Before I came to Japan, one of my biggest worries was about lodging. Even two weeks before my arrival, I still hadn't found a roof under which I could sleep, so when I received a link for the Anpesou Guesthouse from my Japanese teacher, I was more than relieved.
First of all, I was pleasantly surprised by the price. At ¥29,000 per month it was hard to beat. Everything comes included within the price too: bed, cleaning, shower, laundry, Wi-Fi, your own fridge space, and even delicious all-you-can-eat rice!
Sometimes, a guest happens to have cooked and asks you to taste their meal for free... Nothing is more enjoyable than coming back from a nice day of work and to be greeted by the scent of Takoyaki roasting in the stove.
Furthermore the guest-house is perfectly located near Bandai bridge, in the heart of Niigata City, just between Furumachi and Niigata station. From there you can walk to the beach, the cinema, the karaoké, the public gardens, and the many bars and restaurants available in the city.
Because I am a control maniac, I hate to depend on the public transport for my travels, so I always do my commuting trips by foot. However, there is a bus stop just at the entrance of the building, that goes straight to the station that serves all the city's points of interest.
But what makes Anpesou charming is the fact that you can discover new faces almost every day, and if you feel the need to talk you will always find someone eager to share a glass of sake with you at the lobby!
Let me be honest with you: if the guest house is ideal to spend one night in transit, I am aware that not everybody would be able to spend six month here.
First, the more-than-fair prices attract all sorts of people that are why I recommend you to take care of your valuables. I started to be more careful the day I noticed two suspicious-looking Indians coveting my bed. Luckily enough, I haven't had stolen anything since I took good care of putting all my belongings in a locker (again, the use of these is free).
Moreover, and that is a consequence of the first point, is the many people who spend the night at Anpesou, some happen to drink just a bit too much, and therefore perfume the room with their bodily secretions (be reassured though, it only happened once in six months). If your stay is during the winter, you will also have coughers, snorers and noisy throat clearers, whom the sweet sounds may make the task more difficult for those who have troubles to find sleep. As for me, I am such a marmot that it only disturbed me occasionally.
Finally, the rough winter in Niigata makes the spaces outside the lobby and the rooms very cold: crossing the frozen corridor wearing underwear’s to get to the shower or the toilets demands the mindset of a Spartan.
If you disregard those tiny faults, I can guarantee you that you'll have a truly valuable experience and meet fantastic people. One night, a group of British Heavy metal on tour in Japan came to spend the night here with their manager, it was really fun. I also have had the occasion to meet travellers, dancers, actors, models, stylists, artists, policemen, street-performers, businessmen, traders, and a whole bunch of people from many different countries.
To stay at Anpesou is a good way to discover new cultures, enlarge your vision on the world and share fantastic moments with people whose dreams, perspectives on the world and stories will make you reconsider your own vision on the world.
Come to the Anpesou Guesthouse and the managers Oto-san and Aya, will go over backwards to greet you with open arms. Whether for one night, a week or even six months if you are as crazy as I am, Anpesou is the ideal refuge for any globe-trotter. If by any chance you stay at Anpesou, please tell Oto-San and Aya that Alexis, the French guy, sends his regards!