Before I came to Tokyo, I was warned that accommodation would be nothing like the luxury I was used to on my previous South East Asian adventures. I had nightmares about sleeping in tiny boxes that I could never escape from, and of cooking cheap noodles in gloomy kitchens whilst hung-over Japanese businessmen looked on in disinterest.
What a wonderful surprise it has been, then, to find myself based at Oak Hostel Fuji, one of the cleanest, brightest, most stylish places I think I have ever been in. Reached within just five minutes by foot from the busy Asakusa Station, it is well-located, too. Reception is open from 9:00am until 1:00am, so if you find yourself stumbling in to Tokyo at an awkward hour, you can still expect to receive a warm welcome once you get to the hostel – a small touch that really makes all the difference after over 24 hours of travelling.
On the first floor of the hostel is a gorgeous lounge-come-kitchen area, a laundry room and shower facilities. All the furnishings are chic and tasteful, and the kitchen is stocked with everything you could possibly need to rustle up a fine feast. The hostel also offers free tea and coffee, but expect more than just the average instant Nescafe! Take advantage of the free coffee beans to grind up and enjoy as a drip coffee before you hit the streets of Tokyo.
Speaking of free stuff, the hostel also has complimentary soap, shampoo and conditioner in all of the large and spotless showers. What’s more, washing machines are free to use, and for just ¥100 you can purchase detergent from the front desk. No towel? No problem! These, amongst other items, may be rented from the reception area, too.
Each bed comes with clean sheets and comfy pillows, and an enormous, very secure locker. Mine was big enough to fit my entire backpack and a little more. I also appreciated the ample wall sockets that I found above my bed, as well as the many bathrooms that are en–suite to each dormitory.
In the evening, take in the breath-taking views of the Skytree at dusk from the hostel's sweet rooftop lounge. Or, if you are there over the weekend, look out for the events the hostel hosts. Whilst I was there, I attended a Japanese calligraphy workshop, which was not only fun but also a great way to meet some of the fellow nomads sharing the hostel with me.
I do not doubt that I got extremely lucky with my choice of hostel during my stay in Tokyo. I am sure the nightmarish place I conjured up in my imagination prior to my arrival really does exist, and I am so grateful that I made the right choice on where to base myself whilst staying in the city. Save yourself the gamble and book yourself in at Oak Hostel Fuji. Central, clean and extremely cool – what more could you want during your stay in the capital city?