The APA hotel chain is a ubiquitous business hotel chain in Japan. They are present in most of the major cities in Japan, with 47 hotels in the Kanto area alone. APA stands for Always Pleasant Amenities. It does sort of living up to its name if what you are seeking is no-frills nice amenities and clean surroundings for your temporary stay in a Japanese city.
APA hotels are good for value places for a short-term stay in Japan. They are catered mainly for your regular salaryman and for those on short local trips. Like a lot of hotels, they are on the small side, but almost always impeccably clean and nicely furnished. If you do not mind the lack of space, APA hotels are definitely a cost-effective way to sleep at night during your trip in Japan.
One thing that set them apart from the other hotel chains is the marketing. The president of the hotel chain, Fumiko Motoya (who is also the wife of the founder Toshio) features as the model in all the APA hotel advertisements. While pleasant looking enough, she is not quite your typical model face, so her presence in these ads is jarring enough to gain quite a lot of attention. It is a publicity tactic that has apparently worked well for them, for they have grown into one of the biggest chains in Japan. The use of Fumiko in their publicity campaigns extends to the house curry they sell at the lobby in case guests get hungry.
Speaking of strange hotel goods, APA hotels also used to sell book collections of right-wing political essays. The founder is a well-known right-winger in Japan keen on historical revisionism and contributes to newspapers his opinions on sensitive matters like Japanese self-defense force, war history, and nuclear energy. Whatever your views on his extremist views, APA hotels remain very sanitized, very standard facilities for your stay in Japan.
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