We decided to visit Japan during the Sakura season, but due to our work schedule, we did not manage to start making plans until late November. Since the Sakura season is a super peak season for both tourists and locals, we were panicking to find accommodation in a good location. So we decided to take a look at Airbnb to see if we can find any good deals for this trip to Japan. (´• ω •`)

Essential Stops Before Takeoff

Don’t miss these must-read posts before you go!

Why You Should Use the Japan Airport Limousine Bus
Travel Made Easy with Luggage Storage and Yamoto Transport

Why Airbnb in Japan?

On our last trip to Japan, we were staying at Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku. The hotel room was actually quite small, and it cost quite a bit as well. With the rise in popularity of Airbnb, we decided to try looking for our Japan accommodations on this platform. But since it is the peak season that we were looking at, finding accommodations on Airbnb, especially for Kyoto, also proves to be just as tough. (´-ω-`)

Our Airbnb in Tokyo, Japan

Do you know how the specific location of the space you are getting on Airbnb is only known after you confirm the booking? Well, the location of our Airbnb in Tokyo looked to be near the Tokyo station. But in actual fact, it was quite a distance away. Luckily, the pavements in Japan are nice and wide to walk on, so we could drag our luggage with ease along the way to the apartment.

Once we reached the apartment building, I was mesmerised by the rows of Sakura trees just outside our building! This was so unexpected, and it was beautiful. I did not expect to see Sakura so early in our trip. (*♡∀♡) Anyway, I was so happy that our apartment was so much bigger than the hotel room that we had at Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku.

A Quick Look at Our Apartment

The entrance area looked to be a bit small, but overall, the apartment is still much bigger than the room that we had at Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku. (´・ᴗ・ ` ) We realised that all the bathrooms in Japan always come with a bathtub. I always wonder why, especially when the bathrooms are already so small. I thought a shower area would work better in a small space. Well, at least that is how it works in Singapore. (´• ω •`)

The Minpaku Law that Ruins It All

We eventually managed to book an apartment in Kyoto. Everything looks great and it was located near the Kyoto station. However, in January, we received bad news from the owner of the apartment. He told us that he would have to cancel our Airbnb booking as there is a new law in Japan that forbids short stays in a local’s personal residence. This new law is called the Minpaku Law, and it goes into effect in Japan in April 2016.

Honestly, we were pretty upset as it was less than three months to our trip. Not forgetting, it was the peak season that we were going to Kyoto, and most accommodations would have been booked! We went into another round of checking availabilities on Airbnb. As expected, all the apartments near Kyoto station are either too expensive or no longer available. Feng and I even argued a bit over where we should stay. I was honestly really stressed during this time as I worried that we could not find good accommodation.

Eventually, we settled on looking around the Gion area and found one that was near an exit of Gion station. We confirmed our booking on Airbnb and double-checked with the owner that the apartment was not affected by the new law. It was a crazy mad rush to make this last-minute booking, but at least we did it. ٩(× ×)۶

Our Airbnb in Kyoto, Japan

A Building With No Lifts is a KILLER

Our apartment building is located just beside an exit from Gion station. Besides the transport convenience, there were also grocery and convenience stores below our building, convenient for us to grab any last-minute meals or items easily. The only big minus point of this apartment is that it is located in a building with NO LIFT. And our apartment is located on the 6th floor. During then, we did not think that having no lift would be a problem, but IT WAS A PROBLEM. (ノД`)

Carrying our luggage up to the 6th floor was tough, but it was made tougher by the steep angle of the stairs. It was honestly a workout for us on our first and last day in Kyoto. (x_x) We were lucky that there wasn’t much traffic on the stairways ‘cos I cannot imagine blocking a whole group of locals during our journey up and down the stairs. (*/ω\)

A Quick Look at Our Apartment

This apartment in Kyoto was very much bigger than the one we had in Tokyo. It seems like most apartments/hotel rooms in Tokyo are quite small. I would have to guess that is due to the high cost of land in Tokyo, the capital of Japan.

But interestingly, our apartment here in Kyoto does not come with a TV. Luckily, we had our laptop with us so we could stream our own shows for some late-night entertainment. Though we hardly need to use the laptop as our daily walk around Kyoto has drained us of our energy to do anything more at night. Haha! (x . x) ~~zzZ

Overall Experience

I’m not sure how much the Minpaku Law is affecting Airbnb in Japan. But I must say Airbnb has given tourists another option to look for accommodation, especially during peak seasons.

I have read articles about residents complaining about apartments that are rented out to tourists due to the noise they make and also not obeying their rubbish disposal rules. I would say when in Japan, do what the locals do, especially if you are staying in the same building as them. Space in Japan is generally quite tight, and the soundproofing is also quite bad. So tourists should try to keep their noise level down as much as possible. Not forgetting sorting out the rubbish is a culture in Japan, and the rubbish bags should always be disposed of in the right places.

I personally think that for tourists to stay in a local residential area, they should definitely obey any rules set out by the owner. If not, this is going to affect how receptive the residents are to tourists staying in the same building as them. The more they complain, the higher the chances of Airbnb not happening in Japan anymore. So let’s all be good! (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ

Spread the Love!

Loved what you just read? Think your friends or family would enjoy it too? Hit your favourite share button below, and let’s make good vibes travel! Your support is greatly appreciated. Thanks a bunch for being awesome! (´• ω •`) ♡

Useful Travel Resources

Ready to explore? ️I’ve created a collection of travel resources designed to fuel your wanderlust and make trip planning a breeze! This list is constantly growing, so feel free to share any suggestions you might have! ⸜( *ˊᵕˋ* )⸝

BEST Cards to Use for Your Overseas Spending

Want to enjoy seamless spending overseas without the pesky fees? Check out my post on the best cards to bring overseas—the Trust Bank and YouTrip cards!

A Guide to Using Your Multicurrency Cards for Overseas Cash Withdrawal

Feeling stressed about using foreign ATMs? Let me help you navigate overseas ATMs with ease as I share my experience using my Trust Bank and YouTrip cards for overseas cash withdrawals—examples included!

Transform Your Travel with Lounge Access + Cards I Use to Get Free Visits!

Ready to ditch airport stress? Visit my post to discover the magic of lounge access and my go-to credit cards for complimentary lounge visits!

Tips on Packing for 10 – 20 Degrees Celsius Weather

Winter packing woes got you stressed? My guide will turn your “Gaaaah!” into a smooth vacay in 10 to 20 degrees Celsius weather!

Photo Gallery

Want to travel light without the luggage hassle? Well, I’ve got a handy tip for you: luggage storage and Yamato Transport’s reliable luggage delivery service! If you’re flying into Narita or Haneda Airport, the Japan Airport Limousine Bus is a fantastic option for getting to your accommodation. Plus, check out our other Tokyo-related posts – there’s a lot more to explore! ⸜( ´ ꒳ ` )⸝

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