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1K Apartments, What is it?

Your basic Living Space in a1K apartment in the Kansai Region.

This Living space of a 1K apartment

What is a 1K apartment?

A 1K apartment is an apartment with a Kitchen, a living space, and in many cases a bathroom that includes a toilet and a bathtub. There are some 1K rooms that have the bathroom and the toilet separate. It really depends on the lay out of the apartment. The size of 1K apartments vary in size but average between 17meters squared to 27 meters squared. 1K apartments are usually have a more affordable rent but are meant for singles who are commuting to work or school. They are very small are not recommended for couples or room sharing.

This is the basic Layout of a 1K room

About this Layout

This is a 24㎡ apartment located in Kyoto in Nakagyo Ku.

Where is Nakagoyo Ku in Kyoto?

Nakagoy ku is the center of Kyoto and extend East to west from Kamogawa follows Oike Dori and the Kyoto Subway Tozai Line and extends to Niskoji Dori and South to North from Shijou Karasumi to Maruta Machi Karasuma.


玄 is the Kanji for Gen in (玄関)Genkan. In layouts sometimes Kanji is abbreviated. Gen Kan means entrance way. This is where you take off your shoes before you enter the apartment. Most of the time 1K apartments will not come with a shoes box but some have shoes closets where you can put your shoes in the entrance way. If the apartment does not have a shoes box you can buy one or just take off your shoes and keep them near entrance to the apartment.

In this layout the toilet and washroom is near the entrance way. The bathroom is seperate from the toilet room. Most of my clients who look for smaller rooms like 1K apartment prefer their toilet and bathroom separate. As you walk past the door to the wash room there is a small closet. Usually 1K units have little closet space so if you have a lot of furniture, clothes, or you need extra space I would suggest a larger apartment such as a 1DK or 1LDK where there is more closet space or space in general.

Kitchen, Refrigerator, and washing machine.

Many 1K apartments come with small kitchens and usually have electric ranges that are normally not very good for cooking. Most 1K units also come with a small refrigerator. If the 1K does not have a refrigerator it is always important to keep in mind how much space you have for a refrigerator in the apartment. Before you go out and buy a refrigerator or even a washing machine its always important to not the size of the refrigerator from all angles, length, width, or height. You do not want to buy a refrigerator that's too big to fit through your front door or space where you will use it in the kitchen.

The same goes for the washing machine. Keep note on where it is placed in the room and if the room is even capable of having a washing machine. In the layout above there seems to have no washing machine hook up. This means one of two things, there is no washing machine hook up in the entire apartment and you need to do your wash at a laundry mat or the washing machine hook up might be located on the balcony.


The flooring of your living space will either be in western flooring or Tatami. 洋室 this word means western room. In this layout 洋室is abbreviated to 洋. This means this 1K units living space will have western flooring. 和室 stands for Tatami Room. This means your room will have tatami flooring. I actually prefer Tatami flooring over western flooring but everyone likes different styles. If you do find any apartment with a Tatami room and do not like Tatami all you need to do is cover the Tatami with puzzle mats that will help cover up the tatami.

Living space size is 6.8帖. 帖means the counter for tatami mats. Your living space will only be the size of 6.8 Tatami mats.


What is ベランダ?This means balcony. Balcony's in Japan are used for the most part of dry out clothes. Some 1K units have washing machine hooks ups on the balcony. Another important thing to look out for when your looking for a 1K unit or any apartment for the most part is to know what size pole you will need to buy for hanging out laundry. Chances are if the 1K unit does not have a washing machine hook up it will probably not have a place to put a washing machine pole too.

This is another 1K unit I viewed with a client in Osaka near Juso Station

This is a layout of a 22.8㎡ 1K Unit.

Here are the pictures I took while viewing this unit with a client. This 1K unit has a larger living space than the one above. As you can see there are abbreviations written in the alphabet as well as kanji in this layout.

The abbreviations stand for the following

PS = Pipe space.

UB = Unit Bath

WC= Toilet room or water closet

BL = Balcony

漢字(Kanji) Used in the Layout

玄関 genkan = entrance way

物入= monoire = Closet (Note there are other ways you can write closet in Japanese this one chose 物入. Ex 押し入れ, also means closet

洋室 youshitsu = Room with western flooring. No matter what flooring you have weather it be western flooring or tatami mats, this size of the room is always writing in how many tatami mats would cover the entire room.

約8.5帖 yaku 8.5 jou = the living space is approximately 8.5 tatami mats in size. 約yaku= approximately. 帖jou is the counter used for tatami mats.

This is the view of the kitchen and entrance way of this 1K Unit. This is the average size of a 1K kitchen. The entrance way is right beside the kitchen. A shoes box is also near the entrance. Some 1k units have shoes boxes but most do not.

You can see from this picture the 1K kitchen is as small as a kitchen comes. This kitchen is meant for boiling water and doing very light cooking. So if you really enjoy cooking or preparing food a 1K apartment is not really a good option. I would suggest a 1DK unit or a 1LDK which have more space.

Next to the small kitchen is the toilet room.

Here is the Unit Bath of the this 1K unit.

This is the 8.5 Tatami size living space of this 1K unit. It also comes with an Air Conditioner. Most 1K private apartments in General come with Air Conditioner Units. This is a good size living space for a 1K unit.

This will give you an idea of what the average size of closet space looks like in a 1K unit.

The balcony of a 1K apartment. This balcony is somewhat larger then your average 1k unit balcony.

The rent including management fee for this apartment was 52,000 yen per month. Its currently off the market. The older it is and the further away from a station it is the cheaper the rent will be. I have seen some 1Ks in Osaka and Kyoto go little as 32,000 yen to as much as 72,000 yen. The price of rent really does vary on location, convenience, age of the unit, if it has been reformed if its an older place, and size.

The 1K apartment is a really small apartment to rent and this type of units are really meant for a single working person or student in the twenties or thirties. The average contract length for a 1K is two years and extendable as most apartment contracts in the Kansai Region.

Hope you enjoyed this article about 1K apartments and have a great day.

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