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“Worth the loss of space”

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APA Hotel Shibuya Dogenzakaue
Ranked #16 of 29 Hotels / Ryokan in Shibuya
Reviewed 2 October 2013

Small but extremely convenient. A 3-4 minute walk to be at Shibuya crossing and the hustle and bustle is just right out APA's doors. Clean towels and water were out out the door everyday if you leave the 'do not disturb' sign on your door.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Vincent M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 September 2013

Some general tourist stuff first:

Once you learn the road layout, you realise the Hotel is not so much at the other end of the street to the rail station, but actually the right end of the street to the Maruyamacho / Chome 2 club scene and Dogenzaka1/ Chome 1 bars. The walk to Scramble crossing, Bunkamura-dori and Center-Gai is really about 10-15 minutes, but there are plenty of things in between. If you are uber lazy there is an underground rail station about 100 metres down Dogenzaka street you're staying on.

Mark City is about 5 mins and is the easy way to get to the station and the crossing in air conditioned comfort and escalators. Book activities through Keio travel in the Mark City East bldg. level 1. Tourist information tenancy is also in Mark City West Building on the right hand side as you come in from the APA Hotel end. Knowing Mark City layout before you arrive can save you aching legs and perspiration as you trundle your baggage from Shibuya rail station to the hotel.

The rail system is a combination of competing owners like in England and they offer different enticements. But if you are coming from say Narita airport get yourself a Suica card and open return trip ticket. The Suica card gives you discount train travel while in Japan and can be used as money in (some participating) stores. The Japan Rail (JR) is the most obvious service available to travellers. There is a "Triangle" ticket that Tokyu Corp sell that lets your traverse their lines for cheap too. Make sure you catch the Narita "Express" or Haneda "Express" trains, otherwise you'll be on that train for hours to and from your airport; don't be too quick to board the first train to see.

If you want western cuisine to keep your weight on, use the British Pubs for food. Shibuya Chuo-gai street area has some great boutique eateries, even a basement dwelling basement one named Ankara that has belly dancers if you are lucky. Don't be afraid to explore the eateries on the floors above and below street level, space in Japan is at a premium and street access doesn't mean you get the best food. The Italian and Indian food is surprisingly OK. I didn't see a Singapore/Malay restaurant handy, but there is probably a couple somewhere. Of course there are the big three American "restaurants" handy if you want some fast "food?".

Underneath the rail station is a "Food Show" grocery and prepared food store. You can find lots of different staple hot and cold foods, cakes, salads, cereals, etc. It's like a down beat David Jones food bizarre. Finding somewhere in Shibuya to sit down and eat your meal is another thing, but I just sat under the trees at the Scramble crossing and watched the humanity.

Just down the hill from the hotel and across the street is a small store that has import foods and drinks.

The beer is pretty much Kirin, although there are pubs which have bottled favourites from Oz, USA and Europe. The British themed pubs have fairly reasonable selections, but being a tourist means trying the local scenes. If you want to escape into bar, pub telly is rather boring, dedicated mostly to English Federation Football (soccer), unlike the multiple screens with multiple different sports and codes showing that are found in many bars in other cities around the world.

If you want to draw money from your Visa, you will have success at three location types: at 711 store ATMs, at Japan Bank ATMs and at Citicorp around Center - Gai street precinct. The ATMs at the "Family " and "Lawson" convenience stores won't dispense money from Visa or M/Cards. There is a 711 just down the road from APA Hotel and a JB ATM diagonally across the intersection from the same 711. All eateries and stores seem to accept credit card purchases, but they haven't come up to speed with Paypass, so expect to pin and sign.


Hotel APA is clean, inviting and the staff are very pleasant. The cleaners say hello with a bow and a smile and the rooms are serviced every day. If you are a westerner you might find the Patisserie, Starbucks, Food Show, etc down at Mark City are more to your breakfast liking. There's a nice little bar at the front of the Hotel where you can have a tipple before going off to bed.

The room is expectedly cramped, but it works. The air conditioning is a ceiling split you can adjust, once you have a card in the occupied socket inside the room; seasoned travellers know what I'm saying. Tokyo get's pretty hot and humid, even in Autumn so air conditioning is a must. My bed was really comfortable and the pillows high quality. The windows are double glazed so there is negligible road and city noise.

