Japan hotels + train (recent trip)

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by jonspencer, Jul 12, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. jonspencer

    jonspencer Silver Member

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    I appreciate the input received here on MP in preparation for a 9 day Japan visit

    It is not a full-on trip report, just want to talk about hotels and train

    The infra-structure and trains here are just incredible, great condition + well-managed. However I would recommend travelling light, if you have lots of luggage or are handicapped in any way, you are screwed as elevators and escalators are few + far between, never seem to be centrally located. Both on JR and definitely on the Metro.

    I started the trip with a meeting in Yokohama and stayed at the IC Grand which is a great value (corporate rate USD119 ;-) if stay is not on a weekend (it is adjacent to an amusement park / conference center) and rates go up considerably.

    Some reviews said hotel was this or that but as an RA was upgraded to Club room which was nothing special but the lounge was quite decent, they had a 4 hour cocktail hour :eek:

    I had a meeting in Tokyo the 2nd day but decided it would be easiest to just stay in IC Grand another night as I just activated my Japan Railpass and Yokohoma is just like an outer suburb with the speed of trains.

    The following day I took the Shinkansen train to Osaka for a meeting and stayed at swissotel (USD 149 w/ breakfast) only because of their elite status offer through Etihad (plus IC Osaka was priced 60% higher). Hotel is in a great location IMO, was a great value as now I get a free night plus Eleva status for 2 years that gets you upgrades and lounge access.

    For some reason they upgraded my room and gave me a 4PM check out, the room was nicer than IC Grand and the breakfast spread was rather respectable, the club lounge there looked nice too.

    On to Kyoto for a couple nights and being an almost too loyal IHG customer I stayed at the tired out ANA CP (far better hotels in Kyoto than this one) which is passable for (USD 84 a night ;-) with an upgraded room over-looking the Nija Castle. A pleasant surprise was the free shuttle bus that went to Kyoto station every 20 minutes on the dot, I rode on it 7 or 8 times over a 2 day stay.

    Then I concluded my visit in Tokyo at ANA IC where I was upgraded to a Jr Suite which is a great value for under $200 a night. However their internet service is an embarrassment and they cut benefits for RAs but in the end, this hotel is not a bad choice.

    Personally I find Tokyo infinitely more interesting than HK, Singapore or Shanghai (probably due to the much higher "weird factor"). ANA IC is a nice central location to travel throughout the city though it is relatively far from a JR station.

    Nice to have fun on a relatively productive business trip :D
     
  2. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    One does not need to travel with " light luggage" with a bit a planning and use of the takkyuubin service. Made good use of the service particularly on our last trip.... my wife and I just split up our luggage, took what we needed for two or three days and basically travelled on the trains with just only one medium and one small roll-aboards. Basically since we were going make multiday stops in Kyoto, Osaka (twice) and Nagoya so we initially sent our larger bags on to Osaka. After visiting Nara and Hiijemi, when we got to Osaka we put the dirty clothes in one of the larger suitcases after getting a fresh supply of clothes and then sent them on to Kyoto and the Nagoya (or some point further into the trip)
    We then visited Nikko, Takayama, Hakone and Kamakura and repeated the process by sending the larger bags on to Tokyo.
    Takes no more than two days to deliver your bags in just about any city in the country... cost for two large suitcases about $15-20
    I was impressed from the very first use when we left our bags in our room at the Conrad Tokyo and checked into our room at the Hilton Osaka two days later ... and there they were on the bed:) .
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
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  3. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Hi, could you share more on this service you mentioned and is it only available domestically, i.e. only within Japan.
     
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  4. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2278.html

    Service is very efficient your hotel can arrange the details, just leave your tagged bags in your room (or have them picked up) and they are delivered on the desired date and in our case to your next hotel.
    I believe the service has been tried elsewhere with limited success. Its best by far in Japan with a comprehensive network of roads and more importantly rail system and makes for a luggage hassle free travel on trains ( or planes for that matter) in particular if you are an a long trip and need to take a bit more luggage.
     
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