2018-2019 Japan Trip: Booking.com experiences

It has been exactly a month since I’ve been back in Australia and I still can’t believe it. It feels surreal that I survived my first ever solo-trip to a country where I don’t speak the language and am not familiar with.

Even though I travelled solo, I made so many new friends and also had a chance to see my uni friend again and her friends as well! (She’s living in Sendai now.) I enjoyed every single moment and I’m so grateful I had this opportunity to do this while I still can. I’m already thinking of my next big trip..and I would love to do it solo again.

Before Japan, I ensured I booked all of my accomodations at the different cities and towns I was staying in so I don’t have to worry about it when I was there. I even had my JR Exchange Pass ready as well as my unlimited data sim. Purchasing the sim beforehand was so useful because I didn’t need to waste time at the airport and could head straight to my accomodation. I bought both the JR Pass and sim from this website in which they ship it directly to your address.

For my itinerary, I didn’t plan much except making sure I go to see the places I wanted to see, eat what I wanted to eat and buy what I wanted to bring back to Australia. Otherwise, I search on the day where I should go or just go out with new friends and experience Japan together.

Accomodation – All of the places I stayed at (except for Sendai) was booked through booking.com and most of them was already paid prior the trip.

Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5: Osaka – Hostel Bushi
This place was located in a very convenient location and there’s a very good okonomiyaki and takoyaki store which opens from 11am-11pm! Perfect for a late night snack! Family mart (my recommended convenience store in Japan) is also located close to this hostel and its only a 5 walk from Kyobashi Station.
You can borrow their bikes to blend in as a local and its fun to ride a bike in Japan!

I actually enjoyed my stay here as it was clean, spacious and there’s privacy. I stayed in a 4-bedroom (girls only) which was located on the 4th floor and there’s girls toilet in that floor. There’s no elevator so I had to lug my luggage all the way to the top. It was fine because the staircase wasn’t steep 🙂

Would definitely stay back here again!
Day 6, 7, 8: Kyoto – APA Villa Hotel Kyoto Ekimae
So happy I was the only one in the room. Honestly. I don’t know how two people can stay in the room I was in because my luggages took up quite a space. It was comfortable for me and the beds were so nice to sleep in.

The staff were all friendly and helpful as I was able to leave my luggage there safely before check-in, allowing me to go to Arashiyama and explore the Bamboo Grove. I also got to dry-clean my clothes and the process was easy.

This hotel was also conveniently located 1-2 minutes from Kyoto Station and there’s so many choices for food within the vicinity!

Another place I would love to stay back here again if I was alone. If I’m travelling with other people, I would look elsewhere unless they have a bigger room.

Day 9, 10, 11, 12, 13: Tokyo – Nine Hours Woman Kanda
My first ever capsule hotel and it was such a cool experience. You have to literally check-out every morning before 10am (even if you’re staying for more than one night). But at least your locker key number is still the same and you can leave your stuff in the locker. They store big luggages near the reception in one of the cupboards which I didn’t mind because I lock it anyway.

I like that we get new toiletries every day and my bed is always made 🙂 The showers are comforting and there are toilets on every floor.

I chose to stay at this place because it is just a minute’s walk away from Kanda Station which is only one station away from Tokyo Station. Such a breeze! Plus, food is also everywhere. You don’t have to worry about being starved. Seriously.

Also another place i would love to stay in again!

Day 14, 15: Utsunomiya – Travel Stay Utsunomiya (Female Only)
I have got to say that this is the best place I’ve stayed in so far! It ticks all the boxes: easily accessible from the station, convenient location for food, clean bathrooms, comfortable bed, enough storage for my huge luggage, mirror for makeup in your room and PRIVACY!

I love how I could stand on my bed and my head doesn’t touch the ceiling (not sure why I do this though). This hotel also has many ammenities and free products (pads, eye masks, etc). The showers were well-equipped and I love how they provided PJs for me. I also did laundry here which was convenient.

The staff were so nice and allowed me to store my luggage there before check-in. I would have loved to stay here longer and was literally sad to leave.
Day 16, 17, 18: Sapporo – Wagayado HaLe
Small. Too compacted. The staircase was narrow and steep. So glad the staff helped me bring my luggage upstairs but I had to bring it downstairs myself when I checked-out.

Each person has their own safety-deposit box located in their bunk beds. This was my least favourite place to stay in because I felt uncomfortable due to the small space (stayed in an all-female room which had 5 bunk beds). They only had two showers (located downstairs) but at least there’s a bathroom on both floors.

I enjoyed the lounge downstairs as it was great to meet new people and share a few beers. Staff were friendly and tried to call a taxi for me when I checked-out but too bad the taxis were all busy and couldn’t get here because the weather was too snowy.

Not a place I would stay again honestly.

Day 19, 2021: Sendai – my beautiful friend’s place
Beautiful hostess and I got to stay in an authentic Japanese home! I fell in love with her kotatsu (heated table) – so freaking warm! And I slept on a futon for the first time which was surprisingly comfortable!

Day 22, 23: Osaka – First Cabin Hanshin Nishiumeda
THEY HAVE THEIR OWN ONSEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Imagine my excitement when I found out! Definitely why I love this place because it just made everything amazing!

I stayed in their First Class Cabin and it had enough space for all of my luggages and stuff. I chose to stay here because I have my own private room and space to pack all my shopping and organise my luggage before the flight home.

The bathrooms were all clean and comfortable, and you get new ammenities and PJ’s every night.

Staff were courteous and helpful throughout.

I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again in Osaka!


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