Yes, Maison de Horie is a very groovy designer apartment in the midst of Osaka's leading cafe/fashion culture. And, yes! It is very family friendly!
Those two words, "groovy" and "kid friendly" don't normally go well together, but they do at Maison de Horie. Having children changes our priorities in selecting restaurants, movies, holiday destinations and activities before/after the first child. Staying at Maison de Horie will allow you to go to a nice Italian restaurant for dinner and a nice urban cafe for a real cup of Cafe Latte, and even stay in a groovy designer apartment for the night.
About the Location:
Osaka, the second largest city in Japan, is actually a lot more fun and family/children friendly than one may expect from reading guide books about Japan. Universal Studio Japan, Kaiyukan (a world famous aquarium), zoos, parks, museums, and Osaka castle are all here for families to enjoy. Especially in Horie area, where the apartment is located, there are a number of parks and family friendly cafes and restaurants. Shinsaibashi(10 mins walk from the apartment) is also full of department stores(Daimaru & SOGO), Tokyu Hands, Loft, Opa, VIVRE, and tons of restaurants and cafes. Despite its very central location, Maison de Horie is tucked away on a little street where everything becomes quiet after 5:00pm.
Inside the Apartment:
It's a strategically planned out one bedroom apartment designed/furnished/managed by a leading residence/office designing studio in Osaka. All appliances are top of the range products imported mainly from Europe. There are a double bed in the main bedroom and two full size convertible beds, which can be set up in the living room. A baby crib is also available. High speed broadband is also available and included in the nightly rate. The kitchen is fully equipped with cooking utensils, a gas stove, a full size fridge, a microwave, a toaster, etc etc, so you could have fun preparing meals with some local produces whenever you would like in your home away from home.
So, come to Osaka and stay with us at Maison de Horie! It will be a very urban, sophisticated, groovy yet kids friendly stay for you, for sure!
Four of us stayed here for 3 nights in May and it was a wonderful experience. The apartment is actually very spacious even by American standards and it's located in a really nice part of town. There is a walk-in closet with a door that opens up to the balcony that was large enough to use as an additional bedroom. We loved the wrap around balcony with view overlooking the city. The train station is not far from the unit and there are a couple of convenience stores (much better than American Seven Eleven), restaurants, and Japanese bakeries nearby. I could spend a lot of time writing about the food... I agree with previous reviews- it's a little unnerving to send all the money upfront but it all went very smoothly and in the end, it was terribly convenient to not have to deal with money once we arrived. The directions to the place and how to get in were great (don't forget to press the "enter" button after the code :) ). My only complaints: The place was pretty clean although the shelves in the kitchen were a bit dusty and crumby. The bed in the bedroom was very comfortable but the 2 roll away beds were very hard so much so that one person in our party preferred to sleep on the rug instead. I just augmented my roll away with the sofa cushions. Traditional Japanese futon probably would have been more comfortable. The soap dispenser in the bathroom was almost empty on our arrival- it was very easy to buy more at the "Convini" across the street. That being said, it really was a beautiful and conveniently located place, we loved it and wouldn't hesitate to stay there again or recommend it to a friend.
My stay here with three friends was really great, arranged over the web easily and efficiently, received instructions how to get there and how to get in (as arrived quite late) and everything made sense and worked.
The apartment is spacious, bright, well positioned for everything Namba, Shinsaibashi and is really well equipped, everything works, TV, wireless internet, cable, iPod dock, washing machine, gas cook top, microwave, toaster, kettle, pots, pans, plates, glasses and on and on it goes, really good place and really happy with this choice.
There are a couple of local restaurants really close, a convenience store 50m away, taxis, trains and everything on your doorstep. If you need some space for a few days for a few people,as opposed to a few hotel rooms, then this is the place to be.
Have just come back from a stay in this apartment with my girlfriend and a friend, and found it to be plenty big enough for the three of us, with room left over. This is a VERY spacious flat, that is much more homely than pictures do it justice. There is lots of storage space for cases, and clothes for a family, and the apartment is light and airy and fully equipped, with a balcony on all sides that enabled us to take advantage of the good weather and the pleasant evenings. It's location couldn't have been better, within easy walking distance of Shinsaibashi, or nishiohashi subway station just right outside, with a convenience store a mere minute away. We had friends staying in a nearby hotel who said that their bed took up the whole room, so we were more than happy with our choice in this apartment. On arrival it was very clean and tidy, and everything was found where we were told it would be. The owners couldn't have done more to help. Our main concern over paying all monies upfront were unfounded because the owners were very trustworthy and guided us every step of the way. On future visits to see our friends in Osaka, i hope the owners will allow us to stay here again!!!
Our family of four stayed at this apartment for four nights. It is very well-equipped and neat. The building is a residential apartments, two minutes walk from Nishiohashi station, which is a small subway line/station one stop from shopping area Shinsaibashi.
We did not know what to expect when we put down the payment (all made in advance). The address given initially was not easily spotted on Google Maps. However, once the payment was received, the owner sent us detailed, step-by-step information of how to get there. Likewise, inside the apartment, there was a handbook explaining how the appliances work. This is essential as the description buttons of the air-con & TV remote controls, microwave, toilet, etc are all in Japanese.
We found the area of the building safe, with a nearby convenient store and several restaurants. The apartment is new and very big, especially if compared to hotel rooms. There is a master bedroom, a second room for setting up foldaway beds (looks like it was meant to be a walk-in closet/storage room), a big shower and bath area, and a modern Japanese toilet with a washing machine. The living area is an open plan of a sofa with TV and iPod dock and Bose sound system, connecting to dining area with a table and four Philippe Starck Kartell chairs, kitchen island equipped with dishwasher, sink, a big cupboard with sliding mirror doors, inside which there was a full-sized fridge, electric kettle, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, utensils and cutlery, tea sachets, sugar, etc. This is truly home away from home. We highly recommend this place for a group/family of two to four.