My life in FRESHROOM.
Occupation: Master student
Period of residency: 1 Year 6 Months (FR Ryogoku)
This time we hang out with Bori, who lives in FR Ryogoku!
For our first interview, we called Bori, who lives in Freshroom Ryogoku. She’s Hungarian, went to Japanese language school and now she is studying in a Professional School to obtain a Doctor License.
Bori is leaving the share house in two days for work. Thank you for staying with us!
FR：Are you going to work in Japan?
Bori：Yes. I used to be a quite person when I Came in Japan. I wasn’t very talkative towards others. One of the reasons I came to Japan was because I wanted to meet many people overseas. I wanted to change my introvert self! Afterall, when you are surrounded with people you don’t know, you have no choice other than speak to them. I’m glad I started living here and made a lot of friends. It was a good experience.
FR：It’s full of people from different nationalities, isn`t it?
Bori：Yes. Once a Japanese friend told me that a Share House is a place where you a have a lot of opportunities to speak English. But everyone here is fluent in Japanese so we don`t speak English that much (AHAH).
FR：Did you start living in FR Ryogoku right after reaching Japan?
Bori：My school is in Shinjuku, so I found Fresh Room Nakai, which is close to my school, on the Internet, but it was fully booked at the time, so I couldn’t get in. However, I found out that if a room became available, I could move from another Freshroom property, so I decided to stay here for the time being. It’s a little far from Shinjuku, but you can get there on the Sobu line, and I liked the quiet atmosphere, so I didn’t move when Nakai’s property became vacant.
FR：It’s usual for a foreigner to look for a share house when he comes to Japan for the first time?
Bori：Yes, because it`s cheap. In Japan, rents are more expensive than Europe. I`m now living with the money from the scholarship so the cheapest, the best!
FR：Was it unsettled to live next to people you don’t know?
Bori：It wasn’t. From the moment I decided to go abroad, I knew that there would be many people I didn’t know. I got along well with most of the people who live here.
FR：What is your opinion about Japan?
Bori：I used to live in a small city in my country, so I wondered what would happen if I moved to a big city like Tokyo. So I wanted to live as close as possible to it (laughs).
FR：Shinjuku is known to be one of the best and biggest cities in Tokyo. However when someone mention Ryogoku, the first thing that comes in mind is Sumo Wrestlers.
Bori：I had no idea… But when I say “Ryogoku” to friends in the country, they say “Oh, sumo…”. But I was like, “Is that so?” (laughs) There are some wrestlers from Hungary, but they’re not very famous. I often see sumo wrestlers around here. It’s funny to ride on a bicycle (laughs)!
This is Ryogoku
FR：Is it inconvenient for shopping?
Bori：Not at all. There are two supermarkets within five minutes from the property. The first is “Angel”. It’s really close by, so when I need something urgently, I go there. The other “Yaoken” is just down the road from the station and has a wide variety of meat and vegetables, so when I feel like cooking, I go shopping there.
FR：So, the neighborhood is more than enough?
Bori：Yes but for cheaper shopping, I usually choose Kinshicho rather than Ryogoku.
FR：Do you also go for a walk?
Bori：I do. The Sumida River is nearby, so it’s a chance to get in touch with nature in a big city. There is a terrace along the river with various decorations such as flowers and paintings. A sunny day will heal your heart. Many people jog in the morning. You can walk along the river to Asakusa without getting lost while listening to the cries of seagulls and the sound of the river.
Bori：I have a favorite bakery in Asakusa, so I walk to Asakusa to do shopping there. It’s quite a distance, so it’s also a good exercise. If you get tired, why not take a water bus? (laughs) In summer, the Sumida River Fireworks Festival will be waiting for you.
FR：Is there any touristic spot?
Bori：The Edo-Tokyo Museum is right next to the station, and my friend took me there. It has been something new to learn for me as a foreigner. Also, if you use the Sobu line, you can easily go to Shibuya and Shinjuku, and I sometimes go to places like Akihabara.
FR：Akihabara! Did you see any Maid?
Bori：I didn’t see many maids, but I did go to a “cat cafe” (laughs). There is a person in her 50s who lives here who loves anime and games. I also play games with him, and he also likes air guns, so he took me to an air gun shop in Akihabara (laughs).
FR：Everyone is friend with each other, no matter his age difference.
Bori：That’s right! Some of the residents work as bartenders, so there are occasional events where we come up with new cocktails and drink them together. We enjoy drinking cocktails together. We also went to potato digging together. Some people who live here are from Ibaraki, so I went to Ibaraki and went sightseeing at Fukuroda Falls. We also went to Yokohama where I bought the wall calendar that is attached on the wall over there.
Wellcome to my room.
FR：After coming back home, do spend time in your room?
Bori：Sure! When I’m in my room, I either study or watch TV, I guess. The TV in my room has a new flat screen. The image is beautiful, and you won’t miss the animation from 7 o’clock. I use it as an excuse to study Japanese but, I simply love anime (laughs).
FR：Are you also navigating the internet?
Bori：I often using the internet to speak with my family and checking up things so I’m glad it is free. I`ll end up spending more than an hour doing so.
FR：Do you have any complaints about your room?
Bori：I think it’s a bit small but I have space under my bed for books, notes, luggage and shoes. The other side of the coin is that no matter how cold is outside, I can always turn on the heater and in 5 min the room is immediately warm.
Let`s talk about the common area
FR：People gather in the common area?
Bori：After ten o’clock at night, everyone is in this living room. Before that everyone is busy with work or school so they are gathering in the living room at different times. People come and go until midnight. When I get a little lonely, I come here to watch TV. When I relax in the living room on weekends, I was asked many times, “Would you like to go see a movie?” However, there are few people who never come to the living room.
FR：Everybody is eating and playing together.
Bori：Yes, we cook together, and we often make birthday parties. On the wall you can see many pictures of that!
FR：Who organize these parties?
Bori：We receive a notice and then decide who is going to buy the present and who the cake.
FR：Looks like fun!
Bori：Everyone has different ages, hometowns, and jobs. After graduating from university, I felt as if a wide world had opened up to me, as I had hardly met anyone outside of the same field as me. I’m moving to Osaka for work, but I’ll be living in a guest house in Osaka as well (laughs). It looks like it’s going to be fine.
FR：Do you go also to the rooftop?
Bori：Yes! If the weather is nice and you want to save money, hang your laundry on the roof instead of in the dryer. You can also see the Sky Tree, which grows taller every day, from the rooftop. Another common thing is a bicycle. It is OK to leave your personal bicycle around the building.
I`ll be living in a share house in Osaka as well
As a foreigner like me, there were many things I didn’t know about life in Japan, and at first I couldn’t help but feel uneasy. But I’m glad I chose a guest house rather than living alone. No matter what kind of trouble you have, even if you get a letter from the tax office that you don’t understand (laughs), there’s always someone there to ask questions. Everyone kindly explains you everything.
It was a lot of fun to meet so many people I never had the chance to meet, such as bartenders and carpenters, and I learned a lot about different jobs. Please try it someday.