My Airbnb Online Experience: Virtual Travel To Shibuya | Tokyo, Japan

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

No need to ready my Japan visa and passport, pack my luggage, or save up for months. Airbnb now has "Online Experience", which is an alternative travel experience in their app and website! 

I know these virtual tours and classes won't replace actual traveling, but 6 months in and no end in sight, I am glad I discovered a very wholesome and safe way to travel the world even at home. 

Two nights ago, I was curious how my favorite travel apps and sites are dealing with the pandemic. Some converted their pages into food delivery sites, others have pasabuy services for those who want to purchase items that you can only buy abroad. Honestly, and this is only in my opinion, Airbnb has the best alternative "new normal" offerings. Still related to traveling and experiences, I am sincerely happy that these Airbnb and travel businesses have found an alternative means to work from home. 

They have cooking classes, arts and writing, animals, family friendly activities, and all sorts of random offerings from all over the world! 

The tour that I signed up for usually charge around Php 300, but I was lucky to chance upon it when it was offered free!

It is a 1-hour tour of Shibuya in Tokyo, Japan. I signed up for the next day tour just to check if this new normal traveling is something that will interest me without damaging my wallet right away. The next day, I got up early after almost forgetting that 9:30 am in Japan is 8:30am here in Manila haha. 

I was dilly-dallying minutes before the tour schedule, avoiding early-bird chit chats. But even with my delaying tactics, I clicked the provided Zoom link a minute before we started, and still went in first! Haha!

I've been to Shibuya every year since 2015, and still learned new things from this tour. A new building just opened this year, which will give you the best view of the Shibuya Scramble (so no need na to buy coffee in Starbucks na hehe). 

Meanwhile, I know it has been there for years, but I also haven't visited the Cat Temple or Gotokuji in Shibuya!

But of course, may kulang padin talaga. I was able to see the Shibuya Crossing, but without hearing the usual chatter and noise of the streets. Saw the lanes of Japanese restaurants of Shibuya, but without the whiff of delicious Japanese hakata ramen inviting me in. We also took a bus to the Gotokuji, but without heading home with sore legs and feet from too much walking during commutes. 

What I like about this Airbnb experience though is it is very interactive. Our tour guide not only prepared for her Shibuya slides, but also a lot of kawaii gimmicks that we enjoyed. Session is also short and sweet (1 hour), so it won't take up your whole day. And lastly, I didn't feel any social anxieties while chatting with complete strangers. Eto yung nagpa kaba sa akin at first, but walang ganun at all. In fact, if anything, the human interaction is the number one travel element replicated by this alternative online trip. 

A much-deserved 5-star rating for our tour guide!

My Airbnb Online Experience Bucket List:

Please visit Airbnb's website for more information, and to support these travel businesses.

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