Our Kyoto Airbnb

Wednesday, 20 December 2017



Japan is known for their tight living spaces, and hotel rooms are no different. Therefore, after doing my share of research for accommodation in Japan, I realised that we couldn't get any spacious hotel rooms on websites like Booking.com without paying over AUD$300/night. However, as I was willing to fork out a little bit extra—especially for a room where the toilet was in a separate room from the actual bathroom—I turned to Airbnb.

After what happened in Korea, I was a little bit cautious about using Airbnb in Japan because at the time of booking, home rentals were illegal. (★Note: New laws have passed in June 2017 which now make Airbnb rentals legal in Japan.) However, I was willing to take the chance and overlook such concerns due to the number of people using Airbnb in the country (Japan is Airbnb's fastest-growing market in the world) and the fact that I was paying a decent price for the apartment where were staying at. The apartment we eventually decided on was this one.



Arrival

When we arrived at our apartment building, I hadn't realised that our host sent me a message on the Airbnb app/website with a set of new instructions for picking up the keys. Therefore, I quickly messaged him for help. Thankfully, he responded within minutes and we were able to find the keys without too much trouble.

Apartment

The apartment looked exactly like the photos in the listing. In fact, the bathroom/vanity space was slightly wider than what I had expected. The shower was big with great water pressure, everything was clean, and the beds (2 double beds!) were really comfortable. I also loved the fact that there was a little sofa on the side for us to sit on as well (you'd think it's a given, but it's actually not in many apartments/hotel rooms).







Location

Despite Gion (祇園) being one of the city's most popular districts, I figured that it would more convenient to stay near Kyoto Station—which is the main station of Kyoto—for the purposes of moving around to different attractions and then travelling from Kyoto to Osaka. However, we soon realised after the first couple days that Kyoto Station (which is a 5 minute walk from the apartment) is actually not the most appropriate station to get to many of the major tourist sites. In fact, the station we used most was Shichijo Station (七条駅), which was about an 8 minute walk from our apartment. But nonetheless, the apartment was located in a quiet little street off Karasuma Dori (烏丸通) and away from all the traffic noise. Plus, there was a Family Mart right outside!

Communications With Host

Whenever I needed assistance or clarification about something, our host responded quickly. His directions on how to get to the apartment and instructions to operate appliances were clear and very useful.

Wifi

Despite getting a wifi egg in both of our Airbnb apartments, I still wanted to get a SIM card in case we couldn't get any wifi connection for whatever reason. However, the wifi egg that we got in this apartment was not working well at all. It was very unstable (we got the "unstable connection" message VERY often), and when the wifi was working, it was really slow. Therefore, we used the wifi egg interchangeably with our SIM data. To show you how bad the wifi was, we ended up using almost half of our data in Kyoto alone.



Overall, we enjoyed our stay at this Airbnb very much. It was clean, comfortable, safe and it was spacious (I could open up my luggage and still walk around it). If you prefer live in a "quiet area" with smaller crowds, I would recommend this apartment (and the other apartments in the building, in fact). However, if you want to experience a more busier side of town, I'd suggest staying near Gion.

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