Alright, this is my first hotel review but you may have seen Rachel’s from a few days ago where she reviewed the Monkey Hotel. In my last post “First Impressions in Tokyo” I mentioned the hotel we stayed at near Ueno and Akihabara, Hotel MyStays Ochanomizu.
When Rachel and I travel we like to spend a couple of nights in a really nice hotel. In order to be able to afford nice hotels, we try to offset the cost by spending some time in cheaper hotels for part of the trip. We prefer to start our trip in the cheapest hotel, and progressively stay in nicer hotels so we have more to look forward to. Therefore, when we went to Japan, we stayed in a cheaper hotel while in Tokyo. I understand that the hotels we stay in may not be considered cheap by a lot of people our age, and we could save a lot by staying in hostels, but since getting married hostels have lost a lot of appeal.
While planning trips, the first thing we look for in the reviews is whether or not it is clean. Rachel and I are willing to forgive a lot as long as a hotel doesn’t give us bedbugs. We settled on Hotel MyStays Ochanomizu after reading reviews because it was in a great location for us (near the Akihabara train station), it seemed to be clean and had generally good reviews, and charged approximately 100$ a night in April which is very reasonable considering we went during prime tourism season for cherry blossom viewing.
Hotel MyStays Ochanomizu is a clean, modest, cheap hotel. If you are looking for a 5 star hotel, this is not it, but if all you are looking for is a clean comfortable place to sleep I would recommend the stay. The hotel is located across the river from Akihabara and is roughly a 7 minute walk from Akihabara station which is 600m away. We had no difficulties carrying our luggage from the station to the hotel. The location was quiet and seemed to be in a business district. We never noticed sounds from the streets at night. The area felt safe, though we never noticed a place in Japan that didn’t – except maybe our wild boar encounter in Hakone…but we’ll talk about that in a later post. A drawback is that you really aren’t within walking distance of much aside from Akihabara, though Tokyo is so big you will never be able to walk everywhere. But because you are near the train station, Tokyo is easily accessible. There was also a family mart (convenience store) attached to the hotel which was great for picking up light meals, water and late night snacks. We will need to do a post on convenience stores later.
Upon arrival, the staff were polite and friendly and knew enough English that check in was a breeze. We went up to our room which was clean and well organized. The views from the window were unimpressive and during the day, construction was happening on a roof near our window. The sounds never bothered us though. We did not spend much time in the hotel beyond sleeping. If you intend to spend much time in your room, I wouldn’t recommend this hotel as it is so small. While showering I had to duck slightly, not only to get my head under the faucet, but because my head touched the roof. If you are under 6 feet, this should not be an issue.
The bed is listed as a double, which is probably more comparable to a twin in North America. Fortunately my wife and I like each other, and being jet lagged, were able to sleep no problem. We may have had trouble sleeping in this size of a bed for the whole trip, but for a few nights, we were quite comfortable. The bed was comfortable otherwise and would be great for a single person. The room itself is quite small and we had to put the suitcases on the bed just to open them. Despite the size, the room had everything we needed: a bed, a washroom, and good internet.
Hotel MyStays Ochanomizu met all of our needs and I would consider staying here again in the future. However, I would imagine most hotels at this price point would be similar. There was nothing particularly special about this hotel.
I would recommend this hotel to anyone who is travelling on a budget and wants a private room and bath. It has everything you need and is close to a train station.
I would not recommend this to someone who is looking for a room where they intend to spend any waking hours. Space can be an issue here and wouldn’t be appropriate for families or more than two people (and for two people, you will need to enjoy cuddling!)