A micro-apartment (“micro” in common slang) is type of small apartment home common in the Yamatai Star Empire and are found in major cities like Kyoto. These allow the crowded mega-city to pack in millions of people through high residential density. Micro units typically range in size from 300 square feet (27.9 m²) to a mere 100 square feet (9.3 m²), with around 220 (20.4 m²) being typical. They have places to sleep, eat, and bathe and are equipped with running water, power, and good network connections to SYNC.
The Yamatai Star Empire views having a place to live as a basic right of all citizens, regardless of whether that citizen is employed. In order to support its rapidly-growing population, the government has constructed thousands of large apartment buildings, each filled with thousands of micro-apartments. These are usually pretty decent.
Micro-apartments are also very popular style choice for private developers focused on the lower-income portion of the population, so they are common throughout Yamatai and the rest of the Star Army universe (such as Funky City), and appear in various forms, from the luxurious modern little spaces that seem to have everything to the primitive Kowloon-style cells that have paint peeling on the walls, a makeshift power plug, a bucket, and a mattress.
Yamataian Micro-apartments usually have a shoebox shape with the entrance on one of the narrow ends. They are similar to long-term hotel rooms or cruise ship cabins in design and size.
A large window usually takes up most of or all of the wall opposite the entrance door, which helps the apartments feel more open and can help keep them well-lit. In many apartments, this has a sliding glass door that opens to a small balcony where people typically hang clothes or just hang out. Since the Second Mishhuvurthyar War, it has become common for people with well-lit balconies to grow tomatoes, carrots, and other food vegetables on their balcony during the warm seasons.
They typically have a main area which doubles as a living room and a bedroom, often featuring a large sofa or futon that serves as a couch and as a bed, or a pull-out sofa. Sometimes additional sleeping space is found through use of bunk beds. and usually have a small kitchen area with at least a microwave.
Micro-Apartments typically have an enclosed bathroom area, usually closest to the entrance side. Government-built micro-apartments are required to have a private restroom. Sometimes the toilet is actually in the shower stall.
It is uncommon to find an actual bath tub in micro-apartments. Showers are typical.
Some extremely small apartments omit the restroom in favor of a shared restroom down the hallway, like in a college dorm or military barracks.
Micro-apartment complexes typically have shared common areas that include laundry facilities, gyms, and recreation rooms. It is typical for complexes to include a floor of commercial stores like a pharmacy, Meat On A Stick, Ramen To Go, Sea Of Plenty, and a Warm and Sweet coffeehouse.
There's no shame having a micro-apartment in Yamatai. It's actually the norm for much of the population in the core worlds of Yamatai. Micro-apartments are cheap and efficient, and cover the essentials. In the dense city, residents are typically considered with the location and cost of their apartment more than the size. Of course, people with more money tend to opt for full-size apartments and houses. For people who live in micro-apartments, they may spend a lot of time out on the town or on the internet as a way to deal with the limited space.
They best way to keep a micro-apartment presentable and clean is to only keep what one needs. Allowing too many items to accumulate in a small living space can result in clutter. But humans (and Minkan) are going to be humans, so while the streets of Kyoto are typically clean, many micro apartments are a crowded mess.
The Star Army of Yamatai also maintains a large number of micro-apartment complexes, which it uses as barracks for its standing army in places like Fort Minori Reserve Center, where there are at least 25 million apartments. Military micro-apartments are usually more spartan in appearance and often are shared among up to 4 roommates. They also lack kitchens, as the Star Army provides food via dining halls.