Having visited Tokyo 4 times, twice already I’ve stayed at Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku. For foreigners visiting Tokyo for the first time, this city can feel like a maze, especially if you somehow managed to find yourself at its bustling city centre. You’re not alone. Even when I’ve visited enough times, sometimes, I can still find it a challenge to get my bearings right.
Not sure where to stay in Tokyo? I have a top recommendation!
Ever since I tried Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku Hotel for my first solo trip to Tokyo, it has remained my top choice. Here are the reasons why!
Why Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku Hotel is the best place to stay in Tokyo, no matter if it’s your first time in Tokyo or n-th time
It’s easy to get here from the airport.
The hotel is located in Shinjuku – considered the business district of Tokyo. There’re 2 direct methods to get to Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku Hotel: Airport limousine bus (works for both Narita or Haneda Airport), or N’Ex airport train (for Narita Airport).
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Method 1 (recommended):
The airport limousine bus (which is a comfortable coach) makes a stop at this hotel for its Shinjuku route. Simply purchase a one-day or return tickets from the Airport Limousine counter at the airport, then go to the correct boarding bay to wait for the bus. Buses are extremely punctual and clean, staff is efficient, the entire procedure is a breeze. When your bus arrives, the staff will load your luggage into the bus, give you the luggage tag (so no one collects it by mistake), and off you go, till you’re dropped off at the hotel.
This company also has many buses going to different districts. You can check the schedule and covered hotels on their website!
N’Ex Train (cheaper alternative)
If you’re coming from Narita Airport, you can go to the JR East office at the basement to purchase the n’Ex train tickets. The staff will allocate your seat number and cabin number. Then, wait for the train and you’ll arrive at Shinjuku Station.
At Shinjuku Station, look out for South Exit, exit and then walk to the hotel.
Check the schedule and info for N’Ex trains on their website.
Warning: Make sure you enter the correct cabin even if the train looks empty and you think you want to choose another seat in another cabin – don’t! The train will split cabins to different routes afterwards.
The hotel location in Shinjuku is UNBEATABLE.
It’s a really short and easy walk (5min?!?) from Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku Hotel to Shinjuku train station.
This is really important if you’re carrying heavy shopping bags, or need to head back for a quick rest (especially if you’re travelling in Tokyo with kids or tired seniors). Or if you need to take the train to Tokyo Station for the Shinkansen (bullet train) bound for Kyoto; or to take Narita Airport Express train.
To get to Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku hotel, take the South Exit at Shinjuku station. Turn right & walk down the slight slope till you reach a traffic junction. Cross the road. Turn left, cross that road and keep walking on. You’ll walk past a 2-storey Mcdonald’s on your right, and very soon you arrive at the hotel a few steps away. Simple, right?
In fact, my instructions can be summarised into:
1. Take South Exit at Shinjuku Station.
2. Turn right – walk straight. Cross road.
3. Turn left, cross road – walk straight.
4. Reach hotel. Lol.
To me, no matter what others say, Shinjuku is the best place to stay in Tokyo.
Shinjuku train station is a quick 2 stops away from Harajuku, or 3 stops from Shibuya, all on the awesome Yamanote Line – areas you’ll likely be visiting when you’re in Tokyo! Once, I even walked back to this hotel from Harajuku Station, because the evening train crowd was too overwhelming for me.
Other than being near the train station, Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku is also very near Shinjuku Bus Terminal (which is directly across the road from Shinjuku train station’s South Exit). Why should you care about a bus terminal, right? It’s because, buses bound for Tokyo Disneyland, or other cities like Kawaguchiko (where you might spot Mount Fuji), depart from this exact bus terminal. So if you’re intending to head to those places, you won’t need to worry about avoiding peak train hours!
You can walk to get food, shopping and everything else.
There are plenty of eateries in Shinjuku. If I’m feeling lazy and travelling solo, I head towards where the lights are bright at Shinjuku (which is to the left of the above photo) and choose a ramen place. After I finish eating, I walk back to the hotel. If you’re super lazy, there’s a Macdonald’s restaurant right down the road from the hotel entrance!
Convenience stores like Family Mart, vending machines, drugstores are easily within reach.
From Shinjuku train station, you can navigate your way to Lumine shopping malls, Takashimaya, Isetan, Muji, Kabuki-cho (for Don Quijote), etc etc. All within walking distance from Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku Hotel!
The room size is more than decent
Tokyo is a city that is short of space. This, in turn, affects hotel room sizes (and/or public washroom sizes, etc) in Tokyo. Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku Hotel is a refreshing change from my previous hotel stays in Shinjuku, because it’s not so cramped to induce claustrophobia. They even have space for a good-sized bathtub in the bathroom!
In one of the hotels (ps: it was a Hyatt) I stayed at before, the bathroom standing space was so tight, there was only space to stand and rotate your body to change clothes, hang them up, use the toilet etc. And I am petite btw. This problem won’t occur at Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku Hotel.
The rooms are very comfortable.
They have rooms for solo travellers, nicely called the “Bright Single Room”. I love it. For this solo room, bed size is a good width at 140cm, and was comfortable to sleep in. The room also comes with an alarm clock, bedside mood lamp, TV, telephone and the usual.
There’s WIFI in the rooms!
In Nov 2012, they didn’t have wireless in-room WIFI yet, so I had to linger at the hotel lobby to use the Internet. For my second stay in Dec 2015, the hotel had already implemented free in-room wireless WIFI. Convenience!
Additional touches by the hotel
My room also comes with a humidifier/air-purifier.
Being environment-conscious Japan, the in-room dustbins are also separated into thrash vs recyclable products.
Service is always great.
Checking in and out were hassle-free. The reception staff are polite, efficient, helpful, and speak English fluently.
Since my first stay, my own family has stayed at least thrice in separate bookings and they all totally appreciated my recommendation! I will check back into Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku in a jiffy!
Where in Tokyo have you stayed at before?
Was it good? Share with me in the Comment section below!
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This is not a paid review. I’ve always stayed at this hotel as a paying customer.
Mini guides on Japan!
• Tokyo for the first time? Here’s where to go!
• 15 reasons Tokyo is great for solo travel
• 5 day trip ideas to make the best of autumn in Tokyo
• How to use Japan’s naked baths (onsen)
Inspiration from Japan
• Tokyo’s cutest festival: Shichi Go San!
• Why you should choose November to visit Tokyo
• Day trip to Kamakura (Tokyo)
• Hiking Mt Takao (Tokyo) in autumn
• Checking in Kyoto: Yumotokan onsen ryokan hotel
• Seeing a geisha finally in Kyoto
Image credits: Airport limousine bus is by Wikipedia user: Comyu, licensed under CreativeCommons 3.0, further editted by me. All other photos belong to me.
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