Oct 182007

I finally made it to the hotel in Kyoto. It’s the Urban Hotel Kyoto, another business hotel. Business hotels are a good deal for cheapskates like me. You get a tiny room, a tiny bed, a tiny bathroom, a TV, a fridge, and you don’t pay a whole lot. The fridge was an unexpected bonus for a cheapskate like me.

It doesn’t precisely exude charm. The window is frosted, and instead of curtains, there are sliding panels that obscure, well, everything. Then again, I opened the window, and the view wasn’t anything to write home about, anyway.

Also, the room runs about 7,000 yen a night, which is about $63. Not bad for a major tourist spot in prime season, if you can survive without charm. Kyoto is an expensive place to stay otherwise. (Those elegant ryokan? Start at about 25,000 yen a night and go all the way up to down payment-level hotel prices.)

I don’t need charm in a place to crash when I’m mostly going to be out of the room. As long as there’s no dirt or funky smells, and a good internet connection, I’m happy.

A few shots so you get an idea of just how small it is:

Urban Hotel, Kyoto

Carrying too much electronics with me:

Urban Hotel, Kyoto

The controls on the headboard are in English:

Urban Hotel, Kyoto

Everything about the lighting, though, was orange. Very, very orange. The photos really don’t do it justice.

Business hotels are made mostly for salarymen who are sent on business trips during the week, and they need a place to call home. Actually, since the office is their home, they really just need a place to crash. Business hotels all over Japan serve just that purpose.

The vending machines have beer, cup o’noodles, and other stuff, along with laundry machines, pay-per-view (with an inordinate amount of porn), and generic cable TV. This one does have an Ethernet Internet connection, for which I am grateful. Getting an Internet connection in general can be kind of hit-and-miss.

I tried taking a bath in the hotel tonight, and found out it’s not worth the trouble. Being 6’1″ is fun when you’re walking around, but most of the plumbing in this country was not made with me in mind. Everything is way too tiny, and to fit in the tub, I had to bruise the hell out of my knees.

I got here about 8:30PM and promptly crashed.

So no Gion tonight.

Other Stuff (McPork!)

Seen at Nagoya Station McDonald’s– McPork!

The shinkansen from Nagoya to Kyoto went so fast, I was starting to get a touch of motion sickness. And I don’t get motion sickness. Maybe it’s a mild migraine.

The TV in the hotel totally sucks, unless you like J-League baseball. 4 out of 10 channels are baseball, the rest are NHK.

I’m getting up in 7 hours to start my temple blitzkrieg, so I’ll have more to say later.

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