Friday, October 31, 2014

My 400 Peso Room Experience in Japan

It was our first time to try Airbnb even though we were hesitant to try it at first because we're (sometimes) paranoid travelers. Well, you can't blame us because crimes, modus operandi and other unpleasant news are all over the internet, radio, TV, and newspaper. Also, we grew up not trusting strangers at all times so choosing Airbnb is quite a bold move for me and my boyfriend when we visited Japan (Osaka and Kyoto). 

What is Airbnb?
Airbnb is a trusted community for people to list (rent their place) and book unique accommodations around the world. I like the way they describe their service and it stated in their website: "Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 190 countries. And with world-class customer service and a growing community of users, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions"


Osaka Room: Value for Money, Convenience, and Unforgettable Experience
 
The room (or rather bed space) we rented was our cheapest accommodation ever! The total per day is only Php 833 (inclusive of Airbnb service fee already) then we even shared the cost so I only paid Php 416.50 per day!!! Imagine below 500 pesos for accommodation in Japan? What a deal right? :) 

The room is small and not fancy or cozy but it sure is functional and is located in a convenient location.

Here are the top 3 reasons why we've decided to book the room:
3. Japan is a pretty safe country so we decided to try Airbnb here. Also it's a first world country so I have high confidence in security compared to other countries (e.g. Third world).
2. Subway is just 5 minutes away from the apartment. The nearest station is in Matsuyamachi Station (Exit #4) and the Namba Station is just 15-20 minutes walking distance. Family Mart is just 10 seconds away from the apartment building and there's a 24 hour supermarket near the area.

And the number one reason...
1. Daily cost is very cheap therefore we have more money to spend on food, clothes, gifts, and adventure!!! Price is not per person like most hostels or guesthouses so if you're 2 to 3 person in Ryo's room (name of our landlord) then price will range between 416 to 280 pesos! That's like 1 or 2 movie tickets in Makati, a beer in a bar, or just a meal in a restaurant. 

NOTE: Will share my Japan expenses in detail soon!

How to book the room via Airbnb? Visit their website. Sign Up. Then search for the accommodation that you like to book. You need to pay online via credit card or Paypal. Should you have any other question regarding the room, location, or any other concerns, you may message the host or landlord prior to booking. I suggest you book those with good reviews and hosts with high response rate because these are important indicators of a reliable host. In our case, I was very happy that Ryo was very responsive even prior to booking his place.

If you want to book Ryo's place, click this link to view his offering.   

How to get there?
Ride the subway and alight at Matsuyamachi Station (Exit #4). Turn left and you'll see this motorcycle parking lot on both sides.
Go straight about 4 blocks (although I'm not so sure how many! forgot to count sorry haha)
You know you're in the right place if you see the white building with a lot of bikes outside its door (left building).
To further check, the building is across I Cube building and it is a corner lot.
Here's the entrance signage written in Japanese.
The Family Mart is just one street away from the building. You need to turn left and then right from the intersection across I Cube Building.
This is Ryo's humble abode. Very small but decent place to sleep in. It may remind you of your college dormitory. 

I slept on the top level of the bunk bed and my boyfriend slept on the bottom bed. Ryo on the other hand slept beside his book shelf. In my opinion, 2 guests are enough to stay in the room (total of 3 including the landlord of course!) but I think Ryo is accepting up to 3 guests and I think the 3rd guest will have to sleep on the floor beside the bathroom haha but it will be super "sikip" so good luck with that! :D
Here's the sink/kitchen area. He does have a portable stove but it will be a hassle to take it out all the time.
You may use the microwave for packed foods from the convenient store and cool your drinks inside the refrigerator.
The highlight for me would be the bathroom. It's the tiniest and most basic bathroom I've ever seen! It's as big as a portable bathroom or in the Philippines we call it "Portalet" with a deep bathtub haha. The bathroom is so small you can actually do everything while sitting on the toilet because everything is just an arm away. I did get a small bruise because I kept on bumping my knees. But that's what you get when you pay so cheap. Overall, I had an unforgettable Airbnb experience in a good way. But tiny bathrooms are very common in Japan because when I used the restaurant's toilet, it's also very small.
Oh! you can also borrow Ryo's pocket wifi which comes handy if ever you get lost or if you can't resist posting your travel photos in Instagram or Facebook! :) I think you can ask your host directly if they can lend you wifi :)
I recommend you to try booking a shared room Airbnb if:
1. You don't care at all about the hotel/hostel like ambiance or the thought of sharing a room with a complete stranger.
2. You stay out of the hotel/hostel most of the time (in our case we stay there only to sleep between 12pm to 6pm).
3. You don't have very important valuables in your luggage.
4. You don't mind small space of the bed, room, and bathroom.
5. You just want a new friend. :)
Photobucket

20 comments:

  1. nice info, i just wanna tell you that i'm doing blog walking, keep posting guys,,,and please visit my site too at http://goo.gl/mKk0is

