Toyoko INN Himeji Station, Himeji, Japan

Toyoko Inn is very much a Japanese salaryman’s hotel. No bells or whistles with simple but functional rooms.

I’d arrived from Kyoto around 2pm but was told I couldn’t check-in until 3 so left my bags and headed out to find a late lunch.

I got back about 4pm and was able to check-in and was given a room on the 7th floor. It was near the elevator but I didn’t hear any noise throughout my stay.

The room was probably a little bit larger than the one I’d had in Kyoto but I found this room more practical. Unlike in Kyoto there was a proper desk and chair though there was no luggage rack so I had to drag my suitcase onto the bed when I wanted something.

The bed itself wasn’t the most comfortable I’d ever slept on but the thing that really caused me sleep problems was the shitty pillow. It really felt like I was sleeping on a bag of marbles!

The room rate came with complimentary breakfast, but I did not partake.

There’s a fridge in the room and a sign saying that they turn it off to save power which is commendable… but I spent the better part of 30 minutes trying to find out how to turn it on. It turns out that it’s not really “turned off” but rather the thermostat is set to the highest possible setting, so you need to turn the temperature knob in the fridge to low and it’ll then keep your food and drinks cool.

In a nod to the past, whenever you leave the hotel you give your key, yes a physical door key, back to reception. I think I was the only westerner staying here as after the first day they knew who I was and were grabbing the key from the rack when I walked in the front door.

If all you want is somewhere cheap to sleep and shower then this place will definitely fit the bill but maybe bring a blow up pillow.