Tokyo Hotel Question

Jun 27th, 2008, 09:12 AM
  #1  
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Tokyo Hotel Question

Due to some help I received on this board, I am debating between two hotels in Tokyo now. We want to have as traditional of a ryokan experience as possible in the city. These are the two hotels I am considering: Ryokan Shigetsu in Asakusa or Giza Yoshimizu in Ginza. Any one have a preference? Which is in the better location? Thanks!
melissaeric is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 12:58 PM
  #2  
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Whoops, I meant Ginza Yoshimizu.... anyone at all been??
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Jun 27th, 2008, 01:51 PM
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Sorry. I cannot help you on those choices. Are you going anywhere else? Tokyo is a very modern city so you are not as likely to get the traditional Ryokan experience there. The best places for Ryokan are small towns.
Two of the most beautiful Ryokans in all Japan are at Onsens (hot springs) in the mountains west and slightly north of Tokyo: Chojukan at Hoshi onsen and Osenkaku at Takaragawa Onsen. Chojukan is a stunning Ryokan with beautiful old wood buildings set among a beautiful stream. The antique buildings and setting indoors and outdoors are wonderful and they provide wonderful Kaiseki dinners in your room. Here the bath is indoors in an antique bath house. Osenkaku Ryokan is not as beautiful a building but the Onsen is a stunning outdoor pond in an incomparable setting by a rushing river with rising steam all outdoors. We spent one night and almost a full day in each and that was wonderful.
You would have to take the bullet train from Tokyo to Jomo Kogen (less than 2 hours) station then either take small local buses or get a driver to pick you up at the train station but these places are so wonderful. Both are available through japan guest houses but you can email them directly for info especially at Chojukan. Here's a website with photos of Takaragawa onsen: http://www.anatol.org/projects/rachel/springs.html

Email Noriko Okamura at Chojukan at Hoshi onsen at: [email protected].jp
Email Osenkaku at Takaragawa Onsen at: [email protected]

Noriko may even remember me although it was over a year ago.

Sorry if this does not help you on this trip.
Paulo59 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 02:29 PM
  #4  
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Those pictures are beautiful... we might have to try to find a way to squeeze one in. Do you think it would be too hot out to enjoy an onsen in August?

Thanks!
melissaeric is offline  
Jun 28th, 2008, 11:28 AM
  #5  
 
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And those pictures don't even do it justice. I have never been to Japan in August and I have heard it would be very warm and humid then but you might want to check the weather for these mountain regions. Both of these places are in very small towns high up in the mountains so I am thinking it would be cooler there anyways. Might be a wonderful break form the city heat. Also, Noriko at Chojukan will be very honest with you if you want to ask her about the weather that time of year.
But look into these places very soon. These are two of the most popular Onsen in all of Japan and since they are very reachable from Tokyo they are often booked.
Even if you leave in the morning and have the afternoon and the next morning at one of these places and then back to Tokyo it will be a nice break. We spent one night at one and then the next night at the other and then back to Tokyo and I found that perfect. There's really only the spa, hiking, and relaxing in your spartan room in these places. The scenery is very pretty. Keep in mind that once you get to Jomo Kogen you will have to figure out which if these very local buses to get on to get to your destination but we managed to get the people at the train station to point out the right bus to us. You could also get the Ryokan to send a car but it will not be cheap. If you are only going to one of these and want the more classic Ryokan experience you might go for Chojukan. The buildings here are stunning too. The kaiseki service in the room there was wonderful. But it's also hard to match the beauty of the outdoor onnsen at Takaragawa. Osenkaku does all the same things and offers classic Ryokan service but its buildings are not as stunning and service is simpler. Oh, it makes me want to go back again just talking about it.
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Jun 29th, 2008, 09:57 AM
  #6  
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So here's a more general question --is it better to stay in Ginza or Asakusa? Which is in a better area to walk around?
melissaeric is offline  
Jun 29th, 2008, 02:16 PM
  #7  
 
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For me it would be Asakusa.

The Ginza has the night lights but Asakusa has everything.

Asakusan is a nice neighborhood full of restaurants, temples, shopping dori's and tourist sights and is just a lot more interesting to be in than the sterile and upscale Ginza.

Just one opinion

Aloha!
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