If you’re travelling to Japan anytime soon and you’re looking to do it on the cheap, Fukuoka might be one of the best places to stay. There’s even a hotel with rooms for $US1 … but obviously, there’s a catch.
It’s called One Dollar Hotel, and its a particular set of rooms within Asahi Ryokan, a standard ryokan in the Chuo-ku district of Fukuoka. As the site promises, you can book a room for $US1 ($1.47), provided you’re OK with most of your stay being livestreamed.
I say most of your stay being livestreamed, because there’s some obvious caveats. For one, while people can stream you sleeping on YouTube the whole time, there’s no audio — so conversations and the like aren’t recorded.
The rooms have A/C and the regular Wi-Fi you’d expect from a Japanese hotel, although the bath and toilet are shared with other rooms. Each room accommodates up to two people with two single beds, and all visitors are asked not to get naked on camera, hook up, or the regular sorts of things that wouldn’t be allowed on YouTube. (The bathroom isn’t on camera, and guests can naturally turn the light off whenever they like.)
The owner, Tetsuya Inoue, told CNN Travel that he was looking into a new business model to refresh the ryokan, and felt that younger travellers didn’t really care about being filmed on camera, especially if it was for a short period.
When visitors aren’t staying in the hotel, Inoue will livestream himself working in the ryokan’s office. Otherwise, most of the footage looks like what was streamed earlier today: people chilling, eating, watching things on their phone and, eventually, falling asleep.
Would you care about the brutality of YouTube comments and letting people watch you sleep on camera if the room only cost a dollar?
If you want to find out more, you can see all the details and book rooms through the One Dollar Hotel website. And if you want to check out more footage of what it’s like, here’s the One Dollar Hotel YouTube channel.