Luckily we've found a choice that is both kind to the budget traveler and those not wanting to compromise on some home comforts.
The Fujiyoshida Youth Hostel (富士吉田ユースホステル) is our pick of the bunch for Fuji accommodation. Despite the name, it's really nothing much like a youth hostel. You'll find no dorms or noisy common areas here, with guests of a wide range of ages. Each room is private Japanese style – tatami mats and futon. If you're visiting Japan and wanting to try a more traditional style lodging, this is your chance!
Rooms are equipped with a TV, A/C and the traveler's holy grail – free Wi-Fi! While we don't spend much time watching TV – in fact, we don't have one at all at our home in Tokyo – you have to turn it on at least once when the town has gone to sleep for the night just to experience a Japanese variety show – it really is a window into Japanese culture.
A washing machine and drier are available for use at ¥150 and ¥200 per load respectively – especially convenient if you've just scaled Mt. Fuji. Guests can enjoy free use of the refrigerator, microwave and hot water dispenser with complimentary tea and coffee.
Bathrooms are shared but immaculate and, given the small capacity of 13 people, waiting is never really an issue.
Here's the best part! This is actually a Japanese family home – the Tanabe family live on the first floor while the guest accommodation is on the second. Established in 1956, the hostel has been run by three generations and is now managed by granddaughter Mikiko san. Mikiko san is extremely friendly and kind, and her English is sure to be of assistance to non-Japanese speaking travelers. It was her smiling face that we saw when we returned from our last climb of Mt. Fuji six years ago and the homely hospitality hasn't changed a bit since then. She can also help you out with things like maps, bus timetables and information about the local area.
If I haven't sold you already, then here's the icing on the cake! A night here starts from only ¥3000 per person – can't get better value than that!
So if you're interested in having a more unique accommodation experience and supporting a local family business, check out the Fujiyoshida Youth Hostel on your next Fuji adventure.
To book, simply call 0555-22-0533 and speak to Mikiko san directly.
Address: 3-6-51 Shimoyoshida, Fujiyoshida-shi, Yamanashi-ken 〒403-0004
Please note that breakfast is not available at this time.
For those traveling by car, parking is available out the back (accessed via a side street). Streets are narrow so take care accessing the parking area – it might take a few goes back and forth to straighten up. :)
The hostel is accessible by foot from three different train stations but can be a little difficult to find as it is tucked away in an alleyway so be sure to reference this map. Please note that as of July 2011, Fujiyoshida Station was renamed Fujisan Station, however, many local people and maps still refer to it by its former name.