One week in Tokyo, where to stay

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Mar 26th, 2018, 12:10 AM
  #41
 
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"While you MIGHT be able to glimpse Fuji-san from the train, it is by no means guaranteed. I would encourage you to be grateful if you get a glance, but not to count on it."

I'm glad that I was able to see it from the plane as I flew from Narita to Osaka Itami, on my way to Kyoto. The passenger sitting next to me just happened to also be on my flight from L.A. to Narita and we started a conversation, on the Narita to Osaka Itami flight. So, he not only pointed out Mt. Fuji, but also gave me tips about Japan. He was Japanese, living in both Japan and L.A.

Happy Travels!

Last edited by Guenmai; Mar 26th, 2018 at 12:12 AM. Reason: error
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Mar 29th, 2018, 06:48 AM
  #42
 
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I just returned from Tokyo. I stayed in an apartment which was a 10 minute walk from Gotanda station (on the Yamanote line so easy access to Shinagawa and the shikansen trains to Kyoto, Nagoya, etc). The number 41 bus ran along the street to Naka-meguro station and on to Shibuya. Also close by was Fudo-mai subway station for the Meguro line. I used all these to get around.

I really liked the apartment. It was clean and bright, comfortable, and had virtually everything I could have needed. I felt very safe in the area, walking around after 10pm.

https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/4619208?wl_source=list&wl_id=286449481&role=wishli st_owner&adults=1&children=0&infants=0

In Kyoto I stayed with my daughter in Gion Koh, a very nice guest house, though with shared bathrooms. We stayed in 'Plum'. It's also on booking.com

http://gion-koh.com/

Last edited by julia_t; Mar 29th, 2018 at 06:49 AM. Reason: error in link
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Mar 29th, 2018, 07:09 AM
  #43
 
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The return train to Kyoto costs somewhere in the region of 25,000 yen. The 7-day JR rail pass costs 29,000 yen. If you use the Yamanote line around the city you'd be able to also use the JR pass.

You can check train times and prices on the useful website HyperDia | Timetable and Route Search in Japan. and this may help you to work out whether the pass will be good value for you.

I used a Passmo card in Tokyo on the buses and subways, topping it up when necessary. I also used it on the buses and local trains in Kyoto. It was so easy to just 'tap and go'.
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Mar 31st, 2018, 05:44 AM
  #44
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Thank you everyone!

First step done: I have my plane tickets. Coach tickets for nonstop were stupid expensive. I waited a while hoping they would go down, nope, same price, just crappier seats. If I have the option to upgrade when I check in I will do so.

Thank you for the new info Julia, I will look into the guest house!

I am thinking three nights in Kyoto and the other four nights in Tokyo. Yes, I know this isn't enough time. It is what it is.

I looked up Shinkansen tickets. Is there any reason to definitely go for a higher-class car option, or is the lower class car option just fine? Better seats, better views, better food, etc?

Thank you
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Mar 31st, 2018, 08:08 AM
  #45
 
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I'm really glad that you are thinking 3 nights in Kyoto and 4 nights in Tokyo as to me it's just more logical and I understand that it's a short period of time. On some of my trips to Bangkok, I used to fly from L.A. to Bangkok and stay 7 nights and then fly home and go to work the next day. It was also what it was then as sometimes I could take 3 weeks and other times just 1 week. Sometimes either you take the time you have or you don't get a vacation.

I tried to post to you a really nice Youtube link of, "5 Things to do in Kyoto." With this new Fodor's system, it posted and then disappeared. I haven't totally figured out this new system. I'll try it again to see if it works or you can pull it up on Youtube.

As for the Shinkansen, I also have some links about that, but as for which class to choose, it basically mentioned that it depends on when you travel. If it's really during a busy season, then it's less crowded in the higher class, but about 30% more in price.

Happy Travels!
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Mar 31st, 2018, 08:19 AM
  #46
 
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Happy Travels!
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Mar 31st, 2018, 10:00 AM
  #47
 
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<<I looked up Shinkansen tickets. Is there any reason to definitely go for a higher-class car option, or is the lower class car option just fine? Better seats, better views, better food, etc?>>

There seem to be 3 options:
1) Green tickets which is first class so presumably a nicer carriage, seats, refreshments, etc.

