Schlagwort-Archive: Tokyo

Ryokan Hanaya / 波 奈 屋 旅 館
1811 Tsumago-juku, Nagiso, Kiso-gun, Nagano, 399-5308 Japan

hotel-hanaya.isomura@nifty.com / P: +81.264.57.3106 / F: +81.264.57.4084

Because of its location this ryokan was not my first choice. Originally I wanted to stay in Magome but everything was booked. So I decided for Tsumago. Also here the location outside of the town was not perfect. But, there was this feeling, that it still is a good idea. And I was not wrong.

The building is a little bit confusing. It looks like it was expanded twice. My room was in the new appendix. The tatami was standard size, but without shower and toilet. They were right next to my room. The onsen was downstairs. The personal was kind and helpful, like always in Japan. But I still have to thank the owner of the ryokan for the help on my arrival. He allowed me to arrive far after curfew and he also ordered a taxi to pick me up.

Surrounding: The Hanaya is located outside of Tsumago at the Nakasendo. Around the ryokan there is nothing to see. A walk downhill to Tsumago takes 15 minutes. But the location is still ok if you want to visit Tsumago and Magome. Because is lies at the Nakesendo you can pick up some proviant before you follow the Nakasendo.

Getting There: A bus is going from the nearest train station to Tsumago. Some busses go further to Magome and stop close to the ryokan. I suggest to take a taxi. Don’t walk. The way is uphill and long. If covered with snow and ice, it is nearly impossible to walk it with heavy luggage. If you still want to try it: You have to pass the old city center and walk further until you leave the town are reach at street 256. Turn left. After a little bit more than a quarter mile the street 7 is on the right. Follow the street until you cross the bridge. The Hanaya is the first building on the right side.

Hotel Edoya (Tokyo) / ホ テ ル 江 戸 屋:
3-20-3 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0034 Japan
reserve@hoteledoya.com / P: +81.3.3833.8751 / F: +81.3.3833.8759

I believe it is official now: The Edoya is my second home. Like on every journey before I stayes there twice. And I lived in room 307. For a description of the hotel ust refer to my Journey 2010. This time a reognized a brand new air condition in my room. Many thanks to the personal of the hotel. At every ourney the provided me with good information and help that then became a highlight of my holiday.

  • 2004: Shrine plates of Yushima Tenmangu / help during the cash money crisis
  • 2008: Nezu Shrine during Azaleen blossom / my kendo armor
  • 2010: dance festival Koenji-Awa-Odori
  • 2012: New Year at Kane-ji

My advise to all tourist: Book a small ryokan and ask the personal for things to do. Ask them for a good restaturant or Izakaya. The answer never match the suggestions from the travel guide but are always good. The „locals“ know where to go.

Uematsuya / 上 松 屋 旅 館
1628 Bessho Onsen, Ueda, Nagano, 386-1431 Japan
info@uematsuya.com / P: +81.268.38.2300 / F: +81.268.38.8501

It is a typical ryokan onsen of the mid-price section. It is a modern concrete-building that provide heated hallways. Breakfast and dinner are served in a big tatami room. I was lucky to be there after new year: breakfast was a little bit bigger than usual. My room was a tatami style room in 6F. The onsen is located in 4F and down the hallway. Like always the inside onsen was a little bit to hot for me but the rotenburo was perfect.

Surrounding: The surrounding. Arriving at the train station the ryokan is on the other side of the village. But Bessho onsen is not that big. There many public onsen available, and also three temples. Discovering Bessho takes 2 hours, the rest of the time is for onsen.

Getting there: The train to Bessho onsen is not Japan rail, therefore the JRP is not valid. From the station you just have to follow the main road thru the village. It is a 800m walk slightly uphill. You pass a temple on the left. Behind the temple you see a small public onsen. The Uematsuya is now on the right side ahead of you. Look for the Kanji.

