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    Pocket Guide: Japan

    Japanese culture is a fusion of East and West. Though skyscrapers, gigantic animated billboard,s and high-speed transportation systems dominate Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, the cities are still places where the austere beauty of a traditional Japanese sculpture garden is also revered. There are plenty of chain hotels in Japan, but you will see many other lodging options too, such as the traditional guesthouses called ryokans.

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    Tokyo's Ghibli Museum is an homage to anime, showcasing the work of one of Japan's top anime film studios. The Roppongi Art Triangle houses the Mori Museum, the Suntory Museum, and the National Art Center of Tokyo. While the Meiji-jingu Shrine, the largest Shinto shrine in Japan, is dedicated to the spirit of the early 20th-century Japanese emperor who presided over Japan's transition from feudal backwater to world power. While there are plenty of Japan hotel packages in Tokyo, language differences can make locating rooms difficult. Many travelers prefer to book reservations for a cheap Japan hotel deal before they leave home so that they can take advantage of discount rates.

    Travel to Kyoto, Japan's ancient imperial capital, on the Shinkansen bullet train, Asia's fastest high-speed rail. There are 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto, including the Kamigamo Shrine built in A.D. 678 on the shores of the Kamo River and the Nijo Castle, the donjon of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

    The Kyoto Imperial Palace, home to Japan's royal family for five centuries, is worth seeing too, and tours are free. The gardens surrounding the Palace, designed by the most famous landscape architect in Japanese history, are widely considered Japan's most beautiful gardens. Kyoto is also famous for its handicrafts and for being one of the best places to shop for textiles, pottery, fans, and curios to bring back home as gifts. A number of Japan hotel deals can be had here too.

    If you are interested in samurais, Matsumoto Castle features a superb collection of 16th-century samurai armor, the oldest extant kept in Japan, and a special chamber built in 1635 that was specially designed for viewing the moon. The Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa took 150 years to build, and it is one of the largest gardens in Japan, featuring knolls, trees, streams, ponds, and footpaths.

    Japan hotels are very comfortable, but Western tourists should expect a set of amenities that are different from what they are used to. The Japanese, for example, prefer to sleep on hard pillows. These cultural differences are listed on Expedia so that you find cheap hotel deals in Japan that offer your preferred amenities at reasonable prices.

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    Hotels in Tokyo

    Hotel Gracery Ginza - Tokyo Hotels
    Rating: 3.5 Stars

    Hotel Gracery Ginza

    7-10-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo - Map
     
     
    "Nice hotel in the heart of the shopping district"
    I stayed at the Hotel Gracery for 4 nights for a work trip. The room was very cozy and clean. The staff was pleasant (though they really don't speak English very well - they do make an effort!). The hotel is conveniently located in the heart of the Ginza shopping district and is only a few blocks from the metro. The only draw back (which did not affect me) is that there is a massive construction project across the street. Luckily, I was staying in a room on the other side of the building and did not hear it. I absolutely plan to stay here again on my next trip to Tokyo and will recommend that my colleagues do so as well.
    Traveller from Foster City, CA
    This hotel is located in Tokyo (Ginza), close to San-ai Building, Kabuki-za Theatre, and Tsukiji Fish Market. Also nearby are …More
    Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku - Tokyo Hotels
    Rating: 3.5 Stars
    $139

    Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku

    2-3-1 Yoyogi, Tokyo - Map
     
     
    "Nicely remodeled and comfortable hotel."
    I rate this hotel 5 stars for the money. The service is impeccable with a friendly and helpful staff. The location is excellent---a short stroll from the south exit at Shinjuku Station. Although the rooms may seem a bit small, they are very clean and larger than some hotels in the Shinjuku area with comparable room rates (I've stayed at several over the years). The trattoria/bar on the 1st floor is also very nice with Japanese-Italian cuisine at reasonable prices. Be sure to reserve tables in advance on weekends as the open salad bar is very popular with non-guests.
    Len from San Francisco, CA
    Across the street from Shinjuku Station, the hotel is one km (one-half mile) from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.More
    Century Southern Tower Hotel - Tokyo Hotels
    Rating: 4.0 Stars

    Century Southern Tower Hotel

    2-2-1 Yoyogi, Tokyo - Map
     
     
    "Look no further, great views, staff & experience!"
    This was our first trip to Tokyo and absolutely loved this hotel! Would def stay here again on our next trip. If you're on the fence, the scenic views are def worth the extra cost. We had an east side view which was great. I think the Mt. Fuji view is on the west side. Location is close to Shinjuku station (so very convenient for the narita express airport train, metro etc). From the station, Be sure to follow the signs for the south exit / southern terrace or you could end up taking a long and confusing walk - I really can't stress this enough. We had brunch at the restaurant on the 20th floor which was a combination of western and Japanese style buffet - very good!
    Laith from New York
    Located in the heart of Tokyo, this family-friendly hotel is within walking distance of Takashimaya Times Square and NTT …More

