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The Makuhari Club

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The Makuhari Club is my studio apartment (actually technically a 1 bedroom if you can believe that, by urban Japanese standards) in Makuhari, Chiba, Japan. It isn't full on Tiki for several reasons, but think of it as a Mid-Century Modern studio condo with intentional tiki accents in one of the resort style communities in San Diego or Van Nuys or Palm Springs, or even a bit more inland on Hawaii or Guam, I suppose. More of a lounge than a bar. Between my father's 24 years in the Air Force and my own travels I have a lot of knickknacks from around Asia/Pacific. So I am slowly adding stuff.

A different kind of vacation space than many of the home tiki builds, perhaps because I actually DO live on a Pacific island. Honshu is a Pacific island. And as I live on the Chiba peninsula, which is more like a smaller island, it is far more subtropical or tropical than say... Gunma or Nagano which are... very much mountainous in the middle of Honshu.


Makuhari is a seaside commercial and residential community about 90 minutes commute from central Tokyo, about 45 minutes from the fandom and electronics hub of Akihabara. Affluent and on the rise, it has three sections: beach side, which includes the Zozo Stadium where the Chiba Lotte Marines baseball team plays, a major resort hotel (APA), and lots of really nice high rise condos that I would get charged just for looking at too long. Ironically, as an urban beach, it has serious issues with cleanliness, so I don't actually use my own neighborhood beach, I go to beaches on the other side of the peninsula. Between the two train lines (commercial high-rises, downtown area, shopping districts like the mall, the Costco, and Home/Cainz, our answer to Home Depot or Lowes, and the convention center where the Tokyo Video Game Expo and the Tokyo Auto Salon are held) and residential on the other side of the second train line. I live in the residential. I have a nice "cityscape" view of the "between the tracks" "downtown" but no view of the beach itself. I am situated on a hill above one of the canals.


Starting around this time of year, the area gets muggy, rainy, hot in the day, colder at night. It will stay hot and humid until about October, when it will lose humidity, and depending on sun exposure may nor may not stay hot. Last year was amazing, because the first two weeks of October were lower humidity, higher temperature... so beach time... in October. Fantastic. Winters are mild, except in January and February where significant snow (in my opinion) is not only possible, but likely.

For most of the year, however, the area is lush with overgrown greenery and there are many palm trees. Palm tree pups start popping up in public walkways along the canals (such as mine), and the city will just mow them over. This year, I have decided to save some of them and relocate them. Free palms! Who could say no to free palms! DSC_0103FQrJCyvVsAcDKlDFQrJDwmVIAUiBeuFQrJEoMVUAIXD-E

[ Edited by SouthSeasKat on 2022-04-21 02:15:04 ]

Lots of potential there! I know living space is at a premium in Japan, but you've got the makings of a good permanent getaway. And yes, re-homing those palms makes a lot of sense. The money otherwise spent buying them from a nursery is better used on other decor!

Very nice! I had to look up Makuhari, Chiba, Japan. Not as far south as say, Okinawa, but still warm weather most of the year.

Hamo posted on Thu, Apr 21, 2022 8:03 PM

Welcome to TC, Kat. Your patio is very welcoming--now it needs a big, carved tiki.

Thank you all. I look forward to comments and advice.

Did a half day at work and then dug me up some palms and potted them up. Free palms! Free palms!

Rearranged some stuff.


I kind of feel weird posting so many updates without there being responses, but I guess TC is still a bit slow as word filters out that it is back up.

My neighbors (houses to the left and right) and I did some major grounds work around the Makuhari Club's building:


Then one of my other neighbors had some extra stone shape brick things (and a bunch of other stuff, she is an exterior designer and is revamping her own house/company office down the street) and so we added that around the weird patch of land that for some reason just... is like the asphalt was never completed to the back fence.

I'm thinking maybe some of those palms can go in there? Or something else? What do y'all recommend? Got any ideas, Jayme?


I also noticed my monstera mother plant was starting to burn (I lost the leaf hanging out over the balcony railing), so I had to move it close to the door so that it is out of direct sunlight. It does have one new leaf coming out of the bottom, so hopefully it will adjust and survive. It was wintering in a dark corner, and I think this change of weather from last freeze to beach weather in a month was too much for it.


