Our funds were being eaten away one-hundred yen at a time as the Tokyo days had slowly drifted by. Don’t get me wrong, Tokyo isn’t all that expensive, according to the hype anyways. Maybe if you live there, or spend a good chunk of time there, it can definitely weigh you down, but stay for a few days—no problem. Since this is only the beginning of our travels , and we have a lot of ahead of us, we gotta be pretty yen conscious. So if you’re in the same boat or just trying to save an extra bill or two, this post will give you some insight on our experience, and what worked best for us.
If you decide to couch surf, be prepared to start requesting faaar in advance. Having sent out nearly 15 requests three weeks in advanced, not a single one went through. I can’t blame the couch surfers though. The Japanese work ethic is pretty intense, so do be patient for replies, or understand that this may get in the way of hosting. Also, with Tokyo being known for it’s consolidated infrastructure, most people live in small studios, so if you’re traveling as a couple, be extra mindful. You might be thinking, “…hostel?”, as your next consideration. As common as they are when it comes to traveling or backpacking, hostels in Japan can be pretty expensive. Again, look to book further in advance, or, you might be able to score a good price if you show up right on the spot. When we were looking for hostel availabilities a few nights prior to landing in Tokyo (we have awesome planning skills), prices were pretty steep. They also add a lot of booking fees when reserving online…you get the idea.
Soo, the big question…Where did we stay? You guessed it—Airbnb! We stayed at the NKK house (Shout out! You guys were awesome!) in the Taito-Ku district of Tokyo. Even though it’s an Airbnb, it definitely has more of a hostel atmosphere, except there’s private rooms and no mixed dorms. The people who ran the place were really nice and accommodating, and a stay for one night went for about $35-$40 USD. Definitely not bad compared to the other prices we came across. It’s in a great location near buses and rail lines, and also has a 24hr super market only a few blocks away. And if your coming back from a night out in the city and still want to keep the party going, there’s a karaoke bar right across the street. Do be prepared though, you’ll be in a very small room with about 6-8 Japanese men and women all well over 50, with most of them armed with only a few words of English. Buut, you gotta admit—sounds like a good time, right? The only flaw to this place, was finding it. You’ll definitely walk by it if your not paying attention. Best bet? Just ask around. Having infant level Japanese skills, we had “asked” (me pointing to a piece of paper with the address written on it) a gentlemen if he knew where this was, and luckily being a few buildings away, he graciously accompanied us to the hostel.
Whether you decide to stay here or not, you’ll definitely have choices while exploring Tokyo. Just make sure you have plenty of time in advance, patience, and flexibility with your schedule. Good Luck!
Here’s a link to the NKK House on Airbnb: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/13627376