WHERE I STAYED IN JAPAN

I have to say, the hostels I stayed at when I was in Japan were some of the best I've ever experienced! When I was in Europe and the budget was tighter, I stayed in some pretty gnarly hostels. Japan was the complete opposite. 😉



TOKYO - EMBLEM HOSTEL NISHIARAI

This probably goes down as the best hostel I've ever stayed in. It was clean, quiet (in the rooms), in a great location, and inexpensive. 10/10. Not to mention, I met the best people while I stayed there.



PROS:

  • Cost: I paid $30 a night for a bed in an all-female dorm, which I had to myself for the majority of my stay. Breakfast was $5, and beers were $4.
  • Cleanliness: The hostel was super clean. The bathrooms were nice, the showers were very clean, and (not related to the cleanliness) the toilet seats were heated.
  • People: I can't say enough good things about the people at this hostel. The staff was amazing and so friendly. They had so many activities planned and really encouraged everyone to make friends with each other. Which brings me to my favorite part of the hostel, the friends I made! I still talk to many of them today.
CONS: 
  • The only con of Emblem Hostel is that it's a little far from the main part of Tokyo. It probably took around 30-40 minutes to get "downtown" near the train station. However, the train system is "easy" (lol it's not easy - download Google Maps and use it often) once you get it down so it really wasn't an issue. Plus, it was kind of cool to see the suburban way of life.

KYOTO - MOSAIC HOSTEL KYOTO

PROS:

  • Cleanliness: Once again, clean bedrooms and bathrooms. I can't stress what a game-changer this is! 
  • People: Again, another great hostel with fun people. It took me a while to warm up to the hostel (Emblem set such a high bar), but once I did I met some nice and fun people. The staff was also friendly, but I will say they didn't have as many activities planned which was kind of a bummer.
  • Location: A great location just south of the train station, and very close to the Fushimi-Inari shrine. I don't think there's a bad hostel location in Kyoto because there are so many temples spread throughout the city. I could walk most places, and there's a lot of bus stops nearby (you can use the same transportation card as Tokyo!)
CONS:
  • While still not as expensive as a hotel, it was definitely more expensive than Emblem for a bed. (And breakfast + drinks.) I still think it's worth it though because everything else was great.
  • As I mentioned above, there weren't a ton of activities planned at this hostel, so you have to be outgoing and social on your own (which is totally fine!). I love hostels that have activities, so this was kind of a bummer for me, even though it ended up not being a big deal.


PROS: 
  • Location: For what I wanted to do in Hiroshima, the location of this hostel was perfect. It was about a 10-minute walk to the Peace Memorial Park, and another 5 minutes to the main shopping/restaurant district of the city. It definitely doesn't get much better than that.
CONS:
  • Atmosphere: The atmosphere of this hostel was so "blah" compared to my last two. I only saw 3 other people the entire time I was there (which was, granted, only for one day, but both nights I tried to hang out in the cafe to meet other people and didn't see a single soul). I'm not looking to make besties at all of my hostels (it just happened at the others), but it's nice to be able to talk to someone at the end of the day. That definitely put a damper on things, especially since I was so sad to leave my friends from the other hostels behind! If you're a quiet traveler who doesn't like to branch out and meet people or is already traveling in a group, you'd probably love this hostel!
  • Bathrooms: They were still clean and nice, but the showers were on a different floor than the bedroom. Not a huge deal, you just have to be aware of that and prepare accordingly.
  • Price: This was the most expensive hostel I stayed in. It also was the only one that didn't have any kind of breakfast option in the mornings (and as a breakfast lover, I was disappointed. What's the point of having a cafe/bar if you don't open until 1pm...?).

All in all, I had a great hostel experience in Japan. If you've stayed in hostels before, you know it can make or break your trip. Happy to report back that my trip was made!

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