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“Excellent property.”
Review of Hotel Ichiei

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Hotel Ichiei
Ranked #70 of 322 Hotels / Ryokan in Osaka
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 26, 2013

This hotel is conveniently located steps from Namba station and minutes from some interesting attractions like Doguyasuji and Dotonbori. The rooms are quiet, clean and well appointed. The staff are very friendly and helpful as well. Great location for your stay in Osaka.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank SSSUCHAN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Ichiei, Front desk at Hotel Ichiei, responded to this reviewResponded August 16, 2013

Doguyasuji is very local place for Japanese people too. It is also for people who manage restaurant or do cooking busiiness to get a lot of kitchen tool.
Anyway, thank you for your stay here!

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Reviewed May 24, 2013

We booked this hotel as we specifically wanted to stay in a tatami room for the experience. The 6 mat room we stayed in was a lot more spacious than expected as it also had a small sitting area and separate entrance/storage area so we didn't feel cramped. While the room was a little tired looking, we were comfortable, slept well (futons were great!) and the room had all the necessary amenities.

The hotel is in an extremely convenient location. Exit 6 of Namba subway station leads you straight to the hotel and you can easily walk to the many malls and restaurants in the area. We couldn't be bothered looking for the lift up to ground level so we took the escalator up at Exit 5 and crossed the road to the hotel (look for the brown building and Hotel Ichiei sign, or the Exit 6 sign). The hotel's an easy stroll to the Dotonburi and Shinsaibashi areas for food, shopping and neon lights. Namba Nankai station is around 5 minutes walk away so very easy access to Kansai airport.

There are two things I should mention about the hotel. First is its smoking room policy. Generally during our stay, we didn't detect much of a smoke smell in the rooms, but there was one morning when the smell of cigarette smoke filtered in through the aircon system and really stunk out the room. So if you're extremely sensitive or anti-smoke, you need to look elsewhere. Secondly, many of the hotel staff we encountered didn't speak much English so you may want to keep your Japanese phrase book handy.

Would definitely recommend this hotel for a fun stay in Osaka. Who wants to stay in a chain hotel when you can do that anywhere else in the world?!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank missduhr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Ichiei, Front desk at Hotel Ichiei, responded to this reviewResponded August 17, 2013

Thank you for your stay.
Actually, I don't have perfect non-smoking room in this hotel so I just put air cleaner in all rooms then, spray to reduce smell.
I would appreciate a lot of comments anyway!

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Reviewed May 7, 2013

I've been regularly staying at Hotel Ichiei for the last 7 years and I don't see the point of looking for another hotel in southern (Minami) Osaka, since this excellent modern ryokan is probably the best value for money in the area - and possibly in the whole Osaka area. I was so happy with this little gem that I was reluctant to review it, for fear it would make the booking more difficult (only few great rooms are available, so advance booking is highly recommended), but it appears Hotel Ichiei is well-known and well-rated in tripadvisor...

Before getting in more detailed description : do not go there for the western-style rooms, quite average and ageing, the must-do is definitely the 3 best kind of rooms : the modern-japanese style rooms (3 of them available, for 1 to 3 people), the stone garden room a.k.a japanese suite (1 of them available for 2 to 4 people, it seems the second one is in renovation now) and a combination between the japanese suite architecture and the modern-japanese style for the furniture, called the corridor room (1 to 4 people). Also, fans of wabi-sabi could go for the tea-ceremony room (for groups of 4 people or more). Note that the price of these rooms is between 6500 to 13000 yens, according to the dates (more expensive in holidays) - and, for the same price, you won't find any other accomodation with so much class, beauty and comfort.

This little (a dozen of rooms) hotel is very original for its location, architecture and design.
Located in the bustling and loud district of Namba, Hotel Ichiei's peaceful atmosphere, sophisticated yet minimalistic, humble and tasteful design, mixing traditional ryokan and acontemporary touch, is a true haven in the midst of frenzy vulgarity. Think about graceful flower arrangements, changed daily, well-designed traditional tokonoma, wood, fusuma and shoji, mixed with modernity, pleasant non-aggressive lights, very thick and comfortable futon mats, etc.

The location is perfect in terms of transportation. It's directly linked to exits 5 to 8 from Namba subway station, 20m far from Namba-Nankai station, the airport limousine bus stops right at the door of the building, not that far (5 to 10 mins walk) from Namba JR station. JR Pass holders coming from the shinkansen at Shin-Osaka will have to hop on the subway (midosuji Line) and deal with a 30 mins journey before arriving at the hotel.
Hotel Ichiei is easy to find (once you've understood the reception is at the 8th floor of the ichiei building) and Dotonbori-Gawa, Hozenji-yokocho and most of the attractive streets and arcades of the minami area are just a few minutes walk.

Another great and not that well-known fact is the Hotaru, the hotel's restaurant, arguably one of the best restaurants of the southern part of the metropolitan area - and still a far better value for money than most of the tourist-trap eateries of the area. Which also means that the meals (breakfasts, lunches, dinners) that could be served in the room are amazingly creative (changing according to the Japanese 12 seasons), sophisticated yet fulfilling.

