My default choice for accommodations during a trip is almost always a hostel. Hostels are cheaper, they usually come with free breakfast and whether you want to or not, you get to meet people from all around the world. If you’re lucky, the hostel you choose is sooooo cool and wonderfully designed that it’s forever branded as awesome in your memory (case in point: Hostel 64 Osaka).
With that said, the same principle applied to my recent trip in Japan. I was set to spend four nights in RetroMetro Backpackers. Unfortunately, they had emailed back to me and told me they’d be closed for two weeks starting on the day that I would arrive. So the search for accommodations continued, and I ended up choosing this wonderful budget ’boutique’ ryokan in Taito-ku.