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Travel, Book, and a Coffee

By travelling, you will bump into many new things. Not only people, but anything such as cities, view, foods, and cultures, including both material or non-material. Plus, almost every time, travelling has its ending set with good-byes. It may be because we know that eventually it’s all going to end, that we are moved by things we encounter and feel all so ephemeral.

I personally think that living in a shared house is similar with traveling. Imagine living with strangers who are different in almost everything, from the place you are born, nationality, or what we value. They just happen to move into the same house at the same time as you. It is filled with new experiences. You will meet people and learn cultures that you may not encounter in your ordinary life. “Living” and ”Traveling” seems poles apart, but shared house, which is a new style of living, can be a bridge between those two.Today, I’m introducing to you travel lovers a shared house in Osaka prefecture. It is located at Sumiyoshi-ku Bandai, where you can easily access to Namba station and Tennoji station in Minami district. This residence’s concept is to connect those who love three things; traveling, books, and a coffee.

Don’t you think it’s fluttering to live a life with each encounter becoming one of your precious memories? Coincidently, opening party at the house was held at the same time as the day of our shooting, so I will tell you all about the event, too!

「Kizunaya Sharehouse -hitotoki- Osaka Tezukayama」Click here

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“Kizunaya Shsarehouse -hitotoki- Osaka Tezukayama”, the residence I’m introducing to you today, stands at Tezukayama, one of the exclusive residential districts in Osaka. It is quiet and neat residential area, with lots of mansions in neighborhood.

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To Tezukayama station to shared house is approximately 8 minutes on foot. On the way, there’s a park called Bandai pond park, providing relaxing space for people living nearby. You can walk around and enjoy the changes of seasons in full nature. 

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You will also find a stylish café called “Shinrinsha” near the house, making it easy to have lunch outside whenever you like. At the atelier next to it, they hold pottering classes. 

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Now, let’s look inside the house! “Kizunabito Share house -hitotoki- Osaka Tezukayama” is a full renovation of apartment standing along the National Route 30. From 3rd to 5th floor is the residence and the entrance is on the 3rd floor. The above picture shows the spacious entrance hall.

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By entering inside and opening the door in your right, it connects to the main lounge. “Hitotoki”, the word used as the name of the shared house means “momentary”, but it also comprehends the theme “hito=people to=and ki=a tree”. This room is designed to make people gather around at the big tree standing in the center of the table.

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Natural and warm colored interiors produce the warm and relaxing atmosphere.

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Plenty of sunlight pours into the room, providing enough light in the daytime.

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If you are freelance worker who stays at home, this is the perfect place to concentrate on your work.

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Kitchen is at the far end of the living room. There’s lots of space for several residents to cook at the same time.

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It is a standard system kitchen, nothing extraordinary, so you probably won’t need any help to figure things out and get to cooking right away.

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3 IH cooking stoves are at your service. Since it’s not a gas type, you will find it very easy to clean up after using.

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There is standard electric cooking items and tools, so you don’t have to prepare them yourselves. In the picture are coffee bean mill and brewer, enabling you to enjoy professional coffee at home.

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Look, there’s many magazines about coffee on the living room wall rack.

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Now, let’s move on to the bathrooms. Bathtubs and shower rooms are all located on the 3rd floor.

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Shower rooms and bathroom with bathtubs are one each. This picture shows the bathroom.

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Have you been wondering what this wooden door on the left is? Surprisingly, this is sauna booth! You can enjoy sauna at your house. Isn’t it fascinating?

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Bath tub is wide enough and will help you take a good night sleep after sinking and relaxing in it. Don’t you just love bathing?

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Next, we’ll check the 4th floor! This spiral staircase will lead you to it!

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Here is the sharing library where residents can bring their books and leave them for others to read. Lie on the floor and enjoy sharing your interests and knowledges with house mates.

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You can take a sneak peek into each other’s mind by sharing your favorite books. It will be a great opportunity to know each other even more.

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The books already prepared on the shelves are all so interesting with various genres and even picture books.

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There’s a big terrace outside the window of the sharing library. In this extremely hot weather, it’s difficult to use the space in the day time. But at night, you can grab a drink or chit chat with your house mates. It can be your hide out space to spill out things you cannot say in public.

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By the end of summer, you may even read outside with cool wind kissing your cheek.

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As you can see in the picture, there’s a convenience store right in front of the house. You can shop whenever you need to.

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Two laundry machines are on the 5th floor.

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Going outside from the laundry room, you will find the space to dry your laundries after washing.

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Lastly, let’s check out the rooms! There are 8 individual rooms.

