Chanwon Travel in Japan: #11 Where I Stay & Useful Tips from my experience

09 October 2015

Hey Hey Everyone! I know...I owed you this since long long time ago! Finally, I'm done with all my Japan posts and will continuously publish & update it on my blog. So this coming 10 days I have to publish all my previous Japan Trip post before I leave Malaysia again. If not I'm sure my 'later' will become 'never' WOOOHOO!! Countdown 11 days more until my birthday and 12 days until my second Japan Trip! I swear myself that I have to go there twice every year! 

So, since it's a very complicated/long story I decided to make this Homestay experience in a complete blog post to share it with all of you. Some of the tips that I think it's useful for you when you are looking for a reasonable and affordable stay in Japan. I know this was a dream for me, but Japan was one of my favourite country and the people there was super duper friendly. 

4 months before my trip I was here in Malaysia worried about where should I stay. While looking on the internet I realise everyone book their room with an app, Airbnb! Ya, I booked 2 of my homestay through this app but the experience was 50% good and 50% bad. I don't have a credit card so I have to ask someone to help me book the room through this app.

Thanks god Babe Daph was here for me when I'm helpless. I decided to stay at only one place but due to the peak season I can't get a room that can allow me to stay more than a week. So, with the help of my friend we finally settled down and booked our room. Thanks Daph! So, I thought this should be a happy ending for us BUT...NOT YET!!

Almost 200-300 per night if you book with Airbnb plus all the service charge and thing you need to pay for the room. I'm not sure but for me it's quite reasonable because I prefer to stay in this kind of room than a HOTEL. I booked my Korea Homestay though airbnb too so far where were still a problem - THE REALITY vs Expectation! But thanks god with this app I can easily book my homestay just.... need to be careful on the listing.

Here's some of the tips I would like to share with all of you. It's my first time to find and look for a room through the app + my first time who travel to Japan / Korea, Seoul too. I found that it's important to :-

(1) Communicate with the owner / Take note with the time and efficiency of the owner to reply your msg
(2) Look at the detail and amenities / facilities
(3) Check the listing and review of the owner / room
(4) Book within your budget
(5) Double check the address of the place and the convenience way for you to get to the nearest subway/bus station
(6) Take note the check in & check out time (Arrange your time according that)
(7) Don't get too excited with the photo shows in the app
(8) You pay for what you get
(9) Check whether there are a lift for you to move in all your luggage or just stair


To be honest, I get so excited when I look at the price per night. I was like OMG reasonable or maybe I should book it later? NO!! Please don't be like me. Don't do last mins booking if it's a peak season because it's really hard for us (especially girl) to carry the luggage from one place to another place when no one was there to help us. Remember this! It's all from my experience.

Okay, just back to the topic!! Daph and I booked our room @Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Our favourite place ever and it's located at the middle of tokyo and more convenience to the place I want to go. So to be honest the second homestay experience was SUPER DUPER GOOD but not the first one. Daph & I were so disappointed with the first owner. She was a female actually and at first she was really nice to us but when we need help she just ignore us. 

I'm quite angry at first because I asked Daph to accompany me stay in Tokyo, we had a wonderful experience during our trip but not the first homestay. So before I talk about it I show you what is the reality vs the expectation we get from the photo the owner put on the app. Please read every single word carefully because I don't want you to experience the same thing during your trip.

- First Homestay Experience -
What I like :  Clean / Space was just great for two person / Toilet Clean / Warm & thick blanket 
What I dislike : THE OPEN-AIR shoe racks that smell like s*** / Our special 'curtain door' 

 Photo they upload on the app! Everything same with the reality but just....

Don't laugh!! Because we laugh every night in our room! The first time I step into the house I was like OMG! SO CLEAN! I LIKE TO THE MAX! Then both of us were so happy and kicker was dancing on our arm too. But nightmare came after the owner close the fan and exhaust fan in the kitchen! It's like a soho and first floor was the place we put our luggage (under the stairs) , a big table and some magazine.

 Living Room

 Open Kitchen 

 Stair and our luggage 

This mean every time we need to come down and put our stuff into our luggage + at the same time saw and smell the super 'nice scent' of the owner's shoe. HAHA You must be kidding me man!

 Thumbs up for clean toilet 

 The entrance (on the right) , On the left was the toilet and walk along the space you can spot a huge bicycle + SMELLY SHOE RACKS

You can start counting for the amount of sport shoes they own. If it's a closed-shoe racks then it's fine but IT'S OPEN-AIR. Everytime we come out from our room , we smell it / every time we took our bath and walk out from the toilet , WE SMELL IT. Next, the moment we sit down on the living room's table ... we smell it and we can't continue to enjoy our food. Feel so sorry to Daph and kicker because I also can't breath every time i walk beside this shoe rack.

So the night after our first stay we always leave our house as early as we can and back as late as we can! Everytime I feel so 'pek-cek' when I walk passed this. I smell it and I feel like something fly inside my nose wtf* The most scary part was, the owner never write it and show on the app! CLEVER! So this is what I mean the reality might not be the same as what you expected.

After that, the main point coming!!! Our special 'curtain door'! XD The most memorable creation during my trip. I'm okay but can the owner take a photo of this or told us on the description? Imagine all of us , girls have to change our clothes here , breastfeeding baby , sleep with an insecure mood , no privacy at all and it's HALF TRANSPARENT (as you can see from the photo) People can hear what we talk , what we do and see it clearly if they stand nearby our door.

