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One week trip to Japan - Page 19

post #271 of 306
I am considering going to a Tokyo and Kyoto for 8-9 day trip with my wife and 3 yr old son in March. For some reason, my impression of Tokyo is of a supercity on steroids which wouldnt be a great place to visit with a kid. I have been to Tokyo around 20 years when I was like 10 yrs old but my wife has never visited. How would you say it Tokyo to visit with a kid ? Thanks for your help
post #272 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by aj_del View Post
I am considering going to a Tokyo and Kyoto for 8-9 day trip with my wife and 3 yr old son in March.

For some reason, my impression of Tokyo is of a supercity on steroids which wouldnt be a great place to visit with a kid. I have been to Tokyo around 20 years when I was like 10 yrs old but my wife has never visited.

How would you say it Tokyo to visit with a kid ?

Thanks for your help

No big problems with a kid in Japan except that Tokyo is the kind of city you end up walking around a lot. But there are plenty of kid-friendly activities as well as Tokyo Disneyland. Kyoto is much smaller and fairly easy to get around.
post #273 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by aj_del View Post
I am considering going to a Tokyo and Kyoto for 8-9 day trip with my wife and 3 yr old son in March.

For some reason, my impression of Tokyo is of a supercity on steroids which wouldnt be a great place to visit with a kid. I have been to Tokyo around 20 years when I was like 10 yrs old but my wife has never visited.

How would you say it Tokyo to visit with a kid ?

Thanks for your help

Depends on your kid - finding addresses can be extremely frustrating and trying to locate a restaurant (there are no street signs) while a kid is throwing a tantrum can quickly sour your opinion of Japan.
post #274 of 306
So, I leave for Japan in a month. That being said, I'm starting to have some doubts on wether I should still go. It's not the safety concerns so much as wether or not it would still be an enjoyable experience. Can anyone comment on wether or not the vibe in Tokyo/Kyoto are conducive to tourism? Would it be disrespectful to go on vacation when the country is in the midst of recovering from some pretty major tragedies?
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackdice View Post
Kaiseki: Kojyu is good for its price; Kyoaji is the best if you can justify the bill (+JPY40,000) and you know someone who can take you there as they do not take reservations from the first timers
Was able to get a reservation here...I guess some times they do take reservations from first timers.
post #275 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stazy View Post
So, I leave for Japan in a month. That being said, I'm starting to have some doubts on wether I should still go. It's not the safety concerns so much as wether or not it would still be an enjoyable experience. Can anyone comment on wether or not the vibe in Tokyo/Kyoto are conducive to tourism? Would it be disrespectful to go on vacation when the country is in the midst of recovering from some pretty major tragedies?



Was able to get a reservation here...I guess some times they do take reservations from first timers.

I wouldn't hesitate at all. Kyoto was never affected by any problems and things are mostly normal in Tokyo. Actually, as a lot of Americans are avoiding travel here the tourist sites are a lot less crowded. And this does not seem like a country in mourning at all. The basic mindset is that it is time to start re-building and recovering.

