In Tokyo city centre, land is really expensive, so most hotel rooms are really small compare to the rest of of Japan. You might wonder should I stay in a hotel where I can ask the receptionist questions in a land with foreign language? Or should I stay in home sharing options like Airbnb where I can live like a local?
Hotel stays offers endless replenishment of amenities, cleaning of your bedroom, making your sheets, changing new towels (especially if the place you stay can’t dry the towel in time!), hotel TV channels and breakfast. You also get the option of having hotels to pick you up from the airport, or arrange for trips via the hotel. When you’re planning where to travel for the day, the receptionist at the hotel usually can guide you which station to take and so on.
But if you are travelling in a big family, hotel stay might become more expensive than home stay, as one room only fits 2, and hotels in Tokyo aren’t exactly known for spaciousness. This is especially so if you have young child travelling with you, an extra bed might not be an option due to space!
Home Stay Experience
Home stays offer the comfort of home, and is usually more spacious than hotels. You also get to experience the closest possible feeling of what a home is like for locals. You get to wake up and see watch the neighbourhood rise. The old grandma going to a nearby grocery, neighbours getting ready for work or children heading to school. Some home stays have kitchenette, so you get to save up a bit too.
In June 2018, home sharing in Japan was made to comply with certain government regulations. What this means is the host will now have to apply for licence, can only share their homes 180 days a year, and some areas of home sharing are only allowed to rent out their homes during the non-peak seasons! No doubt this is good for the local hotel industry, but what this means to us as tourists is that our stay option is significantly reduced, and prices may be more expensive so that host can cover their costs for non-rental days.
J and I very much like to opt for home stay in Tokyo, and we’ve been looking around a few months even before we decide to travel to Tokyo. Unfortunately, when the time came for us to make our reservation, we read news that the Japanese government’s new regulation on home sharing was coming in force, it even has effect back-dating on bookings pre-regulations! So to be on the safe side, we decided to opt for hotel stay this time around. Our hotel stay was wonderful, except for the fact that the room and bed were exactly like what reviewers said on Trip Advisor – really small for the price paid!