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“Amazing hotel!”
Review of Annex Katsutaro

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Annex Katsutaro
Ranked #21 of 120 Hotels / Ryokan in Taito
Certificate of Excellence
Christchurch
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Amazing hotel!”
Reviewed 7 April 2008

This is a brilliant hotel. Its a convienient little Ryokan-like inn in a beautiful residential part of Tokyo. Its a few minute's walk from the train station which will get you all around tokyo, but bear in mind there are lots of steps, which makes moving luggage hard! This is pretty much the only problem with this hotel.
The owners speak English and are very friendly. The rooms are small - but its Tokyo, so all rooms are small! They are comfortable, however. Hotel rooms come with yukata, a television with the very entertaining Japanese channels, and all the equipment for making tea and coffee. The tatami mats and futons are a nice touch. Downstairs there is a reasonably priced washing machine and drier - I think its about 200 y for each? Bear in mind, to dry a load of washing you will need to use the drier twice. Next to the washing machine is a vending machine selling a range of alcoholic drinks.
Downstairs there are two computers with free internet. Its a great way to download photos from your camera, and keep in touch with those back home. You can print stuff too, for a small fee, I think 10y. They also supply handy maps etc - get the tokyo metro map - when you are in a station with no english translations, you will be sooo glad!!!
the area is wonderful - they will supply you with a map that includes a few great places to eat (go to the Japanese pancake place - you will NOT regret it!) and a nice little supermarket. The place is full of nice little shops, and people going about their lives. Try get out of the hotel in the early hours of the morning, and hear everyone greeting eachother a good morning - its great! Also, walk down to the fish shops, complete with flock of patient cats! Some of the stores are excellent places to look if you want to get gifts a little different from standard.

  • Liked — Brilliant location - convienient, yet away from the main city
  • Disliked — It would be difficult to get a large amount of luggage to the hotel - the area has lots of stairs etc.
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank serene_molly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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329 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
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  • Any
English first
Madrid
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2008

It was one of the best ryokans I have stayed at. It's well comunicated, since you have both japan rail train station and metro station near. The people at the ryokan was very helpful and kind.

It also has a comercial street near with restaurants. The rooms are comfortable and clean. And if you get back late at the ryokan, they have a code for the door so you don't have to worry about returning at a specific time.

Everything was wonderful, I really enjoyed my stay in this ryokan.

  • Stayed February 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Nakuchaku
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, BC
Level Contributor
28 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2008

Stayed 4 nights at the Annex Katsutaro Ryokan in the beginning of March. Having never stayed at a ryokan before, and after reading such positive reviews on tripadvisor, we were delighted to find that they had availability for our dates. We wanted to stay at a ryokan but one that was traditional yet modern. The woman I spoke to on the phone when making the reservation had near perfect english. Arrived in Narita around 5pm and took the Keisei Skyliner train to Nippori Station (takes about 1 hour). Followed the ryokan website directions and got a little lost finding the west exit but eventually found our way with help from locals.

Tip: if you follow directions for the north exit you will find the west exit that you are looking for. It's the easiest way with luggage since it's just a couple of steps up to street level. Peek outside and to the left and you'll see a 7-11 convienience store down the road. Go straight past 7-11 and down the stairs, at the bottom you'll find a pet store named dog life (or something similar) in the middle of two streets. Go to the right of this store and straight until you reach the end (you'll see a small shop on the lefthand corner that sells bento boxes and take out snacks open late). Turn left and walk until you see a small blue and yellow P sign and a small parking lot on the left. The ryokan entrance is steps away also on the left. It was hard to see the building in the dark but we recognized the white van parked out front just like in one of the reviewer photos. The walk is about 10 minutes from Nippori station.

Check-in was a breeze with an older gentleman who spoke enough english. We found it odd that in Japan that they never ask you for your credit card at check-in. The man showed us to our room (301) and explained the rules of the ryokan, provided us with a detailed map and showed us how to use the remote to control the heat/AC. Pay attention to this as the buttons on the remote control are only in Japanese characters! We didn't and for 2 days we thought the heat was on but we actually turned on the AC and froze! Luckily the duvets are extremely warm. It takes about 5 minutes before you feel the room warm up.

