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March/April trip, accommodation providers 2019/12/30 05:29
All the best for the new year, I have booked a trip from 26 March to 8 April arriving and departing Kansai and at the time because we usually go in late April or mid May I didnt realise we were pretty much smack in the middle of hanami. I'll get to my itinerary in a moment (not so much relevant but someone might be interested), my question is more about the third party accommodation providers and why they have rooms when the hotel itself doesnt.

I usually go direct to the hotel or I've liked Japan guest houses and Japanican, and sometimes I use a travel agent linked to JTB. But for some reason the Japanican site isnt working for me, Japan Guest Houses isnt immediate enough for my OCD to accept, and the travel agent can be frustrating with delays as well. So this time I tried booking with the hotels direct.

We are staying at 8 places over 14 days (yes we actually find this works for us these days), of those I was able to book direct in about 4, the rest were either showing as full on the hotel website or I couldnt work out the website for some reason, but there was availability on Agoda or Rakuten where I booked. That isnt unusual for rooms to be available on the third parties even when the hotel is showing full, is it?

Anyway, that is the main thing. The trip itself is a mix of our old favorites and some new places in a lazy loop - Nara (3 nights) - Dorogawa Onsen (2 nights) - Yoshino (1 night) - Kyoto (1 night) - Takayama (2 nights) - Hirayu Onsen (1 night) - Inuyama (1 night) - Hikone (2 nights).

We only want to visit Kyoto to do some shopping at a particular place, the prices on that night are insane. The Westin Miyako that I think of as a $500 per night place is $1900 per night, the Hyatt Regency were we usually stay is pretty close to that. We are staying this time in a little ryokan in Gion so we can walk to where we need to go. It's been a lot of years since I was in Kyoto around hanami, I can barely fathom that ryokans are cheaper than hotels.

Cheers, big post for not much question but if anyone wants to comment on anything else please feel free.
by Lazy Pious (guest)  

Re: March/April trip, accommodation providers 2019/12/30 10:14
Hi Pious,

I am happy to know you will come again to Japan. Situation about accommodation in Kyoto is drastically changing during this decade: In the first phase, more and more tourists (mainly foreigners) are coming so the hotel rates goes up (maybe until 2016 or so). Now we are in the second phase when new accommodations are increasing so the hotel rate is rather going down, if you search for new ones.

The new accommodations are in general for foreign family tourists with the number of 4 or more. In many cases, they are not hotels, they don't provide breakfast or dinner which I think is not a problem in cities like Kyoto.

I guess you will be staying in Kyoto on 1st April which is supposed to be the peak day of cherry blossoms.

What about this brand new accommodation? Actually it is not opened yet, but it will be open in February. It is in Higashiyama district (somewhere between Westin and Hyatt).

by frog1954 rate this post as useful

Re: March/April trip, accommodation providers 2019/12/30 11:44
Thanks Frog, that looks nice I'll check it out. The location is perfect.

It was only happenstance that we ended up in Kyoto on the 1st April, we actually need to go to our favorite insense/pottery shop near Kiyomizudera during the trip and the 1st suited as it breaks up a big trip from Yoshino to Takayama.

Looking forward to the trip, I think this will be trip number 15 or so
by Lazy Pious (guest) rate this post as useful

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