I just came back from an eleven days trip to Japan and throughout the trip, I stayed in female dorms. I chose my hostels based on several factors: location, living condition (although I could only judge through their photos online) and of course, price. Generally I was very pleased with all the places I stayed in. I will be sharing and reviewing all 3 hostels and this is the first part to the reviews!
As my first stop in Japan was Tokyo, IRORI was the first hostel that I stayed in during my trip. Although I kind of knew that the hostel was close to a train station (if not I would not have even looked at it), I did not expect it to be that convenient. I was so pleasantly surprised when I found out how easy it was to get there from Narita International Airport. There is a direct train from Narita Airport Terminal 2 Station to Higashi-Nihombashi Station (Asakusa Line) which is only less than a 2 minute walk away from IRORI. Yes you saw it right. It’s just a 2 minutes walk to the station! I did not expect it to be so close either.
Tip: If you are a first timer in Japan like me, you can get the train ticket from the station by asking any of the friendly train station officers. Just tell them you want to get to Higashi-Nihombashi Station and they will tell you what time is the next direct train and help you purchase the tickets. Not all trains will go directly to the station so you must make sure you get the right ticket!
Not only is it convenient to get to and from the airport, IRORI is located in a perfect location as it is near 2 other stations – Bakurocho Station (JR line including Narita Express) and Bakuroyokoyama Station (Shinjuku Line)! And when I say near, I mean really really near. It takes less than 2 minutes by foot to get to any of the three stations. So it’s very convenient. It’s only 2 stops away from Asakusa and 2 stops from Tokyo Station!
The front lobby closes at 11.30PM so if you are planning to arrive after that, you should let the staff know. Maybe they will make a special arrangement for you. I arrived in IRORI at around 7.30pm and after a long day, I was glad that the staff were very friendly and helpful when I checked-in.
The female dorm is located on the fifth floor and all floors are accessible by both lift and stairs. The room looks exactly like in the photos were kept very clean. In the female dorm, there are around 16 beds and 2 toilet rooms at the corner. There are curtains around the bed and I really liked it because it gives some sense of privacy even when I am staying with other people in the room. This also caused me to see almost no one in the room because most of the time, the curtains are closed – which I really like. The bed was quite wide too so it gave me lots of space 🙂
All shower rooms and laundry machines are on the 6th floor and the kitchen and lounges are on the 1st and 7th floor. The shower room has around 6 – 7 mini shower rooms with 6 large aluminium basins that serves as sinks.
The shower rooms were well maintained and regularly cleaned so it was great. They also provided strong hairdryers! I don’t know about you but what I hate most is to have a weak hairdryer that takes so long to dry my long hair especially when I am in a rush. I always bring my own hairdryer around just in case the places I stay in has no or bad hairdryers. But the hairdryers here really made me happy because they were great.
The only thing I did not really like about the hostel is probably the small shower space and how the toilets are separate from the shower area. But I guess this is Japanese style since the other two hostels I stayed in in Osaka and Kyoto were quite similar.
Other Useful Information If You are Planning to Stay Here
- Bring your own towel to save some money because they do not provide towels. But if you don’t want to carry a towel, you can rent a towel for 200 JPY.
- They provide free ear plugs for those who are light sleepers.
- They provide free baggage wire locks with a 1000 JPY deposit so you can tie your bag up to the bed if you feel insecure.
- They also have free coin lockers with 100 JPY deposit on the first floor only.
- They have bike rentals too if you want to explore Tokyo on a bike. Rent prices are charge hourly, 4-hours and 8-hours packages.
- The use of the laundry and drying machines is chargeable.
- They also have a free-of-charge ironing board and iron but you can only use it on the first floor and you need to tell the staff if you want to use it as it is locked inside a locker.
Total Damage: 6,800 JPY for 2 nights (3,400 JPY per night) from Friday to Sunday and 9,280 JPY for 3 nights (3,093 JPY per night) from Saturday to Tuesday. All bookings were made via Booking.com with free cancellation and no booking fees policy.
Overall, staying in IRORI was a pleasant experience and I would really recommend solo or group travellers to stay here if you don’t mind staying in a shared room.
Photos courtesy of Booking.com and IRORI Nihombashi Hostel & Kitchen.