Ok, let's summarize the best parts of the Hotel :
- excellent value for money
- great location and easy access to transportation systems
- amazing design and feeling of having a peaceful nest in the midst of the frenzy city
- great comfort and excellent furniture and amenities (comfortable contemporary bathtubs, but not onsen-like, good bedding, comfortable furniture)
- huge rooms, spacious and pleasant to live in
- excellent food
- attentive and exquisitely polite staff
- good wi-fi connection

So, why only a 4 dots "Very Good" final review, instead of "Excellent" ?
Well, there could be some annoying aspects for some travellers :
- as I warned before, some rooms are quite so-so (mostly the pricey and dusty ageing western-style rooms) compared to the rest.
- Being in the midst of Namba means that it can get sometimes quite noisy outside at night : 3 major avenues and one expressway are passing nearby the Hotel's windows.
- The japanese curtains are not very efficient against light, so if you don't like having your room bathed in morning light, avoid this hotel.
- some rooms are not very well-ventilated or air-conditionned. It can get a bit too warm from may to september, too cold in winter (heaters are old and controlled by the reception). This also can cause smoke and smells to be a bit resilient.
- The hotel is getting old now and some rooms are a bit dusty - but they are in the procees of renovating slowly the rooms, which means also there could be renovation works-related noise.
- if you're very tall, like in most ryokans, you won't fit in the futon mats.
- if you're strictly anti-smoke and tobacco, you might get annoyed by the possible smell.
- the staff is nice but you'd better speak a bit of japanese - only 2 staff members can apparently speak a relatively correct english.

Room Tip: 3 amazing rooms : Modern-Style Japanese Style / Corridor Room / Stone Garden aka Japanese Suite Room...
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank E C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Ichiei, Front desk at Hotel Ichiei, responded to this reviewResponded June 10, 2013

Thank you for your stay.
Actually, we are rare type ryokan in busy city like here in Namba.
There are mainly Japanese style rooms and also, Modern Japanese style rooms that is mixed western style and Japanese style.
And we try to change rooms newly little by little but we are sorry if you feel uncomfortable.

Anyway, I would appreciate your comment a lot and hope to see you again.

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Reviewed April 30, 2013

Very good location, close to everything in Namba, right at the exit 6 of the metro station.

Japanese room was large and comfortable. A bit noisy and bright in the morning.

Good value for money (11.000 JPY per night).

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Thomas L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Ichiei, Front desk at Hotel Ichiei, responded to this reviewResponded May 13, 2013

Thank you for your stay.
It looks rare to have Japanese style room in the central city, Osaka.
Also, we serve breakfast and dinner to the room so if you have a chance to come here again, please try it next time!!

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Reviewed February 25, 2013

The service was great but I found the room really dusty. We went there doing autumn and it was still cold but they were unable to lower the temperature for us- so we had quite an uncomfortable sleep. However, its very close to the shopping centre - but note it you have the JR pass it is a good 15 mins walk to the JR subway - otherwise the other subway is only a 3 mins walk.
Overall it's a good location and you get what you pay for.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Angelr82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Ichiei, フロント at Hotel Ichiei, responded to this reviewResponded April 24, 2013

Thank you for your stay here.
I am sorry for uncomfortable condition in the room and I will try to improve about it more in that moment.
Also, I am located at central Osaka is called ' Minami ' area so it will not be inconvenient for shopping, having meals like you says.

Anyway, I would appriciate leaving comments!

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Reviewed February 17, 2013

Given the price we paid, we were very pleased with the enormous Western style room we were given. Lots of space, comfortable beds and seating and quiet despite the location. The bathroom was a little small and simple, perfectly in line with the price point though, whereas the rest of the room was above what we expected. Staff were very helpful, especially when we accidentally broke a glass in the bathroom and they took so much care to clean it up and ensure no shards remained. Found access a little confusing and sign-posting could be better.

Room Tip: The Western room we chose was spacious and comfortable, great value for the price.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank kavey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotel_Ichiei, front desk at Hotel Ichiei, responded to this reviewResponded April 28, 2013

Thank you for your stay here.
I am happy with your comments and yes, the room is said spacious than another place.
Actually, it is about 46sqm.
Also, how guest will find our hotel...actually, it is connected by exit 6 of subway Midosuji line but sometimes it will be hard to find us from outside. I have limusine bus stop towards ITAMI airport in front of hotel on the 1st floor and it is one of mark to get here.

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Reviewed January 9, 2013

Really, being over a metro station and 1 minute walk from a huge closed market, you would expect a hip hotel/hostel. Not here! This is a marvel! The corridors leading to the rooms are decorated with bamboos and flowers (pastic ones, but still), and nice relaxing japanese music playing non-stop. The rooms are big and comfortable. I had one with a nice view to the market. Beds are ok, nothing to comment. There is a flat screen TV, fridge and all you would expect from a hotel room. Breakfast was great. A traditionally dressed maid served it to my room, at a time I had agreed with the hotel reception. Tasty, filling and even with a little sake!

Think of it as a themed hotel. You get what you get in a hotel, but in a traditional japanese packaging. I would go there again!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank megatim1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Ichiei

Address: 1-6-8 Nanbanaka Naniwa-ku, Osaka 556-0011, Osaka Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Osaka Prefecture > Osaka
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Osaka
Price Range: $112 - $238 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Ichiei 3.5*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
It is located at the south of Osaka area is called Namba. Easy access to Kansai airport, Nara, and Kobe. Also, you can experience Japanese Ryokan style 'TATAMI' here. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ichiei Hotel Osaka

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