The first hotel I ever stayed in in Japan is the Richmond Hotel Shinkansen and it was an awesome way to start the trip.
I stayed in this hotel as part of my trip with Japan Tourism and Cathay Pacific to Nagoya, Takayama, Shirakawa-Go and Kanazawa and because it was my first hotel in Japan, I was curious about the general standard of hotels.Firstly, the checkin procedure took less than 5 minutes and we were on our way to our room. As is with the case with many Japanese hotels, rooms here are quite small.But small doesn’t mean crappy. The bed was layered with quilts and soft coverings, the TV was a massive thing of more than 43″, it came with phone charging adapters, pyjamas and the coolest little bathroom!
The bathroom has a deep bath, shower that has good pressure and is hot, electronic toilet with a bunch of settings and even a mirror that doesn’t steam up after you’ve had a shower. Incredible!The breakfast downstairs is often included in your room price and offers a wide range of Japanese food as well as a few Western style dishes such as cereal and bread. It was definitely filling and we were happy with it.Location of this place is really good if you need to catch a train because it is literally 5 minutes from the Nagoya train station, 2 minutes from the nearest convenience store, but about 2km from the main central district of Nagoya. And that’s something you’re going to have to think about when staying in Nagoya. Do you want to be close to the train station so you don’t have to carry your luggage far, or do you want to be close to the very centre of town so you don’t have to walk far to see the sights.For our first hotel in Japan, Richmond Hotel Shinkansen was a winner! And judging by many of the other reviews we’ve since read, most people agree.
Richmond Hotel Nagoya Shinkansen-guchi
2 Chome Kamejima, Nagoya
Double Room: US$100 (Check current price on booking.com)
Located about 100m from the Takayama Train Station, the Best Western Takayama is one of the best located hotels in Takayama mainly because of how close it is to the train station.
Checkin at Best Western was super fast and we were in our room with minutes. We immediately cranked up the thermostat to 25°C and despite it being -5°C outside, the room was sooooooo warm. If you’re in Takayama in winter, you will appreciate this!The rooms here are quite spacious, the bedding soft and the included pyjamas very comfortable. The TV is a big one and the wifi is fast.The bathroom featured lots of good amenities and the shower was super hot and super strong. Cleanliness of the whole place was excellent.We ate at the in-house restaurant twice. Once for incredible Hida beef at dinner and once for breakfast. Both were really impressive.In fact, the breakfast was excellent with a wide range of dishes including salmon, pastries, bacon and crispy fried chicken.The hotel itself is located just around the corner from the train station so you don’t need to a taxi to get there — you simply walk perhaps 150m. The old town is 750m away which is easy walking distance.
We really loved Best Western Takayama and highly recommend it if you need a good hotel in Takayama.
Best Western Takayama
6-6 Hanasato-Machi, Takayama
Room with Breakfast: US$124 (check current price on booking.com)
We stayed at Dormy Inn when we visited Kanazawa and it was quite good, but there were a few things that could have been better.
Dormy Inn is a bigger hotel than any we’ve stayed in in Japan so far, so the checkin process was a little more crowded. But amazingly, they still checked us in within 5 minutes of us arriving. The Japanese are so efficient and you needn’t worry about checkin efficiency here.The rooms at Dormy Kanazawa are quite small, but come with large LCD TV (no international channels), fast wifi, smallish double beds, air conditioning and older style bathrooms. Even though the rooms were a little bit older than we’ve previously experienced, they were very clean and comfortable.There’s a free onsen onsite, but we didn’t try it but friends of ours did. They were suitably impressed!
Breakfast in the morning had a great selection of Japanese food, so if you love Japanese food, you will love this breakfast buffet. But if you prefer Western breakfast, you will be slightly disappointed with this buffet as there are hardly any options — and the options that do exist (like croissants) are quite poor.The breakfast issue aside, Dormy Inn Kanazawa is a decent option if you’re visiting Kanazawa as it’s incredibly close to both the train and bus stations so that you can just walk around the corner to check in. Kenroku-en is a 3km walk away. Awesome.The latest prices for the hotel can be found here on booking.com
2-25 Horikawa Shinmachi, Kanazawa
Double Room: Rp1.150.000