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Japanese pensions or minshuku on a half-board tariff are best value, but the food can be hit and miss. The ones that are good are incredible bang for your buck. In my experience, Japanese food tends to be better than Western food, but pensions tend to be brighter, more comfortable, and better built than Japanese places. A lot of minshukus and ryokan are draughty and dingy, and have nasty ring or strip fluoros in the rooms and corridors. I'd rather have a nice shared Japanese bath than some pokey unit thing in the room where you can't shower outside the bath. Shared toilet is fine too, unless the window is left open and its brass monkeys in there.

 

I think its funny in Japan that expensive hotels with the nicest carpets will let you keep your shoes on. Some of the places that make you wear plastic slippers have cold concrete floors that are indestructible. No one seems to see the irony.

 

My favourite hotel in Japan is not a snow hotel, but its the Fujiya at Hakone. You can stay there for 10,000 per head B&B, which is not bad for a hotel used by celebs and royalty. I think its a great shame that the western-style pensions and hotels built post-war have no Japanese architectural features like the Fujiya. It seems like that east-meets-west style was completely abandoned post war.

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No need for hotels, I live in Nisoko.

 

But when I do go somewhere I have a budget and just get the best I can in that.

 

I had one really bad experience though at a love-hotel - it was a last resort, late at night and we were exhausted just needed somewhere to sleep. And there was nothing for miles and miles, ended up in a terribly run-down love hotel. It was the worst place I have stayed ever. After that I decided never again.

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There are so many crappy, dirty, neglected places that should not be doing business but are. I stayed in one in Yuzawa a few years ago. I actually complained to the tourist authority there. I resented being asked to pay however much it was and even though it wasn't expensive (6000 yen or something) it sure didn't come up to that standard.

 

I'm fussy with places now and will pay more for a very comfortable stay.

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I usually go on recommendations from friends. Always a good way to choose between a few places yuo don't know. As for kind of place, if I'm paying I like somewhere decent. El cheapo doesn't do it for me and certainly not Ms Clock who likes to go as luxury as possible.

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