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Western chain hotels in Tokyo and Kyoto

Western chain hotels in Tokyo and Kyoto

Old Jan 29, 20, 10:27 am
  #31  
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Originally Posted by travelinmanS
Western hotels are overpriced in Japan IMHO. Japanese chains seems to be consistently cheaper and their quality is fine. Anywhere else in Asia I try to stay in Marriott hotels but in Japan I just book Japanese hotels through hotels.com in the area I want to stay.
I think you missed that the OP is redeeming points at major hotel chains.

My Japan experience was 15-16 years ago and was similar (6 nights in Tokyo, 6 nights in Osaka). I also redeemed points (Hilton Tokyo and Hilton Osaka), though I did have Hilton status (useful for getting breakfast included, etc.). Yes, navigation of the subways can be a challenge, and back then, I didn't yet have a smartphone, but if I could manage it, then you'll probably do fine.

One question (maybe you answered this but I missed it): did you consider an open jaw trip, i.e., fly into Tokyo/NRT and out of Osaka/KIX? I did that myself to save a train trip back to Tokyo.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 10:57 am
  #32  
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Originally Posted by KathyWdrf
One question (maybe you answered this but I missed it): did you consider an open jaw trip, i.e., fly into Tokyo/NRT and out of Osaka/KIX? I did that myself to save a train trip back to Tokyo.
That would have been my preference, but I'm a DL/SkyTeam flyer and the options out of KIX aren't good, so I need to return to Tokyo to fly out of HND.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 3:40 pm
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by ShopAround
It's funny, Tokyo is a city I've wanted to see for a long time but other than just walking around, I don't have much specific in mind. Usually when I travel someplace, I create an itinerary (I'm a tour operator by profession, I can't help it) and all I have so far is specific neighborhoods to explore. At least at this point, it's very vague, although I do have specific day trips in mind for when I'm in Kyoto (Nara and Osaka).
Tokyo is definitely a city that rewards aimless serendipity. I had some memorable moments just wandering over the course of my visits.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 8:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Pureboy
aimless serendipity.
That is poetic, I like it
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Old Jan 30, 20, 8:36 am
  #35  
 
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Im glad to see you chose Westin Kyoto. Im heading there for three nights in April on points and then two nights at the RC Kyoto as Titanium. Why didnt you pick Ritz? I could have got five nights at Kyoto but I just cannot pass Kyoto without staying at the best RC in the world (per flyertalk forum).

They are both very well located not inside Gion, mind you, but walkable and honestly, having stayed at a Japanese inn last time right in Gion, I rather stay outside of it. It was a bit too touristy (as in way more tourists out on the street there than local folks).

Tokyo I would choose Hilton using points and Im gold.

Osaka Im probably choosing Hyatt using points (got no status though).

My entire Japan trip this April is on points, and Im traveling alone too (a woman)!
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Old Jan 30, 20, 9:45 am
  #36  
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Originally Posted by theOtherHolmes
Im glad to see you chose Westin Kyoto. Im heading there for three nights in April on points and then two nights at the RC Kyoto as Titanium. Why didnt you pick Ritz? I could have got five nights at Kyoto but I just cannot pass Kyoto without staying at the best RC in the world (per flyertalk forum).
There were a few reasons I picked the Westin. The RC is a lot more points and there's no lounge (although it looks like I would get breakfast as a Titanium). I know that shouldn't be a dealbreaker, but particularly when I travel alone, I tend to use hotel lounges most days for a drink, a snack or chatting with other guests. I just spent five nights in Paris at a hotel without a lounge and found I really missed having that option. Also, I'll be there in early September, which will be very hot and humid and I think the Westin, with a shuttle to the train station (and other drop off points) will mean less walking than if I stayed at the RC.

Tokyo I would choose Hilton using points and Im gold.
I was considering the Hilton but I have no status and booking a room with lounge access was a crazy amount of points and more than I have available, whereas at the Hyatt, I could book a club room for a very good redemption rate.

My entire Japan trip this April is on points, and Im traveling alone too (a woman)!

