Guide to Tokyo hotels

Guide to Tokyo hotels

Hotels types typically fall within the range from budget type hostels to five star luxurious suites. Tokyo has many accommodation variants that are not within the spectrum. Reasons for the birth of these accommodations are due to expensive land prices, small living quarters for families and ultra efficient public transport system. They value convenience above all and also a relaxing hot bath.

The first of the kind is the capsule hotel. It is essentially a sleeping pod with the size of one futon. The rooms are shaped in capsule sizes just big enough for a good night's rest. It may be out of this world but it is nothing more than a hostel filled stranger sharing beds. Capsule hotels are filled with strangers as well but a little more privacy is afforded. You get to watch TV via headphones and a chance to use the hot bath. It is specially catered for salarymen missing their train late at night. It costs about 4000 yen per night, cheaper compared to one taxi ride home. It has all basic amenities ready such as towels and toothbrushes as well as cotton robes. It may be good to bring along earplug for quietness. Men can go to Green Plaza while ladies can go for Ladies 501.

Sauna is actually a code for cheap roof over the head to crash over the night. Large public bathhouses that operate 24/7 usually come with relaxation rooms filled with armchairs. Saunas are a common feature around nightlife districts. Rooms are usually filled with salarymen. In women's sauna, it is usually filled with worn out bar hostesses. Saunas are slighty cheaper compared to capsule hotels (around 3000 yen per night) but comes with better bathing options. Some of their specialties include more upscale baths or outdoor baths that draws in the tourists. Traveller can look out for La Qua, a high class public bathhouse.

Manga kissa used to be a private reading booth for rent, usually a fixed fee where customers can read their favorite books in the booth. Kissa stands for café while manga stands for Japanese comics. People reading were also sleeping in the booth, usually teenagers. Manga kissa operators decided to implement the overnight stay option for the customers rather than shooing them out. It has developed to the extent of manga kissa having shower rooms, blankets and hair drying equipment. Standard rate for manga kissa costs 1500 yen complete with soft drinks but your stay is limited to 8 hours over the night. Gran Cyber Bagus Café is a good choice and has dedicated area for ladies.

Love hotels are hotels based on love themes and they differentiate themselves via elaborate schemes and décor. It is an important social venue for lovebirds who often stay in cramped buildings together with their families. The hotels are equipped with creative décor and could come with karaoke machines and Wii consoles. Patrons have the option for night stay or day rest. You can get the keys to your room via machine dispenser. Hotel Meguro is a recommended love hotel for those looking to experience the stay.

Ryokan have been around since centuries ago and is the most traditional form of temporary lodging facility. It is usually operated by family members of the sole owner. Its rooms are equipped with futons placed neatly on mat floors. The décor is clean and simple and rooms are clean and well maintained. Bathing areas are shared by all guests which is usually in the form of huge bath container. Towels and robes are provided. Dinner and breakfast may be inclusive depending on the stay package. Ryokan gives a feeling of Japanese homestay. It is not very popular among young adults as they pay less attention to tidiness. They are not used to rolling up futons after their sleep early morning. It is getting rare for Ryokans to be found in Tokyo. Sawanoya Ryokan would make a good choice of stay for those wanting to feel the Ryokan experience.

Shinkansen modern bullet train

Shinkansen modern bullet train

50th anniversary for Shinkansen: Japan's first modern bullet train

Shinkansen sits in the world modern railway history when it debuted around 1964 as a sleek, modern design bullet train known for its speed and punctuality.

Japanese rail has brought cheers to the transport users for more than 50 years. Tourists can opt for many Rail Pass and discount tickets. To commemorate the 50th anniversary for Shinkansen, locals and foreigners alike can enjoy any of the 10 rail adventures around Japan.