Cotton yukata robes, hair dryer, liquid body soap/shampoo, towels, mini-fridge and tea making facilities are included with the room. The rate was 12,000 yen for the large room for two people. Lots of shelves, small closet and plenty of room for suitcases. The rooms look exactly like the photos. They are extremely clean and spacious. The frontdesk also provided a cable (free of charge) so we could use our laptop in the room. Used the coin laundry the night before we left for Kyoto. The lady at the frontdesk spotted me and quickly ran out to see if I needed any laundry powder. They clean the rooms between 10am-1pm.

The ryokan was very quiet, we rarely saw any other guests during our stay. Most guests seemed to be foreigners like us. Water pressure in the shower is very strong and plenty of hot water to go around. A few extra bath towels and pillows would have been nice. Noticed that the shops in Yanaka closed pretty early. We arrived back at the ryokan a few nights around 8pm to find the restaurant that we wanted to try was closed. Determined to eat there, we came back to the area one afternoon around 5pm and the streets were packed with people! This one croquette shop had a line up filled with people, so we joined the line to find out what the buzz was all about. Their specialty was a kind of panko-encrusted hamburger with a tasty japanese brown sauce. We ate dinner one night at the okonomiyaki place (on the hotel's map) around 7:30pm. The owner was really nice but shy and spoke enough english to ask where we were from. He provided us with an english menu and the okonomiyaki were delicious! It was funny, his shop was a mess behind the counter but it added character to the restaurant. Another night we ate at the tonkatsu restaurant (at the bottom of the large set of stairs to the left). They had no english menu but a young lady who worked there spoke excellent english. We had their specialty, pork tonkatsu dinner sets that included rice, cabbage salad, miso soup and daikon pickles. The meal so good but was so huge! The two of us could have shared one.

The next time we stay here we will explore Yanaka more. Nice to come home at night to quiet empty streets after exploring the busy streets of Tokyo during the day. The 99 supermarket (to the right at the bottom of the big stairs) was open late, you could get water and snacks on the way back to the hotel from the subway. We also purchased an international phone card from 7-11 to make some phone calls. International phone boxes are difficult to find around town (most of them are for domestic calls only). However, there was one located just steps away from the ryokan. Sendagi subway station is located only 2 minutes away by walking.

We travelled around Tokyo on subway easily by purchasing a Suica swipecard (one of Tokyo's add-fare card systems). We forgot to refund the unused money left on the card before heading by bullet train to Kyoto. Tip: We found out that the refund or cancellation of your Suica card must be done at a subway station in Tokyo. They don't do refunds anywhere else in Japan or at the airport so don't forget to do this before you leave the last subway stop. We'll have to go back to Japan to use the cards again. Also, when buying reserved seats on the bullet train or any other train, it might be a good idea to buy tickets on a (15 minute) later departure. Usually they sell you tickets for the next earliest departure but don't tell you that you might not be able to get to the train on time! This one guy who sold us a ticket told us you "may" be able to make it. We had about 10 minutes to get on that bullet train and only made it with a minute to spare! Lucky for us we found the right track on time.

Some stops during this visit to Japan included Tsujiki fish market, Tokyo Disneyland, Meiji Shrine, Sensoji Temple and Imperial palace. The fish market should not be missed. It was a very early start but we got to the fish market around 6am, we missed the 5am auction. Crazy busy place full of people, bicycles, scooters, cars, trucks, and motorized carts all delivering fish! If you don't be careful you might get run over so watch where you are going at all times. Had sushi set for breakfast at Daiwa for 3500 yen. You can't miss this place since there are two restaurants with lineups for sushi. It was a lot of fun and the sushi was the freshest we've ever had. Delicious and filling at 7:30am!

We had a great fun in Japan and a fabulous and very comfortable stay at the Annex Katsutaro Ryokan. We will most definitely stay here again!

