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“quaint, clean, perfect”
Review of Andon Ryokan

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Andon Ryokan
Ranked #9 of 119 Hotels / Ryokan in Taito
Certificate of Excellence
nyc
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“quaint, clean, perfect”
Reviewed 14 May 2008

this perfect little authentic japanese style ryokan exceeded of all my expectations. amazing service, quiet location that is enough away from the madness to really relax, and the breakfast deal of the century (300-500 yen for plenty of food). 24hr free coffee and tea service. this ryokan is perfect for designers and the detail oriented types...also, great deal for a perfectly comfortable room - and an AMAZING private jacuzzi. will go back there in a heartbeat.

  • Liked — service and cleanliness, authentic japanese experience
  • Stayed May 2008
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank rp_traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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338 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
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by the sea
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 May 2008

We stayed four nights at the Andon recently on the recommendation of friends who stayed there before. Since it was our first time in Japan we didn't know quite what to expect.

The staff was okay, they checked us in quickly and answered all our questions during our stay. The prepared breakfast was decent but one can find breakfast foods elsewhere for the same price so I would not say it's "cheap" as other have written on other sites. The other problem is that there isn't enough places to site at times since the area where the food is served is also the entrance and lobby of the ryokan. And is at times full of luggage.

The place was clean and interesting decorations. It was very dark and cold though. The bathrooms and shower are communal and very small. The rooms are extremely small, especially if there are two people in a room. Also it is very noisy, sound echoes around so small noises outside our room were much larger especially talking and doors closing. We could also easily hear the people in the rooms on either side. I ended up not being able to sleep two of the nights because of the noise.

Also, there are no elevators for guests. There is a jacuzzi on the second to the top level (they gave the wrong floor # at the front desk). It is the biggest room and can be reserved for some much needed relaxation. The tea ceremony was also a nice bonus at 500 yen a person.

The area around the ryokan was mostly housing, safe but not much there in the way of restaurants or markets. The walk from the subway station was long and the map from Andon's website doesn't accurately reflect the area. We got seriously lost trying to find it from Minawa Subway Station. Also, Minawa has no elevators and if you end up on the wrong side of the street there is a very high over pass you have to haul your luggage up and then down again.

Andon is basically a backpackers hostel. I wish they would state that on their site. I think if someone is young and doing a lot of traveling around Japan, they might like it. But I won't ever stay here again. We stayed at a ryokan in Kyoto, the room was one mat larger and it was way better overall.

This was a disappointment given the hype from my friends and the Andon website. Don't believe it when people say the rooms are comfortable and quiet. Maybe if you have no hearing and are very very very tiny.

  • Liked — jacuzzi room, tea ceremony, food was decent
  • Disliked — just about everything else
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank betweenhereandthere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2008

Ok, Japan is not renowned for have large/luxurious sized rooms and an abundance of space, but if you actually stopped and thought about your nightly accommodation rate per square metre then Andon Ryokan has got to be the poorest choice in Tokyo. Plus it’s not exactly bang in the middle of "excitement town" - Minowa (the closest subway station) does not have much to do/see/eat_at that’s really close by.

It is a modern building that has been designed to fit AS MANY small rooms (I use the word "room" loosely as they are more like "cells") as possible. How small you ask? Well I shared a room with my girlfriend in which I could hold my arms out and touch the walls with the tips of my index fingers (see pic). Once the bed was laid out on the ground at night, there was very little floor space about us (you have to fit your bags in as well!) and it’s very cramped at night. Being Tokyo you don't really want to hang out in your room all day/night - so we hardly spent much time at Andon Ryokan. One positive thing is that the size of the rooms makes you want to get out and see/explore as much of Tokyo as you can. I wasn’t just unlucky to get the smallest room available, almost all double/twin sized rooms are this big – and we booked a month or so in advance via the webpage.

BEWARE that the rooms they offer are VERY SMALL! Even by Tokyo standards! You can stay in hotels in the heart of Tokyo run by larger hotel chains that offer more livable twin/double sized bed room for less than what they charge at Andon - AND they have furniture and western style beds.

Being a Ryokan, they offer the traditional tatami style matt flooring and fold-up mattress to sleep on - but you will get the impression this is just a gimmick as it’s not very "traditional". They have simply forgone the use of furniture (as it takes up "space") in the quest to create as many small rooms as possible.

Walls are very thin - so noise and people talking can be heard from your adjacent rooms. And if you happen to get a room near a heavy traffic area like the stairwell or shared bathroom and you are not a heavy sleeper, you will get woken up by people moving around.

So, If you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of central Tokyo and you are traveling solo and like the idea of staying in a very small tatami matt room the size of a prison cell in a very quiet part of Tokyo and don’t mind paying 8,000 yen/room for the privilege, then Andon is the way to go.

If you stumbled across the Andon website and figure it’s a nice introduction to Japan and traditional Ryokans and is a good exciting place to base yourself in Tokyo then you are wrong! Even more so if you are on a tight budget and travelling solo!!!

Only positive points are that its is a nice modern building, clean and has English speaking staff. There is a common eating area and small kitchen to cook and hang out with other travelers. They have free internet, but its just one machine which you need to reserve and is only available from 9am-9pm. You get a TV and DVD player in your room.

  • Liked — Checking out.
  • Disliked — THE SIZE OF THE ROOM!!!!
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Fugula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baltimore, Maryland
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2008

We spent the last four days of our trip to Japan at Andon. It was so hard to leave on the last day because we had fallen so completely in love with the place. The architecture of the building is gorgeous, a seamless blend of the old-world Japanese aesthetic with modern materials and comforts. There were also many interesting antiques on display.

