As a seasoned traveler that has been to five continents and nearly sixty countries, it's not too often that I am surprised when it comes to accommodations. Having run the gamut of living quarters from a five dollar per night river-side hut in Luang Prabang, Laos to a four-star luxury hotel in Paris, I'd like to think I have credibility when assessing accommodations abroad - no matter what level or rating they are.
While it is true that deals can be found at guesthouses, sometimes referred to as sharehouses, my experience has taught me that they don't necessarily exist in more developed countries. I've heard horror stories of $100 per night hostels in Sydney, Australia and experienced firsthand a less than enjoyable stay in Istanbul. In my travels I've always wondered why someone hasn't offered a clean, well-priced and well designed sharehouse.
It turns out that such a place exists - and in one of the most expensive cities in the world no less: Tokyo, Japan. Operated by Oakhouse and located in the Kamata area of Southern Tokyo is Kamata 260, an eight-storey, 260 room sharehouse located just a four minute walk from Zoshiki Station (Keikyu Main Line) and a 15 minute train ride from both Haneda Airport and Shinagawa Station, a major railway junction with JR City and Shinkansen lines.
What sets Kamata 260 apart from any other sharehouse experience I've had before is its amenities and incredibly well-priced rates. For approximately $30 USD per day you receive a modest but well-designed private room that includes a fiber optic internet line (free wi-fi is available in the lobby only), your own fridge, a desk and chair, a small balcony and ample storage. Each residential floor has a shared kitchen, washroom facilities, vacuums and a laundry room. Shower rooms and a bathhouse are located on the main floor along with a common area lounge, mailbox room, soundproof studio and shoe locker. Common areas are kept very clean.
The building is well situated to surrounding amenities with a large grocery store a mere fifty meters from its main entrance. Additionally, the area that surrounds the nearest train station (Zoshiki) is the Zoshiki Shopping Arcade and has a Japan Post ATM location (accepts international credit and debit cards) as well as specialty shops, food stalls, convenience stores, pharmacies and clothing stores.
Kamata 260’s house managers are friendly and incredibly helpful and are only too happy to introduce you to fellow housemates and provide advice and information about the surrounding area and other parts of the city.
If you are looking for an economical way to travel in and around Tokyo and want to stay at a clean, well-appointed and safe sharehouse, the Kamata 260 is an excellent option and one that emphatically answers “yes” to the question, “does anyone in Tokyo offer a clean, well-priced, well designed sharehouse?”