Goodbye コインランドリー

Oh, laundry.  How did you get so complicated?  As a family of 4, it’s amazing how much laundry needs to be washed…daily…in Japan.  Back in the States, we averaged about a load a day, but there were days where a day or 2 would go by and I wouldn’t sweat it.  Here, the washing machines are much smaller, so it’s not uncommon to have 2 loads to do in a day.  Since there wasn’t a washer at the Airbnb (or so we thought), we had to walk 5 blocks to the closest laundromat to get our washing done.  There wasn’t a change machine, so I was very meticulous about collecting ¥100 coins after every shopping trip.  A few days in, Michael explored the Airbnb building and found a washer down the hall and around the corner.  Yes! No more walking down the street with a plastic bag full of clothes, hoping I don’t get mistaken for a homeless woman!  We traded one convenience for an inconvenience–no dryer on the premises, so we learned to hang dry the laundry in the morning and for the most part, it would be dry by the end of the day.  In a pinch, we learned how to skillfully use a hair dryer without starting a fire.

My first thought about moving into the apartment was: Where is the closest laundromat?  My internet searches turned up a “coin laundry” about a 10 minute walk from the apartment.  Before getting the bike, I had to entice the boys to go for our laundry walk by buying them a treat at the 7-11 across the street from the laundromat.  Then, while stopping at one of the 10 vending machine strategically placed withing a 2 minute walking radius from our apartment, I happened upon this tiny laundromat.

It’s old, the machines can only hold 4kg of clothes, but it’s convenient and it does the job.  In the meantime, we kept researching washing machines to add to the empty space next to the sink.  So many decisions: top or front load? 8 kg or 9 kg capacity? washer only or combo washer/dryer?

With so many dizzying options, it took a lot of time to narrow it down, which meant more trips to the laundromat than I would have liked, but we got what we wanted.

Now, if only someone could teach me how to use it.  Seeing this display reminds me of how little Japanese and kanji I know.


No worries.  I have the Google translate on my phone!  I’ll just use the camera app and voilà!


Looks like Google Translate isn’t faring much better.  Perhaps we didn’t purchase a washer after all….gulp.




4 thoughts on “Goodbye コインランドリー

  1. I seem to remember you getting up real early in the morning when we were in Japan to go to laundromats. I’m happy for you that you don’t have to drag your laundry down the streets any longer! So is this a dryer as well?
    All the comforts of home..😉 what a difference something like that makes in our lives. We take so much for granted. XO

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