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Japan Lodging Tips, Ling?


TIP 10 – Holiday homes when travelling with family or with a big group
Holiday Home Japan Lodging
Dining Living Area

Renting holiday homes often works out to be a better deal than hotels for big group. They have more family-oriented facilities such as kitchen and dining area.

You’re unlikely to get a change of towels on daily basis. However, most of these holiday homes have washing machines, so you can easily wash and dry them if you need clean towels daily. Great for washing your dirty clothes too, so you can bring less change of clothes and have more space for shopping!

If the group is big, toilet availability may be a concern. Either look for bigger holiday homes that come with 2 toilets or have schedule agreement with the group.

Do ensure the owners have a business license to rent out their homes and some of them may require minimum days of stay. They also charge a cleaning fee, thus staying longer is a better deal.

Here’s a great holiday home to consider if you’re looking for a place in Tokyo – hosted by Terminal A01 (Asako and Kenji).


TIP 11 – Try an Onsen or Japanese style lodging for the experience

There is always one to fit your budget. Just have to search for it.

Onsen Japan Lodging
Outdoor Onsen

For those on a lower budget, consider Ryokans or Minshuku with shared facilities as they tend to be cheaper. Some Onsen Hotels are less fancy and it reflects in their prices too.

If you have the budget to splurge, go all out and get yourself pampered by the services of a long established Ryokan.

Japan has plenty of Ryokans, some with real Hot Spring waters. There are also Onsen Towns where you can try different hot springs and walk around in yukatas.

Another reason to stay at Ryokans is for the Kaiseki cuisine. Seasonal local ingredients are used in the cooking and you’ll get a feast not just for the stomach but for the eyes too. So opt for halfboard with your reservations.

Do note that lodgings with Hot Spring Onsen have an onsen tax of JPY150/person/night, regardless if you use the onsen or not.


TIP 12 – Always check reviews

Reviews give you an idea what to expect, if it’s value for money, so you don’t go in blindly. Some places post beautiful photos taken ages ago, when the actual condition leaves much to be desired.

On one of my trips, I decided to book a place with overall bad reviews and rating. Why did I do that? I noted the place was bought over by new management and they had recently renovated it. The bad reviews were all about the old place/management and I saw a few newer reviews that gave the place a better score. I was glad to give the place a chance as it turned out to be a good place to stay, with good service and delicious meals.


Extra Tip – How to deal with shared bath and toilet facilities

I really dislike shared facilities where guests are inconsiderate and leave a mess after they have use the facilities. I guess I’m rather particular about touching stranger’s dirt.

Most places with shared facilities do their cleaning in the afternoon after guests have checked out for the day and before new guests check in.

To avoid an unpleasant experience, I make the effort to be the first to use the facilities. I’d have dinner early and go back before everyone else comes back for the day. I try to be the first to use the shower and toilet when they are clean and dry. That way, I don’t have to deal with other people’s dirt all over the place.

Of course I make sure I don’t leave a mess after I’m done.

Now that this secret is out, I guess I have to find new way to deal with people who go back earlier to use the shared facilities!


Check out Where to Stay, Ling? for the different types of lodging in Japan!

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