UPDATE: Some night shots, because that's really when the fun starts, right?


[ Edited by SouthSeasKat on 2022-04-23 05:02:24 ]

Your PLANTS help to create a very relaxing atmosphere. Nice work.

Thanks, Thor.

Unfortunately we had a bit of a typhoon come through last night and the porch and grounds are already messed up and I have to clean up and put everything back.

I guess that, too, is part of living on a Pacific island. Oops.

Hamo posted on Tue, Apr 26, 2022 9:22 PM

I see you are watching Tiki With Ray. Sorry to hear about the typhoon disturbing the patio.

So, haven't had a whole lot of to update about, honestly. Thought I'd share a photo of the jungle wall around the bamboo standing desk/stereo set up thing I have going on. Inside there has been quite a lot of plant growth.


It has been so hot here that the plants outside on the patio really weren't doing well (temps in the 90s, with heat index well over 100). And not great for people either, so it hasn't seen much use. Moved most of them back inside. All but two of the palms I have tried domesticating died, except the smallest one, and one which has died back and has a new frond coming out but has been stuck that way for two months.

The BIGGEST news is The Makuhari Club will likely be moving in the next year. As long as my residency renewal has no issue this month, I will be purchasing a house! Right now there are two possible location choices:

Within Makuhari, which has the advantage of making the residency change paperwork much easier and I am close to everything. Lifestyle changes not at all. It's a small neighborhood. It has the disadvantage that as Makuhari is a dense but suburban area, fairly affluent and up and coming, houses are likely to be small, two-story, and be yardless, and style pretty much can't be a factor.

The Pacific Chiba coast (Chibafornia, as we call it). Disadvantage is that Chibafornia requires more residency change paperwork, and will be in more rural areas. No more 5 minute drives to Costco or walking down the street to the post office, salon, grocery store, or tax office. These seaside communities are more Northern California than Southern California. Advantage is American sized lots, yards, single story houses, and proximity to very nice beaches. All for a price a tenth of what it would cost you in California.

Here's the house I am currently seriously looking at, though it may not last on the market as long I would need it to. Pretty decent Mid-Century Modern vibes (though it was built in the 1980s). And you can see the proximity to the beach (7 minute drive). Next to a golf course and between two parks! But compared to US prices, it's dirt cheap, because in Japan houses are not investments, they depreciate like cars.

Screen Shot 2022-08-04 at 14.57.54 Screen Shot 2022-08-01 at 17.16.45 Screen Shot 2022-08-01 at 18.25.19 Screen Shot 2022-08-01 at 17.26.34 Screen Shot 2022-08-01 at 17.29.28

Three bedroom house, thinking master on the front side, guest across from the veranda, and the tiki room in the far back corner.

Awesome update, it’s nice that some of your plants are doing well I hope that the heat gets better and that not too many people suffer from it. The larger house seems nice as long as you can tolerate less conveniences like you mentioned. Sorry for my ignorance but is the beach you might be close to one that people swim at or is it more to look at? Either way it looks beautiful, take care!

It's more to look at I think, for most people, but you can get down there, there's a pathway down you can see on the far right side.

The really popular beach is about 10 minutes south, called Onjuku. I'm more of a secluded beach person (it feels more faraway tropical island and less like one of the most populous prefectures in the world's third largest economy):

Screen Shot 2022-08-05 at 5.33.29 onjuku

[ Edited by SouthSeasKat on 2022-08-04 13:41:57 ]

Fingers crossed you get the house you want. It's hard for me to wrap my head around the idea of houses depreciating--property values in Central Texas have climbed at insane rates over the past two years. If we hadn't lucked into our current home back in '14 there's no way we could afford anything close to it now. Heck, The Wife and I have discussed how we'd likely have never discovered tiki if we hadn't ended up in that house!

Easy beach access is a big plus. Wherever you end up, you'll be able to let your tiki inclinations spill out of the house into the yard. Palms and hibiscus go a long way toward creating that immersive experience.

As you recall from Instagram, my father's passing meant I went back to Texas for the funeral and to help my mother with the arrangements and the estate. This included our North Texas DFW burbs house. We sold it on June 30th for $490K. We only paid $130K when I was a teenager. Even accounting for almost 30 years of inflation, that's pretty significant, and my father left other assets. This in part allows the house purchase here in Japan, with no mortgage.

