Taipei, Taiwan Itinerary: Modern Route Walking Tour

ALSO READ:
TAIPEI, TAIWAN ITINERARY: HISTORIC ROUTE WALKING TOUR

ALSO READ:
TAIPEI, TAIWAN ITINERARY: GOLDEN AGE ROUTE WALKING TOUR

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This is a non-sponsored article of the Taipei Free Walking Tour Modern Route I had with Like It Formosa.

Most of my friends and followers know that I am such a history and politics geek, and I would not miss learning about a country’s history and politics whenever I visit a new one. However, despite the fact that I am getting tired of the bustle of the concrete jungle, little did they know that I still looooove the cityscapes and modernity (well, depends on whether it brings the city more good than bad hehe).

Well, my desire to learn about history won’t make sense at all if I will not be able to see how it affects the present state of a city or a country, right? That is why, I made sure to squeeze in a modern route tour of Taipei, Taiwan when I went there.

As I was researching for my Taiwan trip itinerary, I came across Like It Formosa, an organization that conducts free (but tip-based) walking tours around Taipei. Apparently, they offer three free walking tours around Taipei: Historic Route, Golden Age Route, and Modern Route. Of course, I cannot miss all of these and I joined all of them.

What I liked about the tours offered by Like It Formosa is that it’s led by young and very intelligent guides. For this specific route, we were guided by a very intelligent lady who’s now at Columbia University for her Master’s Degree in Data Science (hi Viv!). The way they share information about Taiwan is very passionate and really coming from locals.

Apparently, Taiwan, being one of the top economic hubs in the world, is still having a lot of challenges and controversies related to modernity. I liked how our tour guide shared us a lot of trivia, historical backgrounds, nightlife tips, and even ghost stories! Here is the itinerary of the Modern Route tour. Obviously, all of these are walking distance away from one another and all located at Xinyi District. (Spoiler alert: the magnificent Taipei 101 building is seen from all destinations we went to!)

(Please forgive my nighttime mobile photography skills. I was too lazy to take out my point and shoot camera, which I regret up to this day huhu!)

Are you ready to start our Taipei Modern Route Tour?

Taipei Dome

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei Dome June 2018
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei Dome s of June 2018

The first stop of our tour, which was just right at the Sun Yat-Sen Station of the Taipei Metro, is the Taipei Dome. The structure obviously looks unfinished, and there is so much story about it. Apparently, the construction is supposed to start in 2007 and finish in 2011, but a lot of controversies affected the timeline of its construction. In fact, in 2015, the Taiwan government ordered the suspension of the dome.

Among the issues include the overcapacity, absence/poor design of enough emergency exits, and how the ground floor of the dome was planned to become a commercial complex with hotel (which would affect the traffic situation of the area). Well, I hope this dome will be built to serve its original purpose and not for some commercial pursuits that are hazardous to the people and the city.

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei 101 at Taipei Dome
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: A view of Taipei 101 from the Taipei Dome

Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei Modern Route Tour: Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: The facade of the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall is so busy at night!

Sun Yat-Sen is considered as the “Father of the Republic of China” and this building was built in his memory. When we went there, a lot of students are doing dance and performance rehearsals (I found out that the building administration is under the Ministry of Education), and people are relaxing at the nearby Chung-shan Park. The said spot is a nice place to have a view of the Taipei cityscape.

We were told some things about Taiwan history, including Sun Yat-Sen not being present during the actual revolutions (sounds familiar! Emilio Aguinaldo, is that you? Charot.). The building design includes the basics of Chinese architecture and was a result of a contest won by a Taiwanese architect. A popular reason why tourist go here is to witness the hourly changing of guards of the statue of Sun Yat-Sen.

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei 101 at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: A view of Taipei 101 from the Chung-shan Park and Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall

Taipei City Hall

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei Modern Route Tour: Taipei City Hall
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei City Hall Building at Night

This seat of the Taipei City Government is a very nice structure, but I would love seeing it more during the morning to appreciate how the movement of people and business usually go in this area. In this part of our trip, I learned more about how the Taiwan Parliament is notorious for brawls, and the most extreme one so far is the throwing of water balloons and chairs by the members of the parliament themselves (see here). Moreover, we were told some ghost stories from nearby hotels which served as a nice bonding point for the people joining the tour (in short, nagtakutan kami haha).

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei 101 from Taipei City Hall
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: A view of Taipei 101 from the Taipei City Hall

Eslite Bookstore (Xinyi Bookstore)

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei Modern Route Tour: Eslite Bookstore Xinyi
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: History of Taiwan and Religion Section of the Eslite Bookstore Xinyi
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Eslite Bookstore Xinyi
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: MY HEAVEN! World and Asian History Sections of the Eslite Bookstore Xinyi

My happy place!!! This is Taiwan’s largest bookstore and is open from 11AM to 10PM! 🙂 There is one branch which even operates for 24 hours (the Dunnan branch), how’s that! I feel sad that I forgot some of the trivia that our guide shared us about this place, but it has something to do with the banning of some propaganda materials (oooh, smells political!). There are books in Mandarin and a few ones in English.

I found a big section for Asian History and I wish I have a lot of money that time huhuhu! I have no idea we’ll be visiting a nice bookstore like this. 🙁 It has a big food court at the basement, and the queue for the milk tea shop was soooo long! This place is definitely my heaven! And oh, in front of the bookstore building is a nice view of Taipei 101, which is our next destination.

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Eslite Bookstore Xinyi
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Cute Barbapapa Merchandise at Eslite Bookstore Xinyi
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Ten Ren Tea Eslite Bookstore Xinyi
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: I had some legit Ten Ren Tea at Eslite Bookstore Xinyi

Taipei 101

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei Modern Route Tour: Taipei 101 Up Close at Night
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Taipei 101 up close at night

Who does not know the beautiful and magnificent Taipei 101? It has been a dream of mine to see it in person because I’ve only been seeing it on TV every New Year’s Eve because of its magnificent fireworks display. It was the world’s tallest building upon its completion in 2004 until before Dubai’s Burj Khalifa was constructed in 2010.

This building is also known for its very fast elevator which can take you to higher floors in a matter of seconds. Moreover, the design looks very Asian, right? I really admire this building! However, our guide told us that more offices have been moving to newer buildings, but it does not take away the fact that Taipei 101 is still a building that can withstand disasters like earthquakes. Plus, it’s a very environmentally-friendly building.

How to End the Taipei Free Walking Tour Modern Route: Eat at Din Tai Fung!

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Din Tai Fung Taipei 101
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Din Tai Fung at Taipei 101

Eating is a perfect way to cap off your Taipei modern route tour. There is a Din Tai Fung branch at Taipei 101 Mall but it could get really crowded and the queue was usually long. However, since the tour ended up around 9PM and Din Tai Fung is about to close by 10PM, we chanced upon a time where there’s no more queue. Time for a legit xiao long bao!

TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Din Tai Fung Xiao Long Bao
TAIPEI FREE WALKING TOUR MODERN ROUTE: Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung Taipei 101!

There you have it! Who’s not gonna love Taiwan because of all these trivia and features? How much more if I mention the foooood? 😀 Taiwan’s current modern state is really interesting and I hope other developing cities can also try to duplicate Taipei’s practices. I never felt stressed the whole time I was in tour here. The train system was efficient, the Taiwanese people were so calm, and there are enough pedestrian lanes in the street. Definitely a perfect place to live in! So what are you waiting for? Plan your Taipei modern route tour now!

For other blog posts on Taiwan, please click on the photo below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Taiwan

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SNAPSHOTS: Asia Photo Essay #1: ONE RAINY DAY IN MACAU

Working as a Professor does not in any way enable me to take Leaves of Absences whenever I want to. Once the term started, the show must go on for 14 weeks. Given that, I always look forward to seeing new places to refresh my creativity and to forget anything work-related even just for a while. Recently, I realized I haven’t been to Macau despite visiting Hong Kong, so I decided to visit. But lo and behold, there was a typhoon on the day of my visit! The skies are gloomy but I still managed to go around the streets and take some photos.

One Rainy Day in Macau (Travel/Street Photography)
SOMETHING MANDATORY. As unhealthy as it may sound, I am loving the thrill of eating at McDonald’s in every country I visit. I am always fascinated about the different menu items in different countries. I forgot to include a complimentary breakfast when I booked my hotel and I discovered that my hotel’s restaurant is a super upscale Portuguese restaurant with an expensive menu, I just chose to go out for breakfast and saved the breakfast experience in my hotel for my last day in Macau. McDonald’s in Macau has a very interesting menu. Their breakfast menu is so superb! They have big meals and there is a hot milk tea option if you’re avoiding coffee or chocolate. I was happy with the hot milk tea and I think I got one every single day. The introvert in me sat in the corner by the street, and I tried taking a photo of my meal with the street as the backdrop. This man passed by very timely and I caught him looking at my food. I am so used to eating a lot whenever I travel alone and I’m so used to people looking at what I eat. Yeah, his eyes are checking out every single food on my table.
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ENJOYING THE RAIN. To my right inside McDonald’s is the pedestrian lane, which is I am very happy about because I am in a very perfect, comfortable position to capture photos of people crossing the street. Personally, I love rainy days. I wasn’t even disappointed that I went to Macau on a typhoon. I guess that’s the reason why this solo trip was the most memorable one I had. And boy, look at the smile in this kid’s face! That’s literally me. I love the sound of the rain, I love sipping hot tea while raining, and I love the cozy temperature. However, I did not go to Macau to chill and feel the rain! I proceeded going out and walk in the streets.
macau
KINDA FAMILIAR. Walking in the streets of Macau is something oddly ‘familiar’ to me. It’s as if I’m in Manila. I am actually less intimidated and more comfortable walking around. Here comes my “I could live here” feeling once again. Look at this arcade sidewalk. It’s no different than the ones in Manila Chinatown, particularly the strip of Juan Luna Street. What I love about Macau is how seemingly slow life is, which feels very comforting and peaceful. No people are in a hurry, nobody seems worried, and the whole environment is pretty chill. Yes, I could indeed live here.
One Rainy Day in Macau (Travel/Street Photography)
THE CALMNESS AND DISCIPLINE. Macau is so full of old buildings and so much colonial heritage from Portugal can be noticed all over. Aside from the quaintness of the ambiance, I love old cities. I love old structures. Everything looks like a beautiful mess. Everyone is polite to one another. I love crossing the street because of their systematic pedestrian system. I love that they preserve almost everything as it is. Ahhh, I’m falling in love.
macau
ENJOYING THE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS. Forget about the sunny day. I love the cloudy vibe and it adds to the mood of my photowalk session. As I was walking around, I am starting to realize how unique the land surfaces in Macau is. There’s a lot of narrow steep roads and sharp curves. Some friends have been telling me this is similar to Europe, but I have no personal point of comparison yet since I haven’t been to Europe. Hopefully soon!
macau
PEOPLE WATCHING. Have you ever felt that feeling when you’re amazed with every single detail of a new place you visited because most of them are both unique and familiar at the same time? Seriously, this whole photowalk gives me a typical Chinatown vibe: people peacefully hustling. Some others like this old man walking his dog was one of the most ‘awww’ scenes I’ve seen this day.
One Rainy Day in Macau (Travel/Street Photography)
AIMLESSLY WALKING. I am seriously have no idea where to go at this point, but my plans this day included visits to museums. However, I forgot something. “Dang, today is a Monday! Most museums are closed!” I don’t mind, I love walking. I’m loving the vibe. I love taking photos of things I see. This whole photowalk session is as good as walking around a museum. THIS is the museum.
macau
TODAY’S CHANGE OF PLANS. However, I can’t just aimlessly walk the whole day, right? I can’t also predict the weather. Hmmm, since museums are still closed, let’s explore other possible activities. How about a food trip? OHHH RIGHT, MACAU HAS THOSE YUMMY PORTUGUESE EGG TARTS! I hurriedly did some Googling on my phone to see where I can find some egg tarts. I found some interesting shops and I continued walking to the nearest bus stop to Coloane.

