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2007/09/07 20:02

Travel to Vietnam

Hey! Tomo came back from Vietnam safely last night.
Yes, I must say "safely" because our flight arrived at Tokyo while the large typhoon was approaching to the city. I had never experienced such a scary flight in my life. We had more than two hours of repeating turbulences and air pockets and everybody, I believe, expected the worst situation. Some people screamed and others were just dumb with fear.
Me on the plane ⇒⇒⇒munch.jpg

I'm truely happy to have survived the flight in typhoon and brought back lots of souvenirs for Yuri and others :D
Souvenirs ↓↓↓
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Don't worry, Naoto. I have something for you too. Dozens of instant pho ↓↓↓
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What surprised and impressed me most in Ho Chi Minh City was this ↓↓↓
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On the first day, I felt completely at a loss to cross the street busy with hundreds of motorcycles pssing by. I spent more than 10 minutes wondering how I could go back to my hotel right on the other side of the street. It felt farther than a kilo meter although it was right there in front of me...

But on the last day, I got a knack for doing that! Don't look at those motorcycles in a mass. Don't run but walk slowly and dodge them one by one.
Don't know what I'm talking about?? Now it's your turn to travel to Vietnam :)

2007/03/25 15:42

Un luchador japonés

(English below)
¡Un luchador japonés está en la recepción!
Naoto trabajó con una máscara de la lucha libre que nos regalaron los dos mexicanos en la foto.
Parece fuerte, ¿no?

Muchos huéspedos nos traen regalos de sus países. Guardamos todos los regalos en el hostal. Nos recuerdan los tiempos divertidos que compartimos juntos. La oficina y la recepción estan llenas de los recuerdos de todo el mundo. ¡Gracias a todos!
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(Español arriba)
Here's a Japanese luchador in the reception!
This is Naoto, working with a lucha mask that these two mexican guests gave us.
Looks strong, right?

There are many guests who bring us presents from their countries. We keep all of them as constant reminders of the memorable time we shared with those guests. I'm very happy to see our office and front desk getting full of souvenirs from all over the world. Thank you, everybody!
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2007/03/21 14:28

La meca de los martes marciales

(English below)
Diego, Oracio y la novia de Oracio vinieron a Japón para pasar el examen del tercer dan (san dan) de Aikido. Son de Argentina. Se quedaron con nosotros cinco noches en Sakura Hostel y la semana pasada se fueron a un dojo de Aikido.

Japón es la meca de los artes marciales. Mucha gente viene a Japón de todo el mundo para practicar Aikido, Judo, Karate y otros martes marciales. No sólo practican las técnicas sino aprenden las filosofías.

Si les interesa practicar algun marte marcial cuando se quedan con nosotros, les ayudaría Naoto, un personal de Sakura Hostel quien practica jujutsu brasileño.

Diego y Oracio, ¡que tengan un buen tiempo en el dojo y pasen el examen!
¡Dejame en contacto con ustedes!

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(español arriba)
Diego, Oracio and his girlfriend came to Japan to pass the third level exam (san dan) of Aikido. They stayed with us at our hostel for five nights and left for a dojo (training school) of Aikido last week.

Japan is the mecca of martial arts. A number of people come to Japan to learn martial arts such as Aikido, Judo and Karate. Not only techniques but also their philosophies are things to be learnt.

If you are interested in experiencing a training of those martial arts while you are staying with us, go ahead and talk to Naoto, one of our staff members. He practices Brazilian Jujutsu.


2007/03/15 16:46

The tallest ever

We met a tall guy!
The tallest among those who have stayed with us.

I'm 160cm, nothing special.
Tsuyoshi is 185cm, the tallest among the Sakura staff.

Joshua is


205cm!!
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Do you know what I imagine with this picture??

This...
↓↓↓↓
↓↓↓↓

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2007/03/11 16:03

Sakura, sakura, sakura

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Once again, the name of our hostel is Sakura Hostel. Our sister hotel (Sakura Hotel) and sister companies (Sakura House and Sakuratei) also have "sakura" in their names.

Do you know what "sakura" is?
It's the national flower of Japan, the flower most loved by Japanese people for centuries.
In English, it's called cherry blossom.

Among the many species of cherry trees, Japan's most beloved one is Somei Yoshino (photo above). The color is almost white when you see a flower close. But when you are farthur from the tree, it looks light pink.


Spring is the season when you can see the flowers. The flower's life is very very short, only a week or two. If the flower lived longer, it wouldn't be loved this much. In the flower, Japanese people see the briefness and beauty of life,


Tokyo is expecting their early blooming this year due to the warm winter.
The flower forecast says the 18th of March is "the date" this year.

Hanami (flower viewing party) is another reason why Japanese love the flower this much. People go to parks, riverbanks, temples and shrines to have a party with foods and drinks under sakura trees. It never matters whether the real purpose is to view the flower or just to drink...

