The Hoshino Resorts OMO5 Tokyo Otsuka (OMO5) is a casual, fun stay at a friendly property with a unique program introducing guests to the local area. A staycation option that is an introduction to the Hoshino Resorts, but at a room rate which is lower than other Hoshino hotels, ryokans and resorts. OMO5 rates start at ¥7,000 per person. There is also an OMO hotel in Asahikawa (OMO7) which starts at ¥5,000 per person.

The OMO5 is a few minutes’ walk from the Otsuka stations on the JR Yamanote as well as the Toden Arakawa tram line. The lobby, which feels like a college dormitory common space, is warm and inviting. It’s casual and there is a variety of seating, including high stools and couches. Colorful posters with Godzilla and bold kanji decorate the windows. There is a small library with most books in Japanese but a handful in English. I was delighted to find my book, “Food Sake Tokyo,” on the shelves.

Tour guide local culture hoshinoya resort OMO5 Tokyo Otsuka

There is a cafe on the lobby floor that was quiet when we arrived. Later in the evening it was buzzing with guests on their laptops, some enjoying beers while typing away. The cafe was also busy in the morning as it’s the breakfast nook, with baked goods and vol-au-vent puff pastry shells filled with beef stew, salad or fruit. Near the entrance to the hotel is another cafe, Eight Days Cafe, but our staycation spanned the New Year holidays and it was, unfortunately, closed.

The Yagura room for two guests is fun — it felt like going to summer camp, but this time with a bathroom and television. There is scaffolding in the room and there are two mattresses up a short flight of stairs. Under the beds is a large seating area that was also really comfortable. The bathtub is very deep. The walls are lined with colorful tiles. Stylish but simple, the rooms only have the basic amenities like toothpaste, shampoo, hot pot for heating water, a small refrigerator and a safety deposit box. There is a vending machine which offers Sarutahiko drip coffee, bath salts, slippers and other items that you may want to use during your stay.

In the evening we did a complimentary one-hour walking tour with a ranger (there are different rangers who specialize in different tours). Our knowledgeable and friendly guide introduced us to the Toden Arakawa tram station and also brought us through the Sunmall Otsuka Shotengai area on the other side of the station. She brought us to a sweet photo spot over the train lines with Tokyo Sky Tree in the background. After the tour we went back to several spots she pointed out, including the MM Halal Market (to pick up some Indian spices) and the Tenso Shrine. Walking two-hour tours of the area start at ¥1,000 and will visit local drinking spots or retro Showa nooks.

Kikutani

This part of Tokyo has a lot of charm and character. The next morning we took the Toden Arakawa tram to Sugamo and explored the famous shotengai. In the Otsuka area, as a whole, there are lots of options for food and drink. There are many small izakayas right behind the hotel.

Hoshinoya Resorts OMO5 Tokyo Otsuka
2-26-1 Kita-Otsuka, Toshima-ku

Near Otsuka Station there are many good eats to put on your radar:

Nakiryu ramen with one Michelin star.
(2-34-4 Minami-Otsuka, Toshima-ku)

Bongo for made-to-order onigiri.
(2-26-3 Kita-Otsuka, Toshima-ku)

Tanaka Kushikatsu from Osaka offers a large menu of breaded and deep-fried foods. Just remember to only dip once into the sauce.
(3-53-5 Minami-Otsuka, Toshima-ku)

Yoshokuya Kitchen Seven is known for its hamba-gu and curry rice.
(2-7-9 Kita-Otsuka, Toshima-ku)

Kitchen ABC for fried cutlets, black curry and other yoshoku dishes.
(2-36-1 Minami-Otsuka, Toshima-ku)

If you visit the Sugamo shotengai area the following day two great lunch options are:

Kikutani for handmade soba and sake-friendly small bites.
(4-14-15 Sugamo, Toshima-ku)

Tokiwa Shokudo is old school and filled with many elderly patrons seeking comfort food like deep-fried shrimp, yellowtail teriyaki, or stir-fried liver and garlic chives.
(3-14-20 Sugamo, Toshima-ku)