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Finally, Smeagol and Muffins Japanese adventure begins.....

Finally, Smeagol and Muffins Japanese adventure begins.....

Jan 7th, 2014, 03:24 AM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Loved reading your report, wondering if you can give me a few more details about Ginyu ryokan in Hakone. Any room recommendations? How was it location-wise, for getting around to do tourist stuff? Thanks, it really looks lovely from the website.
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Jan 7th, 2014, 09:21 AM
  #42  
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fromDC, we had a regular room which was fantastic. it was in the Japanese style ( bedding wise) but we didn't find this uncomfortable at all. The room itself and the vista was simply stunning. Location wise it's very close to one of the railway stops so very very easy to get to on foot ( and the station at Hakone has a porter service for your luggage which was around 700y per bag) well worth it IMHO.
The FW's had a bigger room than us, that had 2 yes 2 hot tubs, so am sure FW will wade in on what he thought of their room.
I really enjoyed the stay here and would recommend for sure. FYI we paid 60,000 yen ( incl tax) for the room but that included a full Kaseki (sp?) meal and a full "western" breakfast, so in the scheme of things ( and for Japan) it was actually not bad value. Book VETY early though. I booked about 10 months out and got the last room!!!!( we did go in peak season though )
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Jan 7th, 2014, 09:22 AM
  #43  
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Robert - we had a wonderful stay at the Peninsula and it was great to be back at a favourite of ours. We had a wonderful suite.
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Jan 7th, 2014, 11:25 AM
  #44  
 
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Thank you so much, I've sent a reservation request, trying to find out availability as I'm still not sure we will have the "extra" day that we need to do an overnight there. Fingers crossed.
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Jan 7th, 2014, 12:15 PM
  #45  
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If you can find it do, it was a lovely part of our trip to Japan.
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Jan 7th, 2014, 12:33 PM
  #46  
 
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Thanks. Did you spend one night or two at the ryokan? If one, did you think it was sufficient time or too rushed? One of my great travel highlights was at a ryokan in Kyoto almost 40 years ago but am now traveling much more slowly!
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Jan 7th, 2014, 12:39 PM
  #47  
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Only 1 we had a tight schedule . We got the 7am train from Tokyo so we arrived early. Be aware you can't check in till 2 but we did all the sightseeing stuff in the morning and then chilled out at the Ryokan all afternoon before the dinner.
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Jan 7th, 2014, 12:53 PM
  #48  
 
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I echo dear Smeagol's thoughts. Hakone Ginyu was gorgeous. Everything we expected it to be.

Our room did, indeed, have 2 hot tubs--not that anyone's bragging. The larger room we had (Tsuki room types) have an outdoor patio and an outdoor private onsen (which is small-just squeezes in 2 people snugly) but honestly it was freezing after the sun went down, so you couldn't really enjoy it all that much. I thought her room was just as nice as ours--and the smaller rooms are on the upper floors which tend to have better views of the trees and mountains. The large rooms are all on the 1st floor and definitely feel more private but the views aren't as interesting. Depends on what matters more to you. Having just the indoor onsen (for one person) one was plenty adequate IMHO but then again we also used the public onsen there and it was spectacularly nice as well--and much larger than the ones in the room obviously. (On a strange side note, it felt that NO ONE used the public onsen when we were there...guess people tend to stay in their rooms!)

I felt one night there was more than enough. We left Tokyo early that day, dropped our bags off on the way up the ropeway (at Hakone-Yumoto train station, as Smeagol mentioned) and spent a few hours doing part of the Hakone Loop (up to the pirate ship and then back.) We were done touring by 2 PM, which is check-in time anyway. There's really not much to do, as I'm sure you already know, at a ryokan other than be in your room or in the onsen. I'd imagine an extra day would be dreadfully boring--not to mention very expensive. I, too, shared the same concern about it being enough time but it felt like plenty of time even though our stay there, all said and done, only lasted about 17 hours or so.

It goes without saying that the food -- and maybe even moreso, the plates they were served on (OMG!!) -- was astonishing. So beautifully presented and so wonderfully delicious!

Also I'd recommend booking through the Ryokan Collection (as opposed to the ryokan directly). Same rates. That's how we got our room and they're very fast to respond and make changes if you need to. Better communication too as English is fluent. They'll also communicate directly with the ryokan in advance of any dietary restrictions you have (even if that includes, in our case, a predisposition to not want to eat turtles!)

