Where should I stay in Tokyo for 2+ months? Any possible alternatives to gaijin houses, or which/where are the best ones?
Hi folks. I'm going to be in Japan, for the most part Tokyo, from about March 20th of this year to early June. I'm pretty much assuming I'm going to be staying in a place like Sakura House
, but I figured I would ask you all what you think before dropping the cash on the deposit. I've seen armage's old question
, and this one
, and this one
too. My desires are close to what armage's were (would like no curfew, no roommates—single apt., furnished, no key money), but I don't have any specific location requirements and I can afford probably somewhere in the area of ¥100000 (although around ¥80000 would be ideal). I also need consistent, dependable Internet access as I will be doing some remote work while I am there.
Here are my specific questions:
- Are there any alternatives to the so-called gaijin houses for the period I'm talking about? I'm assuming not, but figured I'd ask.
- Assuming I'm staying in a guest house, what is the best agency, in your opinion? Does it depend on the specific building where you stay? Reading the gaijinpot message boards suggests they are all stinking hellholes run by corrupt assholes, which I have a hard time believing, but I'd love to get a sense of what to actually expect.
- Where would you suggest to live, where I can get a decent, modest place to stay but also not be too far—that is, a 15-20 minute train-ride*—from a node on the Yamanote line? I am fond of Ikebukuro and Takadanobaba, and one of my friends is pushing me to stay near her around Nippori (or Asakusa or Akihabara...the last one I'm not super psyched about), but I don't really care where it is in the end if it answers my other needs. *To be clear: I mean a 15-20 minute ride to get to a station on the Yamanote line.
- I don't want to be surrounded by other foreigners, one of my main goals while I'm there is to practice my Japanese, which is pretty solidly intermediate (probably a little worse than JLPT 2 range at this point, which I'm pretty sure I barely failed this year). I assume this won't be a problem though since it's probably twice as expensive to stay in a place like Roppongi. Being surrounded by nothing but Japanese is fine, it's ideal, and the best way to improve is to be forced to do so...
- Quiet-ish is fine, although another thing I'd like to do is see some live music on a consistent basis while I'm there. This is "icing" though, see #3 and #4 for my main desires regarding location.
- I want to take probably a 1-2 week trip to Kansai (depends on how this lodging works out though), so, I guess factor that in...don't care exactly when I do that though.
I think that's it...any extra information you think would be relevant would be great. Thank you all for your help, much appreciated!