The room was small, but comfortable, and there was plenty of cupboard space to store our luggage out of the way. The futon was very comfy, as was the shared shower. As a rather hippy woman, getting in and out of the narrow toilet cubicles was a tight squeeze, but it was a minor inconvenience. We enjoyed the in-room television and DVD player; on our last night, we rented a movie and watched it while we were packing.

JR Rail Pass holders might be frustrated because the closest public transport is the Tokyo Metro subway. We did not have JR passes and found the city to be easily accessible via the subway. The building was quiet; we rarely heard anyone else making noise. The staff was wonderfully kind and helpful. After lugging our things there, I sure appreciated the baggage elevator. The lounge area can become a bit crowded, but it's not too bad. Overall, Andon gives you a lot of ambiance for your money.

  • Liked — Ambiance, helpful staff, beautiful room with nice amenities
  • Disliked — ??
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank nekostef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 22 October 2007

A wonderful quirky place that combines traditional and Western facilities. You sleep on the floor but you can enjoy eggs and bacon for breakfast. It's fun to swish around in the traditional yakuta robe that they rent out and the staff are all wonderfully welcoming and accommodating. There's also a jacuzzi which is a bonus considering the price is quite reasonable. Especially as it's the same for a room for two people as it is for a single.

  • Liked — Unusual design
  • Disliked — Only one pc with internet access
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank aciddave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reading, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2007

We booked this hotel from there own website, as it looked a bit flashy and the hotel reflects this. The Andon is very modern, all dark wood and low level lighting.

The hotel maintained by only a handful of people but you are well looked after.

The rooms themselves are small and quite dark. Each room has air conditioning and a TV with a DVD player. There are a a number of sinks and a shower and toilet per floor.

Breakfast is available in the mornings and is a choice of fried breakfast, eggs or toast. The staff are very friendly and cook the food to order right next you. There is also free internet access in the lobby area but this can be quite hard to use, as the computer is only on certain hours of the day. So we left early and came back late it was not available to us.

There is no curfew at the hotel but the lobby area closes at 10pm and you are encouraged not to hang around after this time. So it does make you feel a little guilty coming back later than this and making any noise.

The hotel itself is situated a little further out than other hotels we stayed at, creating a longer traveling time around Tokyo. There is no direct link to here from a JR train station (JR pass holders take note) and you have to get a subway or private line train to this stop. There are some horrendous steps to climb up at the subway stop if you have a heavy suitcase and with no lift there is no choice but to carry it up the steps.

With these few negative points aside, it was a nice friendly and very modern looking hotel.

Sorry I forgot to take any photos of the Andon.

  • Stayed September 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank Rambaldi_Macguffin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 October 2007

My girlfriend and I have stayed here twice, once in 2004, just after it opened, and again, last week, in 2007. Additionally, the owner ,Toshiko, showed me around it while it was being built in 2003 (I was staying at her ULTRA-budget guest house, New Koyo, which is just around the corner).

The location is in a quiet part of town, that some reviews have said is "the bad part of tokyo". Really, it probably is, but don't let that frighten you. Tokyo is so safe that this doesn't mean anything. You might see some drunks on the street at night, and they might try to talk to you in english, but that can be fun too.

The nearest Tokyo Metro station is a fair walk, and has no escalators and 47 steps to the surface (two flights of an average staircase) - Do yourself a favour and spend $15 on a taxi from Ueno station to get there. Take a printout of the map from their website to show the taxi driver if they don't speak english or know where it is. At the end of your stay, spend a similar amount to get from there back to the station - the friendly staff will call one and give it directions for you.

The rooms are SMALL. Think, reach out and touch both sides of the room. The curtains don't block a lot of light, so I hope you enjoy waking up early. The in-room Internet access is good if you're one of those modern travellers who have a laptop with them on holidays, and so is the air-conditioning.

The bathrooms are small (pro tip: unless you're quite a skinny man, you may want to avoid sitting on the toilets except in emergency - the rather odd design will cause your thigh to touch the wall - find public toilets during the day instead if this bothers you).

There is no elevator for people, but there is a baggage lift, so you won't have to lug your bags up and down the stairs. The breakfast offering is pretty expensive and has minimal servings, so you may want to head to the McDonalds at Minowa station for breakfast (but be warned, this McDonalds only has one floor of seating, and like many parts of Japan, this includes a poorly segregated smoking section). Our days in Tokyo usually started with breakfast at Minowa McDonalds at about 10, so we could head off at 10:15 - 10:30 and avoid the Tokyo rush hour.

The hotel's facilities are useful to travellers (cheap washing/drying/detergent) and it's close-ish to a 7-11 (7-11's will be your friend in Japan, as the majority of Japanese ATM's don't take foreign cards). Also be warned, they take a ¥2000 "room deposit" in cash only, so make sure you have that on you when you check in.

I've recommended it to people in the past, and we'd probably come back again, but only for the next few years. We're neither as young and supple as we used to be, and sleeping on a futon on Tatami matting doesn't have quite the charm you expect. This hotel is very cheap by Tokyo standards, and to the extent of atmosphere at least, you get far more than you pay for.

  • Liked — Cost
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank A.Duckson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Andon Ryokan

Property: Andon Ryokan
Address: 2-34-10 Nihonzutsumi, Taito 111-0021, Tokyo Prefecture
Phone Number:
Region: Japan > Kanto > Tokyo Prefecture > Tokyo > Taito > Ueno, Asakusa
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Taito
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Taito
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Andon Ryokan 2.5*
Number of rooms: 24
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Also Known As:
Andon Ryokan Hotel Taito
Andon Ryokan Tokyo, Japan

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