Little House In Ise

Not So Green
November 19, 2007, 13:34
Filed under: Expat, Family, Japan | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A few things that Japan has not learned in the green department have been chaffing the more sensitive parts of my soul today. The first that leaps to my frozen fingers this morning is the desperate (DESPERATE) need for insulation in homes and buildings. Though the weather in Ise isn’t particularly chilly normally, it is painfully cold INSIDE. Neither the house where my family lives nor the building where I work are insulated. My son’s elementary school has cold concrete and steel walls. Heat leaks through the aluminum framed single-pane windows, doorway gaps, ventilation holes and open bathroom windows (no vent fans where really needed). Ise feels much colder than it really is!

I grew up in Wyoming (Note to non-Americans and New Yorkers: Wyoming is a frigid rectangle in the US section of the Rocky Mountains) so, I am not a cold wimp. However, I do expect to get warm once I’m inside. This is generally not the case here in Ise and in other parts of Japan too. I know the folks up in Hokkaido have discovered the mystery of insulated walls but much of the rest of the country is missing out. In fact, my wife pointed out an ad for “Canadian Houses”. These are 2 by 4 construction type houses with both central heating and insulation. The quotes from owners in the ads all dealt with how surprisingly warm they were even with heat turned low or off. We both laughed hard enough to not be envious — for a while.

The envy came back hard this morning. With the heated seat of the toilet below and a chill breeze through the window above confusing my barely awake body, I decided that I really wanted some of that Canadian house action. Since we are going to move to Tokyo my Canadian House will remain a fantasy. I just have to hope that the combined body heat of 35 million other folks in the greater Tokyo area will keep us warm!


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[…] cold and report about the bathroom here too often but they are closely-linked, painful topics. The lack of insulation in this office building makes it very uncomfortable to work without several layers of clothes. Since corporate uniforms are […]

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