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EMBLEM Hostel Nishiarai: A Bond Between Travelers And Locals

EMBLEM Hostel Nishiarai: A Bond Between Travelers And Locals

Tokyo 2016.05.18 Bookmark

In this article we introduce EMBLEM Hostel, a recently opened accommodation facility in Nishiarai, Tokyo. The hostel staff at EMBLEM strive to offer their guests the opportunity to interact with the local people and have an authentic experience of Japanes

Translated by Ramona Taranu

Written by Ramona Taranu

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Nishiarai is a town in Northern Tokyo, famous for Nishiarai Daishi, a temple dating from the Heian period. In December 2015 EMBLEM Hostel, a new lodging facility for travelers, was opened in the proximity of Nishiarai station.

Since then, around 5000 travelers from Japan and abroad come to Nishiarai monthly. Moreover, not only foreign travelers, but also the citizens of Nishiarai frequent EMBLEM hostel on a daily basis.

What is the secret behind the popularity of EMBLEM Hostel and how did it come to bring a breath of fresh air into the city?

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Photo courtesy of Emblem Japan Co.,Ltd.

The Round - A Café Open For Both Guests and Citizens

When you go up to the second floor, the first thing you will see is the reception desk of the EMBLEM Hostel. The wide space around the reception is "The Round", a cafe that is open to the hostel's guests and to the citizens alike. As its name implies, "The Round" is a place where people gather and communicate.

After having their breakfast in the The Round, the guests of the EMBLEM Hostel usually go out and explore the city. When they come back here in the evening, they can exchange their impressions with other guests over a glass of beer.

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Photo courtesy of Emblem Japan Co.,Ltd.

Many Nishiarai citizens come to enjoy the calm atmosphere of "The Round". For this reason, to many foreign guests who have just arrived in Japan, this café is the first place where they meet people who actually live in this area.

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Photo courtesy of Emblem Japan Co.,Ltd.

"The Round" is also used as an event space. For instance, during weekends there is the English conversation time, to which the hostel staff, guests and other customers of the café participate. For the foreign travelers, this is an opportunity to find more about Japan and its culture, while for the local customers, it is a chance to practice their English and engage in intercultural exchange.

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Right near the reception desk there is a board with useful information for travelers. The staff's recommendations regarding what to visit in Nishiarai, in Tokyo and all around Japan are introduced in English. Many other activities that one can experience while in Japan are also presented in an open and fun way.

A Hostel That Can Accommodate 180 Guests At A Time

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Photo courtesy of Emblem Japan Co.,Ltd.

The guest rooms are located on the floors between the 4th and the 8th. There are rooms that can be occupied by 4 to 12 persons, but also twin rooms and double rooms. There are lockers for each guest's individual use, and even bath towels are provided. The bed mattresses used in the EMBLEM Hostel have received most positive reviews from the guests.

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Photo courtesy of Emblem Japan Co.,Ltd.

On the 3rd floor there is a room that the guests use in common. A fully equipped kitchen and coin laundry machines are provided. In addition, the guests can use computers connected to the internet.

In this room there is a corner with tatami, where the lodgers can enjoy a Japanese tea ceremony, calligraphy lessons, card games and other elements of Japanese culture.

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Photo courtesy of Emblem Japan Co.,Ltd.

On the terrace of the 3rd floor there is a small Japanese garden. During the day, guests can relax here reading or gathering their thoughts. In the evenings, the staff and the guests watch movies together or enjoy other activities here.

Your Home Away From Home

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 Emblem Japan Co.,Ltd.

What makes EMBLEM Hostel unique are the occasions it creates for travelers and locals to interact. The staff organizes workshops of tea ceremony, kimono wearing, Japanese calligraphy and ikebana flower arrangements. They can also arrange for the guests to visit a sumō training facility (sumō beya) or guide them on tours of the surroundings.

In addition, the hostel staff offers support to the guests so that they take part in local festivals and events. Carrying a ceremonial portable shrine (omikoshi) at a festival together with the locals is only one of the unforgettable experiences that travelers can enjoy here. Such experiences make it possible for the travelers seeking accommodation at EMBLEM to feel that they found "their home in Japan".

The Guests' Impressions

We interviewed four young travelers who were staying at EMBLEM Hostel.

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From left to right are Emily, Paul, Hovey, Ben and Mr. Matsushita - the accommodation supervisor at EMBLEM Hostel. The four guests come from Great Britain, were traveling individually and met at EMBLEM.

According to Ben, the cleanliness at the EMBLEM Hostel is outstanding. He was impressed to find here "hotel quality at hostel price". Hovey told us enthusiastically about the fitness center they went to the other day together with other guests. Paul and Emily, who are brother and sister, were looking forward to their visit at the Tokyo Sky Tree on the next day.

Asked what was their impression of Japan, they all said that the Japanese are incredibly kind and were impressed how respectfully people treat each other.

In Conclusion

We introduced EMBLEM Hostel, a convenient accommodation facility in northern Tokyo, which strives to offer its guests authentic experiences of the Japanese culture. Located right near Nishiarai Station, this hostel provides easy access to the sightseeing destination in Tokyo and its surroundings, so it is very convenient to those who want to explore Japan.

How about staying at EMBLEM Hostel and meeting people from Japan and from all around the world? It will be an opportunity for a completely new form of cultural exchange.

Information

EMBLEM Hostel Nishiarai 

Address: Tokyo, Adachi, Umejima 3-33-6
Hours: open 24 hours a day
Closed: ‐
Wi-Fi: free Wi-Fi in "The Round"
Credit cards: ‐
Language support: Japanese, English
Pamphlets in other languages: English, Chinese
Nearest station: Nishiarai Station 西新井駅 on the Tōbu Skytree Line (東武スカイツリーライン)
Access: 1 minute walk from Nishiarai Station, East Exit
Price range: from 3000 yen
Religion: ‐
Telephone: 03-5845-3490
Official website: EMBLEM Hostel Nishiarai

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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