Tokyo hotel and Hiroshima questions

Jun 12th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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Tokyo hotel and Hiroshima questions

We'll be in Tokyo Nov 8-13 and would like a comfortable hotel with good sized rooms and a good location for sightseeing.

We plan to visit areas around Tokyo Bay in the mornings (Yatsu Higata, Oi Yacho Koen, Kasai Rinkai Koen) and then go see the shrines, temples, markets and of course the food in the afternoons and evenings. We also plan to visit Takaosan one day.

Following our time in Tokyo we will either take the Nozomi to Hiroshima/Miyajima or fly there for a couple of nights. Then we'll travel on to Kyoto for 3 nights.

Which Tokyo hotel do you think would be most comfortable and have the better location for the things we'd like to do? We've narrowed the choices down to three very different hotels all with good sized rooms: Hyatt Regency, Hotel Century Southern Tower and Citadines Shinjuku.

Also which mode of transportation would you recommend from Tokyo to Hiroshima? We are waffling between flying or taking the Nozomi. We will spend the 13th in Hiroshima, the 14th on Miyajima, and the morning of the 15th in Hiroshima if we need more time there before taking the Nozomi to Kyoto.

Any and all input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
ovenbird is online now  
Jun 13th, 2013, 06:53 AM
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Of the three hotels you list the most comfortable is the Hyatt Regency. All locations are good and close to the subway entrances but the Century Southern would be the most convenient for subway and train transport though the Hyatt would be a close second because of services offered.

Its about 4.5 hrs and ¥18500 for train to Hiroshima from Shinjuku station which you will be near. If taking the plane from Haneda to Hiroshima I think a little more time and money is involved with transport to Haneda from Shinjuku and from Hiroshima airport to town center plus plane tix which can be cheap (¥11000). Probably a little less time wise doing the train rather than the airplane too with wait time and transport times involved. Transport costs either way would be close to a wash.

You don't mention if you have considered a 7 day JR train pass for your travels.
You mention using nozomi trains which is why I figured you don't want or can't use the pass(es)? Are you traveling back to Narita to fly home or are you flying out of Osaka?

hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jun 13th, 2013, 12:42 PM
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Hi HT, thanks for the hotel info and transport info to Hiroshima.

Re Hyatt Regency, when you say "services offered" are you referring to their shuttle to Shinjuku Station? The hotel just seems to be a bit far from that station which I think we'll be using quite a bit. I don't remember how often the shuttle runs and what its hours are, but I think we'll be traveling very early on many days, e.g., before 7am. FYI, the reasons we initially chose the Hyatt were comfort and proximity to a park where we could chill out from sightseeing.

I looked at Tokyo to Hiroshima transportation more closely and came to the same conclusion as's a wash re costs. And tipping the scale in the train's favor is the fuss factor...too many transit transfers using the plane!

Yup, I didn't think JR passes would be cost effective since our friends really want to use Nozomi rather than other shinkansen for Tokyo:Hiroshima, Hiroshima:Kyoto, Kyoto:Tokyo.

When we return to Tokyo from Kyoto we will begin a 3 week organized tour which goes from bottom (southern islands) to top (Hokkaido). We will end up at Haneda and will need to make our way to Narita for our flight home. I think there is a bus which would make it an easy transfer?
ovenbird is online now  
Jun 13th, 2013, 02:04 PM
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With that itinerary the JR pass would be much more cost effective over the few minutes you would save on the trains. It would cost you around ¥43600 for the nozomi fares to those destinations you list and only ¥28300 for a 7-Day JR Pass. That's a lot of money to save just a few minutes in time imho. But you cannot use passes on the nozomi trains and if that's the way your friends want to travel you have no choice

Yes there is the shuttle bus from the Hyatt to Shinjuku station every 20 minutes but more importantly there is also the the Nishi-Shinjuku subway station outside the front door of the Hyatt to the left. You go down the subway entrance and its about a block walk underground to the Nish-Shinjuku station on the Marunouchi Line. I like to use this smaller subway station when at the Hyatt in Shinjuku to avoid Shinjuku Station and its maze and craze.

