In central Tokyo, city living is so crowded that people are forced to live in rooms that are not much more than a big cabinet with a shelf.
Typically, the share houses or “geki-sema” accommodate working professionals who spend most of their time away from home. These cramped quarters cost as much as $500 to rent per month and residents share a bathroom with other occupants. Most of these small spaces are primarily used for sleeping as they have no windows and fit only a few personal possessions.
These accommodations are definitely not meant for the claustrophobic. There’s a communal toilet and bath for the residents, who sleep in tiny coffin-like rooms.
Tatami mats, traditionally used to measure room sizes, are about 1.6 square meters. Small rooms are either 4.5 or 6 tatami mats.