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“Place to stay if you want to try traditional japanese communal bathing”

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Business Hotel Mikado
Ranked #84 of 321 Hotels / Ryokan in Osaka
Reviewed January 27, 2012

I only stayed one night, and enjoyed my experienced. The staff spoke good english, were very friendly and helpful. The reception area was very inviting. There were often individuals or families eating at the large table after cooking in the small kitchen area. There were computers with internet to use. There were always baskets of free snacks.

Location is excellent, just a couple of mins from a JR line, so easy to explore the city. I did not have an problems with street people and felt totally safe in the neighbourhood.

We paid 5470yen for a western style twin room. It was very spacious with air con, tv, video player, towels, toothbrushes and bathrobes and slippers. I would recommend getting a twin rather than 2 singles as the twin is two single rooms knocked into one and feels very spacious. We had requested a non-smoking room and there was no smell of cigarette smoke.

There are shared toilets on each of the 8 floors. The showers were on the ground floor. I never saw these occupied, I never used them, because the hotel has a traditional Japanese communal bath (free to use). Most of the travellers I saw were Japanese, so they of course opted for the bath, leaving the showers free.

If you want to try the bathing experience while in Japan but are a bit unsure/nervous about how to go about it - stay at this hotel and you have a chance to do it on your own terms. There are separate times for male and female. I went downstairs in my bathrobe, others got changed from their clothes in the locker room that is just inside the main door. You get changed here then walk into the bathroom naked. There is one stand up shower cubicle and 6 stools in front of mirrors with shower heads. You should wash and rinse yourself thoroughly before getting into the bath. The bath is the size of a small swimming pool (do not swim, it is unacceptable). People brush their teeth, wash their hair and all of the body while sat on the stools, I saw several people spend more time doing this than actual time spent in the bath. Some came with friends and spent time chatting and laughing while washing. It is easy to see why the showers were rarely used; this was a warm, friendly environment. Very enjoyable. Don't be nervous, just go for it.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank bookowl1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 5, 2012

Stayed in Hotel Mikado for 7 nights in November 2011 and was really impressed given the very low price (about $30 NZD per night for a single room). The hotel is about 5 minutes walk from Shin-imamiya station (on the Osaka Loop Line), which makes it really convenient. Some people have commented that the area is a bit dodgy, and to be fair it's not the most pleasant place to walk through at night but I didn't have any problems nor did anyone stop / harass me.

The room itself was quite small (it fits a single bed, a really small desk, a fridge and tv - and not much else), but it was clean, tidy, warm and had air conditioning. Each floor has a shared bathroom (with a couple of toilets and a couple of sinks, but no showers) which was also clean. The only frustrating thing was that the actual showers / proper bathrooms were down on the first floor. That said, even though there were only 3-4 showers, I never had to wait to have one - and again, they were really clean etc.

Customer service was excellent - the staff helped with any questions I had; and the free wifi was a bonus that I wasn't expecting.

Definitely recommend to anyone who wants a cheap (but not rubbish) place to stay in Osaka. It's probably best suited to people who don't expect to spend too much time in their actual hotel, but just see the room as somewhere to sleep after a day of travelling.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled solo
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Thank Bad-Jelly-123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2011

this place is great. for about $25-$30 this is the place to stay in osaka for backpackers. the customer service here is excellent. the hotel manager came up to my room to fix my tv (i pressed the wrong button) and he then asked if i wanted so come down stairs and have some free dinner!

the location is fine, the train station is about a 2 minute walk and there is also a family mart on the corner.

i would highly recommend this budget hotel

Room Tip: try get a corner room so you get two windows
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled solo
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1  Thank macca8891
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2011

i stayed for 6 nights in this budget hotel.It's great for location.I don't mind the location that sometimes you will see homeless or poor people because they are not dangerous.I accept that the room is very affordable.
The site close to the key train station is very good to go everywhere in Osaka or Kansai area.

For the staffs, all of them were helpful .I was impressed that some of them might not fluently speak English, they showed the big effort to help me.Lots of good facilities too

I also don't mind that the hotel is not brand new or very modern.However, i would like the hotel to improve the cleanliness of the rooms and smoking policy.

Overall, I recommend all budget travellers to consider the hotel as a good choice.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled solo
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Thank iamBankoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2011

i went to this hotel few weeks back and i was impressed with the location,price and the service.The staff they were very helpful.There are Wifi and cooking place at the lobby.I like it most cause its location 3 min walk from JR shin imamiya and with the JR station i can go to Nara,and use JR namba to go to Dotunbori.btw they are walking distance from spa world...i will definitely stay here again :)

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled solo
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3  Thank Yukigaijin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2011

I stayed here for 3 nights, but i spent most of my time for travelling and visitinng friends outside; therefore, i just came back hotel for taking shower and sleep!
Even the location could be a minus point (known as dangerous area), it's not too hard to go to other famous attractions from here. Very close to Dotonburi area and Namba.
The staffs are very friendly and helpful; they are willing to provide you lots of advices, recommedation for travelling.
As i mentioned above, this hotel is good for ones who just care for a place to sleep with cleaness and basic facilities (they have sauna room, but i had not tried it). If you care about the quality of accommodation and spend much time indoor, take a look at other hotel may be better!

