Home base in Tokyo proper
For our first three days in Japan, we planned to stay at an Airbnb in the bustling Shinjuku area. In the end, we only got to stay two nights, thanks to the ever incompetent American Airlines. Still, it was a beautifully designed apartment in an amazing location, so we made the very best of it.
This is my third time using Airbnb — first was in Kraków, Poland, and second in Stockholm, Sweden. I found this particular Shinjuku apartment after a quick search on the site. I always filter by neighborhood, Superhost and “has wifi” and it’s always turned out fabulous results.
Colleen was our host on this occasion, and she absolutely fit the Superhost bill: extremely helpful, quick to respond, kind, enthusiastic and knowledgable about the area. She’d left us a pocket wifi to use around the city (perfect to access Google Maps), cell phone batteries, bikes, and even hand warmers to use in our pockets (Tokyo was gettin’ a little brrrzy).
The apartment itself was located on a quiet street, not far from a main road. We arrived at night, via taxi from Shinjuku station, and it was not hard to find.
A designer’s dream
The apartment itself was incredible — a quirky and modern mix of wood and concrete. It was a very skinny structure, with four floors! The first floor had a small office, the bed, and a pretty epic record player. It also had heated floors, which were a godsend for these two California wimps. The temps dipped into the high 40s/low 50s F at night, and we were definitely cranking the heat.
The second floor housed the bathroom, complete with shower, tub (imported from Europe for “long legs”) and one of those legendary Japanese toilets. It was a little intimidating to use at first, but by the end of our time in Tokyo I was majorly loving the heated seats. Why can’t we have these in the States!?
The third floor had the adorable little kitchen and living room area. Colleen left us a bottle of Sake to share (which we learned is an…acquired taste) plus a fully stocked fridge for breakfast. She also had an Apple TV, bookcase full of shareable reads, and a helpful binder filled with all of her local restaurant and sightseeing recommendations. There was even a washer/dryer in one of the closets for us to use.
There was this interesting control panel next to the stove. Turns out you can start the tub in the bathroom from up in the kitchen, and it’ll automatically fill to the right level & the right temperature. It even sings you a little song when it’s done. How cool is that!?
We enjoyed Asian pears, yogurt, and super orange eggs for our first morning in Tokyo. It was lovely.
Even more lovely? The fact that our Airbnb had a rooftop garden! It was too chilly for us to eat out here, but we imagine it’s wonderful in the summertime. Space is a huge premium in Tokyo, so this kind of thing is a luxury and we were sure to take advantage of the views.
If you ever find yourself in the Tokyo area & in need of a place to stay, I’d highly recommend this Airbnb!