Translated by Lester Somera
Train Hostel Hokutosei - Sleep Soundly On The Train
Written by ayu
Train Hostel Hokutosei is a concept hostel located in the Bakuro area of Tokyo. With great train access, it's a perfect base for travelers looking for unique accommodations.
Have you ever heard of the town of Bakuro?
From Tokyo Station, you can get there in five minutes on a rapid express train via the Sobu Line. Both the Toei Shinjuku Line and the Toei Asakusa Line pass through Bakuro, and the town is easily accessible from Narita and Haneda Airport. Only fifteen minutes away from major Tokyo tourist areas like Asakusa, Ueno and Shinjuku, it is a very convenient staging ground for visitors to Tokyo.
In Bakuro, there’s a new place to stay, a concept inn that combines a hostel with the Hokutosei Japanese sleeper train.
What Is the Hokutosei Sleeper Train?
The Hokutosei, Japan’s first luxury sleeper train, used to connect Ueno Station in Tokyo to Sapporo Station in Hokkaido. The Hokutosei was so popular in recent years that tickets would sell out almost as fast as they went on sale. However, due to factors such as wear and tear on the train cars and the launch of the Hokkaido Shinkansen Line, the Hokutosei’s 27 year journey came to an end in August 2015.
You Can Still Sleep on the Hokutosei Train at this Hostel
The Hokutosei had masses of devoted fans, and many former passengers said that they wished they could ride it again. Train Hostel Hokutosei inherited the beds and equipment that were actually used inside the Hokutosei. This one-of-a-kind hostel is the only place where you can get a good night’s sleep surrounded by the ambiance of the Hokutosei’s former glory. Train Hostel Hokutosei has seven floors and a capacity of 78. The majority of the guest rooms have dormitory-style bunk beds, either co-ed or women-only. There are also “semi-private” rooms fashioned from the Hokutosei’s private rooms.
Leave The Station And You Will See The Hokutosei Lights
The hostel is near exit 4 of Bakuro-cho Station on the JR Sobu Line. The station interior is vast, but if you just follow the signs toward exit 4, you should have no problem.
Open the door on the first floor and you’ll come to the front desk. Check in here. You can also pick up pamphlets and fliers that are usually placed inside JR stations. In addition, reception sells Japanese craft beer and other refreshments.
2F - Lounge, Kitchen Area And Guest Rooms
The second floor has a large kitchen available to guests, and the lounge is fitted with the tables and chairs that were used in the Hokutosei dining car. It really feels like you’re on the train. You can freely use any of the cookware and tableware, so buy ingredients at a supermarket or convenience store.
3-5F - Four Types of Guest Rooms
Dormitory rooms are either women-only or co-ed, and both use bunk beds. The private rooms have four types of beds, and the predominant color on the women-only fifth floor is red. A women-only dormitory room is 2800 yen a night, and a co-ed dormitory room is 2500 yen a night.
The bunk beds have 10 more centimeters of clearance on the sides than when they were used on the actual Hokutosei, and the prepared sheets, mattress, coverlet and pillow will help you get a good night’s rest.
To climb to the top bunk, use the ladder attached to the wall. Since the ladders are from a sleeper train, they are collapsible, which is quite a rare sight. Other than the ladders, the bed lamps and folding chairs in the hallway were all used during the Hokutosei’s run.
There are also sofa beds. When you want to sleep, recline the backrest, cover it with a futon and use it as a bed.
These semi-private rooms are 4500 yen a night. Because of the building’s special characteristics, the rooms cannot be totally partitioned off, but they still feel private. Another charming fact about these rooms is that they use devices from the Royal Suites, the highest-grade private rooms on the Hokutosei.
6F - Shower and Laundry Facilities
There are separate shower facilities for men and women, and there are five bathrooms installed on each side.
Everything Is Fully Hokutosei - Even Here
Many of the items which were used onboard the Hokutosei have been repurposed inside the hostel.
Train car reading lamps
Dining car nameplates
We Recommend a Weekday Stay
Train Hostel Hokutosei allows its guests, even those who don’t have a strong affinity for trains, to have a one-of-a-kind accommodation experience. Many Japanese Hokutosei fans stay at the hostel on the weekends, so we recommend staying during the week when it’s easier to get a reservation. If you’re looking for a place to stay that offers unique entertainment in addition to convenient train access, Train Hostel Hokutosei is the place for you.