In this blog post, I will share my experience sleeping with 15 strangers in Japan.
RELATED TO TOKYO HOSTEL REVIEW POST: Tokyo Travel Guide For First-Timers + 5 Days 4 Nights Itinerary
Yes, different strangers each night I was in Tokyo. Different men, different women. Of all ages. Of all races. Of all sizes. I didn’t discriminate at all.
And it didn’t end there.
I also took a bath bare naked with random women. 😱
But no, before you think I’m a whore, no I didn’t romantically sleep with them.
This blog is about my Tokyo hostel review! Specifically, the Ryokan & Hostel Wasabi Nippori, which is the name of the hostel we stayed at.
Ha! Got ya! Sorry to burst your bubble. 😅
So how did it go? How was my very first Tokyo hostel experience? Keep on reading! I decided to do a separate post to highlight this Tokyo hostel since I find it so interesting to share! If you’re looking for a complete Tokyo travel guide click here!
But first! What is a hostel in Japan? Good question. For those unfamiliar with this type of accommodation, let me enlighten you.
A hostel is a type of budget accommodation wherein amenities or facilities such as shower and toilet are shared with other guests. Rooms are usually dormitory types (single or mixed-gender) and guests can book a single bunk bed. There are also hostels where private rooms are available (meaning the room is all yours).
Is a hostel the same as capsule hotel? Hmm there are some similarities.
A capsule hotel (aka pod hotel) is a unique Japanese accommodation. Think of it as a bed contained within a small capsule. Within this capsule, guests can enjoy their own lighting, ventilation fan, small TV (if available), and other basic amenities. They can be single or mixed-gender types and bathrooms are shared with other guests.
Exciting, huh? Capsule hotels originated in Japan and I would have loved to try it for the sake of experience. But I find Ryokan & Hostel Wasabi Nippori’s rates much cheaper than any capsule hotels I checked. Since my boyfriend and I wanted a cheap stay in Tokyo, we can’t decide at first.
But for the love of cheap accommodation and the thought that we can save a lot, I went ahead and booked ourselves at this Tokyo hostel in Agoda. We booked 2 beds in a mixed-gender dormitory in Ryokan & Hostel Wasabi Nippori.
Now, this isn’t my first time staying at a hostel. I tried it in Bangkok and South Korea and a few other hostels around here in the Philippines. But on all those times, we got the room all by ourselves because we traveled in big groups.
So technically, this is my first legit hostel experience wherein I really got to try to sleep with totally random strangers!
Tokyo Hostel Review: Ryokan & Hostel Wasabi Nippori
About Ryokan & Hostel Wasabi Nippori
Ryokan & Hostel Wasabi Nippori is a very affordable accommodation in Tokyo which is conveniently accessible from the city center. It has a public bath if you want to experience the traditional way of bathing by the Japanese in the comfort of your own hostel.
It’s located at 6-24-16 Higashi-nippori, Arakawa-ku, Nippori, Tokyo and it’s just a one-minute walk from Mikawashima Train Station. Also, Nippori Train Station is just 810 meters away.
💡 PRO TIP: Always choose accommodation near public transportations!
They have the following room types:
- Japanese-style Rooms – A private Japanese-style room (aka you sleep on the floor using mats) with a private bathroom.
- Western-style Rooms – A private Western-style room (aka regular beds) that can accommodate up to 2 guests and with a private bathroom.
- Mixed-gender Dormitory – An 18-bed capsule-type dormitory for both men and women with shared restrooms.
- Women’s Dormitory – A 20-bed capsule-type dormitory for women and with shared restrooms.
For the dormitories, there are small lockers for your valuable items at no extra charge. So when you’re out and about, you can safely secure your important documents, extra cash, and other valuables you don’t want to bring with you.
Amenities in this Tokyo hostel
All rooms or bunk beds have electrical sockets, hangers, reading lamps, and FREE Wi-Fi access. They have elevator access so you don’t have to carry your luggage from first floor all the way up. All rooms are airconditioned too!
The shared amenities like the lounge area, kitchen, and bathrooms are well maintained as well. The basics like body soap, lotion, hand soap, and hairdryer are provided FREE of charge.
There’s a sauna inside the public bathroom! More about this and my public bath experience below!
But if you don’t feel like showering or taking a bath with random strangers, it’s good to note that there’s a private bathroom for guests as well!
