Even though people often ask why I decided to open a hostel, I used to be paranoid for this question. To tell you the truth: one day, I got the idea to open my own hostel, and that moment just happened to be the right time!
When I decided to move from Tokyo to Hiroshima, a city boasting two world heritage sites, I began to think how wonderful it would be to be able to engage in touristically related work. Soon enough, however, it became apparent that such jobs are really hard to find…
Then one day, I began to realise that this was actually a great opportunity to fulfil my dream of providing tourists with a place to stay by myself. Even while I was still employed at my previous workplace, the rather ambitious thought that I could start my own hostel struck my mind. After some rough calculations, I began to do some proper budgeting, estimating costs and income. Essentially, based on what I learnt during my own backpacking experiences, my main goal was to create a hostel environment where people can meet and make their trip worth remembering.
A hostel, also called a guesthouse, is a type of lodging characterised by large, shared rooms (not unlike dormitories) where guests sleep in bunk beds. At their most basic level, hostels simply offer accommodation, without the provision of food or amenities. In Southeast Asia, single-night rates of just ¥1000 (just shy of ten USD) are not uncommon. Going out there, carrying a backpack, crossing borders and seeing new places (not that I’ve done that much so far, lol), definitely helps to broaden your culinary horizons, while at the same time, you get to enjoy breathtaking views and all that… but what actually makes your travels most memorable, is when you meet someone special, like an unforeseen encounter with a person who stayed at the same place, at the same time.
Like when I was showed around in Singapore by two people I had met in Myanmar. Or when a guy I’d met in Budapest raised a glass to me in Seoul. Hostels are pleasant environments where you unnoticeably fall from one meaningful encounter into the next. They are spaces that make traveling alone more fun. You’re on the move on your own, but you’ll never be lonely.
That being said, without the right building or a proper location, a hostel’s business would collapse (pun intended). Coming from the real-estate business, I happened to bump into this fine piece of property. On top of the convenient location of the hostel relative to Hiroshima’s greatest attractions and hotspots, our hostel is located right within the Honkawa-cho neighbourhood, which stretches out around it with lively shops and restaurants. It’s worth mentioning that we’re close to the area between Kamiyacho and Hatchobori — the largest shopping area of the Chugoku and Shikoku regions combined, and as if that were not enough, public transport here is excellent.
One thing we’re particularly proud of, are our “non-shaking, non-creaking, sturdy” and 100% original two-floor beds.
Inspired by the nature of trees that never wither, our affordable boarding house bearing the name of ‘Evergreen’ is a place where people regardless of age, gender, profession, nationality or religion can gather in a young, fresh, and lively atmosphere. Every day, we aim to provide a stress-relieving space where any individual can have an enjoyable stay, while security and hygiene are taken care of. Convenient shared spaces such as a decent lounge and a well-equipped kitchen are provided fittingly to an active lifestyle, together with a calm guest room to relax in, at a price even long-staying guests can afford — and from this location, our guests can explore the real Hiroshima.
No matter how cheap the dormitory you stay in, if you’re lying in a bunk bed and the person above you goes up or down the ladder, it’s impossible to stay peacefully asleep. At a cheap lodging in Laos where I once stayed, the bunk beds were made out of steel pipes, there were no curtains, and no reading lights. A sturdy, western backpacker slept in the bed above mine. Even I who used to fall asleep quickly even in places I’ve never been, woke up whenever this guy moved about or went up or down the stairs (although I have to admit that in my memory, it’s actually quite funny).
We want you to experience Hiroshima to your heart’s content, while getting a sound, refreshing sleep every night. To this end, we made our own non-shaking, non-creaking, sturdy, wooden beds. We can’t stress this enough. By maximising the number of fixtures between the beds and the floor and the ceiling, vibrations are mitigated. Naturally, they are fully furnished with reading lights. By making the area around the head as secluded as possible, the experienced level of privacy goes up. This also shuts out the blinding reading lamps of other guests during the night! While our budget was constrained, we were able to finance the woodwork of the beds through crowd funding.
The Evergreen Hostel is surrounded by plenty cafés and eateries — countless okonomiyaki-restaurants! — and even bath houses like in the old days of Japan. I would like to make this a hostel a central starting point from where visitors can catch the rhythm of the unique, local culture that intertwines with the daily life of Hiroshima natives, where they can hear and see Hiroshima at its purest. On top of that, I want it to be a hostel that is loved by people in Honkawa-cho. This inn is a hangout where people can interact. As a place were guests and all kinds of people from around come together, we aim to create a place that brings these two groups of people closer to each other.
International night in our international hostel here in Hiroshima! Share your interesting stories and let’s have fun together, chatting and chilling in English while making new friends 🙂 #hiroshima #japan #nihon #hostel #life #hostelworld #hostellife #followforfollow #english #instapic #international #funchat #evergreenhostel #discoverjapan #friendship #learning
Molly Malone’s rugby match live viewing→餃子の王将 Osho dumpling party→カラオケ館karaoke So much fun too much fun😭 Again, thank you very much for staying with us. Good rest in trains… 🇨🇦🇨🇦🇺🇸🇺🇸🇮🇹🇳🇱🇯🇵の7人でした。 アイルランド対サモアのラグビーワールドカップマッチを、アイリッシュパブ『モーリーマロンズ』で観戦。アイルランドユニフォームに身を包んだアイルランド人、フランスユニフォームのフランス人…すし詰め👀一体ここはどこ？日本？（多分これは普段うちのホステルで日本人のお客さんが感じてる事だと思うんですが笑） そのあと遅めのご飯を『餃子の王将』で。大人がたくさんで王将行ったらもう大変。パーティー開始✨Alexはレバニラ炒めにフォーリンラブ、Jaredは雄たけびをあげながら餃子と辛いラーメンを…（わたしがラーメン頼んだのに全部食べられたやないかーい笑） そしてｷｬﾗｵｷｨことkaraokeに行き、鉄板のボヘミアンラプソディやらバックストリートボーイズやらブルーノマーズやら歌いました。（この3曲は絶対にみんな歌うなあ…） 今日は朝6時の新幹線で帰る🇨🇦🇨🇦、酒まつりに行く🇺🇸🇺🇸🇳🇱、朝からゾンビ顔勤務の🇯🇵わたしです。 #japan #travel #travelgram #travelphotography #traveller #tourist #tourism #promo #specialoffer #bigsale #follow4follow #f4f #rugbyworldcup2019 #tflers #travel #travels #instatravel #travelgram #traveling #travelling #traveler #traveller #travelstoke #travelphoto #lovely #guests #hostel #guesthouse #ホステル #ゲストハウス #travel #Travelgram #traveling