Cheap Tokyo: Living the Hostel Lifestyle
I have moved from Zoshiki to Tabata, Tokyo.
I waved goodbye to Zoshiki and its neighboring town, Kamata (蒲田）It was honestly pretty sad for me. I’d lived in Eastern Tokyo for a few months and was getting used to life over there. I had my routines: wake up, ride my bike to work, enjoy the sights, then ride back at night. When I went out, I recognized familiar faces around town. I even had a favorite bar where they all knew me. Not that it’s hard to get recognized when you’re a foreigner in Tokyo.
Full disclosure, it was a karaoke bar called Joker, and they all got me drunk and made me sing anime theme songs that I knew. They had “all you can drink” for about $10/hour. I basically got smashed and sang the Evangelion opening theme song with the entire establishment (as it turns out, everyone in Japan knows it by heart).
I climbed my favorite bridge
and said goodbye to my last train. I liked to stand up there on the bridge and watch the trains go by. Although I felt nostalgic, I don’t think I’ll be going back any time soon.
Zoshiki and Tabata are great places. They have a fresh outdoor vegetable market and cool bars and great food. But it’s really far out of the way (it borders Kawasaki, the next prefecture over). Plus, I feel like I’ve seen everything there is to see in that corner of the world.
On to bigger and better things!
…or, if not bigger and better, at least new and different…
Anyway, I don’t have a legitimate Tokyo apartment anymore, at least like I did in Zoshiki. Now I live in a hostel.
Base Inn Tabata
My place in Zoshiki was 80,000 JPY per month, or roughly $800 USD. Not cheap. My new place runs me about $300 USD/mo. In other words, it is a cheap Tokyo hostel.
However, the price is right, and you do make sacrifices for such a cheap price.
For one thing, there’s no stove. You’re stuck with a hot water boiler and a microwave. Which is okay by me. I get by. I’ve been too lazy to cook recently anyway.
The hostel is clean.
If you live in Base Inn Tabata, yo ur personal living quarters are a rectangular tube. Yeah, it’s one of those. Then there’s a shared space with a counter for eating and writing, a few showers (free soap included), toilets, and 3 refrigerators.
There’s no personal locker, which is insane to me, but I already booked the entire month. I feel safer about this in Japan than I would in any other country, but I’m still a little funny about it. Call me paranoid, but I bring my laptop around with me when I go out.
Basically, I live in a dormitory with 8 guys and one gal. Everyone’s nice. 3 or 4 of the guys ride their bikes for Uber Eats, and they make enough money to get by. Everyone here is Japanese except for me. That’s because of the COVID19 pandemic: there’s not a whole lot of tourism in Japan right now. Honestly, I’m kind of glad for that. Foreigners can be kind of loud and obnoxious.
Besides me, of course. I’m an angel.
Anyway there’s not a whole lot of room for your stuff, but you make it work.
There are a few small-town bars. I visited them last week after moving in. I hope to write about those soon.
The coin-op laundry is a 5-minute walk away, which sucks when it’s raining or cold. But there’s an upside: soap is included. That’s right: you don’t need to put soap in the machine. It just cleans your clothes because Japan is amazing.
I’m going to leave you with this final picture (below), taken in the lobby of the building. These origami tomatoes are quite cute! Here’s what I like most about them: the variety of colors. The artist chose 9 unique colors of paper, yet they are all legitimate tomato colors. I think this is a thoughtful, homestyle piece of art that is pleasant to see every time I come home. It’s right in front of the elevator, and it gives me something to look at while I wait.
All in all, cheap hostel living in Tokyo has got its perks.
Thank you for reading.