Japan: Ikea offers tiny apartment in Tokyo for less than $ 1 a month

The 10-square-meter (107-square-foot) apartment is located in the Shinjuku district and will only cost 99 yen ($ 0.86) per month to rent, according to details released by Ikea this week.

Only one unit is available and it is fully furnished with Ikea furniture and accessories. The company is accepting applications from potential tenants, who must be over 20, until December 3.

The apartment will then be rented with a lease until January 15, 2023, Ikea said. The tenant will have to pay their own utility bills.

Ten square meters is not a lot, but Ikea says it has worked hard to make the most of the available space.

“One of the keys is to make good use of vertical space,” the company said on its website. “By capturing the room in three dimensions, new possibilities open up in a limited space.”

Tokyo is one of most densely populated cities in the world, leading to a trend for micro-apartments. It is home to just over 14 million people, according to the Tokyo metropolitan government.

Ikea is promoting its tiny house with the help of a shark named Blahaj, who features in a series of promotional videos posted on YouTube.

The character Blahaj portrays a real estate agent specializing in small spaces. In the clips, Blahaj lays out his vision for the tiny apartment with the help of a member of Ikea’s interior design team.

This is not the first time that Ikea has been involved in real estate.

The company has a joint venture, BoKlok, with Swedish construction company Skanska, which has built affordable modular homes in Sweden, Finland and Norway.

In 2019, BoKlok launched a new style of home for dementia patients, designed to allow them to continue living at home.

Design adjustments included removing mirrors from bathrooms and installing kitchen appliances with old-fashioned buttons, rather than digital controls.

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