Chiba coast is Zone 9B, which I think is similar to Houston. And I've been watching a lot of Paul Plantu's YouTube videos, as he is building a tropical (looking) forest in his backyard using native local and subtropical plants which are able to survive in the winter even if they die back. We have a lot of Palms in Chiba, as you know, and the local variety survives just fine through our relatively mild (but still snowy) winters.

Houston is, for the most part, in USDA Zone 9a--as is most of the Texas coast. If you're talking 9b, you're all the way down into the Rio Grande Valley where the Texas citrus industry is located. I'm in zone 8b, which already gives me significant options with semi-tropicals that can survive at least light freezes. I'd say you have a lot more flexibility. Certainly citrus is something to look into--Persian limes and white grapefruit, if you can get them, would be excellent to plant if you're into fresh juice for cocktails. P. edulis would give you fresh passion fruit and spectacular flowers. Bananas should do well. It just depends how deep you want to dive into landscaping.

The neighbor has a citrus tree that puts out a lot of fruit each year, so much so I just grab a few as some of the branches come over onto the front porch, so I can confirm citrus definitely survives here. I know of two homes in the area that have what I think are bananas, given the leaves.

I've also been trying to grow some taro from tiny little green buds, but they are still very small and growing slowly, and I can't imagine planting them outside until they are much bigger. I started with seven though, so they don't seem that easy to grow and keep alive outside of an established plant putting off corms from the mother plant already established.



"I kind of feel weird posting so many updates without there being responses'"

Know what you mean, my last, heck five posts have gotten less responses than yours has, but then I have been "adding" to tiki central for close to 20 years.

Your right it may not be worth it, I might need to up my tiki content to get responses.

People are reading your posts even if they don't always respond. As a former U.S. expat who lived in Japan, I'm always interested in hearing about other people's experiences there.

I was only in Chibafornia once, and it was a company function, so we didn't get to spend any time seeing the local sights or hanging out at the beach. If I still lived there, I'd buy that house in a heartbeat just to experience a little peace and quiet without the ever-present crowds.

And Skip, I always read your posts because there's usually a fun story attached to it.


Yeah, nobody posts on Swizz's thread as well looks like he may have taken his ball and went home.

But why is nobody posting on O'Ghoulihan's Fugu Lounge, Northern VA?

That guy is making some cool lights and other things and nothing, his place has tiki. His thread is sinking like a Led Zeppelin.

That the guy who should be upset.

Sorry Makuhari guy, but ya need some tiki, yer place looks nice, and it is cool to see another part of the world, but this is Tiki Central.

Ya got more Sailor moon than tiki.

I even garden, and that's cool too.

Decided to edit this, because I didn't think what I said would be helpful. Thinking of a more concise response.

I just didn't want to come off as spammy with bumping my own thread. Bad forum manners.

I don't think I'd be able to add much to other threads. Though if people just want to hear "That's aweome!" and "I think how you did X is great!" I can do that. I'm very much a beginner, despite years of interest.

Likewise, what you see, Skip, is not Sailor Moon, it is 25 years of collecting a specific other series, Kimagure Orange Road, which even includes original art from the creator who I actually knew. If I had been collecting tiki since 1997, there would be a lot more of that.

It does have some tiki elements though, and I have several posters which you'd probably see as tiki which I haven't had the money or time to get professionally framed:



This apartment is the longest I have ever lived in one place. I also don't make very much. I am constrained. But I am doing my best. I hope the new house will allow for faster Tikification.

Also, Makuhari gal.

[ Edited by SouthSeasKat on 2022-08-11 18:06:22 ]


Sorry I was trying to be nice about it.

And it is harder in an apartment.

That other guy is making tiki out of some cheap stuff if you look.

Don't go away and stop posting, show the tiki you do have, those prints you just put up are not framed.

Always liked working with the students from Japan as they were really good workers and they called me Mr. John.

I didn't think you were trying to be mean! Which is why I edited my original response, as I felt it may have been too unfairly indignant. :)

And yes, I am in awe of people who are able to be super crafty. I am experimenting, but nothing is ready to reveal.

