Looking for accommodation recommendations, family friendly, pool preferred.
At the very least you need to specify cities you plan to visit, and given the cost of things in Japan, it would be prudent to tell us your nightly hotel budget in yen and how many people will be in your travel party.
Agree with acraven. And while you're at it, why January, of all months?
If you are planning to be on the main island of Honshu, a pool will be useless. It’s quite cold in January.
We loved Japan, but I wouldn't want to go in January.
We found Japan to be more reasonable for lodging than we expected. Do some research on TripAdvisor and Kayak.com for what you want.
Japan Quilt Show is in January. They make fabulous quilts. Worth the less desirable weather....if you are into that sort of thing.
Don't miss going to Kyoto. We did a great Viator.com tour from Tokyo on the Bullet Train for 3 days.
Viator doesn't conduct tours. It just sells tours conducted by other companies, taking a substantial commission. And the customer may pay more as well.
Apologies for the non-specific enough post. I am new here. However, why January? A special bday. Was only planning 1 week, including travel time. Perhaps the trip duration is unreasonable given some of the comments. May need to rethink that. Budget would be approx. USD300/night. Party of 2. 1 adult, 1 child. Original itinerary was to only visit Tokyo. My daughter and I love gardening, and she loves art. Thanks for any recos.
japan-guide.com is a very good source of information that may help you out.
Japan has some amazing gardens and parks. But January is the middle of winter and you are more likely to find snow on the ground than any blooming flowers.
Any way you could postpone your trip at least until spring? The cherry blossoms come out sometime in March or April.
And if you can make your trip longer, I would suggest it. It will be a long flight both ways just to go for one week. Air Canada has a nonstop from Toronto to Tokyo. 13.5 hours going and 12 hours returning. No one can predict what the schedule will be like in January. And also keep your eye on whether or not Japan will let foreign tourists in by then. They are currently banned.
One week, even just for Tokyo, is too short. Don't forget the international dateline. You lose an extra day just getting there (although, if you time it right, you can arrive back home before you leave Tokyo, lol,). I'd recommend more reading before committing to Japan in winter. The whole island of Honshu could be cold and snowy - not ideal for outdoor sightseeing, and even Japanese gardens aren't all that inspiring in winter.
Is that $300/ night inclusive of accommodations, food, local transportation and sightseeing? If so, it might be tight, unless you are content with basic food and accommodations.
I am well aware that Viator.com doesn't conduct tours, but I have used its tours when I could not find what I wanted doing an internet search. For some reason finding tours in some places in the World, the real tour companies don't show up on an internet search. I have found their prices to be competitive.
Sorry - Don't have any hotel recommendations (ours was a cruise ship).
For local tours in Tokyo (and the surrounding area) check on Tours With Locals. We used them for several tours during our port days in '18. They might be pricey for just the 2 of you but most guides will tailor the itinerary to your needs within the general guidelines for the day so you would get exactly what you are interested in.
I know it's a birthday celebration but might be fun to anticipate for a month or 3. If you can wait until spring break the gardens will be so much more interesting. And if you could wait until school is on summer break a bit longer visit will be so much more appreciated by your bodies - since they will have a better chance to adjust to the 12 (?) hour time difference.
We have made two trips to Japan and look forward to returning. I too would suggest you extend your trip if at all possible (I get into trouble at home here with that one all the time) as it is a wonderful place to visit. I would also ask you consider adding Kyoto. It offers many beautiful sights and traditional Japanese shrines and temples and gardens as well as the opportunity for easy, short travel day trips to fascinating Nara and Fushimi Inari. In Tokyo I can recommend the Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku. We got that tip from another poster and were quite happy. Friendly staff were very helpful. Breakfast in the hotel was a fortune but a McDonald’s around the corner saved us big bucks for coffee. It is also a few minutes walk from the Shinjuku station, and a bus to the airport stops at the hotel. The staff arranged our departure ride the day we left. All good. In Kyoto we have stayed twice at the Westin Miyako Kyoto. Again, very helpful and friendly staff, two minute walk to subway stop and directly across the street from huge park like expanse of shrines and temples. Many restaurants are nearby.
Your budget may be a tad low; Japan was not at all as expensive as we’d imagined but it wasn’t our cheapest destination either.
Good luck and safe travels. Check out Kyoto!
Kyoto is the cultural and spiritual capital of Japan. Many of the other cities' historical and cultural structures were burned to the ground in the WW2 bombings.
BTW, January in mid-Japan (including Tokyo) is winter, you don't do outdoor pools in Tokyo in January. Or gardens.
The Imperial Hotel in Toyko was a great place when we stayed there almost 12 years ago. It's located near the Imperial Palace and the Ginza.
And you don't do outdoor pools in Tokyo in January, too cold
True, but an ohnsen at a country ryokan might be a different experience in January. (Although I wouldn't take part.)
I can recommend the Dai-Ichi Hotel near Shinbashi station. They have a newer annex building across the street.
One of my classmates is an American citizen (US passport) and is a permanent resident of Japan. Because of COVID restrictions, she cannot leave Japan to visit US family because she is afraid that Japan would not let her return. She is also reporting that COVID vaccinations are scare and Japan is only recently vaccinating medical workers. (Her husband is a Doctor and just got his first shot).
Foreign nationals categorized below [including North Americans] ] are
denied permission to enter Japan for the time being, unless there are