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“Avoid western-style rooms”

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Suigetsu Hotel Ohgaisou
Ranked #102 of 120 Hotels / Ryokan in Taito
San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
52 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Avoid western-style rooms”
Reviewed October 5, 2013 via mobile

This hotel is right next to Ueno Park, which is convenient if you want to see the zoo or museums (and the park itself is nice too). Otherwise it's a 30 haul on the (nice, clean) subway/local train to Ginza or Shibuya. We initially booked a western-style room, which turned out to be a really claustrophobic cell, so we upgraded to a Japanese-style room which was easily twice the size and looked onto the nice interior garden. It also had a nice large (for Tokyo) bathroom. The hotel was quite busy, with large groups using the banquet rooms on the lower floors every evening. That said, it was very quiet at night. The restaurant with the daily breakfast was nice enough. The Japanese breakfast was typical, the coffee was quite good too. For some reason they insist on playing CDs of very annoying music-box music, both in the lobby and restaurant. The staff was very helpful and nice, which one comes to expect in Japan. They also had a free laundry machine (with detergent!) in the bowels of the building, which was a very nice convenience. No wifi though, either in the rooms or even in the lobby. Overall I'd say the hotel was...meh. But unless you are really on a budget do avoid the Western rooms.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank sfoartboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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96 reviews from our community

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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Ivychurch, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
171 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed June 5, 2013

We stayed at the Suigestsu Hotel Ohgaisou for the last two nights of our month-long tour of Japan.

The hotel is in a very good location next to Ueno Park with lots of restaurants nearby. It has a nice bath (not common in Tokyo hotels) and a very attractive courtyard with private restaurant.

However, the room was really small, nowhere to put suitcases, only a couple of coathangers to hang clothes and a really small bathroom. It felt very claustrophobic.

Internet connection was free but by cable in the bedroom.

The hotel staff spoke very limited English.

Travel Tip:
To get to Narita airport from this hotel, ten minute walk to Keisei Ueno station then take the Skyliner – 2400 yen, 41 minutes, a fantastic, fast service.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Deborah W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Taito hotels

Switzerland
Level Contributor
271 reviews
171 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2012 via mobile

Fresh off the plane without a hotel reservation, this place was one of the choices given by the tourist information at Narita.
Staff spoke little to no English.
Breakfast (Japanese and Western) didn't look inviting when shown to us on pictures, so we declined.
Rooms are small and dated. A few shelves for storage wouldn't go amiss.
We never saw an other Western face, plenty of Japanese about though. So it seems to be popular with them.
Location wise it's ok with public transport nearby.
But I would chose a different area to stay in.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank A_Blue_Sea_Shell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2012

Furtively nestled in an overgrown, tropical-like section of Ueno Park in the nethers of northern Tokyo, this rather tarnished concrete establishment does one service with butterfly beauty. If you’re an indigenous wayfarer travelling with just a single overnight suitcase, and arriving on a domestic tour bus - to which you will quite religiously repatriate, after one day or two, - you will be just fine. You have the advantage, when in Rome, do as the Romans – i.e. be a link in a mechanistic, if not, robotic MO.

But, right now, let’s examine the basics – the hotel staff is courteous, yet quite reserved, but – surprise - will converse with you in Japanese, provided you have a fairly good command of the language. The hotel’s main attraction, its onsen (hence, the vast number of domestic tour buses) is scrupulously clean, albeit unimaginative in decor. But, be ready for the big marketing signature: the famous Japanese author/physician Ohgaisou, whose home this establishment once was, is as omnipresent as Wolfgang A. Mozart’s image is in Salzburg.

Now, the coin’s verso: If you are an international traveller, solo, and toting a 20 kg check-in and a 38 kg carry-on, the scenario above may have a bit of a bitter lemon twist.

Bound for your room, ascending to your floor in the tight, stuffy little elevator, and keying into what will be home for a few days, you will pause after opening the door, and take stock. Manoeuvring your suitcase and that carry-on (which at 38 kg, is essentially, Samsonite no. 2), might prove to be a test, since the Western style room width including the bed, will measure 1.5 widths of an International Samsonite, and, in its length, slightly more than two Samsonites end-to-end.

The contents of your carry-on (Samsonite no.2) will be more than enough to commandeer the entire desk surface with no room to spare. So, Toto (the Wizard of Oz, here, not the domestic toilet brand), you aren’t in Kansas, or Minsk or anymore with oceans of space. The advantage, however, is that the plastic bathroom cell is only ½ step away from the bed. So, there is a built-in convenience of sorts.

The next morning, when you produce your Breakfast Voucher (don’t forget this one, the staff gets slightly derailed, if you do) to the hand-covering-mouth giggling waitress staff, you will be greeted to a fare, which is more or less standard staple – fish, cucumbers, pickles, and rice. And a bancha. Not a bad way to start the day, by any means.

If your trip itinerary, notes, research on Japan, etc. is not on hard copy or archived seamlessly between your ears, but finds itself floating around in some iCloud, you will be in for Test no. 2.

When I stayed at Suigetsu Hotel in 2009, the internet for hotel guests constituted two coin-operated, DOS-era Compaq machines. Maybe this setup is still the same now in 2012. So, with a large stack of 100 Yen coins, and feeding these hardware albatrosses like nickel-and-dime slots in Vegas, you can tend to your internet needs, perched atop a mushroom head stool, in the privacy and comfort of the hotel lobby. Additionally, if you are not versed in how a Japanese keyboard can abruptly slip into Kanji, whoops, well, be sure to have another stack of 100 Yen coins for figuring out that one – not exactly easy if you can’t read the keyboard.