Oh, boy. Just writing about this makes me miss Japan!
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Jan 7th, 2014, 01:05 PM
  #49  
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And reading it makes me miss you guys..... ( but not the turtles...)
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Jan 7th, 2014, 01:18 PM
  #50  
 
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SO SO very helpful. There are a few moving parts here, involving a change in airline tix to get an extra day in Japan, finding out whether there is availability at the ryokan (I did send the reservation form thru the LRC just to see what was available during the time period), and if all that works deciding whether to do this in the middle of the Tokyo portion or at the end and go directly to Narita (we'd have to leave around 6:30am, I think, and would hate to miss the ryokan bkfst).
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Jan 7th, 2014, 01:23 PM
  #51  
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Honestly the breakfast wasn't a deal breaker for me......
But maybe it would be more comfortable to do it in the middle of the Tokyo bit. Get the 7 am " romance train" from Shinjuku.
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Jan 7th, 2014, 01:51 PM
  #52  
 
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OK, that helps…first order of business is making sure I can get the extra day by changing my airline tickets. Thanks so much for your input (and quick replies)
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Jan 16th, 2014, 02:06 PM
  #53  
 
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success..changed airline tix and finally heard back from ryokan collection, they have a room for 2 nights (although a different room each nite, one "Western" and one "Japanese". So we have a day or two to decide whether to stay one or two nights.
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Jan 17th, 2014, 09:32 AM
  #54  
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If it were me ( and it isn't) 1 night is enough for all the reasons FW mentioned. Congrats though on being able to change the tixs.
Unless there are mobility issues go for the Japanese room, it adds to the experience
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Jan 17th, 2014, 04:16 PM
  #55  
 
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We decided to stay 2 nights. DH doesn't normally express a preference but did this time. Was awed by the website. We travel more slowly theses days and I tHink we will be able to fill the time. Might go late morning and return just after bkfst on third day so we still have half a day and evening in Tokyo when we get back. Thanks for your input. I will start a new thread soon with specific itinerary questions. Next decision is where to stay in Tokyo. Not sure in want to be in park Hyatt neighborhood, not close enough to things we want to see...and not near a good subway line, is that correct?
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Jan 17th, 2014, 09:52 PM
  #56  
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Well sometimes it good to go with their choice when they actually voice a preference. We got there very early so yes if you did go later I think you could make the 2 nights work for you.
Re the PH, It's a fabulous hotel but I know what you mean ref the location... It's probably 10 minute walk from Shinjuku station , maybe about the same from Nishiki shinjuku......
Though if you are having two stays in Tokyo why not stay at the PH at the beginning or end? It's a fabulous hotel and the service was brilliant ( as with many hotels they will arrange to transfer your luggage, get train tickets- as a tip if you want them to arrange getting travel tickets, get them to do it in the week as there is a travel agent in the basement, at the weekend they have to go to the station to get them so they charge you ( a not unreasonable) taxi cost)
If I went to Tokyo again I would stay somewhere else, but that's only because we have already stayed at the PH. I am VERY glad we stayed there.
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Jan 19th, 2014, 06:27 AM
  #57  
 
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Thanks, it gives me a reference point. Because our return from Hakone will be our last night in Tokyo, I will probably want to stay in the same hotel because I don't like having to reorient myself (plus I'll want to leave all our luggage there). I am really geographically challenged which will be even more of a problem than usual in Tokyo!. Thinking about the MO or 4Seasons…more research needed.
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Jan 19th, 2014, 12:57 PM
  #58  
 
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Both the FS and the Shangri-La are at Tokyo station and offer complimentary platform greeting and send off. FS has it's Preferred Partner program and the Sha-la is a member of Virtuoso. - meaning you get benefits like breakfast and upgrade and often F&b B credits for the same as best available room only rate.
The MO is a short taxi ride from the station and they'll do platform service for a fee. They have a Fan Club rate that is usually a little better than public rates and has breakfast and special amenities. I am able to book all of them.
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Jan 19th, 2014, 02:57 PM
  #59  
 
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Thanks, I need to make a list of all the things we want to do in Tokyo and then think about the budget!
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Jan 19th, 2014, 08:20 PM
  #60  
 
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Kim, I'm curious to get your thoughts about those Virtuoso rates. In my experience, every time I've ever made a Virtuoso reservation, I have never gotten a room upgrade.

It's supposed to be one of the biggest perks they offer. I just never have gotten to experience it.

That may have something to do with the fact that I usually travel at "peak" travel times...or maybe I'm just extraordinarily unlucky?
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