By Peter Sidell
Not everyone staying overnight on the art island of Naoshima can afford to shell out big bucks to stay overnight at the swanky Benesse House Hotel. For those looking for a much pocket-friendly option, the Domi-Kowloon Hostel is a pretty good option for the backpacker sort who just needs basic facilities to get through the night.
The location is excellent, just off the main street facing Miyanoura Port, and you are barely 100m away once you step off the ferry. Extremely convenient for late check-outs where you can grab your bag easily before boarding the ferry. You are also in close proximity to attractions like the Naoshima Bath which is two lanes away, and a short walk from the Miyanoura 6 Gallery and 007 Museum. The entrance to the hostel is slightly hidden off the main laneway.
The hostel itself is quite cozy, with three dormitory rooms on the second floor with four to six bunk beds in each room. Generally, the rooms are quite clean, though it would be nice if there were more plugs available per bedroom for the well-connected backpacker who constantly needs to charge their devices. For those concerned about safety, there are small lockers for your valuables in each room, but there are no locks on any of the doors, nor any curfews, though Japan is quite safe.
There is a large common room on the first floor and a kitchenette. But, for some strange reason, they allow smoking in this common room, which sometimes permeates the air in the rest of the house if the doors are not shut properly. There is one toilet and a small bath where you could soak if you really wanted to, though you might raise the ire of your fellow hostel mates if you dallied too long in the bathroom as there is only one in the whole house! The Naoshima bathhouse is just a short distance away - go there for your soaking needs.
At 2,900 per bed, per night, Domi-Kowloon is a very decent option for the budget traveller, especially if you plan to spend most of your day out and only need a place to sleep at night. It may not be a fancy art hotel to indulge in, but it definitely saves you enough cash so you can afford to see more art instead.
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