Accommodation in Kyoto can be tricky and expensive. Many apartments require a deposit, key money (non refundable, usually equivalent to 1 or 2 months rent), a guarantor, and come unfurnished. I was lucky to be introduced to Expo House (by Fareea) when I first came here. On my first stay I rented a room in one of several Expo House ‘share houses.’ I had my own room and shared the kitchen, living room, and bathroom with the other three residents of the house. Now I stay in an apartment managed by the same owner, Yusuke-san.
Yusuke-san has 8 Expo Houses now and is renovating an old kimono factory into a cafe/hotel/share-house. I needed some spending money to cover my research trip costs and signed up when Yusuke-san put out a call for some part-time workers. For the past two weeks, I’ve been demolishing walls, dismantled a freight-lift, jack-hammered concrete floors, pulled down ceilings and have moved tons of material into Yusuke’s truck.
It has been great fun to do some manual labour, to see some daily progress in my work and to feel physically exhausted at the end of the day. But, soon its back to the computer and my desk at the lab. 🙂