How we got our AirBnB in Osaka for FREE!

Right after our visas got approved, we immediately looked for places to stay. I thought an AirBnB at Osaka would be a better idea than staying at a hotel. Aside from being a lot cheaper, a whole house is so much better than a tiny hotel room since we will be staying for a week!

Disclaimer: I will now tell you the story on how we got a free accommodation from AirBnB, which is quite long, so skip to TLDR (in bold) below if you want to.

We initially booked an apartment which is pretty big for 3 people. Everything was planned accordingly with our house’s location – our whole itinerary literally depended on it. And then, a week before our trip, our reservation got cancelled.

Imagine the panic I was in – looking for a new place to stay, realigning our itinerary to that new place, etc. and take note that it’s less than a week to plan things over again! What I did was, I just slept crying hahaha, seriously.

The next day, I got an email and a call from apologizing for the cancellation of our booking and of course explaining why the sudden cancellation happened. They said that Japan has become more strict in airbnb rentals due to the new Minpaku law which regulates minpaku or private residences rented out by their owners as short-term lodgings.

We found out that the previous apartment we booked did not comply with this new regulation, thus, our booking needs to be cancelled. To compensate with the inconvenience we experienced, airbnb gave us the following:

  • a full refund on our original booking
  • a coupon which is double the price of our original booking so that we can conveniently book another place via AirBnB
  • another coupon worth 100USD for activities you can also book under AirBnB

TLDR: Our original booking was cancelled by airbnb due to the new minpaku law. To compensate for the inconvenience that happened, we got a full refund, a new accommodation (worth double of the original one) FOR FREE, and a $100 worth of coupon to use for other activities!

Blessing in disguise!!! I never thought we’d be this blessed even before our trip started. Now let’s have a house tour!

This is the entrance to the house. You can see a glimpse of the dining table on the right, and the stairs on the left.
Our living room, dining area, and a little bit of the kitchen…
Here’s the kitchen, which we haven’t used even once, haha
We also have a refrigerator, a microwave oven (not in the picture)…
…and a washing machine!
What I love the most is the toilet (lol) it has a seat heater, and automatic bidet!
This tub helped us get through our jam packed itinerary by soothing our bodies with warm water every night…
The whole second floor is a big bedroom with 3 beds plus another toilet!

Not sure if AirBnB is always this generous or it’s just really a Japanese practice… Either way, we were really grateful. The customer service experience I had with them was wonderful too. Looking forward to my next booking!


2 thoughts on “How we got our AirBnB in Osaka for FREE!

  1. It’s great that everything turned out well in the end. The travel forums I regularly prowl through are filled with complaints of cancellations related to the minpaku law (which isn’t really that new, it was approved quite some time ago and is just starting to take effect this year). I can only imagine how difficult it must be to suddenly lose one’s reservation, and potentially have one’s carefully planned itinerary shot to pieces because no suitable replacement can be found in a short space of time.

    That said, I’ve always avoided AirBnB in Japan, and will likely continue to avoid them even after the dust settles from the introduction of the minpaku law, since many listings are still on shaky ground (legally speaking). I’ve been following the sharing economy scene in Japan for a long time and things really haven’t shaped up as they should. The fact that every jurisdiction, from prefecture level down, can impose – and indeed have imposed (as in the case of Kyōto) – much stricter regulations than those outlined in the national law will only make things more complicated. I’d rather not have to carry out multiple background checks just to make sure the place I’m renting out has all the necessary licences and permissions (not just from all the relevant government agencies, but also from the administrator of their building and – this is key – even their neighbours). Fake licence numbers have already been reported in forums, so even if a host claims that they’re fully legal, one can never tell for certain.

    Cheers and enjoy your travels.


    1. Hi Diego, I’ve looked at travel forums too and confirmed with our original host if the property is properly licensed and they told me there will be no problems. Still, the cancellation happened. After the cancellation, the property we originally booked is no longer listed in AirBnB. I think they are cleaning up their list of properties and removes the ones who does not comply with the new law.

      When the cancellation happened, I was also hesitant to do another booking with AirBnB. But given the coupons they provided, I think they won us back because who’ll say no to the a free accommodation that’s worth double the price of our original booking. During the rebooking, they are also very helpful and affirmed us that the last property we booked is licensed and compliant so we won’t have any problems. They’re doing their best to win back disheartened customers, I guess.

      Thank you and enjoy your travels too!


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