Alex Robertson checks into Hotel MyStays, Gotanda Station, in Tokyo, Japan.
Getting there: This hotel overlooks the Gotanda train station on the JY Yamanote Line — a sort of circle line for central Tokyo. If you can work out the Tokyo rail system, it couldn't be easier. But if, like me, you arrive tired from a long flight and a nearly two-hour trip from Narita Airport and you can't work out the train changes and ticket purchases, walk 15 minutes from Shinagawa, through charming back streets of low-rise private dwellings.
Check in experience: They were expecting me. I just showed them my passport.
Room: This would have to be the smallest possible layout that achieves the status of "room". About 2m at the widest point to accommodate a bed described as a small double, but really an extra wide king single, but not quite long enough so I had to sleep diagonally to prevent my feet hanging out at the end. That said, it was comfortable and well-appointed with a TV, an electric jug (one sachet each of black tea and green tea) and an en suite containing a fancy electric toilet, sink and shower. Body wash, shampoo and conditioner were provided as well as a toothbrush and toothpaste. A plastic-wrapped pair of freshly-laundered pyjamas were waiting for me on the bed — a very nice touch, even if they were a little on the small side.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
In the self-operated laundry room, there are washing machines, microwaves and a vending machine selling beer.
Price: About $40 per night.
What's in the neighbourhood: There are plenty of restaurants, bars and convenience stores around here. The best thing is that it is only a few stops from Shibuya of the busiest street crossings, and more shops than you can shake a clutch of credit cards at. The train system is really good (once you can get your head around it) and connections to all the essential sights and hot-spots is a breeze from here.
Food and drink: There is a restaurant offering breakfast ($20) and dinner (prices vary), and vending machines on most floors for snacks and drinks. I wandered outside and got a fantastic fried shrimp noodle soup for breakfast for ($8.90), about two blocks away.
The view: You can watch the trains come and go (thankfully not all night) and the neon lights flash (thankfully the curtain is blackout) and the sun come up over the sprawling high-rise buildings stretching way into the distance.
What's so good about this place: It's clean, comfortable and the staff speak good English. The location is ideal for getting around to most parts of Tokyo with ease.
Perfect for: At this price and size, really for business travellers. You could just about squeeze a couple into this space (for an extra $28) but you would have to be on really good terms.