I actually have something like 40 posters, and doing custom framing for even one of them would be expensive. Also make them harder to move, which is why they've all been rolled up for like 10 years.


I did photography and always was able to find and like the most expensive frames, man they can cost a lot!

But you should try and make a frame out of bamboo you might be able to find free or cheap.

I make lots of tiki stuff, I just don't show the stuff I make that is not so good.

A Japanese girl student I worked with dressed like one of those girls in your pictures and her boyfriend did too as in he wore a skirt for a cooking competition I was helping them with, I almost fell over, had to pretend I thought the boyfriend was hot.

My wife was there too, Ha!

Good luck!



I wanted to know have you seen the show cycle around Japan? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6dhOsNs5dY

I love this show the people in it are so into what they do in life and they many times have been doing it for many generations.

And these are not rich people for all their efforts, but still live well and take great pride in what they do.

One guy wrapped EACH apple on his apple trees to get the best apple, I'm talking about whole orchards, hundreds/thousands of apples!

I don't know if we have that kind of dedication here in America.

Also, I found the fact that your houses depreciate in Japan amazing!

Do you also have high costs rising, and inflation as bad as we do in America?

Is there a push in Japan to have people to buy electric cars as we have here in america?

I know this is not tiki but there is a bit of a part on that show that has them painting what could be a tiki, so kinda tiki.

I don't really watch Japanese television, even the English language NHK stuff. I also haven't had access to a bike in Japan in well over a decade. I only biked to work between the time my international drivers license expired but I hadn't passed my Japanese driving test yet.

I think you are referring to the Daruma? I have two Daruma sake glasses (or shot glasses if you prefer) in for Port and Starboard. I think they look more tiki when in solid colors.


Japan has mostly been deflationary for decades, but even Japan is seeing some inflation now with the pandemic, supply chain issues, and the war in Ukraine.

[ Edited by SouthSeasKat on 2022-08-14 04:13:27 ]


I love the variety of plants you have! I’m nervous we wouldn’t take proper care if tried the same… my little mint plant barely survives on the window ledge.

I have 40 distinct plants and they are constant work. Especially the tropicals, they are beyond needy. I'm constantly saving them from disaster. Just as bad as pets, though not as bad as children.

Every time I travel I need plant sitters to come every 10 days or so and pay attention to them.

Wow, very impressive. And that is a lot of work!!

We have had to water almost every day this year on our deck plants it's a pain and takes over an hour. Then the vegi garden takes yet another hour.

Have you two ever had a Madagascar Palm? It is more of a cactus type plant.

They look so tropical and take very little care. These plants can grow a bit fast and were kinda hard for us to find.

Good luck!

Discussions elsewhere getting heavy, so here, have my one attempt at tiki lighting on the cheap.

Waste basket from our "dollar" store (Daiso), a $9 hanging light fixture from IKEA (in Japan, ceiling lighting has its own standard outlet, allowing you to unplug old lighting and plug in new lighting, no wiring needed), a plastic container cap around a flat LED bulb to reduce and diffuse the light to "very low," and if you look straight up, you will see a surprise.

IMG_20220815_090059 IMG_20220815_090156 IMG_20220815_090205

BAD NEWS UPDATE: The beach house has been sold. cries

[ Edited by SouthSeasKat on 2022-08-16 01:58:58 ]

BRUH. Sorry to hear about the beach house, that seemed like a pretty dope space to build your tropical paradise, but hopefully something that you like will come along again.

The light is great, nice surprise and looks very tiki especially considering it's a wastebasket lol.

Hamo posted on Fri, Aug 19, 2022 11:26 PM

I concur--well done on the light. The Vic's coaster is a nice touch.

Pleased to report that multiple other homes have shown up for sale in the beach neighborhood. One that is five minutes walk from the beach. Approximately in the $55K range. They need some interior renovation but... I mean... that's way lower than my budget.

Sago palms in the front yard and aloe in the back, you know you're on the right track. I think the fact I can't buy until Spring is probably going be okay--I'll probably still find something good.

Screen Shot 2022-08-25 at 14.53.51Screen Shot 2022-08-25 at 14.54.16

[ Edited by SouthSeasKat on 2022-08-24 22:56:49 ]

Small update: I've officially paid my buyers agent (a real estate agent but even more) the nominal "get started looking" fee.

