We spent the first few nights of our trip at this Western style hotel on the southern fringes of Asakusa. It's nothing fancy, and our room was on the small side (as is common in Japan), but it's in a very good location just 10 minutes' walk from the temple of Senso-ji.
Unfortunately for weary travellers the hotel has a check-in time of 16.00 so when we arrived late morning we could do little more than leave our bags and head out again to start sight-seeing. But when we returned later we got a friendly welcome, some soft drinks and toiletries as "gifts" (including a gel that claimed to be able turn my "ugly body" into one fit to be seen at celeb parties - yes, really!) and even the offer of a sterilised nightgown!
Our room was on the tenth floor but had no view other than of the wall of the next-door building. It was dominated by a large, comfortable bed, and we had everything else we needed for our stay too, including a bathroom with shower, washbasin and fancy Japanese toilet (heated seat, spray washes etc). There was a mini-bar, TV, hair dryer, kettle for tea-making and even slippers. But storage was minimal - I wouldn't want to spend more than a few days here.
Breakfast is served in the lobby area and is a small but adequate buffet of mainly Japanese items (miso soup, rice) but also small pastries and slices of cake. The coffee was almost strong enough for my taste, and we supplemented the included breakfast with juice from the inevitable vending machine (100¥ for a generous can of orange or apple Tropicana).
Next tip: a much-needed cup of coffee
This chain hotel is in an excellent location if you want to explore the bright lights of Tokyo. Step outside and you are immediately immersed in the non-stop 24 hour life of Shinjuku, one of Tokyo's liveliest districts. You are also only a few minutes' walk from the station of the same name with excellent connections within and beyond the city, and from the airport bus stop.
The bedrooms are small, as everywhere in Japan - and, again as everywhere, have everything you might need to make your stay comfortable: tea-making, TV (with, rare here, BBC World News channel), hair dryer, toiletries, robes and slippers. One small criticism is that although the beds are comfortable and the bed linen crisp and white, it is a bit too crisp - every time Chris turned over in bed the rustling noise woke me up! There is good free wifi in the rooms and I think I spotted some public use PCs in the lobby.
A buffet breakfast was included in our rate, with both Western and Japanese options available. I have to confess that after several days of very traditional breakfasts in our ryokan in Kamikochi we both fell on the cereal, croissants and bacon and eggs with some relief! The coffee was good and there was also fresh orange juice, so we breakfasted well. But the breakfast service only starts at 7.00 AM (late for a hotel that targets business travellers) so on the day of our departure we had to go without as we had to leave for the airport around that time.
When we stayed here for a second night, just before our return home, it was raining so we decided to eat in the hotel's restaurant where we got an OK pasta dish, salad and garlic bread at a special hotel guests' rate of 1,100¥ - good value, if fairly uninspiring. The hotel also has a small bar area where we had a farewell drink with some of our tour companions on the night before most of them left. Prices were reasonable for a hotel and the selection of drinks OK too.
But before that there was time for a final meal together of tasty udon noodles.
We recently stayed at the APA Hotel Shibuya-Dogenzaka-Ue, located about a 10 minute walk from Shibuya Station, and even closer to Shinsen Station. Rooms were only 8,800 Yen a night on jalan.net, a great rate for central Tokyo.
The front lobby was clean and modern, with a friendly staff. We tried to pay using their check in booths, but they had trouble accepting my US credit card, so we checked in the old fashioned way, in person. The rooms were tiny, with bathrooms about the size you'd expect to see on an airplane, and beds barely wide enough for two people. Also, the view from our room was poor, looking directly into the wall of a neighboring building 3 meters away. Otherwise, the hotel was good, with large screen TVs, refrigerators and WiFi in each room, comfortable beds (with hard pillows), and friendly staff.
APA is an acronym that stands for Always Pleasant Amenity. There are 74 hotels in the chain, with nearly 17,000 rooms across Japan.
Location on Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/92cWG.
After missing my flight I chose to stay overnight at the airport. The hostels that I saw online were around $50 and most of them only had men's dorms :-( They will not let you stay in the gate area so I had to fill out customs forms and proceed into the baggage claim area. There were about 20 people also staying overnight at the airport and they only let us stay in this one sitting (meeting) area in baggage claim. They had a security officer standing by all night and took down all of our names, passport numbers and departing flights. The seats were cushioned so I had a good sleep :-)
Very cheap, clean and modern looking hotel. Staff are friendly and very helpful.
7min walk from Ikebukuro's west exit.
Downside? The rooms are so painfully small.
There is literally no space to even open your luggage.
The room is about 9-10m2 and comes with an ensuite and extremely small cubical unit toilet.
Great for those with a tight budget and picky with cleanliness.
But i really would not recommend it if you are not small in size.
Modern, clean and not cramped for reasonable prices.
Toilets are for once not the modular plastic cramped little spaces usually seen in most non-luxury city hotels.
