Magic of Miles in Japan: Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima & Osaka

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Japan is such a special place to visit. The landscape, the people, and the food! I took a recent trip and would love to share it with you. Come join me on a trip report of one of my favorite countries.

One of the things that fascinates me about Japanese culture is their focus on kaizen, which is a philosophy of continuous daily improvement. I think it is a great way to keep looking forward rather than dwell on past mistakes in a way that isn’t productive, and it encourages lifelong learning which I am a fan of.

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 5.26.04 PMKaizen in kanji

There are also a ton of fun things that I love about Japan. Here are just a few –

Respectful bows, Bonsai trees and bento boxes, smart Toto toilets with toasty warmed seats, and Green Tea Kit Kat (which you can’t easily find outside of Japan). Hotels are often top notch with legendary customer service, and even taxi drivers sport white gloves and offer super clean and safe transportation.

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The only tough part about taking a trip to Japan is trying to squeeze everything in!

Here are some of the things I’ll cover in this Japan trip report –

Introduction
Getting There – JAL First Class
Hotel Review: Ritz-Carlton Tokyo
Guide to Tsukiji Fish Market
Room Service Review: Ritz-Carlton Tokyo
Day in Tokyo
Taking the Shinkansen “Bullet” Train
Hotel Review: Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
Tea at the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
Day 1 in Kyoto
Day 2 in Kyoto
Room Service Review: Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
Park Hyatt Tokyo Revisited
Getting to Hiroshima
Hotel Review: Sheraton Hiroshima
Day trip to Miyajima
Day in Hiroshima
St. Regis Osaka
Food Shopping in Japan
One Day in Osaka
One Day in Narita
Traditional Ryokan

Leave me a comment if you think of something else about Japan you’d like to see included.

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  1. Indy
    Reply

    looking forward to this review. i have an upcoming trip to japan on JAL and i suspect a bunch others do too……

    • Melinda
      Reply

      Indy, hope you have a great trip on JAL. I love the whole JAL experience and it is one of my favorite 1st class products!

  2. Patti @The Travel Sisters
    Reply

    Looking forward to your trip reports. Japan is one of my favorite countries to visit as well- I visited Japan earlier this year for the third time! I have not flown JAL first class or stayed at the hotels you are writing about yet so am eager to read about your experiences.

    • Melinda
      Reply

      Thanks for reading Patti@The Travel Sisters!

  3. Tim
    Reply

    Really looking forward to this. Like many others I am taking advantage of the F deal on JAL and heading out mid July for 10 days. Going the Hyatt route in Kyoto and Fukuoka plus Park Hyatt in Tokyo. Just not a big fan of Ritz Carltons overall. Hope you have a great time and maybe take in a ball game to report on.

    • Melinda
      Reply

      The Park Hyatt in Tokyo is a favorite of mine. If you haven’t read my review yet click here. 10 days in July sounds like a great trip Tim! I wish I was heading back there already.

  4. goheerow
    Reply

    Kaizen is written in kanji, not katakana.

    • Melinda
      Reply

      Thanks for catching that goheerow! It has now been updated.

  5. Richard
    Reply

    Spoiler alert but those are all fantastic hotels. Personally I like the Andaz and Hyatt Kyoto but the Ritz’s certainly are nice if you can afford them. The Sheraton Hiroshima is maybe the best in the entire chain and I highly recommend the miso and izakaya across the bridge from it above the grocery store. Don’t know why you would need room service at the Ritz Kyoto as it’s in the middle of everything with tons of late night great food options.

    • Melinda
      Reply

      They are indeed Richard! I missed the miso and izakaya in the Hiroshima grocery store but really enjoyed the Cafe Danmark nearby. I agree about the room service at Ritz Kyoto, but it was late at night and I was tired and hungry. Room service usually does the trick but in hindsight I should have passed. More on that later. 🙂 Thanks for reading.

  6. Tony A.
    Reply

    There’s plenty of green (matcha) kit kats here in the USA. Just go to your Japanese or Korean grocery. Mine here in Wetschester NY have so much that they’re on sale.

    I hope that you can write more about Japan rather than just hotels. There’s plenty to see and experience there.

    • Melinda
      Reply

      I stocked up with a huge box before I left, but that’s awesome Tony. I hope you will enjoy the series, stay tuned!

  7. tjp74
    Reply

    Count me in as well… I also got the JAL F for the entire family of 4! Will be staying at PH at Tokyo… only one who can allow a family of 4 in a room and confirm the paid upgrade at the booking for deluxe room for like $80 more per night. Andez was also willing to allow 4 in king size room but could not confirm the upgrade at the booking. Grand Hyatt will not allow more than 3 per person period. Then Kyoto for few more days… haven’t booked any room there yet. Debating hyatt or one of those traditional japanese ryokan…

    • Melinda
      Reply

      That’s great tjp74! I’m sure you’re all excited. I had the older seat on JAL but the service and food was the same – excellent! PH Tokyo is a wonderful choice, glad they were able to accommodate your family of 4. I stayed at a Japanese Ryokan and loved it, but if you have back problems you may not be comfortable sleeping on the traditional floor futons with buckwheat pillows. :p

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