31 January 2007

13 Andon Ryokan Tokyo

This trip to Tokyo, I stayed at a small, boutique, but very cheap ryokan (in comparison with the money you pay and what you get) : Andon Ryokan.
Situated in a very quiet residential neighborhood, where the real people in Tokyo live, on the East side of the city - two station away from Ueno Station on Subway Hibiya line.
It is designed by Masayuki Irie- Professor of Graduate Architecture Research Department, Science and Engineering, Waseda University and awarded as a selected work of 2005 by Journal of Architecture and Building Science Architectyral Institute of Japan. It is not very fancy building, but everything is thought through.

Usually in a ryokan (a traditional inn) in Japan (those who experienced would know) you have to share a bath, a toilet and so on - for those who are not used to, it is quite strange and inconvenient. If you budget is tight, it is even worse because a cheap ryokan is quite sad, and smelly, not to mention cleanliness.

This one is by far the best I have ever experienced in Japan (after living there several years) within 4,000 yen per night range: modern in design and facilities but still carries some ryokan spirits.
The ryokan even offers you a collections of DVD movies and DVD player in each room.
Moreover, the staffs are friendly and could speak enough English to communicate with guests - quite rare in any ryokan.

The glass facade lit up by night through the windows of those small rooms...







The corridor with the lighting only at the floor where you have to take off and put in your shoes. This confirm my theory about Japanese space that usually it is lit up only at necessary spots to disquise the very tiny size of any room - when you don't see the whole clearly, you don't know how big it is actually.



At the each end of the corridor, there is a window where light get through with some 'Japanese' decorations.





The room is very small (aroud 5 tatami mat), only 1.8 m wide, and 4.5 m. long. But strange enough, you would not feel that so small. Every square centimeter is designed with very careful thought.



To me, the most interesting thing is that although the room is very tiny and really next to each other, you would not hear the noise from your neighbors at all. It must be the super insulation in between the thin partitions of the room that run along the structure.



The small entrance lobby where they serve breakfast upon your request, very pleasant space.





I know, by now you are curious. Here is the website of the ryokan: http://www.andon.co.jp/home/index.html
Enjoy Tokyo!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great place! I like the description: The corridor with the lighting only at the floor where you have to take off and put in your shoes. This confirm my theory about Japanese space that usually it is lit up only at necessary spots to disquise the very tiny size of any room - when you don't see the whole clearly, you don't know how big it is actually.

Jan said...

coming from someone who is working in Andon...

a correction to your saying this place is 'VERY CHEAP'
i would beg to differ as for the same amount I can find a normal hotel room which can be more spacious and it's definite that toilets and shower-rooms come attached

(beginning my post by slamming my own workplace provides me some credibility doesn't it)
however the character of the building and the personal touches from the warm & sensitive staff (definitely not referring to myself, but to my dearest colleagues) the price one pays for at Andon, may I be so daring to claim that no one in Tokyo even comes close to providing the same value.

Rachaporn, thank you for swinging by, come again soon, we have not said our final byes yet.

; p

stefano said...

as usual,
very nice & fascinating descriptions...

:o

thanks for sharing those things...

;-)