CATS! That immediately sold the guesthouse to me and prior to my trip, I promptly cancelled my booking with a hostel in Shinsaibashi and reconfirmed my booking with Saito, the owner of Namba Guesthouse.
The entrance is not easily spotted from the main road but with clear directions from Saito, we found the place with ease and took the lift to the 7th floor. Getting to the 6th or 7th floors required a password which is also given by Saito. The only challenging part was pressing in the password numbers fast enough for the lift to register it as the password as opposed to the floors.
When we got there, the owners has just stepped out for while, leaving a note welcoming us and inviting us to let ourselves in and make ourselves comfortable. We did, finding the main door unlocked but since this was Japan, safety was no issue. Our room was on the 7th floor and was right beside the owners' bedroom, separated by traditional slider doors.
We were given a quick tour of our accommodation which consisted of a shared toilet, bathroom, washing machine and the living space that was attached to the kitchen. Towels, slippers, toothbrush and instant coffee was provided. A balcony for hanging clothes, overlooked the street and nearby, we would see Den-Den town's neon lights at night. It definitely felt very at-homy with the term 'make-yourself-feel-at-home" used quite literally here.
Once we had settled in, I could not stop myself from asking Hyun about their neko (which means cat in Japanese) and with an excited 'ahhhh' Hyun quickly retrieved the resident kitty from downstairs and left the furball with us to entertain us for the rest of the afternoon. The ginger furball's name was Hanamizu and he was a delight to have around.
He headed straight for our suitcases, probably due to the scent of my six cats and began his curious exploration. He got all excited and hyper when I played peek-a-boo with him. Hanamizu was such a dear, much like his owners. I wished though that the other two cats that my mom got to play with, were also available but sadly they were at a friend's place during my visit. (Ne, Saito, if you are reading this, please have all your cats at your place the next time I visit ya)
If I am not mistaken, it was about 11,000yen (RM350) per person for four night which was a good deal to me. However, as for the current rates, best to inquire with Saito at their Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/nambaguesthouse) or email him at email@example.com
Namba Guesthouse was Japanese hospitality in its truest form. It felt as though I stayed a friend's house as opposed to the mixed hybrid atmosphere of a hostel or the tourist feeling of a hotel. The beds were wonderful to sleep in. Its location was unbeatable, 5 minutes to Namba station, 15 minutes to Dotonbori, 5 minutes to Den Den Town and 30 minutes walk to Tennoji. Food was no issue as there were many reasonably-priced cafes and fast food in the area and if all fails, there is a Lawson convenient store just around the corner. There is no curfew nor are there keys to the apartment to worry about. As I mentioned, it was perfectly safe and we could come and go as we pleased.
Much like the pampered and well-loved Hanamizu.
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Kyoto Day 4: Imperial Palace, Kitano Shrine, Kinkaku-ji & Gion
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Osaka Day 8: Tsutenkaku Tower, Den Den Town & Umeda Floating Garden Observatory
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Osaka Day 10: Bye Japan :(
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