So one of the biggest motivators behind starting this blog was to contribute some information for future Doshisha University exchange students! One of the biggest sources of stress during my application period for Doshisha’s exchange program was the lack of information about the dormitories. Very little information about the dormitories was given other than their names and rent prices. After a desperate Google search, I managed to uncover the fact that at least one of the dormitories, Richard’s House (リチャーズハウス) had a private bathroom, so I listed that as my first choice.
Fortunately, I was able to make it in!
Richard’s House, and the adjacent Hawaii House (ハワイハウス) that is located on the same property are about a 10-minute walk or a 6-minute bike ride away from Doshisha’s Imadegawa campus so you do not need to take a subway or train to school. Both are women-only dormitories that are also in a gated lot for extra security. Apparently, Richard’s House is one of the most desired dorm options, as the rooms are not only the largest of all the dorms and come with their own toilet, shower, and kitchenette – but there’s also a full-sized kitchen on each of the five floors, as well as an elevator!
To the right, directly across from the kitchenette is the private bathroom. Every dorm room in Richard’s House has its own toilet and shower, which was definitely what made Richard’s House my first choice. There is a tub, although it is on the tiny side. It is a Japanese style bathroom in which everything is designed to get soaked, so there is no storage inside of it and a drain located on the bathroom floor. (Normally I stash my toothbrush in the kitchen, but looks like I forgot to today!)
For being as expensive and fancy as it is, Richard’s House has no WiFi. A few students planned ahead and brought wireless routers from their home countries. I brought a USB to ethernet adapter so my laptop works fine, but I don’t have WiFi in my room for my phone. Keep this in mind if you’re coming to Richard’s House! Update: I have since bought a WiFi Router and hooked it up with no problems, so now I have WiFi in my room!
The desk and chair set seems to vary from room to room, but at least each room comes with a complete set. Also, for my fellow Americans, you’ll notice if that all the outlets in the dorm room are able to use the American 3-pronged type prongs. I’d still recommend buying a plug adapter, however, in case you want to plug in at school or somewhere else.
At the foot of each bed in Richard’s House is an enormous shelving unit. (Sorry for the mess!) On the bottom shelf, I have the extra winter bedding from the rental futon set of which all Doshisha University exchange applicants are given the option of choosing.
Each room in Richard’s House also has a little veranda! This shot was taken from mine. You are not allowed to dry or hang any laundry or bedding on it, however, out of courtesy to the neighbors. Some of the rooms on the second floors have massive verandas that you could set up a table and chair at, but mine is just big enough for me to stand and relax on.
As Richard’s House is probably the most modern out of all the dormitory options for women, the rules are rather strict. You are not allowed to attach anything to the walls or modify the room in any way, or else you’re expected to pay the damages. (This seems to be the case for all the dormitories.) Another thing about Richard’s House is that you have to pay the electric bill separately. According to our RA, the electric bill averages from ¥2,000 to ¥4,000 a month, although she says she has heard some students have had to pay as much as ¥7,000 a month. There’s no lowering your electric bill much either, as your water heater, air conditioning unit, refrigerator, and internet modem are always plugged in.
In summary, if you are a future Doshisha University exchange student and you want your own bathroom, Richard’s House is definitely the best option for you. Richard’s House also has a lot of luxuries such as the elevator and five kitchens that the other dorms are missing. Also, Richard’s House and Hawaii House are the closest dormitories to campus so you don’t have to have a long bike ride or expensive train ride to get to school everyday.
I do have friends living in another Doshisha dorm, Casa Kitayama, so with their permission, I’ll try to do a write up of Casa Kitayama as well at a later date!