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how to make hotel resevations in Japan from US

how to make hotel resevations in Japan from US

Jan 2nd, 2011, 11:57 AM
  #1  
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how to make hotel resevations in Japan from US

I have posted with some questions regarding lodging. Now looking at individual hotels and ryokans, eg Lalaca Ryokan, does not have an English website to make reservations.

Are sites such as Rakuten and Japanican reputable ?

Not all hotels or ryokans are listed on these sites.

Should I call these establishments directly ? I think that could get expensive.

Thank you.
okoshi2002 is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2011, 12:48 PM
  #2  
 
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Although no personal experience, I have read many times about other posters using Rakuten and Japanican with no problem.
I see Lalaca has a Japanese site and on the home page if you click on Reservation you will go to a page where there is a hot link on the second line that will bring you to a form - if you have a translator in your browser (I use rikaichan with Firefox) you can fill out enough of the form and then write in the comment section - maybe that will be enough to get a reply from the inn.....
If you call whether or not you get an English speaking person will be tricky, I would think and then you did waste your money...
Mara is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2011, 01:26 PM
  #3  
 
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www.japaneseguesthouses.com is an excellent and reliable source for making reservations at ryokans and other accommodations.
DonTopaz is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2011, 01:30 PM
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I have used Japanican and japaneseguesthouses without any problems at all. At the big hotels that I chose in Tokyo and Kyoto I simply booked direct through their own websites. You can view them in English.
shandy is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2011, 01:33 PM
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Yes, I agree, rizzuto....but OP seemed to have a particular inn in mind and I did check - it was not on jgh....
Another site is http://www.itcj.jp/eng/index.php - Welcome Inn Reservation Center - but their listings seem to be more low end?
Mara is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2011, 04:54 PM
  #6  
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Thanks. Good to know Rakuten and Japaican are reputable, as well as the jgh.
I have not used a translator -interesting suggestion. Thank you.
okoshi2002 is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2011, 07:10 PM
  #7  
 
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Japanese guest houses will make a reservation for ANY ryokan or hotel for you in Japan even if not on their site. They have done it for me several times and offer it somewhere on their site(I think). http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/index.htm

I find that faxing your info to the ryokan or hotel you want will get a response usually in a few days when the person who speaks English is working.

I have used both Japanican and Rakuten before with sucess but be aware of their cancellation rules before you book with them.

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2011, 10:16 PM
  #8  
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Thanks HT. I didn't realize jhg will make reservations for any ryokan. It would be great to have one clearinghouse for all the ryokans we will be staying in.

We are looking at Hotel Kamakura Mori or Kakiya Ryokan in Kamakura; Lalaca Ryokan or Fukuzumiro in Hakone; and Fuji no Yado Oohashi or Osenji Yumedono in Kawaguchigo.

Has anybody been to any of these establishments ? KimJapan suggested Lalaca.
okoshi2002 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 05:22 AM
  #9  
 
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They speak English at LaLaCa. Send e-mail or call. No problem. It's a modern building. Meals are served in a dining room unless you request that they be served in your room. In your price range it's a great option. There are tons of places. Most are more expensive. LaLaCa is not the kind of place where they dote over you - you will need to spend more for that treatment. It is, however, in my experience, friendly, welcoming and easy to be in, with excellent food. Try the Ise Ebi option one night if you stay there.
KimJapan is offline  
Jan 11th, 2011, 07:39 AM
  #10  
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I finally got an email reply from Lalaca and was told they will be closed April 11-15 !

It would seem simpler to stay the 3 nights in the same establisment but it is tempting to spend one night in Hakone Yumoto and the other 2 in Gora. Does this make any sense ?
okoshi2002 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2011, 08:02 AM
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What was removed? Was it something I said?

okoshi, I change ryokans all the time....in fact two days of any one ryokan no matter how special is enough for me. Most Japanese locals I see spend one night in a ryokan and move on to the next one. We rarely see a Japanese local in the same ryokan for two nights.

