To my understanding, Kagelow was once an old Japanese inn turned into a modern day hostel for backpackers. It was a 10 minutes walk from Kawaguchiku station, depending on which way your Google maps takes you. Kagelow was located smack between Mount Fuji and Kawaguchiko Lake and on two of the three mornings I was there, I could glimpse the mountain from my dormitory bed.
Because I was early and my room was unoccupied for the first night, I was able to check-in early. Good thing too because outside, Typhoon Lan was about to hit Japan and brought with it a downpour of never ending rain. My plans for the rest of the day was moot but all was not lost because Kagelow had a in-house cafe which offered coffee and tea and at 5pm turned into a restaurant, Toe Bar and Restaurant that offered a menu of Italian and Japanese food.
For the rest of the afternoon and evening, I parked myself there to get some work done while binge watching a couple of series. I ended up enjoying their Carbonara pasta for dinner with a side of umeshu.
Outside of the restaurant's operating hours, guests are allowed to hang out there and chill with their food and drinks. On two mornings, I enjoyed their predetermined breakfast set at 500yen which consisted of bread, cheese (damn good cheese), salad and the yummiest sweet potato mash I've ever tried. It also came with a cup of coffee or tea, brewed in-house.
My room was in the women's dormitory, right above the lobby area with a shared toilet. The pantry and the showers were on the first floor beside the lobby and only accessible to the hostel guests. The hostel also offers a mix dormitory on the first floor as well.
Towels and basic amenities are available for rent and purchase. On my second day there, I rented a bicycle for a steal, 500yen for the whole day and used it to explore the lake.
If you're lucky, you might be able to see the resident hostel stray cat. I only saw her once during my stay there and that was when I was about to go out for my morning run. Damn, she was even harder to spot than Mount Fuji but she was just so cute!
Interestingly, when the hostel was renovated, wood from old Japanese houses that were built 150 years ago were used throughout its interior. This added to the very zen-like atmosphere of wood and stone. I even got to practice my ninja skill, treading lightly on the wood boards because they would creak with each steps. Mind you though that because of the materials, you might be able to hear every door slide, footstep and sometimes voices from the hallways and other rooms.
There are two convenient marts about a five minutes walk in away, a Family Mart in the direction of the lake and a 7-Eleven in the direction of Mount Fuji. There was also a shopping mall after the 7-Eleven and even better yet for shoppers on a budget, an Off-House aka secondhand stuff for a steal. It was just across the road from the mall.
My mother who saw all my instastories during my trip there made me promise we would stay at Kagelow when I brought her to Kawaguchiko. That was a promise that was easy to keep because I have fallen in love with it. I paid about RM120 per night for the female dormitory room and booked it via Booking.com. You can find out more via their website.
Here's the video of my very wet arrival to Kawaguchiko Lake after missing my train.