Thinking of taking a trip to Japan?
Even if you cant get out right now, it’s never too early to plan. Thats why I created the ultimate Japan bucket-list to help you make the best itinerary possible!
When you decide to visit Japan, chances are you’re going to want an authentic trip.
And if not, why not!?
Just like eating all the best Japanese snacks, booking an airbnb in Japan is a fantastic way to understand more about the locals, and generally immerse yourself in the culture as much as possible.
Airbnb Japan in 2021: What’s the deal?
Other than a giant pandemic, airbnb’s in Japan are still the same as they always were. You might be lucky and get a hefty discount if the government offer their ‘Go to travel’ campaign, but that doesn’t seem likely.
There are some standard Japanese practices that you might be unfamiliar with when checking in, but it’s nothing to worry about.
Checking in to a Japanese airbnb
More often than not, when you check into a Japanese airbnb, you’ll be asked to send over a copy of your passport and sign into the guest book. This is because hosts in Japan have to provide a record of guests every so often to the correct authorities.
You might (and I stress the word might) have to send a video over to the hosts confirming you’ve checked in if it’s automated. I had to do this once in Kyoto, so I’m unsure if it’s standard practice or not
Is Airbnb popular in Japan?
Aside from the recent global pandemic, airbnb in Japan is an extremely popular way to experience the best of what Japan has to offer on a small budget.
If you’re looking for something a little more swanky, take a look at the Hoshinoya Tokyo.
What types of airbnb does Japan offer?
The types of accommodation you can expect when booking with airbnb Japan are home-stays, , traditional townhouses, Ryokan, Temples, and accommodation with onsen.
The great thing about airbnb in Japan is that you’re likely to be able to afford any and all of the above no matter your budget.
So make sure to include it in your bucket list!
What should you look for in a Japanese Airbnb?
Look for somewhere near a 7-Eleven, family mart, or Lawsons. Pretty much any konbini you can fill up on a load of tasty snacks!
Of course everyone is different, but one of the biggest things I look for in a Japanese airbnb is it’s uniqueness. You’re probably only in the country for a limited amount of time, so why not make the most of it!?
Budget Airbnb in Japan
We’ll start the list with budget accommodation.
In what’s normally regarded as an expensive place to live, you might be surprised with some of the offerings on the list!
Bear in mind these are the average prices for the listing. The actual price may be higher or lower depending on your trip date.
Located in the old town of Nara-Machi, this traditional townhouse is the perfect way to experience the Japanese sleep system!
The house has everything you need to be comfortable during your stay AND has a garden too.
A garden! In a Japanese house! Whatever next!
In case you don’t know, Japanese land is extremely pricey especially in the cities. For that reason it’s practically unheard of to find a garden of any sort attached to a house.
The superhosts of this listing also offer a traditional tea ceremony, Japanese Calligraphy, and Tegaki Yuzen (Traditional Hand Painting & dying technique).
Always look for extras like this when searching on Airbnb Japan as it will absolutely enrich your experience.
Price: $65 per night
Something completely different from the house before, but equally as exciting!
So often is Japanese architecture associated with natural and light materials like wood and bamboo, but it’s a country that loves to work with concrete too.
Hostel Campagne is a house situated in Tottori and is an easy 20 minute drive to the neighboring Chizu-cho. It’s a house that oozes minimalism and is truly a unique Japanese stay.
Not only is it a designers dream, it also has some incredible views from the garden to keep it connected to nature.
Price: $58 per night
Japan is full of traditional inns, and sometimes the property owner will modernise it to be a more appealing airbnb option for visitors.
This style of house is extremely common in Japan and we’ll be seeing a few more of them later down the list. They can be as affordable or expensive as your budget allows and make perfect options for backpackers and culture enthusiasts alike.
If you’re staying in only one type of Airbnb during your trip, make it one like this.
Price: $44 per night
Coming across a house with a garden in Japan is one thing but coming across a house with a temple like garden is something completely different.
Situated in Miyazaki, the ancient house has rooms filled with tatami, Shoji screens, and a giant bath. What more could you want for such an affordable price!
This Japan airbnb is a stunning example of traditional Japanese architecture and is perfect for those who want to experience old Japan!
Price: $35 per night (No that’s not a typo!)
Situated on the banks of the river Shin, this countryside airbnb might be the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the big cities.
The building is a rehabilitated 150 year old farmers house in a village with history that spans over 800 years.
As you can see from the pictures, the farmhouse has traditional tatami matts as well as a completely open planned living area.
The real star of the show here though, is that view!
