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One week trip to Japan - Page 12

post #166 of 306
I went to: 1) Kyoto - Kyoto, Arashiyama, Nara 2) Tokyo - Tokyo, Kamekura, Nikko 3) Niseko, Hokkaido I enjoyed Kyoto the most. Easy to get around by bus. Great food and some neighbourhoods are lovely for walking. In Tokyo, Harajuku is awesome for getting lost in. Missed some key sights overall but I wanted to leave some for next time. There are so many sights to see that some of them aren't even listed in the guidebook but awesome to discover. Mostly stayed at cheap backpacker places in dorm rooms, to save cash...because skiing was going to cost the earth. K's place in Kyoto is fantastic - probably one of the best in the world. As for Tokyo, next time I'll stay in a hotel at Shinjuku for sure.
post #167 of 306
There are some conveniently located hotels around the Harajuku area that are quite nice and about 5000Y/night nowadays, and for what most people want to do and see in Tokyo, you can get over half of what you want to get done on foot from a hotel in that area. Wouldn't have been able to say this even two years ago, but Japan is dirt cheap right now, get it while it lasts.
post #168 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by impolyt_one View Post
but Japan is dirt cheap right now, get it while it lasts.

this is tempting me to put my spain/morroco trip on hold if i can hit Japan on the cheap again...
post #169 of 306
Well, if I could do it time/money-wise the way I wanted to, I'd rather have Europe right now personally, but I haven't been in awhile either and it's far away for me. Japan, though, there are some really great deals on lodging as well as food that make going worth it. Competition in that industry has hit rock bottom in those industries. Certainly cheaper than where I am living now, with far more quality on offer. The only downside to me is that Tokyo used to be one of those cities where shit was going off every night, the food and drink was insane(ly priced) and people were fun-seeking; nowadays it seems very dreary and there is little to do in Tokyo besides line up for another American big-box or fast fashion opening and 'exploring your Japanese-ness' on treks for ramen and burgers, and avoiding the derivative pseudo hipsters. The high end boutiques are dead, street fashion has kinda gone to sleep, what I liked about Tokyo has really disintegrated in the past 10 years.
post #170 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by impolyt_one View Post
There are some conveniently located hotels around the Harajuku area that are quite nice and about 5000Y/night nowadays, and for what most people want to do and see in Tokyo, you can get over half of what you want to get done on foot from a hotel in that area. Wouldn't have been able to say this even two years ago, but Japan is dirt cheap right now, get it while it lasts.

Any specific recommendations?
post #171 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by impolyt_one View Post
There are some conveniently located hotels around the Harajuku area that are quite nice and about 5000Y/night nowadays, and for what most people want to do and see in Tokyo, you can get over half of what you want to get done on foot from a hotel in that area. Wouldn't have been able to say this even two years ago, but Japan is dirt cheap right now, get it while it lasts.

OTOH, the dollar is so weak against the yen that savings are probably a wash.
post #172 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by retronotmetro View Post
OTOH, the dollar is so weak against the yen that savings are probably a wash.
Also, plane tickets are up like 40% over the last time I went. (where I paid for airfare)
post #173 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by retronotmetro View Post
OTOH, the dollar is so weak against the yen that savings are probably a wash.

Keep hearing that the dollar is slowly creeping back. I think it's about 83,00 yen to $1 now and relatedly, the euro is at $1.30
post #174 of 306
Don't neglect Miyajima - I think that place is awesome, albeit bit touristy. Fucking museum in Hiroshima was tough...
post #175 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by hboogz View Post
Keep hearing that the dollar is slowly creeping back. I think it's about 83,00 yen to $1 now and relatedly, the euro is at $1.30
First time I went as an adult, it was around 120-130 to the Dollar. And round trip coach from the West Coast was around $650. The last ten years has not been kind.
post #176 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim View Post
First time I went as an adult, it was around 120-130 to the Dollar. And round trip coach from the West Coast was around $650.

The last ten years has not been kind.

I've seen RT fares under $700 out of LAX within the last year.

