My minimalist bedroom

Hello everyone from Japan! This is the first post of many I’ll be writing from the Country of Awesome. I just wanted to let everyone know that I arrived safely and I’m having an amazing time. I was a little afraid before that the extent of Japanese hospitality was a big fat lie, but so far it proves to be absolutely true. I’ve never felt more welcome and happy, something I desperately needed being so far away from home.

Also, I wanted to thank everyone for their well wishes from the last week’s minimalist suitcase packing post, I read them at the airports in Rome and in Kansai, which was really encouraging. I also want to thank those who donated, I will be forever grateful for your kindness and support.

So, without further ado, I would love to introduce to you my new bedroom…my new minimalist bedroom that is!

I had no idea what my room would be like before I came here but as soon as I arrived at the house and saw it I was ecstatic! It has wooden floors, wooden furniture and white walls. Compared to my old room, this one is much bigger, and yet I have less stuff to fill it with – perfect!

My room also comes with a beautiful black Yamaha piano – which had me smiling all day. I love to play, but at college I obviously couldn’t bring my piano, even though it was more like a posh keyboard anyway. For the first time, I have a really good chance to get back to something I started years ago and has stayed in my heart ever since.

Next up is my new desk, I absolutely love the simplicity of it. It’s sturdy and wooden, with two drawers. That’s it, no extra frills. It does it’s job as my new workstation perfectly. I also love that the chair is just a stool. I’ve been meaning to get a chair without a back because constantly leaning on one weakens the spine. One of the reasons why people find meditation so difficult is that they can’t sit upright for more than a few minutes before gradually slumping down – they’re too used to being supported by a chair. Also, because of the stool, I’m less likely to waste precious hours in Japan surfing the web.

There are two wardrobes in my room. However, the one on the left that you can see here is already being used for storage. Also, the top two shelves of the right wardobe is taken up by my host family’s holiday suitcases. And, one more thing, the bottom of the right one is being used for storing the futon (see below). If you do the mapping, you’ll work out that all I have is the middle of the right wardobe. But don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds!

These wardrobes are pretty deep and I could more than comfortably fit in all of my clothes with plenty of room to spare. The limited space fits me just fine, since it would discourage me to buy too many clothes which I can’t take back home with me anyway. As with most things, even though it’s small, there’s still much more space than in my old room!

And finally, there’s the futon. Oh. My. Goodness. I love it! I had heard that more and more Japanese homes are ditching the futon for framed beds so I couldn’t tell you happy I was to walk into a room without one! They’re so amazing I have no idea why I didn’t have one before.

For those that don’t know, a Japanese futon consists of a thick fold-able mattress, a sheet to cover it with, a duvet and a pillow. Every night, you would unfold the mattress, lay the sheet and pillow over it, flip open the duvet and sleep! In the morning, you would fold it away into a cupboard and you would regain the entire space of a bed in your room. If it sounds laborious, I’ve timed myself doing it and it takes less than a minute to do. Because of the futon, I finally have enough space to do yoga right here in my bedroom. I can also roll out the rug my host family gave me onto the floor and read, surf, play with the my the kids and study right here.

I can’t believe my luck, I’m still so excited (hence the overuse of ‘!’s, sorry about that) even though I think I’ve already phased out of the honeymoon period. Everything has worked out so perfectly with my room and my family, I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Now, I’m looking forward to checking things off my list of 101 things to do in Japan. Here’s hoping I have a great year and it’s all uphill from here!

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  • steve c

    great post, i was literally just redoing my room today and thanks for giving me some ideas!

  • Heh, futons are so full of win! Many are missing out on their wonder.

    Great to hear you’re being treated well in Japan and loving your minimalist room.

    I’m sure your Japanese journey will be amazing from start to finish. I look forward to hearing more. Keep enjoying.

  • chris

    Can you take some pictures of the futon? I’m pretty interested in it.

  • Your room looks like it’s the perfect fit for you. I’m glad to hear that everyone is treating you really well and that things are going well over there.

