Thursday, April 21, 2016

Japan Budget Stay Review

Just got back from Japan less than 2 weeks ago, now refreshed and ready for new phase. 
Company is undergoing restructuring so I have been assigned to new job title and new boss~

Waiting for new assignment so before that, here's a review for the hostels I stayed in Japan!
Stayed at 5 different places. This is totally my style of traveling, I cover as many places as possible so this Japan trip was quite tiring (waking up by 7am everyday Lol)

Just like my Taiwan and Indonesia trip, I landed and departed from different airports. 
Landed at Haneda Airport (Tokyo) and departed from Kansai Airport (Osaka).

Path: Tokyo >> Fuji >> Nagoya >> Kyoto >> Osaka

All bookings are made prior to the trip at Since we traveled during Sakura season end of March to early April (super peak!) the bookings were made at least a month before travel dates, some up to 3 months.

These days I use and mostly for my accommodation bookings. However I make sure to read on the reviews. For I usually pick review of 8 and above. Read the reviews on location and accessibility.

All dorms we stayed in Japan has privacy with curtains, all beds have private sockets and head lamps (unless mentioned otherwise below).

1. Tokyo - Shinjuku Kuyakusho-mae Capsule

Address: 160-0021, Tokyo, Shinjuku Ward, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 1-2-5
Cost: 4500Yen/night

Comment: I really wanted to try capsules because it started in Japan and is really popular among Japanese. However most capsule hotels are only for men. When I saw this with male and female option, I booked it right away even though it was on the pricier end and is indeed the most expensive accommodation of all the ones we stayed in Japan. We finally realized why is it usually only opened for men. Though the female washroom was perfectly normal, despite it being tedious, the men washroom was quite a culture shock, according to my guy colleague. So here is the procedure you need to do everyday despite staying for a few nights. First, put your shoes in the shoes locker (limited to 1 pair), bring the locker key to the reception, check-in (pay your fee), in exchange for your shoes locker key, you will get another bigger locker key (but not big enough for your bag). This other locker contains pajamas, towels and bedroom slippers. There will be racks where you can place your luggage. The washroom is fully equip with toiletries (from those for your face, body, hair etc), everything Shiseido! For ladies the toilets and showers are private and there is a make up room. There was a single floor for ladies. However for men, you shower openly, like naked open, which is normal in Japanese culture especially at hot springs. No worries, toiletries are still complete Lol. The capsules are quite scacious with personal TV, mirror, alarm clock, radio, lamps, sockets, ventilations and bedding was very comfortable. The only downside was the cover is just a piece of mat, which was noisy when people were moving around during bedtime. Overall it was a nice experience but clearing my locker and checking out everyday was quite tiring.


Shinjuku Kuyakusho mae's Entrance

2. Fuji - Den's Inn

Address: 401-0304 Yamanashi, Fujikawaguchiko, Kawaguchi 2853-1, Japan
Cost: 3788Yen/night

Comment: The location is perfect and the 4 beds room with balcony is really spacious. The shower is complete with shower cream and shampoo, nice and spacious washroom. Both just right outside the room. The cafe is really cozy, where you get to use the utensils and cook your own meal at the kitchen. Breakfast of toast (jam and butter) with choice of coffee or tea can be ordered at 300Yen per set. When we were there, it rained half of the day and we stayed in enjoying breakfast looking out the glass panel windows. This is exactly why I always enjoy countryside better than the city. There was no buildings to look at but just trees and the mist covering the hilly scenery in a distance, bu the rain drops and chilly weather with hot tea/coffee just give a sense of tranquility. Den's Inn is walking distance to Kawaguchiko and nearest bus station is just next to the inn. Desktop computers can be accessed easily for free.


Den's Inn Entrance

3. Nagoya - Glocal Nagoya Backpackers

Address: 453-0014 Aichi, Nagoya, Nakamura-ku Noritake 1-21-3, Japan
Cost: 3240Yen/night

Comment: Unlike most hostels which are very difficult to locate, usually among shoplots or housing areas, Glocal Nagoya Backpackers can be easily seen with big signboard and probably the only backpacker and a place with huge signboard around the corner. I was amazed with the ambiance of the hostel with a very nicely set up bar and lobby. There is a common room where you can use your own computers, lots of sockets provided. Fridge, microwave and cooking utensils available. It's also next to the laundry so it's super convenient. However toilets are only located on the 3rd and 2nd floor (females only)


Glocal Nagoya Backpackers Entrance

4. Kyoto - Kyoto Hostel Ryokan

Address: 601-8031 Kyoto, Kyoto, Minami-ku Higashikujo Kawabecho 23-10, Japan
Cost: 3800Yen/night

Comment: This hostel is located in a very peaceful housing area, 24hours mart just around the corner. Room with high security! Need passwords to enter the room and also the back door. The receptionists are mostly students or on working holiday visa so are not Japanese but they speak fluent Japanese. You can always communicate in their mother tongue which can be English, Mandarin and even Korean. Initially we didn't know there is a nearer train station because it was not written in the site. We walked all the way from Kyoto station which is super far FOL. Only at the guest house we were told about Jujo subway station which is just 400m away, or less. Bus station is quite far so I think the subway pass is the best, can access Gion and Arashiyama as well using subway. Fushimi inari is a walking distance if you don't mind walking*. 


Kyoto Hostel Ryokan Entrance

5. Osaka - Guesthouse Sunanoshiro

Address: 530-0041 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Kita-ku Tenjinbashi 1-12-19
Cost: 3000Yen/night

Comment: Take note that the reception is not 24hours so do inform in advance if you are arriving during odd hours (besides the regular 3pm check-in, 11am check-out time). The bedroom is spacious, though the top bunk was squeaky at slight movements. I stayed for 1 night but the girl above my bunk was snoring so loudly so I was on my earphones and Spotify the whole night. They should really do surveys for dorm beds to check for people who snore. There are only 2 rooms, the mix dorm and female dorm, which are actually facing each other on the 2nd floor. The 2 washrooms and 2 toilets are all on the 1st floor, with the pantry and reception. The stairs and steps are quite narrow, so be careful should you have big luggage or long feet. Everything else is decent as it was the cheapest accommodation for our trip. The location is nice! Very close to Tenjinbashi food street and 24hours market just next to the train station.


Guesthouse Sunanoshiro Entrance

*Everytime we asked ask for direction, the Japanese will tell us it's near and you can walk. And their definition of near is probably ~2km T_____T because they are so used to walking, which I really respect and salute them for. No wonder they are all so healthy and slim, even the elders still walk around using walking sticks and taking the subways.

Will blog about the itinerary soon!
Pardon me as I just spoiled my laptop and it's almost impossible to blog at work ^__^

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