This was our first time staying in an Airbnb apartment ever! Hubby was initially quite wary, as he has read some not-so-good and scary Airbnb reports previously. However, we were having a really hard time finding affordable and conveniently-located hotel stays in Tokyo for 3 persons, so eventually, we decided to look for an entire apartment to rent… We figured that Japan should be quite safe 😛
After browsing many apartments, we finally found one with 2 real rooms located near Shinagawa Station with availability that suited our travel plans. Many apartments that said ‘sleep 3’ actually meant that someone had to sleep on sofa bed, or in the living-room that could be converted to sleeping quarters by shifting the furniture, or having 3 people to share a bedroom.
We paid for the apartment in full, and received a full pictorial guide on walking from the station exit to the apartment. But we had an issue trying to find the correct station exit, because there were SO many and Shinagawa Station is huge, meaning that it might be quite difficult to walk to the correct exit once you are out of the station 😛 The good news is that there are plenty of travellors who get out of wrong exits all the time, so there are staff located at little offices to help us 😀
Once we managed to find the correct exit, it was a breeze getting to the apartment. It was actually located in an alley with a few izakayas! However, as we were out most of the time, we did not have a chance to try them out. The bathroom, toilet, kitchenette and living area were on the ground floor, and the 2 bedrooms were on the second floor.
Here are our thoughts after a 4-night stay:
- The good:
- Location was good as it was very near JR Shinagawa Station, making it easy for us to catch our early JR train to Kawaguchiko and Kyoto. It was more costly if we had to take the subway, but we managed to make do, as some of the more popular places had JR stations as well.
- The bathroom and toilet were separated, which was definitely much more efficient, otherwise it would have taken very long for 3 people to get ready to go out.
- The kitchenette was useful for making drinks. In fact, there were plenty of tea leaves, toilet amenities, some possibly left by previous tenants 😛
- The washer-cum-dryer ensured that we had plenty of clean clothes… And detergent was provided 🙂
- The pocket-wifi was godsend! It helped us get our way around with unlimited data connection to the Internet!
- The not-so-good:
- The stairs leading to the bedrooms were quite steep, so it was quite difficult to get up and down at times.
- The heater/air-conditioning unit on the 2nd floor was in the inner room, so we had to keep the sliding door between the 2 rooms open… Poor Ms V had to endure our snoring, made even louder by our blocked noses, haha!
At the end of the stay, we threw in the used towels into the washing machine to wash, as per requested per the owner. I also cleaned up the place because there was really a lot of hair all over (thankfully, the owner had plenty of those magic clean wipes), and also folded all the futon and blankets and placed them back where we found them originally. Well, I guessed you don’t really have to do it, but it’s really not so nice since we were staying at someone’s apartment after all.