SNAPSHOTS: ASIA Trailer

SNAPSHOTS: ASIA PHOTO ESSAY #1: ONE RAINY DAY IN MACAU (PIN IT! 📌)

One Rainy Day in Macau (Travel/Street Photography)

OTHER SNAPSHOTS: ASIA PHOTO ESSAYS

macau
macau
macau
macau

Solo Travel in Macau

(I did a random Macau solo travel and this was part of my story. I promise to do an article about “Instagram-Worthy Places in Macau” real soon!)

A lot of travel blogs, vlogs, TV shows, and friends would tell you that one beautiful thing about traveling is meeting people coming from different backgrounds, getting to know their stories, their cultures, and even being friends with them. Sure, it’s great. In fact, the whole time I was traveling (whether for work or for vacation), I was able to meet amazing people, and people I wish I never met as well (no, I’m not gonna sugarcoat things for you here, honey, sometimes traveling really sucks). This is where you will either develop either trust in people or trust issues in people. That’s right.

Most of the time during my travels, I would meet people either in the hostels I stayed in, or randomly in tourist spots. During the first few times I did solo travel, the experience of meeting new people was very exciting. I get to meet people from so many countries, some of them are still my (online) friends up to this day, but most of them I meet only at that particular instance.

I once took my German and American hostelmates to taste the Cebu Lechon, I met fellow Filipino backpackers who went to a high school where my high school principal used to serve, and I met British backpackers whom I was able to go island hopping with in Palawan.

MACAU SOLO TRAVEL
MACAU SOLO TRAVEL: NOT IN MACAU. One instance I randomly went out to eat street food with my Filipino and Chinese hostel roommies!

It was fun, but as I get to more destinations and do the same thing over and over again, it eventually gets boring and pointless.

I’m tired of being asked, “Where are you from?”, “Until when you will stay here?”, Where did you go so far?”, among others. These people will just casually talk to you then you’ll most likely never see them again. It’s not the superficiality that frustrates me, but are we really required to pressure ourselves into socializing and talking to people who just come and go?

My (Random) Decision to Do a Macau Solo Travel

I had a very busy term and I want to reward myself another solo travel (a legit vacation, btw) during the term break in Macau. With only less than a month to decide for the destination and prepare for the trip, I considered two criteria: Which (1) nearby country is (2) visa-free for Filipinos (3) I haven’t been to? I realized I haven’t been to Macau (I did a solo travel to Hong Kong before though), so I randomly chose the said destination. I booked my tickets and the next thing I have to decide is the accommodation.

Since I am very used to staying in hostels, I thought of looking for one, but apparently, Macau does not have a lot of accommodations of this kind, since it’s a small territory and most tourists (like those on a solo travel) are entering Hong Kong and just going on a day tour to Macau.

Now my only option is to stay in a hotel, which I did not mind since this trip is a gift to myself. The introvert in me found an excuse to splurge some money in a hotel and not talk to people. Yay! Upon doing a little research, I ended up choosing Macau Hotel S because of its beautiful interior and the presence of a lot of street art around the vicinity.

ALSO READ:
SHERLYN’S QUICK (AND HONEST!) OVERSEAS HOTEL REVIEWS: TO STAY OR NOT TO STAY AGAIN?

MACAU SOLO TRAVEL
MACAU SOLO TRAVEL: The very beautiful facade of Macau Hotel S

Macau Solo Travel: The Plan

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So this is the plan: I will travel solo to Macau with the least interaction as possible with people. I will make this trip as peaceful as possible to forgive the introvert in me.

This included little to know interaction with people and shutting down all my messaging and social media apps.

Adventures (and Misadventures) in Macau

I know for a fact that Hong Kong has a lot of Filipino residents, but when I went there, for some reason, I was only able to see a few of them there. I also heard that Macau has a lot of Filipinos, and to my surprise, I did not expect that I will see Filipinos almost every 30 seconds. I’m definitely gonna survive my solo week-long travel in Macau. Well, I could talk to people, and I could also not talk to people.

As much as I try my best to talk to random people all the time (usually to ask for directions or information), there were times that the introvert in me was just not in the mood, or was scared, or was arrogant enough to think I can manage everything on my own.

Upon arriving at Macau Airport, I asked a Filipino airport staff I saw how to use the public transportation. He advised me to change my bills to coins since I’ll be needing to pay the bus fares in coins. He pointed me to a counter with another Filipino who changed my bills to coins.

As I was waiting for the bus, I saw a group of Filipinos guiding another group of Filipinos about the bus routes, and I’ve been dying to ask them how to get to my hotel, but I was just tired and intimidated at the same time. I just Googled my way to the right bus number, only to find out I took the bus going to the opposite direction. And it’s 12 midnight.

There are a lot of Filipinos in the bus and I overheard two of them arguing about whether they took the right bus. It turns out, they were in the exact same situation as me. I took the courage to ask them if the bus we are in will pass by my hotel, but they also seem confused. They told me they’re gonna alight and take another bus and I could go with them. Yay!

If I did not ask, I might still be on the road figuring out my life. I don’t usually do that since I can always Google everything, but I want to get to my hotel as quick as possible because I was so tired, and having a lot of Filipinos around made me instantly comfortable about the place.

MACAU SOLO TRAVEL: Macau Bus Route Guide
MACAU SOLO TRAVEL: ARRIVAL AT MACAU AIRPORT. Me trying to be self-sufficient by staring at this though I can’t understand a single thing instead of asking any of the so many Filipinos around me (which could have made my life 100x easier). Haha.

I checked in at my hotel and the staff were talking to me in Tagalog. Awesome! In which case, I  would usually initiate some small talk, but I’m just so tired from the flight and getting in the wrong bus, so I just went straight to my room and slept. No, I did not sleep. I watched some international news. Then I sipped some tea. Then slept.

Macau Solo Travel: My room at Macau Hotel S
MACAU SOLO TRAVEL: This hotel has no Western news network so I’m sticking with CGTN.

Where’s the misadventure in this trip? There’s a typhoon signal number 3.

macau solo travel
MACAU SOLO TRAVEL: Yup, Signal Number 3 it is!

The typhoon basically ruined my whole trip schedule, but at the same time I’m a little happy because I have an excuse to just stay in the hotel the whole day, in which case I read some articles for a paper I’ve been writing for a conference I’m attending in Bangkok. I also have an excuse not to talk to people.

Macau Solo Travel: My room at Macau Hotel S
MACAU SOLO TRAVEL: STAYCATION IN MACAU: I was given a big room so I was able to do some yoga and work out!
Macau Solo Travel: My room at Macau Hotel S
MACAU SOLO TRAVEL: STAYCATION IN MACAU: I was able to accomplish a part of my conference paper for my Bangkok trip. Yay!

The next few days were still a series of clouds and rains, but I was lucky to have sunny days. I did a little shopping, sightseeing, and eating.

I was about to go to an alley with some street art to take photos when I realized my GoPro was about to die. I planned to stop somewhere and charge my GoPro for a while when I passed by a noodle restaurant and I overheard the staff speaking in Kapampangan (a Filipino dialect spoken in my Mom’s hometown, Pampanga). I was appalled and I decided to eat at the restaurant while charging my GoPro.

I initiated a small talk with the staff and found out that the lady has been working there for ten years while the guy staff was just on his third day in Macau. We had a small chit chat but I realized they can’t talk that much because they’re working. Oh yeah that made me a little frustrated again, so I just silently ate my noodles and left.

Macau Solo Travel: My spicy noodles lunch!
MACAU SOLO TRAVEL: The yummy spicy noodles I ate for lunch!

See, I’ve been teaching since 2011 (that means I’m speaking in front of 40-ish college students on a daily basis delivering lectures) but I still get anxious in moments like these.

I went to Museu de Macau and as I was walking through the artifacts, the museum guys were talking to each other in Tagalog and trying to guess my nationality (btw they never guessed I’m a Filipino, they thought I’m Malaysian or Indonesian until I spoke to them in Tagalog). I asked the usual small talk questions like how long they’ve been working there, how was it working there, among others.

I eventually realized I’m chatting with them while they’re on duty, which was not a good idea (again). I appreciate them asking me questions, though. I also got the “You went here for the first time alone? You’re lucky you did not get offloaded.”

I want to get offended and want to tell them I have a clean overseas travel record, but I realized it’s a common threat to Filipinos going to Macau. Some Filipinos apparently would go there as tourists to find a job. I don’t wanna elaborate about this, but I should say I can’t blame them and would even support their decision to look for a job outside the Philippines.

There were countless number of times I could just ask someone to take photos of me or ask for directions to fellow Filipinos, but since I want to test my independence and travel skills, I chose not to. After all, I have my ever-so-reliable GoPro and tripod and Google Maps.

Oh, btw, you can’t download an offline Google Maps in Macau. You just can’t.

Macau Solo Travel: Offline Google Maps is not available
MACAU SOLO TRAVEL: Google Maps is apparently not available.

