Tokyo Hotel Question

Old Aug 21st, 2010, 08:02 PM
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Tokyo Hotel Question

We had been thinking Shinjuku area for our hotel based on our finding that most of the places we want to visit include detailed directions from Shinjuku Station on their websites, but having begun shopping for actual trip on several web travel sites, we aren't so sure now. Just wondering, if you were going to stay in Tokyo for week with the following itinerary, where would you recommend for a family of two adults and one older teen? We'd really like to either share a triple or Japanese family room, or else at least have our rooms close by, and we were hopeful of a budget of $1250 for eight nights, but could go up a bit for the right situation. Especially if some form of breakfast is included. Say a top number of $1800 with breakfasts.

Itinerary:

Day 1 - Arrive Tokyo, get Suica/N'ex, exchange for Rail Pass, Train to hotel, good meal and some sort of activity near by or perhaps a bus tour

Day 2 - Nakano for shopping in the Sun Mall - still trying to locate the emergency center in Nokano area where you can experience a simulated earthquake we read about on a blog. Any info appreciated. Evening visit to a super sento onsen a possibility, otherwise have a couple of shops in Shinjuku area we'd like to visit or visit to Tokyo Tower.

Day 3 - Harajuku for shopping and viewing the costumed teens, ending in Shibya to see the lights and the scramble crossing.

Day 4 - Tsukiji Market early am, Hamarikyu Gardens park for water bus to Asakusa - Sensoji Temple (Asakusa Kannon) for lunch, shop, see temple, Hanayashiki retro amusement park (Ilbonito mentioned), maybe Edo Shitamachi Traditional Craft Museum, Kappabashi Dori if you walk west past Asakusa View Hotel

Day 5 - Asakura Choso-kan Garden, subway to Nezu Sta. For Nezu-jinja Shrine, subway to Ueno for Ueno Park Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Garden 11 am tour? and lunch (Tokori Korean Barbecue by Kiyomizu?) finish day in Ueno Park and shopping under the rail.

Day 6 - Kurihama for ferry across Tokyo Bay to Chiba for the carved stone statues up the cable car, take picnic to eat in the park, don't miss last car down, take ferry back and get back to Tokyo for dinner

Day 7 - Hello Kitty Sanrio Puroland (Keio Line from Shinjuku to Tama Center Station)(after Tama Center to Tachikawa to Mitaka on Chou line), Ghibli Museum (open until 7 pm, takes about three hours so finish Sanrio by 2:30-ride back to Chou line and go to Mitaka station)

Day 8 - Edo Wonderland, Nikko, would like to squeeze in a visit to see the Hear no Evil, See no Evil, Speak no Evil monkeys on the temple in Nikko.

Day 9 - Akihabara for Game Taito Station, Comictoranoana, Animate, More Akihabara, pry teen out for food nearby, perhaps train from Akihabara to Kami-nakazato Station for Northern Tokyo Disaster Research Center for EARTHQUAKE!! Finish day traveling to Kyoto.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2010, 12:27 AM
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Have you looked into the "b" hotels? They are priced pretty well, and there are several around Tokyo. When we stay in Tokyo, I like the Roppongi area. We have stayed there for quite a few trips with our two daughters.

One quick tip for day 4- the boat from Hamarikyu Garden to Asakusa didn't start running till 10:45 when we were there last October. So, if you go early to see the fish auction, plan on taking a long breakfast at Tsukiji, and wander the gardens slowly!
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Old Aug 22nd, 2010, 09:39 AM
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I hadn't actually looked at the b hotels, though I have noticed the ones in Ikebukuro and Roppongi showing up in our price range on searches. I had kind of ruled out staying in Roppongi because several video blogging expats in Tokyo have described it as full of expat Westernized eateries and a lot of bars, so they never waste time there. It was more the "full of bars" comment that had me wondering, but sounds like maybe at least not in the area of that hotel.

Thanks for the information on the boat from Hamarikyu Gardens. It had seemed to me they started just a tad earlier, but I will be sure to double check the schedule before we go so we arrive at the proper time. I may have been mistaken as it was a while back I did all this research. We originally thought we would go this summer and had to change our dates.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2010, 03:14 PM
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Roppongi used to be the land of sleazy bars and nightclubs, but you have to understand that in Japan, even the sleazy areas look pretty wholesome from street level.

I don't know if it was the new Hyatt and the Roppongi Hills complex, or just the general arrival of nice restaurants that changed the area. We stayed at the Manisons at Roppongi in about 2003, and the only hint of an underworld was the very nice cars all double parked on the street late at night. We walked all over with our 17 & 17 yr old daughters with absolutely no issues.

The last times were at the "b" and again, we loved the area. you are about 50 yards from the subway and train stations, so it is super easy to get anywhere else in Tokyo. There are grocery stores, great local restaurants and some local chains as well as some fun looking clubs. I don't think it is any more "full of bars" than Shinjuku, and its a lot less crowded and hyper too.

In Tokyo, my number one consideration for hotels is their distance from a subway or JR train. Taxis are pretty expensive.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2010, 04:22 PM
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I stayed at the "b" Ikebukuro last August, and it is very good for its price. Room is larger than I expected. It's really close to the JR station and all the department stores, and even closer to Bic Camera. Tonnes of places to eat, especially cheap ramen places.
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Old Aug 26th, 2010, 06:47 PM
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Close to station would certainly be a plus. We're pretty fit, but I expect anyone would rather do their walking from the station around their chosen area for the day as opposed to slogging to and from the station.

I know our budget for hotel in Tokyo is awfully small, but we're planning to spend a little more in Kyoto area for a real antique machiya house and at Miyajima for a ryokan with some good meals.
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Old Aug 26th, 2010, 07:23 PM
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Check some of these places. In the Toyoko Inns maybe two rooms a single and double might still be in your range

http://www.toyoko-inn.com/eng/

http://www.fiftys.com/en/index.htm

http://www.sunroute.jp/SunrouteTopHLE.html

Aloha!
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Old Aug 27th, 2010, 10:46 PM
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We have been in a similar situation while planning our trip. We needed a TRIPLE and a DOUBLE for a family of 5.

Here's some suggestions:

We looked at the Citidines Shinjuku. The rooms looked great especially for a triple and the price was in your range (I think).

Depending on when your trip is and what your travel plans are for the near future, you might be able to get some points with Hilton/Hyatt/Mariott/Starwood to redeem for some free nights. Look for one with a co-branded credit card and you can get more points.

Have a great trip!
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Old Aug 28th, 2010, 08:05 PM
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Oh I didn't think Citidines was in our range, I'll just go back and double check it. Thank you, sdfamily. I also value your input, Hawaiiantraveler, I have so enjoyed reading your trip reports.
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