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A new age extends before us connecting people together

The concept of shared living is changing with the times day by day. Communities are being forged beyond the gates of a single house.

Media exposure is increasing and so has public familiarity with sharehouses. In obstacle to this is the anxiety or uneasiness of people who are interested in living in a sharehouse, yet are worried about what kind of people they will be living with and what kind of lifestyle they will lead. It would be very unfortunate for someone to move in and find that their initial image of what life would be like differs drastically from the realities of sharehouse life.

OPEN SHARE」OPEN SHARE was held in order to solve these kinds of problems as an event in which tenants from 10 different sharehouses and people interested in living in them gathered together to network and mingle in an open, fun environment.

The setting for OPEN SHARE was a place called ‘iioffice’ (Good Office), a share office and co-working area run by LIG. Inside is an at-home vibe not unlike that of a sharehouse, and a comfortable, relaxing environment in which to work. It is a very ‘good office’, just as the name tells us.

Let’s have a closer look at the OPEN SHARE event and experience a little bit of sharehouse life in this open setting!

 

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Participants begin to show up one after another as the start time draws near. After passing through reception they head to their tables with a welcome drink in hand. The conversation around us is livening up.

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On the wall is a gallery of photos from each sharehouse. Prospective tenants and residents of other houses gaze at the photos and are surprised and interested at what goes on at some of the houses. It’s a very interesting corner.

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The proceedings begin with an introduction about OPEN SHARE from Ayuko Fukusawa, an announcer for「SHAREHOUSE.TV」, a news media outlet run by our company. She is also acting as MC for the night and works the crowd with ease. At last, the event begins.

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Everybody gets together for a toast. It looks like everyone is having a relaxing, fun time. This photo was taken by SharePlace Den-en-Chofu resident Nozo. He has allowed us to use a few others, also. One big merit of sharehouses is that people of all occupations and walks of life call sharehouses home and we can make the most of their talents in times like these.

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We return back to our tables for a pleasant chat. After introducing ourselves the conversation made way for a variety of topics, including the reason why people were living in sharehouses and questions about love inside the houses. Sharehouse residents answered the questions based upon their own experiences honestly and the mystery of sharehouse life began to be unraveled.

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Here we listen to the administrator and mascot Matsuzaki about ‘iioffice’. What impressed me was that the venue can accommodate 200 guests in its event space and that it has a giant kitchen!

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Sharehouse residents work hard to provide the guests with delicious food and bring the event up a notch. Thanks for the food guys.

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Good coffee was also provided. When lovers of coffee get together the conversation takes off and there are smiles all around.

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Oh my! I found someone in the kitchen who looks like he is planning something! I caught him red-handed with a tray full of chicken! If the shouts of delight from the event room shortly after are any indication, there’s no need to say they were devoured gleefully by the guests.

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The scene changes and it is now presentation time. The top batter is one of our own. Being able to look over the history of the fluid sharehouse industry through a portal site makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

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Now we get to take a closer look at all the sharehouses we’ve been interested in. First is 「Stylio with Kamiikedai」’s Ms. Imano! The concept of the property is ‘A sharehouse connecting people with the neighborhood through food’. Enjoy cooking and eating together with others. You can enjoy a truly sharehouse-only experience doing things like talking over dinner about what to cook together with your sharemates the next weekend.

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Just by standing in the house's amazing kitchen even the worst cook will be rolling up their sleeves getting a few pointers from more seasoned chefs, creating unique and delicious recipes of their own. I'll never forget the taste of the curry and rice dish residents made for us when we visited on a sharehouse bus tour.

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Ms. Imano uses「SHAREHOUSE.TV」like a pro in her property introduction! It's easy to grasp an understanding of the atmosphere of a sharehouse when you're watching it play out right in front of you.

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Next is Mr. Takeyari from 「SharePlace Den-en-Chofu South], a house 3-minutes walk to the Tama river where you can enjoy outdoor activities such as jogging or cycling on your off days. The property, with an attractive community atmosphere, can house 73 residents and boasts a lounge modelled on a river terrace, a theatre room and breezy rooftop area where you can try your hand at cultivating a vegetable patch. This refreshing sharehouse allows you to get in touch with nature while at the same time living in the city.

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Next we have a guy interested in all things brainy Ms. Arakawa from SharePlace Komazawa! This is a 15-storey tower sharehouse with a 100m2 common room and 4 differently themed lounge areas. It's located near chic neighbourhoods like Sangenchaya, Shibuya and Jiyugaoka and is still a relatively newly built property. With its 4 themed lounge areas it's a new and exciting design that feels like 4 different sharehouse combined in 1.

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This dashing fellow is Disneyland staff Mr. Takei of「PLENDY-SHARE Urayasu」!This is a newly renovated sharehouse with a wooden decked terrace and natural-themed living area to relieve your mind, body and soul. We hear it's quite something to spend your days looking out over the Disneyland theme park and the Old Edo River.

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PLENDY-SHARE Higashi-Urawa」’s cute Ms. Notchi takes the stage in a fashion as if to say ‘It’s about time!” This house is all about living a healthy lifestyle in exercise and diet. They have teamed up with a local farmer in Okayama prefecture today to supply the OPEN SHARE party with fresh vegetables. The house is also apparently home to many lovely ladies, but I can’t say for sure.

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Energetic conversation starts up once again. People talk about properties that caught their interest, ask questions about sharehouse life and exchange social media information.

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Devouring delicious, fresh vegetables in earnest....

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...but it’s already time to go. Here’s a group shot to end the night that went by so fast. Time flies when you’re having fun.

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The staff at OPEN SHARE. Everyone looks lovely in their matching hoodies. These guys worked great together from the planning stage to the preparation of the venue, and even the cleaning afterwards. Good job guys. Thank you for everything!

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And lastly, an iioffice pose. Thanks guys! This really is a good office.

 

Alright, what did you think of OPEN SHARE, the event where participants could get a feel for what sharehouses are all about in a free and open environment? It’s a good idea and also beneficial to all involved to connect people thinking about the sharehouse life with those currently living in one, and helps in cultivating even better sharehouse lifestyles for everyone.
 
Through this event I realised that when leaving home to live on your own, having sharehouses there as an option is a very good thing. Living in a sharehouse is of course not all fun and games, however you may just find somewhere to call home and friends to call family. Just as one guest at the event told us, “It’s like having a whole other family in Tokyo”.
 
This is why that it is said that living with others has great influence over one’s lifestyle. For those of you thinking about the share life, these kinds of events at which current residents gather are perfect for you. Getting to know the people of a house and its atmosphere will deepen your image of what living in a sharehouse is like. As events like these are rather rare, I’ll say it again - Thank you so much to the people at iioffice and everyone responsible for a great night!
 
I myself will continue in my efforts working towards more places for sharehouse residents and potential sharemates can meet and interact in a relaxed and casual manner, so please look forward to the next event!

/Author: Nakayama

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