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Family trip to Japan - late July. Hotel recommendations for Tokyo

(10 Posts)
tyres Sat 06-May-17 15:39:38

Would appreciate any recommendations for hotels in Tokyo as we're going this summer - prefer those that can cater for a family of 4. Also any other tips or great places to see in Japan would be welcome!

OP’s posts: |
bojorojo Sun 07-May-17 02:12:44

We stayed at The Park Hotel, Shiodome. Great transport links and walkable to Ginza. It is modern and started on the 30th floor of a high rise. Not sure about family rooms though. Tokyo is a very business oriented city regarding hotels and they are not very family centred as far as we could see. Nor are there many boutique hotels. You may have to take two rooms and split the adults up!

There is a huge amount to see in Japan. I loved it! Tokyo is massive. It feels bigger than London. From Tokyo you can go out to Hase and Kamakura on a variety of railway trips which include the Enoden Line and a monorail. I bought a book on traveling using railways. I am not near my bookcase at the moment but I can find out the name if you wish.

The castle at Matsumoto is great and you can go up about 7 floors to the top.

The other great place is Kyoto and Nara. The fantastic temples in both locations are worth exploring. Tokyo has a great railway network and Kyoto has buses. It is easy to navigate. It is possible to see the Geikos and Maikos at about 5-5.30
Pm going to the tea houses in Kyoto. There are shops there that sell their hair decorations and kimonos. There are beautifully renovated tea houses and lots of dining options.

We also walked the Nagasendo Highway (check spelling) from Magome to Tsumago. Stay at a Ryokan. It is an experience and the Hotel Mume in Kyoto is superb.

The Lonely Planet guide is invaluable. It helps you decide what is important to you to visit because you cannot see everything. There are a couple of great gardens in Nara as well as temples and the park. Kyoto has Nijo Castle and The Golden Temple - there are plenty more to visit.

One other thing - July is hot! Pace your sightseeing. Food is interesting - plastic replicas of the dishes in the windows - you point. Or buy a fake geisha wig! So much is fascinating and the Japanese are very, very polite and want to please you. You can forward luggage the day before you travel onwards and it arrives at your hotel before you. You can then pack lightly for travel. Most stations have large left luggage areas. In big stations, these are vast areas and the stations are like towns. Remember where your locker is!

July is probably a good time to head to the "Alps" area of Sapporo but I haven't been.

Pirelli123 Sun 07-May-17 19:02:55

Wow, thanks so much for the information. Will head off and investigate the things you mention. Have just taken delivery of a Lonely Planet guide too so will devour that. I've been using as a start for accommodation, have found some quadruple rooms on there. Getting excited now!

bojorojo Sun 07-May-17 20:25:12

It is exciting! As Tokyo is huge, transport is amazingly efficient and pretty easy to follow even though it looks confusing to begin with. When you choose a hotel, just make sure it has good transport links nearby. If you are travelling by rail, do look into the Japan Rail Pass. It is for visitors I believe.

I couldn't get enough of Kyoto. Just look at the Lonely Planet book and build your itinerary around the star sights. You won't be disappointed.

Pirelli123 Sun 07-May-17 20:27:37

Thanks, I am tyres by the way, forgot to change my name 😊 Am looking at Japan Rail Pass

bojorojo Mon 08-May-17 13:35:21

We had our pass included in the holiday price. I do not think it is cheap, but cheaper than paying in Japan. You pick them up at the airport. Get to the the office as quickly as possible - there can be queues and you will be tired!

lucydogz Tue 09-May-17 22:05:19

I agree with bojorojo, get a Japanese railpass and be prepared to queue for ages at the airport office to get it. More than an hour in our case.
I love Japan (though I'm sorry, but I wouldn't go in Summer)
When you go on the train, make sure you get a bento box (lunch box) from the special shops on the platform. Fun to choose and fun to eat.
Try ramen - delicious noodle soup. I more or less lived on it.
If you're planning to book places to stay as you go along, like we thought you could do, you can't. It just doesn't work that way.
A day trip north on the train from Tokyo is Nikko and its temples.
We did Matsumoto and its castle - great
Nearby is the Nagasendo Highway. The literature led me to think it was longer than it actually was. You can easily do it in a day - try and start early though. The public transport is so good that you can catch the train and bus connections from either end.
We liked Nara. It's not too big and we enjoyed walking round the park.
There's so much to see and do, and the Japanese are so friendly and helpful.
Oh yes, don't forget to go round one of the amazing department stores.
the only minus is that there's a lot of people at some of the tourist sites. Really really busy.
have a great time!

Notsoskinnyminny Sat 13-May-17 16:24:38

I stayed in Shibuya the first time but if I was travelling with younger children I'd probably stay in Tokyo Bay. We went in August and it was so humid it really zapped our energy and we didn't do half of what we'd planned. DD was living in Chiba last year and I spent a couple of days in Odaiba and wished we'd gone there on our first visit to escape the heat.

Public transport is easy to navigate and safe but gets really busy at peak times. We found the stares from women a bit unsettling the first time but got used to them - I'm tempted to learn 'yes I'm blonde and I've got big boobs - what's your problem' in japanese for my next visit but DD would kill me for being disrespectful grin

We did the usual touristy things, Tokyo Tower and Harajuka (it was her 18th), loved the Edo Museum and you must go to Disneysea.

Skyllo30 Thu 01-Jun-17 01:08:54

I got my rail pass in the post.

Can't help with accommodation as I was a solo traveller and stayed in air bnbs.

If you want to stay in Kyoto, look for accommodation as far in advance as possible!

fridgepants Thu 01-Jun-17 21:36:27

We stayed in a 'business hotel' - asically a nicer Travelodge where you get a toothbrush and clean yukata every morning - in Nihombashi. Not as huge amount to do in that area, but it was much cheaper than Shinjuku and really well connected.

Going to Kyoto next year and I'm REALLY excited!

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