I'd love it if you could report back after your trip; since all my hotels are booked with points, I can still change my reservations.
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Old Feb 15, 20, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by ShopAround
I was considering the Hilton but I have no status and booking a room with lounge access was a crazy amount of points and more than I have available, whereas at the Hyatt, I could book a club room for a very good redemption rate.
Hilton Diamond? Amex Aspire ... 150k points + 250 Airline Credit + $250 Hilton Resort Credit + Free Weekend Night ... a lot of value for $450 a year
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Old Feb 21, 20, 12:30 am
  #38  
 
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Originally Posted by Pureboy
I lived in Manhattan and have visited Tokyo several times. Two subway tips:
1) Every exit has a code number and it is on all the signage in the station. I wish other systems (NYC and DC- I'm looking at you) did this! Remember the number that corresponds with your hotel and you'll rarely get lost once at your "home" station. If you can figure out what exit number you need on your way somewhere, it will save a considerable amount of confusion.
2) EXPERT MODE: If I understand correctly, there are even signs/guides as to what train car gets you aligned with a specific exit. I've never figured out exactly how to use it, but if I did, I'd feel like a god among mortals.
Note - Google Maps has updated their app to include the best entry/exit numbers (even highlighted in yellow to simulate the real world signs) for your route and they've also added the aforementioned EXPERT MODE, which will tell you the best train car to ride in to minimize time/distance to transfer lines or exit a station. Otherwise, each station will have charts on the wall to give you this information, but unfortunately they don't have English on them... YET.
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Old Feb 21, 20, 12:29 pm
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Thanks for sharing that about Google Maps. I tend to do all my planning via the Google Maps website and will sometimes try to figure out which cars/platforms/exits beforehand, but it is nice to know ahead of time that they have added it to the app version.
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Old Feb 24, 20, 12:08 am
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Originally Posted by groovbusta
Note - Google Maps has updated their app to include the best entry/exit numbers (even highlighted in yellow to simulate the real world signs) for your route and they've also added the aforementioned EXPERT MODE, which will tell you the best train car to ride in to minimize time/distance to transfer lines or exit a station. Otherwise, each station will have charts on the wall to give you this information, but unfortunately they don't have English on them... YET.
The best exit number is absolutely huge. Paid attention to that on my most recent trip last week and it was just HUGE!
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Old Feb 26, 20, 9:12 am
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Of course as a male I risk much blame saying this, but there is probably no better place in the world to visit as a solo female traveler than Japan. Unless you just naturally go to sleep very early, I would definitely walk around Tokyo and Osaka at night to see the sights, visit an izakaya, and eat a bowl of late night ramen. Kyoto also has a nice little nightlife-ish area around Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station (probably elsewhere too).
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Old Feb 26, 20, 9:13 am
  #42  
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Originally Posted by A Little Cow
Of course as a male I risk much blame saying this, but there is probably no better place in the world to visit as a solo female traveler than Japan. Unless you just naturally go to sleep very early, I would definitely walk around Tokyo and Osaka at night to see the sights, visit an izakaya, and eat a bowl of late night ramen.
Don't forget being groped on a crowded subway.
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Old Feb 26, 20, 9:20 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
Don't forget being groped on a crowded subway.
Perhaps a bit of a stereotype? While there is little doubt there is lots of sexism in Japan, I don't think it is something foreign visitors would encounter. The groping issue in particular is a concerns during rush-hour trains and I highly doubt foreigners would get targeted. It also is not a real risk for the particular issue I was addressing; venturing out at night in downtown Tokyo or Osaka.
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Old Feb 26, 20, 10:06 am
  #44  
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Originally Posted by A Little Cow
Perhaps a bit of a stereotype? While there is little doubt there is lots of sexism in Japan, I don't think it is something foreign visitors would encounter. The groping issue in particular is a concerns during rush-hour trains and I highly doubt foreigners would get targeted. It also is not a real risk for the particular issue I was addressing; venturing out at night in downtown Tokyo or Osaka.
Good grief - there must be a term for this. How about Japan-man-splaining?

It is a risk, it does happen, but it is so prevalent everywhere that one might not feel more at risk in Japan than one does in ones home country or where one has previously visited.

I don't think it is something foreign visitors would encounter - yes, Im certain you do think that and wont be changing your mind soon. I happen to know differently.
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Old Feb 26, 20, 11:06 am
  #45  
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Originally Posted by A Little Cow
Of course as a male I risk much blame saying this, but there is probably no better place in the world to visit as a solo female traveler than Japan.
I have no problem with you saying it - it's not the first time I've heard that and as a woman who often travels alone, I know some places feel more comfortable than others.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
Don't forget being groped on a crowded subway.
Originally Posted by LapLap
It is a risk, it does happen, but it is so prevalent everywhere that one might not feel more at risk in Japan than one does in ones home country or where one has previously visited.
FWIW, I'm a native New Yorker, I've been using mass transit my entire life and the subways here when I was growing up in the 70s were not so safe, so I tend to naturally be more defensive than most people. My plan is to avoid rush hour as much as possible, but at the moment, I'm more concerned about a spreading virus than gropers.
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