A clean, cozy, comfortable apartment nestled in the eye of the cultural storm that is bustling Shimokitazawa in Tokyo.
Located on the second floor of a two-story apartment building and watched over by the Tengu (long-nosed goblin), which is housed in the adjacent Buddhist temple. You’ll be just a three-minute walk to Shimokitazawa Station, from where it’s a five-minute train ride to Shibuya and an eight-minute train ride to Shinjuku.
I’m an American born Japanese-Salvadoran currently working in Tokyo as a entrepreneur/digital content creator/translator. Although I mostly work out of my apartment, I like to open my place up to visitors and tourists as part of my lifelong mission—however overblown it may sound—to make Tokyo and Japan in general more foreigner-friendly and tourist-accessible. I am a student of Japanese culture and I speak fluent Japanese; during your stay I would be more than happy to help you rediscover and reconcile all that is “lost in translation” (as well as simply forgotten by the current generation of Japanese themselves).
About the apartment:
I allow guests their own private room and full use of the bathroom, shower, and kitchen. The private room is air-conditioned (with heater), has large windows to keep the room bright during the day, and is furnished with a large sofa, lounge chair, and television. Wireless internet is provided. Guests can sleep on either a convenient rollaway bed or a comfortable futon, and I also provide towels, shampoo, and soap. I have a washing machine which guests are free to use; you can hang your clothes out to dry on the clothesline (pole) right outside the private room, or take them to the local laundromat (two minute walk away).
Shimokitazawa is both a teeming hub of youth culture and a quiet residential district less than ten minutes away by train from both Shibuya and Shinjuku in central Tokyo. Here you’ll find stylish cafés and eateries as well as hole-in-the-wall street food and traditional Japanese izakaya (casual drinking establishments that also sell food); apparel and interior design boutiques as well as stores selling secondhand goods and gift & novelty shops; karaoke joints and live music venues as well as record shops and street performers. In a word, Shimokitazawa is an undeniably Japanese paradox—if the days, weeks, months, and years are, as the Japanese poet Basho said, “travelers of eternity,” then Shimokitazawa is a place where the past, present, and future exist simultaneously. Come and enjoy
a perfect cocktail of traditional Japanese culture and bohemian subculture!
Although I'm not as much of a stickler for rules as the Japanese in general tend to be, I do request a few things of my guests.
Shoes. Please take off your shoes at the entrance. The Japanese word for "to enter" is "agaru," which literally means "to rise into." My theory is that what they meant was "to rise out of one's shoes."
Smoking. If you smoke, please do so at one of the designated smoking areas around town. The old description of Japan as a "smoker's paradise" is fast becoming untrue, and I respectfully ask that you do not smoke inside or even immediately outside of the apartment.
Guests. As I also live in the apartment, I ask that you do not bring any guests without my permission ahead of time (mostly because Japanese manners dictate that I would have to have enough tea ready to go in the fridge beforehand).
Noise. This is a quiet neighborhood and I have neighbors in the building, so please keep the noise level reasonable while inside the apartment. The Japanese, believe it or not, consider quietude to be a form of communication—it's a zen thing.
Great location close to the train station that connects well to Shibuya and Shinjuku , Shimogitazawa is a charming neighborhood with alternative scene and great energy. Good facilities in the unit, quiet and convenient.
The place was comfortable and well located. Kazuo was eager to help us with recommendations.
Kazuo's flat was perfect for my few days in Tokyo. Clean, airy and comfortable, not to mention great location for visiting Tokyo. Very easy to get to Shinjuku and lots to do and eat in Shimokitazawa as well. Thank you Kazuo!
The host's directions are precisely correct and easy to follow. He wasn't there when I arrived, but I'd already said that wasn't necessary as he'd emailed copious details. The apartment is small (cozy) but pleasant and comfortable, with one exception: it's a bedroom (the guest room), central area used as an office, and kitchen/bathroom behind the curtains in the photo. When guests are present, the host sleeps on a fold-out futon in the central area, which one has to walk through to get to the bathroom or to enter/leave the apartment. This may be awkward for some, so this listing may not be for everybody. The host says he's a deep sleeper and doesn't mind guests coming/going at any hour. So I did feel welcome. He also keeps his place very clean, and everything is in order. Light sleepers may occasionally experience snoring, thanks to standard think Japanese walls. For those who need to use it, the laundry it outside the apartment on the balcony; I didn't need it.
I rarely saw the host during my 8 nights there, as I woke very early to be headed out on the first train of the day, and he works late. When we finally did meet, he was very pleasant, even a little quiet & reserved, but eagerly helpful with all questions I had about Tokyo, getting around, restaurants, etc. Mostly we communicated over email because of our sleep schedules.
Shimikita is a fantastic area, vibrant and hip. It's obvious why young people want to live there. It's also super easy to get to major Tokyo centers from there, via two train lines at the same station only two blocks from the apartment: to Shinjuku and to Shibuya.
This was my first airbnb experience, and boy did it set the bar high! Kazuo's place is fantastic. When I told locals where I was staying, they couldn't get over how great the location is. It's true -- not only is the apartment right in the heart of Shimokitazawa but it is on a quiet hill, right beside a temple. Shimokitizawa itself is a sweet neighborhood, with tons of used clothing stores/good restaurants/etc. And it is super easy to get from Shimokitizawa to other areas in Tokyo. From the apartment, I could get to Shinjuku Station in ~ 20 minutes and Shibuya in ~15 (or less).
The space is good. It was totally adequate for me in terms of size (and I had a LOT of luggage). Upon my arrival, it was spotless and neatly organized. Kazuo made everything easy -- he left a piece of paper with the wifi password sitting out, instructions for using the heater/air conditioner, etc. The rest of the apartment is small, but totally adequate (and clean) as well.
As for Kazuo as a host, he couldn't have been better. I stayed at the place for three weeks, while I was going to Japanese language classes, so I had a number of questions about daily life/logistics for him. He was always quick to respond with a helpful answer. He wasn't at the apartment very much, but when our paths did cross he was friendly and respectful.
I really enjoyed staying at Kazuo's place: the neighbourhood awesome and he is a great host! It's like visiting a friend, which was exactly I was looking for. Danke für Deine Gastfreundschaft! ^^ Best wishes & greetings from Germany, Steffi
The experience was great! The information pack provided by Kazuo was very accurate so we had no problem in locating the place despite it being in a rather concealed location. It is just a few blocks away from the train station which is just about 10mins away from Shinjuku, so we felt very convenient to travel to anywhere.
Kazuo also went the extra mile to help us by readying the room ahead of the normal checkin time because our flight arrived early in the morning. This helped us a lot to have an easier time to travel around on the first day.
The room itself was clean and certainly spacious enough for two. Although there is only one bed, the sofa is long and comfortable enough for the other person (176cm tall). There are also extra pillows and quilts available so we didn't really need to use the heater. Overall the place is clean and Kazuo basically let you use anything so it should suit the needs of all kinds of guests.
The neighbourhood is quiet compared to the major districts, but you can still find many interesting shops and restaurants there. Convenience stores and supermarkets can also be found nearby.
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I’m an American-born Japanese-Salvadoran currently working in Tokyo as a entrepreneur/digital content creator/freelance translator. I love good food, music that speaks to the heart, movies you can talk about for days, television with an emphasis on "vision," unputdownable literature, and good food one more time.