If you want to know the best budget-friendly accommodation in Japan, the answer is undisputedly hostels. As tacky as it seems, hostels are the only place where you can save costs, that is if you plan to stay longer than three days. The price depends on the type of room you chose and the condition of the hostels.
Image Source: Japan Youth Hostels.inc.
In this article, we are going to list down several things that you need to know when staying in Japan’s hostels.
1. Affordable price range
For an avid traveller, we definitely want to look for the cheapest option. As we mentioned earlier, hostels offer the cheapest price you will ever get especially in Japan. We suggest you book hostels in advance because the price will increase mainly during the long holidays. In average, hostels in Japan charge around 2,000 yen to 4,500 yen per person each night.
2. Sharing personal space with other guests
The price also varies according to the type of room. Most hostels in Japan provide a public dormitory and private room. For public dormitory, you have to share the room with other travellers. The room is typically furnished with bunk-beds and can fit up to more than five people. If you are okay with sharing personal space with others, opt for the public dormitory.
Image Source: The Broke Backpacker.
Meanwhile, for some privacy, just book the private room. Some hostels provide an en suite bathroom too but, in some cases, you might need to use the public bathroom with other travellers. Even though the price to stay in this room is somewhat costly than others, you will definitely get the privacy you needed.
Image Source: Khaosan-Tokyo.
3. Basic amenities
Generally, staying in a hostel is no different from hotels or ryokans when it comes to amenities. In some hostels, you will be equipped with toiletries such as shampoo and body shower which need to be shared with other guests. If you are not the sharing type, bring your personal toiletries.
The shared bathroom is one of the things you need to tolerate while staying in a hostel. We suggest you take an early morning shower to avoid long queue.
Image Source: Booking.com.
As for Wi-Fi, we are happy to announce that Wi-Fi is usually free in most hostels in Japan. Since Wi-Fi is undeniably one of the must-haves essentials in our daily life, these hostels are kind enough to provide a free Wi-Fi in case you need to update your social media as well as to look for travel information.
In contrary to hotels, you can’t cook in your room. However, you can cook in your hostel. The public kitchen is open for everyone’s use at any time of the day. Their kitchen is complete with basic cooking utensils and kitchenware. Moreover, some hostels add several breakfast options such as cereals, bread and tea or coffee.
Image Source: Tokyo Creative.
4. Storage space/Locker
Storing your bags inside the dormitory is not very convenient because of the confined space. As an alternative, hostels installed guests personal lockers in which can be used throughout your stay.
In public dormitory, most of the bunk beds have its own individual shelf for guests to store important things like passport, cash and mobile phone.
Image Source: Kaname-inn.
5. Extra commodities
When it comes to staying in a hostel, the staffs will want to make sure that you feel right at home. Most hostels in Japan do have a laundry room in case you are running out of clean clothes to wear. Of course, the washing machine and dryer are coin operated. Some places charge you as low as 200 yen and some can reach up to 800 yen. Depending on the hostels you are staying at, it is good that you ask the staff first about their service just in case you are in a tight budget.
Another great thing about hostels is the common area. This is where you will spending most of your time as you can swap travel tips and experience with other guests. Most of the guests are extremely friendly and helpful too, so, you can even ask for itineraries plus free tour guides for the places you wish to visit.
Image Source: Japan-Guide.
What is Japan without the existence of its vending machines? A few hostels placed vending machines inside their facility so guests can easily get their quick late-night drinks and snacks.
6. Curfew time
Yes, as bad as it sounds, some hostels have a curfew time for the guests. This means that you can’t go in if you failed to follow the time limit. In some cases, some modern hostels include passcode machine in which guests can key-in the passcode to enter the hostel. On the other hand, try look for hostels that don’t have any curfew time so you can have a late night out.
Curfew notice as seen in Tokyo Central Youth Hostel. Image Source: Booking.com.
7. The staffs are helpful
Honestly, the staffs in hostels are much more helpful than in hotels because the majority of them can converse well in English. You can ask for directions, tour guides and basically anything you need to know about the area you are visiting. Apart from that, the staffs will also hang out at the common area to get to know their guests, therefore, it’s one of the many opportunities you should take to ask about the country’s culture and as such.
Image Source: Kaname Inn.
Staying in a hostel definitely has its pros and cons. The pros would have to be the cheap price and friendly guests, meanwhile, the cons might be the personal space and sharing the facilities. If you are travelling for the sake of immersing in one’s culture, then staying in a hostel is probably one of the best options to take. For those who seek comfort and luxurious vacation, opt for hotels instead. Don’t limit yourself to choosing hostels just because it’s cheap. At the end of the day, it’s all about comfort and safety.