And already a couple of reality checks have set in from our initial consultation. First and foremost, I will have to be much further from the beach than I expected/wanted, just because of the nature of infrastructure. As soon as I told the agent what I was thinking (either Makuhari or very near/on the Chibafornia coast), I got shot down.

Nothing in Makuhari is going to be in my price range that isn't going to have serious hidden problems. Makuhari, as I've noted in previous posts, is just too trendy right now. I'm priced out. Period. However, the Chibafornia coast has something of the opposite issue. It looks stunning based on trips--but the reality is that major train lines are more inland, making it living very near the coast only possible if you NEVER need to get into Tokyo or the airports. That's not me. I am mostly remote--but I need to go into Tokyo a couple times a month, and I travel internationally multiple times a year. This is why it seems too good to be true with some of these resort style homes priced low in good condition--because it is. You have to solely exist within the immediate area--and very few people fit that. Not even a mostly remote worker like me!

This means, I will also very likely be outside of the thin strip of 9B running around the coast and into 9A. Still good, but not as good for some of my intended outside plants. Maybe Lagoon of Mystery can make some suggestions on what may survive our mild winters with occasional snow.

Therefore, The Makuhari Club is definitely not going to be in Makuhari. It's likely to be somewhere in the area between Mobara and Togane, a major artery with express trains to Tokyo and the airport with a reasonable 90 minute trip (that's equivalent to Makuhari itself on local/non-express trains). It will mean being much closer to nice beaches, driving, but it certainly won't be walkable. It will mean being able to easily go home after sunset rather than staying overnight at the beach (which is what I have been currently doing). It is an improvement.

Screen Shot 2022-12-14 at 9.45.15

As to the actual Tiki Bar aspect, most of these houses have dark rooms with wooden beams and wooden paneling and wooden floors that are perfect bases for the tiki bar with minimal renovation. In fact, most of the rooms are like that--so it will actually be the opposite problem: opening up the other rooms and knocking out some non-load-bearing walls elsewhere in the house.

Things can move quickly or slowly based on what is available and how responsive sellers' agents are during what is rapidly becoming the holiday period. I could have a house in a few weeks. It could be months. I'll keep you updated, I know what you all really want to see is work on that bar!

House has been located in the area featured above. 10 minute walk to the beach. On a bus line to an express train into Tokyo or the airport (about 2 hours). Built in 1985. Roof repaired in 2019, repainted in 2014. Has a small yard complete with palm trees and other tropical/sub tropical plants. Enough room for an outside bar. COMES WITH RATTAN FURNITURE. Has been viewed with my agents. Looks good. Formal inspection ordered. If no trouble, I will put in an offer. There have no offers so far, so I suspect I'll get it.

kujukuri-ext-6 kujukuri-ext-8

Price, with commissions/taxes/closing costs: ~$70K. I'm looking at dropping about $30K on renovations. Right now it is a four bedroom house, but realistically, given the size of the rooms, it's more like a two bedroom.

Here's the current floor plan, and a dirty job I did in Krita of what I'm thinking.

Screenshot 2023-04-22 at 11.57.54 kujukurihousewallmods

Japanese construction is post and beam, not timber frame, so most internal walls are not load bearing. It's not Mid-Century Modern, but it has five glass sliding doors and I may be able to turn the entire front wall into sliding glass doors, depending on where the posts are.

No basement, not a thing in Japan, so I'm thinking the Tiki Bar cannot be in the house, or it would need to go in the green room, and I need a guest room/office... So I'm thinking we're looking at an outside bar.

[ Edited by SouthSeasKat on 2023-04-21 20:13:59 ]

That looks like a nice get at that price. Here's hoping everything works out for you! Regarding indoor space, you might consider biting the bullet and settling for a three bedroom--with one of the small rooms reserved for a tiny indoor tiki space--than moving forward with the two bedroom plan. After five years of the Lagoon being mothballed for even our mild winters here in Central Texas, we've been slowly building out an indoor space. The Lagoon's always going to be our primary tiki entertainment area, but we needed an enclosed, climate controlled area as well, if only for the more valuable art pieces that would not fare well in the elements.