2) Reserved seating. Many trains are really crowded, and if you want to be sure of a seat then it's best to go for one of these. If you have the JR pass you go to the counter at the station and ask for a seat reservation - it's included in your pass. If you know when you are travelling reserve your seats as soon as you can (maybe even when you arrive at the airport) because it can happen if you walk up on the day that there are no seats available, so then you have to go for...

3) Unreserved seating. This is pot luck, you have to go in a carriage marked unreserved and if you get a seat, great, if not, you stand for maybe the 2-3 hours the train takes to travel from Kyoto to Tokyo.

My daughter lives in Japan, and she insisted that reserved seats were the way to go if you don't want to stand for hours in a swaying carriage. so that's what I based my costings on. One train I took from Nagoya to Tokyo had no reserved seats available on the day. I did get a seat but the carriage was packed, so much so I never got to see Mt Fuji past all the people standing in the aisle.
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Mar 31st, 2018, 10:59 AM
  #48
 
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Taking the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto.

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Mar 31st, 2018, 11:03 AM
  #49
 
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By the way, I had a green ticket on the commuter train from Tokyo Station/Marunouchi back to Narita Airport to fly home. I'm glad that I did as it was crowded on that train that day. In first class, we were 3 people. Before going back to Japan this summer, I'll be buying a green ticket on the Shinkansen to and from Kyoto.

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Apr 1st, 2018, 10:12 AM
  #50
 
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I don't now why my links won't post above. I have posted other links, under this new Fodor's system, and they have posted. I give up.

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Apr 1st, 2018, 03:39 PM
  #51
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@ Guenmai: you video links have posted.
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Apr 2nd, 2018, 04:31 AM
  #52
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Hello Guenmai!

The Royal Park Hotel which came up on a search seems very cheap - out of place with your other recommendations - maybe I found the wrong one? It's only 70 bucks a night? although the bigger rooms are more.

Thank you - still looking. a bewildering array of choices, and even though I have areas to narrow down in Tokyo it's still a lot to look through.

PS I found a great book for Kyoto, "Pocket Precincts", in Kramerbooks the other day. I will have to see if Tokyo has one as well because it's well laid out.

Last edited by flygirl; Apr 2nd, 2018 at 04:36 AM.
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Apr 2nd, 2018, 10:45 AM
  #53
 
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Originally Posted by kja View Post
@ Guenmai: you video links have posted.
That's good to know as at first, I could see that they had posted, but later I only got a blank, white space on my computer screen in the space where I had posted the links. Now, I can see them again. Who knows what's going on. Plus, I just called my internet-connection company as I had no internet connection since last night and now that has been fixed.

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Apr 2nd, 2018, 11:38 AM
  #54
 
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Originally Posted by flygirl View Post
Hello Guenmai!

The Royal Park Hotel which came up on a search seems very cheap - out of place with your other recommendations - maybe I found the wrong one? It's only 70 bucks a night? although the bigger rooms are more.

Thank you - still looking. a bewildering array of choices, and even though I have areas to narrow down in Tokyo it's still a lot to look through.

PS I found a great book for Kyoto, "Pocket Precincts", in Kramerbooks the other day. I will have to see if Tokyo has one as well because it's well laid out.
The price for the Royal Park Hotel is correct. I stay in accommodations at different price points although more 4 and 5 star hotels in Asia along with Airbnb. As for when I'm in Europe, the prices are usually high compared to what I get in Asia, at the same price point, and in areas/neighborhoods that are very central and popular. So, as for what price point that I pay for accommodations, it depends on where I am traveling in the world. I have also stayed in plenty of zero-star hotels since the 1970s.

