Kyoto and Osaka Hotels

Old Dec 28th, 2008, 04:45 AM
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Kyoto and Osaka Hotels

Hi, I'm thinking of going to Kyoto and Osaka for a few days soon. When I check booking.com, only one hotel in Kyoto is listed.

Is there some standard website for booking hotels in Japan?

I am planning to go to HK and Singapore first, so I need to finish planning that first.

Any potential problems with visiting Osaka and Kyoto in mid January? I don't think it's peak tourist season, is it?

I am asking because I'll probably need to buy tickets soon, so I may not be able to finalize the hotel selection before buying my plane tickets, and I don't want to run into problems later.

Thanks!
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Old Dec 28th, 2008, 07:22 AM
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111op - I've read many of your trip reports on the Europe board and I look forward to hearing about your Asian trip.

If you want an inexpensive business hotel, check out the Toyoko Inn chain.
http://www.toyoko-inn.com/eng/

Also the japanican site although I think you have to prepay....

http://japanican.com/index.aspx
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Old Dec 28th, 2008, 09:33 AM
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What is your budget for a hotel room? We can give you better information knowing.
In the two cities you mentioned it would be better to book directly with the hotel's website.....usually

If you haven't seen this site yet for basic Japan information, you should

http://www.japan-guide.com/

Aloha!
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Old Dec 28th, 2008, 11:07 AM
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Osaka and Kyoto hotels can be booked in lots of places. The two cities are frequented by international travelers.

In addition to the sites listed above you can go to other major online sites. I checked Jan 14-16 and travelocity lists 36 hotels with availability in Osaka and 18 in Kyoto. Orbitz shows 12 hotels with availability.

APA is another business hotel chain with a hotel in a great location in Gion:
http://www.apahotel.com/~language/en/index.html

Here is another good site that lists Japanese style lodging:
www.japaneseguesthouses.com
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Old Dec 28th, 2008, 11:11 AM
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It is not peak tourist seaon in January and you will be able to find lodging there. I wouldn't hesitate to buy an airline ticket without hotel reservations.
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Old Dec 28th, 2008, 08:26 PM
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Great, thanks! I'll look at these websites.

Re budget: I try to stick to USD 150 for hotels (traveling with my mom, so my budget is more liberal), but for HK and Singapore the hotels I am looking at are around USD 200.
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Old Dec 28th, 2008, 09:38 PM
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Another option: the Kyoto Karasuma Hotel will cost less than $100 if booked online and if you elect not to include breakfast. And it ranks #17 among Kyoto hotels on (oops, sorry) Tripadvisor. Check http://tinyurl.com/89whcz
We stayed there 2 nights in December and are returning for two more in January. It's very central on Shijo Street, has a Starbucks in the lobby--that's why we pass on breakfast at ¥1,500 each--and pleasant rooms and staff. (Your comparison base should be normal-size Japanese hotel rooms, not ones in 5-star chains in western countries.) Best option I've found in Kyoto among 3 or 4 hotels we've stayed at over the years, ranging from budget ryokans through business hotels to the Kyoto Brighton.
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Old Dec 29th, 2008, 05:21 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I haven't had time to look at all the suggestions yet, only a few. The toyoko-inn website seems to be down at the moment.

Karasuma Kyoto has rooms for 9400 Yen per night, but there's no availability on Jan. 11, a Sunday.

Thanks for the Expedia suggestion. I don't use it to book hotels too often but most of the western-style hotels are available there. For example, Hyatt Regency is around 200 USD a night.

Is there something going on on Jan. 11? Hyatt Regency is also more expensive that night.

Also what are the taxes on hotel rooms? It seems like the rates are quoted without taxes.

Now regarding the length of the trip, I think I can spare 3-4 nights. If I go with 3 nights, should I skip Osaka entirely? I am planning to fly directly into Kansai airport. I'm already in Asia, so jetlag is not an issue, in case you are wondering.

I have checked the Osaka attractions on Frommers and the castle and Spa World are probably of the most interest (I also read elsewhere there's an instant noodles museum). I suspect that the shopping will be of interest to my mom. Is there something about Osaka that I may have missed?

I am feeling more confident about this. Thanks again!
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Old Dec 29th, 2008, 06:14 AM
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The second Monday of January is a national holiday - Seijinnohi - maybe that's why......
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Old Dec 29th, 2008, 10:57 PM
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The rate quotes usually include taxes. Expect that at Japanese hotel or ryokan websites. The rates at hyatt.com include taxes.

Doesn't sound like you've missed anything as far as Osaka goes. I haven't stopped there yet but do want to visit the castle and Spa World some day. You could skip Osaka, though. There is plenty of shopping in Kyoto.
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Old Dec 30th, 2008, 05:32 AM
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Thanks. I'll come back to this later and write again if I have more questions!
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Old Jan 6th, 2009, 06:22 PM
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Ok, I am in Singapore right now and I'm flying to Kyoto on Sunday, and I still haven't booked anything.

I've taken a look at Karasuma's website again, and it's 13000 Yen for Sunday night and 9400 Yen for the rest.

I think the Hyatt has gone up in price. The cheapest is over 30000 Yen for Sunday night and 22000 Yen for the rest.

Okura is $163 a night on Expedia (I assume this includes taxes -- at least based on what some of you say?).

ANA is $137 on Expedia.

I think that I can eliminate Hyatt. It's #1 on TripAdvisor and I like the pictures in the Wallpaper City guide, but I don't get the impression that the location is the best. I could be wrong though.

I think it's too late for me to check more websites and research other hotels, so I'll stick with one of these.

Which of these is best? Okura gets good reviews on Frommers.

I still haven't bought a useful Kyoto guidebook yet (the Wallpaper series is short on details). I'll do it soon and check the locations of these hotels.

Thanks again!

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Old Jan 6th, 2009, 06:24 PM
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Okura!
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Old Jan 6th, 2009, 08:29 PM
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The Okura website has a special winter promotion price.....
http://www.okura.com/reservation/index.html
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Old Jan 6th, 2009, 11:06 PM
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The Expedia rate for the Okura looks good at $163 USD if that is all in. The Okura's own web special is ¥18,800 for a twin (room only)--that's well above your preferred $150 USD.
The link I used differs from Mara's:
http://www.kyotohotel.co.jp/khokura/english/index.html
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Old Jan 7th, 2009, 03:01 AM
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Okura is a very good hotel -- not spectacular, but very good and better (as a hotel property) than the Granvia or ANA -- and the Okura's location is the best in the city for tourism and getting a flavor of the city.
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Old Jan 7th, 2009, 11:31 AM
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We stayed at the Hyatt in November and it was lovely with a very helpful staff, BUT it was a bit out of the way from the station which we used to take day trips to Nara and the castle and Hiroshima. However we found taxis convenient and there is a bus stop right in front of the hotel.

the Granvia would be my choice for location- right on top of the station- but everyone raves about the Okura, although we were unable to obtain a reservation for our travel time.
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Old Jan 16th, 2009, 05:46 PM
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Hi I ended up with four nights at Okura. The initial rate with Expedia didn't include taxes -- with taxes, it was about $190 a night. It was a nice hotel. Thanks again!
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