  • Stayed: March 2011
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1  Thank RykerPham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2011

I stayed here twice in November and December 2010, with my younger brother, for 14 nights all up. We decided to hang the expense and have our own private rooms and we paid AUD25/night (about USD25) per room per night. I was incredibly impressed with the service we got for the price we paid.

I'll start with the downsides, just to get that out of the way. Yes, the location is seedy, we kept walking past what appeared to be drug dealers down the alley, but they seemed harmless, There were also a lot of what appeared to be elderly and destitute people in the surrounding area, particularly to the south of the hotel near the supermarket. There were also some sort of ladies of the night (I think) set up in their own individual parlours between the supermarket and the post office (south east of the hotel). Fortunately except for the supermarket and the post office, everything a tourist needs is to the north of the hotel so you don't have to experience this side of Osaka if you don't want to. However, it's an experience worth having, or at least calmly and politely walking past. The locals who lived and/or worked in the surrounding alleys all treated my brother and I with the utmost respect. To this day I can't quite explain just how this neighbourhood works, and how everything here is so affordable.

But the above applies to all of the Chuo Group hotels and other hotels in this precinct, not specifically the Hotel Mikado.

The Hotel Mikado was everything you could expect for AUD25/night. The rooms were small and dated, but were perfectly fine for sleeping in. They were dry and warm. You have a small fridge, a TV, a VCR (and a large selection of VHS tapes downstairs to borrow), an air conditioner, a window that opens very wide (some rooms on the corner have two windows). The bathrooms tend to have 1 western and 1 modified/raised squat toilet on most floors, but some have 2 western and some have 2 squat.

If you have a problem with sleeping in air conditioned air (I prefer fresh air), you may want to ask for (or even bring) your own 2nd blanket. It seems common among Japanese budget hotels that they supply you with an air conditioner and expect you to use it if you get cold. The Hotel Mikado has spare blankets, but I'm not sure how many spares they can give out on a cold night. (And the unrelated hotel I stayed at in Tokyo didn't have -any- spare blankets!). Also, beware of the mode selection on the air con. The buttons are in Japanese and you need to work out which one turns on the reverse cycle heating.

About half of the front counter staff speak English (and those who do are surprisingly good English speakers), so you might find issues in the morning but not at night (or vice versa) communicating with the employees. However, don't let that stop you from trying out your Japanese.

There is a camaraderie that's almost comparable to a backpackers hostel among the English-speaking guests if you spend enough time in the lobby area. Or at least there was both of the times I stayed here. We visited a number of the local destinations with people who we met there and had a great time. We got travel advice from the hotel manager who is an ex-backpacker himself and who was very good at explaining the sort of things we'd need to know to make our way around an unfamiliar city on public transport. (Not that we needed much help, we'd researched the city heavily already).

The facilities in the hotel are dated, but are clean and livable.

That said, by now there should be a brand new private shower in the lobby area. It was under construction in December. The communal showers and sento were a bit of a shock at first (culturally, the facilities themselves were fine), but we got used to that by our 2nd day there, and it helped us get over the even bigger shock of visiting Spa World, a memorable communal sento facility that's a very short walk to the north of the hotel.

The hotel's free WiFi worked fine everywhere except the lobby. There was no WEP/WPA key.

If you're traveling from Kansai Airport, use either the JR Express or the Nankai Express or Limited Express (known as Rapi't). Both companies have a three tier service between Kansai Airport and Osaka (Local, Express/Rapid, and Limited Express). On JR the local and Express/Rapid services will get you from KIX to Shin-Imamiya, but not the Limited Express). On Nankai Railway all three train types will get you to Shin-Imamiya. I'd very much recommend paying the extra 800Y on top of the very reasonable regular fare to use the first class "Super Seats" on the Nankai Electric Railway's Rapi't (Limited Express) service. However, if you'd rather a shorter walk, the JR platforms are about 200 metres closer to the hotel than the Nankai's platforms.

There are 2 subway lines at Dobutsen-mae that are both very close to the hotel. The very busy Midosuji line is very close, and the less crowded Sakaisuji line is also pretty close but a tiny bit further away. The subway fares are very reasonable, and the ticket vending machines are not hard to learn how to use. However, the fares on JR and Nankai trains are even more reasonable if you're going to Namba, Umeda or Shin-Osaka, or some other destination where you have the choice of subway or surface railway.

All in all I liked the place. Sure, if you like the finer things in life, you will not want to stay there. However, if you just want somewhere to stay warm and dry, and mix with some really nice people, locals tourists and expats alike, be near a very good restaurant precinct with lots of affordable choices, and also be in walking distance of Spa World, and have excellent public transport options to get to and from the rest of Osaka, all at a budget price, then this hotel is worth it. And then some.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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7  Thank PeterCook81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Business Hotel Mikado

Address: 1-2-11, Taishi, Nishinari-ku, Osaka 557-0002, Osaka Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Osaka Prefecture > Osaka > Shinsaibashi / Nanba / Tennoji / South Area
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Spa
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Osaka
#22 Spa Hotel in Osaka
Price Range: $20 - $53 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 97
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Also Known As:
Business Hotel Osaka

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