The Riento Tamadaira Welcome Party
The scenery will slowly but surely become rich with green as you're gently rocked on the train. The clamor of the city will fade into the distance. Just an 8 minute walk from Toyoda Station, you'll find Riento Tamadaira, where the townscape seems to gradually blend and become one with nature.
As the summer heat still lingers about, you can sense the coming of fall. Because the nights have grown cooler with the changing of the seasons, the timing was perfect to throw a welcome party for the new residents of Riento Tamadaira, which were fortunately able to attend.
As the sponsor for this event, Rebita, the owners of the share house, prepared a variety of drinks and dishes such as a local cuisine using boiled potatoes. The party was open not only to the residents and share house staff, but also residents from the area, making this the perfect opportunity to make friends while learning about Tamadaira.
So let's check it out!
Before we get to the party, I'd like to give you a look at the house and it's rooms.
This house was originally part of a reconstruction project for an apartment complex, which opened in 1958. Once the house was vacant after reconstruction, a private business remodeled the complex even further, breathing new life into it as a share house.
The complex has five buildings in total, with two of them being used for the share house, one being used as a normal residential complex, and two being used as a home catered to the elderly. This complex has managed to leave the beautiful natural landscape in tact while creating a multi-generation community.
Also, to our surprise it seems Riento Tamadaira won the 2012 Good Design award, and will appear in the 2012 Good Design Exhibition at Tokyo Big Sight on November 23 (Friday). If you happen to have time, be sure to check it out.
There's quite a drastic change in the atmosphere here compared to it's look in the afternoon. There's a strong sense of presence setting it apart from the surrounding buildings that's quite charming.
There are several wooden deck resting areas in the central plaza, and since it's open to the public, its the perfect spot to relax and socialize.
Now then, tonight's event will be taking place around this wooden deck. Here they're setting up the tables and chairs, with all other preparations moving along smoothly.
As preparations continue, people are starting to show up little by little. About 40 people have signed up to attend, so there's still a long way to go.
Connected to the wooden deck is the main lounge, where decorations have also been hung up for the party. On the far wall is a slide show with pictures taken here at Riento Tamadaira.
More people are starting to show up, and with drinks in hand, it looks like the party has begun. The main event is not until later, so for now it's great food and great conversation.
This is a scene you definitely won't find living alone. Together with so many friends under one roof, enjoying a meal with a pleasant evening breeze. One could say this is one of the perks of share house living.
The share house staff are preparing to kick off the main event. It sounds like they put a lot of thought into this one.
To start things off, there was a presentation by the head of the neighborhood council for Tamadaira Ward, explaining the history of the area with the aide of a slide show. It's one thing to simply move into a town, but to also to learn about it's history in such a way is definitely a rare opportunity. I'm sure anyone would feel a new sense of attachment to their home after hearing a presentation like this.
After residents finished introducing themselves, there were introductory speeches from the study abroad students. They tried their best to present in a language they were not yet familiar with, and the residents looked on attentively.
To close out the main event, there was a game designed by the Rebita staff, and the prize was a free ticket to a hot spring in Hachioji. Upon hearing the prize, everyone began clapping and cheering enthusiastically.
Around 50 people took part in the game, but there could be only one winner. As everyone applauded his victory with smiles, I'm sure everyone was wishing they could go to the hot spring as well.
While the party was officially over, not everyone had their fill of drinks and conversation, so a few decided to stay. Unfortunately, this is where we had to take our leave.
So what did you think? Certainly the chance to mingle with so many people of all ages looks appealing. With the inclusion of students who've come to study from abroad, there's also the chance to form friendships that can take you around the world.
Participating in this event, I couldn't help but be reminded of my time as a student. At the time I was living in the western part of Tokyo, and had I known such a fantastic share house was around, I'm sure I would have moved in.
Although the appeal of multi-unit apartments has been on the decline, it's surprising how a simple change into a share house can transform one into such an attractive living space. In the city, especially in Tokyo, it's become increasingly difficult to establish a sense of community with those who live near you. This new style of living, however, is sure to continue growing in popularity as time goes on.
Riento Tamadaira breathes new life into apartment complex style housing, all the while preserving history in amid the greenery of Tamadaira. How would you feel about making a new page in history here, forging friendships with the community?
/Author: Kagawa, Translation: Paul