While Japan is quite late in joining the sharing movement, it started to pick up pace last year, and it's expected to grow in the coming years. I, "the sharing girl," live in a shared housing in Tokyo's Shibuya neighborhood. I work as a sharing economy lifestyle blogger and serve as secretariat of the Japan Sharing Economy Association. I'd like to offer a glimpse of what the sharing life in Tokyo looks like, focusing on housing and food.    

                     Residents of Tokyo, a bustling city, are starting to embrace the sharing movement. 


The rent in Tokyo is expensive, but some interesting shared houses have started to pop up in recent years. These shared houses are interests-based, so people with similar hobbies: golfers or artists, for example, can live together. The number of independent entrepreneurs in the city is increasing, and there are now many shared houses where offices and residences are combined. For example, the "Share" site connects commercial tenants like radio stations with residences, so people can share their lifestyle, work, and other interests. There are also weekend events for people to get to know each other at these spaces. 


                    Shared housing and work spaces in Tokyo. 


There are still strict regulations for meal sharing in Japan, but there are sites that connect people to learn from each other and share cooking spaces. For example, the platform "Tadaku" facilitates an intercultural cooking exchange — it links visitors with people from around the world, who teach them how to cook traditional dishes from their home countries. Currently, more than 100 hosts from 52 countries are registered on the site. "Real BBQ" is a service that connects people who have BBQ spaces with those who don't have one in their apartment. 

                  Shared BBQ spaces. 

In addition to the sharing platforms I've mentioned, there are now shared transportation as well as childcare services in the city. It won't be long before the sharing movement becomes as prevalent here as it is in the Netherlands, South Korea, and the U.S.

All images courtesy of Anju Ishiyama. 

Anju Ishiyama


Anju Ishiyama

Anju Ishiyama is a sharing economy lifestyle blogger in Japan, known as the "sharing girl." She is also the secretariat of the Sharing Economy Association Japan/ Corporate Planner of CrowdWorks Inc.