HI Hostels Blog

Accommodation in Japan: From the Traditional to the Unusual

Travelling to Japan can be expensive and you will be spending most of your money there on transport and accommodation, while doing some saving on food as they sell delicious meals for a cheap price. You will be paying a lot of money to stay in a business hotel or a regular hotel and the experience won’t be very fun or interesting. Here are five types of accommodations you will find in Japan and that will make your stay even more memorable.

Ryokan by kadluba on Flickr


Although not the cheapest option when it comes to accommodation in Japan, the ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn, perfect if you want to immerse yourself completely into the culture of this country. You will be experiencing the joy of sleeping on a futon in a tatami-matted bedroom and the common baths in or outside the building. Most of the ryokan are located in beautiful surroundings and serve great food so you will be likely to have a traditional Japanese breakfast made of fish, rice and Miso soup while admiring the stunning natural landscapes around you. As a guest, you will be also permitted to wear a yukata, a type of light kimono perfect for the summer.

Capsule hotel by LHOON on Flickr

Capsule Hotel

If you are more on a budget and not claustrophobic, you might to try to spend a night in a capsule hotel. This kind of accommodation features a large number of units used as bedroom, where the guest has just enough space to lay on a mattress to sleep through the night. While the “pods” are just big enough to welcome a single person, the guest’s personal effects can be stored in lockers; the toilets and shower room are shared by all the residents.

Hello Kitty room in a love hotel by the_toe_stubber on Flickr

Love Hotel

Specially designed for couples, the love hotels allow people to have some private time in a hotel room without having to pay for an entire night. Although you can choose to have some sleep in a love hotel room, this kind of accommodation allows the couples to get a room for 2-3 hours through the day to have an undisturbed “rest”. Popular among the young generation still living at their parents place, the love hostel is also quite used by the cheating husbands and wives. Some of these hotels have special rooms designed with unique themes such as a “Jungle”room, a “Formula 1” room and more with medieval or Christmas atmosphere. A single traveller can spend the night in a love hotel but it really gets interesting when you stay with a partner and enjoy some of the “kinky” features of the place.

Manga Cafe by heiwa4126 on Flickr

Manga Cafe

Mangas, Japanese comics, are logically very popular in the Land of the Rising Sun and it is no surprise to see cafés also used as a comic’s library. The cost is based on an hourly rate and some café allow customers to stay through the night. Private booth can be rented where guests can find a computer, game consoles and drinks like tea or coffee. Common washrooms are also available for those wishing to take a shower. Manga cafes are a great way to have a place to spend a night in Japan for a very cheap price while enjoying some activities like reading mangas, watching movies or playing video games.

Japanese temple by TANAKA Juuyoh on Flickr


If you have spent a night in a ryokan and wish to know even more about Japanese traditions, you will be glad to know that some Buddhist temples welcome travellers for a night with the monks. You can expect very early morning prayers, two vegetarian meals and a unique chance to get to know more about Buddhism and live a great experience.

One of the cheapest accommodations in Japan is of course youth hostels and we have hostels all around the country so do not hesitate to visit our Japan page and book your stay with us!

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