Legal Apartment Rental in Japan - STAYJAPANDecember 14, 2016
In case you dont know, Japanese government has tightened up the rules regarding the apartment rental rules and law thanks to its strict control of, everything. I am sure if you've traveled overseas or to Japan, you've at least tried renting apartment and traveling to Japan was cheaper for large group than before thanks to its service. However, this leads to a lot of problems, including hotel and ryokan in Japan raised their voice against this new service
Government find ways to legalize this new business to make everyone happy, and in the end ONLY regulated apartment that has legal paper and license that you should stay at. Other than that, that means you're staying at illegal place and if there's something occurs to you during your stay, it's not under Japanese Government jurisdiction. For more informations regarding this new law, you can read THIS article or google about it
But how to know if your apartment rental is LEGAL or not because basically, there are thousands of apartments in Japan? The easiest way is to book your apartment at website that only offers legal apartment
One of the websites that can cater up to your request (in fact by far, the only one I know of) is StayJapan
It is a new startup business focusing on rental apartment service all over Japan. Interesting note, it doesn't only cover big cities such as Tokyo or Osaka but also rural villages so you can have real experience connecting with japanese people. When staying at the village, you can have fun activities included such as farming, fishing, and so on with the host, and it's more like a homestay instead of just apartment rental! Worry not as at rural area, the host will be more than happy to pick you up from the nearest station XD Like its motto, "more than just a stay", the service is really more than just a stay because it offers various activities!
This time I didnt stay at rural area but I'd love to try it in the future !
The team contacted me a few days before I am leaving to Japan and asked me to stay at their place in December but I rejected because I dont want to go into winter trouble this year unless it's Christmas lol And besides, I am returning to Jakarta end of November, so I dont want to stay in Jakarta for just a week and pack back to Japan T___T So many jobs to do as well in Indonesia, cant always play there *sobs*
So I haggled whether I can just come during my free time in Japan in November. After tough days of adjusting my schedule here and there, I packed my luggage and jumped into the train
I was staying at this place for 2 days, very short, but I just needed to check how it was. The place that I booked was located at Oimachi Station, a few stations from Shinagawa Station and it's pretty close to Haneda airport. In fact, a lot of apartments at Stayjapan is close to Haneda so if you're traveling through Haneda, it's pretty convenient
The apartment is 1 room for single traveler, and doesn't have separate kitchen. So everything is at one room except separate bathroom and toilet. The security system of the apartment is so good and I needed 5 mins in front of the apartment to unlock the code wtf lol I am not used to that high tech apartment
Before checked in to the apartment, the host was so attentive and I had to fill some papers including sending them my passport for all the legal matters. It's a lot of work to do perhaps compared to normal rental apartment service BUT this is just the legal way to rent your apartment
Small but efficient Kitchen to cook late night food or breakfast! The thing I love about staying at apartment is I can buy fresh groceries at nearest supermarket and cook it by myself as if I am a normal citizen there lol
And hello clean bathroom and toilets! If you think ALL apartments in Tokyo are clean because basically the city is clean as well, you're wrong
I have stayed at one apartment in Ikebukuro before through other service and don't let me start. The bathroom was far from pleasant and I couldn't even do my business in the toilet because it smells so bad T___T
I had to hold it and walked to the nearest mall to find toilet. Having clean toilet is a blessing that you should never take for granted lol And I can rest assured by using StayJapan because I know they've their certain standard for their apartments (since they observe and approve only good and legal places)
The toilet also comes with heated seat and their high technology bidet. Also there's washing + drying machine to be used. The bath is kinda small but it's normal size in Japan
After checking out from Oimachi apartment, I went to Shinagawa Station to get a ride on Shinkansen for Osaka. My next stop was to explore Kansai area!
The place that I stayed at was a new apartment located nearby Namba - Dotonbori area. There are 2 train stations nearby which are Namba and Nippombashi. I love Dotonbori no matter how many times I visit it. For me it's like Osaka's Shibuya haha
The place is so convenient and the price is unreasonably cheap. It's around 5000 yen per night for up to 5 guests!!! WHAT! O.O
The apartment itself is very large compared to Tokyo (because Tokyo is so expensive anyway). It has separate toilet and bathroom, plus a powder area. And it also has entrance before connected to kitchen and dining room (above picture). The dining table is very stylish as it looks like dining bar instead and if I am living alone in Japan permanently, this kind of space is more than enough!
