Toyoko Inn at Sapporo Station Hokkaido University review

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Sapporo isn't known for its collection of luxury hotels, unlike in Tokyo and Kyoto where upscale hotels abound.  Your point redemption options for the major hotel groups are also limited to a bottom-tier Holiday Inn and mid-tier Crowne Plaza, neither of which yield good redemption values.  Interestingly, you'll find the more upscale hotel brands like Hilton and Hyatt in the countryside of Hokkaido in areas like Kiroro and Niseko, which are essentially winter-town ski resorts.  So for my 3-night stay in Sapporo, I decided to keep it cheap but convenient by staying at the Toyoko Inn at Sapporo Station in front of Hokkaido University.



Location

Representing a mere 4-minute walk from Sapporo station, this hotel is well situated since you're essentially at the forefront of Japan's legendary public transit in Sapporo.  So I had  a 4-minute walk to the hotel after disembarking from the 37-minute Rapid Airport Train from CTS airport.  In addition, the hotel is right in front of Sapporo's iconic main gate, so access to the university is literally no more than a traffic-light stop.

Hokkaido University's main gate during my first winter quarter 2012

Room

As with most Japanese business hotels, the rooms were small and cramped.  But they have everything you need for a basic stay, including private bathroom with bidet, double bed, desk, TV, and free WiFi.  Since the rooms are very limited in space, they actually elevated the bed to make room for your suitcase to place underneath it.




Breakfast

All rooms come with free breakfast, which was simple and modest but fulfilling with a few protein options.


The hotel's close proximity to Hokkaido University also gave me an excellent excuse to hit the university gym, which was about a 25-minute walk or a 7-minute bike ride away.


Bottom line

The Toyoko Inn brand of hotels are very simple, yet they include mostly everything that you need for a few night stay minus a gym.  At around $53 per night, this hotel was well worth the value particularly for its convenience near the Sapporo Station and Hokkaido University.  I wouldn't be surprised if I found myself staying here again for my next annual trip to Sapporo.


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