I am travelling to Japan next year in March for two weeks. I am starting now to get an itinerary sorted but really looking to travel as cheaply as possible. I hear that the New Koya backpackers hotel is recommended in Tokyo. But has anyone got any recommendations (even better if they have actually stayed there) of a cheap, clean with a reasonably central location for places to stay in:
Five lakes area
Or any general tips on budgeting in Japan.
Hiroshima is well worth a visit, but maybe just a few days.
We spent 3 nights at the Shirau Me So Ryokan which was a very good experience, but cost us about £85 a night including meals for 4.
Have you read Josie Dew's books? If not, go to the shop now and buy one - she cycled round Japan and paid practically nothing!
I stayed at Uno House in Kyoto which was really cheap and in a pretty good location. It wasn't the cleanest, most upmarket place I've ever stayed in, but it had an excellent communal atmosphere, so if it depends what your priorities are. If you're up for meeting other backpackers and don't mind roughing it a bit then I'd definitely recommend Uno House.
In Hiroshima I stayed at the YHA Youth Hostel which was pretty unremarkable but clean and professional and generally okay.
One really significant thing I remember about the hostel was that it was 2kms from the epicentre of where the A bomb was detonated. I had read in my guidebook that something like 90% of the population who lived within the 2km radius were killed and I initially remember thinking 2kms didn't seem that big. But then you have to catch the bus for the hostel from across the street from the A bomb dome (right at the epicentre) and as you're sitting on the bus travelling to the hostel you can't help thinking to yourself how big 2kms actually is and it really hits home to you.