Japanese hotels are for the most part not dissimilar to their Western counterparts, although the bedrooms tend to be on the small side (US visitors may find them especially so). But you really should plan to stay for some nights at least in a traditional guesthouse or ryokan. Although some of these are quite upmarket and pricy, our trip proved that you don’t need to splash out to experience traditional hospitality as we stayed in several lower-end ryokan that were more than acceptable – friendly, comfortable and with genuine if down-to-earth traditional décor and facilities. These included the cosy Fuji-Hakone Guesthouse in Senkyoro with a wonderful outdoor onsen (hot springs bath – see my separate tip) and the conveniently located Heianbo Ryokan in Kyoto. Chris and I also stayed at another ryokan on our extra side trip to Nikko, the Turtle Inn Hotari An.
If you decide to stay in a ryokan or other traditionally-run accommodation you need to be prepared to follow some simple rules. Firstly, expect to leave your shoes in the lobby. As everywhere in Japan where the traditional approach to footwear is followed, shoes must be removed in the small low-level area immediately inside the threshold, before stepping up to the raised floor. The ryokan will provide slippers which you can put on at this point, leaving your shoes on the shelves or in cubby-holes provided. I found the plastic slip-on slippers a bit slippery to wear, so do be careful as you walk around.
When you get to your room you will have another small area inside the door before the main flooring area of tatami mats. Here you should remove the slippers, as no footwear of any sort is allowed on the matting. If you have an en suite shower or bath it will probably open off this area (ours did in both Kyoto and Nikko) and you will have toilet slippers provided to use here. Whatever you do, don’t wear these toilet slippers anywhere else in the building!
In the room you will probably have a low table with cushions and bedding in the form of futons. These are usually laid out by the staff each night and put away in one of the closets during the day, but in Nikko we found ours left out all the time and I suspect that may not be unusual in cheaper establishments. On the table you should find everything you need to make tea (and in Kamikochi we had a variety of sweetmeats each day). There will probably be a TV (in most places we didn’t get round to putting this on) and some form of heating – we found the space heaters in Kamikochi and Nikko very efficient and very necessary! The décor will be simple, but there will always be a small alcove, the tokonoma with a scroll or picture and maybe a plant or flower arrangement. I had read before we went that you should never put anything else (e.g. items of luggage or clothing) in this alcove as it has a semi-sacred aspect, but in practice I found that the ryokan management themselves used it for various practical items such as a telephone, torch or guest information booklet.
The ryokan will usually provide towels and a yukuta or traditional robe. You can wear this anywhere around the ryokan – to meals, to the bath etc. If it is chilly there will also be a padded jacket to wear over the top. There are good instructions for wearing the yukuta on the Japan Guide website.
If meals are provided, they will probably be traditional Japanese cuisine, although we had more western style breakfasts in Hakone and Nikko. And I gather that the more expensive ryokan pride themselves on their dinners, which are often included in the price. We were lucky enough to have similar meals in our guesthouse in Kamikochi – a real experience!
If all the above sounds complicated, it really isn’t too much so, and after your first day or two in a ryokan you will soon get into the routine of following the rules and will relax and enjoy the experience I’m sure, as we did. And if you’re worried about sleeping “on the floor” on your futon, again, don’t be – I found that with the two mattresses usually provided and the slightly padded nature of the tatami mat, it was only slightly firmer than my own bed, and very cosy.
Next tip: Japanese cuisine
Kurumi Mansion have 65 furnished rooms, every room is equipped with, bath mat TV (without satelite) air-conditioner, fridge, microwave oven, small electric cooking heater, and cooking utensils. and a jack for internet, there"s washing and drying machines for use in one of floor for your clothing , (10 to 12 mins walk to three subway station ) Suitengumae, Monzennakacho, & Kayabacho, and walking distance to Tokyo City Air Terminal, Room rates from yens 3,900 to yens 7,100 per night. ( 6nights yens 22,000 to yens 40,000. Address: 1-1-9, Saga, Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan 135-0031, Tel: 03-3820-3331 URL: www,kurumi-mansion.com email: email@example.com
From Haneda Airport to city air terminal cost yen 800 per head and just about 15 mins walk to Kurumi Mansion, you can choose to have a river-view room ( it cost a litter more) near the City Air Terminal there is a Shinto Shrines you can watch the local bring their new born baby for blessing ,
This is really budget type of hotel, suitable for businesman. Japanese style type of service, staff speak very little of English or any foreign language except, Japanese, Korean or some Chinesse. Room's are really small, really small compare to American standard. But this is the true way to experience the Japanese way, breakfast are in Japanese style. A convenient store is located within walking distance, other than that if you were to get some late night snack, there is no nearby restaurant except for one Japanese run type of western fast food located 10 minutes walking distance.
A shuttle bus from the hotel will send you to the Hakata Station , pls refer to their timetable and also to the Hakata domestic & international flight airport.
Highly recommended, to non Japanese speaking tourist. Room are spacious and affordable.
Friendly staff, always willing to help. 10 minutes walk from Shinjuku JR Station. 10 minutes walk to the nearest shopping area, Times Square. McDonald's & 24 hours convenient stores are locates within walking dikstance.
All staff are able to communicate in English.
This hotel is targeted at businesspeople – these rooms are meant as a place to kick of your shoes, turn on the computer (free WIFI), go to sleep and shower in the morning before breakfast. So the rooms are small, minute really, but somehow they’ve cramped what one need into it. So it’s fine for travelers as well – all it takes is a whole lot of discipline because without it, you’ll rapidly be unable to find your things.
The bathroom is quite like what you’d find in the cabin on a boat, but the shower/tub is effective.
