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February 2019. For my last few days in Tokyo I switched accommodation for the third and final time. After the budget-friendly convenience of Oak Hostel Sakura and the opulence of Park Hyatt Tokyo this time I wanted to try out one of the city’s top rated pod hostels. I had stayed in a pod hostel before back in the summer of 2017 when I spent some time exploring the Chinese island city of Xiamen. With rooms typically consisting of a two-meter long one-meter high lockable capsule, some people find the pod hostel setup claustrophobic. But I thought it was cosy, providing a perfectly dark, soundproof space in which to crash out after a day on my feet. So how would Ginza Bay Hotel measure up to my previous experience?
February 2019. As you would expect from Tokyo accommodation Ginza Bay Hotel is spotlessly clean and super organized. I had no trouble locating my pod (219), located in the large male dormitory on the second floor. The Japanese are incredibly polite and quiet, to the point where it actually felt like everyone was creeping about trying to be as discreet as possible. Which, when you’ve been living in China for the past two years, can be a very good thing! But on this occasion it felt a little eerie, like the place was too quiet. It looks like a prison! noted one of my Chinese friends and… amusingly… I could see what she meant.
My pod was also a picture of orderliness, carefully fitted with everything you’d need from plug sockets, shelves and lights to a mirror, an adjustable temperature panel and a satchel in which I found a towel, slippers and a pair of navy blue pajamas.
February 2019. At nighttime everyone walks around in Ginza Bay Hotel’s identical pajamas, which only added to my friend’s prison observation. The bathroom was spotless too, pretty much around the clock. And they offer everything you could possibly need on the toiletry front, so I didn’t even need to open my wash bag. I don’t think I’ve ever stayed at a place where I felt it was a bit too organized.
February 2019. Ginza Bay Hotel’s common room is a bit soulless but again it’s got everything you need including solid Wifi, a coffee machine, a smoking room and basic kitchen facilities. Perfect for a spell of photo editing! Having covered all the positive stuff, it’s time for me to drop the great Ginza Bay Hotel Bombshell! Their otherwise great little place had one huge flaw… and one I’m kinda embarrassed I missed in the small print on their website. Basically you can’t access your pod between 10:00-17:00 every day!!! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing when the receptionist broke the news. Kicked out of bed at 10:00 every morning and denied access to your lodgings for a whole seven hours! It wasn’t a huge issue for me as I had full days planned, but it just struck me as an incredibly inconvenient and wholly unnecessary policy. So every morning I had to empty out my pod and transfer my stuff two floors up to the locker room. And then fish it all back out again at night. I was only staying for a couple of days but imagine dealing with that for a week! What if you got sick? Wanted a lie in? I suppose the hostel would say this seven-hour period is to carry out cleaning. No wonder the place is so spotless, I’m guessing it’s easy to keep things shipshape when you don’t have any guests!
Still interested in staying at Ginza Bay Hotel? It does have a great location in Tokyo’s Ginza neighborhood, about a 6-minute walk from Higashi-ginza Metro Station. It’s also nearby several cool city sights, including Tsukiji Outer Market.
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