A cheap place to stay that’s particularly popular with foreign travelers.
With tourists now back in Japan, hotel prices have risen dramatically, especially in urban areas like Tokyo. However, our reporter Masanuki Sunakoma is always on the lookout for a bargain, so when he came across a place called “Ippaku 1980 yen Hotel” (known as “1 Night 1980 Hostel Tokyo” in English), he immediately booked a night there to see if it was any good.
▼ The hotel is located in Tokyo’s Taito Ward, with Iriya being the nearest station.
Located just one stop from Ueno and three from the otaku mecca of Akihabara, this is a convenient location for a budget hotel. The easiest way to get there from Iriya Station is to use Exit 4 and walk straight on Showa-dori for seven to eight minutes.
The hotel is on the map at the station (pictured above), and this close-up (below) shows just how straightforward the route is.
Strictly speaking, a stay at this hotel isn’t exactly 1,980 yen (US$14.21) per night, as prices start at 2,000 yen per night on weekdays and 2,320 yen on weekends, but this still puts it firmly in the super-budget accommodation category . So when Masanuki arrived at the hotel, he set his expectations low, because there aren’t many places where you can stay in Tokyo at these prices.
▼ The entrance was a no-frills affair but it still manages to look warm, clean and inviting.
Stepping inside, he was greeted by hundreds of smiling faces from around the world, indicating that this place was particularly popular among foreign tourists. By the looks of things, there’d been a lot of female customers over the years (the men’s floor and the women’s floor were separated) which made Masanuki feel like this was a place with a safe reputation.
▼ Currencies from around the world were displayed behind the front desk.
After paying at the “Information” desk, Masanuki received his locker key and was told several things: The desk is staffed 24 hours a day, guests need to leave their key on the desk when going out, and Checkout is at 12:00 p.m
As amenities for the coin-operated washing machines and dryers in the front area can be used 24 hours a day, face towels and toothbrush sets are provided free of charge, and there’s no soap, shampoo or conditioner in the shower rooms so if you need them, you can buy them via the ticket vending machine.
While there are shower rooms in the hotel, guests wanting a bath can pop by the Hoseyu public bath near Iriya Station, which is open until midnight and has a 500-yen bathing fee.
Having arrived late, Masanuki was ready to tuck in for the night, so he headed up to his capsule bed on the ninth floor. The elevator only goes up to the 8th floor, so from there you have to take the stairs to the ninth floor.
Heading down the hall, the place looked spick and span, and judging by the slippers, many guests had already retired to their beds for the night.
Masanuki arrived at his sleeping quarters, and was surprised to find that the “locker” attached to his capsule…
▼ …was enormous!
The locker was more like a walk-in closet, with plenty of room for storing luggage. As for the capsule, well, it was a capsule, but what was good about it was the fact that the entrance to his capsule was on a different side to the one above him, which gave him a greater sense of privacy.
Guests make their own beds with the sheets provided, and the room itself is comfortable to sleep in. If you’re used to capsule rooms, you won’t have any problems with this setup, but as is often the case, there’s no sound insulation so you may have to wear earplugs to avoid being disturbed by noise from other capsules.
As for the common spaces, Masanuki got the impression that they were all well cleaned. Guests here seem to follow the rules and create a comfortable space for everyone, which is important when staying in a place with shared facilities.
▼ Shower Rooms
▼ And yes, there’s a vending machine on the premises for all your hydration needs.
In the third-floor common room, which has free Wi-Fi, and up on the rooftop, Masanuki didn’t spot a single bit of trash.
Sure, it was a bare bones setup, but it was clean, which made it a comfortable place to stay. Plenty of others must feel the same way, because when Masanuki stayed, the whole place was fully booked.
For a $14 stay in Tokyo, Masanuki had nothing bad to say about the place. Of course, it’s a no-frills, budget accommodation, but if you’re a traveler looking for a cheap place to stay, a night at 1 Night 1980 Hostel Tokyo is clean, comfortable and easy on the wallet, leaving you with more money to spend on other things while you’re in Tokyo.
And if you’re looking for a cheap meal to go with your cheap stay, you can’t go past Yamadaya in the area!
1 Night 1980 Hostel Tokyo / 1泊1980円ホテル
Address : Tokyo-to, Taito-ku, Shitaya 3-10-10
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[ Read in Japanese ]