Monday, December 12, 2011

Hotel or Ryokan? Kyoto/Himeji/Fuji-Hakone

I%26#39;m going to Japan in April and wonder if anyone has any advice on where to stay in Kyoto, Himeji or the Fuji/Hakone area? We%26#39;re only going to be 1/2 nights in each place. I know we could one area as a base but prefer to stop in each city as we go along rather than keep doubling back.

Also any thoughts on whether a hotel or ryokan is better? When travelling in europe we usually go for places with a bit of character, rather than the faceless holiday inn type places. Is it too much to ask to find somewhere nice on a budget in Japan (拢30-拢60 per night, per person?)

Having never really slept on tatami mats or shared baths with strangers I%26#39;m not sure about the traditional ryokan experience, but wouldn%26#39;t want to miss out!

Hotel or Ryokan? Kyoto/Himeji/Fuji-Hakone

well my girlfriend and I stayed at the Yuhara Ryokan and it was really charming. You don%26#39;t sleep on the tatami, you sleep on a futon :P It%26#39;s very comfortable and the location is great - it%26#39;s right along one of the suggested walks up the river. It%26#39;s perfect if you want character - the owner is a really nice old woman and her son. If I went back to Kyoto, I%26#39;d likely stay there.

Hotel or Ryokan? Kyoto/Himeji/Fuji-Hakone

Definitely stay at a ryokan if you have a chance. I went with my husband 3 years ago and went to several ryokans in Kyushu, but we stayed a ryokan in a suberb of Kyoto called Arishiyama. Kyoto is too modern a city, although it has some very pretty parks. Arishiyama was absolutely charming and had the feeling of old Japan. The baths are absolutely beautiful, usually set outside, segregated alternating days for men and women. This is really a treat! Also, the ryokans usually include breakfast and a multicourse dinner. I%26#39;m looking forward to going back myself sometime this year.

At most ryokans you can ask for a room with private bathroom so you don%26#39;t have mingle with other unclad people. Staying at a ryokan is a great experience and you should def favour them rather the big chains. All that said, we stayed at the Comfort Inn in Himeji which was far the best ';faceless'; and budget hotel during our trip!!!

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