Everytime I come back to Japan I take a walk by my old apartment building, the Kandacho Corporus. It's a non-descript greyish-brown apartment building that could be anywhere but it was the place that I called home for a little over a year. It had a great location close to a train station, shops and restaurants and was very spacious for a Japanese apartment.
I didn't ship much over since I wanted to buy things in Japan and have space in my shipment home to bring everything back. I had fun furnishing my place and it ended up being an ecclectic mix of Japanese and Western that worked well for me.
For my living room I bought two couches at Nittori (kind of like a Japanese Ikea) and found some Japanese chests at recycle shops (Japanese second hand stores for home goods). I hung up some of my travel photos and displayed some of the items I picked up during my travels to make things homey.
I had a galley kitchen without too much storage space so I bought an open shelf storage unit for easy access to things that I used often. For storing food items I picked up the large jars at recycle shops and the small ones at a hyaku-en store (Japanese version of a Dollar Store). I bought my dishes in Seto, which is a Japanese town famous for ceramics and pottery. One of my favorite things in my whole apartment was my Nisshin Flour Milling sign which I picked up at the To-ji flea market in Kyoto. I have it hanging in my kitchen back in the US now.
I didn't want to buy a Western mattress so I decided to try sleeping on a Japanese futon and loved it. I read before bed most nights so when I found this little table at a flea market in Kakuozan I knew it would be perfect for a "futon-side" table.
Since I had extra space of course I had to have a craft room. I bought the table at a recycle shop for ¥1000 (about $10 at the time) and it was great for spreading out lots of projects. I had started collecting old globes when I would stumble across them in the US so when I found these two old Japanese globes I had to have them.
Back home in the US, I have several of the items from my Japanese apartment incorporated throughout my house. They are full of great memories of the time I spent at the Kandacho Corporus and seeing them everyday brings a smile to my face.