First on the list is revisiting history by paying tribute to the Railway museum. It is located in Omiya, just 25km from Tokyo. The museum houses well preserved train models right from the steam train model to modern day electric rails. Indulge in the train simulator for a true Sinkansen train ride experience. The next step is to look to the future at the Railway Park located near Nagoya, where futuristic train models are displayed. SCMAGLEV is a magnetic levitation tech code name which allows high speed travel up to 580km an hour. The world record shattering train powered by Maglev is on display for all to admire. Trains do sell proper gourmet in the form of bento box. It contains Japanese local delicacies. Fine dining options are also available at the posh dining rail service Tohoku Emotion. You can enjoy your 3 course meals during the travel from Hachinohe right to Kuji.

Journey spanning over nighttime is equally exhilarating and there are overnight sleeper locomotives on service such as Cassiopeia or Hokutosei service travelling from Sapporo and Tokyo. One can take the famous Twilight Express for a 23 hour ride from Sapporo to Osaka, complete with Japan Sea coast view. Try Seven Stars for travel from Hakata to Kagoshima for an authentic oriental express experience.

Steam trains are still available for ride for those looking for old fashioned travelling mode. Fuyu Shitsugen go, a steam locomotive operates between January till mid-March. It passes through the Kushiro Shitsugen Park, where one can admire the birds and eagles. Moka Railway, another steam locomotive, bring travellers through to the pottery town Mashiko. Trams are still operating in some Japanese cities, which offer travellers the urban atmosphere and neatly lined up building quarters. One of the tram lines is Toden Arakawa. It is one of the last remaining trains having the ding ding sound that runs along Waseda university quarters as well as Minowa bashi. Trams can sometime travel very close to adjacent buildings that it can be reached by arm's length. Funiculars or cable railways are excellent for travelling on mountains. One can try out Hakone Tozen rail which transports travellers from base to Hakone Lakeland resort near Mt Fuji. Cable railway is also a necessary mode of transport that links Japan Alps to Nagano Prefecture. It is none other than the Tateyama Kurobe route. Shinkansen train lines do not pass along scenic country side, except for routes connecting Tokyo and Nagano. One can opt for pretty journey beside Japan Sea on Kitakinki Tango Railroad. You will get the opportunity to view the famous Amanohashidate sandbank.

Train journey through to the mountainous country allows one to spot cute snow monkeys. One such line which offers such view is the Nagano Electric Railroad Snow Monkey Ride Express. The trains bring you close to hot pools with monkeys bathing alongside. The train trip for the way back bring one to the Obuse town, famous for chestnuts and sake as well as home to woodblock imprint master Mr. Katsushika Hokusai.

Last but not least, one could make some time for admiring the magnificent train station structures. Tokyo Station was restored to its 1914 red building look and is looking as magnificent as ever. Take some time also to visit Nikko station, all made from wooden materials. For a glimpse of modern architecture, head over to Kyoto station and you will gasp at the similarity with works from science fiction manga comics.

The Coffee Culture by Kyoto

The Coffee Culture by Kyoto

A coffee owner runs a shop since a lot of experts look for peace in this kind of place, this is by far one of the best built coffee shops in the city's natural beauty, thus it takes into consideration the historical built, the quietness of the roads and the attention to even the smallest detail that the artisans have applied to the job. There is also hand painted signs, blinds and even beautifully restored facades that mark the entrance way to a lot of the beautiful coffee worries. How about a new wave coffee shop?

Daisuke Takayama's Kamogawa Café is by far among the newest that has swept the area by storm in the past ten years, thus they take both the drinks as well as the space wherein it is very much adored by the masses.

The coffee shop occupies the loft, the space on the 2nd floor that is overlooking the side street of Kyoto and the Central part of the Kamo River. It will run from the eastern part of the Majestic Palace grounds. The anterior part of the windows come with checkered panes and beautifully colored glass. The floor as well as the desks is made up of hot and unstained wood. Their menu is also handmade. Where on earth can you find a menu that is hand written and hand painted? It is only in Kyoto. To really become successful in the coffee industry in Kyoto, there must be a sense of creativity and originality, this is in accordance with the statement given by Takayama.

