Tokyo has a reputation for being an eye-wateringly expensive city. It's also known for being population-dense and having extremely limited land. So I was shocked to learn that your average middle-class family can buy their own detached house there for just $300,000, which won't even get you a studio in Bushwick these days.
Even if your average Japanese house is smaller than your average American house, how is this possible? Some of you may remember the "Life Where I'm From" YouTube channel, which gave us the video of the adorable little girl running down 13 design differences between Western and Japanese bathrooms. In this video, her father explains how everything from Japan's urban planning to their projected population decline have helped keep homes within reach of middle-class folk:
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