Amazing! The curtain door also not enough long and width. You see there were a space between the wardrobe and mirror. I can change my clothes in toilet but it will be very inconvenience for all of us. They should get a proper door I guess.

 I miss kicker! So it's why this is very important to have a good communication with the owner. After our stay I we actually leave a private msg to the owner asking them to make some changes on the room. The open-air shoe rack can be better with a close door shoe rack & of course a proper door. Otherwise, this would be a nice place to stay!Remember always Communicate with the owner & ask what you need to know. Remember to take note the time taken for the owner to reply your msg. If after a day the owner on the app still never reply your msg..I guess it's better to look for another place. Imagine when you are urgent, the owner still never reply you :x

Look at the detail and amenities / facilities This lesson learned during my stay in Seoul, Korea. The place and room was super good too , wifi available and everything was fine except no AIR-CON. It's summer that time and every night we can't sleep -.- So, please look the facilities they offer for you. Hair dryer , towel , air-con, wifi , washing machine , hanger & etc....

Check the listing and review of the owner / room This was what I did now. When you search for any listing in the app you can easily look at the owner's profile. Some very detail and some just with their name and years on it. Ignore and let go those with only little information (for your security purpose) and pick those owner who always keep you update or who always answering your question on their detail page. It shows the effort the owner gave to you and also how experience he/she is. In addition, you have to check and read ALL the review part on the owner's listing. There are some good / bad review. Some complain about the dirty toilet , some complain the dirty bed sheet that make their body itchy and etc....So...just keep this in your mind!

Book within your budget Don't get over excited with the price on the listing. If you stay longer you can ask for a cheaper / discounted price. Always remember you pay for what you get! Don't because it's cheap then you ignore everything because this can be one of the nightmare for you. After click on the amount there will be a final amount charge if you book through the app. So don't be shock if it's a little over budget for you :) Prepare extra if needed!

Double check the address of the place and the convenience way for you to get to the nearest subway/bus station This is what Daph and my friend taught me! If the listing was good and detail enough, the owner will included a paragraph about the nearest subway or bus station and sometime the time needed for you to walk from the place you stay. But, you can always feel free to ask them if you need any help on that!

Take note the check in & check out time (Arrange your time according that) This is a must. Not like hotel, homestay check in time mostly 2-3pm while check out time 11-12pm. This is from my personal experience. We met a good owner during our second homestay but not the first one. Because we need to check out at the first homestay and move everything to the second place, we requested the owner to allow us to put our luggage on their house and maybe taxi guy will help us carry the luggage down from the stair.  Take note: Check whether there are a lift for you to move in all your luggage or just stair. The female owner ignored us. If I'm travel alone then is okay but can you see a my friend carrying a baby?!

We never ask for extra just let us put our luggage and some hand carry bag beside the living room and we will wait our taxi down stair. She refused to help us and at this point i FEEL VERY ANGRY because she's the only one I met in Japan that ignore and not being helpful. Just forget about this maybe we don't even need to ask any help from her. So we got no choice we contacted our second homestay owner. Because our second homestay check  in time was 3pm or 4pm I forgot, it mean in between that we have to carry the luggage with us for more than 3 hours.

HOW CAN. So, we contacted the second owner and the second owner was super good. He know that we have a children with us and he say YES! So, we called taxi and moved everything ourself. I just ask daph to take care of kicker AND I'm so angry + at the same time showing my GIRL POWER. We place kicker on the baby roller car and put it at the stair there and from that point I just carry whatever on the second floor to the ground floor. NO LIFT! We both memang super powerful! I can't believe we carried everything with our own. Then after 30 mins of moving the luggage out from the first homestay. We were at the ground floor waiting for the taxi!

Until now I feel so disappointed with the first owner being so selfish. We just request for putting our luggage on their living room but she ignore us. It's better to reject than IGNORE and act like nothing happen. Am I right? Luckily the second owner was kind + fast enough to reply our msg (because we were waiting the first owner's respond until we can't get anything from her we decided to contact second owner)

So, as you can see now the diff between two diff owner and their honest level.

- Second Homestay Experience -
Second homestay located at 8-9km away from the first homestay location. Remain our stay at Ikebukuro because I love this place as much as i love food! lol This owner has his own family that's why he know and he never refuse us. He even let us take the key and put all our luggage + hand carry before the check-in time. I almost cry when I know that! This wasn't a share house but a small apartment. Toilet, kitchen and everything was well prepared by the owner! 

 The owner's photo on Airbnb.

The best homestay experience ever! The owner even prepared some snack , chocolate, candy and a WELCOME NOTE for us! Thankiuu!!

 Our lovely bed! Kicker so happy!! AHAHAHAH
 I miss you, kicker :') Still remember jie jie??

Since this owner actually own a family, he understand what we need. All prepared and placed on this rack! Cotton pad, nail cutter , screw , towel , shampoo & SO ON!!!

 Make up mirror! HAAHHAAHA

 A small eating table for us. During night time, Daph and I just sit down and chill tgt! Enjoy our sukiya , ice cream and etc. HAHAHAAH

More Facilities

So it's end of this post! Hope this can help you to get a basic information on what to do / check before you book and look for any homestay in Japan or anywhere.  Just remember to do a check list and read carefully each of the listing. Compare and hope you love the post & find it useful for you. That's all for today. Love, xx.


  1. hello. Can i know what's ur second home stay name and price? Thx.

    1. it's super duper long ago the listing no longer available I guess :'(