The entrance to the guest house (Photo: Supakarn Sunthonthammas)

Guest House Shinagawa-shuku

Beloved accommodation of backpackers

The entrance to the guest house (Photo: Supakarn Sunthonthammas)
Alicia Ruffier des Aimes   - 4 min read

Who said budget accommodations have to hide deep in the back of alleyways of neighborhoods, far from public transportation or major attractions? Guest House Shinagawa-shuku breaks the typical backpacker accommodation mold, providing highly affordable accommodation just a three-minute walk from Kita-Shinagawa Station.

The guest house owner, Mr. Takayuki Watanabe, is a traveller himself, having explored many countries all over Asia. The love he has for travelling led to his opening the guest house so that travellers from all over the world could experience the beauty of the Shinagawa-shuku area. The guest house location is in a safe and central part of the city and includes helpful and very friendly service with a smile from the staff. It’s a highly welcoming atmosphere for backpackers who want to immerse themselves in the back-in-time atmosphere of Japan within a budget price range.

There are 4 different kind of rooms to choose from:

  1. Dormitory accommodation offers a space in a large room with others (separate dorms for men and women) for a price of 3,300 yen per person.

  2. Singles - The guesthouse offers small private rooms for 3,800 yen.

  3. Twins - There are choices of tatami rooms or bunk beds at 7,600 yen per room.

  4. Triples - These rooms are only available in tatami style at 11,400 yen per room.

If you stay longer than 2 nights, you will get a discount of 200 yen per person.

The price does not include breakfast. However, if you want, you can order a delicious homemade breakfast from a lady that lives in the area. The guest house has shared bathrooms (separate for men and women). There is a common room downstairs where you can meet other backpackers, and perhaps connect with new traveling companions.

A unique aspect of staying at Guest House Shinagawa-shuku is that this guesthouse location is on the old Tokaido road, the route that linked Kyoto with the shogun’s capital of Edo in the Edo period. Nowadays you still can walk this road from Tokyo to Kyoto if you want to. You just have to arm yourself with a good pair of shoes and start the journey!

Today even though there are many modern buildings along the road, it does not obscure the retro vibe and the glory of what it used to be. While the road does indeed boast the trendy cafes and convenience stores that we are typical of modern-day Tokyo, they blend incredibly well with the ancient buildings, Japanese traditional gates and lampposts. The mix of old and new atmospheres is a big selling point for those looking for a hint of old Japan.

The Kita-Shinagawa neighborhood is also known for its connections to Japan’s seven gods of good fortune. There are small shrines dotted all over the area dedicated to each god; many Japanese make a pilgrimage to all seven shrines in the early days of the new year. If you cannot visit all seven of them, there is a shop in the Musashi-Koyama Shotengai Market selling red bean-filled sweets that have the faces of the seven gods on them. They make the perfect souvenir to take home to friends.

If you visit in April when cherry blossoms are in full bloom, you can soak up the beautiful views on a scenic cruise along the Meguro River. Dine on Japanese food and enjoy the glory of spring in Japan.

The oft-overlooked Kita Shinagawa neighborhood is the perfect place for travelers to Tokyo to begin their explorations of this vibrant city. Though mere metro stops away from the city’s major attractions, this fascinating area will quickly make you feel at home.

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Getting there

From Shibuya take the JR Yamanote Line to Shinagawa Station, a trip that takes about 15 minutes. From Shinagawa Station, it is a 12-minute walk to the guesthouse. Alternatively, take the Keikyu Main Line Local to Kita-Shinagawa station and walk 3 minutes to the guest house.

From Haneda Airport take the Keikyu Airport Express train and change to the Keikyu Main Line at Heiwajima station or Aomono-Yokocho station. The travel time is about 30 minutes. From the final station, it is a short 3-minute walk to the guest house.

Alicia Ruffier des Aimes

Alicia Ruffier des Aimes @alicia.ruffier