The Japanese Home
Introducing unique architectural features and designs
influenced by Japanese culture.
The floor plan of apartments in Japan
January 6. 2022
Are you thinking to move to Japan for study abroad, business, or for good?
What kind of Japanese home are you looking for?
When you are looking at apartment listings in Japan, you’ll come across unique terms “LDK”.
Japanese floor plans are described by the unique term LDK
In Europe and the United States, the floor plan term is by the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, such as “5bed + 3bath”.
In Japan, the bathing space and toilet are usually separated, and there is one toilet on each floor and only one bathing place for the entire family.
What is important in the floor plan of Japan is whether or not the living room, dining room, and kitchen are separate and how many bedrooms they have.
Let’s take a look at an example of Japanese floor plan.
Japanese floor plan term
R stands for Room, it is pronounced “One-room” in Japan.
This is the equivalent of a studio apartment in Europe and the United States.
10 m2 or 110 sqft. In many cases, not very wide.
This type of apartment is popular for singles.
There is no separate kitchen, but a compact stove or sink is often installed in the corner of the room.
K stands for Kitchen, it is pronounced “One-K” in Japan.
This is also equivalent of a studio apartment in Europe and the United States.
In 1K, the kitchen is separated from the living room by walls and doors to make the kitchen separated from a living room.
Usually a small kitchen, and there is not enough space for a dining table.
D stands for Dining room, it is pronounced “One-D-K”.
Compared to 1K, the kitchen space is larger, and there is enough space for a dining table.
This is also equivalent to a larger studio apartment in Europe and the United States.
This type of floor plan is designed for a single or a couple.
In 1DK, a dining room and a bedroom are separated.
In the old days in Japan, it was common to eat and sleep in the same room.
After World War II, the floor plan which has a kitchen and dining room separated from bedrooms like 1DK spread throughout Japan.
L stands for Living room, it is pronounced “One-L-D-K”.
A living room is added to the 1DK floor plan.
Usually, there is no wall between the dining room and the living room, and they are next to each other.
This is the equivalent of a one-bedroom apartment in Europe and the United States.
In some cases, a family with a small child accommodates in this type of apartment in Japan.
Japanese people have a culture where small children sleep in the same room as their parents.
For non-Japanese people, 1LDK is not enough to separate the bedrooms of parents and children.
● 2LDK, 3LDK, 4LDK, 5LDK
2LDK or larger apartments are designed for a family.
As the number increases, the number of bedrooms increases as well.
Please choose according to the number of children and lifestyle.
When looking for an apartment in Japan, it is also important whether or not an air conditioner can be installed.
The number “n” such as “nLDK” indicates the number of bedrooms.
If there is a small space on the floor plan, but if the floor plan term did not include “n” it could be storage.
Even if you would like to use it as a study, you may not able to install an air conditioner.
Central heating is not common in Japan.
When looking for a room in Japan, remember to install an air conditioner on your own, if it does not come with it.