Looking for places to stay in Tokyo? Want a budget hotel in the Japanese capital? Read our hotel review and check out more foodie Tokyo tips here…
OMO5 Otsuka in a nutshell
A stylish spot with simple, contemporary fittings in a lesser-known area of Tokyo, offering daily neighbourhood tours for guests interested in discovering local foodie haunts.
The hotel’s lobby, an open-plan lounge and restaurant space on the third floor of this sky-high modern building, creates a calm and friendly environment. Distinctively Japanese design elements cast a zen glow over the space – blonde wood beams; low, comfy seating in pale greys, yellows and blues; and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the buzzing neighbourhood. A pinboard of local food and drink spots, a small shop selling local produce, and a canteen-style café (all on the same floor) lend up-market hostel vibes.
Otsuka itself is a quirky neighbourhood – wait at the crossing alongside traditionally dressed geishas, wave to sushi chefs (they’re usually the ones in white wellies, overalls and red bandanas), and soak up the calmness of the Tenso shrine, where two large ginko trees – husband and wife, according to the locals – are adorned with wooden wishing boards covered in Japanese symbols.
Which room should I book at OMO5 Otsuka?
All 125 compact rooms make clever use of space. Beds made from contemporary cedar wood are raised to make way for comfy rest areas underneath (sit awhile and enjoy sweeping city views, which are particularly atmospheric at sunset), stairs double up as cupboards, and a wet room manages to include a deep bath and rainforest shower, with separate Japanese-style toilet (complete with all the fun settings). Walls painted in matte muted tones and tatami-style floors, great for padding about on in your slippers, provide a calm escape from the buzzing city.
The food and drink
OMO Café specialises in vol-au-vents for breakfast and lunch, alongside pastries made on site, all served with OMO speciality coffee. Light bar snacks (colourful pickles, edamame, Japanese crackers) accompany local beers, including golden and fruity Yona Yona ale and malty Tokyo black porter, plus Japanese spirits from across the country – Kyoto dry gin, Tram whisky and Okuhida rice vodka.
The hotel has a strong affinity with local businesses, and its shop showcases local snacks and crafts – try senri monaka (macaroon-like sweets filled with sweet bean paste) and little bottles of orange juice made from super sweet, acidic oranges grown in Ehime in Western Japan. Parcels of beautiful bespoke OMO paper are filled with rice crackers, sweet dark molasses bites and senbei rice crackers.
Breakfast is niche but delicious. Homemade golden vol-au-vent pastry towers, filled with seasonal beef stew, fish fricassee or fresh fruit, encase the room with the aroma of freshly baked pie. There’s also a more classic American-style breakfast tray of bacon, scrambled eggs and a range of breads from brioche to focaccia and pumpkin bread. Both are served with yogurt and speciality OMO blend coffee, made with beans from Guatemala and beyond.
What else can foodies do?
Head out with one of OMO’s “rangers” for a foodie tour of the local area. Tailored around specific niches, you can choose between a local brewery crawl, a tour specialising in nostalgic Showa-style food, and one highlighting the hippest foodie spots in the neighbourhood. If you want to go it alone, there’s a board highlighting the crème de la crème of local spots – try uekiya takoyaki kiosk for molten octopus balls topped with katsuobushi flakes; cacao stouts and hoppy IPAs at funky Smoke Beer Factory; or queue behind school boys at Afuri for satisfying bowls of ramen. For more Tokyo tips click here…
Is it family friendly?
Sofas in rooms can easily be turned into beds for children, and cots are provided at no extra charge.
If you want to get to the heart of local foodie life in Tokyo, specialist tour operator Inside Japan Tours offers unique experiences including sushi making, Golden Gai bar crawls and guided city tours to track down lesser-known foodie districts, quieter temples and cherry blossom and maple trees without the crowds.