Japan is a super efficient country when it comes to travel. However, what happens if you miss your train or are too tired to make another journey of your travel? You stay at the Toyoko Inn!
Toyoko Inn: Nihonbashi, Japan
I spoke to my mother who is Japanese about this. Her response was “Every Japanese knows about the Toyoko Inn“. Well, apparently I did not until I had that chat with my mother! I have lived in Japan and have traveled to a lot of different prefectures. There were times where I wanted to stop and check out a castle or a Japanese garden. I had a Japan Rail Lines Pass on several occasions that allowed for me to stop and get back on the trains. If you are going to travel throughout Japan the Japan Rail Pass is a MUST! Now the Japan Rail Pass can only be attained from your own country. So after, I had moved back to America, I was able to go back and travel to Japan with the Rail Pass. The Rail Pass allows you to travel on many of the bullet trains and JR lines in Japan and is the cheaper way to go.
Now sometimes the trains will get super packed if there is a Japanese festival or event taking place. There is nothing like standing up for over an hour on a fast train to get to your destination. I remember being so fatigued holding on to a hanging ring for support and being able to smell people’s body odor! NO THANK YOU! But there had been a couple times that I missed a train. Thank God for subconscious memory recall! I remembered my mom telling me that if I had a problem somewhere in a city and that if I needed to stay somewhere, the Toyoko Inn would come to the rescue! IT DID! Nagoya, Japan was my first experience.
Source: Tokyo Photojournalist (Standing in a packed train is AGONIZING)
I recommend writing down the Kanji (Chinese Characters) for Toyoko Inn. Every time that I travel in Japan, I try and spot the Toyoko Inn just for giggles. I’ve seen a few Toyoko Inns that do not have the English subtitles underneath them.
Here are a few other pictures of the famous Toyoko Inns. For a single, it typically runs about 5480 yen ($70). If you are traveling with another guest, the cost would go up, but the price is for the room and not per guest. Yes, you can go and probably find something a little cheaper, but I can’t guarantee that things will go in the right direction for you. You might not be able to speak Japanese and you might have a completely awesome experience or a super strange experience. Japan is a relatively safe country and I have never heard of foreigners being schemed out of their money at hotel chains. The Toyoko Inns are clean, efficient and comfy. You are also assured a traditional Japanese breakfast in the morning which will include a bowl of miso soup, gohan (rice), tsukemono (pickled veggies) and some onigiri (riceballs) with goma (sesame seed). Of course there will be tea and coffee as well.
Source: http://www.toyoko-inn.com (Single Room)
The term “ekimae” is KEY! Ekimae means “in front of the station”. I always stayed close to the train station so I could get up early in the morning and be on my way. Also locating yourself close to a station allows for you to change tickets, buy tickets or ask questions. You will have a higher chance of someone speaking English or some English at the stations. All the train times are also posted or if they are not, there is a book that has all the times posted.
Source: Toyoko Inn (Toyoko Inn Hakodate Ekimae Asaichi)
Source: Toyoko Inn (Typical Japanese Breakfast at Toyoko also known as Washoku)
Another bonus is that there usually is computer access which for many foreign travelers is important for communicating with loved ones or for researching what is next on your adventurous travel itinerary!
Bathrooms in Japan are pretty tiny. They also serve as a multipurpose shower/restroom. Your whole floor in your room is made to drain water. So if you are in the mood to grab your shower head and sing away, wherever your shower head sprays, you are assured that your shower/restroom will drain! Just keep in mind that the next person coming in to use the restroom might be a little upset.
There are always new locations popping up! I highly recommend this hotel chain because they are clean, reputable and efficient! Happy Traveling!