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Thanks for Japan Advice: Feedback on Hotels

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Just wanted to say thanks to those who kindly weighed in with advice on my Japan threads. We travelled in October and had a really wonderful trip. Of course, we've fallen in love with Japan and know we'll need to go back again and again!

Our itinerary included Tokyo, Takayama, Nara, Kyoto, Koyasan, Osaka, Hiroshima and Miyajima.

In Shinjuku, Tokyo we stayed at Hotel Century Southern Tower - booked this less than a week ahead, got a decent rate from Agoda. Standard rooms, great views, excellent location.

In Takayama we stayed in Ryokan Tanabe, very warm welcome, excellent location, lovely room. Kaiseki meals good but all dishes served at once, rather than course by course as elsewhere.

In Nara we stayed in Ryokan Kankaso, just a stone's throw from Todai-ji Temple, right in the park itself. As the only guests that night, we got the (best) garden room, which was incredible. The kaiseki meal here was our favourite of the trip.

In Kyoto we split our stay. Ryokan Shiraume was beautiful, with a truly fantastic owner host, beautiful rooms, and excellent meals. The kaiseki dinner was only just beaten by that at Nara and the breakfast was the best we had.

We also spent some nights at Hotel Granvia in Kyoto Station. Location excellent, really really convenient and lots of great eating options within the department stores within the building. Rooms standard, and hotel bars/ restaurants all overpriced, so we avoided. Got a good deal on Agoda.

In Osaka we stayed in Hotel Icheie, a business hotel. Inexpensive, located near Namba station, the Western room we booked was enormous and comfortable.

In Miyajima, we spent the night in Auberge Watanabe, a charming traditional ryokan in a great location, again great hosting and a great kaiseki dinner.

Back in Tokyo, we stayed in Dormy Inn. This is a budget chain but we chose one of the larger rooms, a combined Western twin and Japanese room and that gave us plenty of space, though it still had the tiny cruise-ship style plastic bathroom pod. Suited us fine. Was clean and comfortable and service was helpful. Liked the fridge and kitchen sink too and the hotel has a laundrette, and also a complimentary foot spa with views of the Tokyo Skytree. Only downer is the breakfast, which was the worst food we had in Japan. Skip it and find something elsewhere.

I'll be sharing restaurant reviews and other experiences on my blog in coming weeks.

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