Archive for June, 2011

Gas attack

June 19, 2011

In the previous post we talked about Tokyo Gas’s relationship with the public housing corporation UR and how we were left with no choice but to throw away two perfectly good space heaters because they couldn’t be used in our new UR apartment and there was no system set up to sell or even give them to people who might be moving into our old UR apartment. As it turns out Tokyo Gas has UR tenants coming and going. Out new apartment does not have a stove, though our old one did. This is a facet of rental living in Japan that I had forgotten all about: the total lack of appliances. In the U.S. when you rent an apartment, you almost always get a stove, an oven, a refrigerator, sometimes even a washer/dryer, not to mention central heating. You don’t necessarily get any of those things in Japanese rentals, though, as I mentioned, our last UR apartment did have a stove, and recently some UR apartments have had floor heating or wall heating units built into the rooms. We have gas-powered floor heating in our new apartment in the living room only, but for some reason it’s billed separately from the other gas we use in the apartment, which means it requires a separate contract and, thus, a separate contract signing¬†fee: ¬•7,500 just to turn the system on. We were told, however, that if we did use floor heating we would get a “discount” on our total gas bill in any month we used the floor heating. We assume that means floor heating is very expensive. Since there are no gas outlets in our new apartment, we would have to heat the place with electric space heaters or kerosene heaters if we decided not to use the floor heating. In any case, it won’t be cheap. (more…)


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