There are actually no backpackers in Japan. There is a variety of discount accommodation, though nothing quite as cheap. I have always thought there is no better place than Japan for backpackers accommodation so it surprises me that I dont see any. The attractions are:
1. Lack of competition
2. Availability of the Japan Rail pass concession to foreigners
3. Availability of VERY CHEAP foreclosed properties which provides cheap accommodation in Japan.
For more information see my post on Foreclosed Property in Japan. There is a range of locations that suit a backpackers - coasta foreclosed properties, properties in rural areas, ski villages, onsens, and city suburbs. Everything is close to some commercial centre in Japan.
My idea was to establish a web portal to provide a gateway to internet-based bookings. If anyone is interested, let me know. Houses in Japan rent for Y50-60,000 per month ($150/week or $20/night) for a whole place, but I think we could charge $20-30/night per person depending on the location. Some people might only want to rent out for a season. Obviously cheaper for longer rentals.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com
You can view foreclosed properties listed for as little as $US10,000 in Japan thanks to depopulation and a culture that is geared towards working for the state. I bought foreclosed properties in Japan and now I reveal all in our expanded 200-page report. The information you need to know, strategies to apply, where to get help, and the tools to use. We even help you avoid the tsunami and nuclear risks since I was a geologist/mining finance analyst in a past life. Check out the "feedback" in our blog for stories of success by customers of our previous reports.