First  Prev  1  2  Next  Last
GodWhomIsMike's super awesome Japan adventure!!!
28063 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
33 / M / Staten Island, NY...
Offline
Posted 6/10/12 , edited 6/16/12
EDIT: June 16th

Photos can be found here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/80515080@N07/



Waiting to meet a friend of mine here in Kyoto for dinner. Japan has been the most amazing adventure ever.

Odd things and random thoughts:

1) I found wayyyyy more people speak English in Kyoto than Tokyo. Actually, almost no one spoke English in Tokyo.

2) Prince Hotel Hakone is in the middle of nowhere, with amazing breath taking views, and equally breathtaking prices for meals. Walked for 2-3 hours, found no place to eat, and the small town was virutally a ghost town after 4:30pm. Dinner for two at the hotel was about $140 USD.

3) The ryoakan experience was not quite our thing. There was a persistent smell of feet in the room. We stayed at one that was in the top 3 in all of Kyoto.

4) Super Hotel in Kyoto is cheap, clean, and really really friendly and nice. It's about 1/4 of what the ryoakan cost here in Kyoto. Room is small, but really really nice. I would highly recommend it.

5) The shopping arcade in Kyoto is a lot of fun, I love it here.

6) I cancelled Shimoda and paid a penalty to stay in Kyoto longer. The weather is supposed to be rainy and 19C, and the hotel is a Prince chain. Yeahhhhh, not getting roped into a super expensive dinner again, and stuck around in the middle of nowhere.

7) I love Kyoto way more that Tokyo.

8) Shinagawa station in Tokyo is soooooo frigging confusing. There are about 24+ platforms, and it is just a confusing place.

9) Toyoko Inn in Haneda has one heck of an awesome free japanese breakfast. Half boiled eggs, white and flavored rices, miso soup, and other things. Half boiled egg over rice is sooooo good.

Well, that's all I got time for. I will post tons of photos on Thursday or Friday, when I get back to the US.

Tomorrow I head down to Hiroshima. Later folks!!!!
11231 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
M / North Carolina, USA
Offline
Posted 6/10/12
Sounds great.
Have you tried any of the Japanese you were working on?
40728 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
43 / M / Reno, NV, USA
Offline
Posted 6/10/12 , edited 6/10/12
How interesting; you ended up at the Prince Hotel in Hakone also! Must be a favorite for tour operators or something like that. I had the same impression in 2010-- beautiful setting, but you're trapped when it comes to dinner. All the little shops and restaurants nearby close at 4-ish, leaving only the hotel itself for dinner-- has to be some sort of collusion going on there! I was rather expecting it when I went in 2010, and so just prepared myself to splurge on kaiseki ryouri for dinner, but eating a light lunch and pigging out on the free (or rather, included in hotel charge) all-you-can-eat breakfast. Incidentally, by declining maid service for cleaning your hotel room, you can earn a voucher for Y1000 each night, which you can then apply towards the cost of the dinner. I did this for two consecutive nights, and got Y2000 off the Y13,500 dinner set on my final night.
(Edit: checked my trip receipts-- actually only Y1000 voucher each night, not Y2000 as I originally stated)
28063 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
33 / M / Staten Island, NY...
Offline
Posted 6/11/12

makingpickles wrote:

Sounds great.
Have you tried any of the Japanese you were working on?


I forgot most of it, and didn't have enough time to learn much.

28063 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
33 / M / Staten Island, NY...
Offline
Posted 6/11/12 , edited 6/14/12
Grand Prince Hiroshima is equally a pain just like Hakone. They didn't accept the hotel voucher from Agoda because of a mistake I did not see, and was on the phone for 25 minutes at $1.69/min with them trying to cancel it, just so I can rebook it. The website would not allow me to cancel the booking.

The peace memorial was nice, but I am completely regretting two nights in Hiroshima. It's the first night here, and I wish I was back in Kyoto. I really don't like Hiroshima, and it's a royal pain in the ass traveling with someone who hates Japanese culture and food for the whole 11 days.
28063 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
33 / M / Staten Island, NY...
Offline
Posted 6/14/12
Back in NY. I will upload pictures and videos later today. Just got in from a 12.5 hour flight. I might drive up to Poconos in an hour or two.

Trip was great. I can't believe how sad I am to be back in NY.
611 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
28 / M
Offline
Posted 6/16/12
Didn't I say you'd have a good time?

So, Hiroshima wasn't good because of your traveling companion? I don't get it. Granted the city itself is kind of small but I thought the people there were super nice. Anyway, did you make it out to Miyajima?

As far as reservations go for me, in the future that is, I'm not gonna make them anymore. Don't have to. I'd have changed my trip too had it not been for the threat of a penalty if I canceled one reservation to go somewhere else. There's enough Toyoko Inns around the country to get a room without one.
28063 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
33 / M / Staten Island, NY...
Offline
Posted 6/16/12

Kuro_Kiri wrote:

Didn't I say you'd have a good time?

