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Sakura Hotel Nippori
3-43-15 Sendagi, Bunkyō-ku, Tokyo
From ¥5,733 /night

Sakura Hotel Nippori is a budget-friendly hotel that caters to large groups and has plenty of room (and rooms). While it misses out on a bustling location, it is in a serene old town with a direct link to Narita Airport.

What’s the hotel like?

sakura hotel
This is a very international hotel, hence the flags | Photo by Alex Ziminski

Sakura Hotel Nippori is the biggest of the Sakura Hotels and can hold around 300 guests. Although it has a welcoming café and reception area with plenty of space and friendly faces, the rest of the floors are slightly bleak and clinical. You might want to skip this hotel if you hate hospitals because it used to be one, although the upside of this is that every room is identical and comes with a balcony.

Whole floors can be rented out for more than 50 people, which is great for school trips or large group tours.

What facilities does the hotel have?

sakura hotel reception
The 24-hour reception | Photo by Alex Ziminski

As with most hostels and hotels of this type, you have access to luggage storage, a 24-hour reception with multilingual staff, and a laundry room. But what makes the Nippori Hotel stand out is its wheelchair accessibility, 24-hour café with 100 seats, parking, and currency exchange machine.

Is there anywhere to hang out in the hotel?

Plenty of space for a chat | Photo by Alex Ziminski

The 24-hour Sakura Cafe and Restaurant on the first floor is roomy enough that even outside visitors organize regular gatherings here. But unfortunately, even if you’re a hotel guest you need to purchase something to use this space. A simple blend coffee is ¥290, but if you are looking to grab a bigger meal their seasonal menu offers organic paella (¥3,000) and afternoon tea. There are also around 100 types of beers and other sweets.

Sakura Hotels are known for their events and the Nippori hotel also asks international guests to join parties, language exchanges, and local cultural festivals.

What are the rooms like?

The balcony is a plus | Photo by Alex Ziminski

This hotel only has group rooms — no dorms — that can be used from one to four people per room. The price varies depending on how many guests are staying. You can choose from tatami rooms with futons on the floor or western-style rooms with bunk beds and sofa beds. All rooms are sparse and do not have TVs or the general home comforts you may find in other hotels, but they all come with slippers, a small table, air conditioners, and breakfast (more on that below).

There are no private bathrooms in the building and so all floors have a number of generously sized shared bathrooms with showers, toilets, and modern hairdryers.

How big are the rooms?

tatami room nippori
Not much room once you lay out three futons | Photo by Alex Ziminski

As mentioned, this hotel used to be a type of hospital so all rooms are uniform and have similar features. So while they may be substantial for one or two people, they can get quite cramped once you hit three — you’ll be standing on feet and heads when four futons are squeezed in. If you are of average height or above, then you may need to crouch down to enter the rooms, but you’ll be fine once you’re in.

Are the rooms comfortable?

The rooms are plain and basic — it’s not a place you can spend a long time in, but there is air conditioning and the balconies are a nice touch. Also, make sure you are comfortable sleeping on a futon on the floor in the tatami rooms; it’s not for everyone and you may wake up with a bit of a sore back.

This room has a specially made Sakura bunk bed. | Photo by Alex Ziminski

The bunk beds in some of the rooms 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 crank in your neck, and they are strong enough to carry the weight of even the heaviest guest.

What’s the view like?

nippori hotel
The view isn’t bad. | Photo by Alex Ziminski

Surprisingly, you can get a pleasing city view in the rooms on the third floor and above. Some even come with an iconic vista of Tokyo Skytree. If you are keen on these particularly rooms, make sure to ask the hotel directly because they are not advertised widely.

What’s the location like?

This is an ideal location to be near Narita Airport because the station has a direct line, and so many guests use this hotel when they just arrive or have to catch an early morning flight. The area is also convenient to reach attractions in Tokyo’s north and north-east neighborhoods such as Ikebukuro, Ueno, Akihabara, and Asakusa. Although being close to Nippori Station means you can get pretty much anywhere in Tokyo easily.

How is the access to trains and subway?

The closest stations to Sakura Hotel Nippori are:

  • Nippori Station (7-minute walk): Take the Yamanote Line for Ikebukuro, Ueno, Tokyo, and Shinjuku; the Keihin-Tōhoku Line for Shinagawa and Yokohama; the Jōban Line for Kita-Senju and Ibaraki; and of course, the Keisei Narita Airport Line for Narita Airport.
  • Sendagi Station (2-minute walk): Take the Chiyoda Line for Otemachi and Yoyogi-uehara.

How do I get there from Tokyo’s airports?

  • From Narita Airport: Take the Kesei Skyliner to Nippori Station. It takes only 45 minutes and costs ¥2,570.
  • From Haneda Airport: Take the Tokyo Monorail to Hamamatsuchō Station (14 mins) and change for the Yamanote Line to Nippori Station (18 mins). The journey takes 32 minutes and costs ¥670.

What’s the surrounding neighborhood like?

Cherry blossoms blooming in Yanaka Cemetery
Yanaka Cemetery | Photo by

The hotel resides in the Yanaka district next door to Nippori Station. This is a quaint, slow-moving town that is one of the last Shitamachi (Tokyo’s old-school neighborhoods). It is distinct for its traditional wooden houses, easygoing atmosphere, and winding shopping streets.

Are there many good places to eat nearby?

If you are tired of eating at the restaurant down below, or just want to explore the area, then we recommend local Capleville Cafe which offers generous lunch plates, Yanaka Coffee for a caffeine hit, tea room Yanaka Kenshindo, and just about any café along Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street.

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

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 5 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 — as mentioned above — you’ll find that in the surrounding old-fashioned cafés along Yanaka Ginza.

Who should stay here?

This is a great and affordable place to stay for couples, independent travelers who want privacy but still desire a hostel atmosphere, and large groups — the bigger, the better.

What sustainability measures do they have?

Most of their sustainability focuses on food and so their café and restaurant 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. This hotel also has a compost system and grows their own herbs and plants which can be found sprouting around the property.

They do not hand out free toiletries and extras, but they can be provided at reception if requested.

Tips and tricks for the best stay

Remember to ask the hotel directly if you desire a room with a view of Tokyo Skytree.

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