A few people have asked where I stay when I go to Japan, since I stay for a longer duration than most vacationers. I am still not as confident as my other friends who do AirBNB, but they tend to stay for short durations 1-2 weeks versus 3-4 weeks that I do.
In Tokyo, I found that Sakura Hotel & Hostel which has five locations in Nippori (near Yanaka), Ikebukuro, Hatagaya (Near Shinjuku/Harajuku and is Muslim friendly as it has a Muslim prayer room), Jimbocho (which I wrote about in 2015) and Asakusa (a backpackers hostel).
In 2016, I chose to stay at a Sakura Hotel & Hostel in Ikebukuro. As much as I love staying in Jimbocho, considering that it is near Tokyo Dome, there were two major reasons why I decided to go to Ikebukuro.
The primary reason is that your hotel room in Ikebukuro has a bathroom inside your hotel room, the one in Jimbocho does not. It’s a shared bathroom.
The second reason is that I wanted something with easier access to the Yamanote Line, the line the train line that encompasses Tokyo, so its much easier to travel. Sakura Hotel & Hostel in Jimbocho is near Jimbocho Station, which is the metro. And riding on the subway, you’ll learn that carrying luggage through steep stairs can get a bit tough.
Those are the primary reasons for me choosing Ikebukuro and also, Ikebukuro is a much more livelier area as Jimbocho is more peaceful (as it’s known as a city for its book shops, thus the name “Book Town”).
When arriving to Sakura Hotel & Hostel in Ikebukuro, you will noticed two buildings. One is where the check in and laundry area is located and the other where the cafe is located. Both buildings have hotels and you will stay at one or the other.
The building where you will check in and maybe stay at.
The other building where you may stay but where most patrons come to eat lunch, breakfast or dinner.
What is convenient about Sakura Hotel & Hostel Ikebukuro is that Ikebukuro Station (West Gate) and the JR Yamanote Line inside the station is not far from the hotel. You also have several 7-11 convenience stores (great for money withdrawals), including a Family Mart and Lawson nearby.
Also just to the left of the hotel is a pharmacy and numerous places to eat. It’s very convenient.
And your room is cleaned (around 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.), where you will find new towels each day. One time I dropped something under the bed and couldn’t reach it, to find the item on top of the table as housekeeping, I suppose when they check under the beds, were able to retrieve it.
They do provide you with slippers and one large towel, one medium size and two small. And you get two pillows.
The place is quite convenient and clean and sure it’s not a four star hotel, but for those on a budget and just want a room that is clean, private and just all you need for your travels, Sakura Hotel & Hostel Ikebukuro is definitely worth it!
For those who want to see what the hotel looks like, you can see it at the tail end of my Random Musings video (go to 15:55):