We got the whitest geek we could find and threw him into Japan to see if he'd survive. Here are his pleas for a return ticket.
RE: Washing Machine/Air Conditioner Combo Saves Space, Chills Clothes
I saw your post about the air conditioning/washing machine combo, and since I'm on my second washing machine in Japan, even though I'm not an expert about washers and dryers in Japan, I thought I would try to explain why it would be a good idea. That, and because I felt a violent urge to theorize about washing machines at midnight.
The dryer situation in Japan is weird. Pretty much everyone hangs their clothes outside to dry. One of the apartments I was looking at had a coin dryer in the basement and my potential roommate was like, "That'll be great in the winter when it's too cold to hang your stuff outside." The real estate guy (a young one, in his 20s, so not like an old fogey) kind of flipped out and launched into an explanation that the best way to dry your clothes is by hanging them outside&#;mdash;even during the winter because winters are dry—and using a dryer is a waste of energy and actually inconvenient (I don't know why it's inconvenient).
There are washers with dryers built in but they're pretty expensive. Most standard ones now have "twin air dry" or whatever that basically just spins your clothes for longer than American washers&dmash;it's "air dry" because there's a tiny vent on the top of the lid that supposedly pulls in and pushes out air.
Also the washer situation differs vastly from apartment to apartment—at my first one, the washer was outside on the balcony, next to the AC unit, so combining them actually would be pretty efficient and save on the electric bill. In my current apartment, it's inside, in a closet. Since there's no vent, it would make having a dryer suck ass in the summer since there'd be nowhere for the hot air to go. Besides, it would be redundant since my bathroom is designed to hang/dry clothes. Like, the whole thing is a plastic shell, and there's a vent above the tub that blows hot air over your clothes, which you hang from a pole you attach to the top of the tub. You set the timer for how long it does that, and then it switches back to vent mode, pulling all the hot air out. It's pretty sweet, at least better than my shitty first apartment.
I know the first thing you wanted to read today was a novella about Japanese washing machines, so I'm glad I could accommodate that wish.
P.S. I haven't personally seen a single laundromat in two months.
Matt's Japanese is pretty crappy, but he's there to try to make it less crappy. If there's something you want to know about Japan from an ignorant American POV, hopefully without getting too Lost in Translation, let us know.