Every Pinoy traveler’s dream destination includes The Land of the Rising Sun. And why wouldn’t it be, the place is screaming with so much culture and life, and every attraction is bucket-list worthy: the gleaming temples and architectures, modern cityscapes a la sci-fi film, stunning parks in vibrant colors, heavenly hot springs—all begging to be explored. Its fusion of ancient traditions and modern technology makes it an endless discovery and a country that holds a lot of surprises. In fact, Japan is the fourth most-visited country in Asia last year according to the World Tourism Organization, so it’s no doubt that it’s on top of most people’s bucket lists.
Kyoto: A time-warp to old century Japan
If Tokyo is the loud, beating heart of Japan, Kyoto is its more peaceful soul. This city is bursting with history and tradition, you’ll be amazed with how its century-old culture and architectures have remained intact up to this day.
Walk through the green wonderland that is the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, pass by the historic castles dating from ancient eras, admire the aesthetic pathway of Fushimi Inari Shrine, and experience the Japanese way of life by trying the delectable cuisine like the Kyoto’s popular kaiseki meal. One of the city’s highlights is the Kinkaku-ji, also called the golden pavilion, which sits in a lush of greenery surrounded by water where you can be one with nature. A trip to Kyoto won’t be complete without visiting this renowned Buddhist temple, so don’t forget to take photos while you’re there!
The city is also home to lovely cherry blossom trees and colorful geisha culture. With its reflective spirit and calm vibe, Kyoto is an amazing experience that you won’t get enough of.
Where to stay
Located at the heart of Kyoto lies Karaksa Hotel, a three-star leisure hotel that is a total bang for your buck. Think star-ranked hotels’ hospitality and facilities in a completely affordable price. It’s very accessible to the Arashiyama and is only 3 minutes away from Omiya station, so it’s a smart hotel option after a long day of exploration in the city.
The gastronomic adventure that is Osaka
Osaka is a dynamic city. For instance, it’s the food capital of Japan, so it’s the ultimate go-to place for binge-eating. If you’re in quest for the yummiest authentic Japanese eats like takoyaki, horumon and okonomiyaki—just head to Dotonbori or Shinsekai. Name it, they have it. The city is also home to popular tourist attractions such as Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum, Osaka Castle, and Universal Studios Japan.
For those who like to observe city skylines, Japan’s tallest skyscraper, Abeno Harukas, has an observation deck called Harukas 300 where you can admire the city’s sweeping views 300 meters high. While you’re there, you can visit the Kintetsu Department Store and Art Museum just a few floors below. The nightlife is also flourishing here, so be sure to be wide awake at night while exploring its happy streets.
Where to stay
At the end of the day, have a good rest at the comfortable rooms of Karaksa Hotel, a leisure hotel just a few walks away from Osaka’s main shopping district, Shinsaibashi. Osaka Shinsaibashi I is located at 1-6-9 Bakuroumachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka City, just a 5-minute walk from Sakaisuji-Hommachi Station/Nagahoribashi Station.
Come home to Karaksa
Whether you went to get cultured at Kyoto or eat your heart out in Osaka, you can come home to the inviting comfort of Karaksa Hotel, especially designed for the smart Asian traveller.
Inside, there’s everything you need for a cozy stay. The rooms are fully-air conditioned and equipped with hot and cold shower, all of which contains the basic necessities like the latest flat screen TV, universal sockets with USB ports, bath towels, hair dryer, suitcase storage under the bed, Japanese-style bidet, mini refrigerator, toothbrush set, shampoo, conditioner and face soap, pajamas, sanitized slippers. There’s also a mini desk area if you have an urgent work to check. The room sizes include double decker and Hollywood twin for 2 adults and their child, and connecting room for group of friends or bigger families. The average room size is 18 sqm.
Its interiors are charming—every corner is a minimalist’s haven. The hotel is an experience itself: their amenities include a smoking space, and prayer room for the Muslim guests. A high-speed Wi-Fi service is also installed in the whole building, so you won’t easily get bored. Guests can also assure their important belongings are safe with their safety deposit box.
The overall vibe of the place feels like home–you can chance upon its Filipino receptionists, and there’s a TFC channel in your room television when you feel a little home sick. That’s because it has a touch of Pinoy: the hotel’s owner, Xymax Corporation, Japan’s premier asset property management company has teamed up with Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC), one of the leading property developers in the Philippines. RLC is the official Sales and Marketing agent of Karaksa Hotel in the country.
The Osaka branch features a laundry area and a leisure space with massage chairs and a wide array of vendo machines for snacks, toys and souvenirs, plus dining sets for eating or chatting with your companions. The Kyoto branch, on the other hand, features only twin rooms: Bunk and High Floor for up to 2 persons and Hollywood for groups and families.
A trip to Japan most likely comes with a hefty price tag, especially since the country is screaming with lots of attractions to put in your itinerary. To maximize your experience, start by choosing an affordable hotel to stay in. Karaksa Hotel is a great value for money, complete with basic amenities and comfortable accommodation. It’s slightly cheaper compared to other hotels of the same kind in the city, but it offers a top-star hotel experience that won’t hurt your wallet.
Whether you grab a seat sale or impulsively book a tour to Japan, fret not! You can book at Karaksa Hotel easily through http://www.gohotels.ph/gohotels-now-in-japan/. By booking at any Go Hotels branch, you can get a chance to win a trip for two to Osaka. Click here for more details.
Karaksa Hotel, in partnership with Go Hotels, will open five more branches before the Tokyo Olympics 2020: Hokkaido, Sapporo, Tokyo Ginza, Shin-Osaka and Namba to cater more budget travelers. You can expect the Namba branch to open this November.