Ikea offers a small apartment in Tokyo for less than US $ 1 a month

(CNN Business) – Swedish retailer Ikea is becoming a homeowner in Japan with a small apartment that it will rent in Tokyo.

The 10-square-meter apartment is located in the Shinjuku district and will cost just 99 yen (US $ 0.86) per month to rent, according to details released by Ikea this week.

Only one unit is available and it is fully furnished with Ikea furniture and accessories. The company is accepting applications from prospective tenants, who must be in their 20s, through December 3.

The apartment will then be rented out on a lease until January 15, 2023, Ikea said. The tenant will have to pay their own utility bills.

Ten square meters is not a lot, but Ikea says they have worked hard to make the most of the available area.

“One of the keys is to make good use of vertical space,” the company said on its website. “By capturing the room in three dimensions, new possibilities are opened up in a limited space.”

Tokyo is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, driving a trend for micro-departments. It is home to just over 14 million people, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Ikea is promoting its little house with the help of a shark named Blahaj, who appears in a series of promotional videos posted on YouTube.

The character Blahaj plays a real estate agent who specializes in tight spaces. In the clips, Blahaj lays out his vision for the small apartment with the help of a member of Ikea’s interior design team.

This is not the first time that Ikea has become involved in property issues.

The company has a joint venture, BoKlok, with Swedish construction firm Skanska, which has built affordable modular homes in Sweden, Finland and Norway.

In 2019, BoKlok launched a new style of home for dementia patients, designed to allow them to continue living at home.

Design tweaks included removing bathroom mirrors and fitting kitchen appliances with dated knobs, instead of digital controls.

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