Kiyoshigekan / 清 重 館 旅 館
280-4 Kusatsu-machi, Agatsuma, Gunma, 377-1711 Japan
info@kusatsuspa.com / P: +81.279.88.2272 / F: +81.279.88.5032

Kiyoshigekan is a typical Onsen Ryokan. Breakfast and Dinner are served in a big room. You can sit on tatami or at a table. My room was a tatami room with private toilet but without a bath room; you use the onsen area anyway. There is a public onsen with rotenburo and also a private onsen and another one with rotenburo. After 8pm there is also the option to convert the public onsen into private onsen. The inside onsen was to hot for me. The rotenburo was ok thanks to the 17°F air temperature.

Surrounding: The ryokan is located at the rim of the city. You walk 10-15 minutes to the city center, where all the attraction are. In winter time, on icy pavements, not easy. The street is very quit the buildings next to the ryokan are private houses. Therefore the ryokan is quiet and relaxing.

Getting There: The bus terminal of Kusatsu is at a main road. Follow that road in east direction until you arrive highgway 292. Turn left. It is a quarter mile walk downhill. You arrive a super market on the left. A few meter behind the market there is a small street on the right side going uphill. There is also a small sign with the name of the Ryokan. Follow that small street. At the you go left and turn left on the second street. In total it is a walk of a little bit more than a half mile.

Richmond Hotel Narita / リ ッ チ モ ン ド ホ テ ル 成 田
970 Hanasaki-cho, Narita, Chiba, 286-0033 Japan
P: +81.476.24.6660 / F: +81.476.24.6661

The last stop of this journey was a business hotel close to the airport. The are usually cheaper than a ryokan. I decided for the Richmond that is 8 min away from Narita train station.

The Richmond is a business hotel. You get a western-style room, breakfast bueffet and a small bar at the evenign. Everything in the hotel is functional: The breakfast room is the bar. The room is small /compact with a bath-room-cubicle. The design is minimal and modern. You can check-in with your credit card, either at the reception desk or a terminal next to it. Check-out only requires to give back the key card.

Surrounding: Narita is compact. There a nice shopping street from the train stations down to be temple. The hotel itself is not at this street, but I mentioned that the train station is only 8 min away (with luggage, 5 without).

Getting there: Follow the street, that is parallel to the train tracks, downhill. Change to the other side of the traintracks and you see Hotel at the next street cross.

Ryokans in winter time:

The hall ways are not heated. There it is always chilly outside of your room. But single glas windows and no heating covering the hallways is normal for Japan. Something you have to know before you start to plan. The same goes for th bath room. Outside the tub it can be cold. If you don’t like it, you need to book a high price ryokan or a western style hotel.

[deutsche Version]

There is no report from yesterday, because nothing happened. It sat in busses and trains all the day, or I waited at stations. And all why I enjoyed the onsen after breakfast until 11am and therefore missed the only good connection to Tokyo. At the museum at the Kusatsu bus station I learn something about this place: The water here has a ph level of 2.4. Wow. That is acid. A steel nail dissolves within 18 days, completely. Even concrete is getting erode within days.  There are over 100 springs that produces 9.800 gallon/minute of water. The heat power is 1700 million calories per hour. And the european doctor who studied the medical effects of the water was from Germany, from Bietigheim-Bissingen. There is the connection. By the way … I met the the girl from the Izakaya in the train. That wasn’t planned at all. She is also going to Tokyo. But she already had plans for the evening. So I spent the the end of the day in Ueno.

Parade

TODAY is the Dezome Shiki. The alarm clock goes off at 7am. Subway at 7:30am. I arrive Tokyo Big Sight at 8:25am. Wow. I took me one hour. Are run thru the hallways. I ask for direction and mention that I have an invitation. The answer: „You are Mr. Boller from Germany? Welcome.“. This I didn’t expected. My seat is on the western side of the VIP area. The third row from the top. I have a perfect view. Next to me are sitting some guy from the austrian embassy and on the other side the chief of the special forces of the Hong Kong police.

