by Devon Sponheimer
When traveling to Japan, many people want to stay in a ryokan and experience a traditional Japanese inn, but are traveling in large cities where they can be difficult to find. In the June trip Japlanning made to Tokyo, we managed to find one in the heart of the city.
The Tokyo Nihonbashi Sumisho Hotel is located in the Ginza district, by the Tokyo Stock exchange, and surrounded by many great restaurants. It’s just a short walk from two different Tokyo Metro lines, Nigyocho Station on the Hibiya Line or Toe Asakusa Line or the Mitsukoshimae Station on the Hanzomon or Ginza lines. The hotel itself is down an alley and can be a bit tricky to find, but the hotel provides maps and directions on its’ English site. Reservations can be made via the phone or on email. Email responses are prompt and thorough. When emailing regarding reservations, we received directions from the airports as well!
The hotels exterior is what you might expect from a traditional ryokan, just in the middle of the city. The reception area is quite small, but offers tea upon arrival. Staff spoke English, making check-in easy and hassle free. Getting to your room can be challenging with the small elevators if you’ve got a lot of luggage.
The hotel offers two types of Japanese style rooms, the only difference being size and price. We chose the smaller of the two, Japanese Style B which has 15.7 square meters of space. Regardless of the type of room you choose, each comes with a bathtub, heater and air conditioner, television, refrigerator, hair dryer, telephone, modular jack, tea set, LAN access, bath towels, body soap, shampoo/conditioner, toothbrush, razor, yukata robe, and slippers. As the room is traditional Japanese it has tatami mats, so take off your shoes when walking in the room! Use the slippers provided.
As they don’t specify smoking or non-smoking, our room did have a stale smoke smell to it which was bearable, but a little unpleasant. One very nice room feature was the sliding doors that opened to a tranquil Japanese garden. We were surprised at how quiet it was given our proximity to a major street. The bathroom was very small and cramped with a very low ceiling. (I’m only 5 feet tall, so if I am feeling cramped, it probably is). To make up for the small bathroom, they offer onsen bathing for both males and females. After a long day of walking through the city, it was extremely nice to come back to the hotel and have a long, hot soak. They stocked the onsen with high quality toiletries, making the experience very luxurious. Bathing times are limited but are indicated on posted signs.
Thanks to the folding futons, the smallness of the room manageable, with the ability to fold and un-fold your bed daily. Futons were comfortable, but we certainly needed more blankets with the room getting a bit chilly at night. Clearly working air conditioning was not an issue in our room! If you’d like, you can switch your pillow to a buckwheat one.
A typical ryokan will often offer in-room dining, but this not one of their offerings. They do have a dining facility open daily offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, with both Japanese and Western style seating styles. The dining room is located on the ground floor, just before reception.
- Breakfast: 7:00-9:30
- Lunch: 11:30-13:30
- Dinner: 17:00-22:00
If you’re not up for sleeping on a futon the entire stay, they also offer Western style rooms in singles, doubles and three types of twin rooms. Rooms can accommodate a maximum of 4 people.
On site, they have coin operated laundry and vending machines. Although rooms are not equipped with them, you can borrow irons, pants presses and pots for making baby formula.
We found staff went above and beyond to make our stay a comfortable one. They walked us down to the bank and translating for us when we needed to get more Yen. They also were able to accommodate us when we wanted to extend our stay an additional night and kept our bags on hand during the last day so we didn’t have to carry them while exploring the city
The Tokyo Nihonbashi Sumisho Hotel is a great option for someone wanting to experience traditional Japanese accommodations while remaining in the city. Don’t be afraid to ask staff for anything you need, they are hospitable and helpful! Take advantage of the onsen, especially late at night before it closes for the most privacy. The hotel is reasonably priced and convenient, located only 7 minutes to Ginza station, 5 minutes to Akihabara, 7 minutes to Asakusa and 5 minutes to the Tokyo Dome.
Japlanning would recommend this hotel. It’s a decent hotel and a fun memory as part of any stay in Japan.
9-14 NIHONBASHI-KOBUNACHO CHUO-KU TOKYO JAPAN 103-0024
Have you stayed at Tokyo Nihonbashi Sumisho Hotel before?
Tell us in the comments below!