Staying in an authentic Ryokan or a guesthouse in Japan can be an enriching experience. Nothing like capping the holiday in the Land of the Rising Sun in an authentic Japanese Guesthouse but they are expensive. Some travelers have made the conscious decision to split their stay in ryokans and backpackers to stretch their money. But even backpackers don’t come as cheap, although cheaper ones will probably set you in a rat-hole or the likes.
Anyway, there is another alternative accommodation choice to look into and you wouldn’t believe where….*drumrolls* Internet Cafes!
It’s true, numerous internet cafes in Japan offers overnight stays, foods and shower facilities in their vicinity. Their price ranges from 500yen/hour to 2000yen/night and for that value, it is hard to beat. However, it is not exactly the most family friendly option as sleeping arrangements can vary from a reclining chair to a sofabed.
How to find internet cafes that offers such services? Check out World 66 for your pick!
The Windsor are an international chain of hotels that is well known around the world. If you are visiting Lake Toya, check out Lake Toya Windsor, it looks like a really posh place amidst the beautiful land and mountainous range.
A great accommodation place to check out when you are in Kitanomine ski area of Furano. This hotel is run by a family on the slopes of the infamous ski resort. It has 65 rooms only and if you are looking for a family style warm accommodation, this is definitely the place to go. It is also very aptly located and made convenient for skiers and snowboarders who are in Kitanomine for the jump. The hotel is also close to restaurants and amenities. Prices for rooms in Petite Hotel Suzuran is also reasonable with 8400Yen for two people inclusive of tax and two meals.
If you’re visiting Nara, you’ll want to find a place to hold up for the night before you continue the next day. Nara is a wonderful place, rich with history. It used to be the capital of Japan for a while before political and religious threat moved the capital to Nagaoka in 784. But today, you’ll find remnants of a colorful past in its temples, museums and beautiful parks.
To put up a few days in Nara there are plenty of accommodations to choose from. But today, i’m going to list several budget accommodations that is quite popular and value for money.
Yougendo Guest House – http://www.yougendo.com
Rates start at 6500 Yen to 20000 Yen, depending on the number of people and room type.
Known for great quality service and the host speaks English.
Seikan-So – http://www.jpinn.com/inn/10-6.html
Rates start at 4500 Yen to 12600 Yen, depending on the number of people and room type.
Close to local attractions and public transportations. Accepts all major credit cards.
A love hotel (ラブホテル, rabu hoteru?) is a type of short-stay hotel found in North East Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea operated primarily for the purpose of allowing couples privacy to have sexual intercourse.
Love hotels usually offer a room rate for a “rest” kyūkei (休憩, kyūkei?), as well as for an overnight stay. The period of a “rest” varies, typically ranging from one to three hours. Cheaper daytime off-peak rates are common. In general, reservations are not possible, leaving the hotel will forfeit access to the room, and overnight stay rates only become available after 10pm. They may also be used for prostitution.
But nonetheless, the rooms are really weird and themed. They are often dimly lit like a cabaret lounge for obvious reasons ;)
They even have some rooms decorated in Hello Kitty themes if that rocks your boat.
Prices ranges between $35-$100, depending on the length of your stay.
If you’re looking for cheap accommodation to accommodate a shoestring budget in Tokyo, try Economy Hotele Hoteiya backpackers’ hostel. I know the name sounds a bit weird, like a mix of Japanese, Spanish and English but what’s a backpacker if it’s not international, eh? It’s located at 1-23-9Nihonzutumi,Taito-ku,Tokyo,111-0021 and is only about 8 minutes walk away from the Minami-Senju Station (JR & Hibiya line) that means everything is just a ride away.
If you’re looking for a hot-spring resort that is in between Kyoto and Osaka, Kinosaki Onsen is a place for you. It’s situated in a beautiful location, by the coastline of Sea of Japan. Needless to say, it has a fantastic view. Lines of weep willows are drawn along the river that runs through the town of Kinosaki, which makes it extremely beautiful and sage-looking come spring time.
Anyway, the hot-springs at Kinosaki was discovered during the 8th century and it’s been a popular spot since then. Kinosaki Onsen is one of the most popular onsen spots in Japan and is definitely a great option to stay in if you’re stopping to take a rest from all the traveling. The little picturesque town also offer historical sites to see while you’re in town. Of the mentionable spots are Konotori no Sato (a sanctuary for endangered storks) and Onsenji Temple. Kinosaki onsen is considered to be an off the beaten tracks gem of Japan.
Shirakawa is one of the UNESCO’s World Heritage site. That being said, it’s enough reason to visit the place. Shirakawa-go is a remote and mountainous region that is home to some of the oldest artifacts in Japan. The old farmhouses of Shirakawa is still standing today – it was added into the UNESCO’s World Heritage site in 1995. During winter you will see a very pretty and picturesque view of the farm house standing amidst the whiteness.
The architecture style of the farmhouse is called gasshozukuri (directly translates to prayer-hands) because the farmhouse’s roof resembles two palms put together for prayers. It is actually an architectural design used to make sure the roof don’t topple during heavy snowfall.
Most of the farmhouse today functions as a Minshuku, family own lodging, and comes as a highly recommended experience. Staying in a World Heritage farmhouse with traditional Japanese way of life is not a chance that everyone has the opportunity to encounter.
Minshukus are family own accommodation, not unlike bed&breakfast style in western countries. The family that owns the business allows the opportunity for visitors to mingle and experience the lifestyle of a Japanese while visiting the country. Minshuku gives a very rustic feel to your stay because it is like staying in a friend’s house with all the amenities and home cooked food. Like a Ryokan, except that is more personal, you can experience Japanese style baths and sleep on a futon on a floor like traditional Japanese customs.
You can request to be catered for all three meals or just a bed. But usually, their rates includes a breakfast. Usually the cost for one night in a Minshuku can cost between 5000-9000 yen a night. Although you can find a cheaper, no frills alternative for 4000yen a night only.
I have a link here which lists ALL the Minshuku around Japan (in English) for you! Minshuku Center
Do you want to look for accommodations in Japan and have a shoe-string budget – worry no more because this online place contains some of the cheapest accommodations you can find in Japan. It will definitely suit your budget for sure; you just got to be a little diligent in looking. Some of these youth hostels are located in prime areas so you might want to check that out. The place to look at is HostelWorld.com. You can basically search for youth hostel all over the world but they have an impressive listing on Japan’s hostel as well :)