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Need Suggestions On Where To Stay In Tokyo And Kyoto

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Mar 29th, 2012, 06:24 AM
  #1
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Need Suggestions On Where To Stay In Tokyo And Kyoto

Hello Everyone,

I am planning a quick trip 6 night trip to Japan for this October. I am thinking of staying 3 nights in Tokyo, then taking the bullet train to Kyoto to stay 3 nights.
This will be my first time to Japan and I am not familiar with either region. I will need to rely on public transportation while I am there. Can you please provide suggestions on places and sections of town to stay. I am a guy in my mid-30s. I am really interested in experiencing the traditional and cultural aspects of Japan, and I’m trying to avoid “touristy” hotels. I was also looking into staying at a Traditional Ryokan at least a portion of my trip. Has anyone done this? Any suggestions or feedback?

In Tokyo, I’m looking to also experience some of the night life and the big city and party a bit.
In Kyoto, I would like to see the ancient cites, experience Japanese Zen Buddhist Philosophy, visit the gardens, attend a tea ceremony, and relax.

Please respond with suggestions.

Thank you in advance for the help!
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Mar 29th, 2012, 08:03 AM
  #2
 
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Toraya is a shop with lots of teas which you can purchase and you can enjoy a 'chayonu' in their tea room at extra cost of course. The Kyoto shop is near the Imperial Palace. I don't really like tea and did not enjoy the bitter flavor of the tea I was served but Mrs HT absolutely loved it and she is a tea aficionado. The ceremony was quaint. I know that every motion is supposed to mean something but not being my culture I didn't see it as you are supposed to I guess......

http://www.toraya-group.co.jp/english/shops/index.html

See here if you want a quick brush up on the tea ceremony before you go.

http://int.kateigaho.com/aut04/kyoto-tea-ceremony.html

As to where you can stay, what is your budget and are you a single or two?

Aloha!
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Mar 29th, 2012, 08:36 AM
  #3
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Thanks for the suggestion, and Aloha to you!

Just a room for one.
I guess, I'm looking to pay 7,000-15,000 yen per night.

I would like to stay somewhere in Tokyo where there is plenty to do (daytime and night). If it is too expensive to stay close to one of the main areas, I would definitely stay on the outskirts (as long as it is a nice area) and take a taxi in.

In the Kyoto area, I would like to stay at a quieter place to relax. I would also consider staying outside of Kyoto in a smaller town at least one of the nights. I would like to stay at a Traditional Ryokan at least one night as well.

I am looking to experience big city Tokyo, tranquil relaxation, traditional Japan, and natural outdoor beauty (if this is all possible to see in 6 days

Thanks again!
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Mar 29th, 2012, 09:28 AM
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Nightlife in Tokyo = Roppongi first in my mind. You can find a hotel in your price range in Roppongi. Your price range is roughly equivalent to what are known as business hotels in Japan. I googled Roppongi hotels and one result was an Ibis, if you are familiar with that international (European?) chain.

As far as the idea of taking a taxi in: you would be taking a subway in and then a taxi out if you stayed after the subways stop running.

With only 6 nights I won't recommend a stop in Hakone where you could find outdoor natural beauty and probably a traditional ryokan in your price range.

The upper end of your price range are in the range of lower end traditional ryokan. Dinner at the ryokan is very much a part of the ryokan experience (and price) and some/many ryokan won't take room-only guests, but some do. An alternative to a ryokan is a minshuku which would be Japanese style and well within your price range but excluding an elaborate meal. Here is a wiki that describes the diff:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryokan_(Japanese_inn)

Ryoanji would be on your Kyoto itinerary.
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Mar 29th, 2012, 09:35 AM
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Am thinking that a person who has been there might post a recommendation of Ohara as your place to stay outside of Kyoto. Until that happens, you can google: "Ohara Kyoto"
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Mar 30th, 2012, 07:48 AM
  #6
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Thanks for the suggestions!
Is Roppongi mainly for tourists/foreigners? I kind of want to avoid tourist traps. Are the Tokyo bars/clubs busy during the week? I may not be there around the weekend.

How about Shibuya for nightlife?

Thanks again!
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Mar 30th, 2012, 10:42 AM
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I agree with Roppongi for the night life and Shibuya with Shinjuku's kabukicho thrown in.

If you want to experience some Japanese culture then I suggest you stay in a single room of a Japanese business hotel such as the Toyoko Inns or Comfort Inns located in the areas just mentioned. All are clean and comfortable and most include breakfast with the room rate. They are also located in Kyoto which is a very different city and the nightlife is nothing like Tokyo.....Osaka's Dotombori is only a short train ride away though.....See here for a few hotel details:

http://www.toyoko-inn.com/eng/

http://www.comfortinn.com/sitemap-japan-JP

http://washington-hotels.jp/english/

You can find out current info about clubs and entertainment venues in Tokyo here:

http://metropolis.co.jp/listings/#clubbing

A ryokan is a great idea. We have been to many but not around the Kyoto area. You can take a look at this site to get an idea of different types and locations of ryokan, be aware that many of the better ones do not take single guests.

http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/index.htm

Take care in the red light districts of Tokyo. It will be safer than any other red light district you have been in but the hustle and crime does happen so keep your senses about you as the lovely hostesses beckon you into their establishments.....have fun!!