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jan 11th, 2011, 03:15 PM
  #12  
 
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That's interesting about Japaneseguesthouses - the inn on their site that I asked for was not available and the one they suggested was much more expensive - from Class C to A. When I asked if they could find something else, they said they couldn't....another place to try is http://www.itcj.jp/eng/index.php.
As far as staying one night at an inn, I agree with you, ht. Last year when I wanted to stay two nights in Gujo Hachiman the inn basically did not want to have me eat there the second night. That worked out fine for me as the inn cost less and I found a nice place to eat in the town....my Japanese friend said most people only stay one night....
Mara is offline  
Jan 11th, 2011, 07:10 PM
  #13  
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Thanks Mara and HT for the interesting insight about spending nights at a ryokan. I didn't really want to have to move from hotel to hotel because we do want to spend time hiking, etc and not worry about unpacking and carrying our bags around.
okoshi2002 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2011, 07:36 PM
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okoshi2002 - I'm not sure if this is the custom everywhere - for example now I am working on a trip to Kyushu and the inn that I am booking is also for two nights but I decided not to do dinner the second night because of my previous experience in Gujo - maybe things are different in different places though...also maybe it depends on whether the inn has more Japanese or foreign guests.....I also don't like to keep moving around so that's why having dinner and breakfast the first night and then no meals or just breakfast the second night might work better....plus I am using public transportation - I think ht might have rented a car which does make it a bit easier to move around....
Mara is offline  
Jan 11th, 2011, 08:31 PM
  #15  
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That's a thought ,Mara, skipping dinner on the subsequent nights at certain ryokans.

Did I read somewhere that Gora is pretty isolated and that eating options outside of your lodging may be limited ?

And with public transportation closed at night we may be "captive".

My thought at this point is to spend the first night at Fukuzumiro to which we will arrive from Kamakura on Wednesday. Then we will go to Kansuiro in Gora for two more nights.

This may be a lot of time in Hakone by some measure but I think I like the slow pace. This will mean we skip Kawaguchigo.

So this is my itinerary:

Day 1 Fri -arrive to Haneda late
Day 2-3 Sat-Sun -Yokohama Sakuragicho Washington Hotel
Day 4-5 Mon-Tues -Kamakura Mori Hotel
Day 6- Wed Hakone Fukuzumiro
Day 7-8 Thurs-Fri Gora Kansuiro
Day 9-Yokohama Washington Sakuragicho Hotel
Day 10-fly out Haneda

If you see a glaring problem please let me know !
okoshi2002 is offline  
Jan 11th, 2011, 10:52 PM
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Fukuzino offers a weekdays rate that is cheaper than the ¥20,000 pax quoted on their English site. Rates not yest posted for April but through March weeknights are ¥13,000 - ¥15.000 pax. I'd expect same for April.
KimJapan is offline  
Jan 12th, 2011, 05:48 AM
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Mara,
The second nights food at dinner in a good ryokan is always the best as they try to outdo the first night if at all possible. We have had appetizers served in dishes carved out of ice.....we have had some spectacular dinners on the second night in a ryokan. There were times I thought after the first nights feast that it couldn't get any better but wrong.

JGH probably didn't know of any other ryokans in the area in your case but if you had a phone number or address of somewhere else and are having problems communicating they will help make a reservation for you if at all possible....at least that is what was offered to me.

okoshi, I don't think you will feel captive, you may be too full after dinner to feel that way.....anytime you feel antsy go for a long soak. Got to get into the ryokan world and enjoy. Lots of ryokan have a bar, game rooms, most will have a karaoke lounge so there is something else to do but like I said upthread...you'll see

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jan 12th, 2011, 08:13 AM
  #18  
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KimJapan I would love to know where I can go to get that lower rate for a night at Fukuzumiro . They quoted 20000yen/pp (river-side room) when I emailed them about a weekday stay in April.

HT thanks for the reassurances- I have no doubt this will be a splendid trip ! BTW do you drive when you are in Japan ? Do you think this trip would be better enjoyed with a car ? I could coerce my husband into driving !
okoshi2002 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2011, 08:25 AM
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The rate is on their website, but only have rates posted through March. Use online booking and the rstes do also show in English, but not until you get to the booking process. The rate list doesn't shoe their discounts. It is not at all unusual to be quoted rack rates by email or phone. Quite often the best prices are direct and online only, and often only in Japanese. In this case if you book directly online you can get the rate. Just need to wait for them to load April.
KimJapan is offline  
Jan 12th, 2011, 08:33 AM
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Driving is pretty easy. May be quite costly. Rental is a bit expensive. Gas is about ¥130/liter now. Small cheap cars lack comfort. I've driven to hakone and we just parked and used the transport system. Without an ETC card you can't get discounts on highway tolls, which are very high. To get ETC you need a japanese credit card and you need to apply for ETC ~ takes about a week for the card. But nonresidents can't get a credit card so... Some rental companies may be able to loan you ETC. Got to ask them if it is possible.
KimJapan is offline  

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