So you’re ready for an unforgettable Japan adventure. You know where you want to go and what you want to see (if not, check out our ultimate guide for top tips!) but now you’ve got to sort out where to sleep. Don’t get your kimono in a twist, we have made life easier for you and prepared a list of the best places to rest and recover in between your temple touring and sushi sampling. Hostels in Japan are generally awesome and there’s a great variety of options. Our list features hostels where you can experience real Japanese culture, such as traditional guest houses or Ryokans, which have been part of the Japanese culture for centuries and originated to allow travellers an overnight rest on their long journeys. Japan also has plenty of modern, quirky hostels, infused with stylish, traditional twists. See below for proof!
Ark Hostel (Osaka)
Just take a look at the beautiful Ark Hostel… It’s a carpenter’s dream! The woodwork in their common room/café is super stylish. Ark offers a mixture of dorms, where you can choose from either Japanese style rooms with tatami flooring or more modern dorms. They also have a great roof terrace (pic below), perfect for relaxing and socialising with your new travel buddies.
Address: 1-15-11 Edobori, Nishi-ku, Osaka
Nearest station: Umeda Station
If culture and history is what you’re after, Homeikan is the place for you! This traditional Ryokan is said to be one of the oldest in Japan (so don’t expect anything swanky!) but it will certainly provide you with a real authentic Tokyo experience. You’ll be treated to fresh tea served daily, an onsen bath and the chance to lounge in your own traditional yakata (robe) after a busy day of sightseeing.
Address: 10-5 Hongo, 5-Chome, Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo
Nearest station: Hongo Sanchome Station
Guesthouse U-En (Osaka)
Guesthouse U-En is a 120-year-old townhouse that has been lovingly restored into contemporary accommodation retaining its traditional Japanese style. It is located in a quiet, traditional area whilst still providing easy access to Umeda (Kita)’s happening bars and train stations.
Address: 2-9-23, Fukushima,, Fukushima-ku, Osaka
Nearest station: JR Osaka station
Book and Bed (Tokyo & Kyoto)
Only in Japan can you sleep in a bookshelf! Book and Bed is the dream location for every bookworm. You will find hundreds of books in the common rooms, dorms and surrounding your bed! After a big day of exploring, it’s the perfect place to relax and get tucked up with a good read. You can choose between three Book and Bed Hostels in Tokyo (Tip: The one in Asakusa is rated highest according to our reviews) or one in Kyoto.
Address: Tokyo Asakusa Book & Bed = Kaminarimon 2-16-9 Pagoda Asakusa 6F,, Taito-ku
Nearest station: Asakusa station
The Pax Hostel/Records/More (Osaka)
The Pax is a cosy, hip hostel only 30 seconds away from Tsutenkaku Tower, known as the symbol of Osaka. The trendy hostel features a shared living area containing a loft with cafe and… a funky record shop! Guests love the friendly atmosphere, location (close to Osaka Loop line) and the coffee!
Address: 1-20-5 Ebisu-Higashi Naniwa A-Ku, Osaka
Nearest station(s): Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi & Namba
Bunka Hostel (Tokyo)
Bunka is in an awesome location, right near Sensoji Temple, shops, markets, restaurants and the Tokyo Metro. Both modern and stylish, you’ll be treated to comfy spacious beds, with the added bonus of curtains on each bunk for that extra bit of privacy.
Address: 13-5. 1-Chome, Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Nearest station: Asakusa station
Emblem Hostel Nishiarai (Tokyo)
Emblem Hostel is immaculately designed. It is slightly further out in comparison to a lot of other Tokyo hostels, but it’s really close to the train station and still less than 20 minutes’ away from the most popular destinations such as Asakusa, Ueno and Skytree. The stylish lounge area is a great place to relax and meet new people. Guests are treated to numerous hostel events, making it easy to socialise and explore what Tokyo has to offer with your new travel mates!
Address: Umejima 3-33-6, Adachi-ku, Tokyo
Nearest station: Nishiarai station
Sappolodge Hostel (Sapporo)
Sappolodge is the perfect place to stay if you’re visiting the beautiful, relaxing Sapporo. This quirky-looking hostel is mega cosy and full of character. Conveniently located, just a 2 minute walk from the station, and with it’s own bar, you can’t go wrong staying in this lodge!
Address: 1-4 minami-5 higashi-1, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Nearest station: Hosui Susukino station
Kyoto Piece Hostel (Kyoto)
Kyoto Piece hostel is a beautiful boutique hostel, conveniently located near Kyoto train station. Modern and trendy, the classy décor and trendy lounge spaces are on point. For location, style and comfort in Kyoto, Piece Hostel is a winner!
Address: 21-1 Higashikujyo Higashisanno-cho, Minami-ku, Kyoto
Nearest station: Kyoto Station
Len Kyoto Hostel (Kyoto)
If you’ve got an eye for interior design and like a place with a bit of style, get yourself to Len Kyoto. It has an amazing café and bar lounge on the first floor, with very artistic, hipster vibes. Many reviews mention its “perfect location” as it is nearby subway stations and the Gion district of Kyoto.
Address: 709 Uematsucho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto
Nearest station: Kyoto station
K’s House Ito Onsen – Historical Ryokan Hostel (Ito)
If you’re heading to Ito, this Ryokan provides a great taste of real traditional Japan. K’s House Ito Onsen is the only hostel which is registered as a Tangible Cultural Property of Japan, and here you can experience an authentic Japanese style stay and enjoy their 100% pure & natural Onsen (natural hot springs.)
Address: 12-13 Higashi Matsubara-cho, Ito, Shizuoka, Ito
Nearest station: Ito station
Have you stayed in any of the best hostels in Japan? Or do you have your own recommendations? Let us know in the comments