Kamakura and Yokohama: These two cities south of Tokyo have so much to offer tourists that it merits staying a few days. Located right next to each other, one is an ancient capital, the other a cosmopolitan port city; and this contrast in styles alone already guarantees an interesting experience.
When traveling around the area, you won’t have a hard time finding a suitable accommodation to serve as your base. If budget is a consideration, you can’t go wrong with this list of guesthouses and hostels.
Yokohama is the epitome of east meets west. This historic port city was one of the first areas in Japan that had been exposed to international influences when the country lifted its policy of national isolation in the mid-1800’s. Hence, Yokohama’s character is predominantly modern and culturally diverse; perfect for travelers who prefer the energy and conveniences of urban life.
A renovated Japanese home, Futareno is a cozy guesthouse that feels like a home away from home. Owned and managed by a couple, the hosts are not only friendly and accommodating, they also help guests have the best experience in Yokohama by sharing travel tips that only locals would know. The guesthouse is a five-room property: 1 female dormitory, 1 mixed dormitory, and three private rooms. It is walking distance from Sakuragicho Station in Noge district, a quaint neighborhood known for its shopping alleys and local bars. Thus, this is your best option if you’re particularly interested in experiencing Yokohama like a local.
Address: 4-173-5 Noge-cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama
Price: From ¥3,000 (dorm bed), From ¥4,200 (private room for 1 person)
Chillulu Coffee and Hostel
Chillulu Coffee and Hostel is a hip and trendy accommodation nestled in Yokohama’s legendary Chinatown. The first floor is a commercial establishment, while the upper floor is a mixed dormitory space. If you don’t mind the bunk beds and sharing a room with strangers, this hostel is the perfect ground zero to the adventures the city has to offer. You’ll have ample supply of good coffee too.
Address: 188-12 Yamashita-cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama
Price: From ¥3,500 (dorm bed)
Website: https://www.facebook.com/chillulu.yokohama/ (Japanese only)
Guest House Kanalian
Guest House Kanalian is a great place to stay especially if you’re on a budget and traveling solo. It offers one of the cheapest rates for dorm beds without sacrificing comfort and service quality. In fact, previous guests have raved about its beautiful wooden interiors and cleanliness. The owner-host is a friendly local who likes to have a chat with guests and one who’s always willing to give a local’s perspective of the city. Location-wise, it is tucked in a residential area, but still an easy walk from Yokohama Station.
Address: 16-5 Daimachi, Kanagawa-ku, Yokohama
Price: From ¥2,000 (dorm bed, minimum of 2 nights)
Café & Hostel Hesoma
Staying at Café & Hostel Hesoma is like stumbling upon an otaku’s apartment. The place is literally filled with shelves of indie music CD’s and manga, and the common room even has a Nintendo console. The atmosphere is very relaxed and if you’re one to prefer homey accommodations over commercialized establishments, this listing does have a very personal feel to it. This hostel only offers dorm-type accommodations – one room with three bunk beds.
Address: 1-15-12 Okano, Nishi-ku, Yokohama
Price: From ¥2,300 (dorm bed)
Yokohama Hostel Village
Yokohama Hostel Village is a collective of hostels housed in one building; hence, the word “village” in its name. It is perhaps the most popular accommodation in the city among local and international backpackers because of its competitive pricing as well as its wide range of room options. Aside from bunk beds, private rooms for different group sizes are also available. Special arrangements for mid to long-term stay are likewise accepted.
Address: 1F Sanwa Building, 3-11-2 Matsukage-cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama
Price: From ¥2,400 (dorm bed), From ¥3,100 (private room for 1 person)
Yokohama Central Hostel
Found right next to Yokohama Stadium and just a few minutes walk from popular attractions like Chinatown and Yamashita Park, this hostel is indeed a winner for its central location. It offers female and mixed dorm-type accommodations with separate male and female bathrooms. Guests also get to enjoy free breakfast and typical hostel amenities like a common refrigerator, laundry machine, and dryer.
Address: 222 Yamashita-cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama
Price: From ¥2,800 (dorm bed)
The charm of Kamakura lies in its slow pace. As Japan’s ancient capital, it is steeped in tradition and nostalgia, which makes it a nice retreat for those who want to take a break from modern life’s hustle and bustle.
Kamakura Guest House
The Kamakura Guest House is an old-school version of a dorm-type hostel. It has futons instead of bunk beds and its common area features a working ‘irori’ – a traditional Japanese fireplace used during the colder months (October to March). The vibe is indeed very nostalgic, but at the same time, modern conveniences are all in place. It comes with a fully equipped kitchen, laundry space, showers with heater, and free wifi. They also have 10 bicycles for rent, which is very convenient for guests since most attractions are just short distances away.
Address: 273-3 Tokiwa, Kamakura, Kanagawa
Price: From ¥3,500 (dorm bed)
Kamejikan is a charming guest house minutes away from Zaimokuza beach. Small and intimate, it only has three Japanese rooms – two private tatami rooms and a 6-person mixed gender dormitory with bunk beds. Its surrounding neighborhood is a laidback seaside community where you can find numerous old fashioned shops selling things like fish, vegetables, and sake. With its name coined from the Japanese word ‘kame’, which means turtle, guests are encouraged to slow it down just like in the old days. Take a relaxing stroll at the beach, enjoy the sunset, and eat healthy food during your stay.
Address: 3 Chome-17-21 Zaimokuza, Kamakura, Kanagawa
Price: From ¥3,200 (dorm bed), From ¥9,000 (private room for 2 persons)
IZA Kamakura Guest House
Iza Kamakura Guest House combines convenient location, value for money, and a unique atmosphere. The property is best described as a European-style luxury house where guests can choose among its dorm-type, double, triple, and quadruple-sharing accommodations. It has a lounge bar and an outside terrace where in-house events take place every once in a while. Located close to Hase Station on the Enoden Line, it serves as a great base for sightseeing around Kamakura as top attractions like Hase Temple, Kamakura Daibutsu, Jojuin Temple, and even Yuigahama Beach are easily accessed from here.
Address: 11-7 Sakanoshita, Kamakura, Kanagawa
Price: From ¥3,500 (dorm bed), From ¥8,000 (private room for 2 persons)
Shonan Guesthouse Miminichi
Shonan Guesthouse Miminichi is another good option if you want to stay in Kamakura’s Zaimokuza district. It has a private room, which can be booked for up to three persons, while two rooms are allotted for dorm-type accommodations – one of which is exclusively for female guests. Run by a Japanese couple who loves to travel, they will make sure that a night’s stay here is warm and comfortable for each staying guest.
Address: 5-11-23 Zaimokuza, Kamakura, Kanagawa
Price: From ¥3,500 (dorm bed), From ¥6,800 (private room for 1 person)
All price information in this article is as of February 2017.
Thumbnail image is from Flickr.