JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku

 

Prologue

Tokyo ranks as one of our favourite cities to visit and serves as an excellent gateway to its surrounding regions. We recently took a trip to the neighbouring Kanagawa, Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures, basing ourselves out of the busy Shinjuku area where we needed a hotel for a layover. JR Kyushu Hotels operates several successful business hotels throughout Japan, with their presence in Tokyo spearheaded by the JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku where we would be spending a night before heading out of the city.

 

Location / Accessibility

JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku is conveniently located a stone’s throw from the south exit of Shinjuku Station and Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal, from where both Narita and Haneda Airports, the rest of Tokyo and further afield can be reached via the excellent transportation network. The vibrant district is also a major administrative and commercial centre in the Japanese capital, offering a plethora of dining, shopping and entertainment options within walking distance.

 

Arrival Experience

 

Getting off the Airport Limousine Bus, we took a short walk to the side street and easily found the Japanese-styled entrance to the hotel. The elegant decor continues inside the expansive lobby, where the reception desk was set against a dramatic backdrop of illuminated fabric with giant ornamental light fixtures above that contributes to a sense of calm in the space when we arrived in the morning.

 

Our room was not yet ready so we left our luggage with the concierge and headed out, returning later in the evening where we were attended to by a male associate who welcomed us to the hotel and completed the check-in formalities. After picking up our bags from the bellhop, we were shown to the elevator for the quick ride upstairs.

 

Guestrooms

 

 

Accommodations at the hotel is spread on both sides of a single hallway across 12 guest floors, all boasting a very aesthetically-pleasing Japanese minimalist interior design. We had booked the Standard Double (one of 7 room types at the property) and were assigned a room on the third floor. While we would usually prefer a higher floor for its better views and noise insulation, in this case it was not an issue with us only staying for the night.

  

Entering the room, we are greeted by a compact space as is the norm in densely occupied Tokyo where land is priced at a premium. Rather than a sense of claustrophobia, the room felt cozy and comfortable to spend time in. The ingenuity of Japanese design shines here with the thoughtful use of a large floor-to-ceiling window and the predominantly light colour scheme of the room combining to create an illusion of a stylish, larger area then its 19 square meters.

 

The bulk of the space is occupied by the Queen-sized bed that was extremely comfortable to sleep in with the right proportion of support and mattress softness. Flanking this was a pair of nightstands measured to maximize the limited space of the room and conveniently fitted with bedside electrical outlets.

 

  

The constraints of space meant that the bathroom was a combined space housing the toilet and washing area. Despite this, the hotel still managed to cleverly fit in a full-size soaking tub commonly found in the country, where bathing is an important aspect of Japanese culture. There was no rainforest shower, compensated by the good water pressure and temperature from the handheld wand and the provided bath products from Japanese beauty label POLA. A full range of disposable amenities including dental and grooming kits, shower caps and personal hygiene products are also available for guests.

 

 

The workdesk’s clever design has it offer a sizable, well-illuminated space in front of the window, with the telephone and Handy local mobile phone within easy reach. A wall-mounted 43-inch television provides entertainment via cable programming, as well as on-demand content that can be accessed via the purchase of a ticket from the vending machine found at the elevator landing. Like most Japanese hotels, every room also had a humidifier for use during the dry winter and pollen seasons.

 

 

Storage space was adequate with the nightstand’s drawer housing a large electronic safe. The wardrobe was of a decent size able to accommodate enough clothes for a week’s stay, although we feel guests staying longer may find it insufficient.

 

The hotel has also done away with the stocked minibar, instead providing a mini fridge for use. Every room is also equipped with a kettle, glassware and green tea packets from Kumamoto, one of the many small references to the company’s Kyushu origins. Instant coffee was noticeably missing from the set-up and guests needing a fix would have to get it from the restaurant or purchase it separately from the convenience store next door.

 

Dining

JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku’s onsite restaurant, Akasaka Umaya Shinjuku, is an offshoot of the izakaya backed by celebrated Kabuki actor Ennosuke Ichikawa. We did not dine here but the venue offers a breakfast buffet in the morning in addition to its Kyushu-style dishes for lunch and dinner, amongst which is its signature “Gakuyameshi”.

 

Facilities

Guests can avail themselves to the coin-operated washing machines and dryers situated on the 6th, 10th and 14th floors. On these floors, the same room also houses beverage vending machines and ice dispensers in-lieu of a traditional mini bar service.

 

 

A small lounge and computer corner doubles up as a makeshift business center, although we feel the open space is less than conducive for business discussions, being next to the lobby’s general seating area where a selection of newspaper and magazines are available to browse.

 

Service / Staff

Japanese service standards are generally very good and it was no different here. Owing to our short time at the property, the interactions were mostly limited to the front desk, where we found the associates friendly, helpful and got the job done – attributes that one would look for in a simple, uncomplicated stay.

 

Verdict

We were very impressed with the JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku. Boasting superb product quality and a location that is hard to beat, it easily ranks amongst the best affordable hotels to stay in Tokyo. Visitors on business or leisure will find a fuss-free, comfortable and well-maintained property that easily trumps its local competition while giving the international chain hotels a run for their money. We wouldn’t hesitate to return in future!

 

JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku

2-6-2 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku

Tokyo 151-0053

Japan

+81 3 5333 8687

https://www.jrk-hotels.co.jp/en/

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