My trip to Tokyo last November started out with an enormous amount of stress. I bought the tickets in February so I didn't know then that my flight out of Manila would fall on the day the heads of state from all over the world would arrive at the airport. The day before the flight, I got a call from Japan Airlines telling me that they need to move my departure 12 hours later to 2 AM! That meant I would have to lose one day of my going-around time in Tokyo, plus I had already paid my Airbnb apartment to start the day before. Argh. It was a mess.
Thankfully, I was able to re-negotiate my departure time. Instead of leaving 12 hours AFTER my original departure, I convinced the airline to allow me to leave 12 hours BEFORE. So I got an extra day basically! I still had to fly out at around 2 AM but it was still better than going the next day.
I was so grateful that the hosts of my Airbnb in Ikebukuro, Take & JJ, were so gracious and understanding of my situation. The check-in time was supposed to be 4pm on that day, but they allowed me to check-in at around 9am. Whoo!
Their apartment in Ikebukuro is gorgeous. To start off, the neighborhood it's in is quiet and chic. The location is very good since it's an 8-minute walk (five if you're a fast-walker) to Ikebukuro Station, part of the Yamanote line and connects to pretty much anywhere. There are lots of convenience stores and affordable restaurants nearby, as well as two huge malls - Seibu and Tobu.
It is a studio but it has an ample amount of space for a small kitchen and a bathroom with a tub. It even has a spacious porch that looks out to the direction of Mt Fuji! The bed has a Sealy mattress too. The hosts also provided a WIFI device, a home Internet connection (rare for Airbnbs) and lots of extra towels.
The kitchen has everything I needed for cooking. There were also complimentary drinks like orange juice, Coke, coffee, and tea. The bathroom has toiletries, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, bath salts (!), even a loofah. Honestly, I love everything about the place! All the guests' needs were thoughtfully provided by the host, and most important, they did not disturb my privacy during my stay.
I actually booked a business hotel before booking this since the place I originally wanted on Airbnb was already taken. The business hotel costs about P30,000. It was tiny - and by tiny I mean it barely has enough space for two people to stand at the same time! You know what I mean if you've ever stayed in one. Space in Tokyo is precious so it's normally very expensive to stay in a leisure hotel.
This Airbnb apartment in Ikebukuro was also listed at a little under P30,000, minus P2,500 since I got a discount using a coupon. Smart has a partnership with Airbnb where you can text SMARTAIRBNB to 2855 for free to receive your code. You can just add it on the checkout page—the same page where you submit your payment. The booking must cost at least P8,000 for the coupon to be valid. More details here if you're interested!
It's actually my second time to stay in an Airbnb. My first was in Osaka with my family, and I was also happy with the place and the host. I'm now a huge Airbnb fan! I don't think I'll be staying in a hotel for as long as the company provides this service to travelers and hosts all over the world.
Have you stayed in an Airbnb? How was the experience?