Hostel on the site of a former Japanese onsen (spa). Not 100% veg but when you order in advance, the English-speaking host will make a veggie pizza for dinner and vegan pancakes with fruit or muesli for breakfast. Formerly Zen Hostel. more-less
2254-7 Minami Okorogawa
Nikko, Japan


First Review by Nancy Cadet
  • vegan

A Really Great Experience

Posted on 09 / 16 / 2015

Staying at this hostel was awesome. When you stay here, the service you recieve isn't like a hostel. It feels like you're staying at a very hospitable bed & breakfast, but paying the low price of a hostel, which is just amazing.

I called to tell Scout before I came that I was vegan– and after that he never once forgot. Many people who have hosted me in various settings in the past have forgotten about me being vegan, but Scout never did. I appreciated so much never having to worry about that.

He adjusted all the food he was offering to others at the hostel to my needs. He made me two days of awesome vegan pancakes with nuts for breakfast (nuts in Japan are expensive!) and gave me really delicious muesli with soymilk one day, all for free. I also ordered a personal veggie pizza from him one night. He makes it entirely himself, and it too was super delicious and satisfying.

On top of all the great food I recieved from him, the hostel itself is extremely nice. I slept in the 8-person room with bunk beds. Everything- the pillows, the blankets, the mattress- were so comfortable! I slept great. He will provide blankets, sheets, and a pillow for your for free! You can also request a towel to use also free.

The common room inside on the second floor of the hostel is very spacious, quiet, and ambient. I really enjoyed spending time there. You can use the one Mac computer Scout has there in the common room for free. There is also free, easily-accessed high-speed internet everywhere around and inside the hostel, which was awesome!

Scout also, as other reviewers have said, offers plenty of maps for you to look at and use to plan your trips around Nikko.

In terms of the setting of this hostel, is very deeply set inside a foresty terrain with a large river on one side. For this reason, you have to wait for Scout to take you by car into the main area of Nikko. If you want to get your days started early, make sure to work out that (and your breakfast time) with Scout the day before. Otherwise you might end up waiting until around 11:00am before leaving with everyone else to go into Nikko and explore!

For a hostel, this experience was amazing. I was expecting so much less because of the price I was paying (only $35 a night) and the fact that it is supposed to be a hostel, but I was blown away. Thank you Scout!!

Pros: Amazing service- remembers you are veg*n, Free breakfast, internet, & sheets, Low price yet comfortable & high quality
Cons: Difficult to get early morning depart.
  • vegan

Pure Hospitality & The Best Vegan Pancakes This Side of the Pacific

Posted on 11 / 07 / 2014

With a kind host and a clean, comfortable, and welcoming environment, my trip to Nikko was made all the more merrier at SPACE Riverhouse. Definitely going to try and make it back out there during the summer to swim in the river!

And a note on the vegan thing: I called ahead about my dietary needs/allergies and the host was very gracious about listing ingredients and coming up with alternatives. The blueberry vegan pancakes were better than the ones they serve at Ain Soph in Ginza!

Pros: Shuttle service to and from the station/destinatio, Assistance in planning itinerary/awesome recommend, Great location on the river
Nancy Cadet
Nancy Cadet
  • vegan

Tranquil setting, great host, wonderful stay

Posted on 10 / 20 / 2013

location: on riverside in Nikko . The host will pick up/drop off guests at train /bus station for Nikko UNESCO sites & national park. Has private rooms & bath or dorm beds. Well heated, also has air con.

Food & ambiance: with advance notice, owner Scout will prepare veg-topped pizza, vegan pancakes & provide muesli , soy milk, fruit, yogurt. A lounge, tea kettle and green tea always available for guests. We stayed two wonderful nights, took advantage of host's excellent advice & maps for seeing the area, both town and national park, and one evening brought back vegan meals from Nikko restaurant Asian Garden: dal, curry, salads, nan. Site is perfect for JR pass holders, tourists and hikers. It's not on Main Street of Nikko, so be prepared for pick up/drop off in town, which worked well for us.
Updated from previous review on Sunday October 20, 2013

Pros: Beautiful greenery & river, Friendly English speaking host, Warm, comfortable rooms


This business supports the service that HappyCow provides :o)


If you are the Owner of a listing on this site, we invite you to join our highly successful Priority Friend program today. click for details >>



Dear Owner and Manager of SPACE Riverhouse:

While your business is currently a free listing on HappyCow, there is so much more we can do to further promote your business to the millions who visit this site every year.

Enjoy more...

Here's how you can take advantage of HappyCow's Internet popularity:

Your sponsorship will keep the HappyCow service strong on the Internet. Thank you.



Last updated: 2014/11/26


Added: 2013/10/19


Added by: Nancy Cadet