How many of you have experiences standing in front of a Japanese laundry machine thoroughly confused?
Home laundry here in Japan might be a huge surprise for people who were brought up in other countries. It is not common for Japanese households to have dryers – what they have are laundry machines with built in dryers which are not expected to completely dry the clothes, but leave them moist. After the laundry machine finishes its job, people hang their clothes, take them down after they are dry, and lastly fold and put them away. There seems to be multiple reasons for dryers not coming into wide use in Japan. Limited space, relatively clean air, environmental concerns, and electricity expense, just to list a few.
Clothes are hung out on balconies or yards, but it is also common to hang laundry in the bathroom with built in dryers “yokushitsu kansoki” which come with recently built houses or apartments. You will find a control panel outside the bathroom which allows you to set the time and heating level. This will help you dry up your clothes within a couple of hours (depending on the wash load) without worrying about the dust, pollen, and even PM 2.5.
Another thing, every single household, even single-person households, is basically expected to own a laundry machine here. It is very rare to see shared laundry rooms in apartments here in Japan which are more common in the United States or Europe. For those who do not own laundry machines, laundromats are getting more and more popular in Japan these days and you may be able to find them close to your place. Laundromats were previously thought to be places for students or single households, but has evolved to meet the needs of bigger families as well. Websites listed below are unfortunately all in Japanese, but let us know if you feel they are worth looking into. We can quickly get back to you with translated information.
Not a member yet? Be a member of QuickHelpJapan and enjoy like a local!