kanazawa lodging suggestion needed

Mar 2nd, 2005, 01:10 PM
  #1  
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kanazawa lodging suggestion needed

Hi,

My girlfriend and I will be in Kanazawa from March 29 till April 1. Could someone recommend lodging that costs under US$250 per night for the two of us. She is Japanese, so English speaking isn't a requirement.

We are not looking for a hotel -- and food service, while a plus, isn't a necessity. We prefer to be near the sights, rather than near the station.

Other than tokyo, this is where we will spend the most nights during our trip, and we are looking for an "experience" type place. But within our budget.

Thanks for any suggestions.
ricker is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 02:13 PM
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Tokyu Excel Hotel or the APA Chuo Hotel are located in the downtown area. Walking distance to Kenrokuen, Samurai district, castle. Short taxi under 1000 yen to Higashi Chaya district. Internet rates on the Japanese hotel sites http://www.tokyuhotels.co.jp/ja/index.html and http://www.apahotel.com/index2.html have been under 10,000 yen per room for 2 people (5000 yen each) in the past 6 months. English pages don't show these rates, and you can't book them by phone either, you must use the websites.

Comparing the two...location is equal, You are right in not wanting to be near the station. Tokyu is a little nicer, rooms a little bigger. Tokyu has Starbucks in the ground floor, APA has Seattle's Best in the ground floor. APA has a nice bath and sauna area. Tokyu has a great Japanese restaurant inside. There are just tons of restaurants within walking distance. Pick up a copy of Hot Pepper free magazine for ideas and discount coupons for restaurants.
KimJapan is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 02:15 PM
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An experience type place...from Kanazawa, go to Shirakawa-go and stay a night in a minshuku. Call the tourist info ahead of time (in Japanese onlyl) to reserve a minshuku. Ask for one with a hinoki bath and irori...to get these you should reserve now...057 696 1751 (from outside of Japan, use the 81 country code and eliminate the first 0).
KimJapan is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 03:52 PM
  #4  
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Hi,

Thanks for your responses. We will look into the hotels that you mentioned. The price certainly is great, but they seem like they are more Western-oriented business hotels? We were hoping to find something more like a ryokan for our 3 night stay in Kanazawa. Or will that exceed our budget?

We are also looking into the minshuku in shirakawa-go (either koemon or tadaya). But that would be only for one night.

Do you happen to know what bus we take from Kanazawa to Ogi-machi in shirakawa, which is where the minshuku we are looking at are located.
ricker is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 04:28 PM
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Chaya ryokan is quite nice, but located very near to the station. We stayed once on an inspection visit so I'm not sure of the price. It is nice, but not special in my opinion. In the downtown area, there isn't really much in terms of ryokan...there are some, but none are special. The area surrounding Kanazawa, however, is very well known for onsen and ryokan. You might want to spend a night in Yamanaka, Yamashiro, Wakura...onsen areas. There are tons of places in the onsen towns that are special. The searching has to be done in Japanese. What might be reasonable is to go to a book shop upon arrival in Tokyo and pick up the latest onsen/travel magazine for the Ishikawa area (in Japanese of course)...filled with pictures, descriptions, special package deals and maps etc.

The Tokyu and APA hotels are western style, on the nicer end of business hotels. Their merits are location and price, but not ryokan atmosphere.

You might also consider Takayama for your "experience." http://www.takayama-koto.co.jp/ http://www.hoshokaku.co.jp/ http://www.hida-kiyoharu.com/page1.html http://www.ryokan-hakuun.co.jp/ http://www9.ocn.ne.jp/%7Ekaminaka/
might be interesting for you.

Bus to Shirakawa-go...www.doconavi.com should give you the info in Japanese.
KimJapan is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 04:49 PM
  #6  
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Thanks alot. We'll look into the areas and websites that you suggested. Thanks again.
ricker is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 04:59 PM
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I just looked up an old post I made last July "Takayama, Shirakawago, Kanazawa bus schedule for Elainee". The bus between Kanazawa and Shirakawago is seasonal and you will probably miss the start of the season by only a couple of days (bus schedule was valid starting April 4). I hope it starts April 1 this year, for your sake.

I went to Shirakawago from Kanazawa in January. Take the train to Takaoka and then a 2.5 hour bus ride to Ogimachi village. The bus is a city bus with padded seats. If you decide to go this way, I can give you some info about Takaoka station and Ogimachi.

Renting a car would be a better option for two people to go from Kanazawa to Shirakawago. Might want to ask about snow tires.

I stayed at the APA Chuo in Kanazawa on Kim's suggestion. It is a western style business hotel. The bath on the roof is nice (really nice for a city hotel like that). You can do better with your budget.

I stayed at Koemon and enjoyed it quite a bit and plan to return. The couple that owns the place is very nice. He speaks some English. She is very kind. Daughter was there for the winter and speaks English well. Instead of firing up the irori, the 4 of us drove over to Gokayama to a place called Kuroba for a bath and dinner.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 06:22 PM
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Thanks mrwunrfl

I was originally thinking of going from kanazawa to Takayama via Toyama, stay a night in Takayama and then go to Shirakawa. We will be coming back through Takayama to eventually get back to Tokyo. I learned about this bus route leaving Kanazawa to Shirakawa, so I thought we could change the itinerary to staying there first. Yes, I would appreciate learning any bus info you have about Takaoka and Ogimachi.

"Koemon" sounds nice. However I did not see anything about hinoki bath on their web site. Do they have it? I know you were fortunate enough to go to Gokosan that night.

Have you heard anything about the minshuku "Tadaya"?

