Our stay at the Prince Shinagawa, North Tower was excellent and reasonable for Tokyo; I highly recommend this hotel not just because of location but also because of how clean the place is and the excellent service….combine THAT with a free breakfast that included just about everything you might want, and the hotel makes my list of best reasonable hotels in Tokyo (the Blue Wave Asakusa coming in a close second).
We spent the AM eating a NICE breakfast at the Prince Hotel (FREE) and then moved onto the Sengaku-ji site down the street; the walk is only about 15 minutes and we had the chance to see the temple dedicated to the 47 Ronin….the temple grounds are small and include the temple itself, monuments to the Ronin and a series of gift shops close by….while the temple is underwhelming (as we read), the temple grounds are nice.
We used the JR Tokai Tours to purchase tickets to Kyoto; the office opens at 11:00 AM and the purchase includes free bus tickets in Kyoto! Nice plus; the process was painless if not long, and we were able to ride on the Nozomi train for the trip (the fastest of the trains in Japan).
Once we made it to Kyoto, after a lunch excursion, we headed to the houses we rented for the experience…..I cannot express strongly enough how WONDERFUL these houses are….they are small, but really unique. We sleep on tatami mats and futons with one bathroom with a tub (it’s actually a tub, as you can see!) Ask me AFTER we leave Japan if having one bathroom with all of these folks make sense. The kitchen, as you can see, reflects the space restrictions in Japanese homes…it is beautiful….we LOVE the place…