My public bath experience
Ahh, the exciting part! The public bath! Here’s how it looks like inside. Note that it’s not actually allowed to use the phone while inside but I made sure that the coast is clear before filming! And I did it quickly because I want to respect the privacy of anyone who might suddenly barge in, uhm naked?
Watch the quick video tour below! By the way, the public baths for men and women are separated. Whew!
So as you can see, there’s no partition anywhere. Nada. That means you’re going to take a shower right beside another woman (or man if you’re in the male public bathroom). It’s also interesting to note that you’re kinda required to sit down while showering. That’s what those mini plastic stools are for if you happen to spot them in the video above.
You can bathe in your swimsuit (side note: my boyfriend actually bathed wearing his boxers on his first attempt. And he tried to go commando the next day! Hahaha!). But hey, where’s the fun in that?
Do as the Japanese do when in Japan! So I did take a bath without anything on. It’s perfectly normal in Japan and part of their cultural experience to be naked with strangers in public baths.
I was super self-conscious at my first attempt. I think many of us Filipinos are not as liberated as compared to say, Westerners? Good thing I only bathed with two other strangers at most (usually Europeans if I remember correctly – I try not to look y’know). The public baths were never crowded when we were there. And since the bathroom is big, I try not to shower right beside another person.
Too bad the sauna wasn’t operational at the time. It would have been a great experience! But oh well, next time.
Overall I enjoyed my stay at this Tokyo hostel. If given the chance, I’ll book them again. The price is affordable, the location is good, the staff is friendly and accommodating. The amenities are okay. I experienced so many first in Japan – and I’m glad staying at this Tokyo hostel is one of them.
As mentioned earlier, we booked the dormitory type of accommodation. A total of 18 people can book at a time. We were able to book 2 single beds for 4 nights for only JPY 16,113 or PHP 7,368.69! That’s already the total for 2 persons! Super cheap right? I really have a knack for scoring cheap rooms and airfares!
Frequently asked questions about Tokyo hostels
I gathered some of the most frequently asked questions about booking Tokyo hostels. Here I tried my best to give my answers.
Are hostels in Tokyo safe?
You might be wondering – Is it dangerous to stay in a hostel? Are hostels sketchy? Tokyo hostels are absolutely safe and a common way for budget travelers to keep their expenses at a minimum. Just make sure to book reputable ones and always check reviews online!
Are hostels safe for girls? For solo female travelers?
There are Tokyo hostels which have girls-only dormitories so that’s probably the best choice for you if you’re a solo female traveler. I find Japan generally safe as well.
What do you wear to sleep in a hostel?
Be mindful that you’re sleeping with random strangers if you’re booking dormitory type of accommodation! So that means goodbye sleeping in just your underwear (or naked if that’s your thing). Pajamas are your best option!
What should I bring to a hostel?
You can check with your hostel if they provide free towels and toiletries. But best to bring your own towel, shampoo, soap, toothbrush, and toothpaste. I prefer using my own toiletries just because of brand preference.
Also, bring earplugs and eye mask. Since you don’t have control over people’s schedules when staying in the dormitory-type of room, they can come and go as they please and that could disrupt your beauty sleep.
Are hostels worth it?
Yes, definitely! You should consider staying in any Tokyo hostel when you’re traveling in a budget. Do note that this kind of accommodation is not for everyone and you should ask yourself first if you’re willing to let go of some privacy in exchange for cheaper rates. Also, if you can find a cheap hostel near the Tokyo station, the better.
📌 SAVE IT ON PINTEREST FOR LATER! 📌
TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK!
Have you tried staying in a hostel in Japan? Or maybe a capsule hotel? How was your experience? Will you try it again? For those who haven’t tried any hostels yet, why so? Are you concern about privacy? Can’t sleep with any strangers in a room? Feeling unsafe? How about public baths? Have you tried them before?
So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this post about my Tokyo hostel experience! I definitely recommend Ryokan & Hostel Wasabi Nippori to anyone who is looking for a cheap place to stay in Tokyo. Let me know in the comment section if you have any questions or more Tokyo travel tips to share.
💡 PRO TIP: Learn more travel tips in this Ultimate Guide To Planning Your Trip In 8 Easy Steps! I covered the basics of planning a trip and also included the tried and tested websites and apps I normally use to score cheap deals.