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Travel Accommodation

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Hi! I am looking for advice regarding accommodation please.
My husband and I are looking to take my Dad to Japan next year, and even though we want to be conscientious of our budget and itinerary, we would like to have some very traditional accommodation experiences, so not staying exclusively in western style hotels, and maybe even visiting a natural Onsen.

I speak enough "tourist" Japanese to get by, but neither my husband or Dad do, so I also can't leave them to their own devices.

Would anyone have any recommendations as to one or two extra special, traditional places, ideally near Kyoto or Osaka, that we could go to, to round out our experience?

Thank you so much!
 

KyushuWoozy

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we would like to have some very traditional accommodation experiences so not staying exclusively in western style hotels, and maybe even visiting a natural Onsen.
Not sure if I would stay in western style hotels at all in Japan. They're bloody expensive generally, and by definition not very Japanese. I'd go for a combination of business hotels which are pretty economical and still quite traditionally Japanese I think and definitely a traditional ryokan / onsen at least once. I took my dad to one ... not sure if he actually enjoyed boiling his *** off and eating raw fish, but it's certainly an experience he'll never forgot (isn't life about experiences?).

Sorry, can't help you with Kyoto or Osaka info.

Just curious, will you be planning with a travel agent or going independently after doing your online research?

Anyway, hope you have a wonderful time.
 
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Not sure if I would stay in western style hotels at all in Japan. They're bloody expensive generally, and by definition not very Japanese. I'd go for a combination of business hotels which are pretty economical and still quite traditionally Japanese I think and definitely a traditional ryokan / onsen at least once. I took my dad to one ... not sure if he actually enjoyed boiling his *** off and eating raw fish, but it's certainly an experience he'll never forgot (isn't life about experiences?).

Sorry, can't help you with Kyoto or Osaka info.

Just curious, will you be planning with a travel agent or going independently after doing your online research?

Anyway, hope you have a wonderful time.
Thank you so much for taking the time to get back to me. :) We will be travelling independently but I hadn't considered business hotels to be honest, mostly because I've not heard of them. I honestly thought I had a choice between Western Style, Capsule Hotels and Ryokan... Do you have any recommendations as for where to find these business hotels?

Thanks again for your help. Yes, it certainly is about the experience. ;)
 

mdchachi

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Any booking site such as booking.com lists business hotels as well. You can tell because they are cheaper and generally lack amenities. I'm not sure if I would call them "traditional" -- I guess they are traditional in the sense that usually the rooms are tiny and if breakfast is offered it's typically Japanese-style only. Some of them have tatami floors. Some have shared baths.
 

KyushuWoozy

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I'm not sure if I would call them "traditional" -- I guess they are traditional in the sense that usually the rooms are tiny and if breakfast is offered it's typically Japanese-style only. Some of them have tatami floors. Some have shared baths.
Yes, you're right. Not 'traditional' but rather typically Japanese.

choice between Western Style, Capsule Hotels and Ryokan.
Capsule hotel will be fun as a novelty but one night is probably enough unless you love small spaces. Also there's nowhere private to hang out with your family (unless you're all midgets who can crowd into a capsule together).

My advice is to stay in a Ryokan as often as you can afford. They're are as traditional as it gets and the meals are likely to be among the most memorable parts of the trip for dad. Combine it with an Onsen and (for me at least) it's pure bliss.

Enjoy.
 
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Avoid capsules - they are not really holiday accommodation, and actually are not that cheap.

I book lots of hotels around Japan (including Kyoto which is one of the more difficult spots) and you can get reasonable rooms (size/quality) without breaking the bank. It is not a cheap destination like some other places in Asia (so don't expect cheap - JPY20000/night might be a good starting point).

I recently booked a ryokan in Arashiyama - not super traditional, but the people in my group enjoyed the breakfast and the onsen. For something traditional (buildings, mineral springs) you might need to head out of the city.
 

