After three and a half years of ‘solitary confinement’ in my wooden fire-hazard shoe-box room in Ikebukuro I finally moved out a couple of weeks back. The place was indeed tiny (245cm x 175cm with a built in closet area) but it was very convenient and cheap by Tokyo standards. When I originally moved in it was intended as a temporary fix and just a place to essentially lay my head and take a shower but I obviously got used to stepping onto my futon as soon as I entered the room (the room was basically just the size of a futon with very good use of shelving and only a 40cm gap at the side of the futon) and having the TV, computer, fridge etc all within arms reach of my sleeping area.
Myself and Scholl (from Hong Kong) both lived in the shared apartment since May 2005 amid a cast of hundreds of other temporary housemates who came and went. During this tme there were always at least three people staying in the five rooms meaning lots of profit for the landlord (lets call him Alan as thats his actual name!) who rented the place from the agency but the moment he couldn’t get an extra person in he fundamentally pulled the plug on it but never actually had the decency to tell us. Instead he mailed Scholl with some b*llocks about having had an accident and being in China where he couldn’t pay the rent. We decided to pay this for October as it was still cheaper and easier than moving out but we knew the writing was on the wall and started to look into moving out as a repeat performance was likely to occur again from the scheming devious Alan. Other guests had often complained about him and to be honest we never really had too many problems but he was increasingly trying to get more money out of us for bills towards the end of our stay which he would never actually show to us. Anyway, our time in Ikebukuro ended a little sour but if I’m seeing my glass as being half full then I guess it was a blessing in disguise and gave us the kick up the a*se we both needed for moving out and moving on with our lives.