We have many budget hostels and guesthouses in Tokyo like never before. Many of them are modern and stylish. They go beyond what you would expect from the hostels in general. At least they offer more than the cheap prices and bunk beds/futons.
One of the reasons those new hostels are popping up one after another is the issue of serious accommodation shortage Tokyo is facing. Although the Japanese government has raised its target for the number of annual foreign tourists, Tokyo doesn’t yet have enough hotels to accommodate them. While the government is taking years to discuss the guidelines for home sharing, airbnb and such, that will serve as alternatives to some hotels, the listing on airbnb has increased dramatically and various hostels and guesthouses have opened.
It’s good for tourists. They now have wider accommodation options in terms of price and travel style. In this post I have listed some of the hostels in Tokyo that look unique and fun.
The concept of this hostel is “an accommodation bookshop.” It’s a hostel for book lovers, where beds are hidden behind the bookshelves and the guests fall asleep while reading books and mangas. It is not an actual bookshop but you can read all the books in their bookshelves which include English titles and Japan travel guide books.
hanare is located in Yanaka neighborhood. The concept of this hostel is “the whole town = your hotel”. The guests will check in at the second floor of a renovated old Japanese style house named Hagiso, where their cafe, gallery, and shop are located. After you check in, you will walk to another renovated Japanese house in a quiet residential area where you are going to stay. Sento public bath, local shopping street, various restaurants, all are in a walking distance in the neighborhood. It’s a great example of community based tourism.
Located near the Sumida river, Nui is in a quiet neighborhood. The theme of this hostel is “hand-made,” and that is where the name “nui,” which means sew or stitch in Japanese, came from. The building used to be a warehouse of a toy shop and now it has been renovated to a stylish hostel/bar/cafe. The first floor is a lounge area open to everyone including visitors who come just for some coffee or drinks.
As the name suggests, there’s an irori, a traditional Japanese fireplace and shared kitchen space in this hostel where the guests can enjoy cooking and chatting together. It seems they offer Japanese cooking workshop and other food related events from time to time.
Bunka means culture in Japanese. But it is not kimono or sushi that they mean by culture here. This hostel aims to offer the “sense of comfortableness” that are unique in Japanese culture. According to them, it is expressed through the small but functional bunk beds, the izakaya (Japanese pub) space and the minimal but nutritious food they serve.
Lastly, these places will probably offer you more chances to mingle with Japanese people than when you stay at normal hotels as those hostels are popular among the local travelers, too. Chatting with local people is one of the highlights of a trip, isn’t?!
Japan Hostel & Guesthouse Guide FootPrints is a website that introduces the admin’s recommended hostels and guesthouses in Japan, it covers the whole Japan and is available in English as well. If you are looking for normal hotels, Rakuten Travel has a website in multi languages. You can look up the available hotels based on the area you are interested in. Jalan is also a popular booking website.