Today, hostels can be found in various countries around the world, offering budget-friendly accommodations and providing a social and communal atmosphere for travelers. Hostels in Japan are most popular among backpackers, solo travelers, and budget-conscious travelers. I stayed in a few during my time in Japan and every time, it was comfortable and safe.
What is a hostel?
In a hostel, guests typically share sleeping quarters with other travelers in bunk beds within a dormitory-style room. Depending on the hostel, the dormitories can vary in size, from a few beds to dozens of beds in a single room. Bathrooms and showers are also usually shared among guests.
One thing that really differentiates a hotel and a hostel is that hostels often have common areas where travelers can socialize, relax, or even cook their own meals in a shared kitchen. Some hostels try to provide a great sense of community among guests. Staying in a hostel provides an opportunity to meet fellow travelers from around the world, exchange travel tips and stories, and create a vibrant and sociable atmosphere. It is an ideal choice for those seeking a more social and immersive travel experience while keeping their expenses low. While using the hostel’s common space, respect quiet hours and house rules: Be mindful of other guests’ privacy and follow the hostel’s rules. This helps maintain a harmonious atmosphere and avoids unnecessary conflicts.
Are hostels in Japan safe?
I have stayed at a fair amount of hostels all over Japan, and I can say confidently, as a young solo female, I felt very safe in every single one of them. Japan has a reputation for being a safe country overall, and this extends to its hostels as well. The staff is always very kind and helpful, and the people that I stay in rooms with are usually always friendly solo travelers. Here are a few tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience in Japanese hostels:
- If you are a woman, always be sure to book women-only rooms. Many hostels offer female-only dorms, which can provide an added layer of safety and comfort for solo female travelers. Some hostels have mixed rooms, but I always avoid them no matter what. Mixed rooms in Japan are relatively very safe, but for me, it’s more on how men tend to snore much louder and I cannot handle the sound of snoring.
- Before you book a hostel, make sure to research and choose reputable hostels. Look for well-reviewed and established hostels that prioritize security and guest safety. This is a link to hotels I recommend in Japan, and later in this article, I also have hostels, that I have stayed at before personally. I love using Agoda when booking travel since it shows reviews and ratings in a very easy way.
- Keep your valuables secure. Make sure to use lockers or safes provided by the hostel to keep your valuables secure. Do not leave valuables unattended in common areas.
- Trust your instincts: If something feels off or uncomfortable, trust your instincts. If you have any concerns about safety or security, don’t hesitate to inform the hostel staff
What are Hostels in Japan like?
Here are some of the hotels that I personally have stayed at in Japan, and enjoyed.
Grids Tokyo Ueno Hotel&Hostel (August 2022, ~¥3,000 yen)
I stayed in the 6-bed dormitory and it was a comfortable space with quality beds. When I was there, I shared the room with 2 other people, and one of them was a student. We had a nice little conversation before going to sleep.
Heart Hostel and Diner in Ise (October 2021, ~¥4,000)
The owner is very nice and also lives in the building. The place has a more traditional feel and he made me breakfast when I woke up.
Kobe Nadeshikoya (November 2021 ~¥3,200)
A really chill hostel with a rooftop area where guests can relax at. There are multiple floors and feels very homey and spacious.
Hostel Casa Noda Nagasaki (November 2021, ~¥2,200)
The hostel had the most beds in one room. It was a 10-bed female dormitory room. It was self-check-in and out and was very easy. Because there were many people with limited space, it felt cramped when everyone was getting ready and using the bathroom.
Hotel The Gate Kumamoto (November 2021, ~¥3,500)
Located right by the Kumamoto train station and the common areas and bathroom were very well-kept and clean. Even though it seems like it’s separate rooms, the walls are not connected to the ceiling, and I could hear literally nothing in the whole hostel. It felt like a big common room we all slept in.
nine hours Sendai and nine hours Nagoya Station (October 2021, ~¥2,500)
A capsule hotel is technically considered a type of hostel that is unique to Japan. While traditional hostels are dormitory style with bunk beds, a capsule hotel has many individual sleeping compartments in one room. Within the capsule, there are often a personal light and power outlets. Like a traditional hostel, the bathrooms, showers, and common areas are shared with all the guests.
Japan is a safe and welcoming country for any kind of traveler. Hostels in Japan are a popular and affordable option for budget-conscious travelers, and I recommended you try them on your next trip! Ensure you follow the simple safety tips and choose reputable hostels to have a safe and enjoyable trip to Japan.
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Some Useful Sources when traveling to Japan:
My Japan posts: Pennyless Travels Japan posts
Youtube Channel: Just Coneys Corner
General Tourism information: Japan Travel Website
Best E-sim for travel in Japan: Airalo
Airport pickup pocket wifi: 4G WiFi pocket wifi