April 18, 2017

BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO: Where the modern “Japanesque” draws breath

現代に息づく “日本らしさ” を感じるホステル 『BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO』

In all honesty, I have found myself disconnected with the “Japaneseque” specifically suited for overseas tourists. Peer into a souvenir shop and you find kimonos that have no context of season, and mass produced items with Mount Fuji’s and Buddhist/Shinto reliefs printed onto them ‘just for the sake of it’. In every medium this theme of “parodic Japan” is revisited and it is quite appalling. Furthermore, the virtue of a trip to another country is also to be able to witness and experience the current state of the world, is it not?
If you seek to immerse yourself in the real modern Japan, we recommend you to book a certain hostel as the basecamp to your adventures: the BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO.
正直なところ、外国人観光客向けに取り揃えられた “日本らしさ” には、違和感を感じている。土産屋を覗けば、富士や神社仏閣が “とりあえず” 印刷されたような量産商品、季節感のない着物の着付けサービス──モノに限らず、“パロディ的日本らしさ” は数多く存在し、がっかりすることもある。さらに付け加えると、旅の醍醐味のひとつである、世界の “今” を知ることも、いささか蔑ろになってはいないだろうか?
もしあなたが、現代のリアルな日本を旅したいと願うなら、拠点となる宿には、あるホステルをぜひお勧めしたい。それが、今回ご紹介させていただく『BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO』だ。

“Japanesque” – beneath the superficial; in virtue of Modern Japan

BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO is situated in a renovated building once a pachinko parlor, in the city of Asakusa. In contrast to its origin story and the atmospheric, almost rustic impression of downtown Asakusa, the hostel is simple and bright. The eccentric atmosphere incorporating bright tones such as whites and grays, as well as warm wood grains and shiny tiles really reflects the universally appreciated modern aesthetic. In order to embody the modern “Japanesque”, they have decorated the interior to the palate and sensitivity of the Japanese people today. At first sight you may wonder wherein this lies the “Japanesque” aspect, but according to BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO, the essence can be observed in its most deep and minute details. The unspoken commodity shared amongst the people living in Japan is “serenity”, and the enveloping sensation of serenity is what created Japanese culture – or rather, is the ethos of the country itself.
One can surely appreciate their modest and ideological stance towards the modern “Japanesque” at BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO.

現代日本に通づる、表面的ではない “日本らしさ”

浅草の廃業した商業ビルを改装したという『BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO』は、そのいきさつや下町情緒あふれる浅草の印象に反し、とても明るく、そしてシンプルだ。白やライトグレーといった明るい色味、あたたかみを感じるウッドや清潔感のあるタイルで統一された、グラフィカルな空間は、現代的で広く好まれるであろうデザインの施されたもの。現代の “日本らしさ” を伝えるために、“今” 日本で好まれているものや感度を意識し、仕上げたという。そのような装飾に、一見すると、どこに “日本らしさ” が隠れているのかわからないかもしれないが、彼らの考える “日本らしさ” は、その表現の深部や細部に息づいているのだ。『BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO』では、日本に暮らす人々の間で暗黙のうちに共有されている「心地よさの感覚」を快適さとして表しており、そのにじみだすような感覚こそが “日本らしい” 文化をつくり、かつ、その見えない感覚そのものが文化であるのだという。決して表面的ではない、その慎ましい表現に、現代に根付く “日本らしさ” を感じていただけるだろう。


A comfortable dormitory that supersedes ALL competition

Amongst the affordable options of hostels in the peripheral areas, BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO is revered as ‘exceptionally’ comfortable. This is most likely a culmination of design and Japanese hospitality that focuses on providing the best comfort, relaxation, and sleep quality during your stay. The area that you can most appreciate the aspects above is in the dormitory area. Although the area is mainly constructed with bunkbeds, there are various arrangements that have been made to ensure you will not be self-conscious amongst your neighbors.
The most reasonable sleeping quarters that start from ¥3,000 per night is a bunkbed style room. These rooms are the most common and symbolic of BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO, given their original design that incorporates steel and wood materials. The entrance to each space is oriented oppositely from each other, which provides more privacy and space. Furthermore, the frame is reinforced to absorb more shock than the typical design, so that larger customers on the top bunk do not disturb their neighbors. Their mattresses are thicker than the typical dormitory, assuring better quality sleep. The entrance to the bed is a blackout curtain that will not bother your neighbors while you’re reading under the book light. Thats not it: electricity outlets that are very limited and often become a first-come-first-serve deal in other facilities, are located in two areas on each bed. They really make it their precedent to ensure your comfortable stay.
Of the 5 floors available (2F ~ 6F), there is one whole floor to accommodate female customers only. For a higher price point you can get a single bunk bed, and rooms for bigger groups and families (family room). At the top of the facility is the 7th floor family room is a luxurious suite that enables a view of Sensoji temple* and Sky Tree. (*The Sensoji Gojuno-To tower is under construction until late September, 2017)


