Sometimes, finding a place to sleep in Tokyo can be a complex task. If we look for very low prices, we find old places with few amenities. And if we want something better, the price can skyrocket. OMO5 is a recently opened hotel (May 2018) in the Otsuka neighborhood that tries to offer a comfortable and cozy atmosphere at a reasonable price.

In addition, OMO is the new bet of the Japanese chain specialized in luxury hotels Hoshino Resorts. And it is that the chain has wanted to get away from the great luxury to offer hotels that are beautiful, elegant, modern, informal and with an affordable price. At the moment there are two hotels, one in Asahikawa (Hokkaido) and this one in Tokyo, although new ones are planned in other cities.

We are fans of the other hotels of Hoshino Resorts and they are ideal for a getaway and to give us a luxury. In fact, we have already been to Hoshinoya Tokyo, Hoshinoya Karuizawa and KAI Hakone (of the latter we owe you post). So on one of our trips to Japan we decided to stay here.

The 125-room hotel has been designed by architect Tatsuro Sasaki. Sasaki wanted to give the OMO5 a traditional Japanese style with a modern look, with ample spaces and a lot of wood use. For this he was inspired by the concept of yagura, a traditional Japanese wooden structure.

Location 

The hotel is located in the Otsuka neighborhood, a short distance from Ikebukuro. But if Ikebukuro is a vibrant, modern place with lots of people, Otsuka is the opposite. Walking around here is walking through a Tokyo of yesteryear that, however, is still alive, very much alive.

In addition, despite what it may seem, the location of the hotel is perfect: we have less than 5 minutes from a Yamanote line station and another from the Toden Arakawa or Sakura Tram tram line. With the first we can travel most of the important points of Tokyo and with the second, take a small railway excursion that, again, transports us to a different Tokyo than the one we are accustomed to hearing, the modern and bustling.

It is noted that the area has had a recent resurgence that continues, in addition. The main square of the station and the station itself have been recently renovated, there are several hotels under construction and we also find several recently created buildings, among which is the OMO5 hotel. The funny thing is that, despite being modern buildings, they house traditional restaurants, izakaya and even a traditional-looking karaoke.

The rest of the neighborhood is also full of unsophisticated but crowded restaurants, of the people of the neighborhood. We can find traditional candy stores, the local sanctuary where the entire neighborhood goes, etc. We will publish a walk on foot through Otsuka in a future post, because the area captivated us.

Facilities and service

The entrance to the hotel is very simple, with a small corridor that leads to a single elevator that will take us to the 4th floor, where the reception is. This small corridor already shows how the rest of the hotel is going to be, because in it we can see some bare wooden structures that we will then see repeated throughout the hotel. Here, at the entrance, there is a small decoration that changes according to the time of the year in which we are.

Entrance to the OMO5 hotel

When we reach the 4th floor, we have to walk down a corridor that leads to the lounge, the cafeteria area and the reception. On both sides of the corridor we will see, also with bare wooden structures, freely readable books and a small souvenir shop that includes Senbei rice crackers from neighborhood stores.

In addition, we find a large map of the entire neighborhood where tourist points of interest and restaurants have been marked. So, when you sleep in this hotel, you can enjoy the neighborhood much more using this map. The map also has a QR code so that we can scan it with our phone so that we can have the map with its locations on our phone.

Otsuka neighborhood map

Surprised in this area also find details taken from the trams of the nearby Sakura Tram line. And, as they told us, when they added certain design touches to this corridor related to the tram, they were a success. So they decided to leave them permanently.

In this way, we have a bench to sit on which there are handles that were previously in the trams. Or even push-buttons to ask for a stop that were once on the trams. We even found a real sign of one of the stations on the line. It is curious because, if we see on the Internet official photos of the opening of the hotel, that corridor was without these railway details. And, at least for us, leaving them has been a success.

The lounge area is spacious and comfortable, with several sofas, tables and chairs, and also with stools located in front of the windows. Here is also the OMO Cafe, a couple of small terraces and the reception.

The reception is just a small counter in front of a small wall with the name of the hotel. But even here you can see that the details are taken care of, because this wall with the hotel name changes its design also depending on the time of the year.