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Henn na Hotel Akasaka
2 Chome-6-14 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
From ¥5,897 /night

“Henn na Hotel” means “weird hotel”, but really it’s just a kind of gimmicky layer on a thoroughly normal Japanese hotel.

What’s the hotel like?

Photo by Gregory Lane

So the weird part is the animatronic “staff” behind the front desk. We hesitate to call them robots, because they really don’t do anything. When you check-in, you’re supposed to use a touchscreen. The touchscreen isn’t even well designed and when we checked in, of course there was an issue and a human staff member had to pop out from a side door to resolve it.

Photo by Gregory Lane

What facilities does the hotel have?

This hotel has minimal facilities. There is a room with coin-operated laundry machines, and a couple of vending machines.

Photo by Gregory Lane

Is there anywhere to hang out in the hotel?

There is an Irish-themed bar called “Craic” on the ground floor, which is popular for meetups in Tokyo (there is a meetup group in there most evenings.) Apart from breakfast time, when the bar is for the use of hotel guests, it’s just a regular bar, so you’ll need to purchase drinks or food to hang out.

What are the rooms like?

The rooms are surprisingly large (for Tokyo) with high ceilings. The design though, is quite utilitarian with a slight hospital feel because it’s so plain. The generously sized beds are firmer than we’ve experienced elsewhere. The aircon is also particularly quiet, which helps for a good night’s sleep.

A double room | Photo by Gregory Lane
Bathroom in the double room | Photo by Gregory Lane

There are no desks in the rooms and no other space in the hotel for working. Instead of a desk, there is a small sofa with a table. You could use this to put your laptop on, but if getting some work done is one of your goals, then Henn na Hotel is not the best place for you.

Twin room | Photo by Gregory Lane
Twin rooms have a more accesible bathroom/shower | Photo by Gregory Lane

Unlike almost all hotels in Tokyo, Henn na Hotel has Google Chromecasts connected to their TVs, which allow you to cast from your devices on to the big screen. Unfortunately, after pairing a device to the TV for a test, this writer was unable to pair the TV again from various devices, so unfortunately, the pairing with your TV is flakey at best.

There are tall buildings around the hotel. If you want some sunlight, request a room on the southeast side of the hotel. Rooms facing to the northeast get no sunlight (or view) at all.

What’s the location like?

Henn na Hotel Akasaka is handily located between Akasaka and Tameikesanno stations.

How is the access to trains and subway?

This hotel has excellent access to the Tokyo Metro. Akasaka Station on the Chiyoda Line is just a few minutes walk away and Tameikesanno Station on the Ginza and Namboku lines is just a few minutes walk in the other direction. The closest JR stations are Yotsuya and Shimbashi.

How do I get there from the airports?

From Haneda Airport, take the Keikyu Line that connects to the Asakusa Line subway, then change to the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line at Shimbashi (A10). From Shimbashi, it’s two stops to Tameikesannō (G06), which is a few minutes walk from the hotel.

From Narita Airport, you can take the Keisei Skyliner to Ueno, then change to the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line (a short walk to Yushima Station) or to the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line. From the Chiyoda Line, get off at Akasaka Station (C06). If you take the Ginza Line, alight at Tameikesannō (G06).

What’s the surrounding neighborhood like?

The surrounding neighborhood is a mix of retail, entertainment, offices, and residential. The noisier parts of Akasaka are mostly between Akasaka and Akasaka-mitsuke stations, so this part is relatively quiet.

There are two convenience stores within a couple of minutes walk of the hotel, and two 24 hour supermarkets as well. Within a radius of a few hundred meters, there is an enormous range of options.

Are there many good places to eat nearby?

Akasaka is full to the brim with dining options. The area between the hotel and Akasaka Station is particularly well known for Korean eateries. If you want an affordable teishoku experience with kimono-clad waitresses, then Kitaoji Akasaka Saryo is worth making a lunch booking for.

What points of interest are within walking distance of the hotel?

Akasaka is home to two prominent shrines. Hie Shrine and Hikawa Shrine. Both are within easy walking distance of Henn na Hotel Akasaka. Bic Camera — an electronics mega retailer — is a 10 minute walk away, located above Akasaka-Mitsuke Station.

Should I order the breakfast?

Breakfast is served from 7 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. at Irish Pub Craic on the ground floor. Breakfast is an additional charge of ¥1,320 and is buffet style, with the usual pastries, eggs, sausages, bacon, and fruit. If you like a voluminous breakfast, then it’s not a terrible option. If coffee and a pastry is more your thing, then any of the morning sets at nearby cafes will set you back about half the cost.

Who should stay here?

This is a good place if you’re on a budget, but it’s not a great place to hang out and relax, or to get work done. If you’re planning to spend every waking minute pounding the pavements of Tokyo, then this is a good option. The Chromecast on the room TVs would be a great feature if it reliably worked.

What sustainability measures do they have?

There are no in-room accessories like toothbrushes, hairbrushes, or other plastic wrapped things that go into the trash after each stay. in fact, if you want any of those things, you need to get them from a vending machine on the ground floor.

Tips and tricks for the best stay

We like natural light, even if the view isn’t fantastic, so request a room on the southeast side of the hotel. Also, if you want to stream video from your devices to the in room TVs, set it up on arrival. It’s better to ask for help from the staff early rather than late at night when you’re lounging around in your underwear.

Photo by Gregory Lane