When you are traveling to Japan you have to choose where you want to go. But at the same time, you have to choose where to stay. You could stay in a hotel. Or you could do like more and more people do and use services like Airbnb. But haven’t you forgotten about one other choice? That’s right. Hostels! Hostels have reasonable prices and are convenient to stay. It’s easy to make new friends from other countries or to chat with the Japanese staff. In this article, I would like to introduce one of those traveler-friendly hostels.
KAISU HOSTEL is located in the Akasaka area, which is known for its TV station (TBS), the huuuuuuge number of bars, and it’s fashionable shopping area. This hostel was originally a Japanese restaurant. It was Takaki Kawazu and his friend who changed the former restaurant into a hostel for foreign (and Japanese) tourists after the restaurant closed its doors some years ago.
Today, you can still find traces of the hostel’s “Japanese restaurant” days. Takaki says: “I promised the former owner to protect the attractive atmosphere of the restaurant while changing it into a comfortable facility for travelers and backpackers visiting Japan from various countries. I had the idea of a salon where travelers and local people can gather and chat.” That’s KAISU HOSTEL.
When you arrive in front of the building, the big windows on the right side will catch your eyes. There seem to be sofas with a lot of people chatting and drinking coffee. Inside, there is a sofa on the right and a big table on the left-hand side. Also, there is a kitchen and a bar counter…but, it’s a hostel, right?!
Actually, while guests staying at the hotel are all over Tokyo doing sightseeing, Japanese locals and members of community groups use the hostel’s cafe & bar space to gather. They have delicious food, coffee, and alcoholic beverages – a perfect combination throughout the day until late at night^^. Having food and local people waiting right downstairs makes it easy to communicate with local people or the staff on rainy days and at night when you might not feel like going out.
Furthermore, exhibitions and live performances by artists are held at the space with the big table. Of course, the staff speaks English, so they can give you advice for sightseeing spots and recommend restaurants that aren’t listed in guide books.
Since “KAISU HOSTEL” is a hostel, basically you will share a room with others. The beds are like a wooden version of the famous Japanese capsule hotels. They have a curtain to protect your privacy and each bed has a cabinet type bedside table, power supply, a light and some space to put down your backpack right next to you. The space beside the bed was the manager’s idea. He says: “It’s a tiny space, but it’s very useful and makes a huge difference!”
The room I liked the most was a double room. There is just one room for two (friends or a couple). It’s a Japanese style room with tatami mats and futons – very fashionable with old furniture that has been reused. By just looking around, you’ll find hints of the building’s history everywhere.
KAISU HOSTEL isn’t just another hostel. It’s well planned and looking around, you might feel what I felt: strong commitment and love.
Also, since the hobby of the managers is surfing, the rooms are decorated with surfboards and ocean related goods. (If you are a surfer, too, this is the chance to get some advice where to surf in Japan).
It was a really calms and relaxed atmosphere. When my friends come to Japan and ask me if I know a reasonable place to stay, I’ll recommend KAISU HOSTEL…and go to visit them there because they have some really delicious coffee there, too! 😉
Tel / Fax: 03-5797-7711
6-13-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku
3 minutes on foot from Akasaka Station on the Chiyoda Line
Oedo Line · Hibiya Line 8 minutes walk from Roppongi Station
8 minutes on foot from Tameike Sanno Station on the Ginza Line