I’ve written before about the difficulties of finding fully furnished accommodations in Japan. But that was over five years ago and things ave been improving for the better; particularly with the introduction of Airbnb Japan.
What is Airbnb?
Airbnb probably doesn’t need explaining to most of you. At its core, Airbnb allows people to offer their homes, apartments or even rooms for rent to travellers. The Airbnb website describes it this way:
Airbnb is a community marketplace where guests can book spaces from hosts, connecting people who have space to spare with those who are looking for a place to stay. Through their experiences on Airbnb, guests and hosts build real connections with real people from all over the globe.
While there have been concerns over whether residential owners can be running a commercial service like renting out their places like a hotel (similar to the problems Uber drivers are currently facing), the service really opens up the opportunities to travellers looking for a place to crash.
Airbnb and Japan
While preparing for our upcoming trip I decided to check out what Airbnb Japan had to offer for accommodations. I only recently started using the site for a trip to Eastern Europe that we’ve been planning and I was impressed with what was available and the price of renting a private apartment. While the prices are definitely higher for renting in Japan, you can still find something more affordable that a typical hotel stay. And some of the bonus amenities like free portable wifi and even offers of a personal guide can’t be beat.
When looking for a place be sure to specify if you want the entire place to yourself or if you’re OK with sharing a place. Some offerings are only for a room within a house, so you’ll be staying with the family or the owners of that house at the same time. For some people staying with a local will be a part of the charm, for others it could be a bit more awkward when the owner of the house sits down to watch TV with you :D
Overall I’m very impressed with what Airbnb has done for the travel industry. The selection for longer term stays in a fully furnished place is so much better now. We’re looking forward to how our experience is the first time we use the service in July, but for now I’m hooked!
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