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Japan - where to stay in Tokyo particularly!

(81 Posts)
Aragog Sun 03-Feb-19 15:19:02

We are currently doing some prep and planning for a holiday to Japan in the summer. Me, dh and 17y DD.

We will be flying with Emirates with a one night stop over in Dubai, and flying into Tokyo, though we don't land til very late the first night. We will have 13 nights in Japan and the plan is:

5 nights Tokyo (2 full days and 1 night will be at Disneyland/Disney Seas)
4 nights Kyoto
4 nights Osaka (1 day at Universal; final day is a full day in Osaka as very late flight)

We will travel between the cities by train. Not sure yet on whether we will benefit from having the Rail Pass. I know the fastest 2 Bullet trains are not included, plus the cost of the individual trains between Tokyo-Kyoto and Kyoto-Osaka are not coming out as being quite as much as a 14 day Rail Pass. Need to do more playing around with figures to work out how much with the normal day to day travel.

Been looking at where to stay in Tokyo though. Its mind boggling though as there is so much to choose between.

Can anyone recommend districts or specific hotels you've liked?
We would prefer for DD to be in with us - to save us paying for 2 rooms more than anything else. This (3 adults/triple rooms) seems possible with some hotels, though not all.

For Disneyland we will stay at the Disneyland hotel for the middle night, so thats not a concern but will have 2 nights in Tokyo either side.

Then need to consider Kyoto and Osaka hotels too - argh!!!

Any hints and tops appreciated.

fergusthefrog Sun 01-Sep-19 00:42:57

Hi @Aragog glad you've had a fantastic trip. We're heading to japan at the end of September so wondered if you had any tips for us re Tokyo and Kyoto. Was there anything you found especially difficult with the language barrier or any sights you'd recommend we definitely do / avoid? Many thanks!

Aragog Mon 02-Sep-19 07:38:13

Hi.

Re language...before we went everyone had said you don't need any Japanese and most people will either (a) speak lots of English and (b) often don't like people attempting poor Japanese skills.

Well, what we found was that actually not that many people, even in the city, working in shops, restaurants, public transport, taxis, etc who you'd be talking to do actually speak much English really. But also that being able to say hello, goodbye, thank you etc does help.

A lot of places had English translations - on all the trains and subways, in most restaurants, etc.

There isn't much Wi-Fi around so we decided to use our phone data - on one phone and then Dd used my hotspot to access the same. Cost £6 a day but was so useful. It was cheaper if you bought a SIM card over there etc but this worked best for us. Meant we could translate signs at attractions, menus etc and use it for directions and subway planning.

Aragog Mon 02-Sep-19 07:40:39

Re food... it can very very expensive but you can also eat cheaper from the markets etc. We like Japanese food in England but hadn't really appreciated that what we have here is a much more westernised version, and to get that style of food over there can be incredibly expensive. Some of their actual more affordable restaurant food, unless you paid a fortunate, was often somewhat different - a lot of squishy textures we discovered!! All interesting to try though!

Aragog Mon 02-Sep-19 07:46:17

Bit sure what your plans are in Kyoto and Tokyo but I would recommend trying to plan out some ideas before you go. Makes decisions in the day easier. And obviously Tokyo is huge so having a rough idea each day helps. We spent one day focusing on the west and another in the east side - one is modern, one more tradition. Then a third day exploring Tokyo Bay and Odaiba.

The subways and trains are fantastic and easy to use - the numbers in the map above the payment stations aren't codes - it's how much you pay to get there from where you are. We also found google maps directions for public transport very accurate including the suggested costs.

We used the Shinkansen to travel between Tokyo and Kyoto. We bought the tickets from a station a couple of days before - all very easy, and very very efficient.

Kyoto is much more traditional and so lovely. We stayed in giion which I recommend, especially as we spent most evenings in that area too for eating.
We had a day trip on the train from there to Nara which I'd also recommend.

The Lonely Planet guide is great and there are some good travel websites with good day plans too.

fergusthefrog Tue 03-Sep-19 22:56:46

@Aragog thank you so much this is really helpful. Interesting about the language too. Looking forward to exploring a fascinating country!

bigtimer Sun 22-Sep-19 23:02:44

Tokyo sky tree is amazing and does not shake
It's a veritable shopping centre so you could do a good half day there
Buy tickets online to skip the queue

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