For the upcoming Japan trip, I have a 3-night reservation at the Royal Park Hotel-Kyoto, but overlapping on some of the same nights as having a reservation at my 2 hotels, on different nights, in Higashiyama. I much prefer staying in Higashiyama. But, when I'm in downtown Kyoto running around for hours on end, am tired and the bad knee has given out, then I can hobble over to the Royal Park Hotel and elevate my leg and rest up before going out again. I won't need to taxi back to Higashiyama to rest and then taxi back into town or other areas later in the evening. I can take a nap, a shower, and/or wash clothes as they have laundry facilities at the Royal Park. Or if my best friend decides to join me in Japan, she can use that room if she wants to stay longer than my reservation in the 2-bed room that I have booked at one of my Higashiyama hotels so that she can stay with me for 2 nights for free, but then after that 2 nights, I will transfer over to my other Higashiyama hotel, walking distance away from the first one, but where I have reserved and paid for a room just for myself. I have 9 nights booked at hotels in Higashiyama of the 9 nights that I will be in Kyoto; 2 nights in one hotel and 7 nights in the other one.

As for Tokyo, your job is cut out for you as to making decisions as to what your interests are and what you want to do. When I was planning the trip to Japan for last summer 2017, I was dizzy in the head by the time I finished planning it all and I've been planning all of my overseas trips since I was a teen. But, Japan was the most time-consuming one for me and especially trying to figure out what I wanted to do in Tokyo while there and trying to figure out the vast, public transportation system in Tokyo. I ended up basically focusing on Japanese fashion and hit the various stores/boutiques as I had been in Kyoto for 9 nights prior to Tokyo and had a different focus there except that I did buy my kimono in Kyoto. Being in Kyoto was like living in history. Smiles.

Happy Travels!
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Apr 3rd, 2018, 04:43 AM
  #55
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I think what I will do is pick a hotel near some large park/gardens and a museum for my first night, since I will be in Tokyo only 24 hours and likely tired. Walking in a peaceful park when I arrive and on the morning I wake up will be nice, and I will fit in a museum or two and more potting around that day, before heading to Kyoto in the late afternoon.

For instance I was in Sydney in December and stayed at the Shangri La and it was so nice to just stroll in the royal gardens that evening after a whirl wind day with my friend upon landing.

My arrival back in Tokyo will be three nights and I'll stay in a different area I think.

Royal Park Hotel sounds great, thank you. A premium floor larger room is 167 which is quite reasonable.

Another thing I do: my Coffee Quest. I seek out good coffee and use it as a walking treasure hunt with a mission.

I will need to check out some good places for coffee, although perhaps I should indulge in tea this time.

Thank you again!


edit: reserved corner deluxe twin room at RPH in Kyoto, three nights. 16000 a night.

Last edited by flygirl; Apr 3rd, 2018 at 04:56 AM.
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Apr 3rd, 2018, 10:54 AM
  #56
 
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As for the Royal Park Hotel, I booked the small room as I wasn't in it that much as the hotel is in the heart of the city and I was out and about most of the time. I have also booked the small room again as it will only be a room to rest in.

The small room is around 19 square meters big and the price is right as I booked it for $103. a night for this coming summer.

One thing to remember is that if you're in a taxi, going back to the Royal Park Hotel, make sure that the taxi driver doesn't take you to the Royal Hotel as one taxi driver did with me. The hotels are right around the corner from each other. I alerted the taxi driver to the fact that it was the wrong hotel and she then drove me to the Royal Park Hotel which is actually walking distance from the Royal Hotel.

Happy Travels!
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Apr 3rd, 2018, 11:01 AM
  #57
mjs
 
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Depending on what time you arrive and which airport, you might want to travel on to Kyoto which would make the best of your limited time.
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Apr 3rd, 2018, 11:12 AM
  #58
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I may end up staying at the Keio Plaza Hotel. A friend who travels for work frequently has stayed there and likes it and the location. I'll use that as an anchor point to consider other areas. But it looks good.
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Apr 3rd, 2018, 11:31 AM
  #59
 
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Some coffee ideas for Kyoto.

8 Must Visit Coffee Shops in Kyoto | favy

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Apr 3rd, 2018, 11:37 AM
  #60
 
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Originally Posted by mjs View Post
Depending on what time you arrive and which airport, you might want to travel on to Kyoto which would make the best of your limited time.
I totally agree with that and especially with such limited time as if the flight arrives early, into Tokyo, then one could be in Kyoto by dinner time or possibly even lunch time. Plus, in Kyoto, the Royal Park Hotel is less than a 5-minute walk to the river area where one could take a nice stroll along the river and also eat at one of the restaurants overlooking it which is very relaxing and peaceful.

Happy Travels!
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