QWhat is NiaHomes?
ANiaHomes is a website specially designed to connect those interested in participating in homestays in Japan with host families living in Japan.
Do you want to immerse yourself in Japanese local culture or lifestyle?
Are you looking for a more authentic travel experience that you won’t have staying at a hotel or vacation rental?
NiaHomes exclusively lists accommodation with host families who are willing to welcome you into their homes with the warmest hospitality.
Discover your perfect homestay and begin your adventure in Japan with NiaHomes!
QWhat is a NiaHomes “homestay”?
ANiaHomes “homestay” grants an opportunity for guests from anywhere in the world to interact with people from the local community.
There are two types of homestays dealt with by NiaHomes:
1) Shared-living type
The host family lives in the same house as the guest for the duration of their stay.
2) Interactive type
The host family resides at a property nearby, while maintaining their availability to interact with guests on a daily basis (e.g. when they live next door or another house on the same premises).
We do not call it a “homestay” if guests meet the host family only when checking-in or checking-out, or if there is no direct communication between guests and host families.
QIs the “Interactive type” also a homestay?: Is it included as a “homestay” even if the host does not live in the same house?
AWhen we think of a homestay, we generally have the image of a “shared-living type” where you stay in a vacant room within the house where the host is living. This “shared-living type” is the main type dealt with by NiaHomes.
On the other hand, there are many cases where, even if the host is not living in the property they are loaning, such as a house built in the same site as their home or in a neighboring house they own, they are in contact with their guests every day.
Cases where the host not only meets the guests at check-in/checkout, but goes out with them for sightseeing and meals, provides information on recommendations in the areas, or interacts in the same way as the “shared-living type” are called “interactive type” by NiaHomes.
What we remember from our travels are the people we meet there.
At NiaHomes, we introduce both “shared-living type” and “interactive type” homestays (private accommodation) to provide our guests with opportunities to interact with people from the local community.
QWhy does NiaHomes deal exclusively with homestays?
AThe thing we most remember from our trips is not the scenery or food we eat, but the people we meet on our travels.
It is warm interaction with the local people at the heart of everyday life, who kindly show you the way when you are lost or invite you for meals. These are very different from those you meet when you are at tourist spots or shopping.
At NiaHomes, we believe that this is what makes a trip special.
Of course, going around “out of the ordinary” tourist spots is fun, but spending your whole trip doing that can be a bit of a waste.
Interact with the local people and become involved with their everyday life.
The way to change your trip into one of “unique” memories is a homestay where you stay at somebody’s house.
This is not limited to travelers from overseas, and people living in Japan as well can experience the warm interaction of a homestay.
We believe that the level of satisfaction in your trip will drastically change. NiaHomes focuses on this kind of homestay.
QWhat are the attractions of a homestay? (as a guest)
AThe attractions of a homestay, more than anything else, are that you can experience the normal lifestyle of local people, and you can interact with a host family who will warmly welcome you as a member of the family.
A homestay is the only way that you can enjoy both the “undecorated everyday experience” and “interaction with local people” as a set with accommodation, which is something you cannot experience at hotels, “ryokan” Japanese-style inns, or private accommodation where you do not meet the host.
Because of language and cultural barriers, it is usually difficult for foreign tourists to become friends with Japanese people during their trip. But with a homestay, from the instant the door is opened, the host family greets you as a member of the family.
Japanese travelers, as well, will get much more enjoyment by interacting with the local people rather than just visiting tourist spots.
Another attraction of homestays is that you can often stay there for a cheaper price than at a typical hotel or “ryokan”.
A homestay where you can enjoy the “everyday experience” and “interaction with the local people” at a reasonable charge will really improve your level of satisfaction in your trip.
QWhat are the attractions of a homestay? (as a host family)
AAs a host family, you can accept guests from all around the world, allowing you to connect with people from a variety of cultural backgrounds while staying in Japan, making it an extremely attractive means of cultural interaction.
I want to interact with many people from around the world.
I want to rent out an empty room in my home and get income.
I want to repay the help I have received when traveling abroad to people coming to Japan.
I want to improve my ability in foreign languages.
There can be a variety of objectives when starting a host family. However, once you start the host family, the fun of interacting with people from a wide range of countries always becomes the number one reason to keep welcoming new guests.
