If you are travelling to Japan via the Tokyo Narita Airport, you might have already looked at it on a map and discovered that it is a loooooong way from Tokyo city proper. In fact, it’s almost 70 kilometres from the airport to Tokyo Station in the heart of the city. That’s an hour on the Narita Express train, and up to two hours to drive.
If your flight arrives in the evening or late at night, you probably aren’t going to feel like doing that hike. Especially not if you’ve just been on a plane for almost 10 hours from Australia (Unless, of course, you can afford to do a 20-minute helicopter transfer).
It isn’t high on our list either. Fortunately, there are a number of hotel options around Narita Airport.
We went with the cheapest non-capsule hotel option. Since we only booked it two weeks before our arrival, that turned out to be the deluxe twin room at the Toyoko Inn Narita Airport, also called the Toyoko Inn Narita Kuko on some booking sites. Everything else below $200 and within walking distance of the airport was booked out.
A quick question
If you’ve stayed here as well, either in a deluxe twin room, or another room category, I’d love to hear what you thought about it. I’d also like to know what your favourite things to do in the area are. Let me know in the comments after this article!
Getting to Toyoko Inn Tokyo Narita Airport Hotel
If you are just off a long flight and eager to stretch your legs or just plain keen to walk, the Toyoko Inn is within walking distance from Narita Airport. Keep in mind though, there are three terminals here, and the hotel is not central. The Toyoko Inn is closest to Terminal 3, but as Terminals 2 and 3 use the same entrance, it’s about 2km’s from Terminal there and 2.4km’s from Terminal 1.
The address is:
For those of us that just want to get to our hotel, get some food and go to bed, there is a free shuttle bus, YAY!
The bus is extremely convenient. From the Terminal 1 building, it stops at stop number 16 just outside the arrival lobby at the South Exit S2. From Terminals 2 and 3, it stops at stop number 31B just outside the central entrance to the first-floor arrival lobby.
The shuttle is normally every 20 minutes (less frequent between 10 pm and 6 am) and is not bookable, it’s first come, first serve. We found that there weren’t a lot of people waiting when we got on at the Terminal 2/3 stop, but a lot more got on at Terminal 1. Since each shuttle stops at both Terminal 2/3 and Terminal 1, it can take 15-20 minutes to get to the hotel. More importantly, if you need to get the shuttle back to the airport during peak time in the morning, it can take up to 40 minutes due to heavy traffic (it actually took about 35-minutes for us to get to the airport again the next morning, departing the hotel at 8:15am. So make sure you leave yourself plenty of time.
Please note, the shuttle information was correct when we took it, and still is at the time of writing, but definitely check their website for the latest shuttle information.
If you would like a more private and direct route to the hotel, there are lots of taxi’s waiting at all terminals. A direct trip will still take 10 minutes under light traffic though due to the way the roads take you.
Fees and other costs
We found the best price through HotelsCombined, which took us to Agoda. However, Agoda is also the only booking site where they don’t seem to offer breakfast as an inclusion or an optional extra. Their website states breakfast is included free, but without that clarity on the Agoda website, we decided to go with a booking site that made it clear. For only a few dollars more, Hotels.com stated that breakfast was included. For those few dollars we couldn’t have bought breakfast elsewhere anyway and I had a 10% off coupon for them, so we went ahead and booked with them. In the end, after using the coupon, we paid $96.93 Australian which worked out slightly cheaper than the Agoda price. Hotels.com is not always the cheapest, or even close to the cheapest (t wasn’t this time except for the coupon), and price competitiveness varies from day to day, so definitely check HotelsCombined for the best rates before booking.
If you happen to hold a Toyoko Inn Club Card, you are eligible for a discount if you book directly with the hotel, however, that discount works out pretty similar to the prices you can get via the booking sites.
There is a Lawson convenience store in the hotel foyer. We actually picked up some food at the airport, but you can get fully prepared and heated meals at Lawson and they are very cheap, as long as you don’t mind pre-packaged food.
If you are paying for your accommodation at the hotel, payment is very flexible. They accept cash, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners, JCB, and Alipay.
The hotel foyer is open 24 hours a day.
Check-in is available from 4:00 pm (3:00 pm if you are a Toyoko Club Card holder).
Check-out is by 10:00 am.
Breakfast is served in the dining room between 6:30 am and 9:30 am every day.
