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Micromanage my Life - Japan


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#16 Orik

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 12:23 AM

You don't know good value.

 

e.g. this place is around 200,000 yen/month:

 

https://www.unionmon...okyo/room/3444/

 

But right across from the train tracks, but much livelier neighborhood, but a bit dreary because for japanese people... will look for nicer ones later. I´ll point out again that the Duplex properties are fine and not expensive. Also there are https://www.sumitomo...ish/lp/?trflg=1

 

And something like this:

 

https://housingjapan...ingumae/134807/

 

Regarding the airbnb, you're really reading too much into the names, etc. Not saying the host can't cancel on you last moment. 


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#17 Chambolle

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 10:27 AM

Essential Feedback

I’m ready, willing and able to be surprised by good value !

 

And I’m always happy to pay less than more, but my goal is not to pay less if the “quality” of the apartment’s interior goes (much) below the standard set by our favorite Airbnb above. Quality is in the eye of the beholder of course, but I def concur that the 200k yen Union pad is indeed dreary and therefore a non-starter. That said, the general layout seems fine (though a 40m2 size is now heading towards being just a bit small methinks … unless the quality level was truly excellent). Chambo is liking that closet space though ! and Chambo is loving that 6-7 minute subway stroll to Ebisu and Daikanyama !

 

Re the Sumitomo link, do you consider any of those buildings to be in a desired location for 3-4 week Chambo apartment stay ? Knowing nothing, for some reason I was thinking that my preferred home should be in a nice sub-area within an oval including Fuglen and Omotesando towards the north and Ebisu and Naka-Meguro in the south. But what the hell do I know … nothing !

 

Re the Housing Japan link, that’s pretty much the ideal Omotesando location that you initially suggested, right ? So if you take Omotesando Avenue between the subway stations Omotesando and Harajuku, do you ideally want to be north of it, south of it, or it really doesn’t matter ? And maybe a bit closer to the Omotesando subway side vs Harajuku ? because I heard Harajuku might be a bit zoo-y / noisy / etc … but what the hell do I know … nothing ! Frankly, in general noise doesn’t bother me unless it’s very loud at all hours of the night (ie morning).

 

The actual Housing Japan apartment is just okay (size and layout is fine). I’m just not loving it as the quality seems so so (cheap furniture ? no LR table, small bathroom sink, but very good toilet paper supply !) The Airbnb place just seems to be better quality / design. Then again, if that Airbnb place disappears then this place is starting to look much, much better … cuz it’s available !

 

Re the Duplex properties, I agree that the quality level looks pretty good but I wasn’t sold on the Roppongi location. Not my first choice. And I don’t think that the other buildings are well-located for me either, but correct me if I’m wrong … because, as we all know, I know nothing.

 

I’m almost thinking that the better overall experience would be in the less nice but very, well-locaterd Housing Japan place in Omatesando vs a nicer apartment located in Roppongi.

 

will look for nicer ones later

 

Thanks and I just want you to know that I take back every single bad thing that I ever said about the Madrileno !



#18 Orik

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 02:19 PM

It's all about compromise. 

 

North of Omotesando is more quiet and residential and was designed that way, so it's more condos and large single family homes that seem to attract "cultural attaché" types and hakubishin (do not feed either or they will never leave), but again, once you're even a block away from Omotesando dori you're golden. Part of the compromise is that this is mostly a daytime neighborhood so while I can send you to nice izakaya and restaurants, your late night drinking will require a short ride. 

 

The airbnb is actually right on Roppongi dori, but it faces the other way so there's hardly any traffic noise.

 

Looking at the details, the housingjapan place is right where the original Omotesando Koffee used to be. The building is only a couple of years old and was built by a good construction firm (not that it matters to you). I think it's a good one if really available, but they're worth contacting as they have nice stock in good locations. 


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#19 Chambolle

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 05:24 PM

I've made contact with Gena re the Airbnb place ... we'll see where that goes ...

 

the housingjapan place ... but they're worth contacting as they have nice stock in good locations. 

 

Are you saying that they may have other apartments that are NOT shown on their website ? or just to contact re true availability of this place ?

 

the housingjapan place ... I think it's a good one if really available

 

The problem is that the HousingJapan apartment has no accompanying description, no amenities list and no reviews to give you a reality check so I try to look very closely at the pics … I’m curious if you think that I’m a total whackjob or if the following is somewhat reasonable

 

Let’s give it the benefit of the doubt and say the furniture is better quality that I originally.

 

But …

 

The kitchen area doesn’t seem like it has enough space to place a cutting board and a plate or two.

 

I’m looking at the bed and scratching my head as to whether it’s comfy or not … hmmm.

 

Once again, I’m not loving that bathroom sink area at all.