Further, homestays, by welcoming guests from around the world, have the potential to help revitalize the local community.
Homestays can increase the number of fans of the local area by introducing local recommended spots and local events not listed in the guidebook, communicating to the traveler the charm of the local area in addition to the normal tourist spots.
As attraction of homestays is that you can act as a kind of “grassroots good will ambassador”, communicating the charm of the local area to the world.
Join the NiaHomes community as a host family!
QWho are the typical NiaHomes host families?
AAll host families listed on NiaHomes are eager to welcome you into their homes and communicate with you as your family in Japan.
Also, each and every one of them is registered as a “Private Lodging Business Operator” certified by their local governments. This means that they must closely adhere to the rules of the Private Lodging Operations, which include keeping properties clean, safe, and secure for guests, and preventing potential disagreements involving guests, host families and neighbors.
QWho are the typical NiaHomes guests?
APeople who are interested in participating in homestays in Japan or experiencing Japanese local culture or lifestyle.
When registering as a guest, submission of an identification document is required, which must then be verified by the NiaHomes Team. Only verified guests can make a booking through NiaHomes.
From solo travelers to families and friends, for both short and long stays. NiaHomes welcomes anyone from around the globe, including residents of Japan, to join the NiaHomes community.
QCan I book a homestay just for one night?
AYes, you can book from one night to a longer term to suit your travel plan.
* Please check the minimum length of stay of each listing.
QHow can I make a booking?
AYour booking will be completed when the host accepts your booking request.
1) Find your ideal homestays
From the NiaHomes website, search your ideal homestays.
2) Send a booking request
When you find your ideal homestay, send a booking request to the host.
① Select the room you’d like to stay
② Check availability on the calendar
③ Enter the length of stay and number of guests
④ Confirm reservation details
(optional: send a message to the host)
⑤ Register payment information
You can make a payment by credit card.
(VISA, Master, or UnionPay)
* Once your booking request is accepted, the accommodation fee will be charged to your registered credit card.
(You will not be charged until the host confirms the booking.)
3) Confirmation by the host
The host confirms whether they are available within 48 hours.
You can review your booking request from the Bookings section of your My Page.
* Your booking request will be canceled automatically if not confirmed within 48 hours.
4) Booking completed!
Your booking will be completed when the host accepts your booking request.
Once your booking request is accepted, the accommodation fee will be charged to your registered credit card.
* You will not be charged if the host declines your booking request or does not confirm your request within 48 hours.
QCan I make a contribution to local communities in Japan by staying through NiaHomes?
AYes, NiaHomes will donate 2% of your room charge* for supportive activities (such as disaster relief) needed in areas where our hosts live.
As many natural disasters occur in Japan, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, or typhoons, support for the restoration and redevelopment may become necessary in our hosts’ hometowns or their neighboring areas.
We, at NiaHomes, not only wish to facilitate meaningful connections between guests and host families, but also value and encourage connections between guests and local communities.
* Applicable when the total room charge (excluding service fee and tax) exceeds 10,000 yen
[Example] When the room charge is 10,000 yen, 200 yen (2% of the room charge) will be donated.
Room charge 10,000 yen ＋ Service fee 2,000 yen ＋ Tax 200 yen ＝ Total payment 12,200 yen
Donation: 200 yen
from Service fee
For further information of the payment: Is there a handling fee? ＞
QDo guests and hosts make a review (evaluation) each other after checkout?
ABoth guests and hosts will send a review on their homestay/hosting experiences (ratings on a scale of 1 to 5) and messages to each other in the form of a “Thank You Letter” after checkout.
The entry deadline is within 14 days after checkout.
Reviews from guests to hosts: Part of the reviews (overall rating and message) will be shared to all users on the NiaHomes website.
Reviews from hosts to guests: All ratings and messages will be shared with the guest and hosts who will receive a booking request from the same guest in the future.
QWhat does NiaHomes mean?
ANiaHomes is a combination of “Nia”, which means “our” in Esperanto, and the English word “Homes”.
Esperanto is a language created in the late 1800s and the language of no particular country.
It is a universal second language to be used between people with different mother tongues to understand each other.
Making memories and families across borders.
Our passion is mirrored in “the language without borders”.