We can’t deny the fact that Japan accommodation prices are very high compared to those of our neighboring countries. From someone who’s been to a number of countries, I can vouch that it actually has one of the most expensive per night rates (both in hotels & hostels) in Asia.
I’ve been flying to Japan every year since 2015 & believe it or not, I’ve never stayed in a hotel. I always go for the cheaper & comfortable option of staying in hostels. I have the tendency to be very picky on which hostel to choose & what time of room or dormitory configuration to book but so far, I’ve never made a bad decision. All rooms & bed types I got in the past are decent, secured, comfortable, some are a little bit over the usual price but totally worth every yen.
In the last 5 years of flying to & travelling around Japan, I discovered 4 trusted hostel groups that offer affordable & over-the-top services to its guests. Note that I’ve stayed in at least one property of these hostel groups in the past. If you’ve been following my Hostel Of The Day posts in the past, you’ll see some of featured hostels coming from these hostel groups. These hostels are located in places or cities where most foreigners go or visit.
The aim of these hostel groups is to provide the best quality of hospitality in the most affordable price or rate. I can assure you that all hostels under these hostel groups provide the best comfort they can at such low prices. Allow me to share with you which hostel groups you should check for your next Japan trip.
Have you read the article I posted about the pattern in getting the best travel accommodation deals online? If not, better check out this post.
Oak Hotel Group
Oak Hotel Group is a hostel group owned & managed by Oakhouse Co Ltd. The group started in 1992 as living spaces for foreigners in Japan. It has transformed into share houses for both foreigners & locals. A few years after, the hostel is operating in 6 locations in Tokyo & 1 in Nara. The hostel group’s concept is ‘enjoyable living.’ True enough, all their properties are equipped with facilities that provide comfortable & enjoyable experience.
Here are the current Oak Hotel properties: Oak Hostel Sakura in Oshiage, Oak Hotel Edo in Morishita, Oak Hostel Fuji in Asakusa, Oak Hostel Zen in Ueno, Oak Hostel Cabin in Tokyo, Oak Hotel Ikebukuro in Ikebukuro & Oak Hostel Nara in Nara.
My favorite Tokyo hostel is under this hostel group – Oak Hostel Zen. In fact, I already stayed in this property for 3 times (2015, 2017 & 2018) & I am planning to go back in the future. Check out the hostel of the day feature of Oak Hostel Zen.
J-Hoppers & Hana Hostels Group
J-Hoppers & Hana Hostels Group is a combination of 2 smaller hostel groups – J-Hoppers & Hana Hostels. J-Hoppers started in 2002 in Kyoto, Japan in a small building near Kyoto Station. Different branches have been added since then. The owner’s vision in creating this hostel group is to give foreigners a ‘home’ during their ‘Japan-hopping’ trips.
This hostel group also operates J-Stay, a shared-house business for those who want to stay in Kyoto for a longer time, J-Hop Tour, a bus-tour that runs from Osaka or Kyoto to Shirkawa-go & Hida Takayama & hana SAKE bar, a sake bar located on the ground floor of the Osaka property.
The hostel group currently has 12 properties across different locations: J-Hoppers Kyoto, J-Hoppers Hida Takayama, J-Hoppers Lake Biwa, J-Hoppers Kumano Yunomine, J-Hoppers Osaka, J-Hoppers Osaka Universal, J-Hoppers Hiroshima, Kyoto Hana Hostel, Osaka Hana Hostel, Hiroshima Hana Hostel, Fukuoka Hana Hostel & Gion Ryokan Q-Beh.
One of my recent hostel of the day features is that of Fukuoka Hana Hostel where I came back for the second time. I stayed in the same property (& same room) last November 2016 when I went hopping around different cities. I also stayed in Osaka Hana Hostel & Hiroshima Hana Hostel in November 2016.
K’s House Quality Hostels
K’s House Quality Hostels is a multi-awarded hostel chain that started business in 2003 in Kyoto. As per the company’s website, their group’s concept is to provide ‘inexpensive, convenient & comfortable accommodation for travelers.’ They aim to be true to this concept by providing all guests with quality service, spacious communal areas & comfortable bedding be it in private or dormitory rooms. The group currently operates 12 properties & plans to expand to more locations in the coming years.
The operating hostels of K’s House are the following: K’s House Kyoto, K’s House Tokyo, K’s House Tokyo Oasis, K’s House Hiroshima, K’s House Mt Fuji, K’s House Fuji View, K’s House Hakone, K’s House Ito Onsen, K’s House Takayama, K’s House Takayama Oasis, K’s House Kanazawa & K’s House Hakuba Alps.
I’ve always been a fan of K’s House. I stayed in K’s House Kyoto in 2015 when I flew to Japan with my high school friends. I went back to K’s House Kyoto following year with another friend from work. In 2017, I stayed in K’s House Mt Fuji & K’s House Takayama Oasis when I visited Kawaguchiko & Hida Takayama for a few days.
Khaosan Hostel Group
The last of my 4 trusted hostel groups is Japan is Khaosan Hostel Group. The group is owned by Manryo Co Ltd which started business in January 2004. The owners of the group have transformed old buildings, love hotels & restaurants into shared accommodation & now have 9 operating properties in Tokyo, Kyoto & Osaka. The company’s goal is to create a community of travelers having a great time together regardless of nationality, background & companions.
Khaosan Group currently operates & maintains the following 9 properties: Khaosan World Asakusa Ryokan & Hostel, Khaosan Tokyo Samurai, Khaosan World Ryogoku Hostel, Khaosan Tokyo Laboratory, Khaosan Tokyo Origami, Khaosan Tokyo Kabuki in Tokyo, Khaosan Kyoto Guesthouse in Kyoto & Khaosan World Tennoji Hostel & Khaosan World Namba Hostel in Osaka.
I stayed in one of their love hotel turned accommodation in Asakusa – Khaosan World Asakusa Ryokan & Hostel – last February with my family. We enjoyed our stay in a Japanese (tatami) style spacious room. My high school friends also had nice reviews about their stay at the Namba property last November 2018.
The hostels may be operating under different hostel groups but bear in mind that their goals are one & the same – to provide comfortable, affordable & quality accommodation when travelling around Japan. I’ve stayed in at least one property of each hostel group & I recommend all of them to you my readers. It will now depend on your room choice, price difference & preferences on which hostel group or property you’ll book your next stay. Good luck in making those decisions.
Have you stayed in one of the properties mentioned above? How was your stay? Are you planning to go back in one of those accommodations? Are there other Japanese hostel groups that I need to know & try in the future? Feel free to mention those properties or groups in the comments below. You can also send the details to me via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to follow me & please please please also help me in promoting my social media channels – Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.