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BigBadTea Sep 10th, 2004 05:39 AM

Osaka Hotels/Ideas
Hello, I'm usually on the Caribbean board, but found this amazing fare special to KIX leaving next week ($488+tax.) Having never been to Japan, I'm trying to find a reasonably priced/clean hotel in the city. Anyone have any recommendations? Also, not being able to speak Japanese, will this be a MAJOR problem (transportation-wise)? Any feedback on recommendations on what to see & what not to see would be greatly appreciated. I have talked to friends that have visited Tokyo & they've said how expensive it was. Is Osaka similar?

mrwunrfl Sep 10th, 2004 11:30 AM

Great! You are referring to the United fares that are good for travel Mon-Thu next week and return Mon-Thu the following week, right?

You could skip Osaka and go directly to Kyoto. Make a day trip or overnight stay and visit Nara and also Horyuji.

What do you mean by reasonably priced accomodations? Japan, in general is more expensive.

It is not a problem getting around.

lcuy Sep 10th, 2004 12:31 PM

Another vote for going to Kyoto. Much smaller, more manageable city, with lots more historic stuff. A day trip to Nara would also be nice.

For a reasonable hotel, check out Kyoto Central Inn. It is extremely well located - within walking distance of Gion, steps from the covered malls of Teramachi, and steps from all the major bus lines. If you get a japanese room, it will be large with a private bathroom and will be very clean. The lobby/halls are very spartan, but the room and price is right.
Speaking no Japanese is not a problem- just ask things simply and slowly in English (eg; "Kyoto train?" will usually get you an an answer back in English).
Eating can be cheap or expensive. The good news is that they put model of their dishes in restaurant windows, along with the prices. No surprises.. Just motion for your waitress to follow you to the window...they've done it before!
Bon Voyage.

BigBadTea Sep 10th, 2004 01:35 PM

Thanks for all of your help it's greatly appreciated. I was looking at hotels in Osaka (Radisson - $145pp), but now have started to look into Kyoto. Can you recommend a good site where I can book a room in Kyoto? Many of the hotels that I've checked are sold out for when I was planning a visit.

BigBadTea Sep 10th, 2004 01:46 PM

Talk about not getting any work done today:)...I guess that's what happens when you find a deal the night before the booking deadline & know nothing about the destination. mrwunrfl & lcuy, have either of you heard of Gimmond Hotel Kyoto? I found a rate of $140pp/n. Their address is "Takakura-Oike-dori Nakagyo-ku" Is this a good location? Thank you both for all of your help. It's very much appreciated.

mrwunrfl Sep 10th, 2004 03:04 PM

They are here:
Pretty good location, I think. The rates are reasonable. It's 8190 JPY for a single room with no breakfast. Twin room is 14700 (no meals) for two people (that's about $135 per room per night, not per person per night).

Punkyl44 Sep 10th, 2004 07:33 PM

We recently returned from Japan. We don't speak any Japanese, but it was no problem at all. Transportation is really easy and everything has English.

We stayed in Kyoto for 5 nights, Osaka for 1, Tokyo for 5 and took day trips to Hiroshima and Nara. We thought our time in Kyoto was too long and our time in Osaka not long enough. It just depends what you like to do I think. While the historical sights in Kyoto are a must see, we burned out pretty quickly on seeing twmples and shrines. We wished we had spent more than a night in Osaka where there are many dining, shopping, and sightseeing options.

We stayed at the Westin Miyako in Kyoto for about $150 a night. It is historical, but looking its age. It is also not near any restaurants or shops, so we ended paying a fortune to eat breakfast in the hotel when it wasn't included. However, it was VERY close to the subway line.

In Osaka we stayed at the Swisshotel which was a great location on top of the subway line and the express train to the airport. The rooms were nice, although the service wasn't the best of the hotels we stayed at.

Hope that helps and you will love Japan no matter where you go!

emd Sep 11th, 2004 10:48 AM

Punky: Thanks for the Swisshotel tip. I am staying in Osaka on the last night of a 14 day trip in March (to go to sumo tournament), then early a.m. departure for Narita and the trip home the next day- so I will try the Swisshotel. I have tried several hotels (really wanted to use hotel points at the Westin) but they are booked up already, I guess due to the sumo.

Punkyl44 Sep 11th, 2004 06:33 PM

We stayed at the Swisshotel for similar reasons- we hade just one night in Osaka and then we left from Kansai the next morning. The train to airport is so convienient from the Swisshotel it is amazing! It only takes 30 minutes! The bellhop actually brought out bags down to the station and loaded them onto to the train for us it is that close!

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