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The infamous 'Where should I stay?' thread: Tokyo edition

The infamous 'Where should I stay?' thread: Tokyo edition

Old Sep 8th, 2010, 05:51 PM
  #1  
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The infamous 'Where should I stay?' thread: Tokyo edition

Oh, yes, it's true. I've gotten to the point of having to post one of those all-hallowed 'Where should I stay?' threads. I'm not proud of it. I hang my head in shame, in fact.

I've been doing some ongoing research about hotels in Tokyo and I just keep scratching my head when it comes to making a decision. So apologies in advance for a question I'm sure that has been asked ad infinitum on this board.

The facts:
-we'll be April for 2 stays:
**1st stay for 2 nights upon arrival
**2nd stay at the end of the trip for 4 nights
-not a big fan of business hotels, but I know I may not be able to be as picky on this trip
-probably looking for a decent breakfast at the hotels--most all other meals will be outside the hotel
-in-laws are joining and their biggest concern is not being in a hotel that feels like NY or LA. I've tried to explain that we're in a big, cosmopolitan city and chances of that wish coming true are slim-to-none

For the 1st stay I suppose the being central isn't as essential. For the 2nd stay, it definitely it is, since that's probably when we'll do most of our Tokyo exploring (translation: shopping!)

Places I've looked at:
-Cerulean
-ANA Intercontinental
-Granbell
-Nikko
-Park Hotel (*not Park Hyatt)

Any suggestions on where is best for each leg? Also, any suggestions for places I'm not thinking of/looking at.

Budget is no more than $350-400/night at the very most, preferably under (especially for the 1st leg when we won't care as much about the digs.)
filmwill is offline  
Old Sep 8th, 2010, 06:00 PM
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Where's Lcuy when you really need her? (Rhetorical question, as the answer is "on the way to Turkey"!) I loved her story of traveling to Japan with her DH and baby daughter and no hotel reservations and they ended up at a "love nest" hotel.

Filmwill, I'm sorry to disappoint you, as I've no answers. But I know your more experienced pals like Rizzuto will weigh in with wonderful words of advice for you.

Domo arigato,
BC
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Old Sep 8th, 2010, 07:13 PM
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For your last 4 nights you might try the Citadines in Shinjuku. They have one in Kyoto too if your interested. Also have two other locations in Tokyo but I haven't seen those. You might need a washer and dryer by then,lol

http://www.citadines.com/japan/tokyo/shinjuku.html

The Cerulean in Shibuya would put you right in the middle of the madness that is Shibuya, not necessarily a bad thing at all, kinda cool actually.

The ANA in Roppongi has a great location for the night life if your interested in that neighborhood but expensive I think. I have stayed at the Hyatt there on points

Lcuy has stayed and liked the Bhotel Roppongi. There are others located around Tokyo

http://www.ishinhotels.com/theb-roppongi/en/

Another reco in your range is the Sunroute chain

http://www.ishinhotels.com/sunroute-akasaka/en/

This chain has quite a few locations throughout Tokyo

http://www.hvf.jp/eng/

The first two nights, I might want to be near or in Shinagawa for ease of transport into and out of Tokyo especially when leaving by shinkansen which I assume you are doing.

The Park Hotel is located in the business district on the upper floors of a media tower. Not exactly the best area to stay.

Aloha!
hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Old Sep 8th, 2010, 07:31 PM
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The Stings in Shinagawa is a good choice for 2nd time. Small enough to almost have a boutique feel, but superb staff, large and well-equipped bathrooms, and excellent location if you're planning to go to multiple locations throughout Tokyo. Avoid the lowest-priced rooms here (they're small), but all the rest are excellent.

For lower-cost rooms for 1st stay, excellent choices are Sutton Place or Astil Ueno, both in Ueno. Easy and quick access to Narita, good value (double room for less than $200), and a good neighborhood for exploring.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 04:30 AM
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I agree with HawaiianTraveler: Citadine in Shinjuku.

We have sent several friends there who were going to Japan for their first time, and they all came back with glowing reviews. (We haven't stayed there, we like luxury hotels, and used to stay at Oakwood when they would rent short-term, and now stay at the Westin in Ebisu).

The Citadine Shinjuku is inexpensive, especially considering the location and what you get. It is also brand new, only about a year old.

