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Finding Right Hotel

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Choosing the right hoteru (hoh-teh-roo; hotel) "can make any trip more enjoyable. Each day of your adventure starts and ends at the hotel. In the morning, a good hotel offers you a refreshing breakfast and, at night, a comfortable bed. Hopefully, the clerks at the furonto (foo-rohn-toh; front desk) are kind and helpful. This chapter goes through the entire process of a hotel stay - choosing the right one, making a reservation, checking in, and checking out. Enjoy your visit!

Getting the Accommodations of your Choice

Choose shukuhaku shisetsu (shoo-koo-hah-koo shee-seh-tsoo; accommodations) according to your needs and budget.

  • Are you planning a family trip to a resort area near the coast? Get a nice hoteru (hoh-teh-roo; hotel) with easy access to the beach.
  • If you don't want any surprises, you may want to stay at a property owned by a well-known hoteru chen (hoh-teh-roo chehhn; hotel chain).
  • If you're staying in a sleepy little town for several days, try a bl ando bi (beee ahn-doh beee; bed-and-breakf ast).
  • If an extended trip is in your future, you can save some money by staying in a moteru (mohh-teh-roo; motel).

A hoteru (hoh-teh-roo; hotel) is a Western-style hotel. You can eat a Western-style choshoku (chohh-shoh-koo; breakfast), sleep on a beddo (behd-doh; bed) instead of a futon, and use a Western-style o-furo (oh-foo-roh; bath). These familiar amenities may put you at ease, but they don't set off any bells on the new-culture meter.

If you want authentic Japanese-style accommodations, go to a ryokan (ryoh-kahn; Japanese-style inn). At the entrance, a nakai-san (nah-kah-ee-sahn; maid) in a kimono welcomes you. Enjoy a big o-furo (oh-foo-roh; bath) with the other guests and then have a Japanese-style breakfast. When you retire to your room for the evening, dinner is brought right to the living/dining area of your room. You wear a special kimono-like robe, a yukata (yoo-kah-tah), while you eat. After dinner, the futon (foo-tohn; thin, quilted mattress) is spread out on the tatami (tah-tah-mee; straw mat) floor in your bedroom.

A minshuku (meen-shoo-koo) is a private home that offers lodging and meals to tourists. All the minshuku guests eat their meals together in a big dining room with a tatami floor. Guests spread out their own futon when they sleep and fold them up again in the morning. It's like visiting a relative's big house in the countryside.

If you're young and your budget is tight, you can stay in a yusu hosuteru (yooo-soo hoh-soo-teh-roo; youth hostel). You have to share a room and/or a bathroom with other travelers and follow the hostel's strict rules, but you can save money for other parts of your trip.

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