Photo courtesy of The Gate Hotel Asakusa Kaminarimon
The Gate Hotel Asakusa Kaminarimon
Opened by a Japanese real-estate developer in August 2012, Gate Hotel is located in the district of Asakusa, a few steps from the historic Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) of Sensoji temple, the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo. Asakusa has developed as an entertainment hub, a reputation enhanced by the 2012 opening of Tokyo Skytree, a broadcasting tower that’s the tallest structure in Japan and now a popular tourist destination. In a way, the area is a beguiling mix of old and new Tokyo. The hotel’s architecture and interior focus on art and clean design. The lobby has wide floor-to-ceiling windows, while guest rooms in subdued dark colors have brightly colored accents of art on the walls.
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The area has a more neighborhood feel, populated with predominantly low- and medium-rise buildings. There are numerous arts and crafts and souvenir shops, as well as restaurants serving traditional dishes, on Nakamise Street, the main thoroughfare leading to Sensoji temple. The first temple was finished in 645 AD, though rebuilt after being bombed in World War II. Sumida River runs a few minutes east of the hotel, and there is a pleasant green space—Kuritsu Sumida Park—that clings to the riverbank. You can also catch the Tokyo Cruise water bus from the river at the south end of the park.
Need to Know
Rooms: 135 rooms, two suites. From $180. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options:R Restaurant and Bar, the sole restaurant, promises French-inspired casual dining. Breakfast includes raw honey presented in a slab of honeycomb. B Bar, on the 14th floor, is reserved for hotel guests and their friends. Spa and gym details: None here.
Who's it for: Businessmen on a tight budgetary leash; urban explorers. Our favorite rooms: Any with a view of Tokyo Skytree, which is especially hypnotic at night. Don’t forget: Night owls should be sure to remember their room key cards, which are needed to unlock the ground-floor entrance between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.