Logistics may prove to be Test no. 3. Of course, you can squeeze your way on the Metro or densha for travel into town. If memory serves, it’s about 20 or so minutes to Ginza, and 40 min to Roppongi. When (or if) you return to Ueno late at night - the hotel, happily, has no evening curfew (remember summer camp?) – and, on a bitter cold night (or early morning), you might opt to hop into a warm taxi (warm because all taxis at all stations all over Japan are always waiting with their engines long running – the Kyoto Protocol alive and engines revving), cabbing back to the hotel is simple.

However, if you want to scrimp on the cab fare and hoof it back to the hotel at night, wending your way there through Ueno Park may prove more than you bargained for, unless you know your way very well.

Sleeping could be chalked up as Test no. 4. Sound travels on cold, pristine November nights and the nearby Ueno Zoo is within easy earshot, i.e. yours. Caged in an urban jungle environment, the wild animal residents of this traditional establishment may amply voice their opinions about being held hostage and none are particularly keen on being there. Like denizens at any zoo (or prison), they do tend to get vocal about their misfortunes at night. Call this a serenade if Lost-in-Translation-jetlag-induced insomnia (which you may well experience) grabs hold.

OK. Let’s recap. The bottom line, really? There is nothing inherently wrong with the Suigetsu Hotel. If you are in Tokyo specifically for the museums, exhibits, and the Zoo, (already discussed - in part), Ueno is an address. If you travel very lightly and prefer that section of town, fine.

However, if most of your travel memory (or collective memory, anyway - be honest) resides on the internet and demands convenient log-on access, and if you are carrying the entire inventory of a camera store in your carry-on, well - wake up - accommodation downtown, i.e. Ginza, is more geared to the international traveller, offers more space and amenities and is closer to the action. (And, guess what, not that much more expensive).

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Saizen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Level Contributor
111 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2011

First of all, this hotel can't be beat if you have an early flight out of Narita. It is just a short walk away from the Keisei Skyliner Station at Ueno, from where it takes less than 40 minutes to get to the airport. Another good thing about this hotel is it's got an actual hot spring bath inside which is open til midnight. There is also a public bath (sento) virtually around the corner which also has actual hot spring waters and costs only about $3-4 dollars (when you come out of the hotel, make a left and it's down small street a couple of hundred feet on the left.) Try both. As for the rooms, if you're a large person, I'm 6'2" you will feel like a giant walking along the hallway from the elevator. The rooms, however, are not tiny by Tokyo standards (i.e. I've stayed in places in the same price range that were a lot smaller.) Amenities are pretty run-of-the-mill but OK. And it includes breakfast. If you can snag a room for under US$100 it's a very good value and I'd easily stay here again. The only drawback is if you have business in Shibuya or Shinjuku areas...it's far...allow 45 minutes on the train. But for an "old Tokyo" experience...this is good. Finally, it also helps if you speak a little Japanese...the front desk staff spoke some, but not very much English. Also, because I arrived early in the day, left my bag, and didn't come back until very late at night, they decided on their own that I wanted American-style breakfast. MAKE SURE YOU GET THE JAPANESE STYLE!!! While the restaurant staff was very accommodating, the American-style breakfast was terrible, and the Japanese style breakfast looked very nice.

Room Tip: Be sure to ask for Japanese style breakfast when you check in.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mikebern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
26 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2009

Stayed two nights here in a roomy Japanese style room for 12,000 yen (double). The Western-style rooms are decent, much smaller but also cheaper (a friend of ours had a single). Our room had one of those capsule bathrooms (great shower pressure) with sink, toilet and bath, as well as a larger sink adjacent. And a fridge. The hotel has a hot-spring-fed public bath which is great (and much less busy in the morning than at night). There is a free washer/dryer in the basement, though Internet access from the lobby is pricey (100 yen/ten mins). Gorgeous courtyard garden. The on-site restaurant is fancy but we didn't eat there. They serve Japanese breakfast only (for 1500 yen). A very nice hotel for the price -- we booked it from the airport after a cancelled flight and I was expecting much worse! I would certainly stay again. Location is a short walk through the park from Ueno station, but the hotel runs a free shuttle mornings and evenings.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cheapncheerful
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belgium
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 18, 2007

We stayed one week in this small and convenient hotel. It is the perfect hotel for those who plan to visit Tokyo the whole day and don't spend most of their time in the hotel. 15 minutes (on foot) away from the big Ueno Station, very close to the Ueno Park, Japanese Museum and Tokyo Zoo, the location is almost ideal (closer to the station could be better). The staff is friendly, speaks a little bit of English. The rooms are convenient and clean. The city block is quiet.
If we go back to Tokyo we will stay there again, as the price is affordable and the quality is good. You can only have traditionnal breakfast, try at least once it is surprising. We warmly recommend the Suigatsu Ohgaisou hotel in Tokyo.

  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank bribrille
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Suigetsu Hotel Ohgaisou

Property: Suigetsu Hotel Ohgaisou
Address: 3-3-21 Ikenohata, Taito 110-0008, Tokyo Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kanto > Tokyo Prefecture > Tokyo > Taito > Ueno, Asakusa
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #102 of 120 Hotels / Ryokan in Taito
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Suigetsu Hotel Ohgaisou 2*
Number of rooms: 125
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Suigetsu Hotel Taito
Suigetsu Hotel Ohgaisou Tokyo, Japan

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