When I was in Japan on tour in 2010, I felt like I was 30 years into the future. I love technology and they are so advanced with their phones, computers, everything.
– Soulja Boy
When we were searching for where to stay in Osaka Japan, we were not short on options. We were searching for cool and modern Japan as well as Osaka accommodation for families with a bit of style and luxury. There would be plenty of traditional places to stay elsewhere on our 2 week trip in Japan. Thanks to being the second biggest city in Japan, you will have your pick of places to stay in Osaka, including many 5 star hotels from the major hotel brands. We specifically wanted an Osaka hotel near a JR station because we were using our stay in Osaka as a base to explore other places in Japan. Our choice of the Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel also made my architecture-obsessed son happy because it is located in the tallest building in Japan. So would we say the Marrott Miyako is a recommended hotels in Osaka including for families? Read on and find out.
First Impressions of the Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel
My first impression of the Marriott Miyako Hotel was that it reminded me of the skyscraper hotel in the 2003 Lost in Translation movie with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johanssen. It’s striking, glossy and glamourous. The impeccably groomed receptionists are lined behind glossy long white lacquered tables. The lights of Osaka glimmer in the double-height windows. You definitely feel the sense of being small in a big city.
The service though added warmth to this glossy white space. Everything was organised and our room keys given to us in a jiffy. A smiling receptionist took us to our room on the 51st floor. My son was delighted – he adores skyscrapers and we had never stayed on a floor this high before. At check-in you get some freebies for staying in the tallest building in Japan, such as a discount coupon to use at the department store in the building and free passes to the observatory in the tower.
Family Accommodation in an Osaka 5 Star Hotel
We had a double bedded room (with queen beds) which was a good size in terms of Osaka accommodation for families. The fancy toilet was a separate room from the bathroom sink, bathtub and shower area. Good thing because my kids were completely fascinated with the toilet controls and spent inordinate amounts of time in there.
I loved the bathroom because it is in a style usually found in high-end Japanese design. The bathtub is in a separate glass enclosure with the walk-in shower. You have all the benefits of a large walk-in shower without the water splashing everywhere.
There is a seating area, a workspace area and the usual amenities of bathrobes, a safe and mini fridge. What was extra and really nice were the Japanese pyjamas. Not only were they super comfortable but it meant that we could save our own pyjamas for later in the trip.
Style at this Osaka 5 Star Hotel
The Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel is glossy and modern. The lobby on the 38th floor is a cavernous open-plan space with double height ceilings and windows. The area is slightly subdivided with a separate gift shop and restaurant area. The middle of the floor though are bar areas. A musician plays in the evenings which is nice if you want to chill out with a drink.
The rooms are comfortable and cozy in feel though. It’s got a minimal of clutter which I appreciate. We bring our own clutter to hotel rooms!
There were definitely elements of Japanese traditional style at this hotel. For example, I loved this piece of pottery which incorporates the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi (the idea that imperfect is perfect). My daughter wasn’t buying it though. She thought maybe the potter had broken it and was trying to cover it up. Such cynicism.
Ambience of the Tallest Building in Japan
The ambience of the tallest building in Japan is definitely straight out of Lost in Translation. Giant windows overlook Osaka as it sprawls into the horizon. Fifty floors up, the people and trains below don’t seem quite real. Little toys scampering around.
By the way, how can this hotel be located in the tallest building in Japan? With a skyscraper geek in our family, he was only happy to educate us.
Well, technically the Tokyo SkyTree is taller but it is deemed the tallest structure in Japan. Most of the Tokyo SkyTree is unoccupied and serves as a broadcasting tower for the Tokyo metropolitan area. It’s as famous a Japanese sightseeing destination as the much smaller Eiffel Tower knock-off, the Tokyo Tower.
That leaves the Abeno Harukas building in which the Marriott Miyako Osaka is housed as the tallest building in Japan. It has 6o floors which are separated by function:
- the 2nd to the 14th floor is the main branch of the Kintetsu Department Store and the largest department store in Japan;
- the 15th to the 37t floor is office space
- the Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel occupies the 38th to the 55th floor
- the top floors have an observation deck and restaurants
By the way, we used our free tickets to the observatory in the Abeno Harukas building but can truthfully say the view from our room was just as good!
The Good Bits of the Marriott Hotel in Tennoji
What were we looking for when we were choosing where to stay in Osaka? A Convenient Osaka accommodation for families in a 5 star hotel with a bit of style.
In terms of convenience, we really wanted an Osaka hotel near a JR station. I love Osaka for its food and fun but we knew we would be using Osaka as a base for a few days to explore other places in the region. This Osaka 5 star hotel is wonderfully located above a major transportation hub. At the end of a long day, we could drag our weary bodies straight upstairs to bed from the train station downstairs.
Amenities on Your Doorstep
Having the Kintetsu department store downstairs meant that we had quite a few options for breakfast and snacks. They have a GREAT food hall which we loved. Did I mention that my children are completely addicted to Japanese candy and sweets?
The giant train station complex meant there was lots of good shopping options, for both food and other supplies we needed..
There is a separate convenience store which is pretty upscale for the people who work in the offices from which we got dinner once. Of course you will need to take multiple elevators to get to it from the Marriott Miyako hotel.
The Marriott Branding
The Osaka Marriott Miyako is part of the Marriott brand and so part of the Starwood Group. You know how much I love the Starwood Group for both great hotels, excellent service and a fabulous rewards program.
The Great Bits of the Marriott Miyako Hotel in Osaka
What would I consider some of the extra add-ons that go above and beyond in terms of staying in an Osaka 5 star hotel?
Exceptional Service in a Medical Crises
We were very grateful to the Marriott Osaka Miyako Hotel manager for finding us an English-speaking doctor in the middle of the night. One night our son felt ill because his ear hurt. Although he has had ear infections before, they have never occurred while we were away from home.
My husband and I were in a bit of a panic about finding an A&E in country where we didn’t speak the language. My husband’s first reaction was to suggest that my son was just being dramatic and he could just power through the pain. I was not happy with that decision as the whimpering got progressively worse..
The manager at the hotel sorted everything out for us in an hour after our phone call to him. He put my husband and son in a hotel taxi to a hospital together with a note to the hospital explaining the circumstances in Japanese. My son was seen by an English-speaking doctor who prescribed antibiotics for a definite ear infection. My son felt better the next day and I felt immense superiority in being right.
I was looking for a good Osaka hotel near a JR station. The Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel is actually located above the massive JR Tennoji station as well as Osaka Obenabashi station for the private Kintetsu railroad.
Tennoji JR station is one of the main stations in Osaka and is served by several JR and Osaka subway lines.
- With your JR pass you can go directly from Kansai International Airport to Tennoji JR station in half hour on the Haruka Express or 45 minutes by the Kansai Airport Rapid Service.
- We used the Kintetsu train from Obenabashi directly to Mount Yoshino.
- You can go directly from Obenabashi to Mount Koya, a UNESCO world heritage site and one of Japan’s holiest places.
- You can take the JR Yamatoji line from Tennoji Station directly to Nara in less than an hour depending on what type of train you take.
On the JR Osaka loop line, you can use your JR pass to get around large parts of Osaka without paying extra for the Osaka subway. For example, on the loop line you can get to Osaka station and then change for a train to Himeji.
You really are spoiled for choices for transport links around and out of Osaka.
What Left Us Underwhelmed
In such a tall building, the elevator banks are a bit confusing to negotiate. It took us a while to figure them out, such as the floor we needed to get off to go directly to the JR station. The elevators themselves are speedy but different sets of elevators serve different floors.
We ordered room service once. For a simple meal of Onigiri (Japanese rice rolls) and Miso Soup, it took close to 45 minutes to deliver.Maybe they had issues navigating all those elevators too! It’s the sort of thing you can get in a Japanese convenience store much cheaper and much faster.
On that issue of laundry, the costs are sky high. We thought very briefly about sending some items for cleaning but balked when the cost of laundry for a pair of socks came out to about $10. Instead, we just went out and bought 3 pairs of new socks for $10.
Our Opinion of the Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel
I can definitely say the Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel is our recommended hotel in Osaka, and not just because the manager got us out of a tight spot. We loved the location, the convenience and the uber-cool feel of it. Our other hotels in Japan were more traditional in feel which is what you would want in the historic areas of Kyoto and Kanazawa. In the brash neon glam of Osaka, the Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel perfectly captures the modern city glamour of Japan.
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