On Saturday, March 24th, we will have this hanami party with our guests. We will go to a riverbank close to the hostel. The sakura flowers are expected in full bloom around that date. Come and join us with your own food and drink!! >>>event calendar

2007/03/02 21:43

Tomo traveled to Kyoto and Hiroshima

On my days off, I traveled to Kyoto and Hiroshima.
Have you been to those places? They are both worth a visit.

In Kyoto, I met a Swise guy who had stayed at Sakura Hotel, our sister hotel before. I went with him to one of the most popular shrines of Kyoto, "Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine" and the city's biggest neigborhood of Geisha called "Gion."
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In Hiroshima, I stayed at J-Hoppers, which is the only one backpacker's hostel in Hiroshima. I was so happy to meet the owner of the hostel because he is one of the people who inspired me to start a hostel on my own and also because we hear lots of good things about his hostels from our guests.
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2007/01/06 18:43

TOKYO BIG MARATHON 2007

Is there any lucky person selected to join the Tokyo Marathon 2007?
It will be held on Sunday, February 18, 2007 and start from Tokyo Metropolitan Government and finish at Tokyo Big Sight. 25,000 selected lucky people can join it.

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What is so exciting about it is... they will come to our place, Asakusa! In the latter stage of the race, they run through the Kaminarimon gate, only a few minutes walk away from our hostel. We are sure that we will go cheer for the runners with our guests on that day.

2006/11/04 09:26

Pub night

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Already drunk?

We had a pub night last night after we enjoyed the tea ceremony and Noh play.
Me and Hiromi took a group of around 15 people to a Japanese bar (izakaya) called Uotami in Asakusa.

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You want to sing karaoke, Hiromi?

2006/10/31 23:12

¡Bienvenidos!

¡Bienvenidos a Sakura Hostel Asakusa!
Somos el único hostal que habla español en Tokio, Japón.
Ya tenemos nuestro website traducido al español.
http://www.sakura-hostel.co.jp/spanish/index.htm

Lo tradujo Jesús de Madrid, quien se quedó con nosotros en el hostal un mes el verano pasado. Muchisimas gracias a Jesús. Y, a Cris y Minori, ustedes nos ayudaron también.

Nos han visitado a nuestro albergue en Asakusa mucha gente de España, México, Perú, Bolivia y otros países de la america latina, en donde han viajado los personales del hostel, yo también. Cuando estaba viajando en España y México, me ayudaron mucha gente amable. "Mi casa es tu casa" es una expresión que aprendí de los amigos mexicanos y me gusta mucho. Muy bonita, creo.

Ahora, yo estoy aquí en nuestro hostal para ayudar a ustedes.

2006/10/17 21:52

New blankets arrived today

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Sakura Hostel Asakusa changes blankets seasonally.
Today, we replaced summer blankets with the winter ones which are thicker and warmer for our guests to be able to have a good sleep in the Tokyo's chilly winter.

Our blankets, pillows and fotons are frequently washed and dried in the sun so that nobody would have an unpleasant sleep, which is taken hard to avoid at some backpacker's hotel.

The price is cheap but the quality is not cheap. That's Sakura Hostel.

2006/10/15 10:52

LaLaport Toyosu

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LaLaport Toyosu is one of the Tokyo's biggest shopping mall, newly built in the Tokyo bay area this October.
I went there yesterday to see how it is. It was still full of people so that it told me it'd been open only for 2 weeks.

Though it has a close resemblance to American shopping malls, it is unique in that it has an "ukiyoe" museum and a work experience studio for kids. Their ocean-front garden is quite huge and comfortable and must be good for a sunny day walk.

The access from our place to this mall deserves special mention. The Tokyo Water Cruise now takes you from Asakusa down to Toyosu and shows you a variety of Tokyo scenes on the Sumida river. The photo on the right is the Toyosu port where cruisers arrive.

2006/10/04 22:46

a small concert

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Our guests from Mexico had a small concert at our lounge tonight.
They are professional guitar players.
Their songs were sometimes powerful, sometimes so sweet.

They brought back to me the wonderful time I spent in Mexico.

Thank you guys, I enjoyed it from the front desk.

2006/10/03 17:07

Tonight, movie night!

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Tonight, at 9:00PM, we'll have a movie night.
My neighbor Totoro, by Hayao Miyazaki, with English subtitles.

I've seen this movie so many times in my life, but still I see it.
I believe many of you guys agree with me.

Come join us at our first floor lounge to see one of the most loved movies of Hayao Miyazaki.


Tonight, movie night!

totoro mini.jpg

Tonight, at 9:00PM, we'll have a movie night.
My neighbor Totoro, by Hayao Miyazaki, with English subtitles.

I've seen this movie so many times in my life, but still I see it.
I believe many of you guys agree with me.

Come join us at our first floor lounge to see one of the most loved movies of Hayao Miyazaki.


2006/09/28 21:12

Feliz Cumpleanos!!

