Budget Accommodation Boom in Japan!
Always thought of Japan as too expensive? There are an abundance of cheap, economical hostel and hotel options available for your trip - and in even better news, they're on the increase!
Just in time for the increase in visitor numbers, Japan’s budget accommodation options are on the rise – meaning a big sigh of relief for shoe-string travellers looking to explore Japan in a wallet-friendly way.
For 2015, worldwide visitors to Japan were up an incredible 47% to 19,737,400. This is just under the target of 20 million that the Japanese Government set for the Tokyo Olympics year, 2020. UK visitors to Japan were a record high of 258,500, a 17.5% increase on British visitors in 2014.
Japan is a fantastic location for foreign visitors hoping to experience a uniquely different way of life with a sense of complete safety and security. Combined with stunning natural beauty (as showcased last year in the BBC’s three part documentary series - Japan: Earth’s Enchanted Islands), and home to some of the world’s most well-loved dishes, it’s no wonder that UK visitors are more keen than ever to get their own taste of this enchanting and addictive island country.
This dramatic increase in visitor numbers has been putting pressure on the availability of accommodation in Japan’s bigger cities, but we are happy to report it is now leading to a boom in new openings for budget travellers looking for economical accommodation! Take a peek at some of the recent or upcoming openings and see what you can expect from hostels and business hotels in Japan in 2016…
Grids Nihombashi East – Grid’s eight storey hotel is their second to open in Tokyo, with the design inspired by airport terminals, where visitors are encouraged to ‘cross paths’. The hotel provides travellers with different stay options depending on their budget, with two men-only floors and two female-only floors of dormitories from around £18, as well as luxury rooms for four people costing around £120. The hotel also has a lounge and restaurant bar on site, and officially opened on 15 January 2016.
Emblem Hostel Nishiarai – Just 20 minutes’ from Tokyo’s iconic Skytree, Nishiarai has a more local feel than the buzzing atmosphere of Tokyo’s Shinjuku or Shibuya districts, and is home to cozy eateries and izakayas, as well as traditional bath houses.
The hostel, which opened on 24 December 2015, offers spacious couch areas where travellers can get to know one another or relax whilst planning the next stage of their trip, a counter kitchen for chowing down on cup noodles or treats from the ‘konbini’, a home cinema, laundry room, tatami area and open-aired terrace.
The hostel covers travellers on any kind of budget, with en suite private rooms for four from around £96 per night, right through to large, mixed dorms from £16 per night. Each room comes complete with linen, towels and free Wi-Fi access. Overnight guests are also welcome to a complimentary breakfast served at The Round Café and Bar on site.Emblem also hope to set up four or five more hostels in popular destinations such as Sapporo and Osaka in the near future.
Bunka Hostel Tokyo – Well located in central Asakusa (home to Sensoji temple and some of the best summer firework festivals in the country) this new hostel, which opened on 14 December 2015, is housed in a former commercial building, giving it a cool, urban atmosphere. The stylish izakaya on the ground floor serves Japanese sake and popular local dishes, and rooms follow the same cool, minimalist theme, starting with bunks from 3,000 yen (£18) per night, up to a private room for four from 16,800 yen (£101).
APA – Business hotel chain APA is looking to almost double its current hotel room count, from a current 57,000 rooms to an enormous 100,000 in line with the rapidly increasing number of foreign visitors travelling to Japan. Chief Executive Toshio Moyota says the company plans to open Japan’s biggest hotel, with 2,400 rooms, in Yokohama in time for the Olympic Games in 2020. The hotel chain also plans to open a 1,000 room hotel near the sumo stadium in Ryogoku, Tokyo, as well as a 620 room hotel in buzzing Shinjuku. APA recently opened their Shinagawa Sengakuji Ekimae hotel in December 2015, providing convenient accommodation for visitors arriving in to or leaving from nearby Haneda airport.
For travellers keen to stick to a budget whilst travelling in Japan, AirBnB is another fantastic option, and is seeing a big increase in the number of rooms all across Japan. Particularly in larger cities such as Tokyo, AirBnB can be a great way to find something convenient for central Tokyo without any large accompanying price tags. Shared AirBnB rooms can be found for as little as £7 per night in the capital, whilst large, attractive, centrally located private apartments average at around £68 per night.If you need any hints and advice when looking for budget accommodation options in Japan, don’t hesitate to send us a private message on our Facebook page.