OCONUS: A Military Hotel in the Heart of Tokyo Near Disneyland

(Image Courtesy of the New Sanno Hotel)

The New Sanno Hotel is Naval operated, and a short 7-minute walk from the residential Hiro-o metro stop on the Hibiya line.  The New Sanno is almost a military small base within a moderately sized building. This hotel is the perfect location to visit all the major tourist attractions in the Tokyo metropolitan area.  The New Sanno is almost always at capacity so plan your trip well in advance. Bookings are taken up to 6 months in advance. Additionally, consider looking at the Hardy Barracks for portions of your stay if there aren’t enough days available to you.  

Getting to the Hotel

From mainland Japan, the New Sanno can be reached by taking the metro, the Shinkansen (bullet train), or via bus.  It isn’t suggested to take a taxi due to the distance and fees. If arriving via Narita or Haneda Airport there are bus options.  Three buses from the economy and one bus that commutes from Yokota to the New Sanno and Narita. Unlike the economy bus, the Yokota shuttle is first come first serve.   In PCS season this bus can get full.

Facilities

The New Sanno hosts a small Navy Exchange, a jewelry shop, and a gift shop.  Additionally, there are a few restaurants around the new Sanno, however, I found the Emporium for breakfast to be delicious.  The Emporium also serves a breakfast buffet. We choose to eat there for breakfast for a good portion of our stay. There are small bites and Starbucks coffee at the Sunrise Cafe directly outside of the Emporium.  For a quick service meal, the recently renovated Hero’s Cafe was great. Additionally, we enjoyed a great meal at Kikuya, a Japanese restaurant. On certain weekends, if you are having trouble booking, you can book a room and meal package that gives you more flexibility in your stay and also gives the hotel additional revenue for their higher end restaurants, such as Kikuya and Wellington’s—a steakhouse.  

There is a heated pool during the winter months that is perfect for a quick dip or to let the kids get some wiggles out.  We took advantage of the pool a couple of times during our last trip. It was very clean and warm.

During our recent trip to the New Sanno, we actually used the Post Office in the building and shipped some items we purchased home. Additionally, there is a wrapping service if needed.

Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly there is a bank where dollars can be exchanged for yen.  That was a huge benefit when we needed to purchase Tokyo Disneyland tickets! To add on to that the New Sanno offers a stroller borrowing service.  Please note it is limited to children 30 lbs and under. That came in handy when our children were completely over walking everywhere by the 5th day of our stay.  Finally, for extended stays or accidents, there is a coin laundry in the basement.

Local Attractions

The New Sanno Hotel is the perfect place to base out of when sightseeing.  It is within 30 minutes to most of the popular tourist attractions in Tokyo such as Asakusa, Meiji Jinja, Odaiba, and Tokyo Tower.  The travel desk can help to arrange local tours for your party. Additionally, they will give you a metro map and in many cases, you can purchase tickets for some local attractions.  They don’t sell Tokyo Disneyland Tickets, but there is a convenience store called Family Mart you can purchase your tickets at. It’s about a 2-minute walk to the store from the New Sanno.  

On Another note please take into consideration what you are planning to do on your visit to Tokyo.  If it is just to go to the Tokyo Disneyland Resort, I would highly advise you to consider looking at hotels near Tokyo Disneyland.  The metro can be upwards of an hour from the New Sanno to the Maihama station, where Tokyo Disneyland is located. It is not a poor choice to stay at the hotel but after a long day at the parks and an hour commute back to the New Sanno, it can be a recipe for disaster with tired kids.  The Room

For the purpose of this review, I am only commenting on the standard room.  Compared to the size of an average hotel room in Tokyo the New Sanno is huge!  The room size was great for our family of three. The New Sanno does offer family rooms, suites and even Japanese style rooms for those looking for that experience.    The room looked recently remodeled, it was clean and had a lot of storage options. Perhaps even more storage than your average hotel. There was a standard queen-sized bed with a pull out sofa bed.  Additionally, there was a small table and chairs to have breakfast. The room comes with your standard amenities such as a mini-fridge, hairdryer, a full bath and English language programming on the TV provided by AFN.  The bathroom was okay, it was clean but it could use some updating. The elevator up to the rooms is quick and the staff are all very helpful and accommodating. The view from our room was not half bad either, a lovely view of the Tokyo skyline and very stunning in the evenings.  Overall, the New Sanno is a fantastic choice for those looking for comfortable accommodations and exploring the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Dina is a coffee loving military spouse and mom to boys.  A travel advisor and family travel journalist. She shares her love of travel and helps families plan dream vacations. Follow her on IG @AllThePlacesWeRoam

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