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Julio (the guy in the middle), one of our guests from Spain, had his birthday today.
Happy birthday! His friends traveling with him gave him a beautiful wall ornament decorated with a Japanese kimono woman on it.

Hope this is going to be one of his unforgettable birthday memories.

2006/09/27 17:03

Mi casa es tu casa :)

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Hi hi, Tomo writes here again.
2 months and half since the opening! It was quick.

We have had more than 5,000 guests.
Thank you every one! Come back to see us one day, or drop by this page to see how we are doing.
We are always here, Mi casa es tu casa, ciao.

2006/06/02 10:15

All the staff got together

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All the front staff got together yesterday for the first time.
We have eight people in the starting lineup so far.

From top left to bottom right.
Hiro, Koji, Tsuyoshi, Naoto
Shiro, Hiromi (can't see the face!), Yuri, Tomo (me!)

Come meet us at Asakusa!

2006/05/20 10:38

Exterior color decided on.

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Finally, we decided on the exterior color. On the picture above, the second left is the one we chose. It took such a long time that I almost thought we'd never come to any conclusion and have to start with the unpainted building.

The only thing worrying me a bit now is if we can finish the painting work during the coming rainy season. We'll see.

Everything else is going well. Walking through the whole building, from the basement to the roof, I thanked its great location and big windows. All the rooms have a lot of sunshine and fresh air coming in. I was excited to imagine our first guests coming in to the furnished rooms and enjoying our hostel smelling "new."

Only two more months to the grand opening. Time flies.
Well, I'm not the only one working for the hostel, by the way. I have colleagues. Hiromi, one of my helpful colleagues, will write here pretty soon.


2006/04/29 18:06

The Construction Going OK

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The construction is going on well without any big problem.
They are currently working for the 4th floor and the building is half completed. (It's going to be a 6-storied building.).

It's located right behind an amusement park (called the Hanayashiki Amusement Park), where you enjoy a roller coaster, Ferris wheel, haunted house and so on. Behind the Hanayashiki, you'll see the Sensoji Temple, the Asakusa's main temple welcoming thousands of visitors everyday.

Thanks to the amusement park and temple, we have a great view towards the south without being blocked by tall buildings. It's actually a perfect location to enjoy the anual fire work festival over the Sumida River.

When I went to the place for the first time, there was a very old apartment, which gave me a dark image and depressing mood. Closing its history of over 40 years, the apartment was pulled down last summer and will be replaced by a light pink building with more than 100 beds for backpackers. I can't wait to see our guests heading the hostel with backpacks on their back and the map in their hand.

Do you know what "sakura" means, by the way?
It's a flower. You say cherry blossom in English. Sakura is the national flower of Japan and is deeply related to the spirit and soul of Japanese people. The color of Sakura Hostel Asakusa is going to be the color of the flower. I would say it's light pink but there are an infinite number of light pinks with slight changes of brightness and nuance. We haven't made an decision on the color yet, knowing the time limit is coming pretty soon.

Decision of the exterior color is one thing.
What about the curtains? Doors? The size of the beds, the design of the key card, the schedule of the advertisement...? The building is almost there, thanks to our hardworking partners on the construction. But it's still just a box. We need to fill it with so many things. The time left for us is 2 months and half!

2006/04/26 12:04

My meeting with the Sakura

My name is Tomo.
I remember my name is a bit longer, but everybody calls me Tomo.

I’m supposed to be the one who is going to be called the manager of Sakura Hostel Asakusa.
Being selected as the manager sounds like having experienced many hard times and probably won the election and staff.

That’s not what happened here.

It was very simple.

I was the only one who met the Sakura Group when they were starting their new hostel project.

There was a job hunter who wanted to open a hostel like the ones she stayed at while backpacking abroad but at the same time believed it pretty difficult to do it by herself, nearly giving up the idea. There was a company looking for somebody willing to work for their new hostel which did not exist at all yet. They met by a mere chance two years ago. They were me and the Sakura Group.

The project took off.

We got a place, architects, constructors, floor plans, staff members... It took two years to make it this far. I'll try to show you how we are making our new hostel here on this page. It'd be great if you'd feel like you're opening it with us and feel like visiting us at Asakusa one day.

2006/04/05 14:20

Message for Backpackers

April, 2006
Message for backpackers who are looking for something new.


How come you’re hesitating to come take a look of Tokyo?
Because it’s expensive?

Ok, I can’t really do anything to make your flight cheaper.
Well, I could suggest some tips to save your money on food here.

Wondering where to stay?
No where to sleep for backpackers?

Alright, then, why don’t we open a brand new super reasonable backpackers’ hotel or hostel...
or whatever it’s called?

Who will do that?

Well, we will do.
We, the SAKURA, will do.

Thanks a lot for dropping by our page.
We're glad you found us here.

You are witnessing the historic opening of the Tokyo’s biggest backpackers’ place.
This is a great meeting, isn't it?