Sakura Hostel Asakusa is a friendly, basic hostel well located in a quieter part of Asakusa. Suited to budget conscious solo travelers and groups looking for private rooms, this hostel offers all the basic amenities you need at reasonable prices.
What’s the hostel like?
Sakura Hostel Asakusa is a longstanding establishment with classic hostel vibes. The entrance spits you right into the heart of the hostel with the reception desk on one side, and the shared lounge, café, and shared kitchen on the other. Here the interior is a fairly simple no-frills affair, with just enough splashes of personality to keep things lively and interesting. Heading up stairs to the rooms things take on a light industrial feel with lots of exposed concrete — but that might be more of a coincidence than intentional.
What facilities does the hotel have?
The island kitchen in the shared lounge is the pride and joy of the hostel, and available for guests to use at anytime. Right beside it there’s the 24-hour Sakura Café, and the shared lounge for socializing. There’s also free Wi-Fi throughout the building, a coin laundry, and free luggage storage is available for up to 2 weeks.
Is there anywhere to hang out in the hotel?
The shared lounge on the ground floor is a dedicated hang out space. Guests can use the space at any time, and it’s also right by the shared kitchen, Sakura Café and the reception area. You and your friends can nab a table and enjoy a refreshing drink after a long day of sightseeing. If you’re remote working there are workbenches with charging ports — but things can get loud towards the evening so it’s not everyone’s ideal workspace. There are also regular events held in the shared lounge, so it’s a very social space.
What are the rooms like?
There are various room types which can fit two to eight people. Most make use of bunkbeds to maximize space, but some of the twin rooms have stand alone beds. All rooms have at least some natural light — even the dormitory rooms on the basement level — as well as lockers (B.Y.O padlock or get one from reception from ¥215), a WiFi extender for good signal and the bunk-style beds have their own built-in power sockets. Simple framed photographs from Tohoku Farm (owned by the same company as the hostel) decorate the walls. The twin and four person rooms have a small table and one chair, but besides that there is no other furniture in the rooms.
One thing worth noting is that none of the rooms have private bathrooms or toilets. Instead, there are gender separated shared bathrooms on each floor. The bathrooms and toilets are clean and tidy, with private lockable shower cubicles — but there are only two or so shower cubicles in each bathroom, so they could get busy in the mornings/evenings.
How big are the rooms?
For a hostel in Tokyo the rooms are relatively spacious — meaning you aren’t crammed head-to-toe with other guests. For the most part there’s enough room to move around comfortably, and the space under the beds for luggage storage is a nice touch.
Are the rooms comfortable?
In terms of hostels, Sakura Hostel does a decent job of balancing comfort with affordability. There are standard creature comforts like air conditioning in each room, and hairdryers in the bathrooms, but don’t expect luxury. For example, you won’t be provided with indoor slippers, or a mini-fridge in the room.
The bunkbeds were specially designed though. Not only are they a little wider and longer than standard single beds in Japan, they are also taller — allowing guests to sit on the bottom bunk without hitting their heads (provided the guest is not particularly tall). The ladders were also designed to be more comfortable with rounded rungs and a slight slant to make them easier to use. The mattresses are reasonably thick and not too hard, and the pillows are fluffy enough that most people should be able to sleep comfortably.
Unfortunately, locations of the shared bathrooms can make the shower experience somewhat uncomfortable and inconvenient. Depending on your room allocation you may have to walk along a corridor on the outside of the building to reach them. The corridor is covered and private, but not protected very well from the elements, so it could get quite nippy in winter.
What’s the view like?
From the twin rooms you can get pretty interesting views over Hanayashiki Theme Park, as well as of Asakusa’s Sensōji Temple and Tokyo Skytree. Those rooms even have small balconies so you can step out for a better look. On the other hand, the rooms for larger groups don’t have balconies, but depending on the window placement you can see still see the same sights.
The dormitory rooms are on the basement floor so they don’t have views in the classic sense, but there is a cool mural you can look at. It was painted by the Norwegian street artist Martin Watson, who completed the painting in secret while staying at Sakura Hostel as a guest.
What’s the location like?
Naturally, Sakura Hostel Asakusa is perfectly located for exploring Asakusa, as well as other areas in the eastern part of Tokyo. There are three subway/metro stations within walking distance which give you good access to the rest of Tokyo. In terms of food, in addition to a good many restaurants and cafés, there are also a number of convenience stores and two supermarkets within walking distance. The hostel itself is on a quieter backstreet, so at night noise shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
How is the access to trains and subway?
The closest stations to Sakura Hostel Asakusa are:
- Asakusa Station: 10 minute walk. Provides access to the Asakusa Line, Ginza Line, and the Tobu Skytree Line.
- Tawaramachi Station: 10 minute walk. Provides access to the Ginza Line.
- Tsukuba Express Station Asakusa: 5 minute walk. Provides access to the Tsukuba Express Line.
How do I get there from Tokyo’s airports?
Sakura Hostel is close to Asakusa Station, which has through services to both Narita and Haneda Airports.
- From Narita Airport: Take the Keisei Access Express or Keisei Main Line direct to Asakusa Station. The journey takes a little over an hour and costs ¥1,310.
- From Haneda Airport: Take the Keikyu Line direct to Asakusa Station. The journey takes about 50 minutes and costs ¥570.
What’s the surrounding neighborhood like?
Asakusa is full of traditional vibes, but being a tourist hub it can get a bit cheesy. It still has it’s charm though, and as well as the tourist classics of Nakamise-dōri and Sensōji Temple, there are plenty of other things to do in Asakusa. It’s also just a short ride on the Ginza Metro Line to Ueno Park.
Are there many good places to eat nearby?
Since it’s a bit of a tourist hub there’s plenty of great places to eat in the area. There are lots of Japanese restaurants serving up traditional fair — check out Hoppy Street for traditional Japanese-style bars. Additionally, you’ll find foreign cuisine here and there. Fuglen is a cheapo fave, serving up Norwegian coffee and waffles just a short walk down the street from Sakura Hostel. Those with sweet-tooths are in for a treat, as there are lots of speciality shops selling sweets all over the neighborhood.
Don’t forget that there is also a 24 hour café inside the hostel too. Try the special wild herb latte if you’re feeling a bit experimental.
What points of interest are within walking distance of the hotel?
The aforementioned Nakamise-dōri and Sensōji Temple are hard to miss, you’ll probably pass by them on your way to the hostel. Hanayashiki — Japan’s oldest theme park — is also very close, you can see it from some of the rooms after all. Tokyo Skytree — another landmark you can see from some of the rooms — is only a 20 minute walk away.
Should I order the breakfast?
An all-you-can-eat breakfast is included in the room price, but it’s fairly basic. Expect toast with little packets of jam and butter, soup made with fresh ingredients straight from the farm, and drinks from the drinks machine. Unfortunately, there’s no option for cereal, eggs or fruit. If you prefer a hearty breakfast or you’re a coffee snob you might be better off heading to a nearby cafe.
Breakfast is available from 4:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Who should stay here?
Sakura Hostel Asakusa caters well to groups as you are able to book an entire room to yourselves. For solo travelers the shared lounge and events are good for socializing.
While families do often stay here, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend it with young children as the shared bathroom situation could be a bit tricky to navigate.
- 0.8 km from Tawaramachi Station
- 0.8 km from Asakusa Station
- 1.1 km from Iriya Station