Have I mentioned that my apato is the envy of most of the other JETs around here? It's huge by comparison - I think the boys' apts could probably fit in my kitchen. It will be really strange going back to the States where everything is so BIG. But such as it is - here it is. This is the view from the door separating the kitchen and living room. On the right side you see sliding doors - the one good thing about my place is that I can open up or close off rooms, depending on the desired temperature. A student made the basket thing on the wall, and underneath it is the rice cooker that I never use. I bet I can use it for more than rice, but I honestly keep forgetting I have it! On the floor next to the fridge is my shopping bag. I live near the grocery store, and to help save the environment (and 'cuz I get to collect these little green stamps that are undoubtedly good for SOMEthing), I just use that when I go shopping (which is almost everyday). Assorted photos, cards, etc. posted on the fridge, next to that the sink, and "burnable" garbage can. But don't get me started on all the ways we have to separate garbage - we have to buy special bags and have different disposal days for each type. It's really easy once you can FIND a schedule and then READ the schedule. Everyone jokes about the hassle, but at the end of the day it's really not all that difficult.
Here is my china cabinet (don't laugh, Papasan), and next to it my microwave oven/oven. Notice my pet fish, "Men" (that's Japanese for "pasta/noodles") on top of the cabinet in one of the pasta jars. He recently won the lottery, sold the jar, and moved to a huge place on the verandah - pics of his new digs later.
Here's my gas stove. For several months I lived in the fear that I would set my place on fire. But now I rather enjoy having electric bills that hardly ever go above about 2000 yen.
And at last - my Japanese microwave "renji" ("range"?). It only took me 4 months to figure out how to use it. I was ecstatic when I figured out it was also a toaster and an oven. As long as I don't need to cook more than one piece of fish at a time, it's brilliant :)