3 Places to Stay
Secure your accommodation well in advance. The Japanese tourist industry is
booming. Last year (2015) the country welcomed more than 20 million guests
from overseas. Many come from China. They come on weekend trips. Be aware
of that. Finding accommodation at weekends can be next to impossible. On a
recent trip to Tokyo, my wife and I were obliged to travel to Chiba (about 80 km
away) in order to find a place to spend the night.
We used to travel around without making reservations. All we needed to do was head
for the main railway station and check out the hotels in the immediate vicinity. T hose
days have gone.
You can no longer amble around. Thatâ€Ÿs a shame for those of us who donâ€Ÿt like to plan
our holidays in detail. Some of my young Japanese friends overcome the problem by
camping. They head for the hills at sunset and kip down amongst the trees.
If you plan to camp, bear in mind that campsites are few and far between and
generally i ntended for school parties and youth groups. Older people , in Japan, have
not caught onto the idea of camping. The few who continue to do so, after the age of
eighteen, are like my crazy friends or they are on walking treks.
My wife likes to stay in the old-style inns. If you go to one you will have the opportunity
to sample traditional Japanese hospitality. Guests sleep on the floor on futons that are
stored away in the day and rolled out at night. Cushions or low chairs are available for
sitting. Tea and biscuits are free. Meals are usually served in rooms as well as in the
restaurant. There is often a choice of both traditional Japanese and Western food.
Photos: Top, a traditional inn. Below, futon room and restaurant area.