The breakfast buffet is quite nice aimed at both locals and westerns – it is cafeteria style - so you clear of your own table. There’s a free coffee/tea station where you can serve yourself during the stay
Next door to one side is a 7-Eleven which has an ATM (I’ve been told that this is a feature of most 7-elevens in Japan) – however this one was nifty when arriving with hardly any yen in your pocket. To the other side Japan Rails has a station. To either side you’ll find a metrostation within a five minute walk.
In conclusion this hotel is good accommodation, if you’re looking for both a decent price and a central location in Tokyo.
When I stay in Kyoto I found out something very useful about some hotels in Japan. Some offer the use of a bicycle for nothing extra. A bicycle is one of the best ways to tour a particular city. You can get to know the sites much better and you don't have to hurry to get back to the seat on the tour bus. Try this out. If your interested check out my site (www.thejte.com) Take Care
Free use of bicycle
The hotel stuff was very kind.
The comfort was amazing especially with a special japanese tea in a classic japan style cup while i was watching the phenomenal scene of tokyo.
The hotel has a special system for the earthquakes.I experinced one fortunately ;) and it was like nothing happened.felt nothing.
I'm from Turkey so i'm not used to asian foods.The hotel's restaurant was very rich so i didn't felt like far away from home about my eating consuetude.
Easy access to any place is a very special comfort in a very very crowded city like tokyo.
Our stay at this hotel is very pleasant, near the subway station, walking distance to shops, restaurants, convenient stores, rooms are clean, modern toilet, helpful english speaking staff and free internet for guest.
Very good Location
Well, when I arrived to the hotel, I didn't expect much especially after being spoil from quality service receive while in Southeast Asia. This hotel was easy to find. Checking in was smooth. Felt welcomed (or as welcomed as a Japanese reservationist) can make you feel in a very reserved manner.
Though I consider the place sort of Spartan in it's interior design, every thing that they had fit as if it belonged exactly where it was. All the furniture was modern with quality tapestry with metallic subtle presence.
Seem a bit cool. But, then, the Bellmen stepped in to sweep up my luggage. They do what they do because it is their job. In the USA, our Bellmen jump for your luggage because their trying to generate a maximum number of tips during their shift. The Japanese Bellmen were not phased and actually turned down tips at time. Of course, I pressed them to take it which later I learned that this probably isn't the thing to do.
The room had just the right amount of furniture. Though small, it had a feeling of roominess. Loved the low beds. I slept like a baby especially after a little partying around the town.
At the Hilton- Osaka, you have city view. Really lights up at night.
Loved the breakfast. All the seafood. This was my "FIRST SEAFOOD" breakfast. While at breakfast, I ended up meeting a set of musical entertainers from New York. A gospel group. They we very welcoming too. Great to see my "pepps" traveling beyond the USA borders. They shared with me how the Japanese people appreciated American music (which did include our religious music).
Loved the hotel's location to the back street small shops, neighborhood bars, and subway.
On our visit in the cool month of November 2005, this B&B is like home. The warm and cosy lobby serves also as living room and breakfast room. Car park available.
The room had 2 queen-sized beds, TV, air conditioner & heater. The shower is not spacious but enough, and clean. Shower gel, shampoo, and towels were available. The toilet room is clean and dry, in separate door face-to-face with the shower room.
You can help yourself with hot drinks available for free at the lobby/living room. They served toasts and breads with hot drinks for breakfast.
This B&B is located in the town of Yamanakako, very close to Lake Yamanaka in Fuji Five Lakes area, where we enjoyed the beautiful view of the lake and the iconic Mt. Fuji. There are restaurants and at least one convenient store (7 Eleven) at the lake area.
This B&B is clean, the hosts were friendly. It's located near Lake Yamanaka, the spot to enjoy the beauty of Mount Fuji and the lake itself.
For the Fuji mountain region I wanted it to be a bit of the better level of hotels and selected the Fuji Lake hotel. It was the most expensive we selected for our Japan tour but in a place like that it was worth every penny. The Fuji Lake hotel was fantastic. Our room was large with a lake view and the stay was including traditional rich Japanese dinner and breakfast. Not to mentioned an outdoor jacuzzi break in afternoon :)
Great location and high quality of services
Kyoto was the best place to take a Ryokan style hotel. We stayed few days in this fantastic Ryokan Shimizu Hotel which is 5-10 minutes walk from the central station. The place itself is traditional Ryokan, very comfortable room and friendly stuff. On our day of arrival they served us ice tea to the room which was very nice on a hot July summer day :)
In Osaka we stayed in the Ana Crowne Plaza Hotel which was about 10 minutes walk from the station. As Osaka was our arrival and departure spot in Japan, we decided to use this hotel on our first and last day in Japan and that was very convenience. It was walking distance from Osaka station where we used JR Line from/to the airport. Price was very good for double room for 2 persons was just about over 100€ or so including breakfast.
Quality and location.
Japanese breakfast to start our first day was great.
All the hotels in Japan we booked on-line or by e-mail. All the hotels were in central location close to the main train stations so we didn't needed any additional transportation arrangements. All was fixed and was working well according to our expectations and there was no any problems what's so ever, check-in and check-out was quick and we were happy with all the accommodations we selected.
In Tokyo we stayed in this lovely Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku. The choice was easy as this hotel seems to be of a good quality, only few minutes walk from the the Shinjuku station and price deal was very good.
The hotel location is excellent and the rooms even when small were nice and confortable for the two days we stayed here.
At every train station / subway station / airport terminals, there are plenty of lockers available.
The smallest of it cost about 300Yen while the largest about 600Yen.
Should you need to visit a location between hotels, you can always use these lockers at the immediate points stations to store away your bags while you sightsee or do shopping.
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