An alternative thought--BossaNova Life on YouTube has a series called "Secret Tiki Escapes" and several home bars featured have done their main living area or even kitchen in tiki theme. They're crazy impressive. That approach might not work for you, but it's worth consideration. The good thing is that this will be YOUR home and you can do what you want with it rather than worrying about the landlord's reactions.

From what I can see in the photos you're not going to need a lot of advice in the way of landscaping. Having mature palm trees is a great head start, although maintenance on them can be tiresome (most are not self-pruning). The basjoo banana is a cold hardy ornamental native to Japan. Even if it freezes to the ground it'll rebound in the spring. Caerulea passion flower is a cold-hardy tropical that should do well for you (again, if it freezes--which is rare--it'll come back from the roots). Hibiscus syriacus is a deciduous shrub with gorgeous hibiscus flowers and is very cold tolerant (national flower of Korea). So-called hardy hibiscus are North American natives (hybrids of h. coccinea and h. moscheutos) die to the ground every winter and regrow rapidly in the spring. Exceptionally large, showy flowers although the stalks can be rangy. Various canna hybrids offer tropical-looking foliage as well. I don't have a clue how available any of those suggestions are in Japan (basjoo should be common, but who knows?) but at least it's a starting point. Let me know if you need any additional suggestions.


Yeah, I considered the green room as the tiki bar, but I thought guests might not want to sleep there. Hmm...

We have native bananas, even in Makuhari, so that was definitely on my list to include.

The palm trees in the lower right hand corner are technically on the property line in the neighbor's yard, but that house is abandoned (it appears they all are, the one I am looking in hasn't been occupied in a year, but has been maintained by the owner). There are four palm trees actually within "my" property, though, and with judicious trimming, I can "steal" the palm trees from the abandoned house, considering they are planted on the property line. My agents may explore the cost of acquiring and demoing that house, but my budget probably wouldn't be enough. It'd be a HUGE yard though.

It doesn't look abandoned on Google Maps, but Google Maps is from 2014, it seems. Now it appeared that maybe the four in the southeast part are occupied, but the other five are not. Depopulation and the reason these houses are relatively inexpensive. The wider community is vibrant though because of resorts literally on the beach, so plenty of shopping, etc. Something I had been worried about initially.

Screenshot 2023-04-27 at 8.19.00

[ Edited by SouthSeasKat on 2023-04-26 16:23:36 ]

Hmm. Again, without knowing the local environment my first thought is if you can acquire the adjacent property it might be worthwhile to maintain it in a habitable state to use as a guest house/short term rental/AirBnB (or the Japanese equivalent, whatever that may be). Even if finances won't allow that now, it doesn't sound like there's much competition. Could be a long-term plan.

If you want more palms, the windmill palm is comparatively small and cold hardy. I'm not a fan of their hairy, fibrous trunk but I've seen them with clean, bare trunks and they're quite fetching. If you're willing to put in the work, that is. If you'd like something more exotic, the pindo palm from South America is the most cold-tolerant of the feather palms. It's relatively small (5 meters, max) and also produces an edible fruit with the most tropical of aromas. Again, don't know their availability in Japan.

Loquats are a nice, tropical-looking fruit tree. That's not too large. They produce tasty fruit as well. Since they're sometimes marketed as Japanese plums in the U.S. I'm guessing they're not hard to come by over there. A wilder option would be to grow pawpaws (asimina triloba). North American native, these small trees are very cold hardy relatives of the tropical cherimoya, sugar apple and soursop of the tropics. Improved varieties are licensed for sale in Japan but I do not know how common they may be. Pawpaws grow readily from seed but you need at least two for pollination if you want the large, tropicalish fruit.

I'm offering lots of suggestions but you'll have to make some hard choices given the lack of infinite garden space!

Awesome! We definitely need more Tiki here in Japan. Nothing even remotely tiki here in Yokohama.

We may need to start up an annual meet if we find any others in the general area at TV's in Tokyo!

There's the new place down in Kobe, but Kobe is very far away.

Based upon my drive up and down the Chibafornia coast, I think a commercial tiki bar could be quite successful.

Maybe an idea for my retirement in a couple of decades!

Yep! I went to The Kazan Room in Kobe a few weeks ago. Really great place.

Most of the inspection news is in (still waiting on soil sample results), and boy was the inspector thorough.

