Dorm Life at Doshisha Richard’s House

Dorm Life at Doshisha Richard’s House

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!

Richard's House dorm roomThe view of my dorm room from the entrance. For the most part, all of the rooms at Richard’s House seem to be the same (although the model of the refrigerators seem to vary a bit).

Richard's House Dorm RoomAfter entering, immediately to the left is the mini-kitchenette with a sink and hot plate. All rooms also seem to come with a kettle and pot, too, so you don’t need to buy those!

Blog013Each room as a mini-fridge, as well! My mini-fridge doubles as a place for posting important papers and bathroom storage, ha!

Blog014To 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!)

Blog015The room itself! Each dorm room has a desk, desk chair, and a very, very, very ancient router and modem pair.

Richard's House DormFor 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!

Blog18The 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.

Blog016At 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.

Blog021Each 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!

15 Comments

  • Rabs

    Ooh, it’s lovely!! So cozy-looking! I’d probably end up trying to decorate the walls – those whatchyoumacallit hooks are amazing… Command hooks? Yes. (The ones that don’t leave any residue and don’t damage the walls.) I’ve used them at my two previous apartments to create some extra storage (towels, coats, hats, etc) with no regrets and no problems! 😀 (In Marco’s room right now, he found some areas he can even hang postcards up with just a magnet – though they’re slightly precarious. XD

    How have things been so far? I’m not sure if you’ll have time to mail or email while you’re there, but please feel welcome to! I’m eager to hear all about, well, everything! <3

    Eat all the matcha kitkats for me. <3 And the pumpkin ones. And the sakura ones. Oh gosh, Japan, why can't you share your amazing regional Kitkats with the rest of the world? :-= Luckily, I've finally found some of those pumpkin spice Oreos you Americans get! So exciting! I've never seen them in Canada before! <3

    • mermaidtalk@gmail.com

      Rabby~! Thanks for leaving a comment! <3

      I wish I could use command hooks on the walls, but our dormitory manager expressly forbade it. They're really strict on that sort of thing here! At orientation, they told us all sorts of horror stories of girls before us having to pay back over $200 to "restore the room to the original condition." @_@

      But things are going well! I feel like I'm all settled in here; I'm mostly a mixture of restless and anxious, since classes haven't started yet! Eep!

      I will definitely write you an e-mail as soon as I get the chance! I miss you! <3 <3

  • Ellen

    Hi there!! I just found your blog and thought it was super super helpful~~ I’m applying to go to Doshisha next year and am looking at the application form now… Dorm information is so vague omg. So your post was super helpful <3 this dorm looks so beautiful, do you think it's worth the price?? I'm also looking at Hawaii house and Kizuna house.
    p.s i just followed you on Instagram too ^^

    • mermaidtalk@gmail.com

      Hi Ellen! I’m so happy you’ve found my blog useful so far! ^^ I had such a hard time with my Doshisha application because I couldn’t find enough information about Doshisha online…

      So far, I’m really happy at Richard’s House!!! I do think it is worth the price. It’s the closest female dorm to campus, and the facilities are very new and modern – and I think it’s the only dorm with an elevator which is sooo nice. I also really like having my own toilet, shower, and sink. The worst thing about it is having to pay the electric bill… it looks like my bill is going to be about 3,000 yen which is sort of expensive. ;_;

      I haven’t been in Hawaii House yet although it’s next door, so we share the bicycle parking/vending machine area with Hawaii House. I think the rooms there are pretty large too, although I don’t think they have individual bathrooms. From what I can tell, Richard’s House is the most in-demand dorm, with Hawaii House as second! As for Kizuna House, I don’t know anyone there, sorry! ;_; Also, I have only heard bad things about the YWCA dorm, so definitely put that one as your last choice if you put it at all!

      If you have any other questions about the application or dorms or classes, please leave a comment anytime!!! ^^

      • Ellen

        No worries, thank you so much for writing it! It really is so hard to find information, I’m so glad I stumbled upon here~ I hope I can do a blog or something when I get there too, to help others like you did!

        I see! It does look very nice tbh, and I think something similar would cost a lot more where I live. Elevator?? How many floors are there? I think I would like having my own bathroom too xD. Oh no~~ I guess it can be less if you make a conscious effort to use less?

        Ohhh I see! That’s really useful to know, thanks! I think I might go for Richard’s House as my first choice, then Hawaii House. 😀 omg does this mean I have a chance to meet you? Do you know what Casa Kitayama is like?

        I’m so glad I have someone to talk to about this stuff~ Would it bother you if I left comments frequently or would you prefer I messaged you on LINE or something? ^^;; cause I might clutter up your posts.

        p.s what kind of camera do you use? Your pictures are gorgeous! <3

        • mermaidtalk@gmail.com

          I would love to read your blog too!! I hope you get into Doshisha! How amazing would it be if we actually got to meet?! Ee!

          Richard’s House is really large and has 5 floors! ^^ The 6th floor is the roof, where you can hang out your laundry to dry. There are also about 12 rooms on each floor. Hawaii House has 2 floors, I think, and Casa Kitayama has 4 floors… but no elevator. My good friend actually lives in Casa Kitayama so I have been there a few times – next time I go I will take pictures for you!

