Originally Posted by 404Ender
Starting to look at places to stay now for Tokyo that's a bit nicer than a hostel and around the $200 per night range or less. The last time I visited I stayed in a great AirBnb in Roppongi and it was pretty reasonably priced. Are they still considered trustworthy, or are there hotel options we should be considering?
I've also heard that a lot of nicer restaurants require a reservation to be made through the hotel. Would staying at an AirBnb prevent us from having access to those?
Ok now I'm thinking I might do it this way:
Day 8: Osaka
Day 9: Hiroshima + Miyajima (spend the night in Miyajima)
Day 10: Head back to Tokyo and stop *somewhere* (Nara for half a day?) on the way OR head to Hakone or Nikko for onsen + overnight and head back to Tokyo the morning of Day 11
This is the first I'm hearing about Nikko. Is it the type of place we'd want a full day in, or could we spend the afternoon and overnight on Day 10, and then head back to Tokyo on Day 11 for our flight? Does it also have good onsens (since you mentioned it alongside Hakone)?
I went to Hakone on my last trip and did the whole loop with the pirate ship and the cable cars. TBH it felt pretty kitschy to me and I wish we'd spent the time elsewhere, but now I'm wondering if we just did the wrong things (it was too cloudy to see Fuji, and we didn't check out an onsen).
If you have specific onsen recommendations for either place (particularly somewhere we could stay overnight) please share : )
So Nikko you'll ideally want to spend the whole day there and stay overnight, just because of how much there is to see and how the train times are set out. It was my highlight mainly because of how much it had to offer, there were great hiking trails, waterfalls, lakes and temples, so many photo opportunities. It's known for its onsens too, but I didn't go to them when I went so hopefully someone else will be able to advise you about that. If you are planning to go then in order of importance (imo) I'd check out 1) Senjogahara hiking trail + Yumoto Onsen 2) Toshogo Shrine 3) Shinkyo Bridge 4) Kegon Waterfall 5) Kanmangafuchi Abyss 6) Akechidaira Plateau 7) Ryuzu Waterfall
Since how much you get to see will depend on when you get to Nikko and what time you leave the following morning. Because of the way the different sites are placed, I'd recommend doing Toshogo Shrine and Shinkyou Bridge on the morning of the 11th (they shouldn't take too long) and everything else the day before (just the hiking trail + onsen if you can only get there in the afternoon). You'll want to pick up the leaflets showing the bus routes when you get your train tickets to Nikko, this
site is pretty helpful too. The Senjogahara trail took about 3 hours, it's not particularly strenuous since it's mostly walking on flat surfaces, there are plenty of opportunities to sit down and admire the scenery, you'll get to see mountains in the distance and get taken through woods. At the end, I'd continue on, go up Yudaki Waterfall to Yunoko Lake, by that point you'll be close to the Yumoto Onsen area so you can relax in an onsen there after a long day. This is helpful if you want to do the hike (Link
There are probably better places to visit than Hakone if you have already been and weren't impressed with the more touristy bits, even if you did miss out on the main draw of the place. If you still want to go back and experience an onsen though then I went to Tenzan Onsen which was well priced, had about 5 different pools to choose from with different temperatures and it wasn't too crowded.
Oh and for Tokyo hotels, I stayed in APA Hotel. They have quite a few branches and it was pretty good value, rooms were nice, couldn't complain.