Alvin In The Room: Journal

Kodaira, a city in the west part of Tokyo

Kodaira is a city in the western part of Tokyo, which can be accessed by rail from Shinjuku for 25 minutes only. It is not well known to oversea tourists. It's just a livable suburb area.

Although I have been to Tokyo for several times, there are still lots of good places that I didn't know before and Kodaira is one of them. I know there from Airbnb, whose host has a small flat for rent there. For tourists who stay in Kodaira, they can explore the bustling and popular Tokyo's spots with a 30-minute journey. For me, I decided to explore Kodaira and its nearby as the exploration of Tokyo shouldn't be limited to popularity of a place and recommendations from travel guide books or magazines, and I have visited the so-called major tourist sites before.

Compared to the crowded and stunning Tokyo, Kodaira is less attractive. Still, it is believed to be a great area especially for travel and even for slow living. But convenience is not missing as the bus stops, supermarkets, restaurants, cemetery, low density residential area and farms are within 5 minute walk from the train station. Cycle lane is so great as it's connected to other places like the reservoir and an amusement park which is about 10 to 15km away from Kodaira.

Like Tokyo, my hometown Hong Kong is also a metropolitan. But the difference is that you can't have many options for affordable housing as in Tokyo. At least you can choose those outside special wards of Tokyo, buy for yourself, or to set up an Airbnb flat to attract tourists by stating 'a few minutes to a sightseeing spot'.

Choosing a place to live which is far away from a town centre does have costs in terms of time, while its surrounding environment can be nicer. Everyone does have a variety of options, but they must be all imperfect with expected pros and cons, and making a decision is always not that easy. For tourists, it would still be great if they can afford a personal room in the capital of Japan with high living cost, although the place of stay can be far away from some major and popular tourist areas. Meanwhile, it is a good idea to stay like a local when traveling...

小平市坐落在東京都,從新宿乘坐鐵路只需要25分鐘,它不是一個很為人熟悉的旅遊地區,只是一個很普通,但是環境優美、宜居的小社區。

去過東京數次的自己,發現這個都市還有很多地區尚待自己去探索,小平是其中之一。發現小平這個地方,是因為Airbnb一個小小且舒適的單位。雖然為旅客來說,只要半小時的車程,便可到東京旅遊熱點,但是在於已經在東京主要景點走遍過,加上旅行就不應該因為熱點或旅遊書介紹才去探索,而是出於自己的好奇心。所以大部分的時間裡,我都在附近逛逛。

相對於東京人煙稠密,小平確是平淡一點,但是來這裡以前,我很難想像到:一個車站方圓5分鐘步程範圍內,除了巴士站、超市餐廳外,還有墓園、低密度民居甚至農場。單車徑駁通離車站約10-15公里外的地方,如水塘、遊樂場。相信是慢活的理想地方之一。

香港跟東京一樣是大城市,但是在香港,幾乎到處都是高昂樓價且密度甚高的地區,不像東京般,離開都心或23區,就是樓價比較低、密度比較低的區域。這是為什麼很多人選擇都心外圍建立Airbnb的原因,以「數分鐘到達某主要熱點」和可負擔得起的成本,已經可以吸引旅客來體驗本地居住環境,也讓房東賺錢。

也許從本地人的角度,搬離都心帶來像在天水圍去市區上班那樣的漫長通勤時間,但因為在遙遠的地區還能找到可負擔的房價和比較優美的居住環境,人們在置業的時候會作出一些取捨。就旅客來說,在物價高昂的東京,能夠遠一點但住宿既便宜又有個人空間舒適的,也是不錯的選擇。同時,待在那些本地人生活的地方其實也是旅行的所在⋯⋯