Mari, her father Akira, and mother Yuko
2,500 yen/person per night × Rental of entire house
From home to closest station × Free return shuttle service
Local hot spring tours × Local cuisine! Enjoy for a full day
This house is great for large groups of people and guests looking for privacy. This is an independent, private-type 2-story house.
On the first floor, there is a kitchen, bath, and a 5.5-tatami-mat room where up to two people can stay. On the second floor, there is a 7.5-tatami-mat room where up to three people can stay, as well as a sunroom of a 4-tatami-mat size. All facilities are used freely and exclusively by the guests.
Mari, who is registered as the OneHomes host, lives in a separate house approximately two minutes away, and Mari’s parents, Akira and Yuko, who meet the guests, live approximately 15 minutes distance away by car.
Even though the hosts are not living under the same roof, this is truly a “homestay”. What is the reason for this?
20 minutes’ walk from Mizuhodai station, Tobu Tojo line (Station Numbering TJ16)
* Free shuttle times are from 8:30 to 20:30, up to twice per day
Approximately 30 minutes on the Tobu Tojo line from Ikebukuro
The main hospitality is provided by the couple – Yuko, born in China, and Akira from Japan.
Not only do they provide a shuttle service to Mizuhodai station and nearby Shiki station, but they will also go with you to the nearby supermarket and drop you off from/pick you up at the day spa (hot spring facilities), responding to every request of their guests.
Although the car shuttle service is basically from 8:30 in the morning until 8:30 at night, they are kind enough to say that even if you call in the middle of the night they will come for you.
Yuko: Recently, there were guests that checked out at 5:30 in the morning, and even at that time, we took them to the station. We provide a flexible service that fits the needs of our guests.
“Probably our younger guests have some financial concerns”, so to guests who say they want to go to a day spa, she explains the pricing in advance. Yuko is like a welcoming mother who works hard to meet their smallest needs.
Her daughter, Mari, is in charge of corresponding with the guests before check-in. She speaks Japanese, Chinese, and English, and is currently studying Korean, so you can rest assured that you will be able to communicate smoothly with you if you have any questions or concerns before arrival.
Mari: The impression most people have about this area is that it is a bit remote. But actually, it is surprisingly convenient around here.
There are four day spas and a “Lalaport” shopping mall with a movie theater and Starbucks is only 5 minutes away by bicycle. You can get to Shinjuku without changing trains, and you only need to change once to get to Disneyland as well.
From Shiki station, from which we offer a shuttle service, you can get a bus to either Narita or Haneda airports.
Yuko: We have at least three bicycles that we can loan to our guests free of charge, so even if you stay as a group, it is convenient for getting to the station and for doing shopping nearby. Our younger guests often go out by bicycle.
What kind of guests are most common？
Yuko: Our accommodation charges are quite low, so people often stay here and then go sightseeing in Tokyo. They often seem to go to Odaiba, Disneyland, Shinjuku, and Asakusa etc.
Mari: There are many students and young people, so I think that they don’t mind the
distance from the station so much.
We can speak Chinese, so we have a lot of guests from China. Most of them stay for under a week, but some people from Europe or America stay for two weeks or longer during long vacations, such as during Christmas.
Recently, we have had guests from Canada, and we now have bookings for people from Spain, the UK, and America.
Take casual trips out with these bicycles, which you can use free of charge
What was your reason for starting a host family?
Mari: When I was young, we looked after people from overseas for two weeks as a host family.
Yuko: At that time, I was studying English at an English conversation school, and I
was requested by that school to put up some people from Australia free of charge.
We made their meals, went to a fishing pond together, and visited Ikaho hot springs in Gunma Prefecture.
My daughter was only 5 years old at the time, but I thought it would be a good opportunity for her to experience real English and interact with foreigners from a young age.
Mari: I recall that time quite well. In China, parents are very passionate about child education, and consider it embarrassing not to be able to speak English from kindergarten age, so I think it was a good experience.
Were you not anxious about starting a host family?
Akira: We registered as a private lodging in February 2019, and at first I did not even know how to register. The representative from Saitama Prefecture did not seem to know what he was doing either. This was how it went, but I considered that if I worked at it for a year, I would learn a lot during that time.
Yuko: I am not working at the moment, and I enjoy interacting with other cultures so I am glad to be able to use many different languages. I hope to welcome guests from a wide variety of countries moving forward.
There are also guide pamphlets explaining the buses you can take from nearby Shiki station to Haneda Airport and Narita Airport.
What kind of hospitality do you provide to your guests?
Yuko: We will pick up and drop off our guests at any time they require it, but I think that those guests staying a somewhat longer time will require more private time, so there is no reason for us be around all the time. We will help whenever requested.
Young people, in particular, are able to gather information themselves using their smartphones, so they often know more about things than we do. Many people will tell us if there is something we can help them with, so there is no reason for us to push our hospitality on them.
What are the points you would recommend about your house?
Mari: We are an independent private house, but there is proper communication with the host. I think one of the good things about us is that you can live in an area with the local people and experience that area with those people.
You can go not only to tourist spots, but also go to places that only local people go, so it is good for people who really want to experience Japanese culture.
Yuko: The cost of living is low around here! You can eat as much sushi or sashimi as you like from the supermarket, and it is much cheaper than in Tokyo. All-you-can-eat “yakiniku” (Korean barbecue) is also cheap and there are no time restrictions during weekdays (lol).
Are there any episodes with guests that stick in your memory?
Yuko: When two businessmen from China visited Japan and stayed here, we helped them out with transportation and discussed their work with them. They were from Beijing, as I am, so I felt some affiliation with them and wanted to help them. They were really pleased, saying “we feel really relaxed and would love to come back”. This made me very happy.
When we had guests from Canada, I was worried that I would not be able to communicate in English. However, there was no call for concern. After they arrived in the evening, we took them to a day spa, and they told us that they were very relaxed. This made me happy as well.
We are looking forward to meeting you!
The home of Mari, Yuko, and Akira combines the charms of an independent, private house that focuses on guest
privacy with a homestay-type private house, at which you can enjoy interaction with the hosts.
They have recently purchased a highchair in order to cater in future for guests who want to bring a baby. You too can experience their kind consideration.
Mari & Yuko: We host our guests in a natural way. We will work to meet the needs of our guests, so don’t be shy in letting us know if you have any requests!