 

Re the shower, do you think that showerhead can be positioned so that you can take a shower without having to hold the showerhead ? I’m not sure but I’m thinking no … cuz if I have to hold the showerhead to water myself, put it down (or between my legs) to soap up, and then grab the showerhead to rinse etc, I totally HATE that ! I actually have that same question re the Airbnb place too but I think it’s fine.

 

Bedroom clearly has no closet / drawers for clothes. Am I just a total whiner or isn’t it normal that if you are going to be someplace for a MONTH or more that maybe you may want to unload your luggage and put your clothes in a closet and/or drawers ? If I was here for 3 days, fine … but these places are for month-long rentals minimum !

 

The layout picture does show some tiny spaces in yellow (is one a Shoes Closet ???) but no pics of those spaces … yet they can waste 5 pics repeatedly showing you the same bed pillows in the bedroom and that real useful close-up shot of the 4 books on the bedroom table. I’m always amazed at just how incredibly stupid and not-helpful most listings’ pictures are in helping you fully visualize an apartment.

 

Do you agree somewhat ? or am I in my own private Idaho 

 

Part of the compromise is that this is mostly a daytime neighborhood so while I can send you to nice izakaya and restaurants, your late night drinking will require a short ride

 

A short ride is fine ... I think ... and it's not like I'm going out drinking til 3am on a daily basis.

 

But if I'm going to need a ride at night from this place ... and I'd have a long walk from the Airbnb place, then I'm seriously considering shipping over my own prototype version of this planche volante extraordinaire ... yep, Chambo's got one and I'm actually pretty darn good on it !  ... and I figure it's a great way for Chambo to make a super impressive entrance into the Tokyo scene ...

 

Good idea ? think it's legal ? could I get a sweet little Chambo exception, if not ?

 

https://www.avweb.co...15, 2019 (Copy)



#20 Chambolle

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 05:36 PM

I've made contact with Gena re the Airbnb place ... we'll see where that goes ...

 

But no decision will be made for 2 days ... and I'm still hoping to beat that place ... so don't forget to look for nicer places later, mister Madrileno ... this apartment search torture shouldn't last too much longer



#21 Orik

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 05:43 PM

I think you're thinking you shower inside the bath, but as mentioned before, in Japan you shower outside the bath (the entire room is normally made of plastic and is waterproof), which is why the shower head hangs there. The typical Japanese style is to sit down on a tiny stool, wet, soap, scrub, wet, then go into the tub but other styles are begrudgingly supported. 

 

I think you should ask them the other questions but they seem to have very accurate floorplans, so the answer is probably that there's no closet in that unit. 


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#22 Chambolle

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 06:34 PM

Yeah I was thinking that I might be confused re the Japanese shower ... and I was.

 

And I agree that Oakwood is good but not cheap.

 

Very functional, intelligent layouts for their 1 bedrooms ... looks / feels like a solid, high-quality, mid-range hotel room if it were expanded with a perfectly fine kitchen space, 4-person dining table and LR ... soulless and corporate ... exactly as you would expect. Good for a businessman, which is exactly their target demographic of course, but less interesting for a non-biz trip ... then again they probably offer a high degree of reliability ie won't cancel on you last minute etc. Based on what I'm seeing, prices seem to be around 80% more than our leading HousingJapan and Airbnb contenders ... not interesting considering the zero-charm factor. The Oakwood Residence Aoyama location does seem pretty good ... I must admit ... but I'll pass ... unless I become unbelievable desparate ... which I won't



#23 Orik

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 11:13 PM

One final note on this for now - Mori seem to have been turning some of their very good apartments into serviced monthly places. You should ask them what they have https://www.moriliving.com/en/

 

eta: since time is of the essence maybe call instead of filling a form and waiting for someone to brave calling back in English


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#24 Chambolle

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Posted 30 July 2019 - 07:03 AM

Slowly but slowly making some progress … as follows ..

 

1. Flight from Paris to New York booked … because Mother Dear comes before Asia, of course

2. Tokyo apartment just booked

3. Flight from Seoul to Paris booked … was able to snag Biz Class for not too many Freq Fly miles

 

Some flights missing, of course … so here’s one question for our frequent flyer experts before we move on to more important matters …

 

I’m going to fly to Tokyo with freq flyer miles. Either EWR or JFK works perfectly fine. There is no problem whatsoever (ie any day I want) with nonstop Economy using miles but Biz Class would be preferred. Currently the only Biz Class options with miles involve a US change of planes, which kind of defeats the purpose ... and I’m NOT changing planes. Would I expect that nonstop Biz Class seat(s) using miles may potentially come available in the next week or two or so for a mid-September flight ? or NFW ?

 

 

The ideal Kyoto, Osaka, Nara etc excursion

 

If you could do your first visit all over and you didn’t want to be rushed, how many days would you want to spend in this neck of the woods ? How many nights in Kyoto vs Osaka ? I am thinking that I will go to Nara as I was told that it is worthy of a full day but just as a day trip and no need to spend the night. If you were to add on another day trip to somewhere highly worthy, where would you go ? Anyone have fave hotels in K or O ?