  1. The floor is off-level by 1CM. This is not foundation sinking or settling--it looks like an original building error in the wooden framing above the foundation. It can be replaced by subtly altering the way underflooring is applied. Since I am redoing the flooring anyway, this is minor to us (but is surprising for Japanese craftsmanship).

  2. The 2014 paint job has not held up. It was done poorly or not with the right materials, and siding/shutters are rusting. Honestly, I was thinking doing it anyway, and I am replacing the sliding doors/windows which would require adjustment of siding and removal or replacement of the shutters, but if the paint job had been good, I wouldn't have had to.

Verdict: Assuming the soil sample results are good, we'll offer (I can't believe this is a real number for a house as opposed to like an SUV or something) $37K. On the market a year, no other offers, so... maybe they'll counter to $40K or $45K but...

Fingers crossed we can get this offered, accepted, and closed, and I can start sharing pictures of the construction--because with this much to do (at this price, we can do a full renovation, nearly a full rebuild) and you know I'll be putting any MidMod and Tiki elements where I can.

How's the buying process going?

I wish like crazy I could buy a place here but gaijin no go lol

Looks like I agreed to buy a house.

They asked 8M (which was about $60K), I countered with 5M (about $37K), they counter-countered with 6M (about $43K), and I accepted. That was Thursday evening, so I suspect I won't hear next steps until tomorrow (Monday).

Also, as long as you have the money outright, you can buy whatever you want as a non-citizen. If you need a loan, you need to be at least a permanent resident. And that's not a law or a policy, it's a bank thing--they see it as a risk factor. I am hoping the house purchase helps solidify my case for PR next year.

Worth noting, as a personal opinion, I am not a fan of the g-word. I'm a member of the society, so I don't consider myself to be "gai" or "outside." Also, the thing is, it is NOT a shortening of gaikokujin, which even many Japanese now mistakenly believe. It literally just means "outsider" and long before Japan opened up was used as an insult towards tax collectors or other government officials from outside the area. It's not a nice word, even though its original meaning has been obscured because of the similarity to gaikokujin (or outside country person), the legal term for non-citizen. The first time I ever heard the g-word used, it was directed at Tokyo visitors to a small rural Kyoto area town I lived in.

[ Edited by SouthSeasKat on 2023-05-27 16:29:50 ]

Small but significant update:

  1. Final walkthrough is tomorrow where I get to put stickers on anything I want to keep before the sellers clean the place out.

I will take many pictures of the rattan furniture and other tiki appropriate items.

  1. Hoping to formally close on July 4th. Happy independence day to me or something.

None too soon as I am already annoyed with the new management company of my apartment. Oh yeah, so, May 29th, my apartment was sold out from under me to a real estate investment group and now there is a management company, so... I'm out on July 31st, the soonest I legally could.

We'll just have to do the renovations while I'm living there. Oh well.

[ Edited by SouthSeasKat on 2023-06-25 18:10:47 ]

Finally delivering some good stuff. Final walk through on the house today, close July 4th. Picked out what I wanted, quite a few mid-century items, a few light fixtures I think I can tiki-fy. But I thought I'd share some of the items and the yard:

IMG_20230627_111042 IMG_20230627_113614 IMG_20230627_120239 IMG_20230627_123624 IMG_20230627_123544 IMG_20230627_123515 IMG_20230627_123430 IMG_20230627_123407 IMG_20230627_123356 IMG_20230627_123340 IMG_20230627_123329 IMG_20230627_123321 IMG_20230627_123315 IMG_20230627_123301

It begins! Closed Tuesday, started moving stuff over today.

Here's what will be the Tiki Bar room with assorted items.


The tatami will be pulled out and replaced with hardwood plank flooring and the closet will be knocked out to become the bar. The ceiling will also be opened up to reveal what really is beautiful wood post and beam construction. The wood work and dark plaster already serve as a great base to add various Tiki wall material.

Builder for the entire house comes the 18th. We plan to have the entire house done by the first week of October, because after that, things will rapidly cool. I hope you'll forgive how long it took to get to this point, but such is the way of the home buying experience.

House walk-through: https://youtu.be/Md5VORYiW1Q

The amount of stuff in the new Makuhari Club just keeps adding up.

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