It's a little tricky to find, so try and spot the sign on top (Photo: Peter Sidell)

The B Hotel Ochanomizu

A modern, comfortable, very central Tokyo hotel

It's a little tricky to find, so try and spot the sign on top (Photo: Peter Sidell)
Peter Sidell   - 3 min read

Right in the centre of Tokyo, Ochanomizu may not have that much to see, but it's certainly a convenient place for visitors to make a base. With several stations within easy walking distance, both overground and subway, the b hotel not only has a fashionable lower-case name, but provides easy access to the rest of the city.

My twin room was an unusual irregular shape, being towards the corner of the triangular hotel building, but regularly appointed: the usual business hotel amenities of fridge, TV, desk and so on were all present and correct, the colour scheme neutral and unobtrusive. The modern, comfortable beds allowed me to store my luggage underneath, and the bathroom was a little bigger than the usual molded plastic 'unit bathroom' found in many hotels of this kind.

Elsewhere in the hotel there's a laundry room, and vending machines for drinks and ice, while in reception there's a free 'coffee station' and a PC for guest use. If you want to use your own device, there's free Wi-Fi in the lobby and all the guest rooms, wired internet in the rooms, and rental PCs available for ¥1000 a night.

If you include it in your reservation you can enjoy a buffet breakfast, served in the little lounge area near reception. There's a mix of western and Japanese food, with salad, sausage and vegetables alongside the cereal, pastries and bread rolls. If you're not in a hurry, or if you just wake up early, it's a good way to set yourself up for a day's exploring.

There are no arresting sights in the immediate neighbourhood, but it's not too far a walk to Kanda Myojin shrine, Yushima Seido Confucian temple, and the Saint Nikolai cathedral, all close to Ochanomizu station, as are the Japan Football Museum and National Origami Centre. It's also easy to get to the anime and electronics hub of Akihabara and the second-hand bookstore district Jimbocho.

What you do have nearby is a whole host of convenience stores, restaurants and cafes, with a supermarket just up the road, and a Maruzen bookstore just by Ochanomizu station, which often sells variously cute and interesting stationery items outside. The friendly reception staff speak only a little English, but can provide a helpful English-language map of the area.

There are single, double and twin rooms available, of different grades, with a bewildering range of different packages; you can include gift cards, an aroma bath, a 'Girls' Night Out' set, a face pack 'to look like a Kabuki actor', or you can choose a ladies package and 'enjoy your stay with nine aroma amenities'. (The Men's Package only includes 'selected amenities'.)

The cost depends on all these factors, and I imagine also the season, but you can likely expect to pay something like ¥10000 to ¥14000 to stay by yourself, or between ¥17000 and ¥24000 for a twin or double. I didn't check comprehensively, but it looks as if there are discount rates for advance booking or longer stays.

Peter Sidell

Peter Sidell @peter.sidell

I came to Japan from Manchester, England in 2003, and have travelled a lot since then, around Japan and in Asia. When I'm not working, I write satire and perform stand-up comedy in and around Tokyo. Check YouTube for a taste.