Crashing Out

Japanese Hostels

Accommodation in Japan varied in terms of service and location, and price of course. Below you have the most basic dormitory and well equipped, spacious hotel with a balcony. I began my journey to Japan in Okinawa. The capital Naha offers vibrant nightlife, colorful restaurants among other attractions. The simple hostel close to the town centre offered anything but posh bedrooms.

One of the cheapest and nearest places to sleep is this VERY basic hostel. The sort of dorm bed comprises of thin mattress and no pillow, but the rest of compensating for that. You have a decent fridge, microwave, kettle, and toaster. Also, a large resting area with TV and pool. A small laundry and toilet.

OKINAWA, NAHA

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Reception area at night. Very quiet and lights make it a true relaxation space. It is my midnight Japanese tea. Resting and getting things ready for tomorrow.
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The lounge where you can watch TV or play the pool. Comfy sofa completes it all.
Dormitory with eight bunk beds. It basically is room divided into eight wooden ‘cages’. A thick curtain serves as a door to keep your privacy, or what is left of it.
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That is pretty much your room.  Plank wooden box, 1mX2m space with a thin mattress, one pillow, a small mirror, and two sockets. There might have been a hanger, I cannot recall. If you are on the budget and excited to explore new places you will appreciate this hostel for its location and ‘luxury’ relaxation area.
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At your disposal, you have washing machines and dryers. All you need is a loose change of 2 Yens and 2 hours to spare.  The receptionist was kind enough to instruct me how to operate this set of appliances.
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Automated slots where you insert coins. It may look messed up but it really worked just fine.
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Bathroom and toilet were in a decent and clean state. Not ideal but considering it is one of the cheapest hostels in the town centre it looks user-friendly. Female and male toilets are separated.

HIROSHIMA

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Hostel Mallika was a truly nice change from Okinawa type accommodation. While the beds were still bunk beds there were much more comfortable with proper soft mattress and sheets.
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In a hallway, there was this coffee table with a kettle, mugs and coffee and tea bags jar, available to all.
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What is distinguishing about other forms of hostels is that in Japan the beds may be very basic, small and simple but the rest of the facilities are a hotel type standard. This is a dining and relaxation area with full access to a kettle, coffee or tea bags, small snacks.
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Fully equipped kitchen area. For travelers who plan a longer visit to  Hiroshima, they cannot ask for more. If you are on the move that won’t make much difference. I did not want to waste my time cooking. Sandwich and cuppa would do. Unless you travel with a company then it would make more sense but for a solo traveler, you actually need a place to rest and sit with your drink and a map.

RISHIRI ISLAND

Rishiri Island in April is practically still offseason. Cold and snowy ahh and very windy. This is a family run cozy Japanese style inn. It was a 20min drive from the ferry harbor. The owner came to pick me up. It was truly appreciated the gesture of them as I was tired and sleepy after night bus journey of 8h and ferry ride of 3h.

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This family-run inn was located 5 miles from the ferry pier but close to iconic viewpoints. As it was still winter weather, tourists were very hard to find in town. This place was practically without a single soul desperate enough to vacation on this island unless they were ski trekkers. I think I was the only guest at that time. This dining room offered comfy folded chairs, stove, bookshelves and kettle with different kind of teas and coffee. You pay a small amount for a sachet into a metal box.
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After a long day of hiking the Mt Rishiri, I was chilling out with a book, mobile and hot Japanese soup.
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Such a cozy place and only me with a cup of hot chocolate. What a shame! The stove was on and gave a warm feeling of security and tranquility.
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Japanese style bedroom. Before entering there is a small foyer where I had to leave my hiking equipment and boots. The room is for two occupants with beds divided by this wooden folding screen. I had a gas heater at my disposal.

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