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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
     
     
    "clean upscale location"
    Easy to find, close to two different main train/metro lines. Clean room with free pretty fast wifi. Our room even came with a massage lounger chair! Comfortable bed and friendly staff. I would definitely stay here again. Ginza is a really high end shopping area of Tokyo which also means that there are always taxis available, safe to walk even late at night, and great people watching!
    Michelle from Seattle, WA
    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
    $194

    Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku

    2-3-1 Yoyogi, Tokyo - Map
     
     
    "Good location, near to train station"
    Hotel staff was very well prepared, we asked about food and they had a list with a map on food places in the vicinity. They also had a list of places to go, how to get there and the cost. Room was cozy and clean, no smoke smell. Location was just a walk away from shinjuku station making it very convenient.
    cuiyi from sg
    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
    $212

    Century Southern Tower Hotel

    2-2-1 Yoyogi, Tokyo - Map
     
     
    "Excellent!"
    Fantastic hotel. Staff amazingly friendly and helpful. Clean, lots of little touches to make it special. Location was excellent - everything you need is nearby including metro stations. Would definitely stay here again.
    Laura from London
    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
     
     
    "Great location!"
    Had a fantastic time. The weather was perfect - blue skies, bright sun and cool breeze. You could hear the trains coming and going but it was faint like staying a block off the beach and hearing the waves... did not find it to be unpleasant.
    Mary from Orlando
    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
    $131

    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
     
     
    "Hotel conveniently located close to train station"
    Had nice few days in Osaka, my first time to Japan. Airport bus conveniently stopped 2 min walk from Hotel. Trains to other parts of Osaka that I wanted to go to were very easily accessible from the main train station, which was a short walk from the hotel. I had no need to get a taxi the 5 days I was there.
    john from singapore
    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
     
     
    "RealIy. . . I 'd Like to Live This Way Forever."
    This hotel was made for me. The easy elegance of this place is just how I imagine heaven would be. Great design; hip, but not trying too hard to please. My kind of place. It rated an easy Five Stars, but there was a down-side. Our "Non-smoking" room, due to an unsympathetic A/C system, I suppose, smelled like a bar at 3am. Maybe I'm just getting soft & pampered. . . or maybe Hyatt could segregate the Smokers from the Non-smokers a bit better??? And, the view from our window was un-remarkable. I know I'm in Kyoto, but the view could have been Hoboken or Desmoine; not living up to the grace and comfort of rest of the place. I'd suggest a little Zen garden something or a grove of bamboo. You know, that's why we come to Kyoto. The food in the hotel restaurants was, mostly, excellent and the breakfast buffet was as good as you have any right to expect. The staff was aggressively wonderful. And, then, there's the bathroom. . . Be informed: your bathroom probably won't have a lock on it. In fact it won't even have a DOOR. Some people (like our teenage daughter), will find this alarming. Personally, I loved it: a smart & playful use of space and frosted glass. Top fixtures & surfaces, too. Does one need more? Although not centrally-located, the Hyatt is next door to Sanjusangen-do, which is worthy of your close attention, and across the street from the National Museum (unfortunately closed for renovations until September 13, 2014).
    Padmarangdrol from the Hudson Valley, NY
    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

    Hearton Hotel Kyoto

    Oike-agaru, Higashinotoin St. Nakagyo, Kyoto - Map
     
     
    Excellent western-style hotel at walking distance from the Imperial Palace, the Gion neighborhood, and the main bus lines going to many of the must-see temples and gardens in Koto.
    A Traveller
    Centrally located in Kyoto, this hotel is near Kyoto International Manga Museum, Kyoto Holy Annunciation Cathedral, and Nijo …More
    Hotel Monterey Kyoto - Kyoto Hotels
    Rating: 3.5 Stars

    Hotel Monterey Kyoto

    604 Manjuya-cho, Sanjo-sagaru, Kyoto - Map
     
     
    "Excellent hotel"
    A big room for three adults with two restrooms and a nice/friendly service
    Jorge from Montreal
    In the city center, this 13-story hotel is two blocks from the Kyoto Art Center and five blocks from the Imperial Palace.More