May 14, 2015

Review: Dolphin House Osaka Hostel (Japan)

When I impromptu-ly decided to fly to Japan for the sakuras (Cherry Blossoms), the first obstacle I faced was the unbelievable lack of accommodation during the last weekend of March to the 1st week of April. Hotels and hostels everywhere were sold out! God must have taken pity on me as I somehow chanced upon this little place in Osaka.
Here is my review of the Dolphin House Osaka .
Hotel Name: Dolphin House Osaka
Address: 577-0801 Osaka Prefecture, Higashi-osaka, Mikuriyaminami 2-1-38-A802, Japan
Contact: +81(0)80-9554-5580
Price: SGD16 - SGD20 (Price varies)



Only dormitory styled bunk beds are available in Dolphin House Osaka.  When I booked my trip in early March 2015, they only had the option of a mixed dormitory. But they seemed to have recently changed their business model and seperated the Dorm rooms into gender, much to the delight of many prospective female travellers I’m sure.


The space in the room was surprisingly big for Japan!


There is also a sink and induction stove corner with basic cooking equipment like saucepan , bowls and cutleries. How sweet is that?!


There are no hanger or cabinets for your clothes as the dormitory styled room seemed to be catered for backpackers who live out of their backpacks.


I stayed in a 4 bed dormitory room when I was there early last month. The bunk beds and floor were all made of wood. The bunk bed however was not of the most silent construct and you might want to limit your movements when you’re on it so as not to bother whoever’s under/on top of you. There is privacy curtains for the bottom bunk and each bed has a reading lamp.

There is 1 pillow, 1 comforter blanket and the bed is relatively comfortable. The mattress is not as thick as I’d liked for it to be but it’s alright to sleep on. The pillows are a little too soft for my liking so I always prop it up with a scarf or something.


One thing I noticed was the lack of power plugs. In our room, there was 4 reading/bedside lamp but only 2 power plug near the bed so you would need to share the power plug when it comes to charging your personal devices. There is another power plug near the entrance for the heater so maybe you should consider bringing longer charging cables.


Our 4 bed Dormitory room had an attached toilet much to my delight. The toilet has a toilet bowl, a small sink and a small sized bath tub cum shower place. As you can tell from the pictures, the toilet is very very small.Shampoo, Hair conditioner , bathing soap and toilet papers are provided. There is a shower head with hot and cold water. Towels are provided.

Our tap wouldn’t stop flowing one night and it fogged up the entire toilet. But the staff fixed it the next day.




I believe the beds can be made and the sheets can be replaced at a cost but I’m not sure how much. Otherwise like most hostels, expect clean sheets only when you just check in. When I first came, our beds had this incredibly soft fur blanket underneath but after they came in to fix our toilets, they also took the chance to change our bed sheets and the super furry blanket never came back =(

Overall the floor and furniture all seem clean enough to me. I don’t recall putting my finger onto any icky or dusty spots around the room.


Breakfast & Pantry:

Breakfast is not provided. The only common area is the Hostel’s reception room in level 8 (Room number A802) where there is a single dormitory room and a small living room (photo below). Wi-Fi is available only in the common area. The shared lounge has a flat-screen satellite TV and a Blue-ray player



The hostel is very well located. It is a 5 minute walk from the Kintetsu Yaenosato train station.

The hostel does not have any signboards so look out for this building with an orange “Cowboy” thing.
There is a Japanese restaurant just opposite the building so that can be a landmark too.
Here is a Google map embed for your reference.
While the train station is not on the main JR Line and a little far off from city central, for the price I think it's a really good deal. Because it is on the Kintetsu train line, commuting around also is slightly cheaper if you know how to avoid the JR Lines. From the hostel, Nanba area is a 20-minute train ride and Nara City Centre is a 45-minute train ride. It is a 50-minute train ride to Universal Studios Japan and an 80-minute train ride to Kansai International Airport.
Yaenosato is a nice little neighbourhood and the hostel is close to the heart of this hub. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes around at reasonable prices. There are also a few convenience store, 24 hour book shop, budget stores , pharmacies , 24 hours Karaoke centre and even a traditional styled Bath Centre just around the corner! Oh, and there’s a huge Seiyu on the other side of the train station.


When I was there, I only saw 2 staff. One of them was Mr Hiromu, the elderly owner of the hostel and another young lad also called Hiro. Both of them were very nice and friendly. Hiro (the young guy) was the one with a good command of English and conversations posed no problems. Sadly when I was there, Hiro was still new to the job and area and wasn’t able to give as much travel tips as I hoped. However the guy was mad fun to be around and I really appreciated his presence. Mr Hiromu however, has a limited command of English though he was lovely enough to try his best to speak in a foreign tongue.


I’ve been very lucky with all my travel accommodations by far and this is another one of those lovely little finds! The hostel runs in a very casual manner and doesn’t work like bigger franchise hostels which can be a little unsettling for me in the beginning but I soon came to appreciate it.
The location is lovely! I appreciate being in the midst of real locals, eating in their restaurants and checking out the lovely Bath Centre. Having a hostel so close to the train station was very convenient as it allowed me to stay out later in the night without having to worry about catching another bus after the last train. The very competitive price tag just makes it even more appealing to a budget conscious traveller like myself and I enjoyed staying in this place.  In fact, this place is so good I’m tempted to just keep mum about it so it won’t book out so fast >.<!
Hope you found this review helpful! Remember to leave me a comment if it did, I love hearing from you guys!

I use to book pretty much all my hostels and Hotel stays the past year or so. I've stuck with them because their website is simple, intuitive and highly intelligent, If you download the app on your smartphone, all your hotel information instantly syncs to it and you have all you need to know (maps, directions, agreed price, booking number etc) at the tip of your fingers. It is super useful for long trips as you can book and store all your accommodation information in a single place.

* Just a disclaimer, I earn some commission when you book via the search engine below. It wouldn't come from you but from & the hostee. I would really appreciate it if you do though, as it's a nice way to fund all these unbiased reviews and travel tips. But if you don't want to, of course I won't (be able to) force you to haha. Enjoy travelling!


jaRoukaSama said...

dear, im sorry if this comes off as rude... but seiyu has something to do with refined oils. sentou are bath houses :D

Kaika ( aka Elpheal) said...

Jaroukasama: Hi yuu~ I thought for a long while to understand you lol.

Sorry if this comes off as rude but the Seiyu I mentioned is the Seiyu Group of supermarket/Mall. I referred to the bathcentre as simply bath centre because that's what their signage says XD