The Best Hostels in Japan

Smart Hotel Kutchan in Niseko blends traditional design with modern amenities
Smart Hotel Kutchan in Niseko blends traditional design with modern amenities | Courtesy of Smart Hotel Kutchan / Expedia
Photo of Jessica Esa
18 December 2020

When staying as a guest in one of Japan’s hostels, you’ll find convenience and comfort in abundance. These cheap and cheerful accommodation options come with fun themes, provide an array of sleeping options and even host events and classes to liven up your time there. Here are the best hostels to stay at around Japan, from Hiroshima to Sapporo.

Book and Bed Tokyo Shinjuku

Capsule Hotel, Hostel
4.3/5 (207 Reviews)
Book and Bed
Courtesy of Book and Bed Tokyo Shinjuku /

Hostels in Japan frequently go to great lengths to offer a unique experience, but few go as far as Book and Bed. This hostel takes the literary theme and runs with it, placing books on guests’ pillows and hanging manga pages from the ceiling. The beds sit snug between bookshelves, and to top it off, the hostel itself lies in Tokyo’s shopping and nightlife district of Shinjuku.

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Space Hostel Tokyo

Courtesy of Space Hostel Tokyo / Expedia

Space Hostel Tokyo offers a warm and welcoming environment. There is a sense of minimalism at play here, combined with convenience and a relaxed atmosphere that’s achieved by soothing lights and wood furnishings. What sets this hostel apart is its emphasis on hosting events, running language sessions, calligraphy classes and food-related events that encourage relationships between guests and staff.

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Hostel Toki

4.6/5 (52 Reviews)
Hostel TOKI
Courtesy of Hostel Toki / Expedia

The southern city of Fukuoka offers a unique blend of urban and rural elements, creating a cosy, small-town vibe. Hostel Toki reflects that perfectly by prioritising snugness with its compact space and focussing on soothing tones and lighting. The rooms feature all the amenities of a well-rounded hostel, including luggage storage, guidebooks and a lounge area. Beyond that, the quiet atmosphere encourages calm and relaxation.

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Smart Hotel Kutchan

4.2/5 (33 Reviews)
Smart Hotel Kutchan - Hostel
Courtesy of Smart Hotel Kutchan / Expedia

Smart Hotel Kutchan in Niseko, Japan’s most famous ski destination, does so many things so very well. It blends traditional design – complete with tatami mats and shoji screens – with modern conveniences and amenities such as free wifi and a stocked bathroom. It also offers a range of sleeping options – private rooms or dorms – that appeal to both your privacy and your finances. Either way, you can still enjoy its traditional aesthetics.

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Trip and Sleep Hostel

4.6/5 (95 Reviews)
Trip & Sleep Hostel, Nagoya
Courtesy of Trip and Sleep Hostel / Expedia

Based in the central Japanese city of Nagoya, Trip and Sleep Hostel offers a range of stay options that can accommodate every kind of traveller. It has dormitory rooms of varying sizes, private rooms with twin beds and even a traditional tatami room with futons. There is also an option for a female-only dormitory room, with space for six people.

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Hostel, Budget Hotel
4.7/5 (49 Reviews)
Courtesy of 36hostel / Expedia

As the sign in the window proudly states, 36hostel likes to share its love of coffee and books with its guests, who are encouraged to enjoy the in-house cafe and browse the hostel’s plethora of reading material. The comfortable and homely atmosphere, created by an emphasis on reading and enjoying coffee, makes for a warm and welcoming stay in the southern Japanese city of Hiroshima.

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  • Pirka Sapporo

    Hostel, Ryokan
    4.9/5 (12 Reviews)
    Pirka Sapporo
    Courtesy of Pirka Sapporo / Expedia

    In the capital of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, you’ll find Pirka Sapporo, a cosy hostel that caters to a variety of guests. This snug place offers Japanese-style traditional tatami rooms and mixed or female-only dormitories. It also includes a unisex washroom, with rentable towels and all the amenities you need for your stay.

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    Kyoto Morris Hostel

    4.6/5 (16 Reviews)
    Courtesy of Kyoto Morris Hostel / Hostelworld

    Within walking distance of Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kyoto Morris Hostel is in an unbeatable location that is both secluded and central, providing both privacy and convenience. It has a warm and spacious lounge area, kitchen and cafe, too, while accommodation options include a private double, twin or family room or an 18-bed mixed dormitory.

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    Hostel Ebi

    Courtesy of Hostel Ebi / Hostelworld

    Hostel Ebi sits in central Kyoto, with top attractions within arm’s reach. It offers a mixed dormitory, a female-only dorm and a private room with four beds, allowing friends travelling in groups of three or four to enjoy a private dorm here in Japan’s old capital.

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    Guest House Matsu

    Hostel, Guesthouse
    4.5/5 (15 Reviews)
    Guest House Matsu
    Courtesy of Guest House Matsu / Expedia

    Osaka’s Guest House Matsu is a friendly space hosted by staff who are eager to help and make you feel at home. The hostel’s kitchen and bathroom are fully equipped, allowing for complete self-sufficiency, while the rooms cater to solo travellers, couples and even families. Guest House Matsu also hosts events, such as cooking classes and calligraphy lessons.

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    These recommendations were updated on December 18, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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