 

Remember that I (still) know close to nothing so I’m happy to hear anything and everything anyone wants to say about anything and everything. I'll surely read up on the major major shrines / sites prior but I'm happy to hear about other less well known nooks and crannies and things to do that should be highly considered ...



#25 Nathan

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 11:41 PM

Which programs are your miles/points with?  This, I’m more or less an expert in.

 

Both Kyoto and Osaka are worth all the time you can spare.  2-3 nights each for sure.


Blatantly Obvious Disclaimer:

My opinions are obviously my personal opinions. Not yours. Not universal.


#26 Chambolle

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 07:10 AM

Slowly but surely, a bit more progress yesterday …

  1. Tokyo to Seoul flight done … Jeju Air ! Paid the extra 30k yen for an extra 5kg cuz a 20kg checked bag limit is too low for Chambo
  2. Seoul hotels booked … Four Seasons for 4 and The Shilla for 3. Korean friends said the change of hotels makes a lot of sense based on our plans

 

Was about to pull trigger on the all-important NYC to Tokyo flight yesterday … but still optimizing … will buy this weekend for sure

 

Which programs are your miles/points with?  This, I’m more or less an expert in.

 

Re freq flyer programs*, best option would be American (have 120k+) then United (got 77k).

 

I would prefer to fly to Tokyo on Sept 12 or 13. Tokyo for 5-6 nights then Kyoto/Osaka/Nara/etc for 6-7 nights and then start Tokyo apartment.

 

United has EWR-Narita nonstop, economy for 35k … and then Prem Economy for 86k or 92k and First for 175k. With 77k United miles, First is a bridge too far. I’d have to buy miles for Prem Economy, but I’m thinking Prem Economy just isn’t worth it.

 

What the heck is United Prem Economy anyway… just a bit more leg room ? Is it really worth all those pts and $ on that route ? They can fly me to Japan for 35k but for a bit more legroom on same flight it’s an additional 50-60k … kinda ridiculous isn’t it ?

 

American has JFK nonstop to both NRT or HND via Japan Airlines with departure times I like … but not my preferred dates ie no Sept 12 or 13. Economy class is avail for 35k on Sept 11**  but nothing nonstop avail post-911. If you try to fly Biz or First on American with miles, lots and lots of options for reasonable miles (60k for Biz) on Sept 12/13 but they all have a US-based change of plane ie in DFW LAX etc. And I made a decision years ago - if my destination is available via a nonstop, Chambo flies nonstop, full point

 

Ok Nathan ... take me to Tokyo nonstop in Biz for 60k miles (or 90k or 120k on AA) ... and you're a hero ! 

 

 

*Problem for me is that during the last few years I have shifted all credit card spending to 2 cents back per $ spent (on ALL purchases) and have ignored all freq flyer card options … and then whenever I fly between Europe and US I use freq flyer miles because I like the low penalty ability to change dates, hence my miles have dwindled and dwindled and I just used them for the “slowly but slowly” legs above … 90k Delta miles for Biz Class for Air France Seoul CDG seemed reasonably nice to me … even if AA offers Biz class for 60k miles

 

** Do I really want to fly on Sept 11? Hmmm … but the real issue with Sept 11 is that I arrive stateside on 5th and then leaving on 11 is less time for Mom and seeing various NYC friends than I want … some West Villagers said to stay with them for a few days so maybe Mom for a long weekend, xfer to their WV pad for 2 and then off to JFK … way too short but I’d probably do it … considering I’m running out of time and need to starting worrying about Japanese food plans



#27 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 01:25 PM

I've not flown it, but my understanding is that UA created a real prem econ offer, and if you can do it I would do that over standard econ.

 

Just for perspective, I've got no issues doing back of the bus to Yurp' but the incremental 7 hours or so to Tokyo make me not want to experience economy.

 

At the four seasons seoul - would recommend you ask for a room that does not overlook Saejong-daero - its where govenment protestors congregate, and they can be quite loud.


"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"


#28 Orik

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 02:15 PM

Of the US airlines, delta business to Tokyo is reasonable, United is nothing but an easier sleep, so maybe their premium economy is a good compromise but it's also much easier to get with miles. ANA if possible (you can often book it as an American flight for much less than the ANA price). Korean also good but as I think Nathan pointed out the cabin can be very hot so fly nekkid.

P.s. Also don't underestimate the HND advantage. Narita is nice but soooooooo far.
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#29 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 03:24 PM

ANA is United, JAL is American.

 

I'm a firm believer in ANA to HND in a seat with the table between the row and you in J.  Its actually my preferred routing for almost everything in Asia I can't do non-stop.  Tho I hear great things about EVA.

 

The only reason to fly KAL is availability.  Even to ICN, Asiana is much better.


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#30 Orik

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 04:26 PM

Right you are
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