If you blended up Vegas and poured it into a Japanese glass, you’d get Namba, Osaka. And smack in the middle of it is a tucked in hideaway named Namba Oriental Hotel.
Namba Oriental Hotel has got awesome location with a convenience store and McDonalds, literally next door. Across a main street and down another 100 meters or so, is the world-famous Dotonburi of Osaka – the food district of this part of town.
Considering that we were the last to get off of the bus, get on the street access elevators into the lobby and got our rooms, and got from an all-day, hypothermia-inducing stay in Universal Studios Japan, we were exhausted to say the least. I knew that within 10 seconds of coming into the room, it would be un-photograph-able (i.e. so far from decent and proper that people might actually gag from the sight of it) so I knew that I had to take my photos in the first 10 seconds of entering the room.
I was using my Canon D20 Underwater Camera and with it being already subpar to its predecessor, the awkward and pregnant-looking D10, I knew that these low-light conditions weren’t going to help my insta-photo session. Anyway, I still managed to snap a few before the mess of our family erupted in one huge pile.
Admittedly, my Ninja Photography skills are amateur, at best, but still, as you can see from the magic poster child of cameras who suck at low-light conditions, the room is pretty big by Japanese standards. The drawers next to the TV even had sets of yukatas for us. Not really sure how we would be able to use them, at the time, we basically treated them like bathrobes. Woops.
After the photos have been taken, our Ninja Suitcase Skills come out to play, as they do every single night of every trip we do – whether my Mom and I are together or not.
My Mom and I have a habit of always keeping a closed off suitcase for the night and having everything for the morning after, already prepared in a neat pile, and having the mess from the night to be easily tucked into the suitcase without messing up anything.
Our neatness is upgraded with a good dose of obsessive-compulsiveness. Not in the Howie Mendel, repeatedly opening and closing doors, germaphobe type but your regularly exaggerated, politically incorrect term. The moment the room doors close, zippers go in a flash and locks magically undo themselves, piles stock on beds, luggage organizers reveal their glorious innards and souvenirs bought from the day are lined up in a single-file and orderly fashion.
Immediately, we get the toiletry kit and park it in the bathroom. Right after that, we take out the pajamas and head for the bathroom. As soon as we emerge from the bathroom all spiffy and clean with freshly hand-washed underwear in hand, the real work begins:
+– Souvenirs are all collected and put in a special bag
+– The paper trail of maps, tickets and brochures all come together as well
+– Weather reports for the next day are examined and proper outfits are determined
+– The clothes for the next day are piled up neatly for easy access the next day
+– The clothes from that day are stuffed in a specific laundry bag
+- Suitcases are then repacked, closed and zipped up so that the sleepwear are conveniently slipped into one of the bag’s front pockets the next morning
This way, we have closed suitcases so we don’t have to operate in a messy room and the odds of leaving something behind goes down since our suitcases remain closed most of the time.
Finally, after 2 hours of organizing, re-packing and freshening up, we are finally able to sleep in a room that looks as if you just walked into it. Also, you don’t have to walk around as if Cambodian land mines littered the ground, making early morning bathroom breaks stubbed-toe-free
The hotel is standard in amenities and its main draw is its location. It is a 100-meters away from the underground train station (and station shopping area!) and then a second set of 100-meters and you’re in Dotonburi.
+– Is a short 100-meter walk from the main highway and about the same distance from the train stop so get ready to haul luggage
+– No WiFi at the lobby, free or paid.
+– Breakfast is average but the restaurant is teeny tiny, for bigger groups, waiting in line is quite the norm.
+– Convenience Store and McDonalds are conveniently located next door.
+– Super Toilet Features: bidet, butt washing, heated seats, tinkling water sounds
+– Internet – WiFi not (immediately) available in rooms but apparently (and I was told this the morning we were leaving) that you could “borrow” a laptop or router kit from the front desk and use the LAN connection. (But the thing is, I asked the front desk on what I could do with the WiFi situation and I was redirected outside of the hotel)
+– Once again like our stay in Bellevue Garden Hotel in Kansai, we got a 2-twin beds and a sofa bed combo
+– Coffee and tea station, with the extra mention of having a Nescafe Dolce Gusto machine in the room
+– Estimated room price for triple sharing is about $250-$275