It is very modern in style, and because it is an apartment style hotel, you will have a kitchenette, and separate lounge and bedroom areas, and it feels more homey than a business hotel.

Shinjuku is a good location, although there are few locations in Tokyo that aren't good anyway, as long as you're near a train station!
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 07:57 AM
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great responses....hey its asia where are the $100 rooms....i know it's japan
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 09:32 AM
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rhkkmk asked: where are the $100 rooms?

It's not only Japan, it's Tokyo. Nevertheless, the Sutton Place usually has "semi-double" rooms for under $100. The unhappily-named Hotel Lungwood in Nippori has the same. These are great values. Both the room and the bed are small, and 2 people sharing them will quickly become extremely familiar with each other.

That said, both hotels are scrupulously clean and in neighborhoods that are both interesting and very convenient. I think you'll have to look much harder for something similar under $100 in Bangkok or Hong Kong or Singapore.

As for Shinjuku, my sense is that everyone stays there because everyone else stays there. I can't think of any other reason. Compared to Ueno, it's more expensive, it has less character, and it's a half-hour or more further away from Narita. I haven't stayed at the Citadines, but I understand that it's a walk even from a metro station. (Then once you reach the metro, you'll probably have to make your way to a different metro station that's on the JR Yamanote line if you want to go to many parts of the city.)
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 09:42 AM
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lol, Shinjuku is not that bad, I guess it's all about preferences.

If you do stay in the smaller hotels and are a couple, may I suggest you always rent the twin rooms. You pay the same price as a double or sometimes cheaper but the double room beds are always just a double bed so two twins work out better for us. The twin rooms are a tad bigger also iirc.

rhkkmk asked the usual question former bankers ask: where are the cheap seats ?

http://www.kid97.co.jp/~jeh-group/jeh-group.html#Tokyo2

Aloha!
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 10:22 AM
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I agree, Shinjuku is not a bad choice.

As for Banker Bob, I completely forgot about capsule hotels, such as this one: http://www.hgpshinjuku.jp/hotel/facilities/upgrade.html

$25-30/night.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 12:45 PM
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Park Hotel Tokyo is extremely nice but not very "Japanese." Maybe try a ryokan like http://www.shigetsu.com/. The breakfast will knock your socks off.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 01:15 PM
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Hey Bill.
For your first few days what all these guys are saying is right on. Stay someplace inexpensive near Shinjuku, Shinagawa or Tokyo Station for ease in getting on shinkansen when leaving. But you may have more options than you think if you are willing to spend $350-$400/night on last 4 days. Check out the Conrad Hilton. Big rooms, pretty nice place, relatively convenient. Only $366/night right now if you do their advanced pre-pay. Hilton is always doing deals so I would guess you can find a non pre-pay deal similar between now and April. Friends that stayed at Conrad liked it. They also have stayed at the Keio Plaza in Shinjuku area. They say the rooms are large there.

Just my personal opinion but I would say stay at a hotel not a Ryokan in Tokyo. Stay at a Ryokan when in the countryside. To me, Tokyo is all about fun, modern, craziness. So I'd say go for a modish hotel while there if you can.

Enjoy your search.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 02:25 PM
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Thanks everyone for the reccos so far.

Citadines, while definitely an interesting option, probably wouldn't work for this trip. Not generally a fan of serviced apartments...well at least not for first-time visits. For a place I've been a few times, like Bangkok, then it's definitely a more appealing option.

I did consider something near Shinagawa for the 1st stint (think I'm pretty close to married to Shinjuku for the 2nd stay), but have friends who always told me there was virtually nothing around that part of town (aside from the station itself.) Is that really the case? What neighborhood is around Tokyo Station?

What are some recommended hotels near Shinagawa or Tokyo Station? Strings is gorgeous, but a bit on the high-end for our 1st stint.

Also, I see Rizz recommends Ueno. Not so familiar with that part of the city--what's the draw there? The park, right? Is there anything else interesting in the immediate area?