How to Travel Solo as an Introvert?

First of all, there’s nobody pressuring you or anyone to talk to people when traveling. Indeed it’s exhausting to ask and answer the same questions, but I could attest you can still learn something about the place at your own peaceful way.

When I visit an alley, a museum, or stare at a Portuguese period building, I read as much as I can at the internet on the spot so that I can still be virtually guided and fed with information about a specific spot. Regarding asking for directions, we all know that Google Maps (both online and offline) has made our sightseeing as convenient as possible, and the thrill of getting to a destination while just following the map was amazing.

To be honest, most of the time whenever I ask people for directions, either I don’t trust their instructions, or I just don’t get it at all (Take this example: So you turn left there, take three blocks, then turn right, and you’ll see a white building, and your destination is across that building.  I would not freaking process this instruction very quick.)

Some long-term travellers would miss the idea of being home or at least being surrounded by people they already know so that they need not to start from scratch when doing conversations. Long-term traveling could indeed give you this feeling, but it does not necessarily mean you’ll just stop talking to people. Men are social creatures. Sure, some of us are ‘wired’ to be introverts, but we still need other people from time to time.

Wrapping Up

I was able to survive my solo travel to Macau all by myself, relying on the internet, and not talking to people like I used to. It wasn’t as exciting as my other travels, but it’s more peaceful and I felt legitimately relaxed and I was able to emotionally and mentally prepare myself to get back to work. Macau is small and busy, but beautiful at the same time. They say Macau only deserves to be a side trip destination from Hong Kong, but I say, please consider spending a week or two in Macau alone, you will be surprised.

Two things I am proud of myself from this solo travel to Macau: I can survive traveling to more countries alone, and I was able to discipline myself into accomplishing some tasks, be as zen as possible the whole time, and had a one week social media detox.

For more travel articles about Macau, click on the banner below:

macau solo travel

THE 10 BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO, JAPAN

Traveling to Japan can get a little expensive, but for backpackers, a nice option could be hostels. Read on to find out the 10 BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO, Japan! (This article contains affiliate links.)

I had the chance to visit Tokyo a few years ago, and it was amazing! But, I must say, the budget that I allocate on other Asian destinations on the same number of days is not enough in the case of Tokyo. Traveling to Tokyo can get a little expensive, hence it is every budget traveler’s challenge to travel to Tokyo on a shoestring. One way we can cut expenses on our trip is to stay in hostels.

Hostels are cheaper but nice accommodation especially to young travelers. At a fraction of a typical hotel rate, you can enjoy a comfortable bunk bed or capsule room. Moreover, hostels are nice places to socialize with like-minded travelers and learn from them about travel and other aspects of life.

So without further ado, here is the list that you clicked here for!

But before that, here is a simple vlog I created from my previous Tokyo and Yokohama trip, featuring my favorite anime song, Sweet Soul Revue by the Pizzicato Five:

And here are some of the blog articles I wrote about Japan:

BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO
BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO: Hiromas Hotel Kotobuki

HIROMAS HOTEL KOTOBUKI

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: 3-12-1 Kotobuki, Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan, 111-0041

BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO
BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO: Focus Kuramae

FOCUS KURAMAE

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: 4-21-2 Kuramae, Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan, 111-0051

THINGS TO DO IN ASAKUSA, TOKYO

best hostels in tokyo
Book your kkday tours now via www.sherlynmaehernandez.com!

How to get to Asakusa, Tokyo

You can book your limousine bus transfers from Haneda Airport through kkday.

BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO
BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO: The Wardrobe Hostel Raponggi

THE WARDROBE HOSTEL RAPPONGI

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: 4-1-26 Roppongi, Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan, 106 0032

BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO
BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO: The Wardrobe Hostel Record

THE WARDROBE HOSTEL RECORD

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: Kawashima building 3rd Floor 2-8-4 Ueno, Ueno, Tokyo, Japan, 110-0005

BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO
BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO: Kikka

KIKKA

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: 1-3-3 Higashi Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan, 101-0031

BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO
BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO: Hotel and Hostel Seven Garden Tokyo

HOTEL AND HOSTEL SEVEN GARDEN TOKYO

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: 1-34-2, Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan, 〒111-0032

BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO
BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO: Hostel Chapter Two Tokyo

HOSTEL CHAPTER TWO TOKYO

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: 2-1-6, Kaminarimon, Taito-ku, Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan, 1110034

BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO
BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO: DJ Hostel Ginza

DJ HOSTEL GINZA

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: chuo-ku, Shintomi, 1-14-10, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan, 1040041

Thing to do in Ginza, Tokyo

best hostels in tokyo
Book your kkday tours now via www.sherlynmaehernandez.com!
BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO
BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO: Grids Tokyo Ueno Hotel and House

GRIDS TOKYO UENO HOTEL & HOUSE

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: 7-10-4,Ueno,Taito-ku, Ueno, Tokyo, Japan, 1100005

BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO
BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO: Hiromas Hotel Kura

HIROMAS HOTEL KURA

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: 2-17-10, Kuramae,Taito-ku, Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan, 111-0051

THE BEST HOSTELS IN TOKYO: Your recommendations are welcome! 🙂

There you have it! I don’t know about you, but I suppose this article can already guide you to the best of Tokyo on a budget. Hostels are nice places to stay, and it’s also an opportunity to meet new people along the way. So, shall I wait for your Tokyo travel updates? Don’t forget to use my links when booking! Enjoy Tokyo! 🙂

You can check other accommodation options in Tokyo via agoda.com and other tour options in Tokyo via kkday

THE BEST HOSTELS IN HONG KONG, ON EVERY AREA

This guide presents the best hostels in Hong Kong on every area. This article contains affiliate links that when you use, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost on your part.

Hong Kong is a very popular tourist destination, especially to Filipino families and friends. Firstly, there’s Disneyland and Ocean Park, and secondly, Hong Kong is really a family-friendly destination. With that, I meant our parents and other olden companions can conveniently navigate around with the very world-class transportation system of the territory.

Not in my case, though! I had the chance to visit Hong Kong for a work-related fellowship and conference, and I’ve never set foot at Hong Kong Disneyland. Hong Kong is an amazing city and I promised myself to visit it again, perhaps to eat food, go hiking, and learn more about its culture and history.

Given that, I understand the pain of every traveler of looking for that perfect accommodation on a budget. Hostels have become a popular choice for backpackers who would want to travel cheap, and luckily I am one of those people. For everyone’s benefit, I did some research and picked the best hostels in Hong Kong, on every area.

But before that, here is a simple Hong Kong vlog I made during my previous travel:

So without further ado, here is the list I promised you. Btw, it also contains suggestions on what to do and how to go to specific areas. Enjoy!

But before that, note that the booking links take you to kkday.com and agoda.com websites. This website (www.sherlynmaehernandez.com) is a certified Agoda and kkday affiliate, hence I will earn a small commission if you will book through the links I provided (which I use for the maintenance of this website), with absolutely no additional costs on your part. I would appreciate your support to this passion project.

TSIM SHA TSUI: New International Guest House

BEST HOSTELS IN HONG KONG
BEST HOSTELS IN HONG KONG: New International Guest House

ADDRESS: Flat A7, 11/F, Block A, Chungking Mansion, 36-44 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Things to do in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

How to get to Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

  • From Hong Kong International Airport: You can book your airport transfer either here or here.
  • From Macau: You can book your ferry transfer here.

ALSO READ:
TOP 10 HOSTELS IN TSIM SHA TSUI AREA, HONG KONG

MONGKOK: Granduer Holiday Hostel

BEST HOSTELS IN HONG KONG
BEST HOSTELS IN HONG KONG: Granduer Holiday Hostel

ADDRESS: 2A-D, 737-741 Nathan Road, Mongkok, Hong Kong

How to get to Mong Kok, Hong Kong

From Hong Kong International Airport, you can book your airport transfer either here or here.

CAUSEWAY BAY: The House (Baguio)

BEST HOSTELS IN HONG KONG
BEST HOSTELS IN HONG KONG: The House (Baguio)

ADDRESS: Flat D, 1/F, Phoenix Apartments, 70 Lee Garden Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

How to get to Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

From Hong Kong International Airport, you can book your airport transfer either here or here.

JORDAN: Hakkas Guesthouse

BEST HOSTELS IN HONG KONG
BEST HOSTELS IN HONG KONG: Hakkas Guesthouse

ADDRESS: Flat K & L, 3/F, New Lucky House, 15 Jordan Road, Jordan, Hong Kong

How to get to Jordan, Hong Kong

From Hong Kong International Airport, you can book your airport transfer either here or here.

ALSO READ:
TOP 10 HOSTELS IN JORDAN AREA, HONG KONG

NORTH POINT: Homy Inn North Point

BEST HOSTELS IN HONG KONG
BEST HOSTELS IN HONG KONG: Homy Inn North Point

ADDRESS: Floor 2-13, Seng Ming Court, 375 King’s Road, North Point, Hong Kong

How to get to North Point, Hong Kong

From Hong Kong International Airport, you can book your airport transfer either here or here.

TSUEN WAN: Commune

BEST HOSTELS IN HONG KONG
BEST HOSTELS IN HONG KONG: Commune

ADDRESS: Bay Bridge Bay Bridge Lifestyle Retreat, 123 Castle Peak Road (Ting Kau), Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong

How to get to Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong

From Hong Kong International Airport, you can book your airport transfer either here or here.

WANCHAI: Check Inn HK

BEST HOSTELS IN HONG KONG
BEST HOSTELS IN HONG KONG: Check Inn HK

ADDRESS: 2/F, Kwong Wah Mansion, 269-273 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

How to get to Wanchai, Hong Kong

From Hong Kong International Airport, you can book your airport transfer either here or here.

HONG KONG ISLAND SOUTH: Mojo Nomad Aberdeen Harbour by Ovolo

BEST HOSTELS IN HONG KONG
BEST HOSTELS IN HONG KONG: Mojo Nomad Aberdeen Harbour by Ovolo

ADDRESS: 100 Shek Pai Wan Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong Island South, Hong Kong

Things to do in Hong Kong Island South

hostels in hong kong
Book your kkday tours now via www.sherlynmaehernandez.com!

How to get to Hong Kong Island South

From Hong Kong International Airport, you can book your airport transfer either here or here.

