Hoping someone will be able to help me out on this one. Going to Japan in 3 weeks with my 16-year-old son - for the first time, and this is his dream destination, so I want to make it a very good trip for him. Still a secret to him though, a present for him for his birthday on Saturday
OK, so here goes, have been reading almost everything in the forum about Japan, have been checking LP and lots of other places, don't really need any info on what to do and see, guess my son will have lots of ideas as well.
But where to stay? Have been looking at the Toyoko Inn chain, anyone know about it? Looks pretty OK from their website and they have hotels in all the cities I'm thinking of visiting: Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.
My main concern is cleanliness, doesn't seem to be a problem in Japan? My budget will be app. 10000 JPY a night for a double room - would love to go below that but am willing to pay up to the 10000. So the plan is now to stay 2 nights in Tokyo, 2 nights in Kyoto, 2 nights in Osaka, then back to Tokyo and 3 nights here, spending the last night at the Hilton or SAS Radisson near the airport saving us a bit of time the morning we're going back.
So any ideas apart from what has already been written about accomodation? Have mailed the Asakusa Ryokan Toukaisou, is it as good as mentioned earlier in the forum (guess it was Twinkle recommending this place)?
We would like to try at least a couple of nights in a traditional Ryokan-style place so is Asakusa Ryokan Toukaisou anywhere near this? Or is it worth spending lots and lots of money for at least one or two nights at a nice Ryokan, eg in Kyoto?
Maybe a bit messy this request, but still hoping someone will get back to me, looks like I'll have to book hotels pretty soon.
Thanks in advance.
I stayed at Matsubaya Ryokan in Kyoto, not far from Kyoto station; but stay away from the place called Toji-an - near Toji Temple (see my blog about that). There I also wrote about which hotels I stayed. My trip in Japan was a budget trip; all the hotels we have booked were cheap but nice and clean (except Toji-an, which I ended up not spending a night there at all).
Thanks for your reply, will definitely avoid Toji-an
Matsubaya Ryokan looks quite nice, will keep that in mind, and it's round about what I've planned to pay anyhow - or at least what I'm willing to pay if everything else fails
Sole! Sorry. There's a blast from the past! Good to see you again!
For Ryokan's, if you can cope without pre-booking, it is easty to arrive in Kyoto at the station, and get them to book you something traditional when they get there. They are used to non Japanese speaking foreign people turning up and trying to stay in a Ryokan, and know how to help.
One thing to try if you can is a night in a capsule hotel (for the experience alone). Many don't take women, and some only take over 18s, but in Tokyo you should probably be able to find one that takes you both (one in Asakusa is cheap and takes women at the very least)
Cleanliness is no problem except from the other extreme - things can sometimes be TOO clean, and almost surgical.
If you need ideas about what to see/where to go and day trips, let me know. I would say that whilst Osaka is lovely, it is just another BIG city, and there's not vast amounts to see. It's worth going, but Kyoto is cheaper to stay in (at the lower end of the scale) and by bullet train only 15mins away. Slow trains are only 30mins, so it could be done in a daytrip, which would save you carting your luggage around.
hehehehe, yes it's been a long time, haven't really been up to doing what I'm supposed to be doing here either... Job, private life etc. etc. everything sort of taking it's toll at the moment, but trying to get back again, miss being around you guys!!
Normally I haven't got a problem with not booking ahead, this time though I don't want to waste any time finding a place to stay, and I want to make sure that I won't have to spend more than app. 10000 JPY a night - except for our last night where we'll stay at either Radisson, Hilton etc. closer to the airport. What is your experience with ryokans in Kyoto - pricewise as well!
As for the capsule hotel, NO WAY We both tend to be a bit claustrophobic, so we completely agree on NOT staying in a capsule hotel.
As for the cleanliness, I know that shouldn't be a problem at all, and as I said earlier, I've hardly seen any complaints about lack of cleanliness!! We've both had our share of scruffy, shabby places, so we're not that particular. But as I'm getting older I find it more difficult to cope with really scruffy places
I'm always interested in getting ideas of what to do. So far my son has a few things he'd like to see:
Osaka: Osaka castle being one of them and maybe the aquarium in Osaka as well (is it worth it??). Will definitely think over the not staying in Osaka-thing, but stay put in Kyoto and only stick in a day-trip to Osaka, guess we can do that easily. Btw my son read about a Sunday-thing in the Osaka Castle Park, where young amateur bands play their music,have you ever heard about that. Haven't been able to find anything about it, only in this one, Danish guide book.
Kyoto: Nijo-jo, Kinkakuji and Kiyomizudera
Tokyo: Edo castle, Sony building, maybe Yokohama and/or Kamakura. LOTS and LOTS of shopping and just taking in the air of Tokyo. The shopping will mainly be for his sake, not mine, so it'll be shopping for kimonos, hakamas, maybe wooden swords and probably some electronics.
Maybe also the Inuyama Castle but it seems to be a bit difficult getting there on a day trip as we don't plan on staying the night - or maybe you have some great ideas of how to manage that as well??
My son is very much into role playing and samurais, he might take up Kendo later this year, so he'll probably want to see quite a few castles/temples etc. But he also loves big cities, so that's why we've so far chosen to spend quite a bit of time in Tokyo, I'm more or less letting him decide what we'll be doing. This is mainly his trip - he was really, really pleased when he got to ticket yesterday, he hadn't had a clue that I'd planned this trip for him.
Will spend a short time now checking hotels, won't book until later this week, but my son is away on camp all week, so the only chance we have to check out stuff together will be tonight - or in a week's time
Thanks a lot for getting back to me, Rich, you must be one of the most "knowledgeable" (is that a real word???) people in this forum!!!!