If you’re going to Tokyo and want to stay somewhere conveniently located but inexpensive, I recommend the Economy Backpacker’s Hotel New Koyo in Tokyo. The hostel is located in between Minami-senju Station 南千住駅 on the JR Joban Line and Minowa Station 三ノ輪駅 on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line. The hostel is 20-30 minutes by train from Shinjuku, where most of the Ishikawa-Tokyo nightbuses go; 10 minutes from the electronics/otaku Mecca of Akihabara; 20 minutes from Tokyo Station; and about an hour from Tokyo Disney and Yokohama. The location is really ideal for traveling around Tokyo.
As for the accommodations, the hostel is clean and the staff is friendly. Several of the staff members speak English, and there are bilingual signs everywhere. You’ll have to share the showers with the other guests, but I never had to wait and the facilities are well maintained. The cheapest room measures 2.5 mats, sleeps one, and is 2500 yen/night. It seemed a little cramped at first, but between the small closet, the towel rack, and the shelf by the window, I had plenty of room for my luggage.
You can rent a towel for 100 yen for the duration of your stay; you can also rent a bike for 500 yen per day. There’s a shared kitchenette, a coin laundry, and free wireless internet access.
I highly recommend printing out the bilingual maps available on the website: the route from the stations is a little confusing at first, and the maps definitely helped.
You can make reservations online in English and pay in cash when you arrive or by credit card. I was actually surprised that you can’t make reservations online in Japanese and that the Japanese version of the home page is the same as the English (and, presumably, the five other languages offered). New Koyo has the foreign traveler in mind, and this hostel is a great place to sleep while you’re having adventures in Tokyo.
2-26-13 Nihonzutsumi Taitou-ku Tokyo 111-0021
Located within walking distance of Minami-senju station 南千住駅 and Minowa station 三ノ輪駅.
Leah Zoller is a first-year CIR in Anamizu and stayed at the New Koyo in January 2010.