So, Hiroshima wasn't good because of your traveling companion? I don't get it. Granted the city itself is kind of small but I thought the people there were super nice. Anyway, did you make it out to Miyajima?

As far as reservations go for me, in the future that is, I'm not gonna make them anymore. Don't have to. I'd have changed my trip too had it not been for the threat of a penalty if I canceled one reservation to go somewhere else. There's enough Toyoko Inns around the country to get a room without one.


Try Super Hotel as well. The one in Kyoto in the Shijo shopping area is really cheap and nice. We paid about 5900 yen for a night. That was for the two of us. It was one large bed and a fold out sofa. There is wired internet in the room, complementary breakfast (not as good as the Toyoko Inn, but it was good - plus they make the vending machines free during that time), the room is modern and new. They also give small gift sets to women. It was the cheapest night of our stay, and was one of the best ones.

I just wasn't so fond of Hiroshima. I just found it dingy, dark, and felt a bit run down. I don't know. Maybe I was sour over the whole hotel fiasco there.

Miyajima was very nice. I really enjoyed it. :)


I am starting to upload photos.

This is the Flickr, let me know if the link works: http://www.flickr.com/photos/80515080@N07/

.
28063 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
33 / M / Staten Island, NY...
Offline
Posted 6/16/12


Photos can be found here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/80515080@N07/
611 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
28 / M
Offline
Posted 6/17/12
5900 for a double isn't bad. I joined the Toyoko club for the discount. I was paying about 4800 average for a single and I think it was about 5200 a night in Tokyo.

Sorry to hear about Hiroshima. I guess for most going to Miyajima from there is about the only thing to do. When I was there it rained during the day, I was able to walk around the city more at night so to me it was bright and lively. Plus my hotel was close to the entertainment district so there were a lot of girls running around.

I'd totally go back there, but really to see Miyajima again. I want to go further south on the island. My friend said there were monkeys at the top, I didn't see any so I'm determined to go back and find one. Did you get a chance to go to the top of Mt. Misen? I'll check out your pictures.
28063 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
33 / M / Staten Island, NY...
Offline
Posted 6/17/12
Super awesome sushi in Kyoto:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO2vGaUn3Nw
28063 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
33 / M / Staten Island, NY...
Offline
Posted 7/18/12 , edited 7/18/12
I am looking at going next summer again. I have started the "GodWhomIsMike's Summer 2013 Japan trip that might be 3 weeks long this time" fund.. I told my friend in Kyoto about it. I can't get it off of my mind after going, and need to go back again.

If it's 2 weeks long, I am thinking of Tokyo, Enoshima, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and maybe Mount Koya.

I kinda would like to travel to the top of the top of the Tohoku region, but there isn't anything I am really excited to see there. Maybe Aomori... but not so much on the top of my list. Although, I would love to see Tsurunoyu, Nyuto Onsen.
28063 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
33 / M / Staten Island, NY...
Offline
Posted 8/9/12

GodWhomIsMike wrote:

I am looking at going next summer again. I have started the "GodWhomIsMike's Summer 2013 Japan trip that might be 3 weeks long this time" fund.. I told my friend in Kyoto about it. I can't get it off of my mind after going, and need to go back again.

If it's 2 weeks long, I am thinking of Tokyo, Enoshima, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and maybe Mount Koya.

I kinda would like to travel to the top of the top of the Tohoku region, but there isn't anything I am really excited to see there. Maybe Aomori... but not so much on the top of my list. Although, I would love to see Tsurunoyu, Nyuto Onsen.


Yesterday, I got hired to teach two evening classes in the Fall semester. This is going to greatly to contribute to the 2013 trip. One of the colleges told me they really want me to do two classes in the Spring, and will give me the details in a month or so. Looks like I should have the finances covered.
28063 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
33 / M / Staten Island, NY...
Offline
Posted 10/21/12 , edited 10/21/12
I am planning on going to Japan again.

(I have plenty of vacation time (46+ days of vacation time) I have earned at work, but they have been really a royal pain in the ass about me using the time I earned after over a decade of working. Hopefully by the time any of these dates come, I will have transferred to another campus).

Looking at going, here are some weeks I am able to squeeze it in:

December 26 - January ??? (first choice)

Summer 2013 (second choice, but I hate waiting)

March 24 -> April 2nd (sucks because it is right before cherry blossom season)


I wanted to go April 7 -> April 19th, but I will be teaching two courses in the spring at night. I can't cancel 8 days worth of classes. March 24th -> April 2 would only be two classes at most cancelled, but I would totally miss cherry blossom season.
27306 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
22 / M / UK
Offline
Posted 10/22/12
. . .wow! That looked incredible! Went through all the pictures! ( \o/ yay for lunch breaks ) Looks to be absolutely fantastic! Been hearing about Japan from a friend of mine who was recently there. I'm now looking into flights and accommodations :P. Hopefully I can book something for some time later ^-^!
First  Prev  1  2  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.