The Dobutsuenmae area is a small district located in the Tennoji ward of Osaka. In more recent times it’s become a popular place for backpackers and those looking for cheap hostel accommodation. Of course this presents several options when choosing a place to stay though Hotel Toyo is an excellent choice.
No more than a two-minute walk from exit 2 of Dobutsuenmae subway station, the hotel is easily reachable and that is something I always appreciate when visiting a new area. Though not directly in Tennoji as it is one stop short on the subway, the area is just as beneficial to those who want to get out and see the city. In fact after going for a stroll in the evening I soon found my way to familiar places around Tennoji. Tsutenkaku and Spa World are just an example of two major local attractions nearby.
I arrived early but the staff allowed me to place my bags into storage and actually let me wait in the common room. This was extremely convenient and something I really appreciated. The common room is extremely large with an adjoining dining room and kitchen. There are also two computers that can be used for free, making keeping in contact with world really easy if you don’t have your own. I was really surprised to find some old games consoles there for you to enjoy too. What could be better than making new friends and playing some old school games together?
Once the time came for check-in I was taken up to my room. There are three kinds available depending on your budget or preference; singles with or without air-con and double rooms. Admittedly the singles are a little small but it really doesn’t matter. Your own private space for an excellent price is a more than good deal. All rooms also have a tatami floor so they are extremely comfortable.
In terms of facilities the hotel has absolutely everything you could need. With cheap coin laundry, 24-hour shower room, kitchen and the previously mentioned common area you’ll feel right at home. There is also a large amount of information available in pamphlet form on Osaka and the surrounding Kansai area. Saying this speaking to the staff may be more fruitful when looking for places to go. The staff is extremely friendly and a real pleasure to talk with. They are willing to answer all questions you might have, which is excellent for first time visitors to Osaka.
I mention this every time I stay at a hostel but I really do enjoy the chance they give you to meet new friends and have good conversation. Probably after my first hour at Hotel Toyo I had already met someone from France who even offered to show me around the area. This is something I think is completely unique to Hostels and why they are always something to keep in mind when choosing accommodation. The guests are a mix of people from all around the world so there is a really diverse environment and a great atmosphere. For me this was probably one of the best aspects of my stay and when I return to Osaka in the future I’d like to stay here again.