Thanks to the influx of international guests, Tokyo has quickly transformed itself into a haven for budget travellers. Here’s our pick of the best hostels in Tokyo.
Book and Bed
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Book and Bed, Ikebukuru, Tokyo | Courtesy of Book and Bed / Expedia
One of the city’s more novel hostel options, Book and Bed, located in the bustling hub of Ikebukuro, allows book-loving guests to live out their ultimate fantasy: sleeping inside a bookshelf. The hostel owners wanted to help travellers get over jet lag and overstimulation by cramming every inch of their hostel with books to calm the mind and soothe frayed nerves. Almost like the more sophisticated version of a manga café combined with a capsule hotel, Book and Bed’s sleeping arrangements are snug and private. Prices vary depending on room and availability.
Nui Hostel proves that price doesn’t dictate taste. This hostel, bar, café and live music space is one of the trendiest accommodation options in Tokyo. Featuring a variety of rooms, the hostel’s stylish design even draws locals to the popular ground floor bar. Be warned, though, that this place is so nice you’ll have to motivate yourself to actually leave and go explore the outside world.
Sakura Hotel Nippori, Tokyo | Courtesy of Sakura Hotel Nippori / Expedia
When it comes to guesthouses in Tokyo, no name is more ubiquitous than Sakura House. The friendly team here has been helping guests secure short and long-term accommodation in Tokyo and in the wider Japan area for years. Though many people know about Sakura’s long-term share house style options, not many are aware of their recently opened ‘hotel’ (which is technically more of a private style hostel). Located in Nippori, the old-style pocket of Tokyo, the rooms here feature traditional Japanese interiors (think tatami mats and futon bedding) but with all the modern-day hotel amenities you’ve come to expect. Prices vary depending on the room, but they also offer budget bunk bedrooms for those travelling on the cheap.
Sitting in the trendy central suburb of Akasaka is Kaisu, the anti-hostel hostel. Feeling more like a high-end hotel with its on-site café, restaurant and lush interior, Kaisu is the perfect place to stay if you want to treat yourself but also limited to a budget. This property also offers both private and dorm rooms. In terms of location and amenities, you probably can’t get much better than this.
The team at Citan is the same crew behind guesthouses Toco and Nui, so you know you’re onto something good. Arguably the biggest kings and queens in the Tokyo guesthouse game, Citan is another jewel in their hostel crown. Combining affordability, comfort, meticulous design and great dining into one tidy package, Citan is all about living well for less. They even have an impressive wine list on site.
Bunka is a welcome retreat for travellers of all sorts. Located in the heart of Tokyo’s traditional pocket of Asakusa, this once decapitated commercial building has been completely transformed into a hostel of impeccable taste – it’s not so much a party hostel as a great place to hide out and get a little respite from the manic energy that can be central Tokyo. They also have an izakaya on site.
This hostel is for the traveller after something a little different. Taking its name from the sunken hearth (irori) used to cook traditional-style Japanese food, this hostel is all about connecting old-world Japan with contemporary life. With a tastefully minimalist interior tinged with an industrial wooden touch, this hostel is truly unique. If you do stay here, be sure to join one of the popular group cooking sessions that take place using the hostel’s very own modern-day irori.
This traditional Japanese family house-turned-hostel is the perfect home away from home. Retrometro Backpackers was actually born from the owner’s desire to be able to travel with her whole house in tow. Though she hasn’t quite mastered the art of Howl’s Moving Castle–style building teleportation, this intimate hostel is a fantastic real-life alternative. Cosy and authentic, this hostel only has two rooms, so it really feels like you are staying at a friend’s house. With cheap breakfasts and rooms, it’s a budget traveller’s homey haven.
Wired Hotel, Asakusa, Tokyo | Courtesy of Wired Hotel Asakusa / Expedia
Part high-end hotel, part budget hostel, part designer café, the team behind this property has never been known to do anything by the book and Wired Hotel Asakusa is no different. Situated in the hostel hub that is Asakusa, Wired Hotel’s dorm rooms all look and feel like you’re hanging out in your own little private room. Featuring a bar and a killer location right next to Sensō-ji Temple, staying here is for those who want to live a high-end lifestyle on a low-end budget.
This place is so popular they now have three locations in Tokyo alone: Akihabara, Nihonbashi and Asakusa-Bashi. With a strong focus on bringing people together, Grids was made for the traveller looking to build connections and meet new people. The modern, carefully designed rooms come in a number of options, from dorm to family and private rooms.
If you’re a digital nomad, or love dogs, then Tokyo Hutte is set to become your new favourite hangout. Located just around the corner from the famous Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Hutte is a tastefully understated hostel, café and co-working space ideal for those travelling on the cheap. They offer bunk and traditional-style rooms and a resident canine mascot. They also offer a work exchange program for those wanting to stay a little longer.
Tokyo’s hostel game is one of the best in the world, thanks in large part to places such as Obi Hostel. This style-focussed hostel features a communal first-floor bar, café and kitchen, which guests are more than welcome to use. Situated in the bustling suburb of Chuo, a night here will get you designer taste on a thrift store budget.
GrapeHouse Koenji | Courtesy of GrapeHouse Koenji / Airbnb
Founded specifically for female travellers, GrapeHouse hostel is a home-away-from-home in the vibrant neighbourhood of Koenji/Nakano. Complete with a modern Japanese-style living room and open-plan kitchen space, it’s the perfect atmosphere for making new friends and relaxing after a long day exploring.
Guess House Denchi | Courtesy of Guess House Denchi / Airbnb
Situated in the popular tourist hangout of Asakusa, Guest House Denchi is a stylish accommodation choice with options to suit a broad range of travellers. The complex features handmade wooden beds, original graphics and plenty of open space. You can book a bed in a dorm or capsule-style room, or a private guest room with beds for two, if you’re after something with a little extra privacy.