Before coming to Okinawa I was faced with the daunting task of guessing where we might be living and hoping for some answers. It’s hard to plan ahead of time for household things you may want to bring or purchase before you come. I had a personal obsession about curtains because with two children under three, who are already 5 o’clock risers, I needed to be sure I could block some of the amazing Okinawa light to buy me a few extra precious seconds of sleep and to ensure nap time remained on schedule.
Let me start off by saying we are in a renovated North Foster apartment tower which has pre-existing rails and hooks in the windows for hanging curtains. All windows are pre-treated with metal blinds; horizontal on the bedroom windows and the hanging vertical type on the patio doors. They are sufficient to block your privacy. (Please know that not all of the apartments are the same. My neighbors do not have the rail system in their un-renovated apartments.)
The curtain style in my apartment is the standard Japanese curtain with a hook and eye system. So, for those of you in the North Foster Towers in an apartment with pre-existing rails there is a quick and easy solution. You can buy premade light blocking curtains from JUSCO for about 2850yen a pair. Some are even cheaper.
Our balcony doors do have a rail system for hanging curtains in addition to the horizontal blinds, I have chosen not to bother with these doors. From the outside of the building I have seen many window treatments hung in other apartments, so it is possible. It is also very easy to remove the plastic blinds, they just unhook and can be stored under a bed. Back to the bedroom curtains…
The curtains are advertised in the store as light blocking. Some have to be ordered, but there is a whole section of premade curtains. They are located on the 2nd floor near the escalators in the home section. I didn’t attempt to order anything as what they had ready to buy suited my budget.
The curtains will hang onto the existing curtain bars and hooks already installed in the smaller bedrooms of the Foster Tower apartments. The curtains come WITH the hanging hooks already attached so it’s really easy. It only takes about 1-2 minutes to hang the curtains. To make the room completely black you can buy two sets of the light blocking curtains for each window. So four curtains in total, or two packages. That does the trick.
Where to Buy: The selection at JUSCO isn’t fantastic but it’s not too bad. You can get a pretty basic pattern or a plain color. Max Plus also has a large selection. I used a plain white box patterned fabric for the first curtain bar closest to the window and a patterned fabric curtain for the other curtain bar. This made the room pretty much pitch black, ideal for the baby and the toddler. The second floor of the San-A market on 58 also had a very small selection of similar curtains.
Measurement Details: To cover the windows in the bedrooms buy 100cmx178cm. The window size in the 2 smaller bedrooms from the inner part of the frame is width 175.5 cm and height 151.1. Just and FYI, the other windows are the kitchen window (if your unit has one; 153cmW x 100.3cmL), a set of sliding glass doors to the balcony (379.1cmW x 221.6cm L) and the sliding door in the master bedroom (167.6cmW x 226.1cmL). These are the dimensions from the inner part of the window and door frame.