Sunday, June 8, 2014

2014 May: Japan: Osaka: Hotel Il Coure

It is my second time to arrive at Kansai International Airport (KIX).  Since I'll always be out for the earlier time of the day and can't wait for the opening of foreign exchange in Namba, I decided to exchange most of my USD on the counter outside the terminal near the ticket machines for Nankai.

Instead of using the ICOCA machine reload, I went to the ICOCA office for them to do the reload on my behalf. (Before hand, I already have the computation of my estimated train expenses. In total, I’ll spend 10000yen (5000php, 2014) for my 4days-3nights stay in Kansai.)

From the airport station, I took the Express Rapid Train (yen).  Arrived at Namba Station and took escalators going to Swiss Hotel exit gates.  It is just nearby Subway Exit 5 and main pedestrian crossing going to Hotel Il Coure Namba


Price: Average - For walk-ins, it would cost 9000 yen.  So try looking at agoda.com or booking.com for early bird discounts.  I got my 3 nights stay for 20000 yen (8500 php, 2014)


Location: Superb - Very accessible from Namba Station.  Take subway exit 5 or exit going to Swiss Hotel.  Staying in Namba means you have direct access from and to the airport, you can take Midosuji Line and Sennichimae Line.  You can also see Namba Parks and Takashimaya.  There are a lot of convenient stores and restaurants around the area. 


Check-in: Unique - Upon presenting my booking.com document and passport, they handed me the hotel card. It is the one used on the check-in machine to pay the room fee. Don't worry because instruction is also available in English.  After inserting the bills, the hotel card will be ejected with the indication of "paid". 


Room: Spacious – Space is too expensive in Japan, the room space I got is more than the fee of which I paid for.  Not congested with amenities and you can freely move around.

Amenities:  
Bath, shower, ion hairdryer, slippers, bath towel, face towel, toothbrush & toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body soap, bidet toilet, refrigerator, TV, desk, phone, hot pot, mirror, high-speed Internet access and trouser press.

Housekeeping: Average - My room is 1313 (13th room on 13th floor).  I requested for non-smoking room, but it’s a bit smelly (smoke).  Good that there is air perfume included in their amenities.  Other than that, my room is always kept clean, with refill of green and orange tea everyday.

Culinary: No Experience - Breakfast fee is 1000yen (500php, 2014) per person, where I can take that opportunity not to be lavish in my expense.for this trip.  One way or another, you can have cheaper breakfast meals if you know where to find it.  On a positive note, coffee is also available in the waiting area.

Tips:

  • Most of the average hotels would not have bathroom slippers, so good thing I brought mine.
  • If going back late to the hotel and will take the elevators beyond 10pm, guests should insert the hotel card for it to open.

Summary of 3 days itinerary in 2014 Spring Osaