If you are planning a long-term trip to Tokyo, or if you are about to go there for studies or work, and are looking for an accommodation that will be light on your wallet and that will give you a memorable experience, look no further than Samurai Flag, an international share house with many locations in the main centers of Tokyo.
Let me introduce you to what some people can now call their second home.
Samurai Flag is an international exchange community that offers cheap dormitory-style accommodation around Tokyo and that hosts many inexpensive and fun events in the city. The goal of Samurai Flag is to create a place where people from around the world can have a relaxing and fun time together. In the share houses scattered around Tokyo, almost half of the residents is Japanese, and many of them can also speak English, which makes is a perfect environment for a language exchange!
From regular Friday night international parties, to what’s called “World Bugs Bar”, Japanese sake and Craft Beer parties, sports events and picnics, Samurai Flag is always organizing events that everyone can attend. All of the events organized are non-profit, which means that all the earnings made from it go to donations (843,850 yen were donated as of January 1, 2017).
Let me introduce you to some of the events that Samurai Flag is famous for.
- Japanese Sake and Craft Beer Party: an event where carefully-selected Japanese sake and craft beers from both Japan and abroad are served. Join the event for a casual and friendly atmosphere where you’ll get the chance to make new friends while getting a few drinks! (Link: http://samuraiflag.com/sakebeer/)
- World Bugs Bar: Yuta Shinohara, aka The Earth Boy, was invited to be the chef for this occasion. He brought many kinds of insects and set up an insect food bar. Insect salads, insects on The Ritz, deep fried worms, and also an insect pizza were prepared. Are you one of those people who love to try new things and have an adventurous spirit? Then you can’t miss this event! (Link: http://samuraiflag.com/world_bugs_bar/)
- BBQ: Samurai Flag hosts many BBQ events in a month where as many as 250 people sometimes gather to have a great time. Bottles of wine, delicious grilled meat, and many other dishes will be waiting for you!(Link: http://samuraiflag.com/bbq/)
The Share House Life
I went to visit the share house located in Koenji, a district of Tokyo just a couple of stops away from Shinjuku station, the world’s busiest station as well as one of Tokyo’s most entertaining and interesting areas to visit.
The share house in Koenji is situated in a very quiet neighborhood, yet very close to Koenji’s center where all the bars, izakayas, and main shops are. If you are looking for a quiet option at a very convenient location, this share house is definitely the way to go.
Many weekends are used for organizing small parties in the share house, where not only residents can participate but also friends of the residents. Everybody usually prepares something to eat and then they all share it along with drinks. Themed nights are also sometimes organized, where the cuisine of the night can be Vietnamese food, Chinese food, Korean food, etc. depending on who wants to cook!
Chatting with the residents
I was curious to hear some opinions about the share house life from the residents themselves, and here’s what they told me:
Darlene from Germany:
Me: “Why did you choose Samurai Flag share house?”
D: “All the other share houses I stayed at here in Tokyo were not good enough, then eventually I found this one and it turned out to be the perfect solution.”
Me: “What’s the best part about living here?”
D: “Everyone here is friendly and they live their own life but at the same time they care about the other residents and they like hanging out with each other.”
Hikaru from Japan.
Me: Why did you choose this share house?
H: “I came here to work 3 years ago as a freelance programmer and I found out about this incredibly cheap place in Tokyo, I couldn’t.”
Me: “What’s your favorite part about this share house?”
H: “So many people come and go all the time so I always get to meet new guys. I like exchanging ideas with different people and then this way I also get to practice my English all the time.”
Tadashi from Malaysia
Me: “Why did you choose Samurai Flag?”
T: “I was looking for the closest and cheapest thing on the Internet, saw this, came here, fell in love with it, and now I’m staying.”
Me: “What do you like about this place?”
T: “It’s about the vibe, it’s like a family here. Everyone can actually talk and open up, instead of staying quiet and then leaving without letting anyone know. Everyone talks about their life and shares their stories, which makes it really interesting living here.”
People staying at Samurai Flag seem to be really involved in the social aspect of living in a share house. They often hang out with each other and organize parties where they can all have fun together, which gives the stay at Samurai Flag a homey feeling that is hard not to like.
It might just be a coincidence, but this aspect of the share house is really reflected by the owner, Mr. Satoshi Asakawa, the man in the picture above. Asakawa-san is the one organizing the events I mentioned above, and he really cares about the residents of his share houses. He sometimes attends parties taking place at the share house, has a drink, and starts chatting with everybody! What’s not to like?
OTHER SHARE HOUSES
· Rent 30,000 – 40,000 yen (including utility fee)
· No deposit! Guarantor unnecessary!
· Furnished! Laundry on site! No smoking!
SAMURAI FLAG Minamikamata [南蒲田] | International Share House
· Rent 25,000 yen (including utility fee)!
· Our sharehouse is a 4 minute walk from Kojiya station and a 14 minute walk from Keikyukamata station!
· Yokohama station is a 20 minute train ride from Kojiya station!
· Rent 35,000 yen (including utility fee)
· 2 minutes on foot from Nakai station in Shinjuku!
· International share house for 6 people!
· Rent 43,000 yen (including utility fee)
· 3 minutes on foot from JR Otsuka Station!
· 15 minutes to Shinjuku station!
GAMING HOUSE Kamiitabashi [上板橋] | eSports
· Rent 38,000 yen, Initial cost: 10,000 yen! (for men only)
· 6 minutes on foot from Tobu Tojo Line “Kamiitabashi” station!
· This is a share house for people who love games. 65 inches large TV, gaming chairs and joysticks. There is also a sound collecting microphone and camera for YouTuber!
[Female only] SAMURAI FLAG Nishii Ikebukuro 西池袋
· Rent 40,000 yen (including utility fee)!
· 3 minutes on foot from Ikebukuro station!
· You can look at the night view of the new city center from the veranda!
[Female only] Capsule type private room of Higashi Ikebukuro Share house[東池袋]
· Rent 43,000 yen (including utility fee)!
· There are three stations nearby. Access is very good!
· [Shared facilities] Refrigerator · Washing machine (with dryer) · Air conditioner · Dryer · Water server etc.
· Rent 35,000 yen (including utility fee)!
· International share house featuring Tatami room!
· 8 minutes on foot from Ookayama station or Tokyo metropolitan university station!
If privacy is what you are looking for, this might not be your best option, as you will have to share the room with many other people. However, the international environment and the family-like atmosphere that you experience by living there will certainly be worth that lack of privacy.
Samurai Flag has many share houses scattered around Tokyo, and most of them are located in very central areas where you can reach whatever you need (groceries, ATM, shopping, restaurants, etc.) in a matter of minutes. If you want your stay in Tokyo to be ideal and make sure you meet new people, as well as practice your Japanese skills (if that’s something you plan on doing), then Samurai Flag is the right guy for the right job.
You will be surprised at how many opportunities can arise from such an experience. If you are planning a long trip to Tokyo or will be studying in the city for some months, now you know where to stay.
You don’t want to miss out!
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