Category Archives: Accommodation

No need to offer me a seat

And so here I was on the Chuo Line Rapid rumbling to Shinjuku, heading to the coin-operated laundry as directed by my Information Service friends back at Tokyo – back pack stuffed with dirty clothes. I know the last hour … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Big Cities, Tokyo, Trains | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on No need to offer me a seat

JR Metropolitan Hotel Marunouchi, worth the splurge

Fair to say that 5 Stars is punching well above my usual accommodation level when getting around Japan. 3 Star business hotels are the norm. The JR Metropolitan Hotel Marunouchi (Tokyo) has such a good reputation and is close to … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Big Cities, Tokyo, Trains | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Kawayu Onsen – better second time around

There is something exotic and very reflective of the heart of Japan to stay in an old wooden ryokan, a fast flowing river in front before big hills that surround. Add to that open air hot spring baths. Kawayu Onsen … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Onsen, Small Towns and Villages, Trains, Wakayama | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Kawayu Onsen – better second time around

My Umbrella

The simple question from my work colleague was “where did I get my umbrella?” It might look like an ordinary, cheap looking, clear plastic, black ribbed and black handled umbrella. But that umbrella is a link to disaster, resilience, hope … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Disasters, Iwate, People, Small Towns and Villages | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Packing. Not yet competent

You would think that after a dozen overseas trips that I would be able to get packing down to a fine art. Well think again. I am certainly a long way off being competent in the art of packing light. … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Miyagi | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Packing. Not yet competent

No regrets, but next time ….

Being a single traveler has a particular advantage in flexibility it brings. However you are always on the outside, a 2 hour drop in to a place, a single seat at the izakaya buzzing with small work groups. For all … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Big Cities, Disasters, Miyagi, Small Towns and Villages | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Don’t bother with Ginzan Onsen. Unless …

Yes I hear you. Ginzan Onsen is a beautiful place. Local and Prefecture visitor guides and bloggers consistently recommend Ginzan Onsen in Yamagata Prefecture for its old buildings, picturesque street and hot springs.  But in March as winter slowly moves … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Onsen, Small Towns and Villages, Yamagata | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The cold, the old and the bold

My return to Japan in March revolved around attending the United Nations third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR). Posts about that amazing event, the organisations and the people around the world putting their energies into mitigating the impacts … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Akita, Big Cities, Miyagi, Small Towns and Villages, Tokyo, Trains, Yamagata | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The cold, the old and the bold

Kawayu Onsen in Wakayama

I don’t usually post long stories or  promote commercial operations. But this post does as I want to recount a tale that says a lot about the Japanese experience , particularly for western visitors. It’s about Kawayu Onsen in Wakayama … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Onsen, Small Towns and Villages, Wakayama | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Cornering the Takayama Autumn Festival

Getting a bed in Takayama around the famous and hugely popular Autumn Festival can be a challenge. By booking months ahead, Veronica and I got a fantastic Japanese style room at the Zenkoji Buddhist Temple right in the centre of … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Art and Culture, Festivals, Gifu, Small Towns and Villages | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ideas from the hostel notice board

Thursday night was dragging on. Beer cans strewn across the maps, nut packets ripped open, hostelers from many lands moving around the small lounge area and kitchen. And no plan for Saturday afternoon. With a few nights in K’s House … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Big Cities, Hiroshima | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A (small) room for all occasions

I glumly posted some time ago about giving up on Youth Hostel accommodation. I felt more and more uncomfortable as a single 50+ traveler, appearing as if my T-shirt slogan was “Uncle Tony the chaperone”. Small rooms, too many hip … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Big Cities, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Shizuoka, Small Towns and Villages, Tokyo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

These are not snow monkeys

Soaking in a rotenburo (open-air hot bath) is one of truly great Japanese experiences, and some way to finish a day. Don’t confuse us with the famous Jigokudani snow monkeys at Nagono. We are actually at Kawayu Onsen, a relatively … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Onsen, Small Towns and Villages, Wakayama | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable

Not human or animal. Built. The trusty, reliable and ever present business hotel is a welcome partner. Close to transport, wi-fi for planning the next day. Good breakfast. Just the go for those days traveling around Japan without partner, brother … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Big Cities, Shizuoka, Trains | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Weekly Photo Challenge: Companionable

Overloading the senses before getting down to eating

There is a moment of hesitation when the hostel staff recommend a place to eat. What sort of contra deal has been negotiated? Does the guy’s brother run the place? Some 4 months later, I can get around to writing … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Onsen, Shizuoka, Small Towns and Villages | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Japan is not expensive

Contrary to many well known travel guides, Japan is not an expensive place to visit. On average over 12 nights, accommodation was Y5,900 per night, about $A80. For Tokyo (Terminal Hotel, Ueno) and Matsumoto (New Station Hotel), both very very … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Nagano, Tochigi, Tokyo | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Japan is not expensive

The expensive long weekend is over

Hey, what’s money anyway? I often say to family and friends when the prospect of me and/or Veronica travelling comes up in conversation – I don’t spend my money at the pub or on the pokies, travel is my 50’s … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Big Cities, Disasters, Osaka | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The expensive long weekend is over

Give up on the hostels

I have to accept it. A mix of being 50+, alone, and not a conversationalist tends to make me stick out like dogs balls in the hostel setting. K’s House Tokyo, Kuramae At K’s House Kuramae (Tokyo) the hostel was … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Big Cities, Nara, Tokyo | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Give up on the hostels

Accommodation is all sorted

For the first time, I am taking the night flight from Australia with Qantas, so I should be in Tokyo by 9:00am on Saturday 12th March. I have booked for 4 nights in K’s House youth hostel in Kuramae – near Asakusa. … Continue reading

Posted in Accommodation, Big Cities, Tokyo | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Accommodation is all sorted