The next part of the trip is finding accommodation. Once you know your flight dates and times, you can figure out how many nights accommodation you need. A great place to look at hostels and hotels is Hostel World. I had a look at the range of hostels and hotels available in Tokyo, and the quality varies. I’ve always found that people who write reviews on websites tend to not always accurately represent the truth. Of course, there is some variation on the experience people have while staying at places, due to their experiences leading up to that point, and the people they’re interacting with. If you’ve had a crap time and its raining and the people in your dorm are idiots, you’re more than likely going to be a harsh reviewer, and vice versa.
So with this in mind, I selected Anne Hostel Asakusa Bashi. Overall the place is rated 87% which is pretty good for a hostel, and comes with a free breakfast, which is always important if you’re trying to save bucks while travelling. The price is 3,200 yen a night per person for a twin private room with a shared bathroom. That works out to be $53 a night per person. And while you could get it down to $40NZD a night, that’s for a 12 bed dorm, so I think the $13 a night per person is worth it to ensure my partner remains sane while we’re over there!
When you book a hostel through Hostel World, you put down a 10% deposit of the total cost, and you pay the remaining 90% to the hostel when you check in. In this case, I paid a 10% deposit of 3,840 yen ($63NZD), and will be paying the remainder 34,560 yen ($572NZD) when we arrive.
All up, we’re paying 38,400 yen ($636NZD) for six nights accommodation in a twin private room with a shared bathroom.
As for Anne Hostel, it’s pretty close to Tokyo Station. From Tokyo Station, head on the JR Yamanote line from Tokyo Station to Akihabara Station. Then take the Sōbu Line from Akihabara Station to Asukusabashi Station. Just up the road from Asukusabashi Station is Anne Hostel.
Anne Hostel is an average hostel in Japan, and appears to be typical of what you can expect. Size in Tokyo is at a premium, and so you find yourself staying in a place that can often be crowded, noisy, and full of bustle. But you cannot expect perfect peace and quiet in the middle of Tokyo. Even when you look at the prices paid, you must realise that this is the price you pay to exist within Tokyo, not for comfort. Of course there are fantastic hotels within Tokyo that give you amazing views, but these come with higher prices.
If you’re more flexible about your room requirements (i.e. not after a private room and happy with dorms), I also recommend the Tokyo International Hostel. Being on the 18th and 19th floor the view is far more impressive, and the rates of 3,860 yen ($63NZD) a night per person is pretty reasonable.