While most people would opt for Tokyo or Osaka as their point of entry to Japan, we decided to buck convention by going through Nagoya’s Chubu Centrair International Airport — basically for two reasons: 1) it was less crowded and therefore less stressful; and 2) tickets for Nagoya are generally cheaper than the other two cities regardless of the airline you take (ssshhhhhh it’s our little secret :3).
Our 15:00 PM flight was delayed in Manila by about an hour, so we landed in Nagoya also an hour late. After deplaning it was a mad dash for Nagoya Station to catch our overnight Willer Express bus to Tokyo — yet another of our super seekrit money-saving tips for getting around Japan (overnight buses are not just cheap, comfortable, and efficient — they also save you money because you don’t need to book a hotel room for the night!).
When we arrived in Tokyo at 5:00 AM, it was way too early even for our ryokan’s early 7:00 AM check-in time, so we decided to grab a late dinner/early breakfast at Sukiya. Sukiya is a beef bowl joint similar to Yoshinoya, and is a favorite haunt of drunks and people who didn’t make it to the last train. It was a nice hot meal after nearly eighteen hours in transit, and it definitely hit the spot.
A little closer to 7:00 AM we rattled our way to our ryokan in the east side of Ikebukuro. Kimi Ryokan is a famous and highly-recommended Japanese ryokan-style budget hotel, complete with tatami rooms, warm futon, and sleeping yukata. Toilets and showers are shared, as is the Japenese-style cedar bath and lounge. The staff are friendly and accommodating, and speak excellent English for travelers who are not confident with their Japanese skills.
Continued in 2014 Japan Trip Day 1: Tokyo.
2 Comments Add yours
Thanks for the info, were planning to go to tokyo in winter con 🙂
So excited for the rest of the report. I’d like to try a ryokan on my next visit as I only tried budget hotels last year 😦
Oh… Akemashite Omedetou~!