Osaka is among the most popular cities in Japan and is included on most first-visit itineraries. The vibe of the city is different from both Tokyo and Kyoto, making it a great addition to the lineup. You’ll notice more young folks and more avant-garde street style, plus more openness to LGBTQ+ culture, making it feel fast-paced and fresh when compared to the historic environments of Kyoto and Himeji.
HOTEL THE FLAG Shinsaibashi stood out from other hotels we stayed at for a couple of reasons. Mainly, the style of the hotel was very modern with clean lines and cool colors, contrasted by large organic wood touches. It also had a lovely common area, hipster vibe, and modern furnishings.
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HOTEL THE FLAG Shinsaibashi Room Review
This hotel was among the most modern that we visited for our trip through Japan, it was also one of the more affordable lodgings as well, but that doesn’t mean we missed out on anything. In fact, it was more similar to a Western hotel experience. The main thing that makes this room stand out from Western hotels is the room size. Like most hotels in Japan, the rooms are pretty small (this was by far not the smallest room of the trip). The large window overlooks a corridor. The bed was in the corner and there was no spare chair, which means we watched TV from the beds, looking sideways. (Not that watching TV needs to be a main objective when traveling to the other side of the earth).
The room pictured above is a twin room with two beds. The linens are perfectly light and soft. The comfortable beds feature a very cool headboard with integrated light controls and device chargers. (The lighting control took a few moments to figure out but once we mastered it, it was handy). There is a mini-fridge, electric kettle, TV and of course, pajamas provided. In the bathroom, no bathtub—just a tiled standing shower. Of course, it has an advanced Japanese toilet which is now ubiquitous in Japan.
Book your stay at Hotel THE FLAG
Hotel THE FLAG Amenities
Hotel entry is on ground level, but reception is on the 2nd floor. The staff is extremely friendly and speaks many languages. There is a sign on the wall stating which languages are spoken by staff on each shift. To the right of reception is a large, open lounge area decorated in a modern industrial style. Curiously, the chairs are more similar to outdoor chairs or camping chairs. The large shelves that spell out “THE FLAG” contain books in mainly Japanese and English about a variety of topics, mostly travel, art, and Japan. Adjacent to the lounge area is an automatic coffee/latte machine, vending machine, and coin laundry.
Their onsite dining restaurant is called Be.zen and is open from 7:00-10:00AM. Breakfast can either be booked when reserving the room (check prices) or arranged from the front desk for ¥2000 per adult. We did not have breakfast here, but the photos on their website and instagram look very impressive; we totally should have.
Other Options in Osaka
Osaka has a fun scene with lots of creative, stylish hotels especially in the tourist areas. I recommending using the map tool below to have fun clicking around and exploring. There are many inexpensive hotels in Osaka. However, there is a seedy thread running through the city so make sure to read the booking.com reviews to make sure the hotel is on the up-and-up.
I’ll link some common affordable chain hotels that should be a safe bet:
- Dormy Inn is a super common Japanese chain. They have Osaka locations in various neighborhoods and this one has a really good-looking onsen.
- Mystays and APA are two ubiquitous affordable chains. Reviews vary based on each location, but Mystays Midosuji Honmachi has a good score and is in a good neighborhood. Note: The rooms look really small.
- I smiled when I saw ibis Hotel has a location in Osaka. (Read my post about the great affordable chain you haven’t heard of.)
If your budget is more flush, you can upgrade:
- Mimaru Osaka Shinsaibashi West is an upscale hotel in the same neighborhood. It features suite-style rooms, making it good for traveling with friends or family.
- For true luxury, including large rooms with unreal views, scope out Conrad Osaka.
There is no shortage of options at all price points. Search here:
Photos by Doug and Staci Jackson for The Voyageer.