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Minshuku vs. Ryokan - Help!

Chicago
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Minshuku vs. Ryokan - Help!

Hello all,

I'm traveling alone to Kyoto 10/06-10/09 and looking for the most inexpensive and most authentic japaneze style lodging without curfews or other restrictions. I just bought tickets yesterday (9/28) and have been looking for the last 24 hours for places to stay with little luck - Any recommendations/favorites?

Also do you have any favorite sites to visit and bars?

I'll be in Tokyo on the 10th and 11th as well and hoping to climb Fuji on the evening of the 10th but have noticed that the normal season runs only until Aug. 31 but would love to cap off my trip with this experience....any advise on this and where a good place to stay to experience Tokyo in a quick (1.5) days?

Thanks

New York
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1. Re: Minshuku vs. Ryokan - Help!

Hi Kyotosolo,

I’d like to help you, but have to point out two major problems you are dealing with. First, staying in a minshuku is much cheaper than staying in a ryokan, but most minshukus have curfews or other restrictions. That’s one of the major reasons that minshukus are cheaper than ryokans. Second, Oct. 10th is a national holiday in Japan, so you’re planning to visit Kyoto over the “long” weekend in October, which is very popular among Japanese tourists. I don’t know your budget, but you may have to pay extra since all good deals have been taken by now for the weekend, or to stay in a hotel so that you don’t have to worry about curfews.

Re lodging in Kyoto, I’d strongly recommend that you contact Japanese travel agencies, such as JTB, NTA, or Kintetsu. They are very good at finding lodgings in Japan, and have offices in the US. You can find their phone numbers in the following sites.

[JTB] http://www.jtbusa.com/enhome/branchinfo.asp

[NTA] http://www.nta.co.jp/english/office/index.htm

[KINTETSU] http://www.knt.co.jp/kokusai/Page4.html

Re attractions in Kyoto, I would recommend Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion), Kiyomizudera Temple, Ryoanji Temple, Nijo Castle, Sanjusangendo Hall, Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion), etc. You can find those attractions in Kyoto at "http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2158.html." Also, you can take a day trip to Nara while you are staying in Kyoto.

Re hotels in Tokyo, I don't know your budget but "Dai-Ichi Hotel Annex" around the Ginza area will be a great choice. Also, "The Executive Tower of Shinagawa Prince Hotel" in Shinagawa is new and reasonably priced though "The Main Tower of Shinagawa Prince Hotel" is old with small rooms. If you are interested in Shinagawa Prince Hotel, please book a room in the Executive Tower. "Shiba Park Hotel" in the Hamamatsucho/Daimon area is not new, but nice as well.

Though climbing Mt. Fuji in October (or after) is only for well experienced alpinists, you can visit the 5th Station of Mt. Fuji by bus. If you are interested in this, you should visit Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) instead of Tokyo. Please take a look at http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e6906.html for further info re Kawaguchiko.

Also, you may want to check out visiting Hakone. Hakone is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, less than 100 kilometers from Tokyo, and is very famous for nice "Onsen," hot spring spa. If you stay in a ryokan/minshuku with Onsen in Hakone for one night and the weather is nice, you may be able to enjoy seeing "Mt. Fuji" from there. Please check out http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5200.html for further info re Hakone.

Japan
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2. Re: Minshuku vs. Ryokan - Help!

About the need for loding in Kyoto...I don't know what you have tried already, but you should be sure to also look at the JNTO web site. There are several minshuku type places to stay in Kyoto. Many are within a 10 minute walk of the train station. The Welcome Inn Group has several listed. You can find them through the JNTO web site:

http://www.jnto.go.jp/

There is also a Youth Hostel very near a subway stop. I was in it once a couple of years ago and it was very nice.

It sounds like you have a wonderful schedule planned. Enjoy!!!