The official part begins. Greetings and and some standard talk. Now the vize prime minister of Japan is talking. The flag is hoisted, the national anthem is played. The cadets of the fire fighter academy are marching in perfect formation. IMpressive but a little bit to much military style for a fire department. The speaker (I have a head set with an english translation) says, that marching is trained to raise team spirit and learn to act as a unit. ok.

Fahrzeugparade

Sveral different units are marching by. Then the parade of the fire trucks starts. They really have some cute little cars and also big high tech trucks. Maybe I write more details in a different blog. Just this: They have a „Super Pumper“ that provides easily 1000 gallons/minute by using 6″ hoses.

In the backgroud the fire fighter boats are going into their position and start to produce big fountains of water. 5 helicopter are approaching in formation and flying deep over our heads. This is an every-goes-show.

Next point on the agende is a big exercise; more precise: there are 4 exercises at once. An earthquake related car accident, a burning tall building, a haz mat incident and a rescue from high altitude. The diffrent events start with a delay of approximately 60 seconds. Fire trucks are driven arounf constantly with their sirene on. 50 trucks in total.  The helicopters are back. Fire fighter rope down. Injured victims are reeled in. The fire at the haz mat is getting bigger. The haz mat team arrives. The earthquake situation is getting worse. Many rescue teams are working parallel. I don’t know where to look first. Now two automatic water cannons taking care of the haz mat fire.

Excercise

The show is closed by 10 ladders that roll out a big banner and festoons. The flag is reeled in. What a show. And I watched everything from the VIP section. I walk back into the fair hall. Here trucks and equipment is presented. I skip the technical details. They have an earthquake simulator, games for children, a.s.o. The music corps is playing a concert.

[deutscher Blogeintrag]

I don’t have a detailed plan for today. There is no plan at all. First stop is Yushima Tenmangu. Then I walk to the Sumidagawa and to the shrine. I was carrying the Miskoshi two years ago. I make an observation: Tokyo is more dirty than I remember. And the number of hoboes seems to increase.

Next stop is the Sky Tree. This thing is tall, really tall. The foundation of the tower is a big shopping mall. I need some time before I understand how it is working. You have to queue to get a place on the waiting list. You get a „waiting ticket“ for 4:30pm. And it is just 11am. With the ticket you have to queue again at the printed time to buy the real ticket. Judging from the queue I will stay here at least 30 minutes for the waiting ticket. This is to stupid. I will kill the whole day by waiting. I will postpone the ticket.

Tokyo Sky Tree

The walk to the metropolitain garden I wanted to visit is wasted time. The garden is closed during the days around New Year. Therefore I walk to the Sumida bridge to Tokyo Eki. Now I am standing at the knot of the express ways that built be backbone of the traffic in Tokyo. It is just a east of Nihonbashi. The express way is stacked in several levels. Here I get a feeling how compact Tokyo is.

Now on my fifth journey I visit the old Tokyo station building. It looks like a combination of German and English architecture. And the tourist office I ask for things I can do within the next day. Which temple I should visit tonight. Looks like I know more about Tokyo the the ladies behind the desk. Will say: My question are too special. I am beyond the average tourist. But I learn two things: On January 2nd is a dragon dance and a tea ceremony here in Marunouchi. This I can combine with the visit of the emperor palace.

The day is half gone and was not really successful up to now. Place 2 on the worst-day-list behind Inuyama. I get the train to Shinagawa to visit the grave of the 47 ronin. The temple is nothing special. A unspectacular standard one. But the graveyard is well frequented. Hundreds of incense sticks are burning everywhere around the tombstones. The 47 ronin are more important figures in the Japanese culture than I thought.

At the late afternoon I take a stroll thru Akihabara. I want to buy special souvenirs and visit some Maiden Cafes. Pictures are not allowed. And I also will not report about this places here. Just: You are called „o-sama“ or „Master“. This is a very strange place, even for Japan. It is part of the Otaku subculture. Totemo hen.

At 6pm I am back at hte hotel. The lady at the reception desk promised me to ask the hotel owner for a good temple. Senno-ji and Zojo-ji will be a very impressive place tonight. But the chance to ring the bell will be zero. And many gaijins are there too. His suggestion is the Kane-ji at the northern end of Ueno-park. I never heard about this temple; the Lonely Planet neither. My chances to ring the bell seems to be good.

