The best view in Osaka.
The most uncomfortable beds in the world.
We had booked and paid for a hotel months in advance on the other side of town, but when we tried to check in, we found out we had accidentally booked the room for the same day several months earlier. They had no other rooms available, so we hit the street, just a little upset over having paid for a room we didn’t even use.
While trying to get out of the way of pedestrian traffic, one of us accidentally bumped our luggage into a row of freestanding bicycles. It was like one of those biker movies where some yokel knocks over the entire Hell’s Angels fleet outside their favorite bar. We were mortified but thankfully some passersby helped us pick them all back up.
So we stood around in the street, desperately paging around on our phone, searching Expedia for accommodations and coming up empty. Everything was sold out except for the Hotel Osaka Baytower, which only had rooms equipped with two twin beds available at a reasonable rate of something like $300 a night.
Now, a little about me. I made it most of the way through Boy Scouts, having slept on earth, foam, pine needles, carpet, hardwood, and cots in military barracks, depending the venue and occasion. I can comfortably sleep on and get a full night’s rest from napping on planes, trains and cars.
But the beds in the Hotel Osaka Baytower were a throwback from the feudal era, as if the shogunate were punishing you for a crime. Feudal peasant beds would have been more comfortable than these.
There was no padding to the mattress whatsoever– the only suspension the mattress provided was by the springs, which were few and far enough between that we’d feel every single one of them poking us in the back, sides, and every other direction of human pretzeldom possible. It was like sleeping on a bed of nails, only with too few nails.
Beyond that, we were paying $300 a night for a room at the Osaka Baytower that was about on par with any Motel 6 back in the States. The same gross yellow-and-green color scheme, even worse beds, the awful artwork– the only difference was that at least at the Osaka Baytower, we comforted ourselves in assuming nobody down the hall was running a meth lab out of their bathroom.
The next morning, we complained to management about the abysmal state of our beds. We had two of them (twins), and they were both equally shoddy. Management was genuinely surprised about our complaints, and to their credit, offered to relocate us to an upgraded room. As always impressed with Japanese hospitality, we graciously accepted their offer, assuming it was just a bum room we were given…
…only to be horrified when they relocated us to a room that was identical to the first in every single way. Yes, every way. The bellhop tried to explain that the upgrade came from the fact that we were a few floors higher up. We really didn’t want to be those people so arigatou it was, and we hit the town.
I don’t remember what we did that day (perhaps Osaka Castle) but we had a really nice dinner somewhere around Dotonbori. Afterwards while we were wandering around looking for food, we found ourselves in the lobby of a love hotel. Sharing a few laughs and gawking at some of the setups available for rent by the hour, the final entry on the board suddenly lit up to signal its availability– the basement S&M room.
Taking a nap in an actual sex dungeon was more comfortable than spending a single night at the Hotel Osaka Baytower. The amenities were also much more fun.
While the Hotel Osaka Baytower bathrooms were equipped with half-gallon tubs of Shiseido products and the view was one of the best we’ve had of any city in Japan, it was such a miserable experience we left for Tokyo a day early and walked out on the remainder of our non-refundable stay. Which is a shame, because I feel like we didn’t get to spend much time in Osaka after factoring in all the hotel- and room-hopping.