With me booking flights to Japan a few months in advance, I gave myself a pretty good range of accommodation options to choose from…
Of course I was always going to head down the hostel route, as I was massively looking forward to getting back into the backpacker bubble.
And when searching for hostels in Tokyo it won’t take long before you stumble across the Khaosan group of hostels. With several locations in the Asakusa area – exactly where I wanted to be – it ended up being an easy sell. And their Kabuki guesthouse/hostel looked by far the best of the lot…
Heck they even say it themselves! So I was confident I’d picked a good place.
Thankfully there wasn’t even a hint of disappointment once I’d checked in. Yes Khaosan Tokyo Kabuki is easily one of the best places I’ve stayed while on the road!
Where to start? Well it’s in a prime location for easy access, with direct trains bringing you to Asakusa from Haneda Airport, and also taking you from Asakusa to Narita Airport. Ideal if, like me, you’re landing in Japan for the first time.
And within Asakusa the hostel is located literally seconds from the famous Kaminarimon gate and Nakamise-Dori shopping street, which of course leads up to the beautiful Senso-ji temple. So some of Tokyo’s most famous sights are pretty much on your doorstep.
Inside the hostel doors (remember to take your shoes off – it’s tatami flooring!) you’ll find the cosy lounge/common room and kitchen on the ground floor. The lounge part is kitted out with a large LCD TV, 3 PCs for your use (WiFi is available throughout the hostel too), vending machine and ALL the information you could hope to find about Tokyo, whilst you can make use of the fridge, microwave, oven and masses of utensils in the kitchen. Ideal for keeping costs down in pricey Tokyo!
There’s a large luggage storage cupboard available too on the ground floor, should you need to leave some kit behind for a few days like I did.
All the dorm rooms inside Kabuki are 4 bed affairs. And they are COMFY beds! I was out like a light on my first night in Kabuki due to the cosy mattresses (and not at all due to the fact that I went 32 hours without sleep!) and added bonus of… A proper quilt! Anytime you get a proper quilt in a hostel that’s a massive plus in my eyes – heck, I’ve only had it once before – and I was seriously delighted to see that on my bed when I checked in! The only shame was that after my first night I had two awful nights of sleep due to a room-mate snoring as loud as a chainsaw, but that’s not the hostel’s fault.
The bedrooms were also impeccably spotless as they were scrubbed to perfection every day. The only issue that stops me from rating the bedrooms perfect were the fairly small lockers, although for me these weren’t a problem as I was travelling with two small backpacks (yes, I did Japan travelling light!). You definitely wouldn’t be squeezing the average traveller’s backpack in them however.
How about the bathrooms? Well that’s where Kabuki plays it’s ace card – Every dorm room has an en-suite bathroom!
Yep, no need to share with the rest of the hostel, just the other few members of your dorm. You’ll find a toilet room (hi-tech Japanese toilet of course!), shower room and sink/wash basin inside each room. Whilst they’re all small spaces – this is Japan remember – every bit of kit looks brand new and works perfectly. So no chance of a cold trickle for a shower here! I was stoked with this, as it’s practically a luxury compared to every other hostel I’ve ever stayed in. And of course, you’ll return to find these looking spotless every day.
Whilst facilities wise Khaosan Tokyo Kabuki made a pretty damn good impression on me, it was topped off perfectly by the amazing staff. Amazingly helpful and always smiling, they remembered me by name after I returned from Nikko for my second stay, and I’d only stayed there briefly for one night before that. The common room is plastered in tips and recommendations from the staff, and there’s various little leaflets all around such as train timetables and routes they’ve prepared to make everyone’s stay a great one. I have to give a particular shout out to Eriko, Kana and Takako for being incredibly helpful and friendly, and for translating my t-shirt too!
Oh and on the social front, you’ll likely meet plenty of people in the common room, but they’ll provide you with a free sake when you first arrive at the Khaosan Hanabi bar just over the river. Get over there and get chatting!
So as you might be able to tell, Khaosan Tokyo Kabuki made a rather good impression on me. I felt right at home from the moment I checked in. It was amazingly clean with some of the friendliest staff I’ve come across, and in a perfect location in what I thought was easily one of the most interesting areas of Tokyo I visited. What more could you ask for?
Cleanliness: 6/5 (not a typo)
Khaosan Tokyo Kabuki: 1-1 7-2 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan