2 affordable options when staying in Tokyo
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan – Staying overnight in Tokyo is not cheap. Even the most inexpensive hotels in Tokyo cost hundreds of dollars per night and both space and availability can be very limited. Fortunately the military offers two alternatives for those looking to stay in overnight in Tokyo on a budget. These lodging facilities, The New Sanno and the Hardy Barracks Lodge, have some strong differences from each other so travelers should examine both choices carefully before making reservations.
The New Sanno is the more popular of the two. The New Sanno is managed by the U.S. Navy and is located in Roppongi, Tokyo. The New Sanno has various types of rooms ranging from singles, doubles, various suites and even a traditional Japanese-style suite. Prices for the rooms vary greatly depending on rank and room type. Rooms run from $50-$70 on the cheaper end and $75-$100 on the higher end. Amenities are a huge part of the New Sanno. Located inside the hotel is a small exchange, a liquor shop, a jewelry shop, a swimming pool and a gym. The hotel also offers 7 different dining options, from casual to dress code enforced. The hotel even hosts parties, conferences and weddings and has various theme nights several times a month. The amenities are open to non-guests but many, such as the pool and gym, are pay to use.
The general vibe of the New Sanno is of a more formal type establishment. The amenities offered by the hotel are better for people looking to vacation in the hotel vice people just looking for a place to stay overnight. The New Sanno is also a good place for those who aren’t as familiar with Tokyo or are going to be in the area for TDY. It’s also a good place for an extended stay or for families with more than one child, especially with children too young to go out and explore on their own.
The Hardy Barracks Lodge is the other lodging facility offered by the military. Hardy Barracks is also located in Roppongi but beats out the New Sanno for location as it is located within walking distance of Roppongi Hills and Roppongi Street, which are very popular areas in Roppongi. The lodge is also located next to the Pacific headquarters building for Stars and Stripes which contains a small exchange and gym inside. The lodge offers a single room or a suite and the prices are $45-$65 dollars depending on what room size you pick and whether or not you are on leave or TDY. The rooms are also bigger than the rooms at the New Sanno; based on my personal observations it would seem that a King Size Suite at the New Sanno is roughly the same size or only slightly bigger than a suit at Hardy Barracks but also costs an extra $20-$30 a night.
Although Hardy offers larger rooms at cheaper prices compared to the New Sanno it has several drawbacks. Firstly, there are no virtually no amenities. You have to go to the Stars and Stripes building to use the gym or exchange. There are no dining facilities at Hardy Barracks requiring you to go off base to eat unless you want something microwaveable from the exchange. Even the morning breakfast offered at Hardy is pretty bare bones; the only offerings are bagels, packaged muffins and canned fruit. You pretty much get a place to sleep and that’s about it.
It’s also worth mentioning that Hardy Barracks is very popular with younger service members looking for a place to stay on the weekends while they party in Tokyo. The Hardy Barracks staff leaves at night and I’ve read reviews with people describing some fairly “rowdy” behavior occurring on the weekends at the lodge. Nothing illegal or dangerous but certain behaviors that parents might not want their younger children to be exposed to. Hardy Barracks tends to be open on the weekdays but usually booked on the weekends.
The general vibe of Hardy Barracks is very much that of a “lodge”; simply a no-frills place for people to sleep at night. Hardy Barracks is a good choice for those on tight budget or those with small families or who are familiar with the area and just want a cheap place to stay in Tokyo for a few days. As the amenities are limited it’s not a very good choice for any TDY’s or extended stays.
Overall both choices are acceptable lodging facilities with different strengths and weaknesses. Even the more expensive New Sanno is still far cheaper than staying anywhere else in Tokyo. I can’t really recommend one facility over the other; it really comes down to the individual traveler and what their budget is, how long they plan to stay in Tokyo and what level of comfort they desire during their stay.
The New Sanno
Location: A seven minute walk from Hiroo station on the Hibiya Line. Their website, www.newsanno.com, contains directions on how to get there from various bases in the area.
Phone number: (DSN) 315-229-7121 / (Commercial) 03-3440-7871 ext.7121
Reservation Desk Hours:
8 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Monday – Friday), 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Saturday, Sunday & U.S. Holidays).
Hardy Barracks Lodge
Location: Few minutes’ walk from Nogizaka Station
Phone Number: DSN 315-229-3270, CML 81-36-385-3270
Reservation Desk Hours: