I finally had the opportunity to write about my Tokyo trip — following a busy and harrowing two months where I had to concentrate on many projects that has been left on the sidelines.
For my first Japan trip-related post, I decided to post a review of K’s House Tokyo Oasis – a nice and quiet home located near the famous Sensoji Temple.
We all know how hard it is to find a good place to stay in Tokyo. After all, accommodations in Tokyo, especially in places like Shibuya, Shinjuku, Roponggi or even Ginza is not cheap. A twin bed can take you to as much as 6 to 7 thousand a night. Manageable if budget is not an option but kinda puts a dent in the wallet if you are a budget traveler. If you want to be somewhat in the thick of the action, but with slightly cheaper cost of accommodations, I would recommend that you consider the Taito area. The Taito area is located on the northeastern parts of Tokyo and covers the Ueno, Asakusa, Asakusabashi, Ameyoko and Yanaka area. It’s close proximity to temples and other sights while offering cheap means of accommodation make it an appealing option for budget travelers. Do not be alarmed by “cheap accommodation” — this being Japan, I can assure you that the hostels are most likely still very clean and secured in spite the not-so-high price tag.
Read more about Taito here.
One of the best place to stay in Taito is K’s House Tokyo Oasis, located a skip, hop and loooong jump away from the Senso-ji Temple in busy Asakusa.
Note: I wasn’t able to take photos of the hotel, so attached photos are not mine
Some honest to goodness observations:
1. It’s not easy to find this hotel. From the airport, you will have to take the bus or train heading to Tokyo. You can follow the instructions on the hotel website on how to go to K’s House but I assure you, even if its written on a step-by-step format: IT IS A CHALLENGE TRYING TO GET TO IT. Be prepared to walk for a few blocks. For your health’s sake, do not pack like a fiend — if you stay at K’s House, you will be dragging your heavy suitcase for 15 to 20 minutes. And from experience, your hand will hurt. A lot.
Consider this photo, I lifted from the internet which I marked with arrows for emphasis:
One of the instructions on the website will lead you to the Subway exit near the red arrow. As you emerge, keep walking to your right (blue arrow) until you have reached the main road at the very end. Turn right, until you have passed Asakusa View Hotel and Life Supermarket. The street where K’s House is located is directly across from Life Supermarket and is to your immediate right.
HOWEVER, the only consolation here is that emerging from the dark confines of the subway and appearing on the subway exit right in front of the Senso-ji Temple, you will be greeted–no, accosted–by guys advertising the rickshaw ride. For girls and the fabulous gays (sorry, guys) if you have a thing for well-built, muscled, tanned and ruggedly good looking Japanese guys wearing scandalously skimpy shorts — think of this as your welcome committee. You’re very much welcome.
Kind’a like these guys:
2. K’s House is a nice catch — clean, secure, comfortable and most of all, affordable!
Secure: The Hostel has a gate that is protected by a number code that will be issued to you upon check-in. While they do not have electronic key cards yet in all their rooms (you will be issued a traditional key), the hostel management is vigilant in protecting guests from unauthorized people. There are limited number of rooms per floor and all are ensuite. The hostel is also located in a quiet and unassuming street surrounded by cheap eats and near Life Supermarket (which I very love due to its fresh produce, salads, breads and cooked meals). It is also beside a covered market where you can find the trusty FamilyMart.
Clean: We are a witness to how manic K’s House is when it comes to cleanliness. We actually witnessed first-hand how one of their team members cleaned our rooms and yes, not a dust in sight. When we saw the friendly Japanese guy bust out a used tooth brush for cleaning the toilet, he immediately won our respect and admiration. This is one hostel that takes cleaning very seriously. There are no weird, funky smells which is sometimes present on cheap backpacker hotels.
Comfortable: This being Japan (where space is premium), the rooms are a bit on the small side but still comfortable compared to what is usually written on some reviews in TripAdvisor. Our party of three (my sister, my friend from high school and myself) were able to fit comfortably and without any hassle at all. In our first night of stay, we were assigned a Family Room where my sister and I shared a Queen-sized bed while our friend slept on the single Japanese-type low bed on the side. We transferred on the second night to a Triple room, equipped with a bunk bed and a single Japanese-type bed. Still, we are comfortable and there’s still extra room to accommodate our luggage (3 medium sized luggage, 3 carry on bags plus other knick-knacks) and the accumulated shopping bags on the floor. Each room are ensuite, with free shower gel, shampoo and conditioner (which was amazing with our hair!)
Affordable: I inquired directly through their site and was given a quotation for the 5-day stay the following day. The room costs about Y48,000 plus or 24,000 plus in Philippine money. We split the cost into three and shared about PHP8,000plus for a four night stay in Tokyo. Talk about cheap! With the money we saved, we splurged on food and took advantage of the fact that we are in the city known for its flavorful cuisine.
Service: The staff of this hotel provides amazing service and speak English quite well. Look up Sayo-san — a wisp of a woman, very hardworking and accommodating. Goes out of her way to be helpful and cheerful always.
You can read the rest of my TripAdvisor review here.
MY FINAL VERDICT
So, will I stay again here? I will definitely consider staying at K’s House once again but should I return to Tokyo, I will choose to splurge a bit and get a place that is a bit central compared to this hotel. Nothing personal, but the coming-and-going, the long walks and the excruciating uphill climb from the subway will get back to you once you’ve done it for four straight days.
K’s House Tokyo Oasis is a good catch (the amazing reviews at TripAdvisor do not lie) but in my opinion, my wimpy-ass can no longer take the long walks. It’s also far-away from the city central so you’ll be taking the bus or the train a lot should you decide to stay in Taito.