1. Hostels

Japanese hostels… hmm, where to even begin. Personally, everyone who travels throughout Japan should stay at at least one hostel during their travels.  They are not always the most luxurious places to stay; however, they provide a unique experience for those wishing to interact on a closer level with those around them during their stay.

For the most part, most of the hostels that I stayed at were run by a single person or married couple.  Also, they usually have a much deeper interest with interacting with their guests and foreigners than you will typically see elsewhere.  The two examples that i can recall most clearly were the hostels in Tokyo and Ise that I stayed at.

The Tokyo hostel was a huge hostel run by what seemed to be younger Japanese in their 30s.  Most of the guests were foreigners, and it seemed like there was much interaction between staff and guests hanging out in the lobby area.

 

The Ise hostel was much smaller and was run by a Japanese man in his 30s along with his foreign friend (who I think was German).  They were refurbishing the old building and repairing and repainting everything themselves.  The entire place had a very ‘hipster’ feel about it, and was a very chill hostel to just sit around and chat with the owner.  He even had a hostel trip up to the nearby hill for fireworks (iirc), and enjoyed chatting with everyone.

 

I would highly recommend using Hostel World for booking and reviewing all the hostels in Japan.  The website can simply not be beat when it comes to thoroughness and ease of booking.

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