By Nicole Bauer
Archived contentLast updated: Mar 18, 2019
We hadn’t planned on getting lost, nor the fact that it would be quite chilly in Hokkaido (even in September). After 10 hours of roadtripping through Japan's northernmost island, our plans to camp went out the window, and we found ourselves in need of some very last-minute accommodation.
We consulted our guidebook and tried calling up a few hotel options. On such short notice, it was a challenge, given that it was already 8pm and we were still an hour’s drive away from Wakkanai.
The Wakkanai Youth Hostel (Komadori House), one of two youth hostels in Wakkanai, was happy to oblige three damsels in distress. We rang to check if they had any vacancies at 8pm on a Saturday night for three people. The hostel could accommodate us if we were able to check in by 9pm. Perched atop of a hill, we made it to the hostel right on time.
This would have to be one of the most luxurious hostels I’ve ever stayed in. For 2100 yen each we went with the private option. Despite the old, run-down exterior of the building itself, we were pleasantly surprised by our guestroom. Don’t let the hostel façade fool you. Having foregone the option of a shared dorm, we found ourselves in a mini furnished apartment. We had our own shower/bathroom/toilet, dining room complete with dining table and tv, a stove, a fridge, microwave and even a washing machine. In a separate room was a spacious tatami mat room that sleeps four.
No turn-down service here, but linen and bedding is provided, so we set up our futons. We had packed teabags and sat down to a much-needed cup of tea. Feel free to bring your own provisions if you stay in the private room. Otherwise, set meals are on offer in the communal dining room for a little extra spare change. Free tea and coffee are available.
When we awoke the next morning, we were surprised to find that in the light of day, the hostel provides modest water views over Port Wakkanai. A hostel with ocean views! With the day giving way to clear skies, we could see right out onto the Sea of Japan.
Wakkanai Youth Hostel offers private guestrooms (capacity 4 people) as well as dorm arrangements and communal bathroom. The private guestrooms are highly recommended. 4200yen for the room. Meals provided upon request. Free Wi-Fi available. No complaints for the price we paid.
Rental bicycles are also available to hire.