Friday, August 13, 2010

Tokyo Sleep: Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku - Right Place, Right Price

Hotel lobby courtesy of Sunroute Website

2-3-1 Yoyogi Shibuya-ku, Shinjuku
Tokyo, Japan
Shinjuku Station, Southern Terrace Exit, 5 minutes walk. Airport Limousine from Narita.

Since we about bankrupted ourselves to go on our very long trip to New York, USA; for our stopover in Tokyo, I decided to put a stop to my extravagant ways and look for a good value hotel but in a prime location - preferably Shinjuku. I chanced upon Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku (like Prince, Sunroute is also a large hotel chain in Japan), which fulfilled all my requirements: very near Shinjuku station, modern, free Internet, and best of all, CHEAP! We procured a semi-double room from at a dirt cheap rate of SGD143 per night! Even cheaper than many hotels in Singapore!

But before we get overly excited, a note of caution on what a "semi-double room" in Japanese terms means. It means SMALL. As in the pic below (with our beloved new soft toy BeePosh from NY), the queen sized bed is shoved right up against the wall and there is only a tiny walkway at the side and front of the bed. A tiny alcove next to an okay-sized toilet is where you can hang a few clothes and deposit your luggage. Not ideal for fat or big sized people. Two adult men sharing the room will be a bit uncomfortable I think. Also for those with a LOT of luggage in anticipation of massive shopping, the room will definitely be cramped. If space is an absolute necessity, then go for a standard double room instead (at a higher cost naturally).

That aside, the room was comfortable enough for Samurai T and I. Most of the time we did not even use the room to SLEEP, jetlagged as we were from our flight from NY. Instead we stayed up in the night to watch World Cup 2010. There was also a CNN channel for us to keep up to date on world news. Like all other hotels/ryokans we have been to, we were also provided with PJs to sleep in. There was free wired Internet access in the room, but for those who were too lazy to lug a laptop across the world (like us), they had a business centre on the 2nd floor where we could use their desktops for free too. Fabulous.

The hotel also had an interesting environmental friendly policy. First, you pick the toiletries that you NEED (toothbrush, combs, cotton buds, etc) FROM the lobby. Shampoo, conditioner and bath gels are housed in big colourful bottles in your toilet (not small disposable ones). They also encourage hotel guests to have housekeeping done once every two days, although unfortunately there was no monetary reward like at Shinagawa Prince.

But the best thing of all is actually its location. Located along a relatively quiet street in Southern Shinjuku, it is nevertheless only a stone's throw away from the madness of the main Shinjuku train station. Across the street there is a convenience store for you to buy breakfast and other junk food. Next to hotel is an excellent ramen restaurant (unfortunately I did not note down the name). Down the street to the main cross junction you are flanked by 24-hour MacDonalds, First Kitchen and Yoshinoya. Across the bridge from the hotel to Southern Terrace there is a Krispy Kreme outlet and further up Takashimaya Times Square. Just next to the hotel there is also a private subway line, the Toei Oedo line, which brings you to Tsukiji Market in 8 minutes. On top of all this, you can access all the shopping and eating within Shinjuku (pssst, Tsunahachi is only 15 minutes walk away) and go just about anywhere in Japan from the station. THIS is where all the action is.

I'll be back.

P.S. You can also check out Tokyo hotels at this website:

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