“For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It’s a person. And we are home.”
I guess it’s not exaggerating to quote this sentence to describe how delighted I was to get stranded in Nagoya Travellers Hostel, a heartwarming hostel that welcomes everyone who wanders along their journey.
It was such a tragedy to begin with. There it was, a one fine day in the month of May when I travelled from Kyoto to Takayama with a very good friend of mine. I had booked the bus to Takayama that would be departed from Nagoya Station at 4 pm. Unfortunately, due to some circumstances I met, I missed the bus and no more seats were available for the next scheduled bus on the same day since it was a peak season. With a gloomy feeling, we sat on the bench and thought about an alternative plan since it was almost dark outside. We briefly browsed the web about where to stay in Nagoya and spotted a decent looking place with a very affordable price. The website said there were only two rooms left and the hostel is newly open for public. We thought “yeah why don’t we give it a go”, It was just two stations away from Nagoya station anyway.
So we stepped our feet in Nagoya, the largest city in Chubu region. We made a stop at Sakae Station and took a 15 minutes walk to a 4 story building that had lots of bicycles parked in front of it, painted in broken white with a big signage of “hostel” and a smaller signage with “Nagoya Travellers Hostel”. We briefly walked into the building and got welcomed by rubber sandals in pink and purple colors. We got to change our shoes and wear the sandals instead before talking with the staff in the receptionist. What an eye-candy way to welcome two lost travellers, I thought. We asked the staff about available rooms for two persons, and what a surprise, the staff knew how to greet us in Indonesian. Her name is Ayumi Komi, she said she has a sister who lives in Bali. That’s why she knows a bit about Indonesian. All the staff were very nice to us, but Ayumi is special. My impression about Ayumi is she’s a very energetic girl. She was like a machine with never ending battery life. Ayumi loved to have conversations with guests. She seemed like she never hesitated to learn the language and the culture of every people she met in the hostel. She knows everyone, and everyone knows her. Ayumi took us to our room on the second floor. There were 2 available rooms for female guests with 4 bunk beds in each of the room. We chose the room no 202 since it was still empty. Nobody else stayed in that room anyway, it made the room officially just for us. Bet we couldn’t be happier than that night.
Nagoya Travellers had only opened for business in March 2015. Everything there felt new, the bunk bed smelled like a fresh varnished wood, the air is clean, even the room smelled like a semi-wet paint. Nothing so bad about that, in fact I loved it. I got to make my own bed with the bedsheets provided and whenever I wanted to check out I had to put the used bedsheets and pillowcase in the green laundry bag located near the stairs. There was a reading light attached on every bed and power source with USB plug on it. The bathrooms were squeaky clean and so were the toilets.
The hostel is located near the night life district, with there were lots of pubs, bars, and restaurants. It was not hard to find decent food like Turkish food, Chinese food, Western food, and even Balinese food! Before heading to dine, we first asked Ayumi where we could find some nice restaurant then she showed us a giant areal map which actually was a block of the wall of the common area. The map got so much information written in red and black markers. Such a creative way to show the guest to get around.
Nagoya Travellers also serves breakfast from 8 to 10 am. I picked 2-3 buns and toasted with butter, strawberry and marmalade jam as the companions. If you bring your own ingredients, you can also cook them in their lovely kitchen. The kitchen and the dining room was merged into one open space so you could meet all the guests and staff while enjoying your meal.
On our last day, since we already booked a Willer Bus that would take us to Tokyo at midnight, we wanted to keep our luggage on the deposit room so we could check out and strolling around the city freely. When we came back, not only we got a friendly welcome-back greeting, the staff also let us to take hot shower before our departure. After we took a nice hot shower, Ayumi gave us a goodbye hug and also gave key-chains as friendly souvenirs which we received with a blithesome feeling. Not only did we get a very warm treatment, Nagoya Travellers also gave us a new found friendship we would treasure forever. It was a pleasure to get stranded there.