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Hotel review: Mimaru Nihombashi, the closest you’ll get to living in Japan? 

Think of buzzwords in travel and immersion would surely spring to mind. And what could be more immersive than living in a destination? MARK HARADA and his family discover a hotel that turns tourists into short-term residents - and in style.

Think of buzzwords in travel and immersion would surely spring to mind. And what could be more immersive than living in a destination? MARK HARADA and his family discover a hotel that turns tourists into short-term residents – and in style.

The Mimaru Suites Tokyo Nihombashi could be the next best thing for any traveller who’s ever wanted to live in Tokyo. 

In a city that boasts hotels of all shapes, sizes and quirks, the property is unique. Most obviously, it’s an apartment hotel, and that in itself is a rarity in Tokyo. But that’s just where the differences begin…

Size matters

Mimaru Suites Nihonbashi
Mimaru Suites Nihonbashi

Every abode here is either a two-bedroom or two-bedroom family suite. My family of three stays in the latter. 

At nearly 60sqm, our family suite is larger than the average Tokyo apartment – and I’d wager nicer than most condos too. 

The main bedroom features twin beds and an ensuite with a shower. The other bedroom is less conventional, with unique “king-size” bunk beds (a hit with my eight-year-old daughter) and a large sliding door that can separate it from the living area.

All up, the suite is good for up to six people.

In the living area, two sofas hug a dining table in an L-shape; beside this is the kitchenette – one of the real points of difference at the hotel – which boasts a stovetop, microwave and full fridge/freezer, among other amenities. There are also all the mod-cons you’d expect such as free wifi, a large television, a washing machine, air-conditioning and even an air purifier/humidifier. 

One of my favourite things is the lighting controls that are built into every bedhead and the lighting configurations available. 

Mimaru Suites Nihonbashi

Meanwhile, pretty shoji screens and lots of pine wood are a reminder we’re in Japan, if one is needed.

The main bathroom features a Japanese-style wet area (i.e. shower/bathtub in a sealed-off space) and a separate dry zone.

Then there’s the Japanese toilet (because how many loos make it into reviews?), which features the famous automated bidet, built-in deodoriser and even a “privacy” button that plays the sound of gushing water to obscure any other unwanted sounds! 

Home suite home

Lobby area
Mimaru
Mimaru’s beautiful lobby area

Mimaru Nihonbashi, part of the MIMARU Apartment Hotel group, takes the concept of an apartment hotel to the next level. 

Like you can embellish an already great bowl of udon with extra toppings (an apt analogy given Tokyo is home to the most Michelin-starred restaurants of any city), guests can custom decorate their suites to make them even prettier and more distinctive.  

“You can borrow any of those,” the hotel receptionist tells me in the lovely lobby area. 

Before me are shelves and shelves of framed artwork that guests can rent to jazz up their rooms.

Mimaru

On the other side of the lobby is a “library”, where one can choose from hundreds of books to borrow, from gorgeous pictorials to lots of “manga” comics. The Studio Ghibli and Tezuka Osamu hardbacks draw my attention, but so pretty are many of the books, they could be used purely decoratively.

Perhaps best of all, laid out on a large table, is a selection of exquisite Japanese tableware guests can also rent for free. So whether you’re dining in (and you inevitably will when there’s a large Family Mart next door), or just enjoying some Sencha tea (part of the amenities also available for free for guests in the lobby), you can do so in style.

Service, sake & more 

Lobby area
Mimaru

A family is checking in as my wife, daughter and I duck into the lobby. That’s akin to rush-hour at this hotel, as during our three-day stay, we rarely see another guest. 

That’s not to say the hotel isn’t busy. Mimaru Sales Manager Taka Kofune tells me after my stay the hotel has a high occupancy rate. And that Australian families especially love two-bedroom apartments. So it probably just seems quiet.

With the absence of guests during our stay, the service at Mimaru feels different to many other Tokyo hotels, especially the enormous properties littered around the city. It’s more personal but also unhurried, with multilingual staff able to tend to our every need.

JAP10

This service extends to Passage Coffee, a cafe in the lobby of the property.

Every guest who stays at the hotel receives a drink voucher, which is good for a coffee, hot chocolate or juice at the cafe. The barista takes his time with my order, preparing it meticulously – as is done with many things in Japan. The hot chocolate for my daughter is made with even more care (which is more than I can say about the way it’s guzzled). 

Passage Coffee is supervised by well-known barista, Shuichi Sasaki, the first Japanese person to win the World AeroPress Championship. But if you miss the coffee (the cafe closes at 5pm), you might be treated to some free sake tasting, which can be consumed in your room in pretty sake cups of your choice. 

Just suit(e) yourself. That’s the Mimaru Suites Tokyo Nihombashi difference.

Where is the Mimaru?

Mimaru

The hotel is situated a quick train ride from Ginza, Tsukiji and Ueno without any transfers. It’s also within walking distance of Nihonbashi, a centre of Japanese culture, and Ningyocho, a traditional downtown area.

The writer was a guest of MIMARU Apartment Hotels; however, the hotel did not review or approve the content before publishing. For more information on MIMARU, click here.

Tokyo-bound? Check out our first-timer’s guide to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea, including where to stay, how to get there, what to eat, and most importantly, how to skip the queues!

Mimaru
Sayonara Mimaru!