Having a cup of matcha tea early in the morning and looking out over the river is anybodies Japanese zen dream!
Price: $70 per night
From one airbnb next to the forest to another that’s right inside it. This is a rustic down and dirty location in Japan that’s bound to reconnect you with nature.
When searching for an airbnb in Japan, you may want to venture further out of the city to explore the Japanese countryside, and who would blame you!
This village getaway in Kawakami has spectacular mountain and river views as well as a MASSIVE traditional space.
This is the kind of airbnb that you should go to with the idea of disconnecting from your digital devices. Im sure you’ll be able to not check your instagram feed for a couple of days, right? 😉
To top it all off, you’re at the source of the Yoshino river which is always gonna be a bonus in Japanese summers!(Humid doesn’t begin to cut it)
Price: $96 per night
As we’ve seen before, minimalism and concrete are two design aspects you’ll more than likely come across during your airbnb Japan stay.
Smack bang in the middle of Tokyo you’ll find Tasu Toco. An architecturally designed and dam trendy apartment!
It’s 15 minutes by train to Shinjuku station and only 40 seconds by foot from the closest station. This pretty much means the entirety of Tokyo is at your disposal with just a 40 second walk making it a fantastic city stay.
The apartment owner also runs the café downstairs, so you’re never too far away from a cup of green tea!
Price: $76 per night
Tea rooms are quintessentially Japanese, and an architectural design you’re most likely to encounter during your stay.
Normally these will be in public tea shop or cafés, but it turns out there’s actually an airbnb designed after one as well!
This entire house in Chofu, Tokyo, is something very special you’re unlikely to find for such a cheap price.
The entire premise for the design of the house was based on spending time alone and living in the ‘Now’. Out of this premise, ‘COMORI’ an inn for one person was born. (Dont worry, it still has space for two people!)
I think one of the most interesting things about this property is its huge window looking out onto some greenery. It’s honestly a lot rarer than you might think in Japan, especially in the bigger cities.
Oh, and each booking also comes with a free onsen ticket! A great bonus after trudging round the city! ^_^
Price: $77 per night
How the absolute hell is this so cheap?!
If you’re looking for a fantastic cost-experience airbnb, this is your best bet.
For just over $100 dollars, you’ll have access to a traditional Japanese ryokan style inn that’s over 100 years old.
It’s garden is lined with cherry blossom and separated from the world by an ancient zen wall.
Born in the castle town of Tamba Sasayama, this ancient in has been modernised by two local workman to give you a luxury and relaxing stay during your trip to Japan.
So not only do we have a beautiful outside space and timeless building, but also an interior courtyard. TWO GARDENS IN A JAPANESE HOUSE?!?!?
If you look hard enough, you’ll find gems like these on Airbnb Japan and they’ll make your stay completely unforgettable. I URGE YOU to search around for something like this rather than a chain hotel. Please!
P.S It also have a cypress bath ^_^
Anyone else get anime vibes from this one?
For some reason it looks like it’s straight out of ‘Your Name’. Maybe that’s just me?
This fully renovated seaside house is the perfect in those hot and muggy Japanese days!
Though this listing is only a room, it’s easily worth it for the views alone. In fact, you can wake up to the sunrise every-morning which isn’t bad at all!
The room is located on the second floor of the house but has it’s own individual door, completely separate from the main house.
Might as well have another Sake then! 😉
Just make sure you bring some snacks as there aren’t any convenience stores nearby.
Price: $95 per night
The best Airbnb Japan has to offer
These are the best of the best.
Before you say it, yes I know some of these are still really cheap.
BUT they’re absolutely deserving of their place on the list!
Yoshino Cedar house could have had it’s own article as far as I’m concerned (and it may well do in the future).
The story of it’s creation is a rather heartwarming one.
It began as a collaboration between Joe Gebbia (Airbnb co-founder), Go Hasegawa (Japanese architect), and the residents of Yoshino (a small town snuggled in the mountains of Nara).
By bringing together the modern technology of Airbnb, Japanese craftsmanship, and cultural and community based designs, Yoshino Cedar house delved into the relationship between tourists and the communities they visited.
Once you’ve booked your room through Airbnb, you’ll be assigned one of the many local hosts that help guests during their stay.
You’ll also be sharing the space with other travellers, community members, and visitors as Yoshino house is not just an airbnb but also a community center!
If that type of immersion doesn’t persuade you, it’s location might!
Price: $183 per night
Similar to some of the other listings we’ve already been through, but far more luxurious.
Set in the foothills of Nara, this renovated old Japanese house features it’s own moss garden, roof terrace, and rice field view.
Tap on the title and take a look at the rest of the photos, it’s honestly insane!
Price: $185 per night
This Kyoto based airbnb is something extremely special.
The house is classed as a Kyo-Machiya which basically means it’s a traditional building. Under current law, these type of houses cannot ever be built again. So if you truly want a once in a lifetime place to stay, this might be it!
Now, onto the more interesting things… (clearly that amazing open air bath…)
Most of the higher end airbnb’s you find will likely offer a private outside onsen. (Great news if you don’t feel comfortable going into a private one!)
As well as offering an open air cypress tub, this traditional wooden building is also in a fantastic place to plan your travels from. Being only 2 minutes away from the local “Sumizome Station” You’re never too far from the best sightseeing spots around.
Price: $138 Per night
Not something you thought you’d see on this list I bet?
Welcome to Tida House in Hokkaido!
You’re looking at a hand-made straw bale house surrounded by potato fields.
The house features two single beds, extremely simple cooking facilities and a ‘Rustic’ vibe. (and possibly a resident woofer)
Dont worry, it does still have wifi!
So whilst it’s clearly not the best hotel in Japan, it is an extremely unique airbnb that shows just how much Japan loves to push design boundaries.
The airbnb is open year round so if you’re going in winter, you can expect more snow than you’ve ever seen in your life. Hokkaido’s average snowfall last year was about 20 metres… Soooo yeah, pack some warm clothes!
Price: $102 per night
We’ve seen a fair few places with some nice views, but this one really takes the cake.
Set on a hill in Kumamoto, YHouse is an open and airy 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom house
As well as having an open air bath, guests also have the privilege to wake up to some bloody amazing views. I haven’t added the picture in, but if you click on the listing you’ll see the bed faces directly out the window and greets you with the same view in the top photo.
Rivers, mountains, villages, and a truly expansive sky. You’re gonna be hard pressed to find a place with such view.
Price: $170 per night
This looks like a cross between a surfer shack, and a swanky New York loft.
And thats pretty much exactly what it is!
Set in the heart of Japan’s premium holiday destination, Okinawa, this log cabin is one of the swankiest pads on the island.
‘Login Okinawa’ is surrounded by nature and only a 10 minute walk to the nearest beach. You’re probably not going to want to spend your day stuck inside if you’re visiting Okinawa, but if it’s raining then the hosts have you covered with a flatscreen tv and a bucket load of movies at your disposal.
The Japan airbnb is also set up for folks who need to work with a fast wifi connection, office table, and plenty of coffee to keep you going!
Oh, and you might make a few critter friends on this one. The host mentions that geckos like to show their face from time to time due to the cabins location.
Im sure they’re friendly though, right? ^_^
Price: $166 per night
A super light and open planned 3 bedroom house, perfect for up to 10 people.
It might seem a little expensive, but shared with that amount of people it’s honestly not too bad! 🙂
If you’re going on a ski holiday to Niseko, this airbnb is perfectly nestled right next to Mount Yotei and provides some stunning views of the mountains.
Plus they have a log burner right in the middle to heat the entire house up. (Getting a log burner is totally a dream of mine… don’t judge…)
If you’re here in any of the other seasons, then it’s location alone should be enough to draw you in.
Price: $550 per night
Bali or Japan?…
Cool, cool. Just checking!
Welcome to Black Cedar House, an Okinawan oasis.
Completely surrounded by Banana and sugarcane fields, this cabin makes for an absolutely perfect tropical island hideaway.
You see that wall on the left hand side? That’s your very own rock climbing wall!
The house also has a living room with open kitchen as well as a tea room. Not the kind of house I thought would have a tearoom but I’m certainly not complaining!
There is also a loft where guests can stare through a giant window to see the moon, stars, or panoramic views.
And whilst you’re lazing the days away on the hammock, you might even get a visit from their friendly cat who might pop over to say hello!
Price: $138 per night
For the final Japan airbnb on our list we’re going back to Kyoto!
The two story house has been remodelled from the traditional Japanese style (Machiya) and designed with a ton of hand-dyed Japanese paper made from tin and gold foil. But don’t worry, the original Kyo Machiya style has still been thoroughly respected throughout.
On one side of the house there’s a Japanese dry garden (Japanese rock garden) with floor to ceiling sliding doors for you to view it from.
The entire house is big enough for 5 guests, but we won’t tell if you book the whole thing for yourself 😉
Price: $185 per night
So there you go! 19 of the best airbnbs in Japan!
Let me know below if if missed of your favourite or if I should have added another one to the list!