Impressions of Tokyo

I kill some timein the shopping streets of Ueno. Here it is like on a farmer’s market. I have dinner in a small place I found by accident. Kariage. Then I stop in the english pub next to the Ueno park. I meet an british guy. We talk until 10pm. Then I start to the temple.

This place looks empty. Am I at the right place? The bell is prepared. And a tent is there too. I observe a lady buying a ticket with a number. This looks promising. I try the same. Wow. The monks writes my name into the temple book. I get the number 10. Now it is official. I will ring the temple bell !

A few minutes after 11pm all guest are pleased to enter the temple. We are sitting here with 10 people but they are getting more. At 11:30pm the monks arrive and start the chanting followed by prayers. I hear drums. I suck in this moment with all my senses. It is one of the moments where you left behind the tourist and dive deep into the Japanse culture. It is as special at the Mikoshi-carrying in 2010 or the moon viewing in 2004.

Then the moment gas arrived. We walk to the bell. At midnight the head priest is doing the first strike. The other monks follow. Then we civilians are allowed to ring the bell. Number 10. My turn. I walk up the stairs, grab the rope, haul off and strike the wooden log against the iron bell. I stop the log so that no second strike will happen. That’s it. That’s all. While the other 88 complete the 108 chimes (108 in total – 10 monks – 9 before me – myself), I drink some sake and talk with other guest. Two observations: I am the only gaijin. And the older the person the louder and powerful the strike of the bell. It really is loud. It gives you a jerk.

New Year at the Kane-ji

After the 108 official chimes we add some more inofficial. Everyone who was helping the temple staff is ringing now. And I ring the bell again. Twice. This time with more power. After a few more cups of sake I walk back to the hotel. It is 2am. All the time it was a Tokyo night like any other night. No fireworks, no party on the streets. So completely different from Germany.

Only at Yushima Tenmangu this night differs from a usual night. It is crowded. The police has blocked the road for cars. There is a at least 200m long queue in front of the shrine. A strange way to celebrate New Year: Queueing to throw 100 yen into a wooden box.

For me it was a very special start into the new year. I always celebrated this way a little bit different. This time I outclassed myself: I am 1 of the 108 people who rang the bell at Kane-ji to start the year 2013 (Heisei 25).

[deutscher Blogeintrag]

Ryokan Hanaya / 波 奈 屋 旅 館
1811 Tsumago-juku, Nagiso, Kiso-gun, Nagano, 399-5308 Japan

hotel-hanaya.isomura@nifty.com / P: +81.264.57.3106 / F: +81.264.57.4084

Das Ryokan war wegen seiner Lage nicht meine erste Wahl. Ich wollte eigentlich in Magome übernachten. Da alles ausgebucht war, bin ich nach Tsumago ausgewichen. Auch hier war es wegen seiner Lage außerhalb, nicht meine erste Wahl. Aber ich hatte ein so ein Gefühl. Das wurde dann auch nicht enttäuscht.

Das Gebäude ist etwas verwinkelt, da es immer wieder ergänzt wurde. Mein Zimmer lag im Neubau. Ein ausreichend großer Tatamiraum, allerdings ohne Bad und WC. Toiletten waren auf dem Flur, das Onsen im Erdgeschoß. Das Personal ist wie so oft in Japan sehr hilfsbereit. Mein Dank an den Ryokanbesitzer ist dennoch angebracht, da meine ungewollte Anreise um Mitternacht weit außerhalb dessen war, was üblich und akzeptabel ist.

Die Umgebung: Das Hanaya liegt etwas außerhalb von Tsumago am Nakasendo. In der direkten Umgebung ist also nichts sehenswertes. Nach Tsumago sind es 15 Minuten. Die Lage ist dennoch günstig, wenn man nach einem Besuch in Tsumago dem Nakasendo nach Magome folgen will. Man kann im Ryokan Proviant aufnehmen und Souveniers deponieren.