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The size differs slightly, but in average, 8-12 square meters are assured in every room.

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Here at room 502, there’s this huge closet with ample of space for living solely.

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At the room on the 5th floor, there’s window in the ceiling providing enough light at the daytime. No need for electricity! Not only the main lounge, but also each room is designed to implement comfort living.

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While we were at house touring, preparation for the opening party has been proceeding. From now on, I will show you specifically about the party held on the day of shooting.

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Going near the kitchen, I found lots of delicious looking meals set ready on plates.

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The person in the picture is a special guest for the event. I will introduce him later on.

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Don’t forget about drinks. They have prepared bar-like varieties including original cocktails perfect for the summer.

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After many people squeezing in at the main lounge, the party started with greets from Mr. Hiraoka, the representative of Kizunabito. More than 30 people gathered today for this event.

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This picture is just the moment of toasting. Look how everyone is smiling.

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Everyone, from grownups to little kids are the guest of the house today. This probably is one side of attraction of the shared house, with people enjoying conversations regardless of their age, gender, or nationality.

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Great smiles everyone!

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Now that the place is warmed up after talking, I would like to introduce the special guest today. He is the famous traveler chef, Naoyoshi Motoyama.

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If you’re a cooking-lover, you might have seen his book at stores. This recipe book introduces how to cook 196 country’s local foods, and he’s the one who supervised the piece. Mr. Motoyama is extremely busy developing products, attending events, and giving lectures all around the country. Kizunabito has offered passionately for him to join the opening party, and now, here he is.

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The foods offered at today’s opening party were all prepared and cooked by him. Lots of local foods which fits perfectly to the theme “traveling” was lined up. He explained to us how he became as he is now by picture-story show. Let me share his story. He first became interested in traveling when he learned about India.

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He used to be a chef at French restaurant but became obsessed with spice when visiting India with his costumer who was Yoga teacher. Once he came home, he started working at an Indian restaurant.

Since then, he has been traveling all around the world whenever he has a free time and learned and acquired how to cook local foods by communicating with residents. He visited over 30 countries. “Travelling Chef” fits perfectly for him.

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Recently, he was consulted by government the ways to get rid of Trachemys scripta (red-eared sliders) which increased too much in numbers and has a risk of destroying ecosystem. As a solution, he developed a world’s first boil-in-the-bag food using them as ingredient. It was a rough path to come up with cooking method and handling the hard carapace, but eventually he made it into a product that can be sold.

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Since then he has been producing boil-in-the-bag foods of local dishes and calling them the “series of fine appetite worldwide”, wishing to make lots of people to easily experience the culture of different countries.

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I will introduce you some foods provided at the event! This one in the picture is called “Bhajia”, an African croquette with beans in it and tomato sauce on top.

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This one here is from Romania. A quiet interesting putty made from paste of eggplant. 

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Main dish is local food from New Orleans in southern part of US called “Gumbo”. Originally, they eat as a soup, but it goes so well with white rice!

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This soup is called “Ajiaco” from South America. Potatoes, giant corns, and avocado is in it. Every dish was not weird at all as I imagined, and although some of them tasted unfamiliar, I found them very delicious.

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After eating, we had original blend coffee of Kizunaya. I enjoyed all three flavors.

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There were also some activities that every nationality or gender can enjoy. People concentrated on working them.

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The event was a full success! They closed the party, not by Japanese’s traditional style of hand clapping, but by showing palms of their hands in a call. Showing one’s palms were probably intended to communicate the concept of this share house, such as connecting people and sharing values.

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Recording the memories by taking pictures together! Many people from various backgrounds joined the event, and I assume this circle is going to grow even bigger.

If you are interested in these three keywords, “travel”, “coffee”, or “book”, then please go and see the house for once! Thank you staffs and everyone gathered at the event!

How did you like it? The shared house “Kizunaya Share house -hitotoki- Tezukayama” I introduced you today is run by Kizunabito Inc.

They already have been running 4 other shared houses in Tokyo and nearby areas. The main feature of the houses run by Kizunabito is created by Mr. Hiraoka, the representative himself.

Reading blogs, looking into their SNS, or attending events, you can sense that the residents gets along so well, even with residents at other shared houses. The reason why they are so friendly is that Mr. Hiraoka is willing to enjoy with them despite of his position as an owner. It takes away resident’s hesitation and make them go jump right into the community.

Gorgeous facilities and comfortableness can be one aspect of attraction, but the main feature is the community that the house creates.

Meeting and spending time with your share mates all becoming lifetime memories to cherish. Why don’t you start your shared house life if interested in travel-like living?

/Author: KAGAWA

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