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Itinerary for Japan - feedback please

bpeteb

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Does anyone know how to get Sumo tickets?

I set a reminder last week to book them once the ticket sales opened, and then I missed looking because I was so busy.

I've gone to look online 7 days later and it looks like every tournament online is sold out in January 2020.

I've read reviews and it seems people have bought tickets only a day or so out from tournaments.

Any ideas on how to do this without getting ripped off?
Ours were bought on the day of release. I really think you’re out of luck but maybe others have some other ideas.
 

goldenhorn

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exceladdict

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I've decided to stay 1 night in Hakone on the way back to Tokyo, so have booked this onsen with breakfast and Kaiseki dinner experience:
Will be keen to hear your review. We'll aim to hit that up on our next trip.
 

goldenhorn

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Yes, well worth it. Maybe not quite enough if you visit:

Check tide times because at low tide you can walk out to the shrine.

If you have a JR Pass then consider staying in Kyoto and visiting Osaka. They're quite close if you catch the Shinkansen.

If you like trains then this is a must:
They have trains from steam to the Shinkansen. The turntable is huge.

I also loved the Go;den Temple in Kyoto:

Happy travelling.
Thank you! I would love to see Miyajima. Is it still worth going to see the town if the gate is covered in scaffolding? I gather that's the big attraction everyone wants to see.
 

exceladdict

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Thank you! I would love to see Miyajima. Is it still worth going to see the town if the gate is covered in scaffolding? I gather that's the big attraction everyone wants to see.
For me, the highlights were the deer, cable car and walking around. Plenty to do other than the gates iirc.
 

goldenhorn

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Just had 3 weeks in Jpn for rugby world cup, so our itin was dictated by weekend games/venues, then finding our way elsewhere thru the weekdays.

I lived/worked in Tokyo in the 80's, and the difference then and now was staggering. So so much more complicated and busy for any form of public transport, Tokyo in particular. Places I remembered (used to catch Ginza line subway from Shibuya every day) were unrecognizable, so make sure you know your route/subway line/exit gate etc, and save yr directions to phone when moving around Tokyo.

Kyoto, however was a revelation - beautiful temples incl Inari, Philosopher's walk, Nishiki food market is a Must, streets around Kawaramachi, make yr restaurant booking in the morning for places like Itoh Dining, but probly stay near the station because that makes subway and shinkansen easier. Daiichi Royal Grande was quite new, smart, adjacent to station and well priced.

One week, in-between games, we went to the Art Islands - adjacent to Okayama - easy short ferry trips between 3-4 islands all with fantastically modern art galleries - look up Naoshima and Teshima Isls, or go here :
benesse-artsite.jp

Wish we stayed onite at Kanazawa after doing the Alpine Route (not encouraged in Jan I wud think..) and wish it wasnt a public holiday our last night in town when Tonki's Meguro had a queue out the door.. An old fave tonkatsu place

Last night in Tokyo at the Station Hotel - if you want to completely relax and waft out of town then this is the place to stay.. Bellhop will walk you down to the Narita Express platform.
Thanks for the recommendation of Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto. It looks really good with great reviews.

So I cancelled my booking at Hotel Universal Port in Osaka and will move hotels to stay 5 nights instead of 3 in Kyoto. It sounds like Kyoto is much more beautiful and there's more to do. Then we can still easily get the train to USJ on the day we want to visit.
 

goldenhorn

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Greetings from Kyoto! Having a great trip so far. Loved Tokyo and enjoyed the ryokan experience. But have decided to cancel ryokan when we return to Tokyo for a couple of nights next week and get a hotel instead. The shared bathroom experience loses its novelty after a few nights lol

What are your favourite mid-range (business) hotels in Tokyo? I’m looking at the Tokyu Stay Shinjuku so anything around $400-500 for 2 nights so we can end the trip with a little more comfort.
TYIA!
 
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Hotel MyStays Premier Akasaka was pretty smart and close to your budget I think. Its 5/6 mins walk from Akasaka Stn.
Akasaka is a bit more human-sized whereas IMO Shinjuku is a megalopolis..
 

tgh

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How is the Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto ?
Presently intend to book the Miyako or the Hyatt Regency as there is no Hilton
 

goldenhorn

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How is the Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto ?
Presently intend to book the Miyako or the Hyatt Regency as there is no Hilton
Just finished a 2 night stay here. Thoroughly impressed and would definitely stay here again. Lovely room - a little more spacious than the budget friendly Ibis Styles we came from - and everything feels more luxurious.