    Thanks for giving an update.

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  • Looks great! I love it!

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  • Great post. I currently have a friend who’s son is in the process of moving into a small dorm room, and is looking for ways to safe as much space as possible. I will pass your tips onto him! Thanks for sharing.

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  • Marta

    Hi!i am pretty new here,
    how confortable is it to sleep on a futon??is it the floor or something called tatami?
    i was thinking about getting a futon, but obviously i cannot afford a tatami as well on my new bedroom!
    please, tell me your opinion on this

    thanks a lot, you site is inspiring for me to follow a simpler life!!

    • Hi Marta, welcome!

      Personally, I find sleeping on a futon very comfortable (otherwise I wouldn’t still be looking forward to getting into it every night!). I did a little research into this and I’ve found that as long as you get approximately the ‘right’ hardness of mattress/futon to support your back, it shouldn’t which one you get. The only thing is, you can actually fold a futon away, unlike a bed. Alternatively, if you like to have the massive amounts of space you can regain, you can have just the mattress and prop it up against the wall if you wish.

      And in fact, you can see in the photo that my bedroom doesn’t have tatami mats! I live in a Japanese home, so there are some in the next room, but you don’t actually need tatami mats for a futon – if you have carpet laid down that’s great or if you have hardwood floors like me then a rug will do the job just as well.

      I hope this helps! Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

      • Brianna

        I would be worried about insects. My kids use to love sleeping on blankets on our carpeted living room floor until one horrifying night of screaming when the oldest daughter got an earwig in her ear. Her screams could be heard all over the neighborhood, and it took a long time to get the thing out. Ever since then i’ve had no personal desire to sleep that close to the floor.

  • Hi! I’m brazilian. Nice your blog and you bedroom. Look after my minimalist bedroom:
    Thank you!

  • Just found this site while searching on google. I’ve been looking for ideas and ways to sleep in a minimalist fashion. I love your idea of using a futon so much I’ve just ordered 2 of them. I plan to use one as a replacement mattress on my wooden bed at first, then maybe spend a week or two sleeping on the floor to see how I like it, and maybe eventually getting rid of the bed frame altogether and reusing the bedroom for other things. Thanks for a really interesting blog, I’ll be following it from now on.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for your comment Demonsub, glad I could help! Yes I am still in love with using a futon and I am currently looking into getting one for my new home πŸ™‚

  • Guest

    Can we see photos?

    • minimalstudent

      Hello pippa, sorry the photos were deleted recently but now they’re back! Thanks for letting me know, hope you enjoy the blog!

  • Beckie Smith

    Jess, your blog is lovely! My life is so full of stuff and I’m going to try and reduce the amount of clutter I have, starting with when I move houses in July. Seeing your room in Japan made me realise (as I do every once in a while) how full mine is of unnecessary things – how nice that you have learned to live with less clutter in your life x x

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  • Laura

    I am so happy i have found your blog. I am moving from New Zealand to England next year and from there I want to keep exploring the world. I love this minimalist lifestyle you live and I am now going to start trying to live it myself. I have so many things in my room that are not needed and are just collecting dust. I am excited to start going through everything and giving away what I don’t need πŸ™‚ you are an inspiration!

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  • Ronpaulofawesomenedd

    Thank you for yoir blog. It has transformed my life. Next year I am running for US house of representatives. If I win, i will moe to dc and try to live a more minimal life

  • Mimi

    Quick question. Is there a communal bathroom or one in your room? Thanks, and I love this post. I recently began my shift to minimalism (3 months in progress) and it’s a truly wonderful feeling and i’m glad I fell upon your blog! Keep the posts coming!

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  • emmiestar

    Hello =) Sorry this may seem like a weird question and I apologize if this is an old one –
    What exactly are the futons like in japan? I’m really resistant to having to buy a bed again so we’ve been using a futon, (u.s. version of futon) but I know these are not made the same. Do you know of ways to order, or even make your own, japanese futon? The whole idea of putting your bed away is so great. Thanks.

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