During our trip to Japan, one of the issues that most marked both the pace and the itinerary was the essential Japan Rail Pass.
We bought a one-week pass, as we were only going to be there for two weeks. So we had to close the first accommodations, the one in Tokyo and then the one in Kyoto.
It is often thought that Japan can be expensive when it comes to accommodation. Our experience says that it is not that expensive, and that if you search, you can find options that fit all pockets without abandoning comfort. Nor is it necessary to sleep anywhere far from everything, you just need to search, and you will find.
Below we tell you which were the accommodations we chose and our experience in each of them.
Accommodation in Tokyo
In Tokyo we were in two different accommodations. This is because we landed in Tokyo, and there we spent the first night before making our way to Kyoto.
However, the plan for the second week was to explore Tokyo and its surroundings like Hakone, but the weather was an important factor, our trip was the second and third week of September. It only rained the week we were in Tokyo, luckily not every day, but enough to dedicate ourselves to exploring this megalopolis.
The week we spent in Tokyo we stayed in an apartment that we found through the AirBnb vacation apartment website.
I have to say that this was the best lodging experience. It is true that the apartment was small, but that way we could feel how Tokyoites feel. It was in a 13-story building with stunning views of the city.
We were also lucky that the apartment was on the top floor, and the views from the bed were the skyline of this impressive city.
At night, we could distinguish the Shibuya district, since it is the most illuminated area of the entire city.
The apartment is a ten minute walk from the train stop Ikejiri-oshasi, line Tokyu Den-en-toshi.
If you don’t have an Airbnb user yet, and you register through Passport To Travel, you will get 30 euros of travel credit with Airbnb.
However the first night, we stayed in a hotel in the area of Kodemmacho, gray line Hibiya, one stop from Akihabara.
This hotel was very good, fully recommended. But I have to confess that I personally liked the experience of living in an apartment better. It was having the feeling of living in the city, not of being on vacation. The surrounding izakayas were our destination at the end of each exhausting day.
The hotel we stayed in is called Hotel Horidome Villa.
You can find other accommodation options in the following link, Accommodation in Tokyo.
Accommodation in Kyoto
In Kyoto there are basically two areas where accommodation is concentrated. The Shinkasen station area, Kyoto Navy or the city center.
We chose the city center, since it allows us to walk to many places that can be visited. In addition, we also selected an accommodation that was close to a bus stop with a lot of lines, since the bus was going to be our chosen transport.
In the end, we were in Kyoto for three nights. After looking for options, the accommodation you selected was the Guest House Stella Gosho. Both the price and the location made this guest house our base camp in the city.
The Guest House is located in a quiet street in the center of Kyoto, in front of the bus stop Kawaramachi Marutamachi (lines 4, 10, 17, 59, 93, 202, 204 and 205). The address is Kamigyo-ku Tawaraya-cho 484.
It is only 15 minutes from Nijo-jo Castle; and about five minutes from Imperial Palace.
Nearby there is a supermarket Fresh. In this supermarket there is a great variety of exquisite Japanese products. And about five minutes away, there is a 7 Eleven It has an ATM, which also accepts foreign cards (not all ATMs in the city accept foreign credit cards).
The Guest House Stella Gosho it is run by a married couple. The woman’s name is Luna, she’s Taiwanese and he’s Japanese. They lived for almost ten years in the Dominican Republic. The Spanish they speak is somewhat limited, but they try to talk to you and are very friendly. They also speak english. Excellent hosts. Highly recommended place.
Other accommodation options in Kyoto can be found at the following link, Accommodation in Kyoto.
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Accommodation in Koyasan
Going to Osaka was not in our plans, but due to a lack of planning, we ended up there. The truth is that the city surprised us a lot, and for the better. Our idea was to go to Koyasan and stay there. Well, we went to Koyasan, a more than recommended place, but the prices of accommodation are always exorbitant, and even more so if you try to book it a couple of days before.
If your idea is to stay in a monastery, try to make the reservation well in advance, since there are a large number of pilgrims who have this town as their destination. Due to this and the lack of accommodation, prices are very high. From eighty-five euros per person (that well in advance) and up to several hundred euros.
This price includes the bed (futon), and two quite frugal meals (since you are going to lead the same rhythm of life as the monks). You can also enjoy a day of monastic life, with the same monks’ schedules, get up early and pray.
If you finally decide to stay in this incredible town, book your accommodation well in advance. For this purpose there is an official website, it is called Shukubo. But you can also find accommodation through the Booking platform, in this link you have the accommodation options, Accommodation in Koyasan.
But if instead you decide to stay in Osaka, I recommend you take a look at this article where I tell you How to get to Koyasan from Osaka and not die trying.
Accommodation in Osaka
Osaka is a city with a lot of atmosphere, so the area where you stay will make it easier for you to move around this mammoth city. The two most common areas to stay are Namba or Tennoji.
This way you will depend less on public transport and you will be able to enjoy walks through this incredible city.
Osaka is a business place, so it is always full of people. In fact, if you arrive by train in Shin-Osaka, you will see an incredible rush of people. This means that there is a lot of demand for accommodation, and that the price is not very cheap, but by searching, you will find.
We choose a Love hotel, because it was a more reasonably priced accommodation. It was located in Tennoji, and that made it perfect to access Namba (station from where you take the train that goes to Koyasan). On the other hand, from Shin-Osaka, if you have the Japan Rail Pass, you do not have to pay anything, because you can use the JR lines, first to the Osaka stop, and then the circular to Tennoji.
The Love Hotel in question was Hotel Oshare Densetsu. It was a very curious experience, we stayed two nights. We had the largest room of the whole trip, even with a Jacuzzi !!! In addition to a complete stereo, a huge bed, and the most kitch decoration. A full-fledged Love Hotel.
Here’s a little trick. The Love Hotels are used by the Japanese with their lovers, so the rooms use them for hours during the day. But at night, as they are not so popular, they are much cheaper, making them a good alternative for accommodation, and again, an experience.
In this link you can see the availability of the hotel, Hotel Oshare Densetsu.
You can find where to stay in Osaka in the following link, Accommodation in Osaka.
Accommodation in Hiroshima
Accommodation in Hiroshima is not cheap, and there is not much of it either. In our case we reserve a basic accommodation next to the pier where the ferries to Miyajima. Is he Simple Stay Hiroshima, through the reference accommodation page in Asia, Agoda.
To be honest, this was the worst accommodation of the whole trip and the most expensive. We chose a double room that had two bunk beds. It is true that we do not share with anyone else. The room “luckily” did not face the outside, but rather an interior courtyard. And I say this because if you are unlucky enough to have to sleep in a room with windows to the outside, you may suffer from the noise of the traffic from the road that passes by.
The beds had an iron frame, and a mattress thinner than cigarette paper. There we were lucky to have two bunk beds, and one of them empty, since we used the two remaining mattresses to put them on top of ours. So we sleep a little better.
Also if you want a towel or shower gel you have to pay a small amount. The guy at the front desk gave them to us for free, he must have liked us.
Another option to stay is the city center, but to get to Miyajima You will need to take the train, yes, if you have the Japan Rail Pass it will be free.
But there are other accommodation alternatives, Accommodation in Hiroshima.
Japan travel insurance
Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before going to Japan. Traveling does not exempt you from having an accident, and healthcare is really expensive in Japan.
We tell you how to choose the best travel insurance in Japan that best suits your trip.
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