Kyoto: where to stay after tour

Jun 14th, 2019, 07:57 AM
  #1  
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Kyoto: where to stay after tour

In March 2020, DH & I are going on a G Adventures/National Geographic Journeys: Iconic Japan tour. We are looking to extend our stay for 2 nights after the tour ends in Kyoto.

As part of the tour, we will be staying at Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shinmachi Bettei. Being unfamiliar with the city, we are not sure if we should just stay at Mitsui Garden or move to another hotel in a different neighbourhood.

https://www.gardenhotels.co.jp/kyoto-shinmachi/eng/

Any insights? Any recommendations?

Thanks!
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Jun 14th, 2019, 01:54 PM
  #2  
 
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Have never been to that hotel but the location is very central and near public transportation, so you might as well stay and not waste the time to change hotels....
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Jun 14th, 2019, 04:42 PM
  #3  
kja
 
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Mara knows Kyoto much, much better than I, and I'm not disagreeing with her1 -- but I'm a person who doesn't mind relocating, and so might consider moving closer to the river in the Kawaramachi district, even though it would mean moving just a mile or so. But that hotel looks very nice!
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Jun 14th, 2019, 07:17 PM
  #4  
tt7
 
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No reason to change hotel (other than perhaps price, depending on how much you’re paying). As for the tour, doesn’t look like anything you couldn’t do yourself, probably for a lot less money. Some of us would avoid any sort of ‘organized’ tour but obviously YMMV.
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Jun 14th, 2019, 09:36 PM
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Thanks for your replies!

Mara: Good to know that the hotel is centrally located. DH is in agreement with you. He'd rather stay put than move to another hotel.

kja: I think we would look to relocate a bit further … perhaps to the other side of the river? Thanks for the suggestion though. I will check out the Kawaramachi district to get a sense of what it's like.

tt7: This will be our first trip to Asia. At this stage in our lives, a land tour in Japan seems to take us where we want to go as well as meet our needs in terms of comfort & ease of travel. We will find out if this type of travel suits us.
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Jun 14th, 2019, 10:17 PM
  #6  
kja
 
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I mentioned the Kawaramachi district because I like it for its restaurants and ease of access by foot or public transportation to many points of interest in Kyoto, but I fully understand that most people would not want to relocate.

Enjoy your trip!
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Jun 15th, 2019, 01:54 PM
  #7  
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kja: I do appreciate your suggestion to consider the Kawaramuchi district. It's good to know that it is a convenient location and has restaurant choices - both are important to us.

I've heard that sometimes tours book into hotels that are not centrally located. I wanted to confirm whether that is the case with the Mitsui Garden Hotel. With just a few extra days, I wouldn't want to spend a lot of time on transit getting around. Perhaps once we figure out what we want to see/do, it will become clear where we should stay.

The planning continues ….
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Jun 15th, 2019, 02:55 PM
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It does depend on what you are planning to do. According to google maps the hotel is 16 minutes from Kyoto station. If I were going to move and could afford it, I would stay in the Granvia actually IN the station.
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Jun 15th, 2019, 08:59 PM
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am wondering if I should just spend the time looking around myself or should I consider a tour. I see there are 3 or 4 day tours from Tokyo that visit Kyoto, Nara and Fuji but it seems rushed. My original plan was to just explore Kyoto on my own for the 4 days

Tip: Kyoto is a fairly safe city even late at night, but you should avoid walking careselly in the night
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Jun 15th, 2019, 09:03 PM
  #10  
kja
 
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@ beenaamsa: If you want a tour, by all means take one, but Japan is very easy to visit on one's own. Spend lots of time with japan-guide.com. Four days is, IMO, the minimum for a first visit to Kyoto. Six days for Kyoto and Nara (combined) is a good first approximation.
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Jun 16th, 2019, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by beenaamsa View Post
am wondering if I should just spend the time looking around myself or should I consider a tour. I see there are 3 or 4 day tours from Tokyo that visit Kyoto, Nara and Fuji but it seems rushed. My original plan was to just explore Kyoto on my own for the 4 days

Tip: Kyoto is a fairly safe city even late at night, but you should avoid walking careselly in the night

Welcome to Fodors beenaamsa: It would be better if you started a thread of your own instead of tacking on to someone else going on a different trip and with different questions. However I am a bit confused - you are asking if you should tour around Kyoto on your own and then offer advice re safety in the city??
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Jun 16th, 2019, 07:06 PM
  #12  
tt7
 
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Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
It does depend on what you are planning to do. According to google maps the hotel is 16 minutes from Kyoto station. If I were going to move and could afford it, I would stay in the Granvia actually IN the station.
Indeed .... I'm usually one who is in favour of staying close to the station but, in this case, it appears that your tour (assuming I'm looking at the correct one) includes Hiroshima, Miyajima, Himeji and Nara so I assume you are unlikely to be doing day trips from Kyoto? In that case, I would stay put. Your hotel's location is fine - it's an 8 minute walk to Karasuma Oike subway station, from where it's just 3 stops to Kyoto Station. From Karasuma Oike, it's one stop to Nijo Castle (or you can walk it in 15 minutes) which is well worth visiting -- great garden, don't miss the 'nightingale' floors in the Honmaru Palace and, if it's open, sit outside the Wakaru-An teahouse with matcha and a sweet. The hotel is about a 10-12 minute walk to Shijo-dori, one of the main shopping streets, and Daimaru - don't miss the basement food hall. If you exit the back of the food hall, go up the steps and turn right, the Nishiki Market will be about 100 metres to the right - it gets crowded but is well worth a visit. Plenty of other places to go in Kyoto (it has 2,000+ temples and shrines) so if you need suggestions, please just ask.
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Jun 16th, 2019, 10:23 PM
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tt7
 
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Originally Posted by tt7 View Post
Nijo Castle -- great garden, don't miss the 'nightingale' floors in the Honmaru Palace and, if it's open, sit outside the Wakaru-An teahouse with matcha and a sweet.
Senility and dyslexia are obviously setting in .... . Make that the Ninomaru Palace (the Honmaru is the inner one) and the Waruka-An teahouse.

Last edited by tt7; Jun 16th, 2019 at 10:29 PM.
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Jun 17th, 2019, 06:59 AM
  #14  
 
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Stay, if it is a good location but perhaps you’d like to experience a different area of the city?
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Jun 17th, 2019, 08:15 AM
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If you want to stay at Kyoto Station, that's actually a pretty reasonable location, allowing you to get around the city easily. But Hotel Granvia Kyoto Station is great but kind of expensive. The Hotel Kintetsu (also in the station) is usually cheaper and pretty nice. I stayed there when I was in Kyoto. But much cheaper is the Ibis Styles across the street (usually half the price). The only downside of the station area is that the restaurants are not very exciting, though there are plenty of them.
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