  • Liked — Clean, spacious, comfortable.
  • Disliked — n/a
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank mimimorang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2008

We stayed here for 10 days in a Japanese style double room. It had a bath, shower, tv, airconditioner/heater and fridge. We stayed in the standard size room (not the delux room) but it was big enough to spread out our 2 large suitcases, 2 futons and still have room left over. It didn't feel cramped at all. There are also lots of shelves to keep things on. In the lobby there are computers with the internet that you can use for free. There are also washing machines (¥200 for 1 wash) and dryers (¥100 for 20 minutes) that you can use. They have washing powder that you can ask for also.
It is in a convenient location, just a 7 minute walk from JR Nippori station or a 2 minute walk from the metro's Nippori station on the Chiyoda line. The staff give you a map when you arrive and point out all the local sights. They are very helpful with any questions you have.
Most people seem to be arriving here from the JR station but I would recommend arriving on the metro if you have suitcases to carry because it is a lot closer and if you come by the JR you have to walk down a flight of stairs.
We found it was easy to get around Tokyo from this location, using either the JR or the Metro. Nothing is too far away.
They also offer breakfast here, a large breakfast with eggs, bacon, toast, juice and tea or coffee is ¥840 or a small breakfast with toast, juice, tea or coffee is ¥420.
This is a great place to stay and I will definitely stay here again.

  • Liked — It was clean and comfortable and in a great location
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank ezzofmelb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2008

This is an excellent place to stay in Tokyo, as it is away from the amazing crush and bustle of the main tourist areas. It is, however, very easily reached from the Nippori train station which connects with most of the main areas of the city. We were three people staying in a room, and there was plenty of space for our stuff as well as the three very comfortable futons. The bathroom was about the cleanest I have ever seen. The map they provide showing all the local restaurants is invaluable. We had some great meals at very reasonable prices.

Stayed January 2008
Helpful?
1 Thank Sasha199
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 December 2007

[--] - book direct with the hotel. They are very helpful, and can handle questions in English. The front desk staff are very helpful. The rooms are lovely, traditional but modern at the same time. You must stay in the Annex, a much better hotel/ryokan. Breakfast is good. For two people make sure to ask for the larger room, at 12,600 yen per night and you'll have plenty of room for 2 suitcases. The market street near the hotel is very traditional, plenty of places to eat, and the locals couldn't be lovelier or more welcoming. The hotel directions on how to get to them aren't very clear, so these may help you:
From the West exit (not easy to find, look for the East exit sign then head in the opposite direction) at Nippori station turn to your left. Cross over the pedestrian crossing, as you'll need to be on the right hand side of the street as the road will split in two. You'll go past quite a few little shops before you reach the stairs to the market street/lane with plenty of shops & restaurants. Once you arrive at the end of the street or t-junction (no more shops) take your left. The Ryokan will be on the left side, a few shops down. It is about 10 min walk from Nippori, with suitcases. 5 minutes otherwise.
They have free internet service in the foyer, and washing machines & dryers also in the foyer area. The best restaurant I have ever eaten in, anywhere in the world, is also in their street.
There is no signage in English so I don't know what the name is, but head out the hotel door to your right and stay on that street all the way to the end. The restaurant is at almost the very end of the street, on the right hand side. About a 10 minute walk. They don't speak any English, but there is a large menu with pictures of the food with their names also in English. Do not let this fool you, the food isn't westernised in any way - even if you're not a huge sushi fan and don't like raw anything (like me) you will love this restaurant. It is simply the freshest and most beautifully prepared food I have ever had. The restaurant is always busy, so be prepared to be turned away if you arrive too late, or to have to wait a while for your meal as they sometimes have huge group reservations in the back to deal with. It is absolutely worth any wait. You can't see in from the outside, just slide the traditional door and wait - one of the ladies will seat you, or turn you away so apologetically & gracefully that you won't mind at all.

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — Nothing, everything was great.
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Brisbanetraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hampshire, England
Level Contributor
649 reviews
156 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 324 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 December 2007

Stayed 4 nights in November and loved it. Great room which was a mix of modern and traditional. Local area was super, a feel of real Japan, some great places to eat and shop. Location was also very good close to both the underground and the JR railway. All the major sites, shopping and highlights were in easy travelling distance. Strongly recommended

  • Liked — Graet room
  • Disliked — -
  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mike48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Annex Katsutaro

Property: Annex Katsutaro
Address: 3-8-4 Yanaka, Taito 110-0001, Tokyo Prefecture
Region: Japan > Kanto > Tokyo Prefecture > Tokyo > Taito > Ueno, Asakusa
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Taito
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Annex Katsutaro 2.5*
Number of rooms: 17
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Annex Katsutaro Hotel Taito
Annex Katsutaro Tokyo, Japan

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