They say dogs resemble their owners, you are what you eat, and so on. Here’s a new one: you are the hotels you stay in. We’re willing to wager that you’ve watched at least one Japanese anime and that you have a favourite series. Are you more a Hello Kitty or Godzilla type? Thrown in the the mix are hotels for cyberpunks as well.
Hotel Gracery Shinjuku
Located on the east side of Shinjuku Station is Hotel Gracery Shinjuku. Come rain or alien invasion, nothing will interrupt your stay as the hotel’s watchdog is Godzilla himself! Peering menacingly onto the street from the 8th floor terrace is the permanent installation artwork “Godzilla Head”. Otakus themselves, the owners of Hotel Gracery Shinjuku chose to include Godzilla-themed rooms because they’re mega fans!
A monster-sized fan yourself? If you want to live and breathe Godzilla (perhaps not his lethal atomic breath) then stay in The Godzilla Room. A chronology of film posters, from the original 1954 film till present, and other memorabilia (including a statue of Godzilla that grazes the ceiling) will keep fans company during their stay. While the statue might be hard to tote, take-home memorabilia includes figurines, a tote bag, and mug.
If waking up to a scaly claw hanging overhead is too much excitement for the first thing in the morning, then stay in a Godzilla View Room instead which has a view of the Godzilla Head.
Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo (Shinjuku)
Do you remember wishing you could fit into your dollhouse and live among your toys? Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo‘s Hello Kitty rooms grant you that childhood wish. From the wallpaper to the toiletries, the rooms are decked out in motifs of the lovable Sanrio cat.
Intended for “grown ups”, the Hello Kitty rooms come in two different styles: Kitty Town and Princess Kitty. If you’re into the whole Hello Kitty universe and if the playful side of the Japanese bobtail appeals to you, then stay in Kitty Town. If you identify more with the girly side of the red bow styled feline then fall into a princess’ slumber in the pink Princess Kitty room. Guys, if you’re thinking of surprising your special
feline female friend, go all out and order a Hello Kitty cheesecake (around S$50). It doesn’t have to be your special day to order Hello Kitty themed food – the standard room service breakfast comes with a Hello Kitty-branded omelette and kitty-shaped sandwich.
Less than a 10-minute walk away from the famous Shinjuku Station the 4-star hotel is located in Shinjuku’s Nishi-Shinjuku district, home to Tokyo’s tallest skyscrapers.
Hotel New Otani Kumamoto
Kumamon, the lovable mascot of Kumamoto Prefecture, lives at Hotel New Otani Kumamoto. Don’t believe us? Check in to one of the Kumamon-themed rooms and see for yourself! Forgot the favourite childhood toy you need to fall alseep? Cuddle the red-cheeked Kumamon plushie waiting for you on your bed instead. Come with a bear-sized appetite as you’ll have four restaurants ranging from teppanyaki to traditional Kumamoto cuisine to choose from – horse meat sashimi, any takers?
Just a 3-minute walk away from the Kumamoto Station, if you’re in town for a while you’re encouraged to take day trips to Mount Aso and Kurokawa Onsen. If you’re worried about running into bears when you’re out exploring, you shouldn’t be – the “kuma” in Kumamoto only coincidentally means “bear” and isn’t indicative of the plenitude of bears.
Nine Hours Kyoto
This futuristic, minimalist, capsule hotel is open to both male and female guests. If you’re looking for a full-blown, surreal Japanese experience then slide into a pod, equipped with a light-based alarm clock, for a taste of the future.
We love that Nine Hours Kyoto has it’s own formula: 1 + 7 + 1 = 9, each number representing an hour spent at the hotel. One hour for showering, seven for sleeping, and an extra for grooming and getting dressed.
Park Hyatt Toyko
Lost in Translation
The Sofia Coppola film “Lost in Translation” always comes into frame when imagining getting lost in Japan’s capital, doesn’t it? The hotel the film takes place in Park Hyatt Tokyo – one of Coppola’s favourite places in the world. So what better place than where Bob and Charlotte met to begin your own Tokyo adventure?
Coppola’s fondness of the hotel lies in the use of cultural diversity in its design. For instance, the protagonists meet in the “New York” Bar on the 52nd floor. Perhaps her amity stems from the fact many native New Yorkers, like herself, have said the bar’s ambiance is “more New York” than the actual Big Apple. And as you wait for your Bill Murray/Scarlett Johansson to take a seat across the bar from you, have a whiskey, enjoy the live jazz, and watch Mt. Fuji fade out of view as it grows dark on the edge of the horizon.