My Airbnb in Japan.
At first I didn’t understand the hype of this Airbnb thing. I honestly thought and still do to some extent, “How can you let strangers stay in your house” The more I thought about it over the past 3 years the less interested I became with sharing any dwelling I owned. One day I had an email which changed everything. I was about to enter into my own My Airbnb in Japan
A good friend and customer of mine emailed and said he had booked an AirBnB house in the center of Tokyo. I didn’t realise at first but I was also there to help find the place for him when he arrived, and what a mission that proved to be.
He could have stayed at my house for free
The host for some reason or another was very vague about things and when we arrived we would have been screwed if my buddy Ross Butson was not on hand to save us. Thank you Ross. What intrigued me mostly was that my customer had no fear. He didnt care at all that he was going to stay in another persons home. This is my phobia. I care and hate the idea of being in another persons junk so to speak.
Confidence! yes maybe its my confidence coming from a family that was FIERCELY protective off personal space.
I still appreciate personal space and this is possibly why I would struggle to live in another persons home, no matter how long the stay. Last year my mother passed and I was asked by both brothers top stay in their homes which I declined and booked a hotel. However watching my friends and customers book Airbnb in recent years has changed my thoughts somewhat.
My customer had such a great time in his Tokyo Airbnb stay that made me do some deep thinking about the future of such a thing for my own financial gain. It was no more or less than that.
The Decision was made to rent a room.
Yes we decided to rent a room. Its not easy to share when you dont know how lol. This is monumental. A sharing moment with strangers, no spit or blood relatives involved. We are going to do this.
The move is made and an account at Airbnb was made. We had to decided to rent a room at our main house which is in Kujukuri Chiba Japan. The house is 2Klm from the longest beach in Japan and 35 minutes from Narita Airport Many decisions to make about what to offer and how much to access our visitors have was paramount and no easy undertaking.
Our guest have access to the following.
- Tennis court
- Tiki bar
- Movie theatre
- Apple TV
- And so much more I cant remember nor have the time to write down.
Thinking We Have It All
In reality I thought that this is more than most houses and even small hotels can offer in this area.
Obon Week was upon us and the booking started to flow in. we accepted everyone as the return was pretty good. Our first group was fabulous and even cleaned up even though they were charged a cleaning fee.
In fact as more groups came by we noticed that everyone cleaned up. This was great. The most difficult part I noticed was the interaction between guest and host.
Interaction between guest and host is a tough one. Some guests want to talk all day and night and you may not want too, nor are you being paid to do so. Others you feel want privacy but in reality they are scared to make the first move.
Watch Out For Late Night Meetings
One night I wanted a drink so badly I strolled down to the kitchen to find a young couple doing it on the floor, the drink was suddenly less interesting.
What I have learnt from my small Airbnb experience is that I have grown sociably and met some great people. We never feel the need to Facebook each other either as its king of a business transaction rather than a personal relationship.
The other thing I have taken from this at my Kujukuri house is that items continually are broken and electronic settings are always played with. This simply pisses me off. I also found that the younger guest like to stray into areas that are clearly out of bounds. This was also frustrating.
In conclusion after all was over we now have a 5 star rating from all, and apart from a few frustrations we have embraced Airbnb enough to buy a house in Tokyo.
So it all starts again and two weeks ago we dived in and bought a cool little house in Tokyo. Its only 7 years old and is totally re-furbished. I strongly believe that as Japan grows in tourist popularity and the prices of hotels soar Airbnb will have a strong foothold in Japan. The Tokyo Olympics are on the way way as well as the rugby world cup so excitement and reservations are on the way. What amazes me is why there are so few Japanese doing Airbnb. If you ever book please look at the host names lol just for fun.
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