Ryokan Sawanoya

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Sawanoya’s entrance shows beauty of simple tradition

A B&B ryokan loved by guests worldwide

Sawanoya is a family run inn in the heart of Tokyo’s Yanaka area, a neighborhood that retains the charm of Tokyo’s old shitamachi downtown. A simple inn offering rooms and breakfast, Sawanoya is an excellent value and especially popular among foreign visitors. In fact, roughly 80 percent of its clientele is from overseas. Thus far it has hosted a total of 160,000 guests from 88 different countries.

Greeted by a paper crane on your pillow

A refreshingly simple Japanese room

Sawanoya’s 12 rooms range in size from 7.5 to 13 m2, two of which have a private bath and toilet. All rooms are equipped with a sink and hair dryer. Although the rooms are not large, the inn’s loving attention to detail gives off an air of Japanese culture at every turn. Guest rooms have the traditional decor of a hanging scroll, low tea table, and even an individually folded paper crane placed on each pillow. Each room is supplied with a tea pot and loose-leaf green tea rather than tea bags so visitors can better experience a typical element of Japanese daily life. For those unused Japanese bedding, the staff provides an extra futon for a softer night’s sleep. It is this simple hospitality that has made Sawanoya a favorite of overseas visitors. The inn’s two shared baths are made of Japanese cypress and earthenware and are open 6:00-10:00 am and 4:00 pm-1:00 am daily.

A rooftop view of Tokyo’s old neighborhoods

As a small, family-run inn, Sawanoya’s owners do their best to satisfy their guests. The inn provides a coin laundry with free powdered detergent, an iron and trouser press, and other necessities with rooftop clotheslines for drying laundry. From the rooftop, guests can look out far over the surrounding houses and take in a view of tile-roofed houses and narrow streets that retain the atmosphere of Tokyo’s old shitamachi downtown to this day.

A view over the rooftops of Tokyo’s shitamachi

Tour and culture information from all of Japan

Pamphlets from all over Japan

Tourist and information pamphlets from all over Japan are displayed in the first-floor information corner, complete with a large map of the country on the wall. The information is invaluable to guests on a longer vacation, as well as those looking to add something to their trip. There is also information on Japanese cultural events and experiences such as trying out tea ceremony or karate. Thanks to the two computers and free Wi-Fi, guests can look for more information online as well. The adjacent dining area offers free coffee and tea, with traditional cold mugi-cha barley tea served in summer.


The surrounding side streets offer a view of daily life in Tokyo

Special Features

Sawanoya is in the quiet Yanaka neighborhood. Just walking through the narrow and winding streets is to get a feeling of Japanese culture, little changed from long ago. Houses with a variety of individual decorations and plants, and independent stores abound. Unlike major tourist spots, a walk through Yanaka allows visitors to experience the atmosphere and rhythm of daily life in Japan.

•Internet Access: The hotel offers free Wi-Fi
•Cash and Currency Exchange: Guests withdraw cash with a foreign ATM card at the nearby 7-11. Currency exchange is available a Mizuho Bank near Ueno Station
•Credit cards: The hotel accepts foreign-issued credit cards
•Security: The hotel has in-room safes and guests may also leave valuables at reception
•English support: The hotel staff speak English and the restaurant has English menus
•Breakfast options: The hotel features a Western-style breakfast
•Laundry: The hotel has coin laundry machines
•Non-smoking rooms: Smoking is prohibited inside the building
•Bedding: All rooms are Japanese tatami mats with futons
•Elevators: There are no elevators at the hotel

Hotel information

Ryokan Sawanoya

Address:2-3-11 Yanaka, Taito-ku Postal code:110-0001

Access:The hotel is a 7 minute walk from Nezu Station on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda line.

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