BEST HOSTELS IN HONG KONG ON EVERY AREA: Your recommendations are welcome! 🙂

There you have it! I don’t know about you, but I suppose this guide can already guide you to the best of Hong Kong on a budget. Hostels are nice places to stay, and it’s also an opportunity to meet new people along the way. So, shall I wait for your Hong Kong travel updates? Don’t forget to use my links when booking! Enjoy Hong Kong! 🙂

The Lovely Side of Macau

Macau deserves to be appreciated more as a travel destination. Just saying.

the lovely side of macau

With a show of hands (assuming I’m TED-talking here), how many of you have actually traveled to Macau? With ‘actually traveled’, I mean not as a day tour from Hong Kong. I’m asking because a lot of people I know treat Macau as nothing but a side trip from Hong Kong.

Last year, I had one wonderful term with a good set of students and thought of rewarding myself with… *drumroll* a trip! “Okay, so which destination here I could fly the shortest, I haven’t been to, and there’s no visa required?” After an aimless browsing, I decided to choose Macau. I told some of my friends how excited I was about this ‘school break trip’, and here are some of their responses:

“Macau is not that interesting to me. I only went there for a day when I visited Hong Kong.”

“Macau? Are you sure? What are you gonna do there? Play in casinos? See that fake Eiffel Tower?”

“A week is too long for Macau. Just go to Hong Kong.”

Responses of this kind make me sad. No matter how boring a place was for some, it might be a hidden gem to people like me, right? Idk about you, but I believe ALL places have something beautiful to offer to the table, no matter how small, boring, or simple they appear to be.

Obviously, I did not listen and went on. I wish I could write everything here, but I had a very great time in Macau. It has a lot of street art and museums! Those Lord Stow’s Bakery egg tarts are very good. I could buy The Cheesecake Factory slices at their 7-Eleven stores. I love their public bus system. There’s a lot of remnants of the Portuguese colonization (in their language, architecture, food, etc.). Macau has got me obsessed with the Portuguese colonial conquest to the point that I’ve prioritized visiting Timor Leste, another former Portuguese colony (with an even more interesting history) in the near future.

In the photo is St. Francis Xavier Church in Coloane, an island in Cotai at the southern tip of Macau. I’ve observed that aside from the azulejos, yellow is a very common theme among Portuguese architecture. I seriously want to travel more to get to know more about it. *books flight to Lisbon in my wildest dreams haha*

10 of the Most Beautiful Hotels in Kyoto, Japan

This guide to the MOST BEAUTIFUL HOTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN contains affiliate links going to agoda.com for faster bookings.

A lot of travelers all over the world love Japan (and that includes me, of course!), however one challenge that most travelers encounter is that traveling to Japan can get a little expensive. The train rides and food can take most of our allocated allowances away. While cities like Tokyo and Yokohama give us the big city business-ish vibe, cities like Kyoto give us the authentic Japanese cultural vibes. Planning to have the most authentic Japanese trip comes with looking for beautiful hotels, and that’s when this article comes into the picture.

I did a little research and compiled these 10 Most Beautiful Hotels in Kyoto, Japan, which will also definitely suit every type of budget. So without further ado, here is the list! 🙂

But before that, this simple vlog I made containing street clips from my previous travel to Tokyo and Yokohama might interest you, and this features Sweet Soul Revue by Pizzicato Five, my favorite anime song.

MOST BEAUTIFUL HOTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN
MOST BEAUTIFUL HOTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN: Vessel Hotel Campana Kyoto Gojo

VESSEL HOTEL CAMPANA KYOTO GOJO

Check rates, availability, and reviews in Agoda.com

ADDRESS: 498 Shimomanjuji-cho, Gojo Sagaru, Higashinotoin-dori, Shimogyo-ku , Kawaramachi, Kyoto, Japan, 600-8180

MOST BEAUTIFUL HOSTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN
MOST BEAUTIFUL HOTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN: Kyoto Tower Hotel Annex

KYOTO TOWER HOTEL ANNEX

Check rates, availability, and reviews in Agoda.com

ADDRESS: JR kyoto-Station West,Shimachi,Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan, 600-8216

MOST BEAUTIFUL HOSTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN
MOST BEAUTIFUL HOTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN: Keio Prelia Hotel Kyoto Karasuma Gojo

KEIO PRELIA HOTEL KYOTO KARASUMA GOJO

Check rates, availability, and reviews in Agoda.com

ADDRESS: 396, Gojokarasumacho, Shimogyo-ku, Kawaramachi, Kyoto, Japan, 600-8418

MOST BEAUTIFUL HOSTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN
MOST BEAUTIFUL HOTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN: Hotel Amanek Kyoto Kawaramachi Gojo

HOTEL AMANEK KYOTO KAWARAMACHI GOJO

Check rates, availability, and reviews in Agoda.com

ADDRESS: Shimogoku gojoagaru Azuchicho 616, Kawaramachi, Kyoto, Japan, 600-8040

MOST BEAUTIFUL HOSTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN
MOST BEAUTIFUL HOTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN: Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo

MIYAKO HOTEL KYOTO HACHIJO

Check rates, availability, and reviews in Agoda.com

ADDRESS: 17 Nishikujo-Inmachi Minami-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan

MOST BEAUTIFUL HOSTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN
MOST BEAUTIFUL HOTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN: Hotel Granvia Kyoto

HOTEL GRANVIA KYOTO

Check rates, availability, and reviews in Agoda.com

ADDRESS: JR Kyoto Station Karasuma Entrance Karasuma-Dori Shiokoji-Sagaru Shimogyo-Ku Kyoto, Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan, 600-8216

MOST BEAUTIFUL HOSTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN
MOST BEAUTIFUL HOTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN: Kyoto Plaza Hotel

KYOTO PLAZA HOTEL

Check rates, availability, and reviews in Agoda.com

ADDRESS: 28 Nikshikujou Zaouchou, Minami-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan, 601-8414

MOST BEAUTIFUL HOSTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN
MOST BEAUTIFUL HOTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN: Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto – Ekimae

DAIWA ROYNET HOTEL KYOTO – EKIMAE

Check rates, availability, and reviews in Agoda.com

ADDRESS: 707-2 Higashishiokojicho, Shichijo-Sagaru,Karasumadori,Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan, 600-8216

MOST BEAUTIFUL HOSTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN
MOST BEAUTIFUL HOTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN: Kyoto Tower Hotel

KYOTO TOWER HOTEL

Check rates, availability, and reviews in Agoda.com

ADDRESS: 721-1,Higashi-Shiokouji,Karasuma-dori,Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan, 600-8216 

MOST BEAUTIFUL HOSTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN
MOST BEAUTIFUL HOTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN: Hotel Hokke Club Kyoto

HOTEL HOKKE CLUB KYOTO

Check rates, availability, and reviews in Agoda.com

ADDRESS: 579-16, Higashishiokojicho, Kyoto Shi Shimogyo Ku, Kyoto, Japan, Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan, 600-8216

You also have the option to stay in hostels in Kyoto, if are a budget traveler, or splurge in an authentic Japanese experience by staying in ryokans with onsen baths in Kyoto. Otherwise, you can check more accommodation options in Kyoto via Agoda.com.

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HOTELS IN KYOTO, JAPAN: Your recommendations are welcome! 🙂

There you have it! I hope you were able to decide by now and book your corresponding chosen hotel in Kyoto, Japan, based on the criteria I picked. Btw, if you think other criteria needs to be included in this list, or if you want me to add more hotels to compare, please let me know! 🙂 Happy travels to Kyoto, Japan and please share me your experiences with your chosen hotel from this list!

For arranged tours and other travel essentials for your Kyoto trip, check them out at kkday.com.

10 Charming Best Hotels to Stay in Namba, Osaka, Japan

This article takes you to the 10 Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka, Japan and it contains agoda affiliate links.

Just very recently, Osaka joined the list of the most expensive cities to live together with Singapore and Hong Kong, making traveling to the city even more intimidating. Japan in general has a reputation of being an expensive country to travel to, but it must not stop anyone of us to see the unique beauty of Japan, especially Osaka.

In touristy areas like Namba (where Dotonbori is), it is hard to score a cheap and charming accommodation. But, with the help of agoda.com, it is possible to filter out hotels depending on our preferences. With that, I have identified the 10 best hostels to stay in Namba Osaka just for you.

But before anything else, here is a simple video vlog compilation I made featuring street clips I took around Tokyo and Yokohama, featuring my ever-so-favorite anime OST song, Sweet Soul Revue by Pizzicato Five:

Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka
Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka: Yolo Hotel

YOLO HOTEL

Check availability, rates, and reviews on Agoda.

ADDRESS: 3-13-24, Ebisunishi, Osaka Shi Naniwa Ku, Osaka Fu, Namba, Osaka, Japan

Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka
Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka: Hotel Royal Classic Osaka

HOTEL ROYAL CLASSIC OSAKA

Check availability, rates, and reviews on Agoda.

ADDRESS: 4 Chome-3-3 Nanba, Chuo Ward, Namba, Osaka, Japan

Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka
Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka: Agora Plce Namba

AGORA PLACE NAMBA

Check availability, rates, and reviews on Agoda.

ADDRESS: 1-9-7, Sennichimae, Chuou-ku, Namba, Osaka, Japan,

Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka
Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka:Kamon Hotel Namba

KAMON HOTEL NAMBA

Check availability, rates, and reviews on Agoda.

ADDRESS: 2-3-33, Sennichi-mae, chuo-ku, Namba, Osaka, Japan

Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka
Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka: Hotel Balian Resort Namba Dotonbori – Adult Only

HOTEL BALIAN RESORT NAMBA DOTONBORI – ADULT ONLY

Check availability, rates, and reviews on Agoda.

ADDRESS: 2-5-15 Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Namba, Osaka, Japan

Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka
Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka: Residential Hotel Hare Kumoron

RESIDENTIAL HOTEL HARE KUMORON

Check availability, rates, and reviews on Agoda.

ADDRESS: Chuo-ku Nipponbashi 2-14-32, Namba, Osaka, Japan

Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka
Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka: Rance Hotel

RANCE HOTEL

Check availability, rates, and reviews on Agoda.

ADDRESS: Naniwa-ku Nihonbashi 3-3-12 , Namba, Osaka, Japan

Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka
Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka: Hiyori Hotel Osaka Namba Station

HIYORI HOTEL OSAKA NAMBA STATION

Check availability, rates, and reviews on Agoda.

ADDRESS: 3-1-2, Nambanaka, Naniwa-ku, Namba, Osaka, Japan

Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka
Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka: Hotel Trad Replay

HOTEL TRAD REPLAY

Check availability, rates, and reviews on Agoda.