I don't know Tokyo as well as some others but feel free to ask if you need any info about Kyoto/Osaka/Kobe.
post #276 of 306
Other than being a bit more dark than normal, everything is normal and A-OK here in Tokyo. Come on over. I have a friend coming here in a month as well.
post #277 of 306
This review was written on March 20th -- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...residents.html ... Overall things are darker at night with energy conservation measures but most of Tokyo is business as usual. If anything, you should be able to get a better hotel deal with the flyjin that are still staying away. And, sure enough, we have an article in the Nikkei:
Quote:
Monday, April 4, 2011 Hotels Hit By Plunge In Foreign Guests TOKYO (Nikkei)--Many foreign tourists have canceled bookings at Japanese hotels and leisure facilities following the massive earthquake and ensuing nuclear plant crisis in eastern Japan. The sharp drop comes at a time when the country's tourism industry is becoming ever more dependent on foreign visitors for revenue, especially those from Asia. About 90% of room reservations by foreigners with the Prince Hotels Inc. group through the end of April have been canceled, with "few new bookings coming in," according to a group official. At its 44 facilities nationwide, 1.5 million foreign guests made bookings between April 2010 and February, slightly more than 20% of all reservations. At the Imperial Hotel Tokyo, where about 40% of guests are from abroad, bookings by foreigners have fallen by nearly half since the disaster. Almost all reservations by foreigners at the Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district have been canceled. Even Huis Ten Bosch, a Dutch-styled theme park in Nagasaki Prefecture that is far from the stricken area, has seen the number of reservations by foreigners at its three directly managed hotels halved from March through June. This is a major blow to the operator as just under 20% of its visitors are foreign tourists. Industry observers estimate that the number of foreigners who entered Japan via Narita airport between March 11 and 30 was around 60,000, down 20-30% from a year earlier. Meanwhile, the disaster seems to be creating a shift in demand by foreigners from hotels in the Kanto region to lodgings in the Kansai region. Accommodation and banqueting revenues at the Imperial Hotel Osaka rose a combined 6% in March. Despite stays in the month by foreign tourists falling more than 30% from a year earlier, this increase is partly due to increased demand for temporary lodgings by foreign-owned firms. (The Nikkei April 2 evening edition)
post #278 of 306
Update on my trip, I had to go to Tokyo with about 24 hrs notice last week, so I got on Expedia, got a really decently priced ticket on JAL considering the notice (actually I don't think it cost any more than it normally does) and then I got a hotel through Expedia - the Hotel New Otani. I really enjoyed it, so I am gonna recommend it if people are looking at that price bracket. I think the rate was $175 a day (and still is), but considering the two person allowance and then the value of the yen lately, and the booking 24 hrs before (with no cancellation fees) I thought it to be a good deal. If you can read Japanese and get on some discount travel sites, the New Otani is even cheaper - the base room is like 7500Y/night. Full-fare if you walked in off the street would be like $450-$1000/night, so it's not a shitty place. Overall, nice 1970's/1980's throwback vibe in some parts of the hotel, room was very nicely sized (45 square meters, I think, divided into bedroom and a dressing/bathroom areas) and not cramped like I'm used to in Tokyo, bed was a King and way wider than it was long, service was impeccable, didn't carry a thing when I was at the hotel, called the front for a number of errands during my stay- they brought me a pack of cigarettes at 4am and had me pay in cash, regular stand price of like 410Y, I think they had to open up one of their gift shops or run to a convenience store. Location-wise, like the ANA Intercontinental, it's around Akasaka though not really convenient to any subway lines unless you like walking 20 minutes to get on the Ginza line, but I didn't really need to go out all day, and I don't like riding the subway anyway. It's adjacent to the Imperial Palace, so Ginza/Nihonbashi is on the other side of that, and then it's triangular and close to Shinjuku and then Minato/Shibuya. I just came out everyday and got into a taxi in the front, and fares to Shinjuku were 1200Y'ish, to Omotesando about 1200, to Ebisu it got up to about 2000, 2500Y after late night. The first night I met up with kiya and a friend to drink in Roppongi and we took a cab back and it was 1590Y when he dropped me off at the hotel, after the midnight meter increase, so location was very reasonable to my interests. Went to Shinjuku twice, Ebisu twice, Roppongi Hills once, Omotesando once, Midtown once, that was all I neeeded to go to during this trip. Restaurants and amenities inside the hotel were good, very old-guard Japan 1980's money - they had two branches of Kyubei sushi in the building, La Tour D'Argent, a rotating 360' roof bar, Pierre Herme and the locally famous Satsuki patisserie - they aren't the absolute hottest places nowadays but they're no slouch. People were pulling up in Ferraris and Astons in the front parking lot everyday just to go to lunch. Kyubei was on the room service menu as well, 9 pcs for 3800Y til 10pm or something. The in-house cocktail bar was really cheesy and 1974 - because it hadn't been changed since it opened in 1974, and I like that kinda shit, so it was really enjoyable. Really well made drinks and they had everything. One night I think we had about 10-12 good drinks (cocktails, champagne, whisky doubles, etc) between the two of us and the bill was 17,500Y, which is not bad at all considering the 10% svc charge included. Anyway, I really enjoyed the Hotel New Otani, and recommend it. I gotta go back to Tokyo in a couple months and I will try staying at a new hotel, probably the Mandarin Oriental, will report on that.
post #279 of 306
Also, restaurant recommendations: -Robuchon did not disappoint, everything was absolutely solid and reliable. -Benoit (by Alain Ducasse) did disappoint, and was not that enjoyable to me (though it was cheap) In hindsight we should've gone to Pink/Alain Ducasse on top of the Chanel building in Ginza. -dark horse candidate for winner this time was the Chinese restaurant at the Westin Ebisu, Ryutenmon: had known about it for about 8 years via my exgf who raved about it and said her mom took her every week, but I'd never went until this week - was really, really good. Stomped the hell out of something like Chen Kenichi's outfit in the Cerulean Tower Tokyu. I can't wait to go back and order more of the menu at Ryutenmon. The Dan dan mian are the less than secret non-menu item that everybody orders, get it hot rather than cold. Big loser: - Golden Brown burger was absolutely revolting to me. Unrested patty that made a huge mess, onion and sweet pickles minced into one spread, and I ordered their green salad which sucked, it couldn't decide if it wanted to be dressed in wafu dressing or Italian vinaigrette and tasted like it chose both.
post #280 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by impolyt_one View Post
The in-house cocktail bar was really cheesy and 1974 - because it hadn't been changed since it opened in 1974, and I like that kinda shit, so it was really enjoyable. Really well made drinks and they had everything. One night I think we had about 10-12 good drinks (cocktails, champagne, whisky doubles, etc) between the two of us and the bill was 17,500Y, which is not bad at all considering the 10% svc charge included.

