This Tiny Osaka Apartment Is More Stairs than Living Space

published Sep 7, 2023
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Osaka, Japan-November 18, 2018 : Tourists at  Dotonbori shopping street, Dotonbori is the famous destination for traveling and shopping in Osaka, Japan.
Credit: f11photo/Shutterstock

Tokyo-based content creator Norm Nakamura has found a tiny apartment that you might want to take a pass on if you hate taking the stairs.

In his video, he travels to Osaka just to see the unique accommodation. From the outside, the place looks pretty normal, but once he steps inside, the rental’s strange layout and features immediately disorient him.

As you can see, the apartment is full of stairs. There’s just a teeny-tiny foyer, then straight ahead, stairs. To get to each room, you’d either have to climb or descend. The four-square-meter (43-square-foot) living room, for instance, can be reached by going up one floor. 

To reach the bedroom loft, you’d have to ascend again. It’s pretty cramped up there. Nakamura lies down to see if he could fit and says he could not. There’s only a small railing between the bed and the stairwell. If you roll over in your sleep, you’ll surely feel that in the morning.

To reach the kitchen, you’d have to descend back to the living room and foyer, then go down again. Just like the previous rooms, the area is compact. There’s space for a small fridge, a sink, a hot plate, and perhaps a mini dining table. The most unique feature might be the trap door in the floor that opens up to a lined storage area. In a second video, the space is described as storage for things like root vegetables that don’t need refrigeration. 

And lastly, the bathroom can be reached by — you guessed it — climbing down another set of stairs. The size of an airplane lavatory, the bathroom can fit a little shower, but won’t comfortably fit a tall person on the toilet. Nakamura demonstrates this by sitting on the bowl with his knees hitting the door.

The place is so small — approximately 16 square meters (about 172 square feet) total for the entire property — that it feels like there are more stairs than living space. The stairs themselves are questionable too, as they are narrow and steep. As one commenter perfectly put it, “The idea of taking those stairs in socks is terrifying.”

On the other hand, the location is great, as the apartment is only a few minutes’ walk away from the main commercial district. And the price? Only $200! That’s not bad compared to its counterparts in New York City.