About the Toyoko Inn Narita Airport Hotel and the deluxe twin room
The Toyoko Inn Narita Airport was undergoing renovations while we were staying. These renovations had no impact at all on our stay, we didn’t notice any noise or disruptions. It does mean though, that there will likely be some newer room styles coming soon, something that is well overdue.
The hotel decor is dated, with the halls, elevators and rooms looking like they belong in another era altogether. That said, everything is clean and well-maintained. I’m looking forward to seeing what the newly renovated section looks like when complete.
On a side note, if you happen to need parking, there are 205 spaces available at a cost of 500 yen for 24 hours.
Arrival and check-in
Upon our arrival, we were a little overwhelmed. As you enter the foyer, the front desk is on the right-hand side, and Lawson’s is even further to the right. The dining room and elevators are on the left along with vending machines. The shuttle lets us out right outside the hotel foyer, but there were people everywhere and there didn’t seem to be a clear queue for the front desk. Fortunately, it turned out that was because there were only two other people waiting to check-in.
The staff at the check-in counter were extremely helpful, their English was surprisingly limited for their location as an airport hotel, but definitely still enough to ensure the process was smooth. They also did a brilliant job of picking out the foreigners and making sure we were looked after and understood what was happening.
As at any hotel in Japan, the hotel is required to take a photocopy of all foreign guest’s passports, so ensure that you have your passports ready to go and this will speed things up.
After filling out our check-in form (which was in English), and getting our passports back, we were given key cards for our room, and a little gift pack for wifey that included a facial cleanser, facial oil and facial lotion. To our surprise, they turned out to be mostly natural products, and they smelled sublime.
The deluxe twin room
We were in room 11027, which translates to room 27 on level 10 in wing 1. This is a non-smoking room, and you definitely want to check that when you book as both smoking and non-smoking rooms are available here.
So, onto the room itself. It turns out that level 10 is also the top floor of the hotel. We were exhausted and ready to go to bed, but couldn’t help but be a little excited at being on the top floor, even though we were only there overnight.
Then we opened the door and were blown away by how huge this room is for less than $100 Australian! I’ll admit, the elevators are cosy, slow and seem like they are straight out of the 70’s, but it was worth the ride for what we saw.
The room is not only on the top floor, it’s also a corner room, which means lots of windows. The two beds, a queen bed and a double bed, back onto a sparsely decorated wall, and look across the room to massive windows. These windows start from about 60cm above the ground and run to the ceiling, covering almost all of the longest outside wall in the room as well as most of the shorter outside wall.
Even though the view is only of car parks, the airport, and roads, these enormous windows make the room feel even bigger and almost give it a feeling of luxury, somehow, almost.
Also in the room, you will find a lounge, reading lamp, flat-screen TV, bar fridge, safe, kettle, ice bucket, dressing table, hanging rail, and of course, the bathroom. The room is air-conditioned and has free wifi, and there is a little surprise in the bathroom.
The wifi is decent, but don’t expect mind-blowing speeds either. It’s comparable to what you can get on the National Broadband Network now in Australia. One thing to be aware of though, is that there is no written connection information anywhere to tell you which wifi network to use or what password to use. It turned out to be staring us in the face though. The home screen on the television shows those details in the bottom right of the screen. It’s fairly small, and parts of it are in Japanese, but it’s there!
This TV home screen also gives you access to a number of other features like on-demand movies, YouTube, nearby attraction information, location information, breakfast info, and everything else you would normally find in a hotel room compendium.
Last but not least, as with most Japanese hotel rooms, you’ll also find slippers, a shoe horn, and a shoe shine kit. It was surprisingly lacking pyjamas, shoe deodoriser, and an air purifier though, all items that are virtually ubiquitous at hotels in Japan.
The deluxe twin bathroom
If you’ve ever stayed in a Japanese hotel before, you are probably familiar with the pod bathroom. With its cosy beige pod, the Toyoko Inn is no exception. Inside the narrow door is the standard hotel bathroom found all over Japan with minor variations.
As you might expect, there is a Western toilet with bidet, hand basin, mirror, bath, and shower hose over the bath. There are two things that make this one a little bit different and a little bit special. The first is that the bidet is full-featured, in the sense that it warms the water before it sprays, and it blows warm air for drying your clean backside. Believe it or not, the percentage of hotel room bidet toilets that don’t dry your rear for you is quite high. There’s also a surprising amount that uses cold water.