For some reason, spending a buck fifty for the skinny cans of vending machine soda has a bigger psychological impact for me. I remember when it was $0.75. </geezer>
post #177 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by retronotmetro View Post
I've seen RT fares under $700 out of LAX within the last year.
How much after tax and fuel surcharge? That's where they get you now. Probably at least $150 extra. That $650 was total cost for me in '03
post #178 of 306
If i can get airfare from NYC to Tokyo for $650 total, I'm all in man.
post #179 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by hboogz View Post
If i can get airfare from NYC to Tokyo for $650 total, I'm all in man.
Last I checked, it was closer to $900 for a midweek coach flight from Seattle.
post #180 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by cchen View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by impolyt_one View Post
There are some conveniently located hotels around the Harajuku area that are quite nice and about 5000Y/night nowadays, and for what most people want to do and see in Tokyo, you can get over half of what you want to get done on foot from a hotel in that area. Wouldn't have been able to say this even two years ago, but Japan is dirt cheap right now, get it while it lasts.
Any specific recommendations?
I'd also be interested in knowing about any hotels in Harajuku priced around Y5,000 per night. I know of a few hotels in the area but they are priced a bit more. There is the Children's Castle (no Michael Jackson pedo jokes, please) which is located beside the huge waste of money called the "UN University" in Omotesando: http://www.kodomono-shiro.or.jp/engl...tel/index.html Rates start at Y7,455 for a windowless single... good location though. On the other side of Yoyogi Park (and Harajuku), there is a youth hostel that was originally built to house athletes in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The site is here: http://www.jyh.or.jp/english/kanto/yoyogi/index.html and here: http://www.hihostels.com/dba/hostel0....htm?lswitch=Y And, the rooms are apparently only Y3,000 per night. And, in Akasaka (not Harajuku), there are places like the Asia Center which has singles from Y7,980: http://www.asiacenter.or.jp/eng/ On the whole, I would say that the rates for business hotels are starting to pick up again: http://e.nikkei.com/e/ac/TNKS/Nni20101230D30JFA04.htm
Quote:
Friday, December 31, 2010 Occupancy, Rates Rising At Business Hotels TOKYO (Nikkei)--Some business hotel operators have raised prices due to higher occupancy rates. After lowering prices to stave off vacancies, they are now accommodating more business customers and foreigners on sightseeing tours. Nippon Hotel Co. has boosted rates by around 15% at Hotel Mets Shibuya, with a single room last month going for 13,500 yen a night, up from 11,500 yen. The East Japan Railway Co. (9020) subsidiary also raised prices, primarily for holidays, at 15 hotels in the Kanto region in spring. As a result, the average rate for its group hotels was 4% higher on the year in November. In September, a Daiwa House Industry Co. (1925) subsidiary lifted online rates, mainly for weekdays, at its Daiwa Roynet Hotels chain. At 19 hotels under its umbrella, December prices are seen up 3-4% on the year. Kyoritsu Maintenance Co. (9616) is raising Dormy Inn rates by an average 1.3% from October to March. (The Nikkei Dec. 31 edition)
Although definitely not in fashion-centric areas like Aoyama or Omotesando, another option apart from the backpacker inns, youth hostels and discount minshuku/ryokan are some of the better-run chain discount business hotels with rates on average running between Y4900 to Y9000. Often you can get a non-smoking room with a free breakfast (buffet) and Internet access. And, they are not all out in the sticks like Saitama or Chiba. Look for the ones near the various JR stations on the Yamanote Line like Shinbashi, Gotanda, Ueno, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku and Shinagawa. SuperHotel http://www.superhoteljapan.com/en/ Toyoko Inns http://www.toyoko-inn.com/eng/index.html Route Inn http://www.route-inn.co.jp/english/index.html I went up North for a business trip and was pissed off to learn the client had booked me into a cheap Y6,250/night Route Inn business hotel. I was expecting a crappy smoke-infested room. It was a business hotel but the standards were pretty damned good. Internet access, a good breakfast buffet with an espresso machine in the lobby, trouser press and a real honest to goodness onsen. I left impressed. A more fashionable - still business class - alternative would be the "b hotels" (eg in Tokyo, b Akasaka, b Ochanomizu, b Roppongi etc) run by Ishin Hotels: http://www.ishinhotels.com/en/bestrate/index.html NYT review on the b Akasaka here: http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/02/11...l/11check.html
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