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shelleyk May 9th, 2013 04:28 AM

Is it worth switching hotels in Tokyo?
I will be spending 6 nights in Tokyo-3 on arrival, then an overnight in Nikko (if there isn't a lot of the shrines covered by scaffolding in Nov.) then a return to Tokyo for 3 nights before moving on. I can stay all 6 nights in Shinjuku, or the first 3 nights in Asakusa and the final 3 nights in Shinjuku. I will be visiting sites in Ueno and Asakusa the first 2 full days of my stay in Tokyo, and then leaving for Nikko on the tird day. That is why I booked the Asakusa hotel. But in retrospect I am wondering if it is worth switching hotels on our return from Nikko, or should we just stay in Shinjuku for all 6 nights and commute to Asakusa for 3 days. (The train to Nikko leaves from Asakusa station) Any thoughts would be appreciated.

hawaiiantraveler May 9th, 2013 06:59 AM

I have done it both ways and enjoy experiencing different hotels and neighborhoods on a trip. I have developed favorites that way. Your approach of staying in Asakusa then Shinjuku is a good one.

Where are you planning on staying in those two neighborhoods?


Mara May 9th, 2013 07:11 AM

Your original itinerary that I found in another thread had you going on to maybe Matsumoto after Nikko. Is there no way to move directly to your next venue rather than taking a one-night trip and returning. It seems more efficient to me if you could do that....of course my opinion only obviously....

But if you have to do it like that I agree with ht - check out another neighborhood and hotel....

shelleyk May 9th, 2013 08:52 AM

HT-We have reservations at the Citadines in Shinjuko (Thanks for your recommendation) and either Coco Grand Ueno Shinobazu in Ueno or Toyoko Inn Tokyo Asakusa Kaminarimon in Asakusa. Do you knoiw either of the latter 2 hotels? There is a big difference in price, so we will decide later which one we will stay at.

Mara-We could go directly from Nikko to Matsumoto. It would entail a long train ride and we would arrive in Matsumoto late in the evening. I did consider this , but after adding 2 extra days to Tokyo since my original post, I thought Nikko or some other one night trip away from Tokyo, in the middle of our 6 nights in Tokyo, might make the trip more interesting.

Mara May 9th, 2013 02:09 PM

I have stayed in many Toyoko Inns but not that particular one - it looks sort of new from its photo....The Coco Grand is definitely more up-scale,and seems to cost about twice as much. One issue is that it is difficult, I think, to get a double room in a Toyoko Inn if you are not a member - those rooms are few and go quickly and members can book six months in advance.

Also, to me, those two hotels are quite far apart - that is, Ueno and Asakusa are separate areas so I'm not sure you can compare them on that basis.

Have you looked at other hotels in either area?

shelleyk May 9th, 2013 04:01 PM

We have twin bedded rooms booked in both hotels. We have not looked at other hotels in the Ueno/Asakasa area. Anything you have stayed at or would recommend? Our main criteria are good location for transport, clean (which is probably not an issue in Japan), and good beds. We usually are out of the hotel rooms from 9am to 8 or 9 pm.

Mara May 9th, 2013 04:19 PM

I'm sorry, not really - are you a member of Toyoko Inn - how did you get a ressie already...that's great then!

I did notice when I was taking a quick look at the Asakusa map - I just typed asakusa map in google - Hotel Unizo - I stayed there a few years ago in Kyoto when it had another name - maybe you can check it out.....

I have stayed in an inn in Yanaka - Japanese style - but it probably isn't all that convenient for your plans, although it is in walking distance of the metro and JR Yamanote - Annex Katsutaro. I recently stayed in Hotel Mystays in Hamamatsucho but I see they have one in Asakusa-bashi - I really like that hotel chain - a definite step-up from

shelleyk May 9th, 2013 09:41 PM

I got the reservation on I've never used that booking site for hotels, so I hope it is reliable. I guaranteed the reservation with a credit card, but I am to pay the hotel in yen on arrival. Has anyone used booking .com for hotel bookings?

kja May 9th, 2013 10:14 PM

I've used for many years without difficulty and have found it to be a wonderful option. I don't believe I used it for Japan, but I've used it for many other countries. Just be sure you know the cancellation policy for the particular room you selected.

And FWIW, I think changing neighborhoods makes sense, if you are willing to do so.


Sue_xx_yy May 10th, 2013 03:46 AM

You are already packing up and leaving for Nikko, so the inconvenience of any switch is already 'paid'.

A suggestion: You could also try dropping off most of your luggage at whatever hotel you select for your return trip to Tokyo, and take only a small bag to Nikko for your overnight there. Admittedly if you don't switch hotels, that job is easier.

On the other hand, Tokyo is really multiple cities globbed together; any given 'neighbourhood' is easily the size of a regular city. So shifting hotels makes perfect sense for a stay as long as 6 nights total.

DonTopaz May 10th, 2013 03:55 AM

In the Ueno area, the Mitsui Garden Ueno hotel has the best location. It's across the street from the JR station and immediately next to the subway entrance. The hotel is new and very reasonably-priced. I've never stayed at the Coco Grand hotel, but it's on the other side of the Keisei Ueno station, which makes for an awkward location.

shelleyk May 10th, 2013 05:16 AM

Kja, Sue and Don--Thanks for your suggestions.

I think I will switch hotels, and have 2 transportation questions:

1-If I were to stay at the Asakusa Toyoko Inn, what is the easiest way to get there from Narita with a small and large suitcase?

2-If we take only an overnight bag to Nikko, what is the best/most cost effective way to transfer our 1 small and 1 large suitcase from Asakusa to Shinjuko. Picking it up at the Asakusa hotel on our evening return and taking a taxi to the Citadines, or sending them by carrier from Asakusa to the Citadines. Our train from Nikko arrives back in Tokyo at Asakusa station. Or should we just take everything to Nikko?

Mara May 10th, 2013 05:59 AM

To answer your question 1 - I think the best route is the Keisei Skyliner to Ueno and then a taxi. Or else you would need to walk quite a bit to get to the subway line which I'm sure you don't want to do with luggage after an international a note I see on the hotel's site something about a free shuttle bus but can't find any more info right now....

Mara May 10th, 2013 06:11 AM

I found the shuttle bus info but it's all in Japanese.....

As far as the luggage transfer from one hotel to the other, you could use the takuhaibin service...

hawaiiantraveler May 10th, 2013 09:32 AM

Yes, definitely use the takuhaibin luggage forwarding service. Ask front desk on arrival of their procedures.


kja May 10th, 2013 04:05 PM

In case you haven't found the info on luggage forwarding yet:

DEFINITELY recommended! :-)

And the hotel DonTopaz recommended is in an excellent location. I stayed very near there, and was very happy with the location.

kuranosuke May 10th, 2013 04:54 PM

toyoko inn rooms are very small, and basic. it would be crowded for two. i understand that the toyoko inn in asakusa is located very close to the soapies. my friend told me so.

Kavey May 10th, 2013 11:31 PM

We used the takuhaibin luggage forwarding. When we left Kyoto we sent one case back to and took a smaller one for our overnight trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima. When we got to Tokyo, our suitcase was waiting for us at the hotel, who were more than happy to accept it a day ahead of our arrival. This seems quite common in Japan, though I did ask the Kyoto concierge to phone the Tokyo hotel and check, before we set up the transfer. Was painless and not expensive at all!

shelleyk May 11th, 2013 03:36 AM

kuranosude-What is/are "soapies"?

rkkwan May 11th, 2013 03:49 AM

Search for "soapland" on Wikipedia.

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