The Five Yen of Happiness! Shinkansen to Kyoto (Featuring Kyoto Tower Hotel)
- I give in – I need a break (Introduction)
- To Heathrow and The BA Galleries North Lounge
- BA902 London Heathrow to Frankfurt Airport in Club Europe
- Bumbling around Frankfurt Airport with random #AVGeek spotting
- Meeting the A350 and the Air Canada Lounge
- Qatar Airways QR068 Frankfurt to Doha
- The joy of Hamad International Airport, and The Oryx Rotana Hotel
- Qatar Airways Flight QR812 Doha to Tokyo Haneda
- The Hotel JAL City Haneda Tokyo
- Shikansen Adventures to Hiroshima!
- Time in Hiroshima (featuring the ANA Crowne Plaza Hiroshima)
- Hirosihima – 70 years on
- A day trip to Itsukushima
- More Shinkansen fun to Kyoto (Featuring Kyoto Tower Hotel)
- A trip up to Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine
- Dinner with The real_jetsetr!
- The JR Central SC Maglev and Rail Museum
- Shinkansen to Tokyo
- The Strings by InterContinental
- Cheap evening – From the Tokyo Metropolitan Building
- The JR East Railway Museum, Saitama
- Shibuya nights
- Akihabara Days
- Gotta Catch them All! A few Pokemon Centres.
- Off to Narita
- Nartia Airport, The JAL Lounge
- Qatar Airways Flight QR807 Tokyo Narita to Doha
- Four and Half Hours in Doha Airport
- Qatar Airways Flight QR067 Doha to Frankfurt
- More time in Frankfurt
- BA8735 Frankfurt to London City Airport (Club Europe)
- And about that Five Yen Coin – The Sensoji Temple, Asakusa
When I planned this trip so many weeks ago, I had no idea that someone on that I know on Twitter would be in Japan at the same times as me. More impressively, we would be in the same city at the same time.
Whilst we were chatting, I was asked when I was arriving. And then it dawned on me that I made a mess-up of my dates. Checking the app, I was meant to be in Kyoto checking in – rather than still being in Hiroshima.
A cancellation was fired off (with the 2nd night refunded), and I booked the Kyoto Tower Hotel – mainly because it was 1) near the station and 2) £39 a night even booking the night before – I wasn’t moaning.
The next day, after checking out of the ANA Crowne Plaza, it was on the tram one more time back to Hiroshima station.
With me at the Station, I negotiated my way around the place to the Midori no Mado Guchi, and reserved a seat on the next Sakura to Shin-Osaka, and the following Hikari to Kyoto.
In other words, it’s time for the Shinkansen to Kyoto.
This way I presume?
With that done, I headed to the platforms to wait for the train
A few Nozomi services came and went before a Kodama service arrived – operated by a 8 Car 700 series, in the guise of a Rail Star (used previously on the Hikari services)
Soon enough, the Sakrura arrived for the trip to Kyoto.
The Green Car was busier than it was on the way down, but I had two seats to myself for trip – which is nice.
Passing the home of Hiroshima Carp. I got two letters of that word wrong a lot in my mind whilst in Hiroshima.
The Shinkansen whilst fast – had to make additional stops on the way – mainly to let a passing Nozomi through.
The train wound its way to Shin-Osaka, and it was time to change platform for the Hikari. Rather than wander down to the main waiting area, I stayed on the platform
Stations are a great place to people watch… and I enjoy it. And also enjoy watching the trains coming and going.
An inbound 16 car JR 700 Series, operating a Kodama service to Tokyo. The very long way to Tokyo as Kodama services stop at every stop on the way.
The inbound Hikari service.
With a short ride to Kyoto, I was still in Green Car accommodation. However, this train was different to the ones I had been on before – this was an original JR 700 series unit. How does it compare?
Well the seat covers are different.
The Hikari wasn’t packed at all – and after a short wait, it was on its way to Tokyo, with Kyoto being the first stop.
Lots of N700s waiting for their next turn. And all of them 16 car units. There’s pretty much a six train an hour service between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka with lots of Nozomi’s and smattering of Hikari/Kodama services.
The train quickly accelerated out of Shin-Oaska, and into the countryside again.
20 minutes later, the train entered Kyoto station – and it was time to get off.
Now it was time to play “hunt the hotel” – and mine was easy to find… as it was across the road from the station, below the Kyoto Tower.
I headed into the hotel, and was welcomed. As the room was prepaid, there was no need for any cards or anything.
With the formalities completed, I was given a real key (yes… a real key), and headed to the 9th floor.
With a twist of the key I entered the room. And where as in the JAL City Hotel Haneda I had just enough room to swing a cat… in this room, I could just about fit – let alone a cat.
No kettle here. But instead, an induction heater worktop.
Slippers and Bathroom slippers (yes, Bathroom slippers are a thing in Japan. I’ll let Texan In Tokyo explain).
Meanwhile the bathroom was… lets try and find a term here. Yes. Compact. The bathroom was indeed compact.
Meanwhile, the view was seriously nothing to write home about…
The blinds closed…
With that “view”, the blinds were closed for my own sanity.
Keys were collected when you left the hotel – and needed to be reclaimed each time you returned. How quaint.
The room itself… well, the room was a smoking room (all I could get), but it didn’t stink too much. Thankfully, this room would be a base as opposed to a luxury… so I wouldn’t be spending that much time in it.
Which is a good thing. The lack of space was driving me potty by the end of it.
The air conditioning worked pretty well (it was cooler than the corridor or the outside of the hotel), and the bed… it wasn’t brilliant, but I got some sleep in it – the main thing
Overall: If we look at this as a crashpad and a place to cool down – it did the job. However, these tight hotel rooms aren’t for me. Certainly, if I was in Kyoto next time – I’d consider a bigger room. And one that wasn’t pre-occupied by a smoker…
Next time, I’ll book in advanced slightly better. Or pay more.
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