By Bonson Lam
Ochanomizu may not be high on the list of places to see for visitors to Tokyo, but as a place to base yourself, it really couldn't be more central. HOTEL MYSTAYS is within a few minutes' walk of fully six stations, putting all of the city within easy reach, and is a comfortable, reasonably priced place to stay.
I'd reserved a semi-double room, which was a bit pokey, but perfectly adequate for a solo traveler with very little luggage. The decor was very modern and swish and minimal, lots of white, brown and black, and I also had a full-length mirror to admire myself in before I went out. The usual amenities like fridge and TV were present and correct, the bed was nice and comfortable (especially with the contoured pillow), and while the bathroom was compact in typical business hotel style, it had a good strong shower.
Elsewhere in the hotel there's a coin laundry, a couple of vending machines near the second floor conference rooms, and a small but cosy lounge space in the spacious lobby. Here you'll also find an 'amenity corner' with extra bathroom supplies, and it gives onto the attached restaurant, where for an extra ¥1030 you can enjoy a buffet breakfast. There's free Wi-Fi everywhere, wired internet in all the rooms, and laptops available for rent.
It's more of a commercial and university area, so there aren't many landmark sights nearby, but it is worth visiting Kanda Myojin shrine, Yushima Seido Confucian temple, and the Saint Nikolai Cathedral; or, if your interests include electronics, manga or anime, it's just a few minutes' walk to the 'Electric town' of Akihabara, possibly via Yanagimori-jinja, a small shrine with a striking collection of animal statues. Also near Ochanomizu station are a couple of niche attractions, the Japan Football Museum and the National Origami Centre. By way of necessities, there's a convenience store actually in the hotel building, a supermarket right across the street, and a whole host of restaurants and cafes catering to the area's students and office staff.
There are semi-double, double and twin rooms available: doubles and semi-doubles come in economy or standard sizes, while twins can be standard, deluxe or grand deluxe. Rates depend on the room, season and website you use, but it looks like you can expect to pay between ¥10000 and ¥15000 a night for an economy or standard room, more (I assume) for the deluxe or grand deluxe. For the location, comfort and service, this represents good value for the money.
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I came to Japan from Manchester, England in summer 2003, and have travelled a lot since then, around Japan and in Asia. When I`m not working I write satire at www.iothern.blogspot.com and perform stand-up comedy in and around Tokyo. Check my youtube channel `CunningPunster` for a taste.