Are the hostels in Asia different than they are in Europe?
In places that cater to tourists there will almost always be someone who speaks English almost anywhere.
Regarding facilities, I have no experience in Japan but there's no need to go looking for hostels in Thailand as there are guesthouses with private rooms in price ranges for everyone, from just a few dollars up. You cannot compare prices in much of Asia with prices in Europe with few exceptions. Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong - yes, but once you venture out of the first world cities there is no comparison.