ADDRESS: 2-1, Sennichimae, Chuo-ku, Namba, Osaka, Japan

Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka
Best Hotels to Stay in Namba Osaka: Namiba Ebisu Hotel

NAMIBA EBISU HOTEL

Check availability, rates, and reviews on Agoda.

ADDRESS: 1-9-5 Haginochaya Nishinariku Osaka, Namba, Osaka, Japan

If you are a solo traveler and hostels are your option in Osaka, I have also identified the 10 Best Hostels in Osaka.

BEST HOTELS TO STAY IN NAMBA OSAKA, JAPAN: Your recommendations are welcome! 🙂

There you have it! I hope you were able to decide by now and book your corresponding chosen hotel in Namba, Osaka, Japan. Btw, if you think other criteria needs to be included in this list, or if you want me to add more hotels to compare, please let me know! 🙂 Happy travels to Osaka, Japan and please share me your experiences with your chosen hotel from this list!

For other hotel chices in Namba, Osaka, check out agoda.com

Available Tour Packages in Osaka, Japan

Book your tour packages in Osaka, Japan now via kkday!

How I Celebrated My Birthday at Shibuya Scramble Tokyo

So, how do you usually celebrate your birthdays? As someone who grabs every opportunity she can to travel, I would go somewhere on my birthday, whether it’s on a nearby beach or another country. It doesn’t matter. I’ve had half of my birthdays so far with the presence of my family, so this time it’s all about me. I was lucky enough to have celebrated my birthday at Shibuya Scramble Tokyo, and here’s my story.

It only started, of course, when I was able to secure the right amount of salary to save something for my travels. As a typical Asian youth, we were expected to contribute to our families financially once we finish college and start working. In my case, I still have a sister who’s still studying so I have to contribute to her expenses (#FilipinoCulture). With whatever remained from my hard-earned salary, I would save a fraction of it to travel.

How I started traveling solo

My quest for solo travels started in nearby provinces. But before jumping in to that kind of lifestyle, I have been reading, a lot. I read and read and tried to study how to travel on a shoestring and how to travel safely as a woman. I read travel guides, news articles, blogs, and all possible source of information. While there is no general answer to that two inquiries and the answer would depend on the destination of your choice, I started with taking the safe, familiar road: local travel.

You would find it funny, but when I was a little younger, fresh from college, my first solo travel was in Tagaytay City, a popular tourist destination south of Manila. Why is this a funny fact? It’s because my hometown is practically 30 minutes from Tagaytay! But it was a challenge to me because I have never commuted to Tagaytay, and I never explored the said city alone. So I went for it.

Like any other first time travel experience, it feels exciting and scary at the same time, and in my case, I am bound for a city I frequently go to, afraid, because I’m doing it in the way I have never done before. I could talk more about it in another post, but mind you, the feeling and experience I had could equate with my other solo travel experience in even farther destinations. That solo Tagaytay trip was one of the things I did outside of my comfort zone and it was liberating. Then I got more addicted to solo travel.

What got me obsessed with the idea of solo travel was the idea of being free. To be honest, the idea of being alone (not only in travel, but in other aspects as well) really scared me at first, but once I got the hang of it, I became obsessed. In fact, I would now complain of consulting someone whenever making decisions and compromising my standards given the presence of others in a situation. Applies to friends, family, and all people in this planet. I became an expert on being an introvert.

Aside from the feeling of liberation and all those not-so-emotional shit people reason out with traveling alone (saying this because a Grab driver in Manila once mocked me when he found out I just came from a solo trip from Brunei, as if I’m trying out some hype. Gave him 3 star ratings.), I got curious about staying in hostels and socializing with people because it has been written about in several blogs. I have never shared any sleeping space except with my siblings, so I always wondered how it feels to stay in one of the bunkbeds in a hostel full of strangers. And… and… sharing bathrooms with them *insert crying emoji*

But I survived it! In fact, I started to love the idea of hostels. I stayed in hostels in Legazpi, in Cebu, in Makati, Coron, and other parts of the Philippines. I became comfortable with that initially was uncomfortable. I learned life skills. I learned to socialize better with people. I learned to exercise discretion. I learned to travel safe. In this case, I considered myself ready to travel abroad, alone.

The “Birthday Leave” and Piso Fare Victory

When I was still working with the government, we have this leave called “Birthday Leave” which was part of the five special leaves that we are entitled to for the calendar year. Knowing me and my endless pursuit of wanderlust, my boss, who is also a travel enthusiast, btw, asked me where will I go for my birthday for that year. I was actually supposed to go on a one-week trip to Laos and I already have my Budget Spreadsheet, Itinerary Spreadsheet, and all necessary spreadsheets I prepared when I planned that travel. I happily showed told him about my plans and I even bought a travel guide overseas just to research for the trip. I was prepared af.

Something happened. My brother got reassigned to their company’s main office in Yokohama (he’s a software guy). To be honest, I would rather go backpacking around Mainland Southeast Asia than to visit Japan. First, it’s hella expensive to go there. Second, I think everyone has been to Japan, and I always hate doing what everyone does. And third, I’m just not excited about Japan because I’ve been bombarded with photos of it in social media. But my brother has been sending us photos of him with Hachiko Statue, him experiencing his first snow in Japan, and him by that giant Gundam statue in Odaiba.

I started experiencing a different feeling with Japan that time. More than that, I have never traveled with anyone from my family. My brother being in Japan is something I could take as an opportunity so that I could at least travel with him there. Hence, I changed plans. “I’m going to Japan for my next birthday. I’ll set aside Laos for now.” (But thankfully, a few years after that, I had a short but sweet and unforgettable travel to Laos.)

As I have revealed in the Yokohama Travel Guide I have written in this blog, I was lucky enough to have scored a Cebu Pacific promo fare to Narita (it’s a one Peso fare and I only had to pay the travel tax which totaled only around USD50 or PhP2500) and my departure flight was my birthday itself! How lucky was that? But as I said, it took me using multiple devices and office slacking to score that flight (but hey, it was my boss whom I first told about it!).

Please note, however, that I don’t know how other people score discounted flights, because my previous attempts to it were unsuccessful. Plus, I can’t just pick a random departure date with promos because I have a job. But nonetheless, that Japan ticket happened out of sheer luck! This is it, I’m going to Japan!

Lucky Birthday to Me!

I flew with an early morning flight, on my birthday, and it was not a full flight. I have no seatmates! Talk about the luckiest birthday ever! Before my flight I got a birthday call from my parents and they were more than excited with the idea that I will be visiting my brother in Japan. I slept through the whole flight, but when the pilot had the final descent announcement, He mentioned that we have were having a beautiful view of Mount Fuji because the skies are very clear.

I peeked through the plane window and there it is, Mount Fuji, a small white beautiful dot. I took a photo of it. I started crying. I cry for breathtaking moments and things. I cry about beautiful things. Sometimes I cry for everything, like Rachel Green throwing a pizza box at the garbage room. My excitement about this trip elevated even more. I can’t wait to land and get off the plane and see Tokyo and Yokohama in the next few days!

As soon as I went out of Narita Airport to go to Narita Express train station, I sat in a random waiting area to calm myself down. I was very excited, I can’t even describe it, and I have no one to share the feeling face to face. I sent a selfie to some friends and chatted a little then proceeded to the train station.

During the train ride, I was having a view of the Narita countryside and it’s like an anime the came to life. Those houses in that Doraemon cartoon show are damn accurate! The train is like those ones you see in films shot in Europe, but this is a high-speed train. I don’t even know how to express my excitement. See, this is how a solo travel becomes happy and sad at the same time. It’s a struggle. You have all those emotions but can’t share it with anyone.

The train made a stop at Shibuya which is my destination. My plan for the day was to explore Shibuya and Harajuku and go to temples as I wait for my brother to finish working so that we can have our legit Japanese ramen dinner together.

As soon as I alighted the train, I got a little intimidated with all the signs and where to go out, adding to that is the typical Japanese hustle vibe where everyone seems to be in a hurry. Then I saw an exit which says “Hachiko”. “I’M ABOUT SO SEE HACHIKO OMG ASDFGHJKL” (Can somebody please train me on how to better express excitement in writing? I’m bad at it, and I tend to curse a lot. Haha)

The Cats at Hachiko Statue

While everyone was graciously walking fast towards their exits of destination, I ran. I ran like a kid with my very heavy pink JanSport backpack on my back with my leather boots (which was very comfortable, thank God) and feeling free without any luggage on my hand. I used to challenge myself to never travel with a luggage, but you know, we grow older, and we can’t carry heavy backpacks and travel light forever. I reached the exit and there was Hachiko statue, right before my eyes, on my birthday. Mentioning me crying was an understatement.

I saw people flocking by the Hachicko statue which I assumed was normal, but when I tried to see what’s going on, I saw three cats in the statue, sleeping, and they were just the cutest thing! Later I found out from a frined that these three cats are popular in the area (I actually saw them clothed up) and it’s a lucky sign to see all three of them up in the statue. Hold on, is this another lucky thing that happened that day? Yay for all the luck the universe has given me on that day!

After I moved on from my disbelief of seeing Hachiko statue in person, I saw this Hello Kitty mini-bus parked at one corner, and it says “Tourist Information Center”, if I’m not mistaken. I went in and there’s an old Japanese man handing in tourist maps. He asked the “Where are you from?” question every traveler hears every single time, and when I told him I’m from the Philippines, he responded, “Ay, malamig sa labas!” I was astounded.

As I was walking towards the Shibuya Crossing, I got stunned with the whole surrounding. I felt like a 10-year old who saw a big city for the first time, like “Wow, tall buildings with Japanese characters! Wow, Japanese people all over! Wow, winter is indeed really cold!” I won’t even tell this to anyone, but just to make you happy, I’m revealing it. Hahaha!

“I’m in motherf*cking Tokyo, b*tches!”

I crossed the Shibuya Crossing for the first time, and those scenes from the movie Lost in Translation flashed back on my mind. And it finally sank in. My mind was screaming, “I’m in motherf*cking Tokyo, b*tches!” and again, I have no one to share the excitement with! Imagine how hard that was!

After crossing the Shibuya scramble, I checked the map and planned my route on my mind. And then the pedestrian sign beeped again signaling that people can cross the scramble. Oh, you know what I did. I crossed again! I felt like Nadine Lustre in the TV show On the Wings of Love when she first stepped in at San Francisco (but I did not meet any James Reid, that’s the difference). And I crossed again. I did it for about 30 minutes. It was fun doing it all over. It looks and sounds crazy, but it was one of the happiest travel moments of my life. More importantly, the happiest birthday of my life thus far.