The breakfast is fantastic. Western and Japanese options and everything is high quality. The breakfast gets very busy so I recommend going early. We were there between 7:30-8am both mornings and it was peaceful but after 8:15 the hoards started to arrive.

The service in the hotel is 5*. Nothing was too hard for them and there are plenty of staff on hand at all times to help out. One of our towels dropped into the toilet overnight so we ordered a new one. I kid you not - there was someone at our door with a new towel in under a minute. Lol

Definitely no complaints!

A few photos attached of the entrance, room, and breakfast. 5A213DE1-9358-4424-88BB-3DDC6754B317.jpeg 22F1DC40-E35F-47E6-95DD-0A44CBC155D3.jpeg 7C05D035-88D1-4B79-9F7A-E08EF8EB8B00.jpeg 1FE15B05-2471-4A11-87F1-D78367214046.jpeg 92134A33-C71C-41D6-B65C-EA3497C5400B.jpeg CBFBB329-BEEE-4C92-B73F-44AB15E9BF83.jpeg 6AE79913-4BC6-4ED1-8EDE-353D26FF1860.jpeg
 
Last edited:
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Yep that all looks familiar - v good breakfast and quite a. Um er of euro staff evident around the hotel. What did you think of prices vs. wherever else you stayed ?
Post automatically merged:

Sorry typo ,, number of euro staff
 

goldenhorn

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Yep that all looks familiar - v good breakfast and quite a. Um er of euro staff evident around the hotel. What did you think of prices vs. wherever else you stayed ?
Post automatically merged:

Sorry typo ,, number of euro staff
Yes the Euro staff were always available at reception and made communication so much easier.

I paid $419 for 2 nights at Daiwa vs $366 at Ibis Styles Kyoto Station. Ibis was comfortable but no breakfast included on that booking. Considering the quality of the breakfast at Daiwa and the increase in luxury, Daiwa is very good value and wins hands down.

EDIT: correction- Ibis style price was for 3 nights so it’s much better value. If you’re happy to explore for your own breakfast or pay the ¥1500 for the Ibis breakfast, it is the better option.
 
Last edited:

goldenhorn

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Will be keen to hear your review. We'll aim to hit that up on our next trip.
Loved Hakone and the Mount View Hakone was very nice.

We probably could have stayed a couple of nights and explored the area a bit more, but one night was fine for experiencing their onsen and having the Keiseki dinner. The biggest challenge was getting there on the bus transfer - about 40 minutes. The buses were packed on both journeys and made for an uncomfortable ride.

The hotel was very quiet- maybe a combination of winter off season and coronavirus keeping Chinese tourists away. I think we were only one of 3 or 4 parties staying there. As a result we had the public onsen to ourselves every time we used it.

Their Keiseki dinner is a short cut version where you arrive for dinner and all the dishes are already served on the table with a hot pot as opposed to a multi-course dinner that is drip fed. But it was fine and delicious.
66A31968-9A50-4117-A8A2-B71691FCCB0E.jpeg E8FB2F7A-1F66-48E0-9AE2-2C28E2FC85CB.jpeg

Breakfast was really great and I think I enjoyed it even more than dinner:
E0B6FA2C-E441-49F6-801A-71339E914176.jpeg
 

goldenhorn

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Hotel MyStays Premier Akasaka was pretty smart and close to your budget I think. Its 5/6 mins walk from Akasaka Stn.
Akasaka is a bit more human-sized whereas IMO Shinjuku is a megalopolis..
Thanks for the recommendation. The hotel room is small but it has been adequate for what we needed and I’ve really enjoyed this area. In particular the restaurants and general upmarket vibe (very different from Ikekuburo!) has been excellent. Glad we didn’t stay in Shinjuku.

Huge bonus: we discovered a Champagne and Gyoza bar 5 minute walk from the hotel on our last night. I was so excited! Got to try 4 Champagnes I haven’t tried before. 😃

B6630DDB-AD11-4F4B-ABDF-B9220A6C406A.jpeg 9A3770B1-5DA3-41B2-AFB6-8BF2C583E278.jpeg 514BAFB3-4546-4B70-B4DF-58F4649883FA.jpeg AD45BB20-F529-423D-8A3A-F4212C2A2C82.jpeg FD66E166-D24F-4A1F-AE6C-9413978C6BD3.jpeg
 

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