JR Hotel Group, a company affiliated with Japan’s largest railway operator, runs nearly a hundred hotels around Japan (and one in Taipei). In Shikoku, it operates a number of JR Clement Hotels and lower-category JR Clement Inns. During our recent trip to Kochi, I had a chance to stay at one of the latter – at JR Clement Inn Kochi.
At 15,300 yen (just over 100 dollars) for the night without breakfast, the hotel was one of the more affordable options I could find and, for the price, ended up being quite nice. Continue reading this review to learn more about our stay.
Getting to the Hotel
JR Clement Inn Kochi is in a very convenient location, just a three- or four-minute walk from JR Kochi Station’s South Exit. In case you are coming from the airport, you can first take a bus from the airport to the station and walk from there.
Kochi Castle is just over 20 minutes away on foot. For other attractions in the city like the Makino Botanical Garden, you will be best off taking “MY-YU BUS” – a sightseeing bus that departs from a stop across the street from the hotel. Tickets for the bus can be bought in the tourist information center right next to the bus stop.
Check-in & Lobby
In front of the hotel’s entrance, there was a nice stone feature. The lobby and the rest of the hotel were nicely designed too, featuring a lot of wood.
In fact, there was a rightfully earned “Japan Wood Design Award 2022” certificate displayed in the lobby.
Check-in was a two-step process. First, one of the front desk staff confirmed our personal details and gave us our room keys. Then, I had to take a room key and put it in a payment machine where I had to pay for the stay. While that felt a bit cumbersome given that there was no one else checking in it likely speeds things up during busy times.
Check-out was smooth as all I had to do was return the key cards into one of the payment machines.
Next to the payment machines was a rack with a fairly good array of amenities. Things from mouth wash and hair bands through lotion and face wash all the way to mints were available.
Across from the reception desk were three large benches for those waiting for check-in.
There was also an entrance into the hotel’s restaurant but more about that later.
Down a hallway that led to the elevators was also a nice seating area. It was equipped with half a dozen or so tables, each with two chairs, as well as with a counter with half a dozen seats or so, each with access to a power outlet.
The latter provided a great place to get some work done at night after my daughter and wife went to sleep.
Rather than offering just seats, there was also a free tea and coffee corner in this space. There, coffee from an espresso machine and six different types of tea bags (Ceylon, Darjeeling, peach, apple, rosehip, and camomile) were available from 6AM to 10:30AM and from 3PM to 10PM. The drinks could either be consumed there or taken to the room (or elsewhere).
Across from the seating area were restrooms and a smoking room.
Before talking about the room itself, it’s worth noting that the following amenities could be found on the guest room floors:
- Vending machines and ice machines (even numbered floors)
- Microwaves (third and seventh floors)
- Laundromat (second floor)
- Rack with a selection of pillows, irons, and trouser presses
Our room, 503, was a standard twin room on the hotel’s fifth floor. Two other room types – single and accessible twin – were available.
The hallway, while nothing to write home about, was slightly more inspiring thanks to its wooden features than what can typically be found in similar hotels around Japan.
Entering into the room, there was a small bathroom (although standard size for hotels of similar category in Japan) on the right.
Shampoo, conditioner, and body soap were provided in dispensers. Single-use amenities including dental kits, razors, body towels, and hair brushes were ready in the bathroom too.
In the main part of the room, along the left wall, was a small sofa.
Behind the sofa was a work desk with a TV mounted above it. In addition to a box of tissues, a notepad, and a reading light, there was also a phone charger and a good number of power outlets.
Under the desk was an electric kettle and some tea. Next to it was a small refrigerator.
Lastly, across the desk was a pair of semi-double beds with a nightstand between them. The nightstand housed a safe. Above the nightstand was a pair of power outlets, one for each bed.
In our case, there was also a baby bed at the foot of one of the beds. Unlike at the Osaka Airterminal Hotel that we stayed at the night before, JR Clement Inn Kochi was able to provide the baby bed free of charge.
As for the view from the room, while it wasn’t anything amazing, it was better than nothing. Some of the tracks leading to Kochi Station, some buildings around the station, and some hills in the background could be seen.
On the desk in the room was an in-room massage menu.
Body and foot massages from 40 to 100 minutes long were available at a cost of between 5,000 and 11,000 yen.
Dining & Breakfast
On the first floor of JR Clement Inn Kochi was an izakaya (Japanese-style pub) called “Ekimaeno Rakuda.”
This was where breakfast was served between 6:30AM and 10AM. The place was also open from 5PM until 11PM for those wanting to eat something for dinner or grab a drink.
Breakfast cost 1,300 yen (about 9 dollars) per person and was in the form of set meals. Six different sets were available – four that had fish as the main dish, one with TKG (rice with raw egg) being the main dish, and one Western-style.
We decided to add breakfast to our stay when checking in and, as a result, were handed a pair of coupons that could be used at the restaurant in the morning. While we had to choose our breakfast time slot during check-in, we didn’t have to choose our preferred set until we arrived at the restaurant the next morning.
It was nice that those who changed their mind about having breakfast could use the coupons to get a 1,300 yen discount for dinner at the restaurant instead.
While it took us a bit to decide since all the options looked good, in the end, my wife decided to have the straw grilled bonito set and I had the amberjack sashimi set. Both of the mains came with the same set of side dishes including rice, miso soup, tofu, and pickles.
We really enjoyed the breakfast – not only was it tasty and included some local dishes but the portion was also perfect.
There was also a drink station set up near the entrance to the restaurant.
Coffee, green tea, and water were available. The coffee machines had “one cup per person” stickers on them. That said, those that wanted an extra cup could easily get it at the coffee and tea corner in the lobby seating area that I talked about earlier.
JR Clement Inn Kochi Airport Summary
We chose this hotel as it appeared on a list of baby-friendly hotels in Kochi. That said, I would not hesitate to stay at the hotel regardless of whether I was traveling alone or with my family, for pleasure or for business.
The hotel was very conveniently located, it was new and clean, the room was relatively spacious, and the breakfast was great.