When you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Tokyo, the choices are endless. However, one hotel that has never failed me is Toyoko Inn (東横イン). I have been to several different branches of the hotel around Japan and they always provide guests with a great service and an awesome breakfast. Let’s take a look at three Toyoko Inn hotels around the country to see why it’s one of Japan’s best hotels.
My first stay in Toyoko Inn was in 2015. I stayed at Toyoko Inn Chubu Kokusai-kuko Honkan Orange Side in Aichi prefecture (愛知県). I was a second timer in Japan and I went back with a friend this time. Our flight from the Philippines arrived into Japan at 7:00 PM and, rather than driving six hours to my aunt and uncle’s in Kiso Fukushima (木曽福島), they decided it would be best for us to stay at a hotel for the first night.
The hotel is located just a five-minute walk from Chubu Centrair International Airport (中部国際空港 セントレア). Its handy location means that the hotel is usually fully booked. As we would be staying there in sakura season at the end of March, I made sure to book a room months ahead of our trip.
The fee for a room for one night was ¥7,020 (tax included). The highlights for me were the robes provided for every customer, as well as facial masks and a comb that you could request from reception. At Toyoko Inn you’ll always find free hair products in sachets which are given to hotels by companies offering samples. This appears to be one of the most common forms of advertising after tissue samples – Smart idea!
As for the room, it was decent and the beds were very comfortable. Shampoo, body soap and a toothbrush were all available in the bathroom. On top of this, there was a good choice of teas and free wifi available in your room.
The only downside was that bottled water wasn’t provided. However, this can be bought from one of the many vending machines or a nearby convenient store, known as a “konbini” (コンビニ) by locals.
On our third day in Japan we went to the city. I have a cousin in the city of Soka in Saitama prefecture (草加市埼玉県) so we decided to stay in Toyoko Inn Soka-eki Nishi-guchi. The rooms were very much the same as what we’d already seen at Toyoko Inn with the same amenities so I had no complaints. This branch was also very close to 7-11 and Soka train station so you can pop over to the station in a couple of minutes.
Our first morning in Japan was celebrated with a great breakfast from Toyoko Inn made up of rice, egg, miso, bread, coffee, juice and mixed vegetables. They also have German wiener sausages which are completely different to the hotdogs you can find in the Philippines. My friend was a big fan of these. Take advantage of this authentic Japanese breakfast because it’s included in the price of your reservation.
When I returned to Japan last August, I was really happy to be back. This time I chose Osaka (大阪) to give me the chance to visit other parts of Japan. I checked the available hotels near Universal Studios and I was lucky to find Toyoko Inn JR Osaka Noda Ekimae, which is just a two to three-minute walk from the train station that brings us straight to Universal Studios. What great luck!
Another benefit to staying at Toyoko Inn is the “Eco Plan”. This is applicable for those who will be staying for two days or more. This plan gives you a 300 yen reduction but your room won’t be cleaned, the bed won’t be made and you won’t receive refills of tea or bathroom sets. However, you can still leave your trash outside the door to be picked up daily and receive a clean towel. Please check more of their guidelines for the Eco Plan at their website.
My aunt sorted out a Toyoko Inn membership card for me since I have a multiple-entry visa, I plan to come back to stay every year. The membership card gives you discounted rates in all Toyoko Inn branches. If you visit their site, you will see the member’s rate and the non-member’s rate, so if you’re planning to visit Japan often, it’s worth investing in.
It goes without saying that there are other cheap hotels available in Japan. However, I don’t like to compromise comfort for the slight difference in room rates. At the end of the day, your body will long for a great shower and comfortable bed. Sleep is very important for tourists like me so you can reset and explore again the following day.
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