Saturday, July 25, 2009

How to #19: Find a Hotel (People keep asking!)

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Here is an excerpt on How to find a hotel in Japan:
So your options are as such:

  • Friends homes: I had host families and made lots of friends over the years. (Not everyone has a spare room, or as open to share their home… just a heads up)
  • Hostels: are good but still a little unsafe. (Your stuff can still get stolen!)
  • Ryokan (旅館): Japanese style hotels are expensive but super nice! You get to wear the yukatas and eat japanese billion course meal ^_^
  • Minshuku (民宿): Japanese style bed and breakfast. Usually owned by families. Food is usually mediocre and AC is limited.
  • Hotels: I stayed at Daichi in Kichijoji, nice but expensive. Loved the brunch buffet!
If you are unfamiliar with Japanese customs (bathing, cuisine, squatting toilets), I suggest you stay at a hotel. Shinjuku, Tokyo, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, and Kichijoji have Airport Limousines (If I am not mistaken). Those are far more convenient than taking the train. With luggage and such, it’s going to be a pain to navigate through the crowded stations. Especially, if you are going to Shinjuku!

Warning: Do not book a hotel near the airport. Narita is 2 hours away from Tokyo and it is not a cheap train ride!

There are Japanese websites that aggregate hotel rates, but alas, they are in Japanese…and chances are, if you reading this post, you cannot read Japanese. However, I do have a solution!

I love sites like these, I mean I like saving money…but my time is also worth something as well. So you’ll know you’ll get a good deal if you use one of these sites:

  • : It’s searches a over 30 hotel booking website, so it’s a pretty good resource.
  • Similar…If you select the hotel, it will tell you which rooms they have available those days.

Must Packs:

* Comfortable shoes
* Dufflebag (you are gonna have tons of stuff to bring home^_^)
* Simple phrasebook
* Camera
* Medicine (Ibuprofen, stomach medicine)
* CASH (The country mostly operates in cash on a day to day basis; credit cards are only for large purchases)