There is no free to air programs on the television, which is disappointing if you like to see what the locals are watching, especially those highly energetic and frenetic shows the Eastern cultures seem to excel at . You can pay a modest 1000 yen to have movies and content streamed to the television for long time. There is a reasonable free wireless internet which provides average signal strength, enough to handle Skype and Viber and a bit of low grade streaming. A free native language or English language newspaper is available on a stand in the foyer each morning; as with most Asian countries the print news is generally much better scripted, wordsmithed and news worthy then the pulp fiction found in USA and Australia. Cable doesn't seem to have made headway into Japan yet.

As with most of Japan, you are encouraged to recycle waste by using the non combustible and combustible bins in the room. You will notice there are very few waste bins in Tokyo streets, so take a carry bag with you incase. There are generally bins outside the convenience stores if you get frustrated. You quickly get the vibe that Japanese culture doesn't like to waste anything and ceremony and procedure is a great way to make a meal, for instance, seem more substantial than it is.

The laundry is a 300 yen coin operated washing machine that does not require detergent, The drier is a small coin operated tumble unit that cost me 200 yen for a small load. You should consider taking a small iron for your clothes, although the hotel will loan you one that isn't all that flash performance wise. One of two pants press near the lift makes a handy ironing board.

Nice little Hotel. My only two very minor disappointments were lack of common area air conditioning and the breakfast choice. But the good was far greater than the bad and it was really great not to have the smell of cigarettes, especially the pungent and infuriating stale stink that so many Asian and American rooms smell off.

It doesn't profess to be six star, but it's better than what I've seen some hotels offer up as four star. Sure the rooms are cramped, but that's Tokyo and better than having a one bed room with a community bathroom and toilet; besides we are supposed to be out and about getting tourist bang for our hard earned bucks, not shut in a room. It's modern, spartan and efficient and that's why I rate it.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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5  Thank Chas W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2013

The APA Hotel Shibuya Dogenzaka-Ue is a good, not great hotel. It does the job. The staff is friendly and helpful. The modern contemporary rooms are comfortable if small; but then aren't all hotel rooms in Tokyo small? I don't think anyone will be wowed by this hotel; this falls under affordable and functional, not luxurious or glamorous. You won't find a hot "hotel scene" here, but step out the door and you're in the heart of Shibuya!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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Thank rscottwallace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2013

We stayed here for a long weekend at the end of our Japanese adventure. It is well located at the top of a small hill about 10 minutes walk from the JR station. The hotel is modern and functional with well equipped rooms and although it was the smallest room we stayed in on our trip, the rooms didn't seem small by Japanese standards. We didn't eat in the hotel so can't comment on the food but there are literally hundreds of bars and restaurants within a 10 minute walk. The staff were friendly although you might have to wait a while for the lift! It was a great place from which to see the sights of Tokyo and finish off our trip.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CatR22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2013

The rooms are pretty compact but the hotel is right on the doorstep of hectic Shibuya. It is about 10 minutes walk from the station which can be tricky to traverse with the bustling crowds especially if you have suitcases. It is decent value for the centre of Tokyo and provides all that you need - good TV with on demand, excellent wifi, vending machines and laundry. It is right next door to a couple of convenience stores and has a decent sized fridge so you can stock up with whatever takes your fancy. The rooms are comfortable, the shower is good, only mild moan is the cleaning was slightly erratic, but nothing too concerning. On the whole this is a good value functional hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled solo
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Thank simcfro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2013