Staff can speak english.
5min walk from JR Ikebukuro Stn. Lots and lots of food surrounding the area.
The coin laundry facility is really useful (so you can pack light!)
**For some reason it is cheaper to book in Japanese than in English on some occasions.
I was a little apprehensive when my daughter (22) booked this as our accommodation for our first trip to Tokyo, but is was cheap & her point was the less we spend on somewhere to stay the more she's have to spend on herself.
We knew before we arrived that although they call themselves a guesthouse, they are more a backpackers hostel. I'm pretty easy going & because we were to have our own room & not a dorm I was happy. The toilet & shower facilities are shared, but they have these on every floor & they were kept very clean.
There was a small communal area on the ground floor with a basic kitchen set up, & to be fair as long as you wrote your name on your food no one touched it. We only ate breakfast or had coffee here but the staff & other guests were all really friendly, even though I was old enough to be their mum LOL. On one of the last days we were there we were court in a typhoon, all the shops & restaurants etc were closing up & people were rushing home in high wind & torrential rain. We spent the night & into the early hours of the morning (I went to bed around 530 am & my daughter followed at 730 am sitting around getting drunk & running back & forth to the only shop open - the 7 - 11 opposite.
This is a fairly standard Japanese business hotel, and as such is quite reasonably priced by Tokyo standards. Rooms are clean enough, and there are a number of convenience stores and restaurants in the general area. It is also a short walk to Hamamatsu-cho railway station, either for the monorail to Haneda airport or the Yamanote line.
We managed to get a room for the 3 of us for around 9000 yen a night, so very affordable by Tokyo hotel standards. If you don't need luxury then this is a good well located option.
>> If you are looking at longer term (over 1 month) stay, one of the more popular
>> foreigner rental agency companies are
>> Sakura House: http://www.sakura-house.com/en/?gclid=CPbfmvWVxq4CFYyDpAodDyap5w
Sakura House is a very decent indeed. Stayed there myself for several years (4 different locations)! Very reasonably priced (around 70 000 yen/month), easy to deal with and clean houses. If you ever go to Japan again I would recommend them.
it was perfect.
Location is perfect, staff are so freindly, breakfast is just enough and delecious. free ramen from 9,30.
BUTTTTTT onsen is inconvinent since it have women and men shift.
Beds from 1500 Yen, not far from Toei Asakusa Line (direct trains with Keikyu Line using Toei Asakusa Line tracks to Haneda airport, 400 Yen, Yokohama 560 Yen and to Narita airport) Ginza Line and Tobu Line (for Nikko) station.
I second the Sunroute Shimbashi! @SP recommended it to me for my September 2011 visit to Tokyo and I was very pleased with it! The room is small but had everything you need - even a bath tub and tea making facilities! It even has a ladies' floor with extra amenities for ladies! ;-)
I could see Tokyo Tower from my window. The hotel is also very close to the Shimbashi station and walking distance to Ginza! Food in the area is plentiful and wonderful! And there's a Wilson's connected to the ground floor of the hotel via an internal door.
Since I had no advance booking, when I arrived to Japan, I had to find something fast.
They had very friendly staff and it is also a great place to meet people- I did:)
Since you'll be going with a friend, and I guess even if you weren't, I'd recommend Weekly Mansions. They are a Japanese chain and offer daily/weekly/monthly rooms and rates to match. They often have promotions in their less convenient locations, and by less convenient, I mean add a few minutes walk to the nearest subway, or in that they are placed in a primarily residential 'hood. I've stayed in a bunch of them, actually within the past year and six years ago, and even though there isn't daily housekeeping (which I don't need at all), I've had a room as cheap as around US$40 per night near Ebisu, and $45 by Kameido (a ways out to the east, but from where it is easy to reach the electronics district, Akihabara (Akiba).
They have an English website as well, and one nice feature is that you make the booking online, but pay for everything at the specific Weekly Mansion when you get there. Do be mindful though that they don't necessarily have a 24-hour reception desk.
In general I like the Sunroute chain, so it is not surprising to see that their usual standard is maintained in the Shinbashi location. This hotel has everything you need, very comfortable rooms, with excellent design (furniture and lighting both), good linens and toiletries, clean bathrooms, and sharp staff. Shimbashi is an excellent transportation hub, offering endless food and drink experiences. For the East side of the Yamanote, you can't beat the location. It is important to understand that this a business hotel first, not a tourist hotel, so you won't find rooms for 3 or more people. A double room is the same size as a single room, which means that for many Westerners, the room will feel small. The positive aspect of this is that the price is very reasonable so spreading yourself across a couple of rooms (and having the privacy) is still cheaper than a larger room for multiple people at another hotel.
If your budget is around Y10000/night, then you will do well to stay at the Sunroute Shinbashi.
Built in 2008. Exciting urban design. Excellent transportation hub. Extremely good value for money.
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