Images courtesy of Hoshino Resorts
Holidays with Kids checks in to Hoshino Resorts OMO5 Tokyo Otsuka
Rhianna Lewis discovers a casual-chic hideaway that makes a comfortable base for families exploring the neon lights and traditional temples of Tokyo.
When you’re exploring fast and fabulous Tokyo, you want accommodation that allows you easy access to the popular attractions and city centre, while also being a place of quiet escape and comfort at the end of the day.
Hoshino Resorts OMO5 Tokyo Otsuka
meets these criteria perfectly. Located in the northern suburb of Otsuka, this hotel is minutes away from the train station, with trains shuttling you directly to all the main areas of Tokyo.
OMO5 is the fourth brand from Hoshino Resorts, one of Japan’s oldest hospitality companies. Its Tokyo Otsuka property opened 9 May 2018 and has quickly established itself as a laid-back base for visitors in minimalist pastel shades. With lots of the guests hailing from English-speaking countries, the hotel has bilingual signs to make things easy. The rooms are a chance to escape for some peace and quiet, while the OMO Base lounge and OMO Cafe each offer a space to meet fellow travellers or spend time with friends.
Traveller: Rhianna Lewis
Room: Yagura Room
Address: 2-26-1 Kita-Otsuka, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Family factor: This hotel is designed to be casual and comfortable, making it perfectly suited to family holidays. The kids will also love the bunk beds.
The 125 guest rooms, designed by architect Tatsuro Sasaki, are in a unique yagura style. Yagura are traditional Japanese wooden towers with high ceilings and large windows that make a small space feel less compact. To kids, this loft arrangement will look like really cool bunk beds – a sure-fire winner. The rooms, sleeping up to three people, showcase Japanese style, with tatami mat floors, Japanese cypress staircases, based on Edo-period box staircase designs, and Japanese bathtubs with traditional checkerboard wall patterns.
The rooms encourage comfort, insisting that you remove your shoes at the door (a Japanese custom). You are then free to relax on the large daybed-style lounge underneath the bedroom. This space, positioned next to the window, can be converted into a bed for a third guest. Upstairs is the yagura bedroom with two comfortable mattresses.
The rooms are also cleverly designed to maximise storage space. Along one wall are shelves with pen and paper, tissues, coat hangers and towels, as well as space to add your own items. The box staircase holds the mini fridge, kettle, safe, additional bedding and space for your luggage.
The hotel lobby is home to the OMO Cafe and OMO Base lounge. There is ample seating here that can be used for a variety of activities, whether you’re grabbing a snack with the kids, sneaking in a little work on your laptop, or simply soaking up the neighbourhood vibes. There is also a gift shop here with local products and a small library where you can find information on the local area. There are supermarkets, convenience stores and a coin-operated laundry, so the hotel lends itself well to longer stays, too.
The reception exemplifies Japanese innovative technology with an efficient self-check-in and check-out feature.
• Gift shop
• Drinks vending machine
• Amenities vending machine with tea, coffee and cosmetics
• Go-KINJO Map
• OMO Ranger Tours
• Fully equipped bathroom with shower and bath
• Wall storage
• Air conditioning
• Hair dryer
• Fridge and kettle
• Tissues, toothbrush and toothpaste
• Pen and paper
• Coat hangers
Breakfast at OMO Cafe is a great way to start the day. The menu gives you a choice of either an American cooked breakfast – with eggs, sausage, bacon, pumpkin salad and a bread basket – or the cafe’s specialty, vol-au-vents, which come with fruit, seafood, beef stew or salad. Each meal is accompanied by a small bowl of soup and your choice of beverage. The OMO Cafe transforms into a bar in the evening, if you’re looking for a kid-free moment.
For dinner, join one of the OMO Ranger tours so that an expert can help you order an authentic Japanese meal. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are plenty of restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. I found a sushi restaurant just across the road. Be warned – these little restaurants are run by locals who often don’t speak much English. You may want to opt for a place with an English menu.
The hotel encourages you to get to know the local area on one of its tours. The local area, Otsuka, gives you a taste of old-fashioned Tokyo, while also offering plenty of nightlife options for parents.
The tours are led by OMO Rangers, members of the hotel staff with an abundance of local knowledge. Aside from the walking tour, guests will need to pay and there is a maximum number of guests per tour.
The available tours include:
• Green tour: free walking tour of Otsuka, stopping at local shops and a shrine
• Red tour: bar-hopping tour
• Yellow tour: traditional restaurants tour. The stops on this tour can vary. For my tour, we went to a tempura restaurant and a brewery.
• Blue tour: new restaurants tour
• Purple tour: nightlife tour
Many of the stops on these tours can be found on the Go-KINJO Map at OMO Base. This map allows you to explore Otsuka on your own and provides a visual guide for your tour.
OMO5 offers families a place to connect and escape from the bustle of the city, while also allowing for easy access to the main attractions of Tokyo. And did I mention bunk beds?
Qantas offers direct flights from Australian cities to Tokyo.
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