Hibarigaoka situation–the large apartment, the quiet surroundings, the nearby shopping, the station and line. But something better could pop up, you never know. For example, there’s a building at a station called Oizumi Gakuen on the Seibu Ikebukuro; it is virtually right next to the station, and the area looks nice. Alas, when we asked, no units of the size we’re looking for were available. However, should something come up, we will be interested. And something else could crop up elsewhere that we didn’t expect.

Right now, we’re just biding our time on Hibarigaoka. The current people move out in three days (we saw moving boxes stacked up in the windows when we were in the area), and then UR will reform the place until April 16. We will not be allowed to view the actual apartment interior until then. We could, in theory, see it that day, make our decision, and sign the contract all at once, and then we could move in no sooner than one week later. That would allow us to move before Golden Week, and before I start working again after the Spring Break.

The problem is leaving our current place. We must give 2 week’s notice, and once given, we can’t take it back. So if we were to move into the new place on April 23 or 24, we would need to give notice of leaving our current place around April 10–a week before we even see the new place. And if, for some unforeseen reason, we don’t like the new place, we would be stuck–forced to move out of our current place a week later, and would have no place to move into. So, instead, just to be 100% safe, we will hold off canceling our current lease until after we’ve seen the Hibarigaoka unit, and instead will move either during Golden Week (should we be able to get a moving company to take us then), or just after. Less than ideal, but not unworkable.

Just for fun, here are some photos from our trips to check out the apartment and the neighborhood. First, the stairs to the third floor: the first and second floors are 2-story “maisonettes,” so the stairs go straight up to the third floor:

Hg 3F Walk 01

Alternately, the elevator is in the next building over. See the little map below; the stairs start from the lower left side (where one comes in from the street); to take the elevator, you keep going to the next building, take the elevator up to the 3rd floor, then cross over that little circular building between.

Hg Elevator Path

Here’s the circular building, with the garden on top.

Hg 3F Green 01

Doesn’t look like much now, but later in spring it should green up nicely. The bird feeder is in there, and it seems like a nice little spot to sit and rest outdoors in nice weather.

Hg 3F Green 02

From there, you cross a small plexiglass-sided bridge to get to our unit.

Hg 3F Walk 02

Here’s a shot of the taller building to the south of the place we signed up for, from the bus stop across the street. Our place is just out of frame to the left.

Hg Bus 02

The bus stop has a radio connection and a timer telling you how long before the bus gets there. I would presume that it is in contact with the bus and lets you know how far out it is (I saw the same system in Inagi), but as we watched, it went down to 0 minutes … then no bus … and then it went to 9 minutes … and then the bus came a minute or two later. So we’ll have to see about that. If it is just a slightly-off system and we get used to its quirks, it’ll be nice to know exactly when the next bus will be along.

Hg Bus 01

Here’s a shot of the Daiso. It’s around a largish city block, and so maybe 4-5 minutes’ walk away. But it’s a very nice and very large supermarket, a sizable pharmacy, and a huge discount shop–effectively a 100-yen shop, but with items going up in price to 1000 yen.

Hg Daiso 02

One nice thing about this is that the Costco run will be easier for me. In Inagi, it was a dead-simple 20-minute run over wide, straight country roads (alas, speed trap-infested ones), but from Ikebukuro, I have to plow through most of Tokyo’s traffic to get to the closest Kawasaki branch. From Hibarigaoka, however, the Iruma Costco is close enough so that the drive may be cut down to 30-40 minutes. This coming weekend, I may ride out to Hibarigaoka to check out the neighborhood again, but then ride out to Iruma and time the ride. Alas, it’s even farther from the train station than is usual for a Costco, so train runs might not be an option.

It may sound like work, but for me, it’s always fun to check out new living areas.

Categories: Focus on Japan 2010, Hibarigaoka Tags: by
  1. Troy
    March 24th, 2010 at 15:39 | #1

    Not sure about the salespoint of the Costco . . .

    I actually have a hard time justifying my Costco membership here in the states. . .

    With the strong yen I would think FBC is the best, or these days just direct shipment via amazon perhaps.

    My main reason for living in Hiroo was being close to the National Azabu. I was paying 11δΈ‡ for an apartment, not too bad in retrospect I guess.

    Prices are still predicated on the yen @ 150-200, oddly enough. I wonder if endaka will ever end, or just get worse / better.

Comments are closed.