For us, lately, we have been drawn to apartments.
I remember when I first realized that renting short term apartment was an option for travellers. What?! We can rent an apartment? In a regular neighbourhood? Where there are regular restaurants, grocery stores, and pubs? Where we can pretend like we live here? Sold! Ever since then, as we learn to travel slower, we look to add apartments to the mix of accommodations.
Just like when looking for any accommodation, there is a set of criteria we use to help us find an apartment:
- We like to have a sitting area. It can be an studio apartment but should at least have a table that we can sit at.
- We may not actually cook but we want the option to make a meal if we want to so it should have a kitchen. We usually eat breakfast ‘at home’ in the morning so like to be able to make coffee and have a fridge to keep milk and beer cold.
- It should have shops and restaurants nearby. We don’t want to have to go into town to grab a bite – we want to eat in the neighbourhood.
- It should be near public transportation. We like being out in regular neighbourhoods but still want to be able to get to the sights. Bus, train, or subway should be within a 15 minute walk.
- It should have wifi internet connection.
In Kyoto we found Kamo Cottage. (I will write a more detailed post later about how we find apartments and guesthouses.)
Nestled on the banks of the Kamo-gawa river this little cottage is at the back of Mike and Yuko’s family home. A small, studio space with a loft for sleeping, it has everything we need to enjoy our week in Kyoto.
There is a small kitchen area with a fridge to keep my milk and beer cold.
A comfy couch and coffee table to enjoy the morning.
Using the bikes that come with the apartment was our favorite way to get around. We meandered through endless neighbourhood streets making our way to all the temples and shrines and then stopped at local izakayas for dinner on our way home. It’s true that, outside of the real tourist areas, there is not much English spoken but a smile and an adventurous spirit got us by every time.
We were lucky this time also as Mike is a fellow traveler who arrived in Japan many years ago and never left. He told us of his secret spots in Kyoto (the ramen shop was amazing!) and provided insight into Japanese culture and tradition.
Once again getting an apartment proved well worth it and, since we are looking for a new home, we truly did pretend like we lived here.