Feb 24, 2012
Francesco Agresti

Resident Interview: Nina

Long term Tokyo resident Nina shares her thoughts and experiences on her neighborhood and wonderfully lit apartment. Nina has been living in Japan for six years with her husband and three children.

How did you come across Ken Corp and why did you choose them?

My husband actually sorted everything out but he found Ken just by searching for apartments online. He said he chose Ken because of the high reputation they had for excellent customer service, which we found to be very true.


Did you have any specific requirements when choosing an apartment?

Actually, this is our third apartment in Tokyo because the second one ended up being a bit too small for us, due to having a third child. We wanted to keep the quality and remain in the same area because our number one priority was to be located near the kid’s school. We’ve been happily living in this apartment for almost three years now.


What impresses you about your apartment?

I love the natural light we get in here and we can enjoy the outdoors by hanging out on one of our two terraces. I also like the fact that it is well kept and the maintenance people come to check if all the alarm systems are up to date and running. We even have an automatic watering system for the plants on our terrace, which they check if the timing is correct or not. Actually, we were away on holiday last summer but we came back to find all of our plants had died because the watering system had failed for some reason. So we called the apartment receptionists and they sorted us out with fresh new plants just two weeks later!



What is the area you live in like and why did you choose it?

Location is important because I don’t want to be dropping of my three kids to school by car every day since they all finish at different times. I like Moto-Azabu because it’s pretty quiet considering we are in the middle of Tokyo. It’s a nice residential area with narrow streets and lovely little shops. The short walk to Azabu-Juban is a big plus as we can get anything we want from the wide selection of stores. We’re even a ten minute walk from Roppongi Hills and have access to three train lines, which is really convenient. I guess we have the best of both worlds.


Are there any particular places in your neighborhood you enjoy going to as a family?

We often go to restaurants together in Azabu and go to the local park for the kids to play around in. We joined the local tennis club, which is pretty famous because the Emperor himself is a member, even though he only turns up during the New Year holidays. We are a pretty active family so we like to be out and about when we can.


What do you do to keep yourself busy?

I usually have my hands full by taking care of the house and kids. Apart from that, I have training every weekday and sometimes visit the Swedish women’s club. Other than that, I like to run around the area using the routes I discovered over time. Also, I can spend a lot more time with my kids, which I wouldn’t have the luxury of doing if I was working back in Sweden.



Could you tell me what happens in a typical day for your family?

On weekdays, I take the kids to school then I have my training. Then it’s onto some grocery shopping or house work if needed. Before I know it, I have to pick up my youngest child from school. The other two come home at around 3:30 and from then I usually take them to one of their after school activities.

As for weekends, we go out for lunch or do some kind of activity together. Since it’s winter, we’ve been going ice skating in Mid-Town or we try to go away on skiing trips for a long weekend. Actually, we’ll have a family of five visiting us from Sweden for a week, so we’re going to take them to an onsen and maybe Kyoto.


How is life in Japan now compared to when you first came?

Well, of course things are much easier now since we’ve gotten used to our environment and the way things work. I’ve made plenty of friends and I have a regular routine so I feel comfortable and settled in. At the time I just had two children who were three and one years old but things are a lot easier now since they are older. When you first arrive you don’t know which shops are the best for food or which doctors are the best to see, so it can take a while until you figure it out. On top of that, my Japanese skill has improved since arriving thanks to the classes I took a while back.


How does Ken Corp continue to provide their services for you?

If I ever have a query or need anything, I can just email my agent and she will reply really quickly. Just recently, I wanted an extra key for the apartment and I received it with very quick results. I think the service is great, they help you out with anything and they will always go out of their way to make sure that we are comfortable and satisfied.


Do you have any advice for people who are interested in moving to Japan?

When looking for an apartment, you should keep in mind that you need to try and make your life as easy as possible since you’ll be making a big move. So if you have kids, you would want to be near a school and consider if they have a bus service or not. At the end of the day, I think location is a key factor. I highly recommend Japan as it’s a fantastic country, where you can get anything you want as if it was your country of origin. We love it here so we would have no objections if we had to stay longer.


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