Akio Wannabe-San

Inside A Capsule Hotel

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The spouse was recently in Japan and stayed in a very  new capsule hotel in Shinjuku and reported that it was quite pleasant and that the amenities were plenty too.   He was quite surprised with it because it even have a luxurious bath in this particular capsule hotel.

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And like any Capsule Hotel , every capsule has its own tv and outlets where you can plug in your computer or anything that you need to recharge like phones and tablets or computers.  The capsule hotels has lockers for you to place your valuables and robes for you to change into , that way you don’t need to worry about messing up your clothes.  They also have a food court in the hotel and plenty of vending machines as well.

They are relatively cheaper than the hotels if you are alone but each capsule is only meant for 1 person and won’t fix even a kid, so if you have someone else with you that day, you can forget about getting a capsule for the night.

PS :  They also have shampoo, soap and toothbrush and paste for in house guests , so you need not bring any or worry about purchasing some.

Sakura Ryokan

A B&B in Kyoto which I have to say is quite expensive in my humble opinion but we wanted to try the traditional B & B and we were there during the peak season, so had no choice but to stay here.  But an advantage to choosing the Kyomachiya Ryokan is it is very close to train station.

The room that we had was clean but we were darn lucky to get the Western rooms.  I heard that the other rooms were alot smaller.

So it wouldn’t have really worked for us as we had quite big people in the family.  The bathroom was still very tiny considering that most of the people inhouse were westerners.  I can just imagine them trying to get around the bathroom.

The front of the hotel don’t look too nice but it’s really serene inside, the staff were very pleasant as well and spoke fluent English.  They were also very helpful with all the tours

You can use their computer if you need to go on the net.  They also serve breakfast for like USD $8 but if you prefer to eat out of the ryokan, there is a very nice stall about 5 mins away that serves awesome udon.  Our overall experience wasn’t too bad at all.

Sakura Hostel

No, we didn’t stay in Sakura Hostel when we were in Japan but we did accidentally find it during one of our walks around Asakusa.  Located in Tokyo, it is said to be the cheapest hostel in town.  The hostel is clean and right in the central of everything, so for a tourist to stay here, he or she can go just about anywheres within walking distance. Most importantly, it is safe – but don’t expect anything spectacular, they are just bunk beds for you to sleep in.

Noboribetsu Grand Onsen

We stayed at the Noboribetsu Grand Onsen a couple of times – and we weren’t disappointed.  The front desk were very nice to us because we came with a co-worker who was not feeling her best – and they immediately called in the house doctor for us and put her in another room – so that we won’t catch  whatever she had gotten from her. The onsen has 3 different types of onsen – and you can choose the one that you much prefer to soak in – they are all indoor – so even in the winter – one will  have no problem doing the onsen.  I prefer the salt one because the other 2 have very strong smell – I don’t quite like how I feel like I can’t breathe in it.

The onsen is very well located as the bus station is right in front of the hotel and it’s relatively cheap for being an onsen – but the hotel is quite old – and like all old hotel –  you can imagine it does need a little work.

A simple room – but it does have all the amenities that one needed.

Park Hotel Minato Japan

The Park Hotel in Tokyo reminds me a lot of another hotel in Asia – the Marina Mandarin – where the lobby/check in were not on the ground floor but above the hotel – this time it was on the 25th floor – so don’t be surprised when you don’t find your regular check in area and a bell hop to help you upon arrival.  But it wasn’t really that difficult – they had elevators to the 25th storey.

I have to say that the check in was relatively easy – the staff were friendly enough and spoke perfect English if you were wondering and by Tokyo, Japan standards – our room was pretty huge. The location of the hotel was perfect as it was near a train station and there were shops just about everywhere surrounding the hotel.  One of the main thing as a tourist, one has to remember to get the reception to write your hotel name in Japanese – just in case you need to get onto a cab and get back to the hotel.

Plenty of toileteries as you can see here and of course like all Japanese hotels – the toilet had all the electronics gadgets – one wouldn’t really need nor use but it was nice to have.

The atrium/lobby area  – where there is a lounge and a band playing in the late afternoon  – till late in the evening.  There is a gym in the hotel, Wifi in your room and public area of the hotel.  I didn’t get to eat a lot in the hotel as there were so many choices around the hotel – but I hear that the breakfast spread was awesome but for 2200 yen – I think you  have to be a huge eater to benefit from it.  And since neither my spouse, nor kids were big eaters – it was good that we had other choices.  Overall, we had a great stay at the Park Hotel and the price was great  – we had a special rate.

Tsurunoyu Onsen, Semboku Japan

The Tsurunoyu Onsen is one of the best onsen that I’ve visit thus far while in Japan. And even though it is not near the city – this little place is really busy and I strongly advised people to book way in advanced if you are planning to stay overnight here.  Lots of Japanese flocks here too – whenever they get a chance.

The Tsurunoyu onsen is a mixed onsen – so boys and girls can soaked together in the same hot spring.   They are opened throughout winter and some people come during winter just to enjoy the scenery while soaking in these sulfuric water.  Please be prepared to get a little smelly after the soaking but I heard that it’s great for the skin.  The inn is pretty old – about a few hundred years old I heard – but the rooms are nice – decor and beds are the traditional type.   They do serve food – so you have no worries about not finding food since they are miles away from anything else.

New Hankyu Hotel Osaka

New Hankyu Hotel Osaka is located at 1-1-35 Shibata, Kita-ku Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 530-8310 Japan – and most people I’m sure chose this hotel not because the rooms are pretty small but because it’s a hotel that is near a bus station that takes you directly back to the airport.   The New Hankyu Hotel is a no frill hotel but it is only a stone throw from shopping areas.

I guess if you are on a transit – it’s not such a big deal – but with no internet in the room or the public areas and you have to pay for watching local tv  – now that is bad.  Take note that some of the rooms had such bad cigarette smell – and even if you do request for a non-smoking room – it might still turn out to smell like one.  Not entirely the hotel’s fault, for some guests can be quite stubborn.  I wouldn’t mind staying there again – if I was in for a transit as the price was suitable for us at that time but if i had my kid with me – I wouldn’t stay in this hotel.

Hakodate Kokusai Hotel

Located in Hokkaido –  5 – 10 Ote-machi, Hakodate Hokkaido Japan – I feel that the hakodate kokusai hotel is a no frill hotel.  Located near the JR Station about a 10 minutes walk past the morning market.  The hotel itself is quite large – with a huge reception area and a restaurant.

The room and bathroom as you can see is pretty small and really not enough room for more than 2.  It’s more like B & B than a regular hotel if you asked me – and everything seems pretty outdated.

Pretty small room as mentioned early – but the market is just right round the corner – you can find all sorts of Japanese street food and seafood in the market.  Don’t forget to check out the Red Brick Shopping district about 5mins away from the hotel.   The restaurant in the hotel does serve breakfast and the hotel employees speaks in English and are pretty good.

Nikko Onsen

The Kinugawa Onsen is pretty old – the Nikko area is very beautiful, so if you are thinking of choosing and Onsen – you might want to look into others before choosing this one.  I don’t mind it so much but the rooms and the bed was pretty old as far as I can remember.  Perhaps they had renovated recently but highly unlikely as onsens are usually old establishment without much money.

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