So by now, most of you know that I used to live in Japan. One of the pains-slash-joys of the moving process is of course house hunting. Back in the summer of 2008, I was having fun, touring this decked-out new construction apartment, when a (non) disaster struck. See it for yourself (Warning - explicit language):
Sorry for the poor audio quality. Keep in mind, while I shot this on an overpriced Japanese phone, it was still largely before the smartphone era.
You can see that my realtor, Ueda-san, clearly felt it first, heading to the balcony to check. I was a little excited just seeing the loft space (I'd never seen one before!) At first, I was confused that perhaps he was feeling a little ill. He repeated "earthquake" and it hit me. Yes, I was a little hysterical. You can see the suspended pendant lamp swinging a bit in the video (starting around the 1:30 mark).
My apartment had a loft that you could climb up, and also came with extra high ceilings. This room was on the 7th floor of a 9-floor narrowrise, and the building had been completed roughly 4 months prior. I eventually chose this as my apartment, becoming the first tenant in this room. Why did I choose it? It was a gorgeous, futuristic space located in a pure, old-vibe setting (Asakusa). Plus, the most important point, as I made in the video: At least I knew that it was quake proof.
For anyone curious, the monthly rent was 125,000 yen.