One Dollar Hotel Japan – If you were given the opportunity to stay overnight at a ryokan for 100 yen, we know you would jump at the idea. I mean, the cost of a place to eat, sleep, and shower is already cheaper than the train fare to get to there, so why wouldn’t you?
This accommodation opportunity actually exists at Asahi Ryokan, a traditional guesthouse located in Fukuoka, which is a city in western Japan that CNN Travel actually name as one of the must-visit destinations for 2019.
To take advantage of this one-coin accommodation price, you will need to agree to have your entire stay live streamed on YouTube via the accommodation’s YouTube channel – One Dollar Hotel – , to be watched by anyone around the world. By the way, the Youtube Channel has been so popular that it has been hacked recently so here is the real one: One Dollar Hotel Non Hacked.
How about that for throwing a spanner in the works?
This unique accommodation concept was developed recently by 27-year-old Inoue Tetsuya, when he took over is grandmother’s ageing ryokan business. Sitting at the slightly cheaper end of the scale, there’s plenty of competition to consider. He challenged himself to improve the slow business in the new economy, and actually found inspiration from witnessing a staying guest who was live-streaming himself whilst at Asahi Guesthouse. Thus, the era of the 100yen coin stay began.
Whilst renting the room (only one is available at the moment with the lucky number 8) at 100yen is obviously running at a loss, Inoue sees the traffic driven to the YouTube channel as the actual source of income. In today’s day and age, almost any type of video can be monetized if it breaks through the noise barrier on YouTube. Earn enough views and you’ll be making from ads in no time. Once a certain number of view hours have been reached by a channel, ads can be included and thus the video experience can begin making money for its owner.
So, as a traveller, what can you expect during your stay? The idea of being live-streamed to strangers across the world might sound a bit scary and intrusive, however, there are rules in place that protect the guest and they make the sound of the experience quite bearable.
The biggest rule in place is that there are no cameras in the bathroom, so rest assured, your privacy is not completely taken away! Aside from that, ‘lewd’ acts are forbidden, and you are permitted to turn off the lights whenever you’d like.
Of course, specific instructions to not display your personal information such as your passport and bank cards are given and reminded before your stay. So really, at only 100 yen, you’re getting a massive discount as long as you’re comfortable with people watching you watch TV, play on your phone, make instant noodles, and sleep!
This business model has been stated to be directly aimed at the younger generation who seem to be more frivolous with their privacy. Whilst only a handful of people have taken up on the deal since it’s been introduced to the world, Inoue is hopeful that it will take off soon.
On days that there is no one staying in the room, Inoue live streams himself working from the ryokan’s office instead, building on the live stream factor of the ryokan. He even posts signs up in Japanese and English to let viewers know when he’s out of the room. He’s quite the host!
For those who want to stay at Asahi Ryokan but not be lived streamed, rest assured, it still operates as a regular ryokan outside of room #8, with plenty of other options to choose from. It’s also located close to plenty of public transport, restaurants, and Fukuoka City attractions, so it’s actually quite a decent option.
If you’re still debating on whether or not to visit Fukuoka itself (and this 100-yen ryokan isn’t enough to convince you!), then we strongly, deeply urge you to put this on the list. I mean, there’s a reason why CNN Travel picked it as one of the best travel locations this year, right?
It’s a wonderful mix of culture, history, nature and gastronomy, therefore making it pretty much appealing to anyone and everyone. From its wonderful network of shops in the Canal City Hakata, to the traditional yatai set up along the riverbanks and roads at night, to the gorgeous seaside parks and castles and museums sprinkled all along its coast and suburban city line, Fukuoka is a wonderfully exciting place to visit at any time of the year.
So, what do you think about this one dollar hotel in Japan. Genius idea or you hate the concept? Let us know in the comments!
For more cool hotels, you can also check out this blog post: The 10 Most Unique Hotels In Japan.