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December 20, Ebisu
December 19, Harajuku
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This wonderful old ryokan in the sleepy streets of Hongo looks just like a Japanese inn ought to: wooden, glass-fronted and with an ornamental garden at the front. And its owners plan to keep it that way following the ryokan’s designation as an important cultural property by the Ministry of Education. Be sure to have a word with Homeikan’s cordial, English-speaking manager Kunio Koike when making a reservation - he can help you choose a room and, if need be, direct you away from the rowdy Japanese students who often lodge here. The inn is divided into two buildings, which face each other, with another branch a five-minute walk away. The only drawback is its location, around 20 minutes’ walk from the nearest real action around Ueno or Ochanomizu stations.
Tokyo City Guide (Edition 5)