Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Kyoto visit in April? Decent budget hotel?

Looking at visiting Tokyo and Kyoto in April 2010. I have heard that this is the start of the cherry blossom season.Is this a good time to visit? Thinking of spending 5 nights in Tokyo and 5 nights in Kyoto. How is the weather at this time? And can anyone suggest a Decent Hotel around US200 a night in Kyoto? If there is any!

Kyoto visit in April? Decent budget hotel?

Don%26#39;t know if it%26#39;s available or what the rates will be in April, but my wife and I stayed at the Aranvert Hotel Kyoto in October. Double room was Y14,250 (currently about US$155) per nioght, which we booked via Japanhotel.net. Our review of hotel is up on TA. Room was clean, comfortable, functional. Hotel staff were helpful.

Kyoto visit in April? Decent budget hotel?

Cherry Blossom season is indeed in late March and early April but if you want to see them in full bloom, each year%26#39;s timing is a little different. The general rule of thumb: Cherry blossoms in warmer climate and therefore southern part of Japan will see the blossoms first. Then the blossoms progress north.

Weather around late March and early April is generally pretty mild with an average of about 13C to 15 C during the day. It rains sporadically. Bring a jacket that can double as a raincoat or buy the disposable ponchos in convenivence stores.

There are a lot of hotels in Kyoto in that price range. Do you want to experience a ryokan (a japanese style inn)? That would be another choice. Do you want to stay close to the station or do you want to stay more in the middle of town? Would you be thinking about day tripping to neighboring cities like Nara, Uji, Osaka etc.?

ANA, Miyako, Kyoto Century hotel, Kyoto New Hankyu, Aranvert, Rihga, Granvia-Kyoto are all bigger hotels located relatively close to the Kyoto Station. Ryokans are more dispersed in Kyoto. Then there are business, no frills inns too if you are interested. Karasuma Kyoto Hotel, Toyoko Inn, Ark hotel are some examples.

Let me know if you have any other questions. I am glad to be of help anytime.


Kyoto hotels fill up very, very quickly for April because of sakura season. If you get on it right now, you might be OK. The large travel agencies reserve blocks of rooms in the popular hotels. If you can%26#39;t find what you need on the hotel web sites, you might try IACE travel, Japanican, and Rakuten travel. I%26#39;ve just started using IACE, but they were the only one who had rooms for the Kyoto Okura when I started looking in January. I have had good luck with Japanican and Rakuten in past years. Granvia hotel (my favorite!) is very expensive in April, and they do not honor their Japan Rail Pass rates during sakura.

If you can%26#39;t find anything in Kyoto, do consider staying in Kobe. It is a half hour train ride into Kyoto, much less crowded and also close to the other day trip destinations like Fushimi-Inari, Himeji, Osaka. I like the New Otani hotel in Kobe. Great prices, nice rooms, convenient location.

Check out the Budget Inn. We stayed there in April 2008. Clean, helpful, convenient and cheap! About 7 minutes walk from the main train station (which is huge).

Hi Brettbam

The cherry blossom season is a great time to visit Japan.

Try the Comfort Inn hotel chain. They are budget hotels and are all through Japan and are about 6,000 to 8,000 yen a night which is a lot less that $200 US. They are usually close to railway stations so are easy to get to. I have just come back this week from Japan and stayed at them in Tokyo,Hiroshima,Osaka and Kyoto. They are spotlessly clean as is all of Japan and they provide free breakfast, both asian and western (cerial,toast,buns and danish pastries,boiled eggs,bananas etc and lots of variety of tea and coffee).

The booking web site is www.choice-hotels.jp and they even have an over 50 discount which applied to myself.It is actually an American chain. The staff are all very helpful and there was always one who spoke good English.

I found Japan to be so easy to get around and the people themselves are all very friendly and helpful. It is a wonderful country.



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