Yumiko’s Apartment

Day 1 · Harajuku, Tokyo Scroll down

Manners are underrated; real estate is overrated.

We found Yumiko’s apartment on airbnb while looking for something relatively inexpensive and yet close to Shibuya, but at the time we didn’t know we were also getting Yumiko herself as part of the package.

Beautiful open building

Beautiful open building

Always very communicative with her spot-on english — which is kind of the exception around here — Yumiko’s shown to be a really interesting and interested person from the get-go, putting us at ease and promptly sending valuable information our way.

White alpaca marks the mailbox we have to crack open to get the key

White alpaca marks the mailbox we have to crack open to get the key; there was one upstairs as well

Third floor hallway

Third floor hallway

Part of the reason why we went with airbnb is that along with renting a place, you’re also getting the expertise and local knowledge of your host and, if you’re lucky to get your own Yumiko, you’re in for a treat. One of the most valuable pieces of information we got from her was a detailed and diverse index of all the best restaurants in the area, which we will try, no doubt.

Japan corner with books and maps, it's like a tourism office over here

Japan corner with books and maps, it’s like a tourism office over here

The house itself could fit in any of our bathrooms at home, and it couldn’t be more cozy or typically Japanese. It’s truly amazing to experience first-hand how they live so efficiently and with absolutely no superfluous possessions around them.

Bed and lounge corner

Bed and lounge corner

Bathroom and kitchen separated by a thin wall

Bathroom and kitchen separated by a thin wall

The Japanse addressing system is confusing to say the least, and in Tokyo most streets don’t even have names, but it was easy to find the place once we understood the area. It’s situated around Takeshita-dori, a major fashion staple just outside Harajuku Station, where cosplay/lolita/goth fans usually gather — and we’ve already seen a couple!

Balcony facing the other way, quite lovely actually

Balcony facing the other way, quite lovely actually

Located in a very quiet side street

Located in a very quiet side street

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