The Manner of Using Sound
Considerations for noise

Important manners of Japanese people as not to cause any trouble to neighbors. So you must be careful not to make any noise disturb the other resident and learn the manner of using sound.

Noise control and prevention of noise

Floors or walls of some Japanese apartment buildings or other collective houses are so thin that noises generated in next rooms or the upstairs or downstairs room can be heard. When you open/close the door or talk loudly for a long time, your sound may echo through the windows or walls depending on the volume, so you must be careful everytime for sound you made.

<Simple noise control techniques>

Position of sound source (e.g. stereo unit)

When you live in a collective house, place the sound source as far as possible away from the wall.

Considerations for sound of footsteps

If you are afraid that your footsteps may disturb the resident on the downstairs room, you can use a soundproof mat (available at home centers or through the Internet) .

Time zone requiring special care

Late-night and early morning

Care must be taken specially at late night and in the early morning. You must be careful as much as possible when you take the following actions:

  • The sound of opening/closing the door
  • Footsteps when climbing up/down stairs
  • No use the washing machine or cleaner
  • No car engine idling.
  • Conversation in a loud voice

In case of you receive a complaint about noise:

If someone complains about your noise and the complaint is reasonable, you must accept and follow their demand. However, If you think the complaint is unreasonable, you should ask your school counselor or Japanese friend for advice to address the complaint.

Choose a  sound isolation property

If you wish to live in a soundproof room, choose a reinforced concrete building. Since the walls of such buildings are made of reinforced concrete, they have relatively excellent  sound insulation. Wooden apartment buildings do not have such soundproof structure, so, in those buildings, it is highly likely that you clearly hear noises outside the building and the noises you make can be also heard by neighbors. Before you enter a school in Japan, check whether your lodging facility is made of reinforced concrete or wood so that you can take effective measures against noises  after you move in.

If you wish to find a  property with soundproof rooms, also confirm that the facility is not located near the railroad track,  emergency hospital or fire station, or facilities for children such as nursery school.

If you suffered noise damage:

When we live in an urban area, we must tolerate some noise generated from each other’s household. Get along well with people in your neighborhood, and pay consideration to the neighbors, and try to prevent any noise from your daily life.

However, if a person who lives in your apartment building makes noises, and you are annoyed or disturbed with the sound, try to solve the problem by consulting with your landowner or the property management company you have contracted.

If you are troubled with heavy noise, call the police (#110), then a police officer will warn the noise maker.