Mike Cash

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I book lots of hotels around Japan (including Kyoto which is one of the more difficult spots) and you can get reasonable rooms (size/quality) without breaking the bank. It is not a cheap destination like some other places in Asia (so don't expect cheap - JPY20000/night might be a good starting point).
It only took me a minute or so to find 89 places in Kyoto during Golden Week for under 19,000 yen.....48 of those were under 12,000 and there were even 31 places to sleep under a roof for under 6,300 yen. I understand you book for people who can afford to hire and fly in a pair of paid traveling companions so you quite naturally are accustomed to booking more upscale places, but there are plentiful accommodations for the less well heeled hoi polloi and it doesn't help to give the impression it costs at least 20,000 yen per night to sleep indoors here.
 
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Mike - Yes there are lots of places that are a lot less expensive - and there are trade-offs that go with that. Personally I don't like staying in rooms that deliver a single bed and claim it is just a "small double", or rooms so small you can't put your suitcase on the floor. I am talking about my bookings and preferences, not those of the people I provide services to (so your comment on that count is unhelpful). For instance, my current hotel is Y112,000 for 14 days, but not everyone would have chosen the location which is not "touristy".
When people are looking at accommodation, they have to take into account the level of comfort they are after. The OP is catering for their father and I doubt they are wanting some back-packer style accommodation.
Also, there are (unfortunately) a lot of people that think because Japan is part of Asia they can get rooms for USD10/night.
As for how much any one person might spend, the point I was making is that Japan accommodation can be more expensive than people are used to, and when looking at options, sometimes it will cost more, and obviously sometimes costs less.
 

Mike Cash

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Personally I don't like....
That's fine. But using your personal preferences as a basis for telling someone else that rooms are going to start from 20,000 per night is more of a humble brag than it is useful information. You can't start from the premise that everyone else is going to want, require, or demand or be able to afford the same level of accommodations you personally are accustomed to and use that as a basis for making a blanket statement of rooms in Japan starting from 20,000 yen per night. Far from being helpful, such a statement might even cause some to decide a visit to Japan is just financially unfeasible and give up visiting entirely. When your statements and information are based on personal preferences it would be helpful to clearly phrase them as your objective opinions rather than as categorical statements of fact.
 
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It was a starting point for looking, not a definitive. I could have said 15,000 or USD200 and you would have still come at my post aggressively. Would you prefer I put a rang around it? I do not intend to contribute if I have to add disclaimers everywhere on every comment based on years of experience.

(I will write to the site mods asking for all my posts and account to be deleted.)
 

Mike Cash

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It was a starting point for looking, not a definitive. I could have said 15,000 or USD200 and you would have still come at my post aggressively. Would you prefer I put a rang around it? I do not intend to contribute if I have to add disclaimers everywhere on every comment based on years of experience.

(I will write to the site mods asking for all my posts and account to be deleted.)
I regret that you view civilly worded disagreements as coming at you aggressively. All I ask is that opinions be recognizable as opinions and not dressed up as facts. Your "years of experience" are irrelevant.
 
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On the occasions I've traveled around Japan (rather than stay the whole time in one city) I've tended to mix 'n' match accommodation according to location. In big cities I go for western hotels (I like the one above Kyoto station for example) as it minimises fuss. Out of the bigger cities I go for Minshuku (guest house, cheap but you need decent Japanese skills usually) or Ryokan. I've not stayed in a Gaijin hostel but they are to some tourists useful... not my cup of tea.

Nowadays I use airbnb. There are some great deals (and some not so great tbf) and you have the choice of private apartment or living with a local family. I haven't tried the latter yet but fancy giving it a go. The downside is that some apartments are rented out by non-doms so getting in them can be messy - I was stuck outside my last one, in the rain, for an hour only to be told the agent couldn't meet me as he was the other side of Tokyo still at work. Luckily the American owner was on hand (via sms) to give me the code to enter.
 
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