I once did a 4-week tour from Kyushu to Hokkaido. No tour guide just Mr & Mrs HT. We had a blast as I am sure you will.

The airport limosine bus would make an easy transfer from HND to NRT on your return.

hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jun 14th, 2013, 02:30 AM
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HT, I tested your idea with our friends and they still want to take the Nozomi, especially on the Tokyo:Hiroshima leg. If I'm using hyperdia correctly, it seems the Nozomi is 90 minutes faster than taking the other shinkansens. Although not chump change, our friends think it is worth it to have a 4hr train trip vs 5 1/2 hr. I think the travel to/from the train stations also adds about an hour of travel time. Plus we want to have a full half day upon arrival to explore Hiroshima. So the deep pockets prevail!

Thanks for the tip re: Nish-Shinjuku station. If we stay at the Hyatt I'm sure we will be using it a lot!

The last day of our trip we will be traveling from Hyuga to Miyazaki then flying to Haneda where we arrive about noon. So an uncomplicated airport transfer to Narita for our flight home sounds good to me!

I'm excited about this whole trip but really excited about our night at Iwaso in Miyajima!

Thanks again for sharing your insight into Japan. You have been a valuable resource while researching this trip and made it a little less overwhelming!
ovenbird is online now  
Jun 14th, 2013, 09:46 AM
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The times differences during random November date(13)leaving from Shinjuku station and arriving in Hiroshima averages between 269 and 274 minutes on the nozomi. Taking the Hikari shinkansen on the same route would take between 315 & 325 minutes. Time savings on this route would be 51 minutes.

Hiroshima to Kyoto would be between 98-102 minutes on the Nozomi and 110-124 on the Hikari. Time savings as much as 22 minutes.

Kyoto to Tokyo station(didn't know if you were going back to Shinjuku) would be 137-141 minutes on the Nozomi and 161-164 on the Hikari shinkansen. Time savings would be 23 minutes on this route. 96 minutes total savings on all train rides. Just wanted you to get the correct info though it sounds like your friends are sold on the nozomi.

You will probably be taking the local jr train from Hiroshima JR to Miyajimaguchi station which would be free with your JR pass and you could take the JR ferry round trip to/from Miyajima, also included with your JR pass. Any day/rail trips from Kyoto could also be done on your JR pass. Please don't think I am being stubborn or can't see what your friends want because I do.
I just want you to know all of your options beforehand

If I were to do Iwaso on Miyajima again I think I would opt for the Hanare(private residence). We stayed in the Shinkan last time and although we enjoyed, I think we would have enjoyed the Hanare even more. I can't remember what Fodorite(I think crellston?) gave us that reco before we went but after being there I now wish we had splurged for the more lux digs.

hawaiiantraveler is offline  
Jun 14th, 2013, 10:30 PM
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We used Japan Rail Pass for our trip, which likewise meant non Nozomi train from Hiroshima to Tokyo (and elsewhere). The time difference on the journeys was simply not enough for us to consider it worthwhile to spend extra for Nozomi. And the trains are just so comfortable and easy that we didn't notice that time, less than hour, as I recall.

The difference in cost for your trip doesn't sound much so if you fancy the Nozomi trains, why not?! But don't forget when you have the JR Pass you'll also be able to use it on local JR trains in and around Kyoto etc. That won't save you big bucks but it's wonderfully convenient, we found.
Kavey is offline  
Jun 14th, 2013, 10:35 PM
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Meant to say (and was reason I first thought to reply)... we stayed at the Century Southern Tower and appreciated it's location by Shinjuku. It's a maze of a station but somehow it didn't bother us (though oddly, I hated Namba station in Osaka which felt much more maze-like).

The hotel has lovely views. Rooms are perfectly fine, fairly standard for a hotel of that class.

We don't usually use additional hotel services, nor breakfast, so didn't need any of the additional services that HT mentions regarding the Hyatt. (What are these, HT, do you mean things like room service or...?)

We were only there 2 nights though. For our other 4 nights in Tokyo, before leaving Japan, we stayed in Asakusa for a change. I'd stay in the Century SOuthern Tower again...
Kavey is offline  
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