If you're planning to stay in Tokyo for an extended amount of time (2 weeks or more) at a reasonable rate, it is essential that you look into booking a room at a sharehouse. There are many advantages in my experience and I would highly recommend students, business travelers, and extended-stay tourists to consider this affordable and convenient option.
Stay&Tokyo has several sharehouses around Tokyo, so my review will be on the one based in Otsuka. I have been staying here for a little over two weeks, and I've had a really good experience thus far. I'm a university student doing a short internship here in Tokyo, so for what I need out of a place, I can honestly say it's met all of my needs. If I had to describe its location and facilities in one word, I would say convenient! I'll describe what I mean in more detail below.
- On the first floor of the sharehouse there is a convenience store! It literally takes seconds to get access to water, snacks, pre-made food, toiletries, umbrellas, etc.
- Just next to the convenience store, there's a ¥500 seafood bowl restaurant that makes hearty meals to go.
- The sharehouse is close to two major train stations. It is less than a 10 minute walk to both Otsuka Station and Miyogadani station, both of which can get you anywhere you need in Tokyo. There are also two bus stops accessible in under a minute walk.
- There's a beautiful temple one minute away. This can be viewed from the window of our flat and it's open to anyone.
- The sharehouse is located at a crossroad intersection, with four main streets just outside. Within minutes you can access supermarkets, a ¥100 shop, a hospital, a quiet park, and many small restaurants and cafes.
- Free Wi-Fi access throughout the sharehouse is a life saver.
- All the amenities you need are available in each flat. Everything is compact and easily accessible. What I really like is that there are spaces divided for each room in the common areas, such as cubbies to store food, kitchen utensils, individual bath supplies in the shower, soaps in the laundry room, etc.
- There's an electric toilet, shower (separate from the toilet), dining table, fridge, cooking stove, a place to wash and dry dishes, a washing/dryer machine, a vanity-like area with a sink and mirror, and a terrace. What you don't get in a hotel or hostel is the freedom to cook, and if you're budget conscious like me, this is really important as opting for convenience store food gets old pretty fast.
- The rooms in the sharehouse vary by size. I'm in the smallest room, which mainly fits the twin bed, a small desk, a clothes drying rack, and my large suitcases comfortably. Since it's quite small, I have to keep tidy, but I can still move around freely.
- Each room has it's own AC and heating unit controlled via remote control. This is really important, as no flat members ever have to fight over the thermostat or tolerate uncomfortable temperatures.
I also want to list some nearby recommendations because I think there's really a great international community here. Across the street is a cafe called World Neighbors Cafe, which I recommend because you can easily meet fellow globe trotters! They have cuisine that spans the globe as well. There is also a really unique bar called SpeakEasy which is easy to access from the Otsuka Station mentioned above. This bar and lounge is the best place to learn, party and make new friends! They have a "language corner" during the week where people go to practice foreign languages. There's several language circles, and the people that participate come not just from Japan but all over the world! You can even try many regional foods. On Fridays they host an "International party," and Saturdays they host different "Special Parties" where you can meet locals and dance to the beat of international DJ's. If you're like me and love to relax on Sundays, they have "Relax Sundays" with lots of tea and relaxing lounge music. It's worth checking out!
Overall, Stay&Tokyo's Gokokuji Sharehouse is very comfortable and affordable. Security is excellent as everyone gets a main key and an individual room key. In Gokokuji there are 5 rooms, but they're not all occupied at the same time and the roommates I have are friendly students and travelers from all over the world. The central location has been amazing in the time I've been here. Please check out the pictures of my floor and the outside of this sharehouse if you want to get a better feel of all I've listed. Also, check their website for pricing as rooms vary by size and location.