My Japanese Apartment TourHey everyone!
If you guys haven't seen yet, I uploaded my Japanese Apartment Tour on my Youtube a few weeks ago. When I went to Japan, I rented out an apartment since it would work out cheaper than a hotel. In this blog post I'm going to show you my apartment and how I booked it.
My boyfriend and I were going to Japan for a month, and it would mean crazy hotel prices if we were to stay in hotels everyday. Also, the very first time we went to Japan, we lugged our luggage around everywhere with us, it was super painful. What I really wanted was a place where I can leave our luggage and then travel around, because we were going to Osaka and Hokkaido as well.
Luckily if you are going to Japan for a month, you will have companies that are willing to rent you out an apartment for a month. I looked around everywhere and made a spreadsheet of apartments that we could rent out. I mostly looked at Sakura House and Oak House as they are more for foreigners. These people can speak English as well so that would be easiest if you can't speak any Japanese.
Now the booking is a bit complicated. Depends on the company, but Sakura House wouldn't let me book if the apartment was going to be vacant for 2 weeks. Understandable, but I really wanted to book an apartment beforehand because I prefer to have things booked well in advanced. However if you want an apartment, you will have to wait until someone decides to leave within 2 weeks before your arrival date. Oak House had a 3 week vacancy rule so I stalked the apartments for a while, and in the end found one that was vacant within 3 weeks.
The apartment my boyfriend and I ended up choosing is the Oak House Omori Apartment. It was located in Omorimachi which is kind of close to Shinagawa. I chose this one because Shinagawa is a major train station in Tokyo and it had a shinkansen stop as well. Also having the Yamanote Line was also really useful. Also the apartment was only 4 minutes away from the train station which is awesome. I hate after a long day to walk more than 10 minutes to get back to my place especially if I have a lot of shopping with me lol.
The booking process was easy with Oak House. You have to answer a few questions, fill in a form and pay a deposit which was 30,000yen (around $330). That deposit goes towards your apartment fee so it's just to secure your booking. Overall for the apartment, it was 90,000yen rent for 1 month and you also had to pay the utilities fee (electric, gas, water) which is an extra 30,000 for the month. Also because there were going to be 2 people staying in the apartment it was an extra 10,000yen for the second person. Overall it was around 130,000yen for the month (approx $1500) for 2 people. Not bad, it would only cost $750 for 1 month for each person which is much cheaper than a hotel. Also at least we have the place for the whole month so we can leave our luggage there when we travel.
Now you might think $1500 is expensive for a month for an apartment but think about it. Living in Tokyo is REALLY expensive, and paying $1500 for living in the middle of Tokyo is quite cheap. But you also have to remember, space is very limited in Japan so you have to expect your room to be a lot smaller than what you're usually used to.
Anyway, fast forward to Japan. I met my landlord at the Omorimachi train station and he took me to my place. I was quite late, had unexpected delays at the airport and the Keikyuu line is quite confusing if you've never used it before. We signed a contract and he came back the next day to collect our payment. We paid the full 100,000yen in cash (because I already paid the 30,000 yen deposit) and we were set to go for the month. Here are some photos of what our apartment looked like
Washing Machine & kitchen. You have an electric stove too but we never used it
Ignore me, I was doing my makeup
It was a really small place and to be honest, it was really painful staying there. It would've been ok for 1 person, but for 2 people it's such a tight space. I paid extra to get a futon for Eric but the futon was just.. really bad lol. It would just feel like you are lying on the ground so we ended up putting everything on the bed and sharing that. It was really painful still because it was a single bed we were sharing. I wished that the beds had better mattresses and that the futon was actually comfortable to sleep on. But oh well, you can't really expect much because we did get the apartment for cheap. Anyway, I really just wanted an apartment as a space to leave our stuff, and half the time we weren't even staying in the apartment so that was fine. Oh, and I loved that we had a washing machine in our room, that was really awesome and saved us heaps of time.
Overall, I don't know if I will stay at this apartment again. I liked how it was only 4 minutes away from the train station, but I didn't like the fact that you had to take a local train that took 20 minutes to get from Omorimachi to Shinagawa station. I did like the service that Oakhouse gave me so in the future if I am staying in Japan for a month or more, I probably would go back to Oak house and try one of their other apartments.
Here is the video version of the room tour to give you a better idea of what it looked like: