All it takes is a few seconds to earn a free night, and they’ll even give you complimentary beer and sashimi.
Just a few minutes’ walk from Yotsuya Station in Tokyo, the Hotel New Shohei has a pretty great location. It’s near the very center of the city, with both the excitement of the Shinjuku district and the stately presence of the Imperial Palace not far away, but still in a quiet enough neighborhood that you’ll be able to get the rest you need after a long day of sightseeing.
But the most attractive thing about the Hotel New Shohei right now is the price, because it’s absolutely free.
Like most hotels, the New Shohei has seen a dramatic drop-off in business this year, with international and domestic travel at a minuscule fraction of their normal levels. On some days the hotel has no guests at all, and so the management has decided that rather than let every room sit empty, they’d rather have some travelers spending the night and experience what they have to offer, even if the hotel isn’t making a single yen off them.
Obviously the hotel wants something in return for this generosity, but its request is so small that travelers are clearly getting the better deal of the bargain. In order to stay for free, all a guest has to do is mention that they stayed at the hotel, and post a picture, on one of their social media accounts. You don’t have to write a glowing review, either, or even a long one, as there are no requirements regarding length or content. Oh, and if you’d rather not make your post during your stay, perhaps because you don’t want to let the whole Internet know where you are that very night, that’s not a problem either. You can make the post after your stay is finished if you so desire, just so long as you send the hotel an email to let them know when you do.
You don’t get a stripped-down version of the guest experience either, as you’ll be staying in the same guestrooms that the hotel ordinarily charges for. You even get access to the hotel’s guest lounge which has free coffee, juice, and even alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine.
The hotel is also currently throwing in a complimentary plate of aji (mackerel) sashimi, sliced fresh upon your request.
The free stay plan (which is an even more budget-friendly accommodation option than this crazy-cheap, low-privacy hotel we stayed in last year) is available on Monday-Friday nights for solo travelers, although with a cost of zero yen, it seems like you and a companion could simply get your own individual, and free, rooms. Guests wishing to take advantage of the offer are asked to mention “Shukuhaku muryo kyanpen moushikomi kibou” (“I’d like to request the free room plan”) when making their reservation, with the equivalent Japanese text for email correspondence being 宿泊無料キャンペーンへ申込み希望.
Hotel New Shohei / ホテルニューショーヘイ
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Yotsuya 1-7-9