          The rooms of Casa Kitayama are about the size of the Richard’s House room if you took away the bathroom and kitchen. Casa Kitayama rooms come with a desk and chair, but has no built-in closet or wardrobe, whereas I have not only a closet in RH, but also a shelving wall, and drawers under my bed! ^^ My friend at Casa Kitayama likes it there though because the rent is cheap (water/electricity/internet included in the total rent cost!), but she hates having to go up and down 4 flights of stairs to take a shower on the 1st floor. Casa Kitayama is an 8 minute/210 yen train ride, or a 15-20 minute bike ride away from campus so it’s relatively close! The atmosphere at Kitayama is nice too – they are one happy community and often hang out in the lounges together, whereas most people in RH tend to stay in their rooms! ^^

          I don’t mind you leaving comments at all! <3 I will e-mail you my LINE ID too though, so we can chat there as well!!! I'll send you the e-mail now!

          As for my camera, I use a DSLR; a Canon EOS Rebel T3i, but I also sometimes use the phone on my Galaxy S6! ^3^

          • Ellen

            I think I will start it after I’m all confirmed and booked! Ahhh I already can’t wait~~ haha it would be pretty amazing, the power of the internet!

            Oh wow, it’s so big!! It sounds like Richard’s House would be the easiest to move into for me, since I’m living with all the comforts of being at home, xD. Oh yes please, I would like to see what Casa Kitayama is like~ The main question I have about that dorm is what is like sleeping without a mattress?? I’m not fussy, but I don’t know if I could survive a year with no mattress lol.

            Thank you so much for being so nice~~~ You don’t know how much (or maybe you do? ;D) this information helps me! Wowowow your camera is so nice, I’m trying to save and look for a better one for my trip atm ^^

  • Drusilla

    Hello! I stumbled upon your blog while researching more on Richard’s House and I must say this is really helpful! I will be coming to Doshisha (on an exchange programme) next April and yes I must agree that the information on the dorms are really vague. Hence, I am really glad I found your blog. 🙂

    • mermaidtalk@gmail.com

      Hi Drusilla!

      I’m so happy that this has been helpful for you – making posts about the dorms was one of my main motivations for this blog so I’m really happy!

      I have friends spread out among the other dorms (and even a few who are renting their own apartments) so if you have any questions, please feel free to ask! 🙂
      And if you are coming in April, I will still be here so who knows, we may even get to meet!

  • Anushka

    Hello! I’m happy I saw your blog. I will be studying at Doshisha this incoming Spring 2016 and I was searching online for dorm information, but could hardly find any.

    I have a question, if you don’t mind answering. How much time did Doshisha give you before the Fall semester started? I mean, did they tell you to move in to your dorm a few weeks before the semester started, or did they tell you to move in a few days before?

    BTW, I chose Richard’s House for my first choice, so i’m hoping I get it! This dorm looks amazing ^_______^

    • mermaidtalk@gmail.com

      Hi Anushka! I’m so sorry my reply is so late!

      Doshisha gave us plenty of time before the fall semester started! Our move-in day to the dorms was Sep. 9, but classes did not officially begin until October 1st! 🙂 So we had plenty of time to explore and settle in! However, we did have a few mandatory orientation sessions and meetings to attend to during those two and a half weeks, but for the most part, we were completely free to do whatever we liked! It seems like the Spring semester will be very similar.. I believe orientations and placement exams will be beginning March 24, and then classes don’t begin until April 1st!

      I hope you get into Richard’s House! It’s a great dorm! 😀

  • Marta

    Hey, I am applying at my universities exchange program in order to go next spring to doshisha. I have looked everywhere for information and this blog was probably the most useful and helpful thing I have found so far. I am so stressed out because there is literally nothing about dorms!!
    so how much do you pay for your stay there (dorm fee + electricity), are there any washing maschines in the room or are they common for everyone? Are there many international people?? How is the food there? I really love asian food but i have no idea of what i’l actually find there!!
    It would be very cool if you did an entry on what you eat for a week and how much you spend on food!!
    And sorry for interrogating you but i am just super stressed out because I couldn’t find any information on anything!! so thank you already for taking the time to read this!!! hope your stay there is as amazing as it sounds!!!

    • Anonymous

      Hey! I got accepted to Doshisha this Spring 2016, and I thought I’ll answer a little of your questions.

      Based on the documents the university sent me, the dorm rent for a month is 39,500Yen (that includes water). As for electricity, as Kira said, it really depends on your usage.

      Washing machines are common for everyone.

  • Mary Anne

    This is such a helpful blog! I got accepted to Richard’s House for Spring 2016 ^-^.

    I have a question, if you don’t mind. I read the documents they sent me and I was confused about the rent and some other fees I have to pay when I move-in to the dorm. The documents were in English but some of their statements weren’t making sense. I was just wondering what I need to pay the day I move in or the days after (the rent for March/April,rental, futon set, etc.). As I will be bringing with me only about $1000 in cash (allowance for March and April only), I’m kind of worried my money won’t be enough.

  • Anonymous

    Girls only?! So sad haha. I wish they had this dorm for guys too. Do you have any recommendations for male dorms? I’ve been trying to search too and just like you and having a hard time finding information.

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