However, it is the coffee that is hand roasted every day that makes the coffee shops different with Kamogawa Café. The left to the percolate slowly thru the flannel filter, they use it instead of using a typical kind of paper. The coffee on the other hand is thicker and quite stronger too. If you go for the classic kind of coffee, this kind of coffee shop seems like something that has been lifted from the ancient times. It looks like it is a combination of the first world war and the second world war. It is like an era of trucks as well as porters. The long and wide railway like a carriage, the kissaten contains a sole counter with the stained wood panel. There is a man behind the counter, he is the one making a cup of coffee all the time. He holds 2 big kettles that can take the boiling on the hob of the gas.

He adds some water over the newly crushed hand cooked coffee beans. He waited some more, before he pours every cup, he just warms the carafe over the open flame. The new coffee shops cannot even contest with the background of the place such as the Rokuyosha, however, they cannot just embrace the legacy of a different kind. Like the Sarasa Nishijin, it is housed in the old Fuki-no-Mori Onsen, it was a bathhouse in the past, way back 1920s. Though, it still looks like an ancient bathroom, the wooded latticework as well as the different bell shaped awning are just awesome. The light handed remodeling has kept them ornate in a Jade and bubble gum pink tiles which kept everything intact. The walls that have divided the men as well as the women from the sides of the bath runs through the center of the bathroom, the old armchairs have set under the tapered, walls that rose to the central part of the chimney. There is another local fixture is the coffee shop named Café Bibliotic Hello. 

Discover Japan through Drinks and Shops

Discover Japan through Drinks and Shops

When compared to the western part of the globe where you can find sodas and other sweetened drinks do not often show off in the menu, except for those that are being served in a Western style restaurant or diner. Nevertheless, the drinks of your option in Japan are o-cha. It is green tea in English. This can be served either hot or cold depending on your choice and the season. You can also find some varieties under the conventionally brewed type. Even if the canned ones you will get from the vending machines will not be the same as the watered ones brewed in the US or in Europe. They are serving the good kind in Tokyo. Moreover, the standard kind of cup of kohii or coffee you can also anticipate the esupuresso or espresso in English. They also have the kapuchino or the cappuccino and the matcha ratte or the green tea flavored latte.

If you are in Japan, you must also be familiar with the alcoholic beverages. Japanese are big consumers of birru or beer. They may drink lightly or they may go crazy over them. The wine and the whiskey are among the common types of drinks they prefer in terms of the alcoholic drinks. Even if their status is quite high, that means that they are just concern about the cost than in the Western part of the world. They also have the rice wine, which is a traditional drink and it varies from grades, the point of origin and the flavors as well. a lot of guests from Japan get there assuming they will be drunk, they intend to be drunk on a find cold Tokyo night, while some are still dreaming of becoming drunk for a high grade sake, but of course, they want it chilled. You can check on the website the different kinds of sake if you want to be familiar with it.

It is just so persuading to know that sake is just falling off the favor of the young generation today, while the strong shochu or distilled liquor from the grains of the sweet potatoes from instance is becoming famous. It is actually progressing and is becoming known to young ones. The taste of the shochu or on the rocks is one of the best way to try variety of flavors. On your way to discovering Tokyo, you also need to check some shopping venues. This place is also known not just for the alcoholic beverages, but also for their shops. Japan has a high end fashion from the vintage wares to the crafty items. The souvenirs have been a trade mark in japan, but little did you know that there are also gadgets for those techy savvy individuals. Regardless if you want to go through the high end shops or you are looking for affordable items, there are lots of shops in Tokyo that will satisfy your needs.

You must visit Ginza. It is one of the prominent shops in Tokyo. It is a home to the famous posh boutiques and department stores like Mitsukoshi and others. You can also find some toys and stationaries if you are a toy or stationary collector, you will surely love this place. Asakusa is another shop where you can relax and find things you need. It is located at the center of the Edo's low city, it is also a home to the artisans. You can find here some curtains for sale, it will also lead you to the temple of Senso-ji. You can also come and visit the Shinjuku. There are still lots of shops there that offers the traditional wood sandals of Japan.