Sakura Hotel Jimbocho is a budget hotel run by the same people as Sakura Hostel Asakusa, Sakura Hotel Nippori, and Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro. Consequently, it’s quite different to a lot of other hotels in Tokyo as the target clientele is primarily foreign tourists — and it’s dirt cheap!
What’s the hotel like?
Sakura Hotel Jimbocho is made up of two buildings: the main building which has been around for around 30 years and a new annex across the street which was built in 2021. While calling itself a hotel, it has an overall backpacker atmosphere. The reception area can feel quite cramped, especially during peak check-in and check-out times, but the floors above have plenty of space for you to breathe.
What facilities does the hotel have?
One of the highlights of this Sakura Hotel is its 24-hour café on the first floor, but it also has laundry facilities, a copy machine, rental spaces (incl. a kitchen), multilingual staff, luggage storage, free Wi-Fi, and parking. While the main building has an elevator, be warned that the five-floor annex does not.
Is there anywhere to hang out in the hotel?
Everyone — guests and locals alike — seems to congregate on the first-floor Sakura Cafe; you’ll even spot some neighbors coming to take advantage of the reasonably priced coffee, food, and well-stocked international beers. You can also chill out and play some music here from the café’s record player. They have heaps of discs available in storage — around 6000 — so make sure to ask. The café’s terrace is also a great place to utilize during summer.
Sakura hotels are known for their events and this hotel also allows international guests to participate in parties, language exchanges, and cultural festivals.
What are the rooms like?
There are various types of rooms at Sakura Hotel Jimbocho. The main building has dormitories and private rooms of various sizes with shared bathrooms, while their annex building has large private family rooms with their own shower room, toilet, and small kitchen.
What makes the Jinbōchō hotel different from other Sakura Hotels is the yukata robes placed in each private room (although, you can’t take these home with you). You also get a humidifier, TV, free towel, and a phone that connects to the front desk. All rooms have air conditioners and include breakfast (more on that below).
How big are the rooms?
The single and double rooms are quite narrow but you get plenty of space in the private family rooms in the annex building, as well as the dormitories in the main building.
Are the rooms comfortable?
The rooms are by no means glamorous, but they serve their purpose and the slippers, towels, and yukata in the private rooms are a nice touch to make you feel more at home. The mattresses are well-designed and are comfortable enough, plus you can open the windows for a little bit of fresh air.
The bunk beds in the dormitories are not your typical run-of-the-mill design — they were crafted specifically for Sakura Hotels and are taller than your average bunk bed. You can comfortably sit up in them without getting a crick in your neck, and they are strong enough to carry the weight of even the heaviest guest.
What’s the view like?
The view isn’t anything special, you’ll likely just see other buildings when you look out the window, but most of the rooms get good light unless you are in the dormitories on the basement floor — just imagine you’re in a hobbit hole and you’ll fit right in.
What’s the location like?
The hotel has good access to Tokyo Metro lines and is placed within walking distance of a number of Tokyo’s landmarks and areas like the Tokyo Imperial Palace, Akihabara, and Tokyo Dome City. However because its closest station is a subway, those with a Japan Rail Pass won’t get free travel to the closest station.
How is the access to trains and subway?
The closest station to Sakura Hotel Jimbocho is:
- Jimbōchō Station (2-minute walk): Take the Hanzomon Line for Shibuya and Oshiage; the Mita Line for Meguro and Sugamo; and the Shinjuku Line for Shinjuku.
The closest JR station is Ochanomizu Station (around a 12-minute walk away).
How do I get there from Tokyo’s airports?
- From Narita Airport: Take the Keisei Narita Skyaccess to Higashi-Nihombashi Station (1 hr) and change for the Shinjuku Line to Jimbōchō Station (5 mins). The journey takes a little over an hour and costs ¥1,350.
- From Haneda Airport: Take the Keikyū Airport Line direct to Mita Station (17 mins) and from there transfer to the Mita Line (12 mins) for Jimbōchō Station. The journey takes about 30 minutes and costs ¥470.
What’s the surrounding neighborhood like?
The Jinbōchō area is very centrally located although not very lively (the average age of the residents is probably close to 80). However, it is known as the place to get second-hand books, and so it has that street library, dusty tome aesthetic. As you head farther down Yasukuni-dori, you’ll also find plenty of sports and ski equipment.
Are there many good places to eat nearby?
There are plenty of cafés in Jinbōchō that encourage you to combine two great loves — reading and coffee. You can lose yourself in retro places like Jimbocho Book Center (its motto is Book, Cafe, Work) and Paper Back Cafe for hours. But if that idea bores you, there’s always Craft Beer Market Jimbocho for a livelier atmosphere.
For a more substantial meal, try Yosuko Saikan, which is famous for its cold ramen dish; and nearby Curry Bondy for an impressive plate of Japanese curry.
What points of interest are within walking distance of the hotel?
- Imperial Palace East Gardens (10-minute walk)
- Nippon Budokan and Kitanomaru National Garden (14-minute walk)
- Tokyo Dome City Attractions (17-minute walk)
Should I order the breakfast?
Breakfast is included in your room price, but non-staying guests can also purchase it for ¥390. Breakfast is served from 4:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., which is great if you have an early flight. While the refillable toast, soup, tea, and soft drinks are sure to fill you up, you might be aching for something a little more exciting and you’ll find that in the surrounding old-fashioned cafés.
Who should stay here?
This is a great and affordable place to stay for large groups, independent travelers, and business travelers. But remember, this is a budget tourist hotel/hostel so if you’re expecting things like privacy and quiet you might want to consider another place. However, if you’re looking for somewhere friendly where you won’t have any communication problems, then Sakura Jimbocho might be a good fit for you.
What sustainability measures do they have?
Most of their sustainability plans focus on food and so their café serves a range of products that contain ingredients derived from their own land, Tohoku Farm, in Aomori. They do not use chemicals or pesticides and grow natural herbs which are then used in their special teas. They also have plans to move to bamboo-made plates and bowls.
Tips and tricks for the best stay
If you check-in on Google Maps, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter you can get one free cup of coffee during your stay. Along with all the events that the hotel runs, they often offer other services such as a rental shower and meal deal for local runners — the circumference of the Imperial Palace is a great place for a jog.