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  2. Thanks for this post! I've been eyeing Airbnb for a while now, but I never had the courage to actually try it, especially since I heard about the news where two Western female tourist got raped by the owner/host. But now that I've read your post, I might actually go ahead and book there! Maybe in Singapore first, just to be sure. Hahaha. Staying in hotels is eating my wallet out, so this will be a good change. :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ella! thank you for reading my blog :) yes, at first we were also hesitant to try Airbnb because of that specific news...but I think it's an isolated case and I also believe as guests, we need to be cautious and responsible for all of our actions and going home intoxicated is a no no... (well, according to the news, intoxicated "daw" with alcohol yung girls when they went home..yikes!). Anyway, my personal tip for Airbnb first timers...
      1. Singapore is a good start haha because strict yung country mismo therefore you feel secured and protected :) We first tried a room sharing/ backpacker style accommodation (not Airbnb) in Singapore too for the same reason :)
      2. Travel with someone...preferably with a guy
      3. Read the host's reviews and credentials before you book
      4. You may start contacting your host via Viber, messenger, etc.. beforehand, send messages, and don't hesitate to ask questions para you can somewhat "sense" what type of person your host will be :)

      Anyway, good luck and hope you will have a fantastic experience in your first Airbnb booking!!

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    2. Thank for your advice! I'll be sure to remember them! :)

      I'm a little curious though.. When you found this room while searching Airbnb, did you already know that the host will be staying with you? Or did you only find out after contacting the host himself? I'm new to the app so while browsing around, I didn't find any listings stating that the host will stay with me. :)

      My initial impression of Airbnb is that I will always have the whole room with bathroom (in some cases, the whole house or apartment) all to myself. Hahaha. :))

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    3. Hi Ella, sorry for the late reply! haha anyway... when we found the room in Airbnb it says in the description "shared room" therefore we are already expecting that the host will be with us inside the room as well but we clarified it further via email/Wechat since some rooms naman they will categorize it as "shared" pero it means the entire appartment for example with 3 rooms will be shared to all other guests so ala "hostel/guesthouse" yung ginagawa ng iba. You should message your host in advance and ask questions prior to booking especially if you're not really comfortable sharing the room with him/her. I suggest you ask din his/her schedule para alam niyo if what time siya umaalis ng house to plan your time to get up because you also need to be "sensitive" to his/her daily activities haha. Ganyan kasi tayong mga Pinoy :D

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  3. hello po!

    unavailable na po ung link for this accomodation :(

    -Junn

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  4. additional question po :)

    pano po kayo pumunta dun sa accomodation nyo from Kansai Airport?? sinundo po ba kau ng host?

    Thank you po ulit :)
    -Junn

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    Replies
    1. Hi Junn, we went there via MRT and met up in one place :)

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  5. Hi Tin! I just wanted to ask if you included this airbnb booking dun sa daily schedule that you had to submit sa japan embassy for your visa application? Kasi diba you have to mention yung list ng accommodation mo sa japan during your trip?

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    Replies
    1. Hi miguel, yes I wrote in my application form the address of my airbnb host! :)

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  6. Good question. I have the same in mind.
    Hmm.. Oo nga when you applied for visa, how did accommodation reflect in your itinerary?
    Do they require proof of payment?

    In my case, i plan to stay in Japan for 10 days. For first three days i will stay at a friend's apartment. I dont wanna declare her as my sponsor kasi she will just let me stay at her place for free while im on travel and i dont wanna bother her with the requirements if in case i would declare her as sponsor for this instance only. (Although, i will be paying all other costs during my travel).

    For next 3 days, i will go to Kyoto and have to make reservation since i don't know anyone from there. For the remaining 3 days, i will go to tokyo and stay at a friend's apartment for free again. Now, i wonder how can i present my "accommodation" part in my itinerary without making it complicated for my friends while having a guarantee that my visa will get approved.. Any thoughts? :-) thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Hi, yes I did wrote my airbnb details (address, contact person, tel#, and proof of reservation/payment).

      You may treat your friend's details like your "airbnb host" so you may give his/her details...but minus the proof of payment because free naman siya :) ok lang yun.

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  7. Hi tin! been reading about your Japan experiences! :) thanks for all the tips! my husband and I are going there this October :)

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. ano po ba dapat mauna? avail air ticket and tour package or apply for visa? kasi di ba kapag hinihingian ng requirements for visa itinerary is required?thanks.

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  10. Hi Tin, we are also going the airbnb route. Regarding the visa application, did you need a letter from the airbnb host?

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  11. Hi,

    Do you still have your itinerary? Can I have a copy? Thanks.

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  12. Hi Tin! I know this is an old post, but I'm in need of advice regarding our AirBnB booking. We will be staying in an AirBnB in the middle of Kyoto (4days) and Tokyo (3days) come May and we have booked both for our trip. We snatched up the deals as we saw affordable rooms were going out fast for our trip dates. I'm curious if you declared the AirBnB accomodation in your application form. If so, did you put the names of your hosts in the blank asking for names of places where you will be staying or did you just put AirBnB or put in their listing apartment name? Haha I'm sorry I have a mild OCD and really want to get this right the first time. Hopefully you have time to answer my question. Would really appreciate it.

    Thanks!

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