Thursday, July 15, 2010

Drum Roll Please...

I have had way too many people ask me to post pictures of our new house to wait any longer…so without further delay, here are finally pictures of the “new” Holman House!
Nick and I are still living in the Navy Lodge, which is part of the reason I haven’t blogged about our new house yet. It doesn’t seem like ours until we are actually living in it!!! Also, we have had a bit of a fiasco with our household goods (as in everything we own not including what’s in our suitcases)! Good news is we found out yesterday that they finally found our stuff, bad news is it’s in Georgia…as in the Georgia in North America! Who knows why it took them 4 weeks to track down our belongings, or why when we moved almost 3 months ago, our stuff is still sitting in a warehouse in the USA!!! They informed Nick last night that it would be another 60 DAYS before our things arrive here! Nick won’t even be here when that finally happens! But, we are staying positive…at least they know where our belongings are…several people have told me the horror stories of others who have had their stuff found at the bottom of the ocean! And here I thought I was nervous!!!

I got excited all over again just looking at the photos of our soon to be home! I made it my mission to find the “perfect” house. I will admit, though the search was not very fun, I am pleased with what we chose! I looked at almost 20 houses, but Nick and I were very specific and picky about what type of house we wanted to live in. This will be our home for the next 3 years! For us, this is a big deal! We have lived in 4 places in the last 3 years, so this will be the longest we have ever lived anywhere together!

Because our dog Beretta will be living here with us, we needed a house that was do-able for her as well. Also, even though Japanese-style homes are typically older, we were set on living in a traditional Japanese home, versus a newer home that was more modern. Nick and I love the tatami rooms, shoji windows and sliding doors. However, landlords assume since we are American, we want to live in a Western-style house, not a Japanese-style home! Needless to say, it made the house hunt take a while, but we finally found our gem!

Entry way...every Japanese home has little cabinets right by the front door for you to store your shoes and slippers.
View from front entry. To the right is the kitchen and dining room and to the left is the living room and other kitchen...yep that's right, we have TWO kitchens! Holidays at the Holmans anyone???
Washitsu (Japanese-style dining/living room) and kitchen
One of our kitchens....notice the storage in the floor, this is typical in a Japanese kitchen, used for extra storage! In the winter, it keeps things cold, due to the low temperatures and proximity to the ground. Genius!
The kitchen opens up to the washitsu...this room we want to make into a Japanese-style dining room by adding a kotatsu and tatami pillows. (A kotatsu is a low table with an electric heater attached underneath to keep your feet warm in the winter, it's the low tables you see in traditional Japanese restaurants where you sit on pillows and eat cross-legged.)
Lots of storage in the washitsu!
Living has a sliding door that leads to a front patio! Great for Beretta!
The living room opens up to the the second kitchen, nice and open, great for entertaining!
Side door out of the kitchen...
Very unique layout, there are several levels.
Our "garage" doesn't fit a car, but great for bikes as well as storage!
Our first floor toilet...toilets in Japanese homes are separate from the "bath room." Also, as you notice, there is a sink on the back of the toilet...this is to conserve energy by using the same water you wash your hands with to flush the toilet! Again, very clever!
Bath room...most houses only have one actual "bathroom" and one to two toilets. The bathroom also serves as the laundry room, right next to the sink is where our washer and dryer goes! Again, this is very typical for a Japanese-style house.
The actual shower and bathtub...the Japanese are really into their baths! They take a shower to get clean, then soak in the tub! As I said before they are really conservative with their water, so typically a Japanese family will fill the tub up once and everyone in the family will use the same water....the mats propped up by the tub are to put over the bath in between different people using the water so that it stays hot! Interesting.... is all very open, the Japanese don't like shower curtains because they think the curtains are dirty/unsanitary!
Staircase to the second floor...
Looking down to the first floor...
Love the natural lighting upstairs!
Upstairs toilet, complete with an individual sink and mini vanity...this is rare in a toilet room!
Two tatami rooms that open up into one giant room, which will be our master bedroom! Whoohoo!
Lots of cabinets and storage in the master
Shoji windows, sliding doors and tatami floors!
Across the hall is two more rooms, the office and the guest room! They have an adjoining door...again a very open floor plan, very unique, but we LOVE it!!!
The office, with a built-in bookshelf!
The guest room...lots of storage as well!
Built in cabinets and a balcony off of the guest room!
The opens up from the guest and the master bedrooms! The weird looking pole-like structures that you can see on our balcony as well as the neighbor houses are to hang-dry your clothes on. This is very typical in a Japanese home. (Again with the conserving energy...)
View of our front yard from the balcony...
We love that our house is right on the corner, so that it is not completely sandwiched in by other houses, and that there is a BIG sidewalk in front of it...due to the lack of space in Japan, most houses are literally right on top of the roads as well as each other!
Right across the street from our house is a river and lots of green trees, complete with a running path for us and Beretta, that leads to a park!!! Love, Love, Love! (You can't see in the picture, but there is Koi swimming in the water!)
The location of our house is just what we wanted! It is within walking distance from a train, a 7 minute drive from base, and in an area that is not very busy and more quiet! We love that it is by water and a park for our dog!

We won't be able to move in for another 2 weeks because they are doing some cleaning and renovations to the house. As our landlord told us, "we make it more beautiful for you"! This works out, considering we still don't have our furniture!!!

We are blessed to finally have a home and are praying that our stuff arrives soon...when it finally does, there will be more pictures to post of our decorated home!


  1. What a great house! I love it! Hopefully all your stuff will get there soon...and it will be like Christmas when you get to open everything again!

  2. What a beautiful place. I am getting concerned you may never want to come back. It is just so interesting there. All that wood makes the house warm and comfortable. My question is how are the doorways and Nick's size? Will he have to learn to duck often or can he stand at all times? Also what is that by the toilets. It looks like a control panel. The storage in the home is very creative. I am sorry your belongings were misplaced. I pray they arrive quickly, all of it is there in great shape. Enjoy your new home. I know you will make it a show place you are so creative.

  3. I will steal your stuff, since it is near me so you have to either A)come live with me or B)pay me to bring it all over :) Anyways...just a thought haha

  4. What a mess about your stuff! Sorry to hear that - but I have no doubt you've packed enough stuff in your checked baggage to make it through the next three years ;) kidding...

    The house looks amazing - and such deja vu for me! I'm continually just so excited for you guys, with every new post I get all charged up again. So happy for your new adventure - keep on blogging for the rest of us gaijins!