This was the Toyoko Inn that was closest to the JR station among the 12 Toyoko Inns that we stayed in. So close that we could hear the train passing by in our room, but soft enough that it did not disturb our sleep. I need to add that we’re not a light sleepers, plus, after walking around sightseeing the whole day, we sleep very well at night.
It is really less than two minutes walk from the Noda Station, and among one of our favourite Toyoko Inns among the 12 we stayed in. Several reasons. I remember I had a hard time looking through Osaka map and deciding which Toyoko Inn to stay at, before choosing Noda. And after having enjoyed the location for 2 nights, we found it to be an excellent choice for us in Osaka.
Sure we did have to transfer trains with our luggage but it was manageable as we are able to pull our trolley bags and even carry it up and down stairs, with another backpack on our back (transferring trains are okay for us, but transferring to buses are no-no with our amount of luggage as there’s 6 of us). If you foresee difficulty with stairs, Noda may not be the right fit for you.
I have to qualify that I only explored Osaka itself on the day we arrived – did Namba, Dotonburi, Shinsaibashi, kaiyukan (aquarium) – JR Bentencho station to Osakako Station by subway (Bentencho isn’t far from JR Noda on the JR Loop line). Next day we did a day trip to Kobe before we departed for Hiroshima the following day, so Noda being close to Osaka Station/Shin-Osaka Stations proved time-saving. We had JR passes. Also did Americamura (utterly disappointing – how could anyone have the cheek to compare it with Harajuku???)
There’s a mini-mart you have to pass by to get to this Toyoko Inn – so very convenient for us to pick up fruits and milk on the way back to the hotel. The best thing was discovering that the eateries around Noda Station had lower prices than the ones at Namba/Umeda. The set meals at the eateries was about 550 – 600Y. But we did not even go for it as we found a wonderful bento shop that was selling piping hot bento for 390Y – just across the street in front of JR Noda Station, not far from the traffic light.
It’s a chain bento shop, as I have also come across one or two other outlets at other Japanese cities later. The bento isn’t pre-packed and waiting for you to pick up – hence cold and fried food no longer crispy. No, you pick from visual samples and pay, then they fry the ebi (fried prawn) or karage (fried chicken) or whatever you ordered and make the bento for you on-the-spot. Being just 1 to 2 minutes away from the hotel, by the time we walk to Toyoko Inn at Noda, our food’s still nice, crispy and hot. We have our dinner at the hotel’s tables used for breakfast. Help yourself to free water or just pop 100Y into the hotel’s vending machine for a cola or something. Made sure my kids didn’t make a mess and we cleaned up the tables we used.
Right, the minimart also offered their bentos at half price at around dinner time - but theirs is pre-packed, which makes a BIG difference in taste. They weren't able to tempt us with their half-priced bentos - not when we have that shop that makes your bento when you place your order.
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