Japan in December

Aug 6th, 2014, 10:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,220
We stayed in the newer Dormy Inn near Canal City, when in Fukuoka last November.
Kavey is offline  
Aug 6th, 2014, 11:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I've stayed in Hiroshima four times.

Rihga Royal - stayed twice, both rooms nice. Very good services at the hotel (like when I thought I needed a dentist the hotel info book said they had one). Very good location for visiting the city. Easy walk to the Peace Park, the shopping street, restaurants, the modest but nice Hiroshima Castle, and the baseball stadium. I believe it is one of the nicest hotels in Hiroshima if not best and the rates are quite good (check rates on the Japanese website if you can as I got a great deal that way). A taxi to Hirohima station would not be expensive, but I chose to walk to use the street car to get there. Terrific street cars in Hiroshima.

JR Hiroshima Station has two sides. There is the city-facing side with the JR locals, regular Sanyou line trains. The other side is the shinkansen side and it faces away from the city center. There is a bridge between the two sides. Not a big difference, maybe 3 minute walk between the two sides.

Sheraton - met my expectation for a Sheraton. Nice, comfortable. Good rate. This is on the shinkansen side of the station. I stayed here because I was using Hiroshima as a base for visiting Fukuoka and day-tripping to Okayama and Kurashiki, as well as a stop to see the uninspiring castle in Fukuyama. Also, was flying from Okayama and staying on the shinkansen side made it almost as convenient to use that airport as using Hiroshima airport. I enjoyed staying there in a corner room with a terrific bird's-eye view of Hiroshima station and the city beyond.

Granvia - stayed here one night. Was a walk-up and got a JR Pass holder rate. Extremely convenient to the shinkansen. My room was like a business hotel. This place served its purpose as I was leaving on the shinkansen the next day.

The Hiroshima airport bus goes to/from the station but also to the bus terminal that is close to the Rihga Royal. So none of the three hotels has much advantage for airport access. Still more of a matter of convenience to city center (the RR) vs the station (Granvia or Sheraton).
mrwunrfl is online now  
Aug 7th, 2014, 07:00 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 77
Thanks again, mrwunrfl, kja, and Kavey. Will check out the Righa. I did want to stay in Miyajima but given that the weather will be cold, I thought staying in Hiroshima and going for a day trip to the island would be the best bet. Will check out the Dormy Inn.

Any answers on obtaining train tickets in advance? Thanks everyone!
nycmary is offline  
Aug 7th, 2014, 09:54 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 271
We stayed at the Dormy Inn Premium Canal City , great value and location. Keep in mind this is a business type hotel with small rooms. On the plus side there is a good breakfast and a onsen floor with laundry, also within walking distance to Nakasu,
and Kawabata Shopping Arcade.
Don't be afraid to take taxi from station/airport as not that far.
The airport is also linked by subway
We took the subway to various city sites.
Fukuoka is a great town without a lot of the big sites but with good eating and less travelled tourist attractions.
Daziafu is a good day trip with Kyushu National Museum close by
In December you may find yourself almost alone in temples, shrines and museums.
The island I was speaking of was Nokonoshima
In December there may not be too much in the way of flower activity.
Also this beach walk close to town,
I don't know if you'd have the time to get to Beppu without feeling rushed.
Have Fun
kalihiwai2 is offline  
Aug 7th, 2014, 10:08 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,220
Yep. That's the one, Dormy Inn Premium Canal City. Our room was actually a decent size (by Japanese standards).
Kavey is offline  
Aug 8th, 2014, 08:10 AM
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Thanks again for everything, including the links kalihiwai2. How long would it take to get to Beppu? I thought we might go there for either a day trip or spend an overnight. Are there onsens that anyone would recommend in the places we're visiting?
nycmary is offline  
Aug 8th, 2014, 08:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You can buy the train tickets and get your seats when you get to Japan. If you are getting a JR Pass, you can do this as well when you exchange your voucher into the pass.
Mara is offline  
Aug 8th, 2014, 09:18 AM
Join Date: Oct 2011
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I stayed at the Granvia in Hiroshima and concur with mrwunrfl's comments. Superbly convinient to the shinkansen. Also very convinient to the street car system which takes you to the A-Bomb Dome, Peace Park, Hiroshima Castle, etc.

Can't recall if you're considering staying the night on Miyajima but if you are, I'd highly recommend it. The island is so much more peaceful both after the day trippers leave and before they arrive the next day. I stayed at the Iwaso ryokan. Not cheap but I enjoyed it very much. Also very good hiking and nature on Miyajima, which might fit in well with your desire for nature, hiking walking in the latter part of December (vs. say Hakone which I'd expect to be awfully chilly at that time.)
MinnBeef is offline  
Aug 8th, 2014, 10:09 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 271
Beppu would take about three hours. We took the Yufuin no Mori train,
to the onsen resort town of Yufuin which is close to Beppu but more of a small resort /arts town. We really enjoyed it.
Another option might be to travel through Nagasaki and go to the Obama /Unzen onsen area.
Probably would be warmer on the coast and you'd see some interesting scenery as well as another great city, Nagasaki.
kalihiwai2 is offline  
Aug 18th, 2014, 11:18 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 54
I would plan your route in advance through Hyperdia. Print all hyperdia travel plans in advance, and when you exchange your voucher, the JR attendant will give you all of your tickets at one time. It is not difficult, but if you are stressed about available seating, I would choose the green car. That was probably my biggest stressor prior to trip and no problems at all.
hnl is offline  
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