Thursday, August 28, 2014

Big Apartment near JR Harajuku Station, Tokyo City

Tokyo City is one of the most expensive cities to live in the world thus with five family member I would need to allocate a considerable amount of our travel budget for our 5D/4N accommodation expenses only since we need at least two rooms if we would decide to stay in a hotel.

By luck, I found a clever way to save money by booking an apartment instead of staying in hotel. I did this through Airbnb website; I booked a big apartment near JR Harajuku Station that can accommodate all of us while enjoying its other facilities like fully equipped mini-kitchen, small dining table, washing machine, ironing board and most important the pocket wifi.

We stayed here last May for 4 nights and paid 436 Euro (574 USD); we enjoyed a huge single room apartment with two double beds and an extra mattress on the floor.

The owner "Mink" was very supportive from the time we booked and up to the time of we checked out. Aside from answering our queries she even provided complete details on how to go back to Narita airport coming from the apartment. 

on our way to the JR Harajuku Station

hot and cold vending machines along the road

The apartment is located around 1 km away from Harajuku Station but the stroll going to and fro the station was enjoyable due to nice weather and peaceful surrounding. The apartment is actually located within residential area with laid back environment though a railway is just nearby but due to apartment's double windows the train noise is limited and won't cause any inconvenience at all even at night time.

After a busy day, on our way back to the apartment, my kids would always asked for spare coins to be used at different vending machines strategically located along the way. Moreover, the place was a few blocks away from 7-eleven and mini-stop outlets where we usually buy Nissin cup noodles and Bento boxes for our breakfast and dinner. 

this "thing" won't work unless you sit on the toilet bowl cover

bathroom with hot and cold shower

The main drawback when you stay in this place is the unavailability of daily housekeeping. You need to do everything even bringing your garbage to the ground floor's trash room where you need to segregate them since garbage segregation is strictly implemented in Tokyo. No worries at all since all the instructions will be provided by the owner while all your bedding needs can be found inside the cupboards. Regarding the toilet, it took us around 30 minutes to learn how the Japanese bidet controller works.

footwears should be left at the entrance
door to the main room

my eldest chatting with his girlfriend

the "hidden" mini-kitchen

induction cooker and utensils

garbage room

Maps, list of touristy places and set of instructions are provided as well inside the apartment that can be very helpful for first timers in Tokyo City like us. A word of advice: don't forget the pocket wifi when you go out. It saved our day when we got lost in locating Meiji Shrine; I was able to run my Google Maps using the pocket wifi, not to mention having real-time updates on our FB accounts.

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