Hostel in Japan: Khaosan Tokyo Original, Asakusa Japan

Due to poor planning (or no planning at all), one of the days within the week I was at Asakusa area my hostel (Sakura) didn’t have any space so I had to move just for that one night. Well, not a problem I thought, it should be easy enough to get another hostel in the hostel infested area of Asakusa. Or so I thought.
As luck would have it, most of the affordable ones (meaning cheaper than 2500 Yen – RM120) are fully booked.

After much googling and surfing between hostelworld and other sites, I’m back on hostelworld and booked the cheapest available but pretty nearby one.

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Most of these hostels charge a non-refundable deposit for online booking but it’s a really minor amount.

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You will get a confirmation screen as above, and the below in your email. I didn’t print anything as I didn’t have a printer at my disposal. But all hostels I have stayed at would request to take a look at your passport and your booking reference number upon check-in, no printed material required.

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Though I did wrote down the directions, I got lost anyways. It’s exorbitantly expensive to take a taxi in Tokyo (I know, I took one to Tsukiji Market and it cost me RM143.00!) so I dragged my 20kg luggage all over the area of Asakusa looking for Khaosan Tokyo Original. Asking for directions of a lone hostel here is futile as most of the locals either doesn’t understand English or they really do not know where it’s located.

After much walking and cursing, I finally found it.

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It’s in a small lone lane but a 3 minute walk to the Ginza Line Asakusa station. Check out the directions here – http://www.khaosan-tokyo.com/en/original/access/index.html

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It’s about 3 stories high and the building is as narrow as it looks!

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After Sakura Hostel Asakusa, this place was a miserably cramped. From the moment I stepped in, I felt claustrophobic.

The tiny entrance opens to a staircase on my left – access to upper floors while on ahead of me (from the moment you open the door) is the common area where the guests dine, mingle and relax.

LEFT: Staircase to upper floors.

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RIGHT: Walk right in to the common area.

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As you move deeper into the room, there’s a bathroom on your right and another staircase to another part of the upper floor.

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The bathroom is tiny. Pictured below is a small space before the inner room where the shower is actually located. I presume this area is like a changing room.

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Here’s the shower room itself.

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But more on the common area later. After checking my passport and my booking reference number, I was lead up the stairs to my dorm.

This flight of stairs is just in front of the washroom that I was showing you earlier. On the top of the stairs, the room you can see on the right (as per the picture below) is Khaosan Tokyo Original “office” . No photography allowed.

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Here’s the view from the top of this stairs. The room on the immediately left is the washroom I pictured earlier, and further down (also on the left) is the Khaosan Tokyo Original entrance. Are you getting the picture?

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On the left of the stairs, is my dorm. The moment I opened the door, this was what I saw.

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Here’s a look taken from the inside, to show the entrance.

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Shoes and lockers are at one side, right before the door.

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I cautiously stepped further in the dorm, seeking my bed.

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The bed on the left are single, while the ones on the right are double bunks beds.

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Single ones are better, since you have space to store your stuffs at the bottom.

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The narrow dorm doesn’t leave much space for even my luggage bag!

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But the beds are comfortable, dry, clean and each bed comes with your own personal reading light and powerpoints!

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Some bunks have their personal clothes hangers.

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For privacy, you can pull the “curtains” around your bed – both for the upper and lower bunks.

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I’m short, but even at my height, it was pretty close to the ceiling for me if I were to sit on the bunk.

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Done with the dorm, it was the lower ground again. So what’s there for the guests here at Khaosan Tokyo Original?

Coming in from the entrance, the common “lounge” is much smaller than the one in Sakura Hostel, Asakusa. Per bed in the dorm at Sakura Hostel was Yen 2940 while it’s Yen 2200 here. For a different of Yen 740 (<RM30), which is about sufficient for a bowl of ramen, I guess you get what you pay for. If you’re not hard up on cash, Sakura Hostel is a better choice. Or at least it was for me.

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At all the 5 hostels I stayed in in Japan, the information corner provides brochures and reading materials on just about everything in Japan. I daresay that’s nearly all the information a tourist may need.

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I’m a lover of brightly lit places and sunshine while this area doesn’t have even a single window! In a way, it’s pretty obvious that this place doesn’t suit me at all.

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Further in from the common area is the kitchen.

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It’s equipped with all the amenities of a working kitchen;  microwave, oven, electric kettle, cooking utensils, induction stove, forks, spoons, plates, bowls and a big fridge. Just like Sakura Hostel in Asakusa, the policy is “you use, you wash”. Always be mindful that all of these are sharing commodities so do leave things behind as you find them; in good working condition and clean.

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Similarly, a sharing fridge for the guests convenience follows the same principle like; label your packages with your name and check out date.

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I suspect those that aren’t labeled goes into the “Free Food” tray that becomes complimentary for all guests. But I noticed that the hostel admin team are lenient enough in the sense that the warnings are given about 2 days notice before that happens.

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Further at the back of the kitchen is the lounge where the sharing PCs, TV and DVD player are located. I”m sorry, I just have to compare this to Sakura Hostel again. This is so small!

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Needless to say, I didn’t hand around much. Next, the common toilet.

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Here’s the famous automated Japanese toilets found everywhere.

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The Japan high-tech toilets has a bidet heated toilet seat. Don’t laugh, when you’re in a cold country and freezing, sitting down on a nicely warm CLEAN toilet seat sure makes a difference to the mood!
The buttons at the side controls the water that comes out of the nozzle. It can be controlled for temperature, strength, and speed, ensuring hygienic and comfortable cleaning after use.

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But this one was slightly different from the ones in Haneda airport and in Sakura Hostel. The sink is attached to the toilet and the tap automatically disperse water once you flush the toilet. So it’s a sink and a toilet set! 🙂

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Now it’s the upper floors. I checked out the other floors wondering if it’s any different from mine. Unfortunately none of the other dorms were open so I couldn’t sneak a peek.

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Anyhow, at each floor there are a few rooms which each housed a sharing dormitory, presumably like mine.

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Each individual floor has its own shower and toilet as well.

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Khaosan Tokyo Original even has a roof top bar, which is one of the main selling point of this hostel. I know there’s a lot of the guests who goes up there and chill and mingle with each other every evening.

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Common wash area. Hairdryer provided.

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Bathrooms with complimentary shower wash and most importantly a heater system.

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Similar high tech toilet with sink.

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And up I go to another floor – the 3rd floor below the roof top. This floor is pretty similar to the one earlier so I’ll skip the pictures.

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You can drop off your key in this box if you leave (on your check-out day) before 8am. Unlike Sakura Hostel, the management team here is not on duty 24 hours.

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Khaosan Tokyo Original doesn’t practise a keycard system but an electronic door is used instead. Pictured below are the keys to the door of the main entrance. You would have to key-in a combination of letters and alphabets (which makes up the password) to open the door. One is your locker key and another is the dorm key.

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I have 3 more hostels to blog about (1 more in Tokyo and 2 in Osaka) so stay tuned for my reviews! What do you guys think so far? Am I being too long winded and have I inserted too many pictures per post?

Here’s all the information you may need about Khaosan Tokyo Original. I trust my review had helped to give you an idea of the accommodation conditions here. If you have further queries, feel free to leave a comment! 🙂

Welcome to Khaosan Tokyo Origina

For more travel adventures: http://www.rebeccasaw.com/travel/

Here’s the Tokyo rail map – an absolute essential.

Keikyu line for quick and Easy Access to Central Tokyo and yokohama

Pictures in this post:
sony nex f3