For families with one or two children or parents with only one child who work remotely and desire a dedicated space for a home office, or people who simply want a little extra space, Japan’s 3LDK apartment layout is often ideal.
What is a 3LDK Apartment?
The Japanese tend to like details, and the terminology describing a typical Japanese-style apartment is no exception. The layout of three-bedroom apartments in Japan is typically called 3LDK.
The term means an apartment with one relatively large room that serves multiple purposes as a combined living room (L), dining room (D), and kitchen (K), along with three separate bedrooms.
The 3LDK layout allows for creative use of space, and the kitchen can be an open kitchen type, semi-closed kitchen, or independent kitchen. In some cases, the preference and usability of the kitchen may be the deciding factor.
In the case of a freestanding type, the floor plan should be described as LD (living/dining room) + K (kitchen), but some properties describe it as LDK, even if it is freestanding.
The size of a 3LDK can vary, although such apartments typically encompass approximately 70 to 75 square meters (753 to 807 square feet).
There are, however, some as small as 60 square meters (646 square feet).
3 Bedrooms in a Row Room Layout
This type has all three bedrooms along one side. The bedroom in the center may have no window and may be connected to the LDK mainly by sliding doors.
The other bedrooms may be shut off as independent rooms with no access other than a single door, which may make one suitable for use as a master bedroom or a dedicated home office.
Because all the bedrooms are located on one side, this structure tends to create a significant difference in the usability of each room, depending on whether the room is square or pillar-shaped.
This type of 3LDK layout is recommended for families with double-income-no-kids (DINKs) couples and people who share an apartment.
Split into Quarters Room Layout
This type is the most basic 3LDK layout and is easy to use.
When you want to keep track of your children’s activities to some extent, you can set up a room on the south side of the house as a child’s room, allowing you to keep an eye on your children from the LDK.
Also, as the child grows up, you can change the room to the north side of the house to be the child’s room if you want the child to have more independence.
When selecting a property, it is advisable to carefully check the appearance and living noise situation, such as by running water.
In addition to families, this property is also recommended for room-sharing and DINKS, who may want to dedicate one room as a home office.
LDK in Middle Room Layout
In this type, the multi-use living room / dining room / kitchen is in the center. There is minimal floor space devoted to hallways.
Because the LDK is the center of the house, each bedroom tends to be long and narrow, which may make it difficult to arrange the interior. It is advisable to check the size of the rooms when considering this type of housing. If your belongings can be stored in the built-in storage space, it may not be a problem.
This layout is especially recommended for those who desire a spacious living room.
While rent will, naturally, be determined by location, size, age of the dwelling, etc, the 3LDK layout is popular, and inventory tends to be plentiful.
Recently, there was a listing for a 76.29 square meter (821 square feet) 3LDK apartment on the 51st floor of a skyscraper in Shinjuku with a “3 bedrooms in a row room layout” only an 18-minute walk from the world’s busiest train station that was available for 480,000 yen + 20,000 yen (management fees) = 500,000 yen (US $3,307) per month.
In Osaka, there was a listing for a 72 square meter (775 square feet) 3LDK apartment with one of the bedrooms configured as a Japanese-style tatami mat room only a 10-minute walk from Shin Osaka Station that was quoted at 195,000 yen + 20,000 yen (management fees) = 215,000 yen (US $1,422) per month.
In Fukuoka, there was a listing for a 67.64 square meter (728 square feet) 3LDK apartment with the LDK in the middle only a 7-minute walk from Nishijin Station that was listed at 135,000 yen + 6,000 yen (management fees) = 141,000 yen (US $932) per month.
While available in various layouts, 3LDK apartments often provide just the suitable space for small families and couples who want a dedicated office space to work remotely from home. The decision will, most likely, depend on a combination of location, budget, and personal preference.
The good thing is that—particularly in the big cities—there are always many options for apartments in this size range, and rents tend to be reasonable.