By Nicole Bauer
First I was confused about the name of this place; “Costel”, what should this mean? In fact, it stands for “Co-Hostel”, underlining that it should be more than just a place to stay, but also a place to have fun and spend some nice time together. Sounds like a good combination and the result is a unique hostel with a very relaxed and personal atmosphere; so why not create a new name for that?
The urban design style city house, hostel and café opened in summer 2013, and with just two rooms available it feels very cozy, just like your own little place. It is amazing to see how intelligently they used the little space available, and if you have a liking for design, you will absolutely love it. It is simple, but really well done.
We stayed in the double room, which had a large king-size bed, ensuite bathroom (rather spacious for a Japanese bathroom I have to say) and a wonderful wooden deck aka balcony. Yes, I mean a proper balcony—how cool is that?
Minoshima is the name of the neighborhood where the hostel is located. It is a very local area south of Hakata station with some great little shops, fishmongers, fruit stands etc. So you can start your sightseeing right in front of the door. I highly recommend to check out the local restaurants, too. That's how we found that very cute and delicious yakitori place (grilled skewered chicken, vegetables and more) called Yakitori Yacchin.
The area in general is very quiet, but I loved it. Actually, I think the bar/café of the hostel (open from 5:00 p.m. to 10 p.m.) is probably the busiest place on that street in the evening. We tried some local brew, which was quite different from other Japanese beers I have tasted so far, somewhat bitter but full of flavor—very delicious. I should mention that guests are allowed to smoke in the bar, just that you know. Anyway, after the bar closed, there was absolutely no noise from the street at all and we had a great night’s sleep.
The only drawback could be that it is about a 20-minute walk (or 5 minutes by taxi, about ¥1,000) from Hakata station. There are several buses from the Tenjin area going towards Minoshima, but no metro station is really close-by. However, we didn’t mind at all, as the neighborhood and the place itself made up for it.
The price is comparable to a standard Japanese business hotel I would say, but it might vary depending on the season and if you want to stay on a weekend or during the week. We paid ¥7,500 per night and I found this a very fair offer (free Wi-Fi included). Check it out if you plan a trip to Fukuoka; it is a great choice if you are looking for something different and you want to get a feel for the modern and urban Japanese lifestyle.
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Travelling abroad to discover new places, getting to know different cultures and learning foreign languages has always been my passion. I was born and raised in Germany; however, for a few years now I've been very lucky to be able to spend my life abroad. I lived for some time in England and Italy before moving to Japan in October 2009. It took me a while to adapt to this very different world; however, travelling up and down the country has helped me to not only adapt, but to actually fall in love with this country Japan. It has also reawakened my interest in photography, so whenever I get a chance I pack my camera and discover something new. Japan is full of beautiful but less well-known places. To make these more discoverable for everybody, I'm very happy to be able to share my stories and photography on this site, and open a world of extraordinary experiences, which would be difficult to find in a guidebook. For any queries regarding Tokyo as a travel destination or any of my published articles, please feel free to contact me.