Hello from Tokyo

Old Jun 16th, 2005, 02:51 AM
  #21  
 
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I have stayed at Taito Ryokan. It is about a 7-8 minute walk to Tawaramachi Subway station and a good place to stay if you are going to the airport early in the morning. It is very basic, shared bathroom and common room. I had a six legged creature visit me in the night, but it scuttled away when I turned on the light!!

Very cheap (by Tokyo standards) and very cheerful. Great guy who runs it and seemed to have a nice crowd hanging around in the common room.
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 05:55 PM
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Hi Folks,
Well the time is near and all the information is great. Skyhopper, you have convenced me to use the baggage transfer service. Could you give us some details please like where do we find the service? Is it in Narita airport? Can we have bags transfered to Haneda for a flight a few days in the future, etc? From what you and others have said it seems reasonable to pack a small carry bag for our short stay in Tokyo and transfer our big bags to the Haneda airport so we don't have to mess with them at all in Tokyo. Any one have words of wisdom and procedure on the subject?
Notzathros, how was the stay in Taito Ryokan? I was reading the web site again and noticed the words "traditional" bathrooms. Thought that may mean trench rather than toilet so made reservations else where. Really disapointed but thought I better be safe on that issue. Hope you liked it enough to return. Yes, we will be in Tokyo the 28th. Just day from now! In a town of how many million we may just bump into each other. If ya'll see an American, wave. I'll be waving back!

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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 04:58 AM
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You have a good plan Grango. Yes the baggage service is available at Narita: when you come into the arrival area turn left and you will see the baggage services. Sending it to Haneda is a good idea. Where are you flying to from Haneda? Why not just send your bags to your lodging (or airport) at that destination?
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Old Jun 23rd, 2005, 03:58 AM
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mrwunrfl,
Thanks for the details on baggage transfer. Did not think to transfer the bags to our destination because did not know we could! All the way to Okinawa? Any idea of the cost of this wonderful service? And I assune that as all other services in Japan it is very reliable? Wow, this will really take a load off me, all punns intended. Thanks again to all!
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Old Jun 24th, 2005, 03:17 PM
  #25  
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Sorry I've been m.i.a. Have been getting acclimated to working and time difference tiredness.
Anyway, I looked at my bill from Hiiragiya to find out the cost for the luggage delivery (from kyoto to tokyo). It says 'Carriage' which I assume is luggage deliv. and it was 1620Y.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2005, 05:57 PM
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As we were riding the JR express from Nireta to Tokyo Station I begain to get an idea of how impossable it would be to see any significant portion of this town in 2 days of sight seeing. We arrived at Tokyo Station at evening high rush trafic and got our first tast of extream Japanese hospitality. When we asked a young lady who had a pushcart selling drinks and snacks which way we should go to get to the exit we needed, she left her cart in the care of a co-worker and took us through the maze of escalators and twists and turns up to the exit! We were very thankful and greatly impressed as it was atleast a 5 min. walk back for her and would have taken us much longer had we been left on our own. And along the way another passer-by stopped to help me lift my bags up a short flight of stairs. The grand children were greatly impressed, as I was.

We used the baggage transfer service with the sign of a mama cat carring a kitten. Have no idea of the name as it was not in English. They were the only folks who seemed able to keep the bags at Haneda and not deliver them to a house. The charge was near 7500 yen and well worth it to me sence our heavest bag was 65lbs. and not something I could handle. The mass trasportation system of Tokyo is great for someone who is blind but if you have any mobility impairment you are going to have difficulty. Some of the major stations have nothing but stairs, no elevators or esculators. But we found that by following the big bumpy brail lines in the floor we could find the exits quickly.

We enjoyed the 2 days we were in Tokyo but were not able to see even a tenth of the things we had listed to see even though they were in only two areas. The Joyapolus had moved, we messed around shopping and missed going to the top of the municipal building because of closing (the mist was too thick to see the top in the morining and raining the night before) Did not see any of the gardens except the ones at the palace, only saw two of the temples on our list. But on the did-do list: had a great stay in Hotel Yaesu Ryumeikan. The delight of my grand daughter when she opened the door to the room made all the preperation worth while. I found the futons much more comfortable than hotel beds. The room was better than the pictures! Tea set and hot water, selection of teas and sweet treats awaited us on a beautiful traditional table with floor cushons and arm rests. A small frige stocked with an honor bar and extra space shaired an alcove with legged chairs and table. Private small Japinese style tile tub with soaping area. A traditional "family bath" with wooden tub was down the hall. We had no disapointments here except that we did not eat the Japanes breakfast they offer the first day but only the second day. It was very good and a fun adventure in eating. We would have done better eating there the morning we went to the Palace grounds tour (You have to make reservations on line in advance for the tour) rather than trying to get to the fish market for breakfast and back in time for the tour. The distance was much farther than we expected. We took a cab (750 yen) from a couple of blocks from the fish market to the Palace tour gate. The cabbie made sure we were in the exact place where we needed to be and as close as possable. Service! The tour was interesting and worth the time it took. There were only a few other non Japanese in the tour. I found the extream orderlyness, strict rows of four people each in groups of 24, and total silence except for an "oohh" or "ah" softly in unison at the proper time, to be as interesting as the tour. Sorry, but these Americans stuck out, could not keep up with the proper row or even group 1/2 the time. But the Japanese were very tolerant and just smiled. On the way to Tokyo my grand daughter had said that America has no culture, we're just a big conglomerant. After the experience at the Palace, I think I know what our culture is and its name is Freedom! Not only political freedom but freedom from regenmentation. I can't picture close to 200 Americans lining up in the first place, much less maintaining the order for over an hour. We went to the National Museum of Art afterwards as it was a block from the rear gate of the East Gardens. Galery was ok, food expencive (300 yen for 4 oz of strawberries and ice with a Tb. of icecream on top, 300 yen for 6 oz. of lemon aid,800 yen for a small sandwitch)and not an event. Grand son decucted that the reason we saw few over weight people was food is too expencive to eat much. That started us on an "I spy" of Japanese people "over weight". Took us the balance of that day, next day and ride to Hanada the 3rd AM to find a dozen with 25 to 30 extra lbs.! I wonder what the thoughts of the native population is when they see a group of Americans get off a tour bus and the average person is carring 50 to 75 excess lbs. My thought is they would not make the trip across town on the subway and train with all those stairs up and down and runing to catch the train before it leaves.

hay, what happened to the rest of the post?
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Old Jul 3rd, 2005, 06:42 PM
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Hi grango, good to hear you had such a good time. I was interested to hear that Joypolis has moved.... do you know where it is now? Has anything replaced it in Odaiba? Thanks
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Old Jul 4th, 2005, 05:29 AM
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grango: I almost missed your posting here, glad I checked this thread. I am trying to recall where you all were heading after Tokyo. Hope we get another installment on your report. Your grandkids must be having the time of their lives keeping up w/you!
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Old Jul 4th, 2005, 06:00 AM
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grango, thanks for the good report. Am wondering how many bags you shipped for the 7500. Did you mean that the baggage services at Narita would not deliver to Haneda? Did you check on the cost of shipping it all to your lodging in Okinawa?
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