I spent the rest of the day exploring Harajuku, Meiji Temple, and walking around the streets. Remember I was carrying a backpack? My back starts to ache and I had to do something very, very cliche which I usually do when stepping in a new city: eat at McDonald’s and have coffee at Starbucks (Hey, stop judging! I was saving my first Japanese meal when my brother shows up after work!). My brother and I went to Ichiran Shibuya for our mandatory ramen dinner.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I spent my birthday in Shibuya, Tokyo.

Celebrated My Birthday at Shibuya Scramble Tokyo: Your Thoughts?

I see you’ve reached this far. After all, what’s travel without some drama, anyway?

10 BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO, JAPAN FOR SOLO TRAVELERS

This guide identified the 10 best pod hotels/capsule hotels in Tokyo Japan for solo travelers. This article contains affiliate links.

Like I’ve always been mentioning in my other blog posts about Japan, traveling to Japan could be a little more expensive compared to other major tourist destinations in Asia, hence budget travelers should plan ahead and consider how they will be able to travel to Japan on a budget. Given that, I have researched and compiled the best pod hotels/capsule hotels in Tokyo Japan for your convenience!

To some, a pod hotel/capsule hotel might not be their first choice, but most young travelers will most likely be game with the idea of staying in one. The idea of pod hotel/capsule hotel started in Japan and it was being replicated in different key cities in the world. In fact, I was able to stay in a very nice capsule hotel in Singapore.

So without further ado, here is the list you went here for! 🙂

But wait, before that, allow me to suggest some other articles about Japan that I have written in the past:

Also, here is a simple vlog I made from my previous Tokyo/Yokohama tri, featuring Sweet Soul Revue by Pizzicato Five, my favorite anime OST song!

BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN
BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN: Lightning Hotel

LIGHTNING HOTEL

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

1-8-6, Kaminarimon, Taito Ku, Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan, 111 0034

BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN
BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN: The Millennials Shibuya

THE MILLENNIALS SHIBUYA

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

1-20-13, Jinnan, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan, 150-0041

BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN
BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN: Nadeshiko Hotel Shibuya – Women Only

NADESHIKO HOTEL SHIBUYA – WOMEN ONLY

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

10-5, Shinsen, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan, 150-0045

BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN
BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN: Mustard Hotel Asakusa 1

MUSTARD HOTEL ASAKUSA 1

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

2-13-1, Kaminarimon, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 111-0034, Japan, Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan, 111-0034

BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN
BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN: The Global Hotel Tokyo

THE GLOBAL HOTEL TOKYO

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

Shinjuku, Hyakunincho 1-8-17, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, 169-0073

BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN
BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN: Nihonbashi Muromachi Bay Hotel

NIHONBASHI MUROMACHI BAY HOTEL

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

2-4-7 Nihombashi-honcho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo Station, Tokyo, Japan, 103-0023

BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN
BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN: Centurion Ladies Hostel Ueno Park (Female Only)

CENTURION LADIES HOSTEL UENO PARK (FEMALE ONLY)

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

2-11-13 Ueno, Taito-ku, Ueno, Tokyo, Japan, 110-0005

BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN
BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN: Nine Hours Shinjuku North

NINE HOURS SHINJUKU-NORTH

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

1-4-15 Hyakunincho, Shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, 169-0073

BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN
BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN: Nine Hours Kamata

NINE HOURS KAMATA

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

5-24-4 Kamata, Ota, Kamata, Tokyo, Japan, 144-0052

BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN
BEST POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN: Akihabara Bay Hotel (Female Only)

AKIBAHARA BAY HOTEL (FEMALE ONLY)

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

44-4 Kandaneribeicho, Chiyoda-ku, Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan, 101-0022

Or you can choose among other accommodation options in Tokyo via agoda.com.

POD HOTELS/CAPSULE HOTELS IN TOKYO JAPAN: Your recommendations are welcome! 🙂

There you have it! I hope you were able to choose a capsule hotel in Tokyo Japan from this list and book using the links I provided. Without the need to pay for a typical hotel rate, you can have the comfort and privacy you’ll need in a small space while traveling in Tokyo. Meanwhile, happy travels to Tokyo and enjoy your capsule/pod! 🙂

DID YOU KNOW? You can book your Tokyo, Japan tours via kkday?

WHAT HOTELS ARE IHG IN JAPAN? 15 Interesting Choices

When traveling to Japan, there are thousands of hotels to chose from, but what hotels are IHG in Japan? Read on to find out! (This article contains affiliate links)

I am very certain that Japan is on everyone’s travel bucket list because it really has a very authentic and amazing beauty which you can never see or feel elsewhere. The weather is really nice, and in some instances, people would look forward to the snow and the famous cherry blossoms. Popular destinations in Japan include Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hokkaido.

InterContinental Hotels Group or IHG is a British brand that caters mostly to business travelers and luxury travelers all over the world. I am a self-confessed budget traveler, but from time to time I give myself a treat and stay in any IHG hotel in the city I am in. Locally (I am based in Manila, btw), my favorite is Holiday Inn Manila Galleria because of its location, and their buffet breakfast is something I still consider buffet breakfast I had on any hotel.

So, without further ado, whether you are a traveler loyal to IHG brands or you just want to treat yourself (hashtag self-love), here is a list of 15 IHG hotels you can choose from all over Japan.

But before that, here is a simple vlog I created from my previous Tokyo and Yokohama trip, featuring my favorite anime song, Sweet Soul Revue by the Pizzicato Five:

And here are some of the blog articles I wrote about Japan:

WHAT HOTELS ARE IHG IN JAPAN
What hotels are IHG in Japan? ANA InterContinental Tokyo

ANA InterContinental Tokyo

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: Minato-ku, Akasaka 1-12-33, Akasaka, Tokyo, Japan

What hotels are IHG in Japan? Hotel Indigo Hakone Gora
What hotels are IHG in Japan? Hotel Indigo Hakone Gora

Hotel Indigo Hakone Gora

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: 924-1 Kigaujishinden, Hakone-c, Hakone, Hakone, Japan

WHAT HOTELS ARE IHG IN JAPAN
What hotels are IHG in Japan? ANA Crowne Plaza Niigata

ANA Crowne Plaza Niigata

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: 5-11-20 Bandai Chuo-ku, Niigata, Niigata, Japan

WHAT HOTELS ARE IHG IN JAPAN
What hotels are IHG in Japan? ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Grand Court Nagoya

ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Grand Court Nagoya

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: 1-1-1 Kanayama-cho, Naka-ku, Aichi, Kanayama, Nagoya, Japan

WHAT HOTELS ARE IHG IN JAPAN
What hotels are IHG in Japan? ANA Holiday Inn Kanazawa Sky

ANA Holiday Inn Kanazawa Sky

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: 15-1 Musashi-machi, Kanazawa-shi, Kanazawa, Kanazawa, Japan

WHAT HOTELS ARE IHG IN JAPAN
What hotels are IHG in Japan? ANA Crowne Plaza Kanazawa

ANA Crowne Plaza Kanazawa

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: 16-3 Showa-Machi, Kanazawa, Kanazawa, Japan

WHAT HOTELS ARE IHG IN JAPAN
ANA Holiday Inn Sendai

ANA Holiday Inn Sendai

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: Wakabayashi-Ku Shintera 1-4-1, Sendai, Sendai, Japan

WHAT HOTELS ARE IHG IN JAPAN
ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Kyoto

ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Kyoto

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: Nakagyo-ku Horikawa-dori Nijojo-mae, Kawaramachi, Kyoto, Japan

WHAT HOTELS ARE IHG IN JAPAN
InterContinental Hotel Osaka

InterContinental Hotel Osaka

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: 3-60, Ofuka-Cho Kita-Ku, Umeda, Osaka, Japan

WHAT HOTELS ARE IHG IN JAPAN
ANA Crowne Plaza Osaka

ANA Crowne Plaza Osaka

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: Kita-ku Dojimahama 1-3-1, Umeda, Osaka, Japan

WHAT HOTELS ARE IHG IN JAPAN
Holiday Inn Osaka Namba

Holiday Inn Osaka Namba

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: 5-15, SOEMON-CHO, CHUO-KU, Shinsaibashi, Osaka, Japan

WHAT HOTELS ARE IHG IN JAPAN
ANA Crowne Plaza Kobe

ANA Crowne Plaza Kobe

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: 1-Chome Kitano-Cho, Chuo-Ku, Kobe-shi, Kobe, Kobe, Japan

WHAT HOTELS ARE IHG IN JAPAN
Kimpton Shinjuku Tokyo

Kimpton Shinjuku Tokyo

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: 3 Chome-4-7 Nishishinjuku, Shi, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

WHAT HOTELS ARE IHG IN JAPAN
ANA Crowne Plaza Narita

ANA Crowne Plaza Narita

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: Horinouchi 68, Tokyo Narita International Airport, Narita, Japan

WHAT HOTELS ARE IHG IN JAPAN
Holiday Inn Resort Kuroyon

Holiday Inn Resort Kuroyon

Check availability, rates, and reviews via Agoda

ADDRESS: 2020 Taira, Omachi, Omachi, Japan

WHAT HOTELS ARE IHG IN JAPAN? Your recommendations are welcome! 🙂

There you have it! But did I miss anything on this list? Let me know by either sliding a DM on my Instagram account or sending me an email. I can assure you that you will have the best time on any of the IHG hotel that you will check in because their services are superb. In the meantime, happy travels to Japan!

For tour packages in Japan via kkday, click here.

10 BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO, JAPAN

(The website www.sherlynmaehernandez.com is a verified agoda affiliate. This article contains agoda.com affiliate links for the best ryokans with onsen bath in Kyoto, Japan which you are all welcome to book with, with no additional costs on your part. You can even score discounts and deals using my link!)

Ryokans are traditional Japanese inns that every traveler can make an alternative to hotels in order to have a better and more authentic feel of the Japanese culture and way of life. Common characteristics of a ryokan experience include (1) sleeping on futons (quilt-like matresses), (2) having a dip at an on-furo (Japanese-style bath), and (3) eating grilled fish and rice in the morning.

Some ryokans are famous for their so-called onsen baths that can be located either indoors or outdoors. These onsen baths are usually located along riverbeds or overlooking mountains. Onsen baths are considered by the Japanese as a part of their culture that is completely authentic and did not originate somewhere else. Bathing in an onsen is more than just soaking bodies in hot springs for the Japanese. It eventually became a sacred part of their culture or something like a religion.

