As part of the airbnb experience hosts interview seriese, I have decided to interview Alejandro, who conducts experiences in Kichijoji and Nakano, Western side of the Tokyo many tourists do not have an opportunity to visit.
Where are you from originally?
I am originally from San Jose, California. Home of the Silicon Valley! But my routes go as far as Mexico and Peru.
What made you come to live in Tokyo?
As a child, I always dreamt of coming to Japan. I’ve been a huge video game fan with PlayStation and Nintendo, so those drove me to getting to know the Japanese culture. I also wanted to learn Japanese but more importantly make a big change in my life and live somewhere out of my comfort zone. So I felt Japan would be the best place to do that.
What made you live where you are living now?
Kichijoji is an amazing area to live in. You really don't need to go anywhere else if you live in Kichijoji as it has everything you need from shopping, restaurants, entertainment and nightlife. It's even considered the number one place to live in japan!
How do you find living in your current location? What do you like, and don’t like about the area?
As mentioned earlier, Kichijoji has a lot to offer so if I want to stay out late drink with the locals, I always try to do that. Even Inokashira park is nearby which is another great aspect of living in the area. Can't say there isn't anything I don't like other then I have a lot of friends who tend to live in the Shinjuku/Shibuya area which makes it difficult to meet as they prefer to drink all night in those areas. But I love Kichijoji for its own unique vibe.
What do you do currently?
Currently I am a part time English teacher for adults, but eventually I want to become a full time tour guide for Japan or something related in the field of tourism where I can share my knowledge of Japan to the world. That’s why I started doing Airbnb Experience to share my knowledge with traveler sall over the world
What kind of experience do you offer at airbnb experience and why?
I offer two different experiences. The first one I offer is a "living like a local in Kichijoji" the premise of the experience is to introduce you to Kichijoji itself and and get an idea of the area. But I first take you to one of my good friend vintage toy shop nearby. There, you'll get to see a lot of your childhood toys and take a trip down memory lane. As well see one of his biggest Japanese vintage toy collection of microman. You'll get to learn the history of how they became so popular and the rarity of these toys. Not only that, we drink with the owner in the toy shop and explore around a bit.
My second experience is exploring Nakano vintage mall. We will walk around and learn the history about Nakano and what kind of shops they offer. as well as buy anything you would be interested in. After we will head out to drink at a Monster toy themed Cafe for an all you can drink of alcohol/non-alcoholic drinks for one hour.
Here are his airbnb experiences so make sure to check it out!!
Explore Tokyo subculture with an Expat:
Local Japanese bar hopping in Tokyo:
What would you say to people considering living in the area you are living?
I definitely would love for everyone to live in Kichijoji! Its a great area and has everything you need really. It has shopping, restaurants, bars, clubs, parks. Although, living here can be expensive, if you manage to find a good location for the right price, then you are set for Kichijoji. Its still considered by many Japanese to be the number 1 place to live and visit in Tokyo.