Where in the world is Jon Schmid - Nov 2003

My place in Tokyo

November 2003

Location of Tokyo in Japan
In October 2003 I made the move from Florida to Tokyo. This
is for a two-year stint to work with a company here that I
have been dealing with for the past couple of years on a
part-time basis, making trips back and forth. Finally, they
said "why don't ya just move here"... so, here I am!

To contact me: Click Here
Click on any photo to see a larger version...
Location of Todoroki within Tokyo. I added the red dots to outline what would be "downtown" Tokyo... basically circled by the Yamanote JR railway line. As you can see, I'm sort of to the SW. My train station is circled in green.


This is the area where I live. It is a bit to the west of "downtown" Tokyo
in a slightly more quiet setting. You could compare Todoroki to Ginza, as you
would Brooklyn to Manhattan... they're both part of Tokyo (or New York) but
Todoroki (Brooklyn) is more residential
This is Todoroki Station, on the Oimachi Line of the Tokyu Railway system. This is a private rail company, and a very small, old station. Just off screen to your left is a McDonald's, the first thing you see when you get off the train.
Walkin' up the street toward my apartment (about a 4 min. walk). It's Sunday morning, so some shops are still closed (not that they're Christian, but they've adopted the Western work week).
I can stop to play Pachinko if I like... sort of a combination of a slot machine and pinball. It's legal, low-level gambling, open 24 hours a day (and, no, I don't play).
This is my apartment building, entrance on the lower right. Tsutaya is a big CD/DVD and bookstore chain. After I get my Foreign Residency card I'll apply for a membership so I can rent DVD's... how convenient is that!

My Apartment

FH020021.jpg That's me waving "Hello" to you, and my downstairs neighbor, politely asking me to pipe down. No, that didn't happen... I'm not sure my neighbors know what to make of me yet... they're probably gathering their pitchforks, torches, and other weapons common to the village mob.

It's really a pretty nice apartment, but it took forever to get the rental. It's a complicated process, where you have to go through maybe a couple of agents, and have your employer co-sign, blah, blah, blah... let's look inside!

My front door

View to the Southeast

This is the balcony where I was waving "Hi". I'm looking southeast, so the view
is back toward lower downtown Tokyo, and Tokyo Bay. Not much to see... just lots
of city

View to North

This is looking out my front door. Not sure what the big antenna are for. Ryuzaki-san, one of the people I work with, said it looks like I live on a moonbase.

View to SouthWest

I can see Mt. Fuji when it's clear. Just the peak, over the smaller mountains in between us.

Inside my cave

FH000010.jpg FH000013.jpg Living Room As you can see, it has all the necessities... a couch, a TV, an empty cardboard box for an end table, and a wicker stand thing, which I stole from the garbage. So, you might say my interior decor is somewhat... Canadian...(certain people know who I mean :-)

Also some of my more eye-blistering Hawaiian shirts hung on the wall for lack of any other decoration. The left view shows the balcony to the east, and the right view shows the kitchen and to the right my bedroom.

FH000012.jpg FH000011.jpg Bed Room This is the only "traditional" room in the place. The flooring is tatami matting, which I really like. And, at least for now, I'm sleeping on what a local would use... a "futon" which is just a mat on the floor and a duvet-type cover. The closet to the left is so large because during the day, the family is supposed to roll up their futons and store them in there, so they can use the room for other daytime activities. Since it's just me in here, I can afford to just leave it out.
FH000023.jpg Bath Room This is literally a "bath" room, meaning the toilet is another tiny room entirely. It's divided into two sections, the one nearest being the sink and such, and the rear section is a shower with a bathtub, but the entire section is waterproof... it's like an enormous shower stall. And the tub is NOT meant for washing... you're supposed to shower first, and then sit in the tub only to relax, compose haiku, plot world domination, whatever.
FH000018.jpg FH000017.jpg FH000014.jpg Small Room, Front Entrance, Office Not much to these... the Office and Small Room are on either side of the Front entrance (where you can see I have dutifully lined up my shoes, since you don't wear your shoes in the house). The small room is probably meant for a child's room, but I use it for storage.
FH000019.jpg FH000022.jpg Kitchen Small, but I don't need much. Only disappointment is that it doesn't have an oven... it just has a gas range with three burners, and then a very small broiler, where you broil your fish (the control even has a drawing of a fish on it... however, how will they know if I'm makin' nachos in there!?)
floorplan.jpg Floor Plan If you want a better idea how it's laid out. This was copied from the Real Estate agent brochure. A big selling point is always how many minutes it takes to walk to the nearest train stations.