Overall it is a very nice hostel. The facilities are all that I could have asked for, the staff were helpful, I enjoyed mixing with my fellow travelers, and I like the Japanese-style futon dorm beds. It is a bit of a walk from the nearest subway station.
I think this place is great value for the money - next to a subway station and JR Station, inexpensive private rooms, a hot bath, etc ... may not be the greatest place for people who want to socialize, but for people who like sleeping on futons and want a good set of facilities in a convenient location, it is excellent.
I would like to note that I did lose a few (fortunately not valuable) things. The staff had also reserved the wrong dates (i.e. not the same as the dates I booked through Hostelworld), though I discovered that they had made a mistake in time and found alternative accommodation for the affected nights, so in the end it worked out for me - but make sure to doublecheck the dates they have reserved for you when you check in. That said, considering the location, it's great value for the money.
Because the hostel was mostly empty that night, the staff upgraded my room at no extra cost. Nice. Some rooms have street noise, but as far as other guests it was very quiet (maybe because there weren't many guests). Overall, a well-run place which provides everything I expect from a budget hostel.
I had a great time here. The staff were very helpful, the facillities were great ... it would be difficult for light sleepers who wanted to go to bed before midnight, but this is downtown Kaohsiung, not a national park, so I care less about getting to bed early. As for myself, I have no complaints.
I chose to stay here because I think sleeping in a used bookstore is cool (and I did pick up a book). For me, the highlight of staying here was I happened to be here when they had an event - screening documentaries about street art, including a French-language documentary about murals in Los Angeles in the early 1980s. I love having surprises like that during my travels.
I had a wonderful time here! The staff are very helpful - they offer rides to/from the train/bus station if you call them. I had such a nice time here that I extended by a week. I love the vibe - the furniture, the underground dance studio / bedroom - the people here are connected to Yilan's indie culture scene, so if you are interested in that, they can introduce you.
The biggest problem I had is that people do not respect the lights-out/be quiet times - not even the staff. After I reminded people (including staff) to follow the rules posted on the wall, they would be quiet for a while, but then eventually make noise again. Thus, I was never able to get more than 6 hours of sleep per night, and on the last night I did not sleep at all. Therefore, if you want a good night's sleep, avoid the dorm room at this hostel.
I highly recommend getting a private room. The people in the dorms tend to come in and out as late as 2PM, and it does not cost that much to get a single. I arrived at Happy Family years ago when I came to Taiwan for the first time, so I have a lot of nostalgic feelings about the place.
First of all, the Hostelworld Listing is incorrect - they do NOT offer internet access, only WiFi. They do have a computer, but staff are not allowed to use it. I had to send/receive some important emails, so had to borrow computers, smartphones, and even go to an internet cafe. If had known that this hostel did not offer computer terminals, I would not have chosen it. Aside from that, it is a decent place to stay. Quiet, clean, and near a good transit hub.
This is great - a historic house in the middle of one of the most beautiful historic districts I have visited in Japan (be sure to stroll around the neighborhood at night). I understand why they have to be a little more expensive than some other hostels - maintaining this kind of building is not cheap. It is also a great place to meet the foreign travellers who find themselves in Okayama Prefecture.
- I was made to overpay - I was put a worse room than I reserved - I was given a notice about late check-in hours after I checked in - When I asked about this, I was told it was just a misunderstanding and they did not need to do anything - I had to be very insistent (at night, when I was tired) to get them to check - I did get a refund and my proper room - I did get a written apology
At first I was concerned about going to a 20 bed dorm, but they actually manage the situation pretty well with their rules (chat in the sound-proofed common room, no chat in the dorm room itself). The people there were very helpful with their information about Miyajima, and they kept my bags while I went camping on Miyajima itself.
One of my favorite hostels in Japan! They have a great atmosphere, with lots of tasteful traditional Japanese stylistic touches. I really enjoyed hanging in this hostel. Note: if you have a sleeping bag and choose not to use the futon/blanket, they will give you a discount.
It offered a good place to sleep during my stay in Beppu. I also discovered how good Oita shochu is at the bar. There is a detailed guidebook inside the hostel describing what to see/do in Beppu.
Considering how cheap it is, it is not a bad deal. However, the staff are mostly inexperienced, and gave me inaccurate information which wasted quite a bit of my time because they do not know the area very well themselves (for example, they told me about a "vegetarian" restaurant which has big pictures of meat outside and does not offer any vegetarian food, and it turns out they have never been there themselves). If I return to Fukuoka, I will stay somewhere else.
I had a really good time at Akari. The staff helped me find the best restaurants for me in the neighborhood (and since I am vegan, that is a feat), and the location by the river is great. The bed was comfortable, and I like the lounge area and reading room. It is in a central location, which is convenient for going around the city. I was a bit disappointed by the tour, but since that is run by volunteers and not Akari itself I do not think that counts.
I had a good time at Osaru-no Oyado. I enjoyed meeting fellow travelers in Okinawa. The temperature of the shower water would fluctuate a little (more so that any other shower I`ve used in Japan), and the female dorm is a bit crowded, but that actually did not bother me. The kitchen has plenty of space, so several people can cook at once (experiment with Okinawan ingredients!)
I had a great time at Khaosan Kyoto Guesthouse. The staff actually upgraded my bed at no extra cost. There was a great Rakugo party one night where I got introduced to another aspect of Japanese culture. The best part, however, is the other guests. I had so many long, interesting conversations ... it`s a hub of intellectual people from around the world.
I had a great time at Khaosan Kyoto Theater! The dorm bed was very comfortable - I slept well every night. I also enjoyed talking to all of the Taiwanese guests in Mandarin - who knew that I would use so much Mandarin in Japan?
Well, it's the Japanese capsule hotel experience. A bit old, but okay. I am glad I stayed there for one night for the experience, and I recommend that other travellers try out a capsule hotel like this for one night, but for longer periods of time I prefer hostels and guesthouses.
I had a great time at CaminoRo. It was a great place to start in Japan. I really appreciated the help with getting the ticket for the Takarazuka Revue :D