Japan cheap travel

A complete guide to budget travel in Japan

 Asahidake Mountain
 Asahidake Youth Hostel is near to Asahidake Mountain

Youth Hostels

If you are traveling alone, hostels provide a very good option for cheap accommodation. Youth Hostels are normally separated into same-sex dormitories, although a few will have co-ed rooms. If you are traveling off-season, you are likely to have an entire room to yourself. The cost of a bed can start as low as 2,000 yen per person per night. The prices are reduced if you have a YHA card. A small disadvantage of hostels in Japan is that they tend to be fairly regimented with curfews and strict rules of the house. 

There are approximately 350 Japanese Youth Hostels that are registered with the Japan Youth Hostel Association.

There are many other Independent Hostels around the country that also have excellent rates and facilities. Popular hostels that are located in the major cities can get booked up months in advance in the high season.

If you are in a couple or a group, hostels are not necessarily the best or most economical option. A couple can usually get a room to themselves in a business hotel for the same price as two beds in a hostel.

Tourist Houses or ToHo

Tourist Houses are a newer network of hostels which began in Hokkaido and provide accommodation ranging from 4,000 to 6,000 yen. Further information can be found at: www.toho.net/english.html

Recommended Hostels

There are a some outstanding Hostels in Japan, set in stunning locations and serving excellent local food.

Daisezuzan National Park, Hokkaido

  • Asahidake Youth Hostel: This Hostel has an outside onsen (Japanese hot bath) nestled amongst snow-covered evergreens with views onto the surrounding mountains. The staff were also helpful and provided valuable information for walks in the area. Highly Recommended.

Yakushima Hostels

  • Chinryu-An Guesthouse: A nicely situated hostel on Japan's beautiful World Heritage Site island of Yakushima. This Hostel is not particularly cheap, but there is a lovely onsen nearby reached via a forest walk. The english-speaking owner is extremely friendly and will provide a wealth of information on local hikes around Yakushima. Recommended.

Hachinohe Hostels

  • Kawayo Green Youth Hostel: three train stops outside Hachinohe city, in Mukaiyama, this Hostel is also an organic farm and serves wonderful meals.

Good Value Hostels

The following places are suggestions on where to stay. We have either stayed here ourselves or heard positive comments about these places.

Kyoto Hostels

  • K's House: 9 Minutes walk from Kyoto Station, this hostel has good value private en-suite rooms as well as dorms. Very friendly, clean and English-speaking.

Sapporo Hostels

  • Ino's Place: Good value, friendly hostel just 12 minutes (7 minutes subway and 5 minutes walk) from Sapporo city centre. You can reserve online. Highly Recommended.