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Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro: Behind the Scenes of this Popular and Budget-Friendly Hotel!

Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro: Behind the Scenes of this Popular and Budget-Friendly Hotel!

Date published: 28 November 2019
Last updated: 29 November 2019

In one of Tokyo’s most famous tourist areas, lies “Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro”, in the popular and well-connected district of Ikebukuro. With reasonable prices and a cozy atmosphere, this is a popular hotel where the staff always welcomes you with a smile.

Over 80 percent of the guests here are from overseas, and many of them are repeat customers. Let’s investigate just what’s so appealing about “Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro”!

Ikebukuro, the tourist spot in the city with countless things to do, and excellent transport connections

The impossibly large Ikebukuro station is served by many lines, including the JR Yamanote, Saikyo, and Shonan Shinjuku Lines, the Tobu Lines, Seibu Lines, and the Tokyo Metro.

The district is fronted by shops, restaurants, and other sightseeing spots. There’s even a university here, and there’s just so much to see. In particular, the Sunshine City entertainment complex has several famous attractions, including an observation deck in one of its towers, and the “Sunshine Aquarium”, where you can see penguins swim under the blue sky.

On top of that, Toshima-ward, which Ikebukuro is situated in, was the home of one of the pioneers of Japanese anime, Tezuka Osamu. Well-known as the creator of “Astro Boy”, his house, Tokiwa-sō, was in the area, though it has since been demolished.

In current times, the area has plenty of anime, manga, and indie shops, and is a popular gathering spot for cosplay fans too. Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre and other arts houses are in the area too, and it is a hub for music, the arts, and culture.

Ikebukuro's hotel scene: Everything from luxury hotels to budget friendly hotels

In Ikebukuro, there are an unusually large number of hotels in the areas surrounding the station. There are large hotels that come with ballrooms and other facilities, and too many business hotels to count. For those on a budget, there are hotels with dormitory rooms, guesthouses, and capsule hotels too.

Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro: where you can feel right at home at a reasonable price

Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro: where you can feel right at home at a reasonable price

“Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro” is a 6-minute walk from the west exit of Ikebukuro station. It’s a convenient location for both sightseers and business travelers. As it’s near a JR station, it’s especially convenient for foreign visitors using the JR Pass. There are 103 rooms in total, and it can accommodate up to 270 guests at reasonable prices in the range of business hotels.

Though it varies by the time of the year, around 80 to 90 percent of the guests are from overseas. As such, the hotel provides various services to make the stay smoother and more accommodating for them. In a year, the hotel welcomes guests from around 100 countries! At the front desk, there are displays telling you which countries the guests are from and which country has the greatest number of visitors that day. On the day we visited, most guests were from China.

From solo travelers to families, friends, and groups, the hotel also welcomes many guests that come in large groups. Depending on the time of year, there can be university students visiting for a seminar, sports clubs on retreats, and even performers in a group lodging together.

All staff speak English and Japanese, and there are other staff who are native speakers of other languages too. Hotel staff who can speak Korean, Malay, Thai, Chinese, Spanish, and French are available. For guests who feel worried if they can’t speak to the staff in their native language, Sakura Hotel is the right choice for you.

From dormitories to Japanese-style rooms, there’s a room for any occasion

From dormitories to Japanese-style rooms, there’s a room for any occasion

The basic room types are single, double, superior double and twin (bunk bed), and they’re all clean and brightly lit. Besides these, Japanese-style rooms, dormitories, and family rooms are available as well. The Japanese-style room can accommodate up to five people, and is especially popular as it allows guests to experience an atmosphere like a ryokan in a business hotel setting right next to the station. As it’s often fully booked, it’s best to make your reservations early.

There are both female only and mixed dormitory rooms available, with shared showers and toilets. At around 3000 yen per night, the price is very reasonable, and you can enjoy chatting with your roommates too.

There is only one family room available, and it comes as a double bed with a bunk bed. As it can accommodate up to four people, it’s popular amongst both families and groups.