Aloha!
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Mar 30th, 2012, 12:54 PM
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Don't know how this one didn't stick on last thread under hotels but here it is.....

http://www.theb-hotels.com/the-b-roppongi/en/
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Mar 31st, 2012, 03:09 PM
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<>
You could stay at a Zen temple in Kyoto where they offer meditation. In some respects, it would be like a ryokan and therefore a way for you to kill two birds with one stone. The accommodations are a bit spartan and modern-looking, but within the temple grounds. Cost is ¥5000 and includes meditation class. See www.shunkoin.com/ and look on the menu at the left for accommodation.
Might be just the thing for you after Tokyo night life.
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Mar 31st, 2012, 04:37 PM
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"They (... Comfort Inns) are also located in Kyoto which is a very different city and the nightlife is nothing like Tokyo..."

OMG it's been 3.5 years since we stayed in the Comfort Inn in Kyoto. Our friends laugh at us. Comfort Inn in Kyoto?

Well it was darn nice. Hawaiiantraveler you have made our weekend. We're not losers anymore.
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Mar 31st, 2012, 06:01 PM
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YES, mrw has it right, you can stay at a real ryokan right outside Kyoto in Ohara. It is a 25 min. bus ride from northern Kyoto (where I got the bus, I was staying at Westin Miyako in Kyoto) up into the hills outside Kyoto, or about 45 min from Kyoto station by bus.

There are some lovely temples (Sanzen-In and another)and a few good shops and traditional restaurants on a winding stone walking road, and the road has a rushing creek running next to it, with a waterwheel...just lovely and serene. And outside that area are lovely neighborhoods to walk through.

I loved Ohara, it was a big highlight for me. Quiet, contemplative, beautiful, and just a lovely vibe.

After I went there, I looked up ryokans there, bc I want to go back. There are a few that have been around for yrs. and some newer ones. Seryo and Oharasanto are the former ones.

Seryo ryokan, indoor and outdoor spring private and communal baths, gets very high marks on reviews, but note that dinner is served in the dining rm, not in your sleeping rm. like traditional ryokan dinner:

http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/db/kyoto/seryo.htm

Oharasanto is another...

http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/d...haranosato.htm

Newer ones: check out Oohara No Sato

There are other ryokans in Arashiyama, just outside Kyoto, and Kurama, both lovely areas. But I have been to Arashiyama and it is nice, bamboo forest and rushing river and monkey park and all, but a bit too touristy I think for you. Kurama is lovely, quiet, along a 2 mile or so walking path in the woods that leads to I think.

http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/db/maps/kyoto.htm
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Mar 31st, 2012, 06:45 PM
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last line should read "that leads past shrines, I think."
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Apr 1st, 2012, 11:45 AM
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You might like in Tokyo this "ryokan" I put it in quotation marks as it has many traditional Japanese features but not the full personal service as a "real" ryokan. They have relatively inexpensive single rooms. We enjoyed it and the surrounding traditional neighborhood alot. www.shigetsu.com Another one I learned about recently but have not stayed at before is www.andon.co.jp.
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Apr 1st, 2012, 04:26 PM
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cold, we love the Comfort Inns of Japan! Only bummer is you don't get the points like in the Americas,lol

Aloha!
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Apr 3rd, 2012, 05:04 AM
  #15
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Thanks for all the great suggestions; this is really helpful!
I have booked my flight, and I will be in Japan 9 days (8 nights). I have already reserved a hotel room in Tokyo near Roppongi for the first 3 nights. I will be reserving a Ryokan in Kyoto or Rural Kyoto for the next 2 nights. I still need to figure out where to spend the remaining 3 nights. I would like to spend them in another region if I have time. Could you please help with suggestions? I will not be flying out of Japan until after 7:00pm on the last day out of Narita, so I would have time take the bullet train back to Tokyo, or I could stay in Tokyo the last night. What are your thoughts?

Thanks again and I look forward to your responses.

Cheers
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Apr 3rd, 2012, 07:58 AM
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3 nights? I'll throw you a curveball.

From Kyoto head on over to the Izu Peninsula and here for a couple of nights:

http://japaneseguesthouses.com/db/shizuoka/amagiso.htm

We love this ryokan and its surrounding area. Lots of hiking if you want and the ryokans bus driver will drop you off at some of the hiking starting points around the neighborhood if you ask. Easy to make your way back into Tokyo from here and such a beautiful spot. Izu is where Tokyoites have been taking their vacations for literally centuries and I can see why.

Aloha!
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Apr 3rd, 2012, 09:33 AM
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I was thinking about the island of Shikoku. But since you have to get back to Tokyo to fly out, Izu peninsula is a much better location for a few nights on way back to Tokyo.
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Apr 3rd, 2012, 12:21 PM
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Is it easy to take public transportation to get the Izu Peninsula from Kyoto, and then later to Narita Tokyo airport?

Thanks again!
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Apr 3rd, 2012, 12:34 PM
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Yes it is easy. See at bottom of page of the ryokan link I left above for directions from JR Atami station. You would catch a Kokama shinkansen to JR Atami station then a local line to Kawazu station, easy. On the way back from the Kawazu station we got a direct express train back into Tokyo. Check www.hyperdia.com for train schedules during your time of year. The ryokan shuttle bus will pick you up and drop you off at the Kawazu station at the times you need for free.

Aloha!
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Apr 4th, 2012, 04:43 AM
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I have already reserved a similar Modern Onsen Ryokan outside of Kyoto for 2 nights. Do you think another 2 nights in a different Onsen Ryokan would be too much of the same experience, or will 4 nights be fine?

At this point:
- I will be staying the first 3 nights in Tokyo (near Roppongi)
- 2 nights at an Onsen Ryokan outside of Kyoto
- Possibly 2 nights an Onsen Ryokan on the Izu Peninsula
- Spend my final night back in Tokyo before I fly out the next day

Please let me know your thoughts.

Thanks!
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