Jizo-An, Our Jizo-An
Machiya, sweet machiya: Our little home in Kyoto is , indeed, small (+/- 300 sq. ft.), but adequately equipped for a fairly complete life.
The kitchen: We can microwave things (albeit at a paltry 500 watts), toast in a toaster, make coffee in a auto-drip, boil water in T-Fal electric kettle, chop and slice on a 120 sq. inch cutting board, prep on a 2 sq. ft. counter, wash anything we'd like in a capacious stainless steel sink with built-in drain board, refrigerate in a 3+ cubic ft. refrigerator (that includes a mini-freezer compartment complete with a mini-ice cube tray that taunts us by making very petite cubes of water that never actually become ice), and an induction heater hot plate(!!!) with a frying pan and a 2+ qt. sauce pan. There are also two of most everything one would need to serve two people, and four wine glasses. Our dining table/desk, however, has but two comfortable straight-backed chairs. The kitchen also sports a recycling center -- one section for combustibles (see previous reference to neighborhood dioxin dispersal systems). the other for true recyclables.
Our home has been provided with abundant cleaning supplies (for kitchen and elsewhere, including vacuum cleaner, duster, rags, towels, sponges, brushes, chemicals/solvents/sudsing cleaners, dish detergents, toilet bowl unmentionables, etc.
The living room, which is underneath the stairs to the upstairs bedroom, consists of a somewhat saggy upholstered loveseat and a credenza upon which sits a 32" television which, as it is related to the ice-cube tray, we've never figured out how to make deliver ice cubes or a t.v. signal.
Upstairs is the bedroom, with a tatami floor and a raised western-ish bed, one tansu dresser, and a large closet. Up and downstairs are both equipped with heating/air con systems. Off the bedroom, through a window accessible by a stool, is a very small, narrow balcony, at one end of which is a perfectly competent washer/dryer -- all in one machine.
The stairs to the bedroom are distinguishable from a step ladder by the width and breadth of the steps. That said, we always hold onto the banister for dear life when ascending or descending, Pam tends to crab walk up and down, and I take the trek seriously.
Finally, our little machiya's access lane off a narrow roadway, is also the route to five other little homes. It is narrow -- 5 1/2 feet at the most, less the dimensions of any of the many potted plants, storage cabinets, bicycles, ubiquitous fire buckets, etc. On one occasion we had a guest who parked her motor scooter in the lane, quickly creating quite the neighborhood kerfuffle until the situations was remedied.