Behind me, you can see another slide door that leads to bedroom
This is the sleek and clean kitchen that I often spent my time at. Nearby the apartment, there were 2 convenience stores and I bought some supplies such as eggs and instant ramen in case I was hungry at night XD The apartment itself is very good for family with young kids because they have utensils for toodles and also games such as lego to entertain your child.
Left picture is the powder room! Look at that convenient child stair so your little kid can brush their teeth conveniently! Washing machine is also located at this area. When you open another door inside the area, it's a bathroom that's big compared to the one I had in Tokyo. They have baby shampoos and soaps provided which is rare to find, and also baby chair so washing your kid can be an easier task. Minus point to say is the host seems to forget providing adult shampoo and soaps. You can of course use the baby shampoo, but for me with this damaged hair, I need my daily dose of adult shampoo (ex : Shiseido Tsubaki lol). So I purchased additional shampoo and conditioner at Lawson nearby
This is the bedroom which is pretty big! They have humidifier as well and welcome notes + guidelines book are provided on top of the table. I love how attentive this host can be because when I first came to Japan, I was blown away by all the kanjis of how to turn on the remote control or how to activate the heater T____T There's not even ON / OFF sign, it's all in kanji lol
The bed is sooooo cozy and soft, and it's pretty big, Queen Size bed! There are even 6 bouncy pillows available and I love drowning myself in the pillows because I can hug it like hugging "guling". I dont know why other countries dont have guling, it's the best thing at night!
For larger groups, you can pull out the sofa and make it into sofa bed (and take some of the pillows from the bed) and surprise, in the apartment there's a small walk in closet lol (right picture)
I store my luggage there and it's really really saving my life because I dont have to see the messy luggage area when I came back home. Also no more jumping in between luggage to go into my bed (if you've been to Japan, you know how narrow the free space is)
Inside the walk-in closet, there's also additional futon you can use! DUH I'm loving it lol
And little thing that warms up your day and heart, small gift from StayJapan to every guest (not just me) that consists of bath amenities (though it's only enough for 1 night)
While staying Osaka, I visited a lot of places including out of city day trips, which I will blog about it later
For now, here are some sneak peak that perhaps will be options while you're staying at the apartment
Gudetama Cafe in Osaka : From the apartment, walk into Namba Station and take Midosuji Line to Umeda Station. Go to HEP FIVE Shopping Mall (15 mins)
Koya San, sacred mountain for Shinto : From Namba Station, go to Gokurakubashi Station via Nankai Limited Express (1,5 hour)
Kyoto : From Namba station, go to Osaka station, and take Tokaido-Sanyo line to Kyoto Station (1 hour)
Hiroshima : From Namba station, go to Osaka station, and take another train to Shin-Osaka. From Shin-osaka, you get into Shinkansen to Hiroshima Station. From this place, you can take another train to Atomic Bomb Dome or Miyajima Island using train (2,5 hour)
Kobe : From Namba station, go to Osaka station, and get into Tokaido-Sanyo Line to Kobe station (1 hour)
Kanazawa : From Namba station, go to Osaka station, and take Thunderbird train to Kanazawa (3 hour 15 mins)
Phew, that's a lot XD
I was staying longer in Osaka because I wanted to explore Kansai and other places I have never visited before. From mainstream touristy place to far far away place that I cant see any Indonesian. It was indeed a great journey and at night when I am hungry or in need of any shopping, I could just walk to Dotonbori area without worrying about the last train curfew
In fact, I really recommend the Osaka apartment because of its easy access, amazing apartment quality, cheap price, and helpful host
My short stay with StayJapan is such a great time and I definitely recommend you guys to check and bookmark the website for future use. I hope you can make it your next must-check-website when you want to rent apartment or homestay experience in Japan. No, in fact, you HAVE TO bookmark it. Because after all it's the only website so far for LEGAL stay in Japan lol
Because it's still a new startup, they are still adding a lot of hosts slowly but surely. However there are more than 300 places available all over Japan. What is tempting is Okinawa area, they have such gorgeous listings available nearby beaches. Also there are a few traditional houses that you can stay at while having farming activities. You just need to look around and maybe you'll find something that you never encounter before ^.^ You can check the website below
Thank you StayJapan for letting me experiencing your service, I will definitely use it in the future!
Hope this post is helpful and informative for all of you!