Looking for affordably priced accommodation that provides a peaceful yet lively atmosphere too? Toco Guesthouse may be your best choice. Located in Taito-ku, to the east of Tokyo, Toco Guesthouse is for backpackers looking for that authentic Japanese experience. Built in a 1920s era building, Toco Guesthouse also offers a lively bar at night where you can mingle with locals and East Tokyo hipsters.
I don't always travel backpacker-style but I still love to stay at a hostel. Whether sharing or in a private room, staying at hostels gives me more chance to meet people and make friends. More than that, there’s something about staying at a hostel that fascinates me, such as the lovely, unique atmosphere and how (mostly) friendly the staff are. So that’s why, a month before traveling to Tokyo, I had already booked this hostel. Not only because I was getting excited long before my trip but also because this hostel has a very good reputation and limited rooms – it’s always fully booked if you try to book too late.
Toco Guesthouse first opened in October 2010. They have an 8 bed mixed dormitory, 6 bed mixed dormitory, 6 bed female dormitory, and also a double– and triple room in a Japanese and western style. All of the rooms are share bathroom facilities but they are clean and well equipped.
Once you come inside Toco Guesthouse, you will get the warmest welcome from the staff. All of them are good at English, so don’t worry about communication and asking for help. I was kind of lucky because the moment I was checking in, they had just been making pancakes with pumpkin filling which they offered me on the spot — that was so yummy.
Feel free to connect to their Wi-Fi that can be accessed from most corners of the building. You can also enjoy the provided kitchen, refrigerator, shampoo & body wash, hair dryer, and also use their PC – all included in the price of your stay. They don’t have a curfew but they will turn the lights off at midnight. They say it’s for health reasons and I think I would agree with that.
I stayed in their 6 bed mixed dormitory during my stay. The room was full but I could feel the room and other areas of this hostel was so quiet and peaceful. Also you’ll have your own reading light, outlet and, not to be missed, a warm blanket with your comfortable bed and pillow. Every bed has its own curtain, so don’t worry about privacy. My tip: bring your own padlock for the security box or you can rent from the staff for ¥150. Didn’t bring a towel? Don’t worry, you can also rent it for only ¥100. You can also rent a bicycle for only ¥200-300.
Accessibility is another real plus point of this hostel. It’s so easy to get to Toco Guesthouse at just a 2 minute walk from Iriya Station on Tokyo Metro's Hibiya Line. It can be reached from Uguisudani Station on the JR Yamanote Line. If you like to drink and mingle with the locals, the lobby of this hostel will turn into a lively bar from 7pm–11:30pm. Most drinks are priced at a reasonable ¥500. If you are lucky, you will witness acoustic live music on occasion too.