• Ryan McGuinness

    I guess your mansion didn’t have an indoor swimming pool? Haha, are mansions as popular and common as they are in the States in Japan? What season is Japan in at the moment? If it is winter would it be possible for you to take some pictures of Tsukuba covered in snow, I’m
    Struggling to find images of Japanese cities with snow in them, I think it looks really beautiful from the images I’ve seen.

    • Donald Ash

      Sigh…unfortunately, no indoor swimming pool :( . LOL. You know, I haven’t seen as many of the multi-million dollar mansions here in Japan, I guess space is a lot more limited here, so I can understand why. It’s winter in Japan, but it’s a tad warm for some reason. Honestly Tsukuba doesn’t get a whole lot of snow. In the three years I’ve been here I’ve seen maybe four or five days of snow (only two when the snow really stuck). But I hear that the northern regions gets lots of snow. If I ever can get to those areas, I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures.

  • Roger Starkey

    The difference is in the construction.

    “Apato” is usually a prefab thing based on a wood frame up to two stories. It’s meant for short-term (~20 years) land use as an investment rental property before it’s knocked down and rebuilt. Usually the number of units will be less than 12

    “Mansion” is usually what we would call a condo. The construction will be reinforced concrete, and depending on the area the number of floors is limited only by physics. Units are intended to be sold, and the lifespan is typically 70 to 100 years, based on the latest methods. Usually the number of units will be more than 20.

    Realtors will often use the word “mansion” to refer to an “apato” just to make it sound better. But, if you’re single, you typically are in an “apato” if you rent it, and if you have a family then you might buy (or rent) a mansion.

    • Donald Ash

      That’s a huge help, Roger! Thank you! So, with the more stable construction, does this also mean that mansions cost more than apartments in general?

      • Roger Starkey

        It depends on the area. I found that a 2LDK apato was the same cost as a used 3LDK mansion when I bought the mansion in the current housing slump.

  • disqus_fnwCMQDX7u

    When I first met my host mom, she mentioned that she and her family used to be rich (before the recession), but only had some property now. She said that one of the properties was a “mansion” that her daughters lived in. She even pointed out the building, and so I thought that she meant they owned the entire thing, not just the one unit, until my teacher explained it to me.

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