Anreise: Nach Tsumago gelangt man nur mit dem Bus. Einige Busse fahren nach Magome weiter. Diese Busse zwischen Tsumago und Magome stoppen nahe des Ryokans. Ohne Bus empfehle ich ein Taxi. Der Weg ist bergauf und nicht gerade kurz. Wenn Schnee und Eis liegen, ist es fast unmöglich die Strecke mit Koffern zu laufen. Wer es trotzdem probieren will: Man muß komplett durch Tsumago hindurch und der Straße aus dem Dorf heraus bis zur 256, dann links. Nach etwa 500m geht rechts die 7 ab. Ihr folgt man über die Brücke. Das Hanaya ist das erste Gebäude auf der rechten Seite.

Hotel Edoya (Tokyo) / ホ テ ル 江 戸 屋:
3-20-3 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0034 Japan
reserve@hoteledoya.com / P: +81.3.3833.8751 / F: +81.3.3833.8759

Jetzt ist es offiziell: Hotel Edoya ist mein zweites Zuhause. Wie bei allen Reisen zuvor, checkte ich in Tokyo wieder im Hotel Edoya ein; wieder Zimmer 307. Für alle Details verweise ich, wie so oft, auf meine allererste gebloggte Reise 2010. An dieser Stelle möchte ich daher dem Personal von Hotel Edoya danken. Auf jeder Reise haben sie mir Tipps gegeben, die zu einem Highlight der Reise wurden.

  • 2004: Schreintafel vom Yushima Tenmangu / Hilfe während der „Bargeldkrise“
  • 2008: Nezu Shrine zur Azaleenblüte / meine Kendorüstung
  • 2010: Tanzfest Koenji-Awa-Odori
  • 2012: Neujahrsfest im Kane-ji

Mein Tip an alle Japanreisende ist: Bucht kleine Ryokans und fragt das Personal nach Dingen, die man tun kann. Fragt nach kleinen Izakayas für ein Bier und Restaurants. Die Antworten stehen nicht immer im Reiseführer, sind aber immer Gold wert.

Uematsuya / 上 松 屋 旅 館
1628 Bessho Onsen, Ueda, Nagano, 386-1431 Japan
info@uematsuya.com / P: +81.268.38.2300 / F: +81.268.38.8501

Es ist ein typischen mittelgroßen Onsen-Ryokan der mittleren Preisklasse. Es ist ein modernes Gebäude aus Beton mit allen zugehörigen Annehmlichkeiten wie halbwegs beheizte Flure. Abendessen und Frühstück werden traditionell und in einem Tatamiraum serviert. Ich hatte das Glück eines Neujahrsfrühstücks, das etwas umfangreicher ist. Mein Zimmer war ein Tatamiraum in 6F. Das Onsen war in 4F und ein paar Flure entfernt. Wie so oft war das Innnenbecken sehr heiß, sodaß ich gleich in das Rotenburo wechselte.

Die Umgebung: Bessho-onsen ist nicht sehr groß. Fast gegenüber des Ryokan gibt es ein Public Onsen. Daneben liegt einer der drei Tempel von Bessho. Die anderen Tempel und Public Onsen liegen in bequemer Fußreichweite. Für Bessho braucht man 2 Stunden, den Rest der Zeit kann man „onsen“.

Anreise: Der Zug nach Bessho Onsen ist nicht Japan Rail; der JRP ist nicht gültig. Vom Bahnhof aus folgt man der Hauptstraße quer durch das Dorf. Die Straße ist etwa 800m lang und führt leicht bergauf. Man kommt am Tempel vorbei und sieht dann links das Public Onsen. Das Uematsuya ist auf der rechten Seite. Achtet auf die Kanji der Hotels. Man läuft schnell daran vorbei.