    Hotels in Osaka

    Hotel Monterey Osaka - Osaka Hotels
    Rating: 3.5 Stars

    Hotel Monterey Osaka

    3-3-45 Umeda, Osaka - Map
     
     
    "Excellent, charming hotel"
    We had a wonderful stay in this hotel. Helpful and polite staff. Clean rooms and comfortable triple beds. A charming hotel with its own chapel, very popular for weddings. We are very glad for the underground passage that connects to Osaka Station. Especially important in winter as we were sheltered from the rain and cold. Getting to the airport was a breeze. From the basement of the hotel, enter basement A11 of Osaka Garden City. From there, walk straight to exit 71 (Herbis Osaka), take the lift up and you are at the Airport Limousine Bus which takes you to Kansai International Airport. We had so many luggages when we left at 6am but we need not use any staircase or steps to get to the Limousine Bus. Just a short, smooth walk from the hotel. No need for taxis.
    Jenny from Kuala Lumpur
    Located in the Umeda business-and-entertainment district, this Osaka hotel is 0.6 km (0.4 mi) from Umeda Sky Building, with …More
    Hotel New Hankyu Osaka - Osaka Hotels
    Rating: 3.5 Stars
    $113

    Hotel New Hankyu Osaka

    1-1-35 Shibata 1, Osaka - Map
     
     
    "Close to bus stops and train stations"
    Very close to airport shuttle bus stop (50feet away) and next to both Hankyu and JR train stations. Restaurants are everywhere too.
    jun from osaka,japan
    Located in the heart of Osaka, this family-friendly hotel is within walking distance of Grand Front Osaka, Tempozan Harbor …More
    Hearton Hotel Nishiumeda - Osaka Hotels
    Rating: 3.5 Stars

    Hearton Hotel Nishiumeda

    3-3-55 Umeda, Osaka - Map
     
     
    "Small but enough"
    Tiny room, but clean and having all you need, and that's what you can get at this price in central Umeda. It's very close to airport bus, JR and subway station. Walking distance to many department stores, restaurants and Umeda sky building. Comparing to other expensive 5 star hotels nearby, Hearton is a great choice if you only want to spend less than 200 dollars a night.
    Sharon from Beijing
    This hotel is located in Osaka (Umeda), close to Osaka Shiki Theater, Umeda Sky Building, and Osaka Science Museum. Also …More

    Hotels in Kyoto

    Hyatt Regency Kyoto - Kyoto Hotels
    Rating: 4.5 Stars

    Hyatt Regency Kyoto

    644-2 Sanjusangendo-mawari, Kyoto - Map
     
     
    "A Quiet Place rest away from busy Kyoto"
    Stayed at the Hyatt Kyoto for 5 nights over the New year. Very spacious, clean and comfortable room. Love the integrated shower and bath area. The hotel is opposite the National Museum of Kyoto and almost next to an ancient but fascinating temple. Nice "inn-like" setting in and around the hotel. Love the sight of the bamboo grooves outside the main entrance. The area is quiet and away from the hustle and bustle of Kyoto city. 10 minute walk away is a metro station that can take you to Gion, Sanjo, etc. 10 minute taxi ride to the Kyoto Railway station or the city. The grounds around the hotel was a beautiful sight when it snowed on 1st and 2nd day of the new year.
    Peter from Singapore
    Located in the city's eastern Higashiyama Ward, the hotel is less than 2.5 km (1.5 miles) from Kiyomizu and Sanjusangendo …More
    Hearton Hotel Kyoto - Kyoto Hotels
    Rating: 3.0 Stars
    $88

    Hearton Hotel Kyoto

    Oike-agaru, Higashinotoin St. Nakagyo, Kyoto - Map
     
     
    "Good stay"
    Hotel was great! It was clean, relatively new and only 2mins walk away from the train station.
    J from K
    The Hearton Hotel Kyoto is in the city center, a 2-minute walk from the Karasumaoike subway stop and 3 stops from Kyoto …More
    Hotel Monterey Kyoto - Kyoto Hotels
    Rating: 3.5 Stars
    $175

    Hotel Monterey Kyoto

    604 Manjuya-cho, Sanjo-sagaru, Kyoto - Map
     
     
    "8 nights very good stay"
    The hotel was great and the concierge was great the restaurant recommendations were excellent
    Bill from Maryland
    In the city center, this 13-story hotel is two blocks from the Kyoto Art Center and five blocks from the Imperial Palace.More