Thanks for your help.
ricker is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 06:27 PM
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http://www11.ocn.ne.jp/~tada/index.htm is Tadaya's homepage.
KimJapan is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 06:47 PM
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Thanks kimjapan,

Do you know anyone who's stayed there? We like the look and description of the place and were just wondering if we could find someone to comment about it.

Are there websites that offer review of places like this? Even if only offered in Japanese?
ricker is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 07:16 PM
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Don't know of any review sites in either English or Japanese...I would really think though that it's nice...looks nice. You could call tourist info there and ask them how it is or for them to recommend for you the style you want...though they only speak Japanese they are very helpful and nice.
KimJapan is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2005, 07:16 PM
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Arriving at JR Takaoka station, you enter a small station building. To the immediate right is the JR ticket office. To the left, thru the glass doors and beyond is a tiny noodle shop. To the right past the JR office are some coin lockers. Out to the sidewalk in front of the station turn right and you should see the bus stands in front of a small building perpendicular to the station building. The bus ticket office is in that building on the end closest to the JR station. There were about 4 buses that lined up there. They all departed at the same time.

The bus to Shirakawago was a small city bus and made several stops, winding its way through the city before heading out straight down a broad flat valley. To to the left and front were mountain ridges. Eventually, over an hour after leaving the station, the bus turned left toward the mountains. There was a bathroom stop and then the bus soon started climing into the mountains. It was a fairly scenic trip. Lots of snow removal equipment was working hard on the road when I was there. At the front of JR city buses they list the fares from each of the stops on the route as the bus progresses. The train station was number 1. Shirakawago is stop number 53 or 54. Yes 50+ bus stops before geting there.

Drop off in Shirakawago was at a bus stop in front of a medical center at the edge of Ogimachi by the bridge. It would have been ok to go one more stop. If the bus goes across the bridge then there must be a stop at the outdoor village museum center. It is an easy walk from there, across a foot bridge, to Koemon. Koemon is 3 buildings from that foot bridge (about a half block). From the medical center, I think that sometimes the bus goes through Ogimachi, not across the bridege, to a stop just above the side street (alley) where Koemon is.

If you walk into Ogimachi from the med center bus stop you will pass a gas station on the right and a couple of gassho zukuri (including the great Wada's house). Keep going and you will get to the information center. They have a map that shows the steets of the village with drawings of the g.z. houses that you can use to locate Koemon. Should be able to find that map online or get it from JNTO. From the vis center at the second street on the right side turn right and the first building down that street is Koemon. I don't know what bath facilities they have at Koemon because we went down to the Kuroba onsen. They do have showeres.

Otani-san showed his video of the rebuilding of Koemon that occurred a few years ago. Several dozen/hundred people participated.

They had a couple of dozen slippers for guests. Surprising to me they also had a couple dozen pairs of boots including a pair that fit me comfortably. Am talking about almost knee high snow boots that were absolutely necessary for getting around Ogimachi in January.

Go across the footbridge to the village museum place and you can catch a shuttle that goes up to the small mountain that overlooks the village.

The bus ride from Takaoka is a bit tedious, but it will probably save some time vs going to Shirakawago via Toyama and Takayama. You need to find out when the bus from Kanazawa starts as that would be best. I returned to Takaoka and then took a L'Ex to EchigoYuzawa and shinkansen to Tokyo. You could bus to Takayama and visit then go via Nagoya to Tokyo.
mrwunrfl is online now  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 02:19 PM
  #13  
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Thanks mrwunrfl for the detailed message

You are right, there is no direct bus route from Kanazawa to Ogimachi that time in the season so I have to use the route you suggested. Thank you for your detailed directions. It is very helpful.
ricker is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 04:54 AM
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In Kanazawa we stayed at the Tokyu Excel Hotel on Kim's advice. It was just fine, good location, excellent service, very good dining room. It is a Western style hotel which we found very restful. Travel in Japan was different enough that we found staying in Western style hotels most of the time, but not all the time, gave us a chance to unwind.
We took the bus from Kanazawa to Shirakawago on our way to Takayama and found the scenery fabulous. Shirakawago is an excellent experience. We did not stay there but changed buses so we could have a few hours there. It is a big tourist attraction for Japanese tourists. We liked taking the bus. The roads are excellent but you are in the mountains and the driving is real mountain driving. The historic section of Takayama is well worth an overnight stay. Then we went on to Matsomoto which I found a very interesting city. Kanazawa is excellent, but the mountains were an important part of our trip.
Elainee is offline  
Mar 6th, 2005, 04:55 AM
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Hi we stayed in a ryokan in Kanazawa which was right in the middle of the city - a bus ride from the station - very easy to get to for two Aussies who could not speak a word of Japanese. The ryokan was the Murataya-traditional Japanese style 8 tatami with a TV, no fridge and cupboards with our bedding. The toilet and shower were shared. I really cannot remember the price but it was cheap- you can access the fees on the net. We made the booking from the station when we arrived. We also arranged for a volunteer guide to show us around Kanazawa for a day.This was arranged by internet a few days beforehand. We walked to Kenrokuen Gardens and Kanazawa castle from the Ryokan.In terms of an experience it was Ok - it was a budget Ryokan - no frills. We ate in the street almost next door. If you would like a more expensive Ryokan why don't you try accessing the "welcome inns" site? By the way, Kanazawa station is fantastic for sampling the local produce and handicrafts.
albaaust is offline  
Mar 6th, 2005, 07:22 AM
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ricker, I posted a couple of maps of Shirakawago on my website: www.billk.org

Before leaving Kanazawa, I recommend that you stock up on cash at the ATM in the post office at the JR station. Had a hard time finding an ATM (that works w/ my card) at Takaoka station. There are a couple of ATMs in Shirakawago but they are not particularly convenient.
mrwunrfl is online now  

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