I'm having a hard time comprehending the lay of the land...but I can only compare this to NYC. If we were going there for the first-time, I would probably feel disappointed if we stayed in Brooklyn (while beautiful in its own right) on our first visit there just to save some cash.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 02:42 PM
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Sorry, I should say I'm really most interested in staying in Shibuya for our 2nd stay--not Shinjuku.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 03:36 PM
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In the immediate Ueno area (that is, more or less adjacent to the station), in addition to the park and its museum, is the Ameyoko Shopping Street. This is a warren of pedestrian-only streets that's filled with shops and shoppers -- amazingly varied selections of clothes, dry goods, foods, etc. Ueno is about a 15-minute walk to Asakusa and the Sensoji temple, then another 10 mins to the Asakusa boat pier. For transportation convenience, Ueno is on the Keisei airport line, the JR Yamanote line, and the Ginza metro line.

I've stayed at the Conrad (no "Hilton" in its name, though it is part of the Hilton chain), and it is a very nice property. It's got an especially nice lounge if you get lounge privs. My main gripe w/the Conrad is that it's very much in the middle of a business area and becomes D.E.A.D. at night and on weekends. You also need to walk through a maze of intersections and pedestrian overpasses if you want to walk anywhere; the subway is very convenient, though. Shinagawa doesn't have much of its own - a department store or two, a few nice restaurants. The main, and very real, advantage of Shinagawa is being on the NEx, JR Yamanote, and Shinkansen (to Nagoya/Kyoto/Hiroshima) line.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 03:56 PM
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From Tokyo station you can walk to the Presidential Palace and grounds as well as to Ginza. Easy connection to shinkansen there too with lots of inexpensive and interesting fast food and bakeries etc in basement of station and lots of inexpensive restaurants in the towers.
We stayed at the Marounouchi the night before grabbing the train to the countryside. It was so convenient. Wlaked off the Narita Express to tunnel to hotel. Very nice and reasonable but not super cheap. I am sure there are lots of other hotels near there.

Try this link for all sorts of ways to book hotels and ryokans:
http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/arrange/ac...ons/links.html

And as far as Manhattan vs. Brooklyn, Tokyo has lots of hoods like Manhattan does. So in NY would you want to stay by Broadway, mid-town, upper east or west, soho, meat-packing... You get the point this is what all the different hoods of Tokyo are like.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 05:32 PM
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Thank you for starting this thread filmwill. Good info. and great discussions on the neighborhoods.
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 06:31 PM
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Think of Tokyo as a round clock. At about the 11:00 position is Ikebekuro a delightful district rarely mentioned here as a place to stay in but a very good neighborhood with loads of shops, restaurants and hotels and the like. Rkkwan and kuranosuke have stayed in this neighborhood before. In fact kuranosuke has stayed in just about every neighborhood around the Tokyo clock

About the 2:00 position is Ueno/Asakusa
3:00 Akiharaba/Ryogoku(Sumo)
4:30 Tokyo Station/Ginza/Shiodome/Tsukuji
6:00 Shinagawa
7:00 Roppongi
8:00 Ebisu
8:30 Shibuya/Harajuku
9:00 Shinjuku

At the center of the dial is the Imperial Palace.

The areas around Ueno, The Imperial Palace, Ginza and Tokyo Station would be considered the old Tokyo(although most of what was old was blown away in the WW II bombings) while the western parts of Shinjuku, Ebisu and Ikebekuro along with some of the southern end like the Shiodome would be considered the newer additions to Tokyo as the burbs grew and melted into Tokyo after the war.

In the middle of the clock is the area I would not want to stay in. The Imperial Palace, city hall, etc. Too touristy in the day and dead at night because of the government buildings all closing so early.

All of the areas on the outside ring of the clock such as Shinjuku, Ikebekuro, Ueno, Ebisu, etc are all nice places with good neighborhoods for shopping and restaurants with Shinjuku, Shibuya and Roppongi being the best imho but thats just my taste.

The JR Yamanote train line follows the "Tokyo clock" in a circle route and stops at just about all the districts or "ku" listed above.

Shinjuku-ku.......hai!(It will mean more to you after you've been)

Aloha!
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Old Sep 9th, 2010, 09:02 PM
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i have trouble fitting in a MRI, how would i do at a capsule hotel? and do they have senior rates?
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Old Sep 10th, 2010, 06:41 AM
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ht: cuckoo
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Old Sep 10th, 2010, 08:33 AM
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We stayed at the Andon Ryokan in Taiko-ku, close to Ueno - it is close to a subway staion and we found it to be very convenient for getting around town. Small rooms and shared bathrooms but at $80 per night, good value. More info at http://www.andon.co.jp/ or on our blog http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog...2880/tpod.html
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