Samantha - New York City - 25
FASHION - BEAUTY - DIY
Sammo's Guide to Tokyo // Part One: Where To Stay? [LiveinAsia.com] on Sunday, April 26, 2015 @ 9:56 PM
Most important part of a trip is accommodation. Hotels can be expensive and hostels can be, for a lack of a better word, shady. Where you stay can really make or break your vacation. The most ideal situation is to find a place that is 1) convenient; 2) pleasant and 3) affordable. And I've found a place that has all three!
Every time I have been to Tokyo, I have used www.liveinasia.com. The staff can speak English and are very helpful. They have a selection of apartments in Nakano, Nishi-Ogikubo and Shibuya. The apartments range from one bedroom to three bedrooms. They provide amenities such as a kitchen, Wi-Fi, washing machine and many more.
I have only stayed in Nakano through LiveinAsia so I can only speak for that area. Nakano is a town that is about a five minute train ride from Shinjuku. It is mostly a residential neighborhood, very quiet and homely. There is a shopping center once you get out of the Nakano station and it gets quite lively. The apartment complex is about a five minute walk from the station so it's quite convenient. There are also a supermarket not far from the apartment and also many great restaurants within walking distant.
A couple years ago, Jen and I booked the one bedroom apartment in Nakano, which only had one semi-double bed that we had to share. Back then, it was just a tad awkward as we had only met in person for the first time on the plane ride to Tokyo. But hey, it made us closer and now we're best friends!
This time around, we knew we wanted to stay in Nakano again, but we definitely needed separate beds this time around. We booked the one bedroom twin apartment, which had two beds (we ended up pushing them together).
BOOKING YOUR STAY
Booking with them is quite easy, you just fill out the inquiry page on their website and they will email you back with all the information, such as pricing (with fees and your refundable deposit). The staff is very diligent with working with you to make sure everything goes smoothly. There will be many email exchanges regarding payment and travelers information that they require. If you have any questions, the staff usually will get back to you within one to two days, given that it is not a weekend or holiday, though there have been times they replied back during the weekend.
They also have optional services such as baggage delivery (from airport to apartment AND from apartment to airport), cell phone rental, portable Wi-Fi rental and tours. They will take care of everything for you, which is pretty great. This trip, I did decide to use the baggage delivery, which saved me such a headache. I also used another website for a portable Wi-Fi, which will have its own post.
As your trip approaches and your payments are complete, the staff will suggest to you which transportation will be best to take from the airport to the apartment. Also they provide a contact phone number as an employee will meet you at the station closest to the apartment you are staying in.
"Checking in" is quite simple too. The staff will coordinate with you regarding meeting up. We decided to take the Narita Express (N'EX), which takes you from Narita Airport to either Tokyo or Shinjuku station, where you transfer to go to your destination. They will require you to call their personal cellphone prior to leaving the airport and once again when you're at Tokyo or Shinjuku before you transfer. That way they know when you will arrive to the meeting point.
When we arrived to Nakano, it was POURING, so we were really grateful that the designated staff was there and helped us with our luggage. She walked us to apartment, which was the same complex as the one we stayed at previously.
Upon arriving to the apartment, the staff will give you a run down of the house rules. And most importantly...the GARBAGE system. This is legit the worst part of staying at an apartment. We have to sort garbage by the following categories:
And even THOSE categories are separated out into different types of waste. AND they collect different things almost every weekday. It is really complicated because in NYC, we only have two garbage collection days a week and we only separate it out into garbage, paper, and metals.
I know it is for the environment but it's so bothersome to have to look at the guide every night after an exhausting day to see what the garbage guys will be collecting the next morning. #FirstWorldProblems
The apartment is quite cozy and small, which is typical Tokyo. We were too tired to take pictures of the apartment when we got there because we were too exhausted and then after we unpacked, it was messy as hell! So I'll just post pictures from their website.CHECKING OUT
Procedure for checking out depends on what time you leave the apartment, If you happen to leave very early (prior to 11AM or noon), the staff will ask you lock up and leave the keys in the mailbox. If you leave around noon, the staff will meet you at the apartment so you can give them the keys.
All in all, I really enjoyed my stay at this apartment. It was great to be able to do laundry and cook if you're in the mood for it.
I definitely recommend using LiveinAsia.com if you plan on traveling to Tokyo!