This is a wonderful hotel with super friendly staff. I wanted a non-smoking hotel in Japan and this place is great for clean-air breathers. It's super clean inside. I felt the need to tidy up before I left on my daily rounds!
It's right next to Kinshicho Station (the second "I" is silent, by the way..."KIN-SHO") and you can quickly walk to a couple metro lines, and be at the big Tokyo Station in eight minutes. From there, Japan is yours. Also, there's a long direct metro to Narita Airport (though you do have to change in Narita to get to the terminals). Or you can just go to Tokyo Station and take the superfast Nex train right to the airport. Use the public transport here. It's rather complex, but rather easy once you get the hang of it. And the locals and the metro staff are always willing to help. They are super nice.
The room size is what I'd expect in a decent NYC business hotel. There's a shower room and tub (you're supposed to shower off totally first, get rid of the soap, and then get into the tub). And yes, the whole room is a shower. Close the door and fire up the water. Lotsa room.
The toilet is Western style and it's also a robot. Heated, flushes when you get up. It's great. And the paper is good quality, too, so no need to bring your own.
AC controls and bed quality made me happy. They supply fresh robes and slippers. Big TV with plenty of channels (watch the local Japanese TV and get into it) plus CNN to keep up with U.S. and world news. There's a nice little refrigerator you can stock with stuff from the handy 7-Eleven downstairs. The 7-Elevens are all over and not like those in the U.S. You can get dress shirts there, if you spill something on your shirt and need to have a new one for business. Also some decent packaged food.
There's also a little restaurant and bakery downstairs (Charlotte Chocolate Factory...a take on "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"?) that's great for breakfast and coffee. The breakfast is mostly Japanese with some U.S./English foods. I liked it. Good quality. Just give it a try. Seaweed and smoked fish, and natto even (!), are fun to sample here. The local UCC coffee is excellent. You can get cute Koala bear pancakes (the Koala is the hotel mascot) and cereal and some sweet things, too. And the staff is super nice.
Listen, it's no trouble with English here. They do pretty well and they do everything to help you. Just be nice back, learn a little Japanese, smile, bow, and everyone will be super friendly and helpful back to you. I loved everyone I encountered in the city. I was amazed how people jumped in and helped when I just even looked the least bit perplexed. Moms with kids. Train staff. Everyone just jumped in and helped this gaijin get where he needed to go.
I had a surprise business trip to Kanegawa, outside Tokyo. Three trains, no problem, though I'd never been there before. I had to take three trains and one amazing Shinkansen (bullet train) to visit Honda's incredible Motegi complex. No problem. And I only waited on the platform a total of five minutes that day! The trains just keep coming. Amazing. Tip: Look into buying a Shinkansen pass before coming into the country. You might get one for cheap with unlimited rides, I hear. Think about buying a metro pass before you arrive, or maybe just when you arrive. I think it's better that way. Research before you go. There's also a $30 bus from Narita to a big hotel down the street. I took that. Easy.
So, I really liked the hotel. Had all I needed for business travel. All around Tokyo, I also felt really safe, too. Just seems like the city is very much under control. The Kinshicho area is one of the older places in Tokyo, and late at night you can walk into some sketchier areas where it seems that some foreigners are inviting you to do questionable things. Just don't go there and you'll be fine.
Food-wise, there are places to eat around the hotel. Right up one big street nearby, you can find fish and noodle places frequented by locals, so you know they're good. Look into the department stores, too, where there's usually a food court or food floor. Look up on the side of the buildings and there's usually a sign that says which floor.
But from Kinshicho Station, you can easily ride the rails to Akihabara (gaming, electronics), or Shinjuku (huge shopping) and find more to eat. McDonald's ("Makku-don-Arudo") are all around, if you absolutely must, and also KFC (original recipe....) and even Denny's and at least one Coco's. I avoided all Western places though (you know that 7-Eleven is now Japanese owned?) and went Asian all the time. Get to the train station, grab a bento box filled with seafood and rice and ride the rails. Vending machines are everywhere to grab a drink. The money is easy to manage. Just think that 1000 Yen is like $10. They laughed at my 2000 Yen notes I got at my bank in the U.S. Apparently that's like a $2 bill in the U.S. They never see them.
Also, cabs are easy, though more expensive. Super clean, too. Doily-topped seats. Pretty much all of Tokyo is clean. Makes NYC look like some kind of post-apocalyptic movie set. And people are so quiet on the metro. Every car is like the quiet car. It's clean, it's quiet, despite being a big city.
The Lotte City Hotel is really quiet, too. My room must have been really well insulated. I never heard the train station or anyone else. Always slept very well.
Other conveniences for the traveler: A laundry room (7-Eleven stocks washing powder) and a lounge on the same floor (to wait for your laundry) with coffee, tea, magazines and free laptops with internet access. If you bring your own computer, just bring a cable to plug in for internet service. I did that, for much needed business, and then it was super fast.
I'm a busy business traveler. I need conveniences to get through my week. I need quiet and sleep and a feeling of safety in a foreign land. I like a helpful staff (they happily kept my big bag while I went to see the famed Suzuka 8-Hour motorcycle race over the weekend). I like easy food and easy access to public transportation. The Lotte City Hotel gave me all of this.
I'm grateful to the nice staff for making my trip to Japan a big success. I recommend this hotel to other business travelers.
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- Also Known As:
- Lotte City Hotel Kinshicho Hotel Sumida
- Lotte City Hotel Kinshicho Tokyo, Japan