Japan travel help

Feb 11th, 2009, 02:45 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2009
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Japan travel help

We are going to visit my daughter, (me and my husband,and my parents) who teaches English as a second language, in Japan.

We will be there the third week in March. I was there approximately the same time last year.

We are wanting to stay in Tokyo for two nights, Fri and Sat, at the end of our stay. I have been trying Priceline for three rooms for two nights at at least a 3 star level. Because we are traveling with my parents, who would appreciate western beds, I am afraid to bid less than 3 stars. I am up to $113 a night. I think I am not getting anywhere because of the 3 room (my husband and I, my parents, and my daughter) factor. Does anyone know of a middle class chain that I can look at? All we require is clean and private baths. We all know that space will be very cramped.

Also, I would like to hear about a couple of other experiences.

My daugher has a cell phone. I am thinking about renting a cell phone in Narita. Is this very expensive? Did it work well for you?

I am worried about carrying luggage. Last year I got very tired of carrying my suitcase on trains and subways. Other than my daugher I am the youngest and mosy physically in shape. I have read about in Narita you can have your luggage sent ahead. Does anyone have experience with this?

I also read that somwhere in Tokyo, you can check into your flight, check your luggage and a limo bus takes you to Narita. Is this a good way to go and what should I Google to find it?

Thanks for any info.
Denise
DeniseLMA is offline  
Feb 11th, 2009, 03:40 PM
  #2  
 
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Denise,

For a hotel, try Agoda.com. I just looked for rooms for Mar 20-22 in Tokyo, and there were several hotels for less than US$130. I have heard that the Villa Fontaine chain, which had several hotels in this category, is reliable, though I haven't stayed in any. It would be stunning to hear of any hotel chain in Japan that does not have consistently clean rooms.

If you need a cell phone in Japan, the best solution is renting one at Narita. It is a bit tricky to get a SIM card for your own cell phone.

It is common practice to have luggage shipped ahead. The service is called Takkyubin (several spelling variations). If you search this forum or the TripAdvisor Japan forum, you'll find lots of information.
DonTopaz is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 05:33 AM
  #3  
 
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With regard to renting a cell phone: here's a outfit that offers cell phone rentals - http://www.softbank-rental.jp/campaign/otj/ . I have no idea if their rates are good or bad.
DonTopaz is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 05:46 AM
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I used Softbank Rental last month, and was fine. Since I already have an unlocked 3G phone, I just rented the SIM card, at 105 yen a day (Handset+SIM card for 250 yen/day). Pick up and return at Narita, and took about 5 minutes. You reserve online at http://www.softbank-rental.jp/en/
You get a Japanese cell phone number (and they can tell you what it is 48 hours in advance by request), and calling within Japan is 100 yen a min ($1.10). Calling US is expensive, but there are cheaper ways like calling card. Receiving call is free (to you).
Alec is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 07:36 AM
  #5  
 
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I got a good deal at the Villa Fontaine Mita hotel for $110 a night last April. The Villa Fontaine chain is really nice.
puttakka is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 08:07 AM
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Concerning cell phones--Verizon says our regular LG phone will work in at least the big cities in Japan. We just have to call them before we go so they can load the software. Costs $1.99 a minute for calls, but no daily charge. We rented cell phones on a couple of trips a few years ago, but never used the things, so we don't bother any more.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 02:17 PM
  #8  
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Thank you everyone! Fodorites always provide excellent help.

I started with Rizzuto's suggestion of agoda.com. The first few that came up didn't look good for one reason (mostly location) or another.

Then I tried Villa Fontaine. Their website came up that they didn't have availablity.

Then I went back to agoda.com. Digging down further into the list I found Villa Fontaine Hakozaki. I got three rooms for five people for $840. It sounds like a lot, but I remind myself that Tokyo is like NYC.

Now I get to figure out the cell phone thing and the luggage thing.

I may be back.

Thanks again,
Denise
DeniseLMA is offline  
Feb 14th, 2009, 07:20 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
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It may be too late but try Asia Center of Japan Hotel in Akasaka area of Tokyo. Nice simple hotel with great prices.
When you get to Narita and walk out to the area with money exchange desk, to your left is an area that takes luggage etc. that you can have sent ahead. Or try Takuhaibin Delivery service. Costs about $20 per luggage bag.
marilynT is offline  

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