Our requirements for a hotel in Tokyo during this trip were simple;
We wanted to check-in to a hotel within 48 hours for four nights that would cost less than £250 for two adults. The hotel needed to be within 30 minutes (walking, public transport…) from Disneyland Resort Tokyo and have WIFI available in the rooms.
The reality of somewhere meeting these requirements was not. In fact, the reality was close to impossible.
Of course, it was the price of the hotel which was why I wasn’t matching the criteria. With the majority of the hotels in this area come at a cost of around £250 a night.
Which is why I was so blessed when I found that Flexstay Inn was offering 4 nights for just £214. Situated 2.4KM away from Disneyland Tokyo it was walkable, but better yet it had a complimentary shuttle bus to the parks daily.
Unfortunately, as you might come to think right now… a £214 hotel in an area where hotels are commonly £1,000 for the same period is considerably below par.
There’s no denying it. The location of Flexstay Inn Shin-Urayasu is amazing. It’s around 15 minutes by public transport to Disneyland Tokyo Resort. It’s footsteps away from a bus stop with buses leaving every 5-minutes or so, and walking distance to a metro station (Shin-Urayasu) that is on the JR Line.
If that wasn’t enough there’s a 7-11 just 100-metres walk-away and three shopping centres around 1.5km away that have major department stores, a range of restaurants (independent and chain).
In fact, the only way this hotel could be any better in the terms of location is if it was on-site at the Disney Resort itself.
We arrived at the hotel around 4.30pm, after what was an eventful journey (thanks to the lack of WIFI and a couple of wrong turns it took us four hours on public transport instead of one) from our previous accommodation in Tokyo.
It was warm, we were grumpy, tired, everything you might expect when you’ve been wandering around aimlessly for four hours. We arrived at the front door of the hotel and was required to press a buzzer in order to signal to the reception that we had arrived so they could assist us as required.
The reaction to our signalling was quick as the doors opened, and we walked inside. To our right, we noticed a reception desk. The lady receptionist who spoke reasonable English (at least enough to help us check-in and answer any questions we might have) requested our passports while we filled in the regular checking in forms.
After a thorough introduction to the hotel (seriously, everyone here is very thorough during check-in) and the rules, we headed off to the elevator where we’d take the third floor to our room.
Side Note: The rooms are non-smoking, all smoking is to be done outside on the second floor. Unfortunatly, it seems the lift suffers as a result and has a significant after-smell of smoke.
“Hotel” would be a strong word for this small studio apartment on the third floor. Here you’ll be living alongside other travellers but also (at least from what I can gather) permanent residents.
Access to the room is done with a cardboard electronic strip card, which is also required to lock the room when you leave.
The hotel room, like everywhere we’d stayed in Japan was incredibly clean. However, this room was dated. It sort of felt like a place your elderly grandparent might live under some form of supervised care back in the 80’s.
Inside the room was a small kitchenette to the left that included; a sink, microwave and hob ring.
To your right was the bathroom which included a small toilet with the usual ‘fun’ Japanese features, a sink and a shower. I’d like to also add a bath, but I’m really not entirely sure if it actually was a bath or not. The length of which was around 4-foot, which it more than made up for in height (the bath-tub top came up to the top of my thigh)
Through the partially obscured glass door, you’ll find the bedroom. Here you’ll find a single and a half bed to your left, with a full-length mirror on the end. The bed was uncomfortable, to say the least. In fact, I’ve stayed in better beds in £10 a night hostels in Europe.
Not only because the bed was small, but that because the mattress was made up of springs that seemed to dig into my sides no matter how many times I chose to roll-over and adjust.
On the right-hand side of the room was a large wardrobe with some coat hangers and shelves along with a desk area that held a small TV and a desk lamp. The space here was fantastic, not only did it provide us with a space to work from, but there was also enough room left over to charge our mountain of electronics overnight.
The WIFI is complimentary at the FlexInn Shin-Urayasu, unfortunately however we did find our devices to fall off it once or twice a day.
The speed of both upload and downloads are pretty impressive (as is the whole of Japan) however, you’ll find little to no coverage downstairs in the lobby of the hotel.
One of the bonuses of staying at FlexStay Inn Shin-Urayasu was the complimentary shuttle from the hotel to the Disneyland Tokyo Resort Area. From here you can walk or get the monorail to either DisneySea or Disneyland or board the JR line from the adjoining Maihama station.
We caught the 10:25 bus three times. Unlike the sheet above, the bus only stopped at the North exit of JR Maihama Station, you then had a short walk to the resort from there.
The bus was late every single time (around 10 minutes) although staff members came out to let us know in advance. FlexStay Inn Shin-Urayasu is the last stop on the way to Disneyland Resort which meant that by the time the bus did arrive it was full (very full). At the very least you’d be standing, worst case the bus would be too full to hold you (that happened on our third day)
In that case, you can walk to the public bus stop and pay 150¥ each to travel to the Ikspiari shopping centre that’s adjoined to the Disneyland resort centre.
The room comes with one set of towels per person. Towels can be replaced for fresh ones at reception should they be required as there is no housekeeping.
The bathroom includes a small amenity kit featuring;
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
You’ll also find a large supply of; shampoo, conditioner and body wash in the shower.
There’s a laundry room just behind reception on the ground floor. Here you have access to both a washing machine and a drier. Washing costs 200¥ and drying costs 100¥ for 30-minutes. We had to put our small wash in to dry three times.
There wasn’t a chance I was willing to spend an additional £750 (three-times the amount I paid) on a hotel room that I’d be barely spending any time in for four nights while visiting Tokyo Disney for the first time.
Which means the only true alternative to staying at Flexstay Inn Shin-Urayasu hotel while remaining within (or close to) £50 a night for anyone visiting the park(s) is to stay elsewhere in the city.
Hotel Lumiere Nishikasai – 3-Star Hotel – Around 45 minutes by public transport – 8,000¥ (£58) per night.
Best Western Tokyo Nishikasai Grande – 3-Star Hotel – Around 45 minutes by public transport – 11,000¥ (£80) per night.
Hotel Metropolitan Edmont – 4-Star Hotel – Around 50 minutes by public transport – 12,000¥ (£85) per night.
Side Note: I was pretty shocked to find American Express Travel providing this ‘hotel’ as a booking option. Not only was the price significantly higher than what we paid, I’d hate to assume the ‘average’ American Express cardholder came here based on the fact that American Express is selling (albeit through a third party) rooms in this hotel.
This place kind of reminded me of my University room, only slightly more outdated. The fact of the matter is that if you’re wanting to visit Disneyland Tokyo you’re going to have to make a sacrifice. Money, distance or quality. We sacrificed quality here, and I’ve no regrets about that. I just wouldn’t want to stay here again in the future.