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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tokyo 2014 | Our Tokyo Airbnb Apartment

One of the best decisions that we made for our Tokyo 2014 trip was to stay at an Airbnb apartment. Everything from the enquiry to liasing with our Airbnb host, til the end of our stay was nothing short of pleasant.

And one of the things that we made sure we did was to stay as nearby Shibuya as possible, because we knew that we would be spending a lot of our time there. Initially, we tried looking for apartments and even hotels in Shibuya itself, but because our trip was at the end of the year which was a pretty peak season, most of the ones we eyed on were either fully sold out, or available for only a few days in between our trip. Plus, what made it more difficult was that our trip was 9 days, so to book an available stretch of 9 days straight was quite tough. We did consider staying say, 4 days in one place and 5 days in another, but when we found this particular Airbnb apartment by our host, Nao, we gladly stayed put at her place throughout all 9 days.

Let me bring your through a thorough look of our Airbnb stay :)

A small passage to enter into the apartment lift. Throughout our 9 days staying there, we overshot and missed the small entrance into our apartment a couple of times. But it's no biggie!

This was the name of the apartment, located just 1-min walk away from Ikejiri-Ohashi train station, which was only one station away from Shibuya station. 

During our Osaka trip in 2013, we stayed at a hotel just above a subway, and this time, a train station right outside our place, and I cannot emphasize enough just how convenient that is! It made travelling about so much easier! Throughout our trip I kept telling Boon, "OMG thank God we have a train station just right outside", especially after a full day of walking nonstop, or during rainy days. Don't have to worry about walking in the rain or taking a cab (which is crazy expensive) just to go to a train station.

Before our trip, we had already been in contact with our host, Nao on where and what time to meet so that she could pass us the keys to her house. We arrived the night before at 10.30pm local time, put a night at a Manga Cafe, went for sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market in the wee hours of the morning, and after that we just strolled around Ginza which was pretty close by the fish market, all the way until it was time to meet Nao at 11.30am at Ikejiri-Ohashi train station. 

Nao took her lunch time at work off just to meet us, walked us to the apartment and showed us around. It was not difficult to spot her at all cos she looks just like her Airbnb profile photo, if not prettier! She spoke very decent English which was definitely a plus point! It was also Nao who recommended us to spend Halloween night at Shibuya, or else we would have gone to Harajuku cos we thought, you know, it's Harajuku!

Us and our host, Nao!

Alright, on to the photos of the apartment!

This was our apartment door!

There were also umbrellas on standby at the corridor. 

The first look of our apartment upon entry.

I remember telling Boon before we arrived, that if the apartment turned out to be exactly like the photos on Nao's Airbnb listing, I'll be super happy! Turns out, it truly looked exactly the same. Fully equipped with everything you can think of.

The bed was only slightly larger than a single bed, but it was just nice for Boon and I, especially for the winter weather. A little snuggle wouldn't hurt ;) Loved the ample sunlight that comes into the room and the full length mirror! Makes getting ready everyday a bliss.

Heater behind our bed! It came in handy on super chilly nights.

Fully functional TV with all Japanese channels haha. Did not understand a thing but it was just nice to have the TV turned on. After all, we're in Japan! It's nice to just be soaked in all things Japanese!

Nao also left her iPad and Apple TV in her apartment! Talk about real trust!

As stated on her Airbnb listing, a complimentary pocket wifi device would be provided. We already brought ours from over, so the one Nao provided became Boon's. We both had a pocket wifi each! Which made things easier cos we could be apart and still contact each other!

A mini kitchen/pantry area fully equipped with everything to cook up a meal.

Nao left some welcome drinks and snacks in the fridge just for us. She worked with a Sake company, so that explains the drink ;) The snack was some pineapple tart thingy that Boon and I fought over to finish lol.

Laundry area. Ahhhh can't thank God enough that Nao has a washing machine in her apartment that we could use.

Knowing that she had one and also provided towels, we travelled lighter and brought lesser garments cos we knew we could wash them. Best thing ever! The thing that we washed the most? Our socks :')

Opposite the washing machine was a quaint little sink space where I spent lots of time at lol. I placed all my toiletries and makeup products at the built-in cabinet by the sink, blew dry my hair here and curled my hair outside at the full length mirror. I became so at home that when I went back to Malaysia, I missed this space T-T

The bathroom has a bath tub that me and Boon used to soak our tired and sore feet almost every night, and a shower hose. Small space inside but you know what made this shower space so special?

The bathroom heater system!!!
OMG best thing ever on winter days!! It had several functions like releasing hot air, cold air, and dry mode to dry our clothes and towels. So basically this bathroom acted also as a dryer in a way. So freakin cool.

The toilet was opposite the bath area, and was clean, nicely scented, and toilet seats are WARMED. Best thing ever when we return from the cold outside, and especially when we just woke up in the morning!! T-T

The apartment has so much sunlight that made it perfect to take selfies too. Hahaha not part of the apartment feature but you know, just sharing.

We stayed on the 8th floor.

Now, let me take your downstairs!

They have a special indoor garage that stores all of its tenants' bicycles and motorcycles. And you know what, it's super clean in there!!!

More organised than my house woiiiii!!

Then there's this door that leads to the back alley.

That leads to this small lane and all the cute little shops! And of course, the highlight is that it has a 7Eleven outlet!!

Super convenient! Almost every morning we came down to tapao breakfast (usually onigiri and milk tea) before we started our day! Plus plus plus point having a 7Eleven just downstairs!

Okay, end of apartment tour. We ended our trip by enjoying the complimentary sake that Nao gave us on our last night in Tokyo.

SO GOOD. No points for guessing who had most of it, heh.

If you're planning on travelling to Tokyo soon and considering an Airbnb, I would highly recommend doing so for a variety of reasons. One of them would be definitely getting to experience the local life, and live like the locals do, where the locals do. You travel experience will be enriched compared to staying as a guest in a hotel.

If you're interested to check out Nao's apartment, below are the details!

The rates fluctuate for different times and seasons, so do check out the listing for the latest rate. And don't forget to drop the owners a message to ask questions! From our experience they're usually pretty friendly and nice :)

That's all from me for now.
Til' the next post!

PS: This is not a sponsored/paid post by Airbnb. Just sharing from my personal experience.

love, Careen.
This post is filed under: Travel, Tokyo.

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