The second surprise here, and this was the big one for me, is that there is a second shower head. In addition to the hose shower, up in the ceiling is a rain shower! I love these showers because I can actually get completely under them. At 6 foot tall, most showers are a little too low for me, and in Japan, it’s safe to say almost every shower is too low. So it’s not a big thing, but it’s just something unexpected that makes the experience more unique.
How did we sleep?
An all-important question, especially if you have to be underway again early in the morning like we did. I’ll be honest, the beds are firm to the point of being hard.
Now when I say hard, I mean the carpet would not be much harder. We sleep on a firm mattress at home anyway since wifey and I are both stomach sleepers, but these beds take firmness to a whole new level. I didn’t expect to get a good sleep at all. That said though, we both fell asleep pretty quickly and felt refreshed in the morning when we woke up.
I should add to this, as hard as these beds are, this is pretty common in Japan. It seems to be a preference there, and these are not the hardest beds we’ve slept on in Japan either. It is however quite a shock when it’s your first night on one.
Come morning, we were appreciative of the heavy block-out curtains that kept the room dark after sunrise. So dark that when my alarm went off, I wasn’t convinced it was actually morning.
So overall, we slept well.
What was breakfast like?
Hotel breakfasts are usually pretty similar, even in Japan, most follow a fairly standard model with fairly standard food. This one though was a bit different.
It’s a buffet style, and it was hectic. It seemed like every guest in the hotel was scrambling for food all at once. Some sections had a queue that appeared to be around 40 people long, and that’s not including those that were pushing in.
Top that off with it being the only place we went to on this trip (which included a lot of remote places in Hokkaido) that had no English labels and very few Japanese labels, and it made for an interesting meal.
If you don’t have any specific dietary requirements, then the labels aren’t a big deal. Even without them, I found it easy enough to pick out what things were vegetarian and what wasn’t. I’m sure the staff would be quite happy to help, but they seemed like they were pretty stressed trying to avoid the stampede while also getting the food out!
It would be easy for it to become a stressful meal, just because of the way people were behaving there, but if you plan out your time, there is no need to be stressed. Just avoid the busy areas. I got enough vegetarian food to eat while not queueing at all (except for an orange juice), so it is possible.
As at a lot of hotels in Japan, when you are finished your breakfast, you are expected to return your used plates, cutlery and cups to the dirty shelf where they are collected for washing.
Overall, the food we had was nice, nothing special, but there was nothing wrong with it either. The atmosphere was frantic, but if you plan your morning with some extra time, you don’t need to be a part of the rush.
- Staff really look out for foreign guests.
- Quick and easy check-in.
- Great price for their top room category.
- Rain shower.
- Free shuttle to and from the airport that is easy to find.
- Lawson convenience store in the foyer.
- 24-hour front desk
- Easy to access vending machines.
- Free wifi with decent speeds.
- Hallways are quite hot and humid in our opinion even though the rooms are well air-conditioned.
- Breakfast is a mad rush.
- No English and very few Japanese food labels at breakfast.
This is an airport hotel, and with that, there are a lot of travellers, both domestic and foreign. That means there are a lot of people worried about time and rushing around. In spite of that, our room was silent besides the occasional hall sounds.
The room itself was huge and had everything we needed, in fact, it was the biggest room we had during our entire trip to Japan that cost less than $300 Australian per night. It was also the cheapest room except for our night at the Tokyo Kiba Capsule Hotel.
The styling overall was dated, but it was very clean and comfortable, in spite of the hard beds.
We slept well, and really enjoyed the enormous windows for the short time we spent here.
So overall, I’d say that the Toyoko Inn Narita Airport is great value for money with friendly, helpful staff and convenient access to the airport and food.
We would definitely stay here again if we find ourselves in need of a hotel at Narita Airport in the future.
Attractions near the Toyoko Inn Narita Airport Hotel
- Toyoko Inn Narita Airport official website – English
- Toyoko Inn Narita Airport shuttle timetable – Parts are in English, use Google Translate for a reasonably clear translation.
- Toyoko Inn Narita Airport price comparison on Hotels Combined – English
- Toyoko Inn Narita Airport on Agoda – English
Let me know in the comments what you think about the Toyoko Inn Narita Airport Hotel if you’ve stayed there!
I hope you find this review helpful, and if you do, please share it. If not, let me know what else I can include and make it more useful for you.
First published on: Dec 10, 2017 @ 17:00