Japan is one of my favourite destinations in the world but it’s a place that budget travellers don’t tend to frequent. Most people think that Japan is extremely expensive and I won’t lie- it’s certainly not cheap. However, Japan is a place that offers some of the best value for money in the world! On my last trip, I strived to find some accommodation choices that were both unique, comfortable, stylish and affordable. The first on the list was Oshiteruya; a gorgeous guesthouse with a traditional ryokan-style design in Osaka.
As soon as I came across Oshiteruya’s website, I knew that I had to stay there. Set in a building that’s over 100 years old, the owners have mixed typical ryokan features with elements of the typical hostel experience, to create the perfect hybrid accommodation for budget and solo travellers looking for a taste of culture. These are the sort of places that I love finding on my travels and beat standard hotels any day!
Here’s a review of our experience.
I’m a huge fan of cities, as you might have gathered, but I don’t always like to spend a lot of time in the bustling downtown areas. Instead, what I prefer is finding cute, eclectic little neighbourhoods where I can feel like a local and imagine myself living there. This is one of the things that I loved most about Oshiteruya.
Ohsiteruya can be found in Imazato; a little neighbour just 4 stops away from Dotonbori Arcade- but that feels like another world away. On our first night in Osaka, we made a beeline straight for the Osaka’s famous neon-emblazoned street. We were extremely keen to eat at one of the most famous ramen shops in the city but, after seeing the size of the queue (mostly full of Korean tourists….) we decided to head back instead. We took a gamble and popped into the first restaurants we saw- and had one of the best bowls of ramen ever.
Even though Imazato isn’t in the heart of the city, don’t think that means you need to travel far for great food. As is the case in most of Japan, you’ll find somewhere for a good feed on even the most unexpecting streets!
Plus, since it’s a residential area, it’s quiet and you can be sure you’ll get a good night’s sleep.
As much as I love staying in hostels, sometimes I find the party pressure a bit boring. If I’ve just got a few days in the city, there’s no chance that I’m spending any of them in bed hungover! Although Oshiteurya has dorm rooms and handy facilities, it’s more of a grown up accommodation choice. And that’s what I liked about it.
With its zen garden, stylish and trendy design elements and lovely, helpful staff, this is the perfect place to relax after a long day of sightseeing. The owners designed Oshiteruya themselves and I loved looking at all of their antique store finds which the place was kitted out in. Places with a bit of character and soul always speak to me and Oshiteruya had plenty!
As soon as we met Ryo from Oshiteruya, we knew that we’d be in good hands! Ryo is a cool, funny, friendly guy who will make you feel right at home. He made sure that we knew all the best places to go around the city and showed us the best ways to get there, even giving us little maps to carry around with us. Little gestures like these speak a million words to me. Thanks so much for your amazing hospitality, Ryo! We hope we can meet you again, one day.
Dorms are great for meeting people, but not so great for moments of privacy so I always love it when I’m provided with a little curtain on my bunk bed. Oshiteruya was thoughtfully decorated and had cute little finishing touches like a teddy bear- awwwww. (If you know me in real life, you might know that I struggle to sleep at night without a teddy- true story!)
The guesthouse provides guests with towels and a laundry service at a very small additional fee.
Oshiteruya is all about home comforts and one of the best home comforts you can get is a hot, hot shower. I like my water to be one degree below scalding and even I was content each morning. There was a huge dressing area with a hair dryer which I took full advantage of, too. So don’t worry about packing one (or leaving your hair to air dry in the crisp, cold, winter air!)
Value for Money
At 3,300 yen a night for a dorm bed, you might be surprised to hear that this isn’t actually that expensive by Japanese standards! For such a clean, thoughtfully decorated guesthouse with kind owners in a quiet, charming neighbourhood, it’s well worth the money. The average price for a decent hostel in Japan is usually around 2,500 yen so really you’re not paying much more for the premium!
If dorms aren’t your thing, then you can also opt for a private room. I had a sneak peek at the privates and was very impressed! Like the rest of Oshiteruya, they were extremely tastefully decorated and looked just like a traditional ryokan. At 8,000 yen per night, this is an absolute steal! Ryokans in Japan are usually extortionately priced- but something everyone should experience. If you’re in Osaka and want to tick staying at a ryokan off your bucketlist, do it here and save your yens for more sake!
So, next time you’re in Osaka, pop in and say hi to Ryo at Oshiteruya! It’s conveniently located, has a gorgeous ryokan-style design and a warm, friendly atmosphere. We would love to go back one day! Check out their website to make a reservation.
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Disclaimer: I was a guest of Oshiteruya but, as always, all opinions are my own.