Emma and I went to Tokyo with the smallest budget possible, and that meant staying at the cheapest place we could find. Searching through Hostel World and Trip Advisor we found that Asakusa Smile was the cheapest hostel, and even thought the reviews were pretty terrible we didn’t have much choice but to book it; Beds starting from £9.50 a night
Asakusa Smile is located a minutes walk from the Asahi flame building and a five-minute walk from central Asakusa. When you step outside of the hostel, or even stand in the doorway, you have a great view of the Tokyo Sky Tree (The world second tallest structure): it’s only walking distance and at night you can see it all lit up. The hostel is also located right around the corner from The Sensō-ji Temple, Asakusa Shrine as well as markets that also do street food (You could buy blue chocolate covered bananas, and gorgeous meat kebabs, although I’d stay away from the cow tongue kebab .) It’s definitely a great location, with lot’s to see and do.
We were in the building separate to the reception and the bar, which is lucky because we heard that that building was noisy and stank of fags everywhere. Our building was just filled with dorms, a kitchen and a washroom. We stayed in a room with three bunk beds, and while we were there we had two Swedish girls staying with us and different people took the other two beds pretty much everyday. Everyone we came across was friendly and interesting and there were no trust issues, I’d happily leave my stuff around the floor just like all the other people in the room were.
The kitchen was clean, and there were lots of cups, bowls and plates for us to use while we were there. The toaster was a bit grim but apart from that I’d say it was convenient. There was a big table for everyone to sit around and this is where you’d get to meet people. The washroom had a hairdryer for everyone to use which was so handy because I forgot to bring one, as well as a brush full of different coloured hairs (pretty gross but I guess it could come in handy if you urgently need one 🎉). The shower was actually a wet room, which I thought was very clean and pretty relaxing. There’s a washing machine and tumble dryer too. And there are plenty of toilets, which of course all come with a remote control and heated seats. 👌 Luckily the hostel had a 7/11 literally across the road from the Hostel. Everyone would head there in the morning for croissants or rice balls or the amazing fried chicken. Or in our case pot noodles, every morning, every lunch and most dinners. 🍜 Unfortunately for me, Tokyo is such a huge place with so much to see that I didn’t get to see all of it. I saw barely any of it. I was there for 5 days on this particular trip and we mainly stayed in Asakusa and Shibuya, as Shibuya was pretty easy to get to and going once just isn’t enough because there’s so much to see and do. So if I was going there again, I’d definitely plan to stay for longer and also move around a bit to hostels in different parts of Tokyo, because being in Asakusa meant that if we went to Shinjuku or Rippongi for a night out, we’d have o be on the train home by 12… unless you want to pay for somewhere to stay when your pissed and make a very poor judgement on whether this room is affordable or not, like we did, or go and head to McDonalds for a kip before heading back to the hostel on the first train in a state. And P.S if you’re going to stay here, in the second building, the shower room DOES have a light, which I discovered after showering in the dark for 3 nights in a row. 🙈