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We are planning a trip to Japan in November and I am having a hard time finding hotels in Tokyo and Kyoto that can accommodate all of us. In addition to sleeping arrangements for all of us, we could ideally have a little kitchen. I have googled over and over again and am coming up with nothing. We will be in Kyoto for 6 nights and Tokyo for 4 nights. We'd like to be in central locations in each city. challenged
In my experience, hotel rooms in Japan are very, very small and very expensive by American Standards.
Have you also looked into the Japanese Inn group or Welcome Inns?
In Tokyo, try the Hotel Gimmond or Sawanoya Ryokan?
Have fun! Kyoto is one of my most favorite places... Andrea
I also recommend japan-guide.com for its wealth of information and discussion boards about visiting Japan. R.K.
Let me also add that youth hostels in Japan are not like youth hostels anywhere else in the world. They are CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN. http://www.jyh or jp/english/index.html
As for Tokyo, I would recommend a place that my family stays every visit. It is similar to a youth hostel in that they have shared bath facilities and kitchen, but all rooms are private and they are Japanese-style with tatami mats and futons. The futons are very comfortable. It is an easy 5 walk from the train station. The staff also speak English. http://www.kimi-ryokan.jp/
Good luck and have a great trip! anon
National Children's Castle Hotel - no kitchen, but may be considered a hipper area - near Shibuya http://http://www.kodomono-shiro.or.jp/english/hotel/index2.html
We stayed at the Villa Fontaine Shiodome since it was relatively close to Tokyo Station and Ginza. A business hotel, so no kitchen, but a fridge in the room, lots of food places near by and breakfast buffet included. The best rate was by calling them directly. http://www.hvf.jp/eng/shiodome.php
Try vrbo.com for Kyoto.
I really want to visit Beijing and Tokyo but I feel hesitant about traveling there (especially to Beijing) because I have an 18 month old and I also hope to be in early pregnancy during the time of travel (Jan. 2008). I am concerned about us becoming sick from the water and/or food. Does anyone have advice about what the danger level is for a toddler and/or someone who is pregnant to visit these parts of the world? Do you recommend such a trip? What precautions should I take, etc.? Thanks!
[Editor]: also see Visiting China
Hi. My husband is teaching at the U. of Nagoya for six months beginning in April of next year. We will have our 1.5 year old with us. Any thoughts on travel, places to go, places to live in Nagoya, etc.? Thanks, Jenny
We are going to be traveling in Japan for about 10 days - 2 weeks this March to visit my sister (near Nagoya.) We've got a couple places to stay there thanks to her very hospitable Japanese friends, but we'd like to get some advice about where to stay after we leave her and go to Tokyo for a few days on our own (specific hotels, apartments rentals, etc.) It would be nice to have access to a kitchen (or at least a small fridge.) I'm also interested in any fun/interesting places to go with kids (ours will be 18 months and 3 years.) Additionally, any info that you think may be helpful from those who have traveled w/ young kids there would be appreciated. There's nothing at all in the archives. Thanks in advance. paula
As far as things to do: ride trains, go to the Children's Castle (this is not the exact name, but it's similar)--it's like Habitot and Kindergym and Music Together classes all rolled into one. Don't worry if you don't speak the language--kids speak a universal language. We also spent a day in Hakone. There's a loop you can do, a train ride, a tram ride, then a boat ride across the lake. Very fun for all ages. Go to the children's play areas on the roofs of the department stores. You will have a great time! I'm so envious! anon
Our family is planning a trip to Japan for a short visit (8 days) in early April. It's really hard to narrow down what will be worthwhile and good for the five of us - mom, dad, grandma (80's), a 14 yr old and 10 yr old (both girls). We're excited about this trip but know we'll only be able to manage the highlights. Are there any must-do's out there, for a family as diverse (agewise) as ours? Susan
On our last trip we spent about 2 weeks in Tokyo all together, but we found it a bit modern and hectic for our taste. Kyoto is a much smaller city (think SF versus New York City). Kyoto is also very modern looking on first glance, but it is a treasure trove of exquisite gardens, temples and shrines. Because it wasn't bombed in the war, there is much more ''old Japan'' around than in Tokyo. Can you tell I'm a bit biased towards Kyoto...:))
In Tokyo, do check out the Edo-Tokyo Museum. There is also a large children's palace/ entertainment center in Shibuya, I think, although I haven't been there. We also went to an open air museum of old houses, just outside of Tokyo, called the Folkhouse museum which was fun, you can walk through the buildings. If you get to Kyoto, don't miss the Golden Pavilion and Sanjusangendo. Also the Iwatayama Monkey Park in Arashiyama or the Hozugawa River Trip are fun for kids. We found the Lonely Planet guide to both Kyoto and Japan quite useful as well as info gathered at the Japan National Tourist Office in San Francisco and the tourist information centers in Japan. If you can, I'd also recommmend a splurge and going to see either a Kabuki or a Bunraku performance. In Tokyo they have simultaneous translation during the Kabuki performances. Bunraku is Kabuki plays performed with large puppets, it's not performed as often, the main theater is in Osaka...
There is also a website called something like Tokyo Kids, i think which you might find useful, if you're going to spend most of your time in Tokyo.
You can email me directly if you have specific questions. Although my experience is more in depth in a few places rather than about lots of different places.
Japan is a great place to visit as it's both western/ like home, but completely exotic at the same time...
Have a great trip!!! andrea
We are planning a trip to Japan with our 5 year old and 18 month old. We are wondering what we need to bring for our children, in terms of carseats, strollers or a backpack for the youngest. While the carseats would be ideal for the plane, once we arrive we'll be mainly taking the train and other public transportation and are not sure if it will be too difficult to carry the carseats everywhere we go? What are the regulations in Japan regarding carseats, etc?
Japan is a very child-friendly place and it is almost easier to travel ANYWHERE by train than by car. If you need to bring a car seat, I'd consider storing it and not dragging it around on the train. There is a luggage delivery service at the airport that most Japanese use (ie. the reason you do not see Japanese on the trains with tons of luggage). Aiko
I am thinking of surprising my husband with a long wanted trip to Tokyo this summer. We'd be bringing our 21/2 year old. Any advice from you world travlers? Where to stay? Where to eat? How to deal with not speaking Japenese? Must go to trips outside of the city- take a tour bus or drive ourselves?? Tips and tricks appreciated. Thanks Juliette
I don't recommend driving -- traffic jam and quite complicated highway systems, not to mention that we drive the ''wrong'' side. Trains run almost everywhere - the challenge for a family with a toddler is that most stations do not have elevators. When traveling, you can get around this by sending your luggages ahead by ''takkyubin'' service, which is very efficient. Good luck!
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