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Old 01-06-16, 03:16 PM   #1
1nterceptor
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Where to stay in Japan

Need some advice please from folks that have stayed or are in Japan.

We will be accompanying my wife's aunt on her return to Japan; in Feb.
Her aunt lives by Kameyama, Mie prefecture. Air fare is booked/paid and my
visa will be ready next week. We're thinking of booking a hotel in Nagoya. Not
as expensive as Tokyo and in the middle of Japan so we won't be too far from
the north or south. We'll be buying the unlimited inter city train tickets. What do
you folks think? Where did you guys stay? Not sure yet if I'll bring my bike so a
city's bike friendliness is not a consideration. Will be there for 2 weeks.

So here's our criteria on choosing which city to stay in:
1. Vibrant city with plenty to see and do.
2. Access to public transportation; local(bus/subway) and inter city.
3. Not too expensive like Tokyo.

Thanks in advance everybody!
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Old 01-07-16, 09:39 PM   #2
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Don`t know much about Nagoya but I`m sure it`s interesting. How about Yokohama? It`s definitely accessible with great public transportation - and bike share/and bike bike rental options. Great for exploring the many unique neighborhoods and the beautiful scenery along the waterfront. I`ve been living here for 10 years. From NYC too.
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Old 01-11-16, 01:36 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input, @owenfinn. Will definitely keep Yokohama in mind. Didn't know it's the 2nd largest city(by population) after Tokyo. We want to visit a few cities. Not sure yet if we should get a home base. Depart by train to other cities in the morning, then
come back home at night to the same hotel. Or just spend a few days in one city then move on to the next city. Still researching
if it's better to pay an unlimited train pass or pay per trip.
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Old 01-26-16, 03:43 PM   #4
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Airfare paid, Japan rail (unlimited rides)pass received in the mail, just need to book hotel.
One of our biggest requirements is access to transportation; primarily the inter city trains(Shinkansen).

Getting ready to book a hotel that is a 5 minute walk to the Shin Yokohama station. Coin laundry, free
breakfast, wifi, not too pricey(US$65/nite). Kinda far from Yokohama city center; but I think our JR passes
might be accepted on some buses and/or subway lines. We might also bring our folding bikes.
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Old 02-01-16, 08:24 PM   #5
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Shin Yokohama Station is only about 40 minutes, at a leisurely pace, from Yokohama Station and the waterfront by bike. Not so different from using the train really, plus you will see more. ex. I recommend stopping, halfway, at the old Rokkakubashi shopping street in Hakuraku, or checking out some of the old temples and shrines that are still along the route of the original Tokaido road. .in Higashi Kanagawa. Let me know if you would like to meet for a ride around Yokohama!
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Old 02-02-16, 11:02 AM   #6
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That sounds good, @owenfinn. I would like a guide for riding around Yokohama. Will definitely contact you for that.
Our flight is arriving in Chibu around 9:30 pm this Saturday. Because it will be late and my wife's relatives are in Mie
prefecture - we've decided that our 1st couple of days will be in Nagoya. Afterwards; we'll switch to a hotel in Yokohama.
I'm trying to get a visa to Korea. If approved; we'll take the ferry to Busan for an over night stay. If denied or can't get
the visa in time; we might try to take a quick flight to Taiwan.

I have another dilemma in connection with the bike I'm bringing. Normally for trips; I bring my Brompton. For this particular
vacation; I purchased a used Dahon Speed Uno. I was hoping my wife would try either my Brompton or the Dahon. But she
really has no interest in biking. So now I have a choice; bring my Brompton as checked in luggage in a cardboard box as usual.
Or; squeeze the Dahon in a standard luggage. If I do bring the Dahon; I can try to sell it in Japan so I don't have to bring it back
with me. I also have a roadbike; so 3 bikes in a small apartment is just crazy. What do you think? Is there a demand for a single
speed folder in Yokohama/Tokyo? How much do these go for new over there? Here in the US; this model goes for US$400. I went
to some Tokyo bike shops' websites; but can't find any info.

Brake Install on a Dahon Speed Uno by 1nterceptor, on Flickr

RANDALL'S ISLAND, NYC by 1nterceptor, on Flickr
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Old 02-02-16, 06:00 PM   #7
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You could try selling the Dahon at one of the bigger used/refurbished bike shops here like a Cycly - http://www.cycly.co.jp/Shop/Browse?CatID=001004 but they don't pay much. They would probably offer you US $150 to 200 for the Speed Uno if in great shape. You can try to sell it on Tokyo Craigslist for slightly more but it often takes time.

Edit: Actually, the Uno would be illegal here. You have to have at least one handbrake on a bike in Japan. The police are strict about that. Bring the Brompton, or buy/or rent here and try to sell before leaving.

Double edit: Maybe not actually illegal but the police will stop you as they are trained to look for handbrakes and you will probably get stopped.
http://www.tokyobybike.com/2013/11/brakeless-cyclist-arrested-in-japan.html


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Old 02-03-16, 04:27 PM   #8
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Thanks for that link @owenfinn. It was very informative and interesting.

The Uno came standard with a rear coaster brake; I added a front brake caliper
and lever. Is a registration sticker mandatory in Yokohama; like it is in Tokyo?
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Old 02-03-16, 11:54 PM   #9
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You won`t need a registration sticker if you are just visiting.
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Old 02-12-16, 05:01 AM   #10
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Ended up bringing my Brompton in a cardboard box.

Have visited a few cities/areas now. From small towns like Kameyama and Akishima. To big cities like Yokohama, Kawasaki and Shibuya district in Tokyo, etc. But having lived in big cites all my life; my preference is for medium sized places like Nagoya. Public transportation
is widespread; with less pushing and shoving. And still a lot of interesting places to go.

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Old 02-13-16, 09:08 PM   #11
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Thanks to @owenfinn and Yokohama Rides and Rentals for the personal tour of the city! It was a lot of fun and very informative.
Tokyo Bay, Yokohama by 1nterceptor, on Flickr
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Old 02-21-16, 12:41 PM   #12
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Okay, just got back and will give a brief summary to help others planning their trip.
We didn't try hostels or traditional inns because we had a bit of luggage to drag. Sanco
Inn hotel by the Nagoya station is a good deal for budget travelers. Free breakfast
buffet(not western style, Japanese) and coin laundry in the basement. A double economy
room at this place may be a better deal than paying for 2 beds in a hostel. Didn't want to
pay the rates at Prince hotel in Yokohama; but it was Valentine's Day weekend and it was
hard finding vacancies. It was luxurious with nice views; ask for west view rooms if you
want to see Mt. Fuji. ANA Crown Plaza hotel also by Yokohama; was the worst place we
stayed in. Pricey and didn't have coin laundry + vending machines like most hotels. Wanted
to charge for Y360 for a can of soda from the room fridge. While you can get the same soda
for Y150 at most vending machines. Camelot hotel by the Yokohama station had stained
carpets but was acceptable.

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Old 04-12-16, 12:02 AM   #13
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Did you get a chance to bike in Mie? My wife is from Mie, and there is a lot of good riding in that prefecture? Much nicer to ride than Tokyo.
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Old 04-14-16, 10:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frenchosa View Post
Did you get a chance to bike in Mie? My wife is from Mie, and there is a lot of good riding in that prefecture? Much nicer to ride than Tokyo.
We had relatives spread out all over Japan; including Mie. Spent most of our time in Yokohama and Nagoya.
This is where I did a little bit of riding. Mie prefecture is less crowded compared to Tokyo and seems like a
nice place to ride. Seems a bit hilly though.
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