This Hotel was the best value in all of Japan in the best area in all of Japan. Shibuya is the most entertaining place in the country. It’s the time square of Tokyo including the “scramble” crossing, Shibuya 109 and all the fun clubs and bars. There is everything you need from restaurants to electronics within 5 minutes walking distance. It’s the hip younger area of Tokyo with access to all the subway and JR lines. The hotel is in the heart of the action. An ideal location close to everything you need. The area is also much safer and friendlier than Shinjuku or Ropungi.
The hotel staff was super friendly although their English was not amazing (very few people speak functional English in Japan). Be prepared to speak VERY slowly and using very simple language if you want people to understand you in this country. As a native English speaker you don’t realize how fast you are speaking.
The staff was so kind that that when I checked out they offered an umbrella as a gift so I wouldn’t have to walk to the subway station (5 minutes away) in the rain!
The rooms are new, impeccably clean and very efficiently organized. Yes, the rooms are tiny but the only problem it posed was with luggage. If you are bringing a large suitcase it will be hard to keep in open somewhere in the room without having to squish past it to go to the washroom. Alternatively you can keep it closed and upright and open it on the bed when you need to pull something out.
Otherwise the bathroom is also tiny but amazing! It has one of those incredible Japanese toilets that clean your bum (complete with massage settings and special cleaning settings for girls).
It has both a deep tub and a shower. The settings on the water supply do take some getting used to as the flow is directed by the same knobs for the shower tub and sink!.
Slippers are left for you in the rooms and origami art greets you on the bed. The pillow was the best I have ever seen. I don’t usually like feather but this one was amazing! Super firm, slammer in size but perfect! The bed was large and super comfy pillow top.
Internet access was free and the lighting and amenities in the room were above average.
The decoration in the lobby and elevator was very sexy and upscale.
This hotel is a gem. Five stars aren’t enough. It is an amazing find.
TIPs: if you are from North America you will only be able to use the ATMs at 7 Eleven. Your card won’t work at banks and other shops. There is a 7 eleven just down the street from this hotel.
Also, although Japan has the same electrical outlets as North America it doesn’t have the first prong (grounding) for a laptop. You will need an adapter to go from three prongs to two.
Japan rail lines are usually faster than the subway. These are two separate systems and they require separate payment. Japan Rail (JR) is the rail system also connected to the bullet train. If you have a JR pass you can ride this system for free. It’s more convenient than the subway for many destinations.
Finally, if you are a single English speaking male you will be approached by very aggressive (foreign) prostitutes on the street late at night. If you can walk with a girl you will avoid this harassment. (The prostitutes will walk up to you and ask you if you want explicit services). It’s annoying. Just ignore them.
In any case the clubs and streets here are way friendlier than North American and way safer. This area is the best in Tokyo. Avoid Shinjuku and Roppongi at night unless you miss the usual crowds of dumb Westerners being vulgar, dunk and violent. Those other areas also have migrant workers bouncing at clubs which seem like bad news. Stay at the APA hotel, stay in Shibuya at night and stay safe and entertained.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled solo
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5  Thank wanderingyahud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2013

Considering the super convenient location, it is reasonable but I won't say that it is cheap.
Generally speaking, the location is excellent, it is in the middle of Shibuya but it is not super close to JR Shibuya Station. You have to walk up a slightly slope ( not steep, no worries) Jinsen Station of Keio Inokashira line is the closest station. Having said that, changing lines would be more complicated, besides, it is pretty much walkable from JR Shibuya Station.

There is a convenience store next to it (LAWSON) but you will see 7 Eleven and more. Breakfast was not included for my stay but there are many eateries around the hotel ( of course, it is Shibuya !) , even in the morning, you still have some choice to eat.

Single room is quite small, but it is Shibuya, I can accept it. You can have free wifi, lots of TV channel and free newspaper. There is a pants presser on corridor ( I think it is equipped each floor)
For you to use slippers inside of your room. they prepare disposable slippers sheets so that we feel clean and comfy, it is a nice idea.
Bathroom is a typical Japanese styled-bath (Unit Bath), meaning way too small. There is automatic water level controller equipped, if you fill the bathtub with hot water, water will stop running halfway. You can control the water temperature, so it is quite OK bathroom although it is small.

APA hotel expanded its business so quickly, it means they do a good business. I somehow understand. The quality with this reasonable price. I will recommend APA hotel

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
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Thank mamacita1001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about APA Hotel Shibuya Dogenzakaue

Address: 20-1 Maruyamacho, Shibuya 150-0044, Tokyo Prefecture
Region: Japan > Kanto > Tokyo Prefecture > Tokyo > Shibuya > Shibuya / Harajuku / Ebisu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 29 Hotels / Ryokan in Shibuya
Price Range: £67 - £184 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — APA Hotel Shibuya Dogenzakaue 3*
Number of rooms: 173
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APA Hotel Shibuya Dogenzakaue Tokyo

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