Researching a trip to Japan to visit our friends who live in Kawasaki was initially very stressful because there are virtually NO rooms in the city of Tokyo which can accommodate our family of five. You can get two rooms - but with no interconnection. If there was a major city in the world where this was safe, it might well be Tokyo - but our daughter is seven so I was not in the mood to risk it. So our friends did some ringing around and came up with Hotel Molino. It is a 25 minute train trip to ShinJuku - the bustling, neon-lit, cultural excitement centre of Tokyo.
In all our research we saw photos of midget rooms in Tokyo hotels, so we were amazed when we walked in to a roomy pair of interconnecting rooms. We were also impressed with the fast and free internet. We needed it, both to research it and for entertainment because there is not one word of English on the telly. The hotel is atop a shopping centre, where we could buy locally priced skiing gear at Uniqlo, as well as fabulous Japanese gifts. The nearby supermarket is fantastic. It is not a tourist area so if you don't speak Japanese, be prepared to really stretch yourself to find your way or order your dinner - not many people can speak English. We had a really fun dinner at a local restaurant where we tried to order our dinner using language apps. We enjoyed it and the waiter and we ended up in stitches - but we did end up spending a lot on who-knows-what and then had to go to KFC afterwards for a top up! The hotel breakfast is basic but adequate. The in=house toiletries are generous and good for sensitive skin. It is a hop skip and jump to the train station. But I would recommend this for confident travellers who are okay with having to spend a few minutes (or longer!) finding their bearings within a busy local culture. It is great - you will see Japan local and live and without the tourist signs on. A tip for getting there: take photos of all the Japanese place names you need before you go, and practice saying the place you want to go: Shinyurigaoka. I found that most place names written in the alphabet sounded pretty much the way they looked. If you can say this out loud, and point to all the people in your party, you will ALWAYS find a reliable Japanese person behind a desk who will take time to point you to the right place and queue.
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