The area around JR Kamata Station and Keikyu-Kamata Station 京急蒲田駅 is a bit tired, a bit rough around the edges. I’ve only been once or twice, but the unique character has stuck with me. The only photo I took is from a side street that was surprisingly poorly-lit, considering how close we were to a JR station.
Later, after walking east for 15 minutes along the Nomigawa, a saw this orange apāto アパート (map). I took a couple of pictures:
Apaato is a katakana word based on the English ‘apart’ (like ‘apartment’), but the meaning is a bit different from ‘apartment’ in the United States. The Japanese word マンシオン, or manshion, is, in many cases, a more appropriate equivalent to the American ‘apartment’. The main difference between an apaato and a manshion is that an apaato is generally of lower quality and price compared to a manshion.
What does an apaato look like?
Here is a Google image search for apaato アパート. Some features indicative of an apaato are an external entrance, with stairs to a second floor, giving the general appearance of an American ‘motel’.
Here is a classic, rusting apaato in Kunitachi, Tokyo, and in Ikebukuro:
What does a mansion look like?
Here is a Google image search for マンシオン manshon / mansion. These buildings are larger and look newer and more expensive. This may have either interior or exterior hallways.
A mansion next to an apaato in Chofu, Tokyo:
- https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/アパート (Japanese Wikipedia for apaato)
- What’s the difference between “manshon” and “apaato” in Japanese?
- OLD COURSE OF THE NOMIKAWA 呑川
- A reddit user noted a parallel between Japanese apaato and the ‘triple decker’ apartment in New England; see: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of the Triple Decker
Kamata station area…