Mellow days around the fireplace

This is one of the OLIPO series of share houses managed by Office Shintou, which we have introduced on this site before. Hearing rumors of the opening of a third venture, we excitedly went to check out of what kind of place they had been created and found a great share house beyond our expectations waiting for us.

Firstly, what surprised us when we entered the house was the 1F lounge that has been furnished with wooden furniture reminiscent of an old wooden ship. There is plenty of space for 13 tenants to live in and use as they please no matter the occasion.

Furthermore, a firewood heater has been set up in the lounge. Gaze at the dancing flames in front of you while settling in a chair in front of the fire and relax your mind. Experience a little bit of tranquility that is invaluable in the hustle and bustle of everyday. And if you go up to the rooftop you will find a wide wooden desk with a great view - a deck almost like that of a ship.

Of course it’s not all about the design. Each room is complete with a washstand among other things and ways to make living easier can be found all over the house. It’s also easy to access, being a 7-minute walk from Otsuka station on the Yamanote line. With furniture, dinnerware and cutlery all provided, all you need to worry about is what kind of voyage you will embark on with the rest of the crew (or your housemates, that is!).

Let’s get right into it and check out this ship… I mean house!

「OLIPO east Ikebukuro」House Details Page


At first glance could be a hidden restaurant

Arrive in 7-minutes from Otsuka station on the Yamanote line checking out the Toden Arakawa line streetcar as you walk along. The brick building looks like the entrance to a fancy restaurant, and is 4 stories with an accessible rooftop.

The front door is a stylish wooden design and requires a pass code, so no need to worry about where you put your keys!

Personal mailboxes in front of the bicycle entrance.

‘Climbing aboard’ there is a large blackboard on the right hand side for communication among housemates. You can use the racks beneath the bulletin board to store umbrellas.

A spacious lounge to enjoy many a conversation.

This is the lounge, a place to relax and eat, drink and talk with everyone. There are about 20 seats provided for the 13 tenants so there is ample space for everyone to get together and chat as a group. You can wear shoes in lounge and hallway so it might be a good idea to change into sandals or something when you return to the house.

The lounge from a different angle. A relaxed color scheme helps you to relax and unwind.

Low table and chairs.

Speakers to connect to devices like iPods. Classical music was playing when I went to look at this place which really helped to create a relaxing environment.

Television attached to the wall in the lounge. A great thing about share houses is being able to watch soccer games and baseball matches together with your housemates.

American brand Dutchwest firewood stove. Experience the extreme bliss of curling up with a book or your knitting whilst keeping warm by the fire on a cold day. Please note that you need to request permission to use it in advance.

Kindling to throw on the fire is also provided. It is said that feeling safe and secure by the fire is perhaps a trait passed on through our genes from our hunter and gatherer ancestors, who made fires to ward off unwelcome animals.

Here is the bicycle parking area. It is connected to the lounge and you can lift up your bicycle onto the bike hanger.

There are also tools available to use that are essential for the maintenance of your bicycle. If not a shipwright then let’s hope there’s someone who can fix bikes among the crew!

What I want you to focus on here is not the pot plant but the brick wall. As an important ingredient in creating the intended atmosphere it has been made to look old and worn on purpose.

The kitchen, the main event

The kitchen in the lounge has been raised higher than the rest of the area and makes you feel like you are cooking on a stage. It has everything from basic cookware including dinnerware, as well as a gas stove and hotplate and even a Taiyaki maker, perfect for entertaining.

You can actually survey the whole lounge standing behind the stove. You’re sure to cook up a storm in here.

There will be no problem storing food with a total of 3 refrigerators in the dining room.

Store condiments and foodstuffs in these baskets, their design adding to the stylish interior of the room.

Moving on here is the shower room. There is one on every floor from the 2F-4F.

This is the shower room on the 1F, complete with bathtub for those who like to have a relaxing soak every now and again.

There are 4 toilets, one on each floor.

The hallway. A washing machine and dryer have been installed from 2F-4F.

Open this door on the 4th floor to find a spiral staircase.

Up the spiral staircase there is a wide wooden verandah. If we were on a ship this would be its deck! It feels very spacious up here. At the end is the chimney from the firewood stove downstairs.


Private room complete with washstand

There are 13 rooms located from the 2nd to the 4th floor. While it’s great fun hanging out with the others, every now and then you just want to be alone. Spend time relaxing by yourself in your own private room. You can also wear shoes in these hallways too so you would probably take them off before going into your room.

The main feature of rooms in this share house is that they are all equipped with a washstand. I’m sure that the woman out there in particular will be happy to have their own washstand to use freely without worrying about others.

The faucet is attached to a hose so you can also pull it out to use, perfect for those times when you want to wet your hair a little bit.

There are 5 identical rooms each on the 2F and 3F. Room 202 is almost exactly the same as Room 307.

There are 5 identical rooms each on the 2F and 3F. Room 202 is almost exactly the same as Room 307.

Room 309 is the same as Room 204. What does differ between the 2nd and 3rd floor is the color of the floor. There is a small television in each room so you can watch your favorite show as much as you please.


In charge of OLIPO east Ikebukuro is Office Shintou, managing with the aim of creating a safe and clean, good quality share house for the tenants. I was surprised to learn that all other properties managed by Office Shintou are full and that there are actually people waiting for availabilities. One appeal of this share house is its location, just minutes from the Yamanote line from which you can get to Shinjuku or Shibuya in 15~20 minutes. Ikebukuro station is also in walking distance so you can enjoy shopping with ease.

The name OLIPO comes from the character names Olive (female) and Popeye (male) and as such is a share house where male and females live together. This is good news for the guys out there given that female-only share houses are on the rise.

Private viewings are held at 11am, 1pm and 3pm on the 16th, 17th, 20th, 23rd and 24th of each month. The OLIPO Shin Otsuka share house, which we introduced in a previous report, was so popular that rooms filled up straight away, and OLIPO east Ikebukuro is headed in the same direction. If rooms happen to fill up on the 16th and 17th viewings after this date will not run, so I recommend to those interested that they check it out as soon as possible.

The theme of this house is ‘a Wooden Ship’. Ships generally require diligent maintenance over many years in order to stand the test of time, and we can apply the same idea to share houses. By everyone putting in effort with love and compassion fun and exciting times are sure to be had by all. What kind of people will you meet, and what kind of voyage will you embark on? It’s something that excites just by thinking about it.

/Author: Kagawa

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