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For Business Travelers: The Nasu Midcity Hotel

For those of us that travel on business, an affordable, clean, well-lighted hotel is a must find. In Japan, my favorite economy hotel chain is the Toyoko Inn group. Unfortunately, they cannot be found on every train station. I plan to start off a series of reviews on affordable hotels around the country that are a haven for business travelers on a budget.

First on the list: the Nasu Midcity Hotel in Tochigi Prefecture.

This economy hotel opened in 2009 and is a 3-minute walk from the Nasu Shiobara station, or a 10-minute drive from the Kuroisoitamuro interchange.

The hotel lobby.

The hotel lobby.

The lobby was clean and well-lit, with a coffee pot serving a complimentary hot cup. I found the front staff to be polite and efficient. There were two PC booths for those without a laptop, or in need of a printout. (The inkjet printers don’t carry paper; you need to ask the front desk.)

Being fairly new, the room, while small (17 sq m), was very clean and tastefully decorated. White wallpaper cover the walls and ceiling, while a semi-glossy, off-white, patterned wallpaper covered the area next to the bed, functioning as a feature wall. The Simmons bed was extremely comfortable; the simple white duvet felt good against the skin. A red-orange bed scarf decorated the foot of the bed. Two framed prints hung on the wall. Grey modular carpeting covered the floor.

The bedroom.

The bedroom.

The room called “Comfort” had a queen-sized bed with a reading light. The desk was about 2 meters long, veneered in simulated wood. On it was a desk lamp and a small flat-screen TV. Underneath was a mini refrigerator, an electric pot, and a bottle of air freshener. Free high-speed LAN was available. I had no trouble connecting to a wireless modem that I brought with me.

Like the rest of the room, the bathroom was small. But unlike most hotels where you had to mix hot and cold water using two separate bulbs, this one offered temperature control. Next to the tub was an INAX toilet with all the requisite bells and whistles (that is, all the shower and washing features that Japanese toilets are famous for). The shampoo, conditioner and body wash were by POLA, a leading Japanese manufacturer of beauty products.

The hotel restaurant during breakfast.

The hotel restaurant during breakfast.

Breakfast is included in the room rate, and I found it particularly satisfying, the best I’ve had so far coming from an economy hotel. While Toyoko Inn serves rice balls and miso soup, or bread and a small piece of fruit for breakfast, Nasu Midcity has a generous buffet, with great variety. You had a choice of Western style or traditional Japanese breakfast. Most of the hotel guests chose a bit of both. The dining room was a restaurant within the hotel, so it wasn’t just tables and chairs somewhere near or in the lobby. Best to come early (around 7 AM) for breakfast, as the restaurant starts to get crowded at around 8 AM.

The few cons: the ceiling light was too bright, and had no dimming control. There was also no dedicated closet space–all you had was a wooden hook and a pair of hangers. This was sufficient when staying for a night or two, but anything longer than that a business traveler would want a closet to hang her week’s wardrobe.

Overall, I loved the affordable rates (at the time of this writing, starting at 6,200 JPY for single occupancy), bountiful breakfast, and cleanliness of the hotel, including the small decorative touches in the room. When I have head to Nasu for a business trip, I’d definitely stay at the Nasu Midcity again.

External Link

Nasu Midcity Hotel
– official site

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  1. Erica /

    Aren’t all hotel staff polite everywhere in Japan? At least I would assume so.
    I much prefer bright rooms to dim ones. I hate it when hotel rooms are too dim even with all the lights on and you’ve no option for more light.

    • Brightly-lit rooms are good. Overly dim ones are not. Overly bright ones are no good either–the glare hurts the eyes. But if I had to choose between overly bright vs overly dim, I’d choose the former!

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