Wow, this sounds pretty amazing, and not bad for the price if you got 10+ quality drinks. Won't need to stay at a hotel but might check out the bar someday. Considering the location, would it be worth going there just for the bar though? Isn't the hotel close to Akasakamitsuke? Used to "work" a few metro stations away last year. Not really an area I go to often though, maybe if I was living there and wanted to go to stockholm from time to time
post #281 of 306
Yeah it's a Tokyo walking distance from Akasakamitsuke, I guess that means '7-13 minutes' -ahaha. Up next to Gakushuin. Nice bar (it's called bar Capri), bartender was also the sommelier, good conversationist. There were a lot of quality drinks on the menu for 1400Y'ish if I recall, I had one of those old prize-winning Yoichis from the late 80's and I don't think it cost me that much. Other than that, drank a lot of bourbon double highballs. It had a pretty steady flow of customers all week, overall kinda weird but really cool. It was very much like sitting in one of those period NHK 1970's dramas, pre-bubble.
post #282 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by impolyt_one View Post
I had one of those old prize-winning Yoichis from the late 80's and I don't think it cost me that much. Other than that, drank a lot of bourbon double highballs. It had a pretty steady flow of customers all week, overall kinda weird but really cool. It was very much like sitting in one of those period NHK 1970's dramas, pre-bubble.

Haha, amazing. Seals the deal, will bookmark/write down and try to remember for my next trip whenever that will be.
post #283 of 306
yeah it was awesome, had this combo of cheap ugly chairs, ornate plaster atrium ceilings, neon light displays, and then the whole main wall was probably the original set of oil frescos on that weird 1970's/1980's French clown and noble lady with parasol on a seaside vista inspired tip. Hard to describe but you'd know exactly what I am talking about when you see it.
post #284 of 306
Any recommendations for a budget hotel around Shinjuku area? Toyoko-inn is offering y6,510 for one night at its Kabuki-cho hotel. Any hotels around this price range in the Shinjuku area?
post #285 of 306
Let's refresh this bitch: anyone going or recently coming back and can make some recommendations/suggestions?
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