From March to July 2017, I stayed at GG House. or GG House West Right (Nishi Arai). You can get to this house by Hanzomon or Hibiya Line to Nishi Arai Station. While it was a huge improvement from staying at World Unite!, it felt more of a dormitory for students and long term travellers. Nevertheless, the fact that it was mostly quiet and people kept to themselves was something I liked. I would like to introduce to you the second place I stayed in before I left Japan to go to Korea.
GG House can be summed up more easily. It is mostly just a sharedhouse for you to live in. They are much better than World Unite with the cleanliness, organisation of the house and providing more information. However what they lack in is communication with their residents and although it can’t be helped, the locations of the houses are out of the main metro lines and can be annoying if you are travelling to work or other places. The one I stayed at was in Nishi Arai but there are others in Kita-Ayase.
What I would like to do is show you the interior of the house.
GG West Right
Regarding the household, it is relatively clean with the entrance of West Right looking like this. The bins are aligned to tell you what to throw away easily. The shoe lockers are just opposite it with usually a spare key inside for your room in case you lose your card key.
What I did love was having a TV and as someone who is learning Japanese constantly, watching TV was a big help. Even though it was mostly shows and comedy sketches, it really did help.
A few cupboards say for Staff in Japanese but you are free to take the rubbish bags out of there to change the bins or take toilet paper to replace toilet paper that is gone before the cleaner gets there. Even though there is a cleaner, residents must still do these little tasks you see.
There are two bathroom areas that each have a sink and washing machine outside. No dryer so people dry their clothes in their rooms. There is a brush and broom to sweep up mess.
The shower is small and quite frankly, I grew to hate showers in Japan for being too small and wanted to have baths more. You can switch on the heating with this device and can change the temperature to whatever you would like it to be.
Toilet is down the hall with a single window and there are more rules posted on the right side of the wall.
Excuse the mess from when me and my roommate stayed there but this is what the rooms look like. You are given two safes, a cupboard for smaller clothes or items and a basket that we used for bathroom and beauty essentials. You have a rail and draw at the bottom for your clothes which is pretty convenient. Along with this, there was also a shoe rack (both in the room and outside near the main door) and an aircon. However, despite supplying all of this, the room was still small for my standards.
A month after moving in, they installed a mini fridge/freezer replacing the main fridge in the kitchen. While it is convenient, it is also more space. We had to re-position it to the back here so we had space to walk into the room. It would have been better to have this much room for one person but two people, it was a squeeze.
The kitchen was okay and I only started using it once some of the other residents who used to hog it left. You get your own section marked by your door number and if someone moves out and your food is in the wrong area, it will be thrown away (or what the lazy staff started doing in our house was put it in the shared area).
I don’t think there was supposed to be a shared area however food and seasoning started piling up on the far left corner of the second picture and a lot was left by residents who had moved out. It came to a point on my last month there that people were leaving a lot of bowls and utensils as well as in-date food to the point I used it.
But I’m guessing once I moved out in early July, they got the staff to go through the entire house to clean and throw away any unwanted products and food.
Moving out form
Now, the issues. When you move out, you must complete this form and fax it to their office. There is no option to send by email or post. However I was surprised as the company seemed to have young looking staff but I have no clue why they couldn’t have also accepted post as well.
The main issue with this email (regarding moving out form) and others (mess in front of our door, smoking and toilet blockage) was the fact that no-one signs the emails so there is no way of knowing who is sending these emails and it seems like even the staff do not know who reads the emails or passes the messages on. English service was only available from 10am while Japanese service is a available from 9am which annoyed me because I was told all staff members are bilingual and ready to call whenever.
It is very frustrating to receive a reply back and they have no idea what you are talking about and have not checked the inbox or received word from other staff about your situation.
I would understand if people stayed at GG House compared to World Unite! It is well supplied, more organised and knowing there is a cleaner is ten times better than staying at World Unite! Be prepared to have semi automated messages or miscommunication emails with the staff. Nothing seems to be passed around and different staff members will read your email and not alert the staff member what to do if they go to the house.
For me personally, I’d recommend you would be better off finding a sharedhouse/host family to accommodate you and search for jobs on your own. You can find a list here! But please do your own research before going!