Advisor for RENOVATION, REPAIR, REAL ESTATE and CONSTRUCTION for foreigners living in Japan

Layouts of Japanese apartment 2– What’s is the difference to 1R, 1K, 1DK,1LDK and 2DK? [typical layout]

Do you understand the differences to these abbreviations symbols?

Here in Japan, most of the apartment for a single person has an only one bedroom. Therefore the important point is what’s included except for a bedroom. Abbreviations such as R, K, DK and LDK tells you that the apartment includes Kitchen / Dining and Kitchen / Living and Dining and Kitchen.  See more about these abbreviations here,

In this article, I am explaining what features to expect or not expect from each of these types of apartments.



What do you expect for 1R apartment?

In almost all cases, bathroom type of 1R is a prefabricated bath , called “unit bath”, where includes the tub, sink, and toile all in one room.

This is an example of “unit bath”. Then that’s the typical of what to expect in a 1R apartment.



  • Typically very small kitchen with only one electric stove or no stove at all, in that case you’ll have to buy portable electric stove.
  • It is too small space to cook.
  • Some 1R apartments are equipped with a small fridge underneath of kitchen counter, because there is no space to place a normal size fridge.
  • Most of 1R apartments do not have built-in closets.
  • There is no space inside the apartment to place a washer.
  • Remember that sleeping and cooking space are in one room.


What do you expect for 1K apartment?

As I mentioned on the previous topic, in the abbreviation K stands for “kitchen”.


  • The most biggest difference is that the kitchen is separated from the bed room by a wall. So you don’t have to cook in the bed room.
  • The kitchen itself is not very big.
  • The size of bedroom is usually similar to the one of a 1R apartment,
  • Not come with built-in closets.
  • Some 1K apartment has a “unit bath” type bathroom, but some come with a separated type bathroom, which means a toilet is not in prefabricated bathroom.
  • Kitchen space is very narrow and you are to use it as a corridor.



What do you expect for 1DK apartment?

As I mentioned on the previous topic, D stands for “dining” and K stands for “kitchen”.


  • If the DK (dining and kitchen) space is more bigger than 4~4.5-tatami mats (approx 6.6~7.4sqm), the apartment is recognized as DK. If not,it would be 1K.
  • 1DK apartment is about in beween 25-sqm and 30-sqm.
  • The bathroom may be a separated type or a “unit bath” type.
  • Probably 1DK apartment has a built-in storage or closet.


What do you expect for 1LDK apartment?


  • 1LDK apartment has a proper bed room except for a kitchen, dining and living room.
  • The bathroom should be  a separate type.
  • Most of 1LDK apartment has a built-in storage or closet.
  • Rent is off course higher than other smaller layouts such as 1R, 1K and 1DK
  • Since there  is a proper bedroom, you should be able to add more furniture in your living room