I will be honest. The main reason I picked Saruya Hostel to stay at in Fujiyoshida, Japan was its location - right in front of the iconic historical street framing Mount Fuji. The aesthetically pleasing interior built within a renovated 80-year old Japanese-style house and Muji-like decors were plus points.
The hostel is just a 10 minutes walk from Shimoyoshida Station, which makes it easy to access from Shinjuku, Tokyo and to explore the surrounding area including Chureito Pagoda and Lake Kawaguchiko. Mount Fuji (Fujisan) station is in the opposite direction and convenient for catching a train or bus back to Tokyo.
Saruya Hostel is a great place to stay if you're a solo traveller looking for a unique and affordable place to stay in Fujiyoshida. The hostel offers a variety of amenities including laundry and bicycle rental. The hostel also has a common area where guests can relax, socialize and help themselves to complimentary tea and coffee. The staff at Saruya Hostel are friendly and helpful, always greeting me with a smile whenever I ran into them.
Saruya Hostel consist of two buildings and offers a variety of different room types to choose from, including dormitories, private rooms, and family rooms - all with access to shared bathrooms and kitchens. My room in the back building - a twin room with a shared bathroom was clean, comfortable and spacious. When it got too cold for me, I had a heater in a corner which took a while to figure out.
A little trick I learnt while in Hokkaido was to hang my clothes and blanket near or over the heater (whichever is safest, let's not try to set the building on fire) and it will be warm and toasty by the time I needed it.
In addition to its great location and comfortable accommodations, Saruya Hostel also offers a variety of activities for guests to enjoy. The hostel has a bicycle rental program, and it also offers free Wi-Fi and added breakfast at its sister cafe, FabCafe Fuji just up the road.
If I were to ever make a return trip to Fujiyoshida be it for a Mount Fuji hunting trip or just to enjoy the old town feel, I would re-stay at Saruya Hostel. I booked my stay on Booking.com for 12,000 yen (approx RM388) for two nights in a private room with sharing bathroom.