Kiyoshigekan / 清 重 館 旅 館
280-4 Kusatsu-machi, Agatsuma, Gunma, 377-1711 Japan
info@kusatsuspa.com / P: +81.279.88.2272 / F: +81.279.88.5032

Das Roykan ist ein typisches Onsen-Ryokan. Für Frühstück und Abendessen gibt es einen großen Speisesaal. Man kann wahlweise am dem Boden oder am Tisch speisen. Das von mir gebuchte Zimmer war japanese-style (Tatami) mit Toilette aber ohne Dusche; man geht zum Baden eh ins Onsen. Es gibt ein Public Onsen mit Rotenburo, sowie ein Private Onsen und ein Private Rotenburo. Nach 20 Uhr können sogar die Public in ein Private Onsen gewandelt werden. Das Wasser im Innenbecken war für mich eine Stufe zu heiß. Das Außenbecken hatte dank der -8°C Lufttemperatur eine gemütlichere Temperatur.

Die Umgebung: Das Ryokan liegt am Rand von Kusatsu. Bis zum Stadtzentrum sind es 10-15 Fußminuten. Das Ryokan liegt sehr ruhig in einer Nebenstraße zwischen Wohnhäusern. Etwas unglücklich ist, daß alle Attraktionen in der Stadtmitte und auf der anderen Stadtseite liegen.

Anreise: Das Busdepot liegt an einer Hauptstraße ihr folgt man Richtung Osten bis sie an der 292 endet. Man biegt links ab. Es geht etwa 400m bergab. Links kommt ein Supermarkt. Kurz dahinter zweigt eine Straße nach rechts ab. Hier steht auch ein Schild mit dem Hinweis auf das Ryokan. Es geht bergauf und dann nach rechts. Zum Ryokan biegt man die zweite Abzweigung nach links ab. Insgesamt sind es 900m.

Richmond Hotel Narita / リ ッ チ モ ン ド ホ テ ル 成 田
970 Hanasaki-cho, Narita, Chiba, 286-0033 Japan
P: +81.476.24.6660 / F: +81.476.24.6661

Letzte Station der Reise war ein Hotel. Business Hotels sind in Japan immer günstiger als Ryokans und die letzte Station sollte nahe am Flughafen sein. Das Richmond liegt 8 Minuten Fußweg entfernt von Narita Station.

Das Richmond ist ein Business Hotel. Man bekommt somit ein Zimmer im westlichen Stil, Frühstücksbuffet und eine kleine Bar am Abend. Im Hotel ist alles funktional: Das kleine Restaurant dient morgens fürs Frühstrücksbuffet und nachts bar. Die Zimmer sind ebenfalls kompakt, funktional und modern eingerichtet. Ein Netzwerkanschluß ist am Schreibtisch verfügbar. Das Badezimmer ist eines dieser alles-in-einem-Würfel aus Kunststoff. Mehr braucht man nicht. Man kann das Checkin per Kreditkarte an einem Terminal in der Lobby durchführen. Bei Zahlung im Voraus reduziert sich das Check-out auf die Rückgabe der Schlüsselkarte.

Umgebung: Naritas Sehenswürdigkeiten sind sehr kompakt. Vom Bahnhof führt eine Shoppingstraße zum Tempel. Das Hotel liegt nicht in dieser Straße. Man muß erst die 5 Minuten zurück zum Bahnhof gehen.

Anreise: Vom Bahnhof führt eine Straße parallel zur Bahnstrecke bergab und dann unter der Bahnstrecke hindurch auf die andere Seite der Gleise. Das Richmond sieht man hinter der nächsten Kreuzung.

Hinweis zu Ryokans im Winter:

Die Flure sind nicht geheizt. Bei allen Ryokans, die ich besucht habe, war es außerhalb der Zimmer relativ kalt. Die Flure haben keine Heizung und die Häuser eine Einfachverglasung. Entsprechend frisch wird es im Winter. Das ist in Japan völlig normal. Man sollte es nur vorher wissen. Gleiches gilt auch für das Badezimmer. Der Umkleideraum ist kalt, gemütlich wird es immer erst hinter der Tür zum größe Pool. Wer so etwas nicht mag, sollte einen Bogen um kleine und klassische Ryokans machen.

[english version]