I stayed for 4 nights and found the hotel to be very nice and in a very convenient location. It is convenient to many of the major attractions while also being in a fairly quite area a couple blocks away from a main road. It is an easy trip from Narita airport using public transportation. Take the Keisei Skyliner train to Nippori Station and change to the Chuo Line to Ochanamizu Station. There, change to the Sobu Line and get off at Suidobashi station. From there, it is less than a 5 minute walk Southeast to Hotel Niwa. Overall, it took slightly over an hour.
Note that it is possible to take the "ordinary" train on the Keisei line instead of the Keisei Skyliner. However, this takes 70 minutes as compared to 40 for the Skyliner (meaning it would take about 90 minutes in total to get to Hotel Niwa). The Skyliner costs 2,400 yen vs. 1,200 for the ordinary train (roughly USD $24 and USD $12, respectively).
The front desk clerks spoke very good English and were polite and efficient during both check-in and check-out. My room had a full bed and was a fairly small room but that is to be expected in Tokyo. The room was well appointed and the bed was comfortable. No view to speak of from the windows other than the roof of an adjacent building, but this was not a big issue to me. The WiFi was free and provided very good connection speed. There was a safe located in a drawer that was big enough to hold my laptop as well as several other small electronic devices. I also enjoyed the two massage chairs that are in the "Relaxation Room" after spending days walking around the city.
One of the major advantages of the location is that it is within a short walk of both Suidobashi station (where it's possible to take the Toei line and JR trains) and Jinbocho station, which is on the Metro. Given each of these lines has a different operator and fare system, having easy access to all three systems within walking distance of the hotel definitely makes a difference if you'll be traveling around the city a lot. There is a Starbucks close by in Meets Port which is across the street to the North of Suidobashi station and next to the Tokyo Dome. This was another plus, at least from my perspective. There are also several 7-11 stores within a short walk.
There are also a lot of inexpensive restaurants nearby on Hakusan Dori (the closest main street on which Suidobashi and Jinbocho stations are located). Communicating with the staff in these particular restaurants may be a bit of a challenge for non-Japanese speakers, but several of the restaurants have an ordering system that makes it less of an issue. Ordering is done by putting cash inside a machine near the door and pressing a button with a picture of the item you want. The machine then prints a ticket you hand to the cook. When ready, they will bring the food to your table. Some of the restaurants have only the Japanese name of the dish on the buttons. However, they also display samples of each dish in an exterior window. I did not find it too difficult to find what I wanted outside and memorize the price and picture so I would know which button to press on the machine.
Koishikawa Korakuen Garden and the Imperial Palace East Gardens were within walking distance (15 minutes and 30 minutes, respectively) and are very nice attractions. Ueno Park was a little further, but I walked there in about 40 minutes. I took the Metro, JR trains, or Toei subway to get to the Edo-Tokyo Museum, Meiji Jingu, Shibuya Crossing, Odaiba Island, and Senso-ji temple and it took no more than 40 minutes to get to any of them from Hotel Niwa.
Although I was not there during baseball season, Hotel Niwa would also be in a great location if you are interested in seeing a Yomiuri Giants game. The Tokyo Dome is less than a 10 minute walk from the hotel.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Niwa Tokyo Japan