A shared kitchen and coin laundry, making things a little easier for those staying long term

A shared kitchen and coin laundry, making things a little easier for those staying long term

The shared kitchen is well equipped, and you can make your own meals there. The kitchen is especially useful for those who have problems eating outside all the time, such as those staying long term, or those with dietary restrictions because of their religion. With crockery, cutlery, and basic seasonings available, you can make your meals easily. Besides the kitchen, there’s a coin laundry available, with both washing machines and dryers, as well as a temporary storage space, where you can leave your luggage before checking in and after checking out.

WiFi, halal ramen, and all-you-can-eat breakfast plans: services that will delight guests from around the world!

WiFi, halal ramen, and all-you-can-eat breakfast plans: services that will delight guests from around the world!

Inside the hotel, free WiFi is available in guestrooms and the restaurant. On top of that, the popular breakfast plan come with a buffet spread of bread, beverages, and soup of the day.

As breakfast is served from 4:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., it’s convenient for those looking to head out early too.

Besides the buffet spread, half-boiled eggs and bananas can be added on for 100 yen per item. At the reception, halal instant ramen is on sale for 100 yen each, and the direction of Mecca is marked out as well, making things easier for those who need to do their prayers.

Sakura Café & Restaurant, open 24/7

Sakura Café & Restaurant, open 24/7

Facing the front desk of the hotel is “Sakura Café & Restaurant”, which is open 24 hours a day. From breakfast for hotels guests to lunch for the salaryman working nearby, and the bar which returning guests can relax at after a day out sightseeing, you can see multiple scenes in the café throughout the day.

We recommend the “World Local Cuisine” lunch set, which changes each week, with two choices available each day. In tune with the changing seasons, the chef decides on a new menu every week using various ingredients from around the world.

On the week we visited, “Bayern-style Schweinebraten”, a German style roast pork, and “Shkmeruli”, a Georgian dish of chicken in a soup of milk and garlic, were available. We tried out the schweinebraten, and at 1.5 centimeters thick, the serving size is impressive! The meat is soft and juicy from marinating in a sauce with black beer, and it goes wonderfully with mashed potatoes. The lunch set costs 880 yen, and you can add on 100 yen for either a coffee, tea, or salad.

Another popular item is the pudding, which is made using organic eggs from “Tohoku Bokujo”, a self-managed farm in Aomori prefecture. The pudding is made using eggs, acacia honey, and jersey milk. There are two flavors available, the simple and refreshing “Akadama pudding”, at 400 yen, and the “Aodama pudding”, at 450 yen, which uses rarer blue eggs.

In the bar, there are beers lined up from America, Asia, Europe, and more. From common beers to rarer drafts, there are usually around 60 different types being chilled at any given time. There are even green apple and grapefruit flavored beers!

Welcome back to Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro: many guests are repeat guests, or were introduced by word of mouth

Welcome back to Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro: many guests are repeat guests, or were introduced by word of mouth

It was particularly apparent when we visited the hotel, but Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro has a very homey atmosphere, which is made possible by the warm and friendly staff. While we were there, Korean staff members were patiently helping and discussing with some Korean guests.

There are actually many guests who turn up at the hotel with plan in mind. The experienced staff can discuss with and give suggestions to guests about their itinerary, while scouring through guidebooks together.

It is for this reason that there are many repeat guests, and guests who heard about the hotel from their friends. The draws of this hotel are more than just its budget-friendly prices and convenient location; from the friendly staff who greet you upon your return to the cozy and homey atmosphere, this is the secret to Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro’s popularity.

  • Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro
    サクラホテル池袋
    • Address 2-40-7 Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 171-0014
    • Nearest Station Access: 6-minute walk from west exit, 3-minute walk from exit C6 of Ikebukuro Station (JR line)
    • Phone Number 03-3971-2237

    Business hours: 24-hour reception, check-in from 3:00 p.m., check-out from 10:00 a.m.
    Open year round

Written by: Medium KK

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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