Kyoto is definitely the most popular spot in Japan to experience the authentic Japanese culture and way of life. Given that, I did a research to compile these 10 best ryokans with onsen bath in Kyoto, Japan.

But before that, this simple vlog I made containing street clips from my previous travel to Tokyo and Yokohama might interest you, and this features Sweet Soul Revue by Pizzicato Five, my favorite anime song.

So, without any further ado, here is the list:

KYOTO ARASHIYAMA ONSEN KADENSHO (4-star ryokan)

BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: KYOTO ARASHIYAMA ONSEN KADENSHO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: KYOTO ARASHIYAMA ONSEN KADENSHO

ADDRESS: 5-4, Arashiyamanishiichikawa-cho, Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan

best ryokans with onsen bath in kyoto

GYOZANEN ONSEN RYOKAN (4-star ryokan)

BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: GYOZANEN ONSEN RYOKAN
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: GYOZANEN ONSEN RYOKAN

ADDRESS: Sakyou-ku Ohararaikoincho 454, Ohara, Kyoto, Japan

best ryokans with onsen bath in kyoto

KURAMA ONSEN (4-star ryokan)

BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: KURAMA ONSEN
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: KURAMA ONSEN

ADDRESS: 520 Kurama-honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan

best ryokans with onsen bath in kyoto

YUMOTO ONSEN OHARASANSOU – MOUNTAIN VILLAGE (3-star ryokan)

BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: YUMOTO ONSEN OHARASANSOU – MOUNTAIN VILLAGE
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: YUMOTO ONSEN OHARASANSOU – MOUNTAIN VILLAGE

ADDRESS: 17 Oharakusao-cho, Sakyo-ku, Ohara, Kyoto, Japan

best ryokans with onsen bath in kyoto

OHARA ONSENYUMOTO KYO NO MINSHUKU OHARA NO SATO (3-star ryokan)

BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: OHARA ONSENYUMOTO KYO NO MINSHUKU OHARA NO SATO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: OHARA ONSENYUMOTO KYO NO MINSHUKU OHARA NO SATO

ADDRESS: 41, Kusao-Cho, Oohara, Sakyo-Ku, Kyoto-shi,, Ohara, Kyoto, Japan

best ryokans with onsen bath in kyoto

OHARA ONSEN HOT SPRING SOURCE RESTAURANT AND RYOKAN – SERYO (4-star ryokan)

BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: OHARA ONSEN HOT SPRING SOURCE RESTAURANT AND RYOKAN – SERYO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: OHARA ONSEN HOT SPRING SOURCE RESTAURANT AND RYOKAN – SERYO

ADDRESS: 22 Syorinin-cho Ohara Sakyo-ku, Ohara, Kyoto, Japan

best ryokans with onsen bath in kyoto

ARASHIYAMA ONSEN SAISHIKI NO YADO HANAIKADA (2-star ryokan)

BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: ARASHIYAMA ONSEN SAISHIKI NO YADO HANAIKADA
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: ARASHIYAMA ONSEN SAISHIKI NO YADO HANAIKADA

ADDRESS: Saikyo-ku Arashiyama Togetsukyo Minamizume, Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan

best ryokans with onsen bath in kyoto

YUNOHANA ONSEN OMOTENASHINOYADO KEIZANKAKU HOTEL (3-star ryokan)

BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: YUNOHANA ONSEN OMOTENASHINOYADO KEIZANKAKU HOTEL
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: YUNOHANA ONSEN OMOTENASHINOYADO KEIZANKAKU HOTEL

ADDRESS: 20-6 Shimotoge Saiki Hiedano-cho, Kameoka, Kyoto, Japan

best ryokans with onsen bath in kyoto

KITASHIRAKAWA NATURAL RADIUM ONSEN

BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: KITASHIRAKAWA NATURAL RADIUM ONSEN
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: KITASHIRAKAWA NATURAL RADIUM ONSEN

ADDRESS: 1-125 Kitashirakawa Jizodani-Cho, Sakyo-Ku Kyoto-Shi, Kyoto 606-8294, Japan, Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan

best ryokans with onsen bath in kyoto

KYOTO FUSHIMIMOMOYAMA ONSEN TSUKIMIKAN (4-star ryokan)

BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: KYOTO FUSHIMIMOMOYAMA ONSEN TSUKIMIKAN
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO
BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: KYOTO FUSHIMIMOMOYAMA ONSEN TSUKIMIKAN

ADDRESS: 160.4 Taichoro, Momoyamacho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan

best ryokans with onsen bath in kyoto

BEST RYOKANS WITH ONSEN BATH IN KYOTO: YOUR SUGGESTIONS ARE WELCOME! 🙂

There you have it! I hope you were able to choose your desired best ryokan with onsen bath in Kyoto from the list I provided, and book it using the corresponding agoda link I provided. Nothing makes a best authentic Japanese experience than staying in a ryokan with an onsen bath. If you happen to know any other ryokan with onsen bath in Kyoto that deserves to be included on this list, please write a comment, send me an email, or slide a DM to my Instagram account. In the meantime, enjoy your stay in a ryokan in Kyoto!

For more travel articles about Japan, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Japan

USEFUL LONELY PLANET TRAVEL GUIDES ABOUT JAPAN

5 INSPIRING MOVIES THAT WILL GET YOU MOTIVATED TO TRAVEL TO JAPAN

Currently, most of us are stuck at home right now because we are keeping ourselves safe from COVID-19. To help all of you to still satisfy your wanderlusts even in this difficult time, I have compiled this five best movies about Japan that will motivate you to travel to the said country once the COVID-19 crisis ceases.

A lot of people can’t help but be bored at home because our usual daily lives were disrupted by the implementation of home quarantine. Frequent travelers like me are also adjusting to the idea of staying home for the longest time.

But before that, you may watch my simple Japan vlog featuring my favorite anime song Sweet Soul Revue by the Pizzicato Five:

So without any other further ado, here is the list:

OSAKA ELEGY (1936)

BEST MOVIES ABOUT JAPAN: OSAKA ELEGY

This movie is about a modern girl who makes her way to Osaka, where, she was a telephone operator turned prostitute after being fired from the pharmaceutical company she used to work after she had an affair with her boss.

RASHOMON (1950)

BEST MOVIES ABOUT JAPAN: RASHOMON

Rashomon is a philosophical/psychological film explaining the nature of truth and meaning of justice through a fictional court proceeding involving four people with different versions of the crime.

MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (1988)

BEST MOVIES ABOUT JAPAN: MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO

Totoro is a giant rabbit-like creature who became friends with sisters Mei and Satsuki when the two moved in an enchanted country house to be closer to their mother who’s hospitalized.

LOST IN TRANSLATION (2003)

BEST MOVIES ABOUT JAPAN: LOST IN TRANSLATION

Lost in Translation is a film capturing a disoriented, captivating Tokyo in the eyes of two American friends Bob (who went to Tokyo for an ad film) and Charlotte (who was left behind by her photographer husband).

YOUR NAME (2016)

BEST MOVIES ABOUT JAPAN: YOUR NAME

Your Name is an anime film about two teenagers — a city boy and a country girl who swapped places.

BEST MOVIES ABOUT JAPAN: YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS ARE WELCOME! 🙂

There you have it! I still have a lot of recommendations in mind (animes and TV shows included), but at the very least, this list can get you started. Some of the anime shows on my list include Doraemon, Cardcaptor Sakura, Mojacko, Ranma 1/2, and a lot more! Other movies include Hachiko and Filipino films Kita Kita and Between Maybes. But no matter which of them you watch, you will surely get inspired to visit Japan.

If you think there are other inspiring movies about Japan that needs to be included in this list, do let me know by posting a comment, sending me an email, or sliding a DM on my Instagram account. In the meantime, let us all keep safe at home and satisfy our wanderlusts by watching films in the meantime!

You may also check these other travel articles I have written about Japan:

For more travel articles about Japan, click on the banner below:

Where's Sherlyn Travel and Food Blog Japan

LONELY PLANET TRAVEL GUIDES ABOUT JAPAN

10 BEST HOSTELS TO STAY IN OSAKA, JAPAN FOR SOLO TRAVELLERS

BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA: BEEHIVE HOSTEL OSAKA
BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA: BEEHIVE HOSTEL OSAKA

Just very recently, Osaka joined the list of the most expensive cities to live together with Singapore and Hong Kong, making traveling to the city even more intimidating. Japan in general has a reputation of being an expensive country to travel to, but it must not stop anyone of us to see the unique beauty of Japan, especially Osaka.

In order to make traveling more affordable, hostels came to life — those dorm-type accommodations that usually young travelers would resort to staying since we only need a place to sleep comfortably without the need to check in on a 5-star hotel. Major cities like Osaka have a lot of hostels to cater budget travelers like me.

But before anything else, here is a simple video vlog compilation I made featuring street clips I took around Tokyo and Yokohama, featuring my ever-so-favorite anime OST song, Sweet Soul Revue by Pizzicato Five:

Also, here are other blog posts I have written so far about Japan:

So, are you looking for the best hostels in Osaka, Japan, like, right now?

best hostels in osaka
BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA: HOME HOSTEL OSAKA

Are you planning a backpacking trip or perhaps you are a solo traveler to Osaka, Japan? I saw you just Googled “best hostels in Osaka, Japan”! Kidding! But I’m sure you are looking for a hostel to stay at this point in time. Well, the good news is, I did the research for you and picked the top hostels in Osaka, Japan that you could choose from! I extracted the basic and essential information for you, and I even compared them side by side! So are you ready to choose your hostel in Osaka, Japan? Let’s go!

BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA, JAPAN: SHERLYN’S CRITERIA

Personally, whenever I would visit another city and look for hostels, I usually use the following criteria:

  • LOCATION AND DISTANCE FROM LANDMARKS: As a backpacker/solo traveler on a budget, I would choose a hostel that is in a good location because I want to explore the cities by foot as much as possible and have access to basic establishments, such as convenience stores, public transportation, and such.
  • DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT: Factors such as time of our flights are important to consider choosing a place to stay vis-a-vis their distance from the airport. Some of us are staying in hostels for a layover and some of us just want to make sure we do not miss our next flights. Also, if we fly in or out at wee hours, public transportation is possibly not available and taxi is our only option, which can be more expensive depending on the distance of out hostels.
  • WI-FI CONNECTON: Most of us need an internet connection to do research about places to go and eat and things to do, or update out social media accounts with details from our travels, or connect with our loved ones. Whatever our purposes are, having a wi-fi connection at our hostels is a big factor.
  • FREE BREAKFAST: I am a morning person and I need to have breakfast, so this factor personally matters to me. I believe other budget travelers also consider getting their tummies full with a complimentary hostel breakfast before going out to explore the city.
  • RESTAURANT/COFFEE SHOP/BAR INSIDE THE HOSTEL: Some of us just wants to have access to these facilities at the comfort of being inside the premises of our hostels (especially after a long day of exploring!).
  • FREE BOTTLED WATER: A hydro homie here! This may not be popular in hostels, but most hostels have water dispensers provided but you have to bring your own bottle.
  • TOILETRIES: This is a deciding factor to me since as much as possible I don’t want to experience the hassle of bringing in liquids inside my carry-on luggage (only to get confiscated at the airport! Ouch!), so if basic toiletries are available at the hostel, I might only bring what I really need.
  • WASHING MACHINE/LAUNDROMAT: Light packers usually bring enough set of clothes, but any type of packer might run out of clean clothes to wear. Hence, it is a big deal for me personally if the hostel has a laundromat or a washing machine.
  • ACTIVITIES: Hostels are also places for socialization with other travelers, right? I am an introvert, but if I ran out of things to do or if I feel like socializing or maybe do something inside the hostel, this criteria matters.
  • AIRPORT TRANSFERS: Some hostels offer free airport transfer and we all should maximize this! However if I indicated a ‘yes’ answer for the airport transfer criteria here, please check with the hostel first if it is free or not.

BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA, JAPAN

So, without further ado, let’s proceed to reviewing and comparing the hostels picked!

HOSTEL YU – LUXURY MIXED DORMITORY

BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA:
BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA: Hostel Yu – Luxury Mixed Dormitory

LOCATION

Chuo-ku, Nishishinsaibashi 1-12-1, Floor 3, Shinsaibashi, Osaka, Japan

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 13.9 km from Osaka International Airport
  • 140 m from Shinsaibashi Subway Station
  • 200 m from Yotsubashi Subway Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

  • Izumi Hall – 70 m
  • Shinsaibashi – 140 m
  • Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street – 390 m
  • Dotonbori – 700 m
  • Namba – 1.34 km

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastNo
CafeNo
BarNo
KitchenYes
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesYes
Washing MachineYes
ActivitiesNo
Airport TransferNo
best hostels in osaka

J-HOPPERS OSAKA UNIVERSAL

BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA:
BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA: J-Hoppers Osaka Universal

LOCATION

Shimaya 3-10-12,Konohana-Ku, Bay Area, Osaka, Japan

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 12.8 km from Osaka International Airport
  • 200 m from Ajikawaguchi Train Station
  • 900 m from Universal City Train Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

  • Universal City Walk Osaka – 930 m
  • Little Osaka – 950 m
  • Universal Studios Japan – 1.47 km
  • Tempozan Ferris Wheel – 2.36 km
  • Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan – 2.65 km

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastNo
CafeNo
BarNo
KitchenYes
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesNo
Washing MachineYes
ActivitiesGame Room, Library, Bicycle Rental
Airport TransferNo
best hostels in osaka

HOSTEL JIN

BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA:
BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA: Hostel Jin

LOCATION

2-4-19, Nishikujo, Konohana-Ku, Osaka, Japan, Bay Area, Osaka, Japan

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 12.4 km from Osaka International Airport
  • 200 m from Nishi Kujo Train Station
  • 900 m from Chidoribashi Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

  • Osaka Central Wholesale Market – 1.11 km
  • Transportation Museum – 1.26 km
  • Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street – 3.39 km
  • Umeda Sky Building – 3.43 km
  • Dotonbori – 3.5 km

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastNo
CafeYes
BarYes
KitchenYes
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesNo
Washing MachineYes
ActivitiesGame Room, Bicycle Rental
Airport TransferNo
best hostels in osaka

HOME HOSTEL OSAKA

BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA:
BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA: Home Hostel Osaka

LOCATION

2-1-22 Ebisu-higashi, Naniwa-ku, Namba, Osaka, Japan

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 16.6 km from Osaka International Airport
  • 350 m from Dobutsuenmae Subway Station
  • 560 m from Ebisucho Metro Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

  • Tsutenkaku Theater – 50 m
  • Billiken Shrine – 120 m
  • Tsutenkaku Tower – 150 m
  • Shitennoji Temple – 1.08 km
  • Namba – 1.35 km

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastNo
CafeNo
BarNo
KitchenNo
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesNo
Washing MachineYes
ActivitiesGame Room, Bicycle Rental
Airport TransferNo
best hostels in osaka

THE STAY OSAKA SHINSAIBASHI

BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA:
BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA: The Stay Osaka Shinsaibashi

LOCATION

14-29, Shinsaibashi, Osaka, Japan

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 14.3 km from Osaka International Airport
  • 180 m from Nagahoribashi Subway Station
  • 490 m from Matsuyamachi Subway Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

  • Crysta Nagahori – 180 m
  • Hope Chapel Osaka – 250 m
  • Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street – 590 m
  • Dotonbori – 790 m
  • Namba – 1.27 km

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastNo
CafeNo
BarYes
KitchenYes
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesNo
Washing MachineYes
ActivitiesNo
Airport TransferNo
best hostels in osaka

FEEL OSAKA YU

BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA:
BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA: Feel Osaka Yu

LOCATION

1-12-1 Nishi-shinsaibashi, Shinsaibashi, Osaka, Japan

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 13.9 km from Osaka International Airport
  • 140 m from Shinsaibashi Subway Station
  • 200 m from Yotsubashi Subway Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

  • Izumi Hall – 70 m
  • Shinsaibashi – 140 m
  • Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street – 390 m
  • Dotonbori – 700 m
  • Namba – 1.34 km

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastNo
CafeNo
BarNo
KitchenYes
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesNo
Washing MachineYes
ActivitiesNo
Airport TransferNo
best hostels in osaka

DIAN HOSTEL/GUESTHOUSE NAMBA

BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA:
BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA: Dian Hostel/Guesthouse Namba

LOCATION

Tennoji-ku, Ikutamacho 11-28 9th Floor, Tennoji, Osaka, Japan

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 15.2 km from Osaka International Airport
  • 350 m from Tanimachi 9 Chome Subway
  • 550 m from Nippombashi Subway Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

  • Kodu Shrine – 90 m
  • Namakunitamashi Shrine – Ikutama Shrine – 160 m
  • Namba – 960 m
  • Dotonbori – 1.01 km
  • Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street – 1.14 km

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastNo
CafeNo
BarNo
KitchenYes
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesYes
Washing MachineNo
ActivitiesGame Room, Library
Airport TransferNo
best hostels in osaka

PICNIC HOSTEL OSAKA

BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA:
BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA: Picnic Hostel Osaka

LOCATION

2-8-3, Saiwaicho, Naniwa-ku, Namba, Osaka, Japan

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 14.1 km from Osaka International Airport
  • 110 m from Sakuragawa Train Station
  • 690 m from Nishi Nagahori Subway Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

  • Tachibana Street – 300 m
  • Minami-Horie – 340 m
  • Dotonbori – 1.28 km
  • Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street – 1.34 km
  • Namba – 1.55 km

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastNo
CafeNo
BarNo
KitchenYes
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesNo
Washing MachineYes
ActivitiesNo
Airport TransferNo
best hostels in osaka

THE DORM HOSTEL OSAKA

BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA:
BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA: The Dorm Hostel Osaka

LOCATION

Shinsaibashi building second floor, 1-12-20, Chuo-ku, Higashishinsaibashi, Shinsaibashi, Osaka, Japan

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 14.1 km from Osaka International Airport
  • 230 m from Nagahoribashi Subway Station
  • 330 m from Shinsaibashi Subway Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

  • Shincoki Showroom – 120 m
  • Hope Chapel Osaka – 140 m
  • Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street – 360 m
  • Dotonbori – 700 m
  • Namba – 1.31 km

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastNo
CafeNo
BarNo
KitchenYes
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesNo
Washing MachineYes
ActivitiesLibrary, Bicycle Rental
Airport TransferNo
best hostels in osaka

BEEHIVE HOSTEL OSAKA

BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA:
BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA: Beehive Hostel Osaka

LOCATION

1-8-17, Minamisemba, Shinsaibashi, Osaka, Japan

DISTANCE FROM THE AIRPORT AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • 14 km from Osaka International Airport
  • 310 m from Nagahoribashi Subway Station
  • 410 m from Matsuyamachi Subway Station

NEARBY LANDMARKS

  • Crysta Nagahori – 310 m
  • Matsuyamachi-suji Shopping Street – 350 m
  • Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street – 820 m
  • Dotonbori – 1.11 km
  • Namba – 1.64 km

FACILITIES

Wi-Fi ConnectionYes
Free BreakfastNo
CafeYes
BarYes
KitchenYes
Free Bottled WaterNo
ToiletriesNo
Washing MachineYes
ActivitiesGame Room, Library, Bicycle Rental
Airport TransferYes
best hostels in osaka

BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA, JAPAN: COMPARISON

Hostel Yu – Luxury Mixed DormitoryJ-Hoppers Osaka UniversalHostel JinHome Hostel OsakaThe Stay Osaka ShinsaibashiFeel Osaka YuDian Hostel/Guesthouse NambaPicnic Hostel OsakaThe Dorm Hostel OsakaBeehive Hostel Osaka
Wi-FiYes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Free BreakfastNo No No No No No No No No No
Cafe No No Yes No No No No No No Yes
Bar No No Yes No Yes No No No No Yes
Kitchen Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Free Bottled Water No No No No No No No No No No
Toiletries Yes No No No No No Yes No No No
Washing Machine Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Activities No Game Room, Library, Bicycle Rental Game Room, Bicycle Rental Game Room, Bicycle Rental No No Game Room, Library No Library, Bicycle Rental Game Room, Library, Bicycle Rental
Airport Transfer No No No No No No No No No Yes

BEST HOSTELS IN OSAKA, JAPAN: YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS ARE WELCOME!

There you have it! I hope you were able to decide by now and book your corresponding chosen hostel in Osaka, Japan, based on the criteria I picked. Btw, if you think other criteria needs to be included in this list, or if you want me to add more hostels to compare, please let me know! 🙂 Happy travels to Osaka, Japan and please share me your experiences with your chosen hostel from this list!

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