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What areas to stay in Tokyo and Kyoto? Your help please!

What areas to stay in Tokyo and Kyoto? Your help please!

Oct 10th, 2002, 06:23 AM
  #1  
Sonia
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What areas to stay in Tokyo and Kyoto? Your help please!

Hi

Will be in Japan next November. Can you tell me the best areas in which to book accomodation. We would like it to be reasonably central, or easy to get to via public transport. Any suggestions for reasonably priced ryokan would be helpful too!

Thanks very much!

Sonia
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 08:28 AM
  #2  
Kathy
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Sonia,

We just got back from a trip to Japan, which included both Tokyo and Kyoto. In Tokyo, we stayed at the Ryokan Shigetsu and it was terrific. The location was also great--in Asakusa. Asakusa is the most quaint part of Tokyo and has lots of great little shops and restaurants. However, things do close down pretty early there. So if you want more night action, I would recommend Shinjuku which is more "big city, lotsa' lights". I would not recommend Roppongi since that area tends to be too noisy at night for any real rest.

In Kyoto, we spent one night at the Sawaya Honten, which I do not recommend. It's a bit out of the way and had a bad musty smell to it. At $250/night we realized that we weren't getting our money's worth. So we switched to the Matsubaya located near the train station. The Matsubaya is more like a B and B, but much more lively than the Sawaya and a better deal at about $90/night. We decided to spend the money we saved on great food. I would recommend staying near the train station because it was so convenient in terms of transportation and food options. At first I didn't want to stay near the train station because the are was not very quaint. But once in Kyoto, I realized that the quaint areas were really not that quaint (with the exception of Gion)--anywhere you go there will some rather ugly cement buildings. Unlike others on this board, I was underwhelmed by Kyoto's overall architecture--of course the shrines and temples were beautiful...

Sorry for the long response. Hope that helps.
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 08:28 AM
  #3  
Kathy
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Sonia,

We just got back from a trip to Japan, which included both Tokyo and Kyoto. In Tokyo, we stayed at the Ryokan Shigetsu and it was terrific. The location was also great--in Asakusa. Asakusa is the most quaint part of Tokyo and has lots of great little shops and restaurants. However, things do close down pretty early there. So if you want more night action, I would recommend Shinjuku which is more "big city, lotsa' lights". I would not recommend Roppongi since that area tends to be too noisy at night for any real rest.

In Kyoto, we spent one night at the Sawaya Honten, which I do not recommend. It's a bit out of the way and had a bad musty smell to it. At $250/night we realized that we weren't getting our money's worth. So we switched to the Matsubaya located near the train station. The Matsubaya is more like a B and B, but much more lively than the Sawaya and a better deal at about $90/night. We decided to spend the money we saved on great food. I would recommend staying near the train station because it was so convenient in terms of transportation and food options. At first I didn't want to stay near the train station because the are was not very quaint. But once in Kyoto, I realized that the quaint areas were really not that quaint (with the exception of Gion)--anywhere you go there will some rather ugly cement buildings. Unlike others on this board, I was underwhelmed by Kyoto's overall architecture--of course the shrines and temples were beautiful...

Gion would also be great location if you can find an affordable place.

Sorry for the long response. Hope that helps.
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 11:25 PM
  #4  
Sonia
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Hi Kathy

Thank you so much for the detailed reply. Can you tell me the price of your accommodation in Tokyo too? Was was the standard price per person per night for a ryokan?

Where else did you visit?

Thanks for your time

Sonia
 
Oct 11th, 2002, 06:00 AM
  #5  
Kathy
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Sonia,

At the Shigetsu we paid 15,000yen/night (which is about $125 US at 120 yen to the dollar). This rate only included the room. The Shigetsu rate is not per person, but per room. The room rate did not include breakfast or dinner. We often chose to have breakfast at the hotel and dinner out.

In addition to Tokyo and Kyoto, we also spent two wonderful nights in Takayama. I definitely recommend Takayama if you want to get a taste of the quaint Japan. Takayama was easily the highlight of our trip. Let me know if want more specific information on Takayama.
 
Oct 19th, 2002, 04:14 PM
  #6  
carla
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Here's another vote for Shigetsu Ryokan. I was just there last week and had a room on the 6th floor. It was wonderful! great location, great public bath (separate sexes). Immaculate room, and nicely outfitted.

We also had a great experience at Ryumeikan-Honten, which is also easy-access to public transportation.
http://www.ryumeikan.co.jp/honten.html
(note: no exterior signage in English!)

If you want a nice western-style hotel, very modern and sleek is Hotel Century Southern Tower (about 22000 yen per night) located at the south end of Shinjuku. The hotel occupies the 21-35th floor of the building so every room is a view room.
 

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