Before arriving at Hotel Toyo we weren’t sure what we would be walking into. We’d read and heard mixed reviews about the hostel, but could not resist the $19 (AUD) a night rooms. We were pleasantly surprised that this amazingly cheap find was so nice!
The staff were very friendly and happy to assist if you had any questions. When we first arrived the hippy looking staff member (which was amplified by the incense being burnt in a little common area near the entrance) gave us a small tour of the bottom floor of the hostel. This is where our room was, as well as the common room, laundry, showers and toilets. We also asked for recommendations for things in the area which led to finding Mr Okonomiyaki and us finding the karaoke bar in walking distance.
This hostel has two types of rooms – western and traditional Japanese bedding. By luck, we were put in a western style room. We had two single beds, a fridge, a TV and an airconditioner. We were very comfortable in our room and had enough space for all of our belongings and to hang up our portable clothes lines.
The hostel was approximately 2 minute walk from the Dobutsuen Mae subway station which is on the same line as Nara, the hub of Osaka. It was also near Spa World, several small but delicious restaurants and a great Karaoke bar. The area itself isn’t the best as it is known for ‘daily workers’ mainly living here, but we felt safe the entire time.
The facilities were pretty good… The only thing which might bring the hostel down, but isn’t a big issue, is the two showers on ground floor which feel like you are in outback Australia. The bathroom has two showers made from tin walls. It would have been ok if you had somewhere to keep all your clothes dry! There was also a modern shower which we always hoped was free… One time I even came back so I could have the luxury of dry clothes and a dry area separate to the shower to get dressed in. But that’s not a biggie! The hostel provided hair dryers and free internet in the common room. The washing machine and dryer were coin operated but very cheap at ¥100 per use.
Overall we really enjoyed our stay at Hotel Toyo. I would definitely stay here again… It would be a good place to stay as a single traveller too as it is quite popular and easy to meet new people. We even saw someone we met in Nagoya the week before when we stayed here…it really is a small world!