Tokyo’s Shinjuku Prince Hotel is located at an unbeatable spot, within minutes from everything you need in Shinjuku, writes Syida Lizta Amirul Ihsan
IN real estate, location is everything. And in Shinjuku, Tokyo, one hotel nails this down perfectly. Nestled is the middle of Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku Prince Hotel is a mere five-minute walk (faster if you walk at Tokyoites’ pace) from Shinjuku station’s East Entrance, where the Studio Alta building is.
You can’t miss the hotel. Tall and in deep red, the lobby and the rooms look dated but once you realise just how near you aretoeverything else, the decor become insignificant.
The hotel is adjacent to Seibu Shinjuku Pepe shopping mall. Whilesmall in comparison to giant malls in Shinjuku like Isetan and Takashimaya, it has affordable shops like Gu, Muji and a host of eateries.
A McDonald’s is located on the opposite block, which also has some Pachinko outlets for slot machine fans.
And on the same block, when I had a craving for fish, I found a tiny eatery that sells grilled cod and salmon (among other fish) rice sets for less than RM38 — a steal considering a gindara set in Malaysia will set you back RM60, at least.
Tokyo is where I go to eat, having gone through my shopping phase many years ago. I still covet a Boy Chanel, but I no longer have the same passion for a carrier as when I bought my last classic many years ago. So these days, I travel to eat and with a palate inclined towards Japanese food, Tokyo is great to go to.
The vending machine soba shops are aplenty on this side of Shinjuku — just walk along its roads and alleys to find the cheapest. A big bowl of soba is RM16 and the portion will keep you full from lunch till dinner.
On the ground floor of Daimaru in Shinjuku is Le Petit Mec, a French bread and pastry shop which sells butter croissants and pain au chocolat similar to what you will get in the streets of Paris.
A nondescript kebab stall is located behind Isetan if you are looking for Middle Eastern food. There are many halal restaurants and Indian food in Shinjuku, but most are eat-in restaurants, and kebab is a good way to go if you want a quick bite.
My deluxe twin room on the 24th floor is simple and practical, made for fuss-free travellers who want to spend time exploring the city.
There are adequate amenities including a bath tub. The bathroom is quite spacious. The room overlooks East Shinjuku, the colourful area bathed by neon lights at night. There is nothing much one can say about the room — it’s pretty standard. But I think the reason why this hotel is highlyrated on travel websites like Expedia is because the location is just unbeatable. It’s mere minutes away from Shinjuku station and once there, you can go anywhere in the city via the Yamanote line that runs in a loop, covering important areas in Tokyo.
You can also take its comprehensive subway line, operated by different companies, to areas that the Yamanote line loop doesn’t reach.
This is a great hotel for tourists, especially if you are a first-timer and finding your Tokyo bearing. Everything is accessible and near, savingtime, effort and money in an expensive city.
SHINJUKU PRINCE HOTEL
1-30-1 Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku Tokyo, Japan
From Narita Airport, take the Narita Express that runs every 30 minutes to Shinjuku Station - 3,910 yen (RM152) one way, 4,000 yen round-trip). At the station, look for the East Exit and the hotel is less than five minutes on foot.
There are only two room categories — standard (15.3 sq m) and deluxe (30.6 sq m).
There are five restaurants in the hotel -- Fuga-Wafu (Japanese) Dining and Bar, Party Space Brick, Buffet Dining Prince Marchè, Party Space Garnet and The Station Cafe & Bar. My advice is to book the rooms without breakfast, and explore the nearby area for some great finds.
Within five minutes on foot, you can find ABC Mart which sells sneakers, Okadaya with two floors of fabrics and all kinds of sewing and handicraft needs, and Don Quixote, the 24-hour store that sells everything from chocolates and toiletries to used designer bags.
The location is unbeatable.
The hotel is quite old and the furniture is dated.
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