My incoming flight to Haneda was scheduled to land at about 10:30 PM. I knew it would be close to midnight when I got through customs, and my plan was to go to Tsukiji Market to try and get a glimpse at the tuna auction.
Since you have to arrive very early at Tsukiji Market to try and get into the tuna auction, I figured staying somewhere close to Tsukiji would be my best bet since the trains aren’t running that early in the morning.
I decided on the Tsukiji Business Hotel BAN, as I had a “free night” through the Hotels.com program, so I figured why not use it here. My end cost was $25, which I though was a good deal. The hotel is located right across the street from Tsukiji Market which couldn’t be more convenient.
Depending on which direction you are coming from, finding the hotel is somewhat difficult to find unless you read Kanji. I walked right past the hotel, since I couldn’t see the hotel sign in English from the direction which I arrived at the hotel.
The hotel is part of a high rise building, and there is a small coffee shop in the front that should help locate it more easily.
Upon entering the building, the front desk is located down the hallway and to the left. It took a while to get my reservation in order, but I was finally presented an actual key attached to a fairly large keychain.
Upon locating my room, I noticed the height of the door was much shorter than the standard American door. I am by no means tall, but I felt like I needed to duck my head in order not to hit it.
The size of the room caught me off guard. I know I was in Tokyo where real estate is at a premium. I also knew this was a business hotel with just the basics. I had also read that the rooms were relatively small, but the room was much smaller than my dorm room back in college.
Upon entering the room, there was a luggage rack and a pair of slippers. In true businessman fashion, the machine attached to the wall pressed your pants. There was no closet, just a rack with some hangars and a bottle of air freshener.
At the back of the room, was a very small desk with no real chair to speak of. There was also a mini fridge, and a shockingly lime green phone.
The bed must have taken up nearly half the room. The bed itself was rather firm, and the sheets a little scratchy. A set of pajamas was also provided, which I thought was a nice touch. There is a small night stand next to the bed with an alarm clock. Although the room does have an air conditioner, the room never actually cooled down.
At the foot of the bed in a little cubby hole, was the TV. It was late and I never turned the TV on, as I was hoping to get 2-3 hours of sleep before heading down to the market.
The bathroom was located to the back right of the room, and up a little step. I stumbled several times because of the step but no major injuries occurred. The bathroom is very small, and smelled kind of musty. It had a Japanese style toilet, and amenities including a tooth brush and toothpaste, a brush, razor, and other items.
Fortunately, the bathroom was big enough to have an actual sink, rather than the kind that has the sink above the toilet in which you wash your hands with the water that fills the toilet tank. I think that is actually ingenious, and must save a ton of water.
In this case, the faucet swung to either provide water to the sink to wash your hands, or to fill the tub. The handle also directed water into the sink, or to the shower. Talk about efficiency!
Shampoo, conditioner and body wash were provided in dispensers.
The hotel also offers free breakfast, and you can either take it in the little coffee shop right off the front desk, or in a designated restaurant inside of Tsukiji Market. Since I was planning to have sushi following the tuna auction if I could get in, I passed on breakfast.
The hotel and rooms are clean; the front desk staff spoke English well enough to get by. The hotel is super convenient for those wanting to go to Tsukiji Market, at least until the new own opens later in the year.
I would definitely recommend this hotel if being close to Tsukiji is important.