$16 Tokyo hotel deal: clean sheets, free coffee, and a stranger in your room

Tokyo has become one of the less expensive cities to visit, at least for Americans, thanks to the favorable exchange rate. But did you know you could stay in a hotel there for just $16? It's clean, with an excellent mattress, and offers free coffee and tea. The only catch is that you have to share your room with a complete stranger.

A correspondent for SoraNews24, an English-language website about events in Tokyo and other parts of Japan, stayed a night at the And Hostel Minami Senju for 2,493 yen (US$16). It's a five-minute walk from Minami Senju Station, followed by a 35-40 minute train ride to Shinjuku Station. (I suppose that long trip is another drawback.)

The photos on And Hostel's website show a modern lobby, a free drink station, and a kitchenette area for guests. The work area is a bit spartan, but think about how much cheaper this place is compared to renting a desk at a WeWork for a day.

And Hostel, Tokyo Japan

And Hostel also has real workspaces available in other locations. They look great and cost less than $10 for a 12-hour day.

The correspondent stayed in a "shared dormitory room," which turned out to be a tiny room with just one bunk bed for two strangers. There was hardly any floor space, but the hostel will store your luggage for 200 yen ($1.25). If you want a towel, that will cost you another 300 yen ($1.90). The correspondent recommends going to a nearby Daiso and buying a towel for 100 yen ($0.63).

The bunk itself was clean and comfortable, with power outlets and free earplugs provided (which will come in handy if your roommate happens to be a snorer). The correspondent didn't mention whether they needed to use the plugs, but they did say it felt awkward sharing such a tiny room with a stranger. "We actually ended up bumping into them at the entrance to our room on our way back," they said, "exchanging somewhat stilted nods of hello and good night."

Personally, I wouldn't enjoy staying in a room with a stranger like that. I would rather splurge and get a $65 hotel room at an APA hotel in Shinjuku, which includes an incredible Japanese buffet breakfast. (Actually, the owners sound creepy. I would not stay there again. Read the comments in the BBS.)

Here's how to plan for a trip to Japan