One of the cons of staying at Airbnb is that, after checking out (usually around 10a or 11a), you need to figure out a place to store the luggage before you head to the airport. What we used to do were finding lockers at Kyoto Station. The small size lockers are 300 yen while the large one that fits a check-in luggage is 700 yen. Most of the time the lockers are taken. You may also goto level B1. There are baggage rooms that takes any size luggage for 500 yen each.
Baggage room in B1.
Recently we found a free luggage storage service in Kyoto Station. If you have a JCB credit card, you may goto the JCB Plaza. It is located on the ground floor inside the Kyoto Theater.
Kyoto Theater 京都劇場. JCB Plaza located inside to the right.
Hours are 10a – 6p. Besides free same day luggage storage service (up to 3 luggages per card), you get free drinks and free wifi. They can also help you book hotels/restaurants/tours. We just applied for the Mitsuwa JCB card. Hopefully we get the card before my next trip, so we can save couple thousand yen on luggage storage.
There are no overnight luggage storage service at Kyoto Station. Be sure to check the closing time of each facility!
We love Kyoto so much we bought a machiya (京町家) there earlier this year. As much as we love to move there asap, we are not financially ready yet. And we are not fascinated about the crazy work-life in Japan. So before we can become a Kyoto-jin, we will rent out our machiya as Airbnb.
We will share about our machiya in future posts. Here I want to share things you should consider when you book an Airbnb in Kyoto.
- Pinpoint the Airbnb location – As you might know, Airbnb does not pinpoint the exact location of the apartment. It can be off quite a bit. I’ve booked an apartment in Tokyo, thinking its right next to the train station, but ended up having to walk a good 15 minutes. So before you book the apartment, message the host and ask for the exact address. They might not provide you that (for privacy reasons I guess) but if you ask the cho(町) they should be more than willing to tell you. Cho is mostly a block or 2 in size, so you get a better idea where the apartment is located.
- Does the apartment have an elevator – Kyoto is an old city. Many apartments are not equipped with elevator. Unless you don’t mind carrying your luggage up the stairs, send a message to the Airbnb host to check if there’s one.
- Is washer provided? – One of the convenience feature Airbnb offers is a washer/dryer. You can pack less and save more room for shopping 😉
- Is portable wi-fi provided? – Portable wi-fi is a must have for travellers. You need to upload your travel photos to IG. You need to look for where to eat on Tabelog. You need to find out how to get to Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺) 🙂 If portable wi-fi is not provided, you can still rent one at Softbank at the KIX airport.
- How flexible is check-in/check-out time – One thing hotel wins over Airbnb is that you can leave your luggage in hotel lobby after checking out of the hotel. If Airbnb host does not offer late check-out, you can look for coin lockers at Kyoto station.
We’ve used Airbnb in France, Italy and Japan and had great experiences. If you like to try Airbnb, you may use this link to take US$35 off your first rental.
Hope you find the above tips useful and let me know how you like Airbnb 🙂