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Hotel Risveglio Akasaka
3 Chome-18-1 Akasaka, Minato City, Tokyo
From ¥5,621 /night

According to our on-staff Italian speaker, “Risveglio” means “Awakening” in the renaissance sense. Although it’s rather modern and employs some unique design, it’s just a decent hotel—not the revolution you might have hoped for.

What’s the hotel like?

The hotel is in the heart of Akasaka-mitsuke, but it’s nicely offset from the street, so it’s easy to walk right past without even noticing the 10 storey building. With the subtle, cave-like lighting and offset from the street, Risveglio feels like a refuge from the surrounding city bustle.

What facilities does the hotel have?

The hotel is rather light on facilities. There is some seating in the lobby and a coffee machine for the free use of guests. The neighboring restaurant is not really part of the hotel, but it is convenient.

Photo by Gregory Lane

The Wi-Fi was OK for streaming video at normal resolution, but video dropped out on a work call, so latency may be an issue. If you need to spend a couple of hours on Zoom for work, you might want to head to a cafe with more reliable internet in the neighborhood.

Photo by Gregory Lane

The “no contact” lift is a nice touch for travelers who struggle to remember what floor they’re staying on. Just hover your key over the sensor and your floor is selected automatically.

Is there anywhere to hang out in the hotel?

The lobby has some interesting art and is pleasant enough, but it’s a small, transient space rather than a hangout space. Tokyo Oven — the neighboring restaurant — is nice, with plenty of light, but you’ll need to order something if you want to spend some time there.

The lobby at Risveglio. | Photo by Gregory Lane

What are the rooms like?

In keeping with the lighting scheme of the hotel, the rooms are also quite dark, contrasting with very white bathrooms.

The layout of our room was rather unique, with the bed more or less right next to the door. The glass walls separating the main sleeping area from the bathroom give it a more spacious feel than rooms in which there is a solid wall between.

Photo by Gregory Lane

The in-room desk is actually quite big with power outlets for devices. It would be nicer with a bit more natural light in the room, but it’s certainly a good, distraction-free place to concentrate.

How big are the rooms?

There are three different sizes of rooms. The standard size is a tight (but normal for Japan) 16 square meters. The semi-double, double, and “Hollywood Twin” have different sized beds, but the room size is the same 16 square meters. The next size up is a much more spacious 30 square meters. There is also an “Atelier” room which is a positively huge 64 square meters! They also list their bed sizes.

Photo by Gregory Lane

Bed widths are 1.4m for the semi-double and the “Atelier”, 1.6m for the double room, and 1 meter for the “Hollywood Twin” and the “Rugged Twin” which (as the name suggests) have two beds. The Rugged Twin sleeps up to three, while the Atelier can accommodate up to four guests.

Are the rooms comfortable?

The bed and pillows were comfortable. The aircon was slightly on the loud side but the white noise was fine for sleeping. There were another two power outlets next to the bed.

Photo by Gregory Lane

The bathrooms are modern and well designed. There is no bath in the standard rooms, but there is a spacious shower with a “rain shower” (water coming directly from the ceiling.)

The TV doesn’t have mirroring or apps, but for some reason there is a slightly battered tablet in the room that you can watch Netflix on. The previous user is likely still logged in.

While a comfortable space to sleep, wash, and even get some work done, the room is not the best place to hangout and relax.

What’s the view like?

Photo by Gregory Lane

The window in the room was openable, but completely opaque, so there was no view at all. According to the staff, windows on the south (rear) side of the hotel are opaque while those on the north (front) are transparent, so ask for a room on the south side if you want some kind of view. Since it’s Akasaka, it will probably just be of the building across the street though.

Should I order the breakfast?

Breakfast is a ¥1,650 at the neighboring Tokyo Oven restaurant. The breakfast has ala carte options with a small buffet. Ala carte options on our visit were eggs benedict, french toast, boiled chicken, American breakfast, spicy curry, and soy patties.

Espressamente Illy morning sets | Photo by Gregory Lane

An alternative is a morning set at a coffee shop. Espressamente Illy in nearby Akasaka Sacas has a variety of good value morning sets with good coffee.

For baked items, Akasaka Soyba on Missuji Dōri has excellent bread and pastries. The bakery is open from 9 a.m, but their prices (¥350 for a croissant and ¥380 for a pan aux Chocolat) are on the high side.

What’s the location like?

The location is quite convenient, with easy access to train stations, supermarkets, convenience stores, and eateries.

The streets below are popular with office workers in the evening | Photo by Gregory Lane

How is the access to trains and subway?

The hotel is about 5 minutes walk from Akasaka-Mitsuke Station, which is served by the Ginza Line, the Marunouchi Line, the Hanzomon Line, and the Yurakucho Line. Akasaka Station on the Chiyoda Line is slightly further away in the opposite direction. With so many lines passing through the area, it’s a breeze to get virtually anywhere in Tokyo.

How do I get there from Tokyo’s airports?

From Haneda Airport, the easiest route is to take the Keikyu Line that runs into the Toei Asakusa Line, then change to the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line at Shimbashi Station, then alight at Akasaka-Mitsuke and take Exit 10 to the surface.

From Narita Airport, the fastest and easiest way to get to the hotel is via the Narita Express to Tokyo, then switch to the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, then leave the train at Akasaka-Mitsuke and again, take Exit 10.

What’s the surrounding neighborhood like?

The surrounding neighborhood is a mix of offices, retail, and eateries. It’s a popular drinking and socializing area on weekday evenings, but it’s not as seedy as nearby Roppongi, so there are far fewer touts. On weekends, the area is almost deserted.

Are there many good places to eat nearby?

Akasaka is packed with good places to eat and drink. In the area you can find whatever cuisine you fancy. There is sushi, high-end ryotei, cheap and cheery izakaya, Italian, Chinese, French, Korean, Thai, Spanish — take your pick. Palermo (despite the name) serves delicious Neapolitan style pizzas and pasta dishes. Itamae Sushi is a good-value sushi chain in the area. Craft Beer Server Land serves up vegan dishes with a wide choice of local and international craft beer. For massive volume at an affordable price, head to Chinese Cafe 8, but be careful not to over order! For one of the more unique (but by no means cheap) dining experiences in Tokyo, make a booking at Ninja.

Palermo Akasaka | Photo by Gregory Lane

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

stairs leading down from Hie Shrine
The stairs leading back down at the other side | Photo by Victor Gonzalez

Hie Shrine and its popular path of red torii gates is a short walk from the hotel. The traditional Japanese garden at the nearby New Otani hotel is also worth checking out. If you’re a fan of electronic gadgets, head to Bic Camera to browse the huge range of items.

Who should stay here?

While not offering much more space than the average hotel in Tokyo, Risveglio does offer a unique experience — especially at this price point. So, if you’re looking to enjoy the entertainment options of central Tokyo and an escape from the mundane, then this hotel might be for you.

What sustainability measures do they have?

It’s hard to tell if it’s specifically a sustainability effort, but on our visit, the hotel was “setsuden-chū”, which is a Japanese expression for saving energy for some purpose — usually because there is some pressure on the power grid. This means there was no heating or cooling in the public areas of the hotel — lifts, and hallways. Either way, saving energy is a positive.

Besides the reduced power usage, there is an option to have hotel staff make up your room without replacing the sheets and nightgown.

Tips and tricks for the best stay

If you like natural light and being able to see through your window, make sure your room is on the north side of the hotel.