Coming from your the dormitory of your home country institution to a Japanese one there will likely be many differences, or maybe not, but it’s still helpful to know what’s in store for you. The dorms are usually mixed Japanese and foreign students so as to help foster intercultural connections, friendship, and mutual learning opportunities. This article will provide you with information on a number of different topics and facilities, such as the rooms, bathrooms, rules, and services available to you.
Japanese dorms for foreigners include a number of things that your home institutions probably provided you with as well as a number of things they probably didn’t. Most will include a mini refrigerator, a wall mounted air conditioner/heating unit, a bed, ample storage for clothes and other personal effects, a desk, a chair and a rack for hanging and drying your clothes. Your specific dorm may have certain differences but likely will include most or all of these features. Rooms are generally pretty small and are singles unless you live in a share house in which case the size of the room and the distribution of its occupants may differ.
The bathroom facilities found in Japanese college and university dorms will almost certainly be communal and quite large. They are usually cleaned every day but the expectation is that it’s still important to do your part and keep them clean pristine for the sake of the group. The facilities include all of the basic amenities like toilets, showers, sinks, and mirrors.
Facilities and Services
Japanese dorms offer a variety of services and facilities and both for the benefit of and the enjoyment of the students. There are of course medical services, both physical and mental, available for no extra charge. The quality of the mental health services may depend on who the practitioner is and what country they were educated in. Laundry services are also common but will cost you a few dollars per load. If you don’t want to pay for the drying service though rooms are often equipped with the aforementioned drying racks. Communal kitchens will also be readily available and very well stalked as far as appliances go. They usually include sinks, stoves, ovens, toaster ovens, rice cookers, bowls, plates, silverware, chopsticks, glasses, pots, pans, and hot water heaters to name just some of the complimentary amenities. As far as academic support facilities go there are customarily both study rooms and computer labs equipped with printers and copiers available until the late evening. The dorms will normally also have recreational facilities such as karaoke rooms and sports centers or gyms for use at certain times of the day.
Rules mark perhaps the most significant departure from most people’s experiences in their home institution’s dorms as they are often quite strict in comparison. No alcohol is permitted at all unless you receive special clearance and paperwork to bring some in for cooking purposes. Gender segregation is also quite strict, with boys and girls living on different floors or on different sides of a floor, and they’re not allowed to cross over to the other gender’s designated areas past a certain time which is usually some time in the early evening. Like most dorms in other countries, they also require people to be quiet past a certain time in the evening.
Japanese dorms are very well equipped and can provide a very comfortable studying and living experience with the only potential drawback being their stricter rules, but that should not deter you like the opportunities for learning and meeting new people are priceless and certainly worth some small inconveniences.