気軽な価格帯で利用できるホステルの中でも、『BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO』は、珍しく、快適であると評判だ。それは、日本らしい心地よさの感覚を元に、「気持ちがよい」「居心地がよい」「よく眠れる」の三点に注力し、企画・設計・運営がなされているためであろう。滞在中、それを最も感じていただけるのはドミトリー部分。バンクベッドを基本に構成されたドミトリールームは、周囲を気にせず過ごせる様々な配慮がなされている。
1泊 ¥3,000~と、最もリーズナブルに宿泊できるのは、2段ベッドが組み合わせられたドミトリールーム。ホステルの大部分を占めるこのドミトリーは、スチールと木材を使用しオリジナルに作られたもので、『BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO』を象徴するもののひとつだ。上下段でベッドの向きが異なるため、入り口が交差しており、プライバシーがより確保され、梯子のスペースで狭くなることもない。また、大柄の方が上段に登った時の揺れも気にならず、既製品よりかなり改良されているとのこと。もちろん、快適な眠りをサポートするマットレスも通常のドミトリーより厚めで、寝心地がよいとの評判だ。ベッドの入り口は遮光カーテンで、読書灯を点けても同室者を気にすることもない。さらに、他施設では電源が少なく場合には取り合いになることもあうコンセントも、各ベッドに2箇所設置しており、細やかな部分まで、不便を感じさせないつくりとなっている。
2~6階にある5フロアのうち1フロアは女性専用、また、価格帯は変わってしまうが、高さが2段分あるシングルベッド、ファミリーやグループ向けの個室(ファミリールーム)もあるので、用途に応じ使い分けることもできそうだ。最上階である7階のファミリールームでは、浅草寺* とスカイツリーを望めるので、さらに浅草を満喫しながら過ごせそうだ。(*浅草寺五重塔は2017年9月末まで工事予定)

A comfortable community of people

Comfort and relaxation can be found in areas outside of the dormitories as well. The shower rooms, restrooms, powder rooms, and laundromat that are meticulously maintained and kept clean, as well as the warm 24 hour customer service is the reason for the luxurious experience at the hostel. Feel free to ask the staff for any questions – they are avid travelers themselves that will accommodate you in any way possible. As travelers themselves, they will understand your needs during your stay. Apparently, there have been instances where the staff have miraculously reunited with their customers in another country.
The communal area of the hostel is not limited to staying customers. The spacey 1st floor consists of an “Engawa” (garden porch) themed construction that is not only a reception for customers, but as the large paper lantern that reads “SAKE” suggests, is also an izakaya-style (small dish/tapas) restaurant that invites passerby’s as well. The menu is friendly for lone travelers, and have a large Japanese sake selection. The sense of cleanliness from the tiled interior, and motif of Mount Fuji behind the reception counter makes it seem like the people convening in the lobby are customers in a traditional Japanese bathhouse, which is an authentic and nostalgic sight of Asakusa. In May there is an annual Edo-Tokyo festival called “Sansha-Sai”, where the “Mikoshi” Altar (Portable shrine) will pass right in front of the hostel.



The ancient and traditional aspect of Japanese culture is, without saying, miraculous and should be passed down to the future generations. However, there are sights and experiences that are authentic to, and that you can only experience in the ‘now’. We encourage all prospective overseas visitors to experience the Japan that we live in today – and choose BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO to immerse yourself in the ‘real’ modern Japan.
古くより伝わる日本文化はもちろん、素晴らしく、伝えていくべきもの。しかしながら、“今” の時代にしか知りえないこともあるだろう。日本に訪れる旅行者にはぜひ、“今” に生きる文化を体験していただきたいと願う。本記事が、リアルな日本を体感できる宿選びの候補となったら幸いである。



Check In : Any time after 16:00 (24 hours)
Fees : ¥3,000~
Hostel capacity : 125 Rooms (128 persons)

IZAKAYA BUNKA (1F) Open hours : 16:00 ~ 23:00 (Last Order 22:30)

Address : 1-13-5 Asakusa, Taito-Ward, Tokyo 111-0032
Tokyo Metro “Ginza” Line – “Asakusa” Station & “Tahara” Station (5 Minute Walk)
Toei Subway “Asakusa” Line – “Asakusa” station (5 Minute Walk)
Tsukuba Express – “Asakusa” Station (1 Minute Walk)

URL: bunkahostel.jp


チェックイン : 当日16:00~(24時間いつでも可能)
宿泊 : ¥3,000~
客室数 : 125室(128人)

IZAKAYA BUNKA(1F) 営業時間 : 16:00~23:00 (ラストオーダー22:30)

住所:〒111-0032 東京都台東区浅草1-13-5
– 東京メトロ銀座線 浅草駅・田原駅 (徒歩5分)
– 都営地下鉄浅草線 浅草駅 (徒歩5分)
– 東武スカイツリーライン 浅草駅 (徒歩5分)
– つくばエクスプレス 浅草駅 (徒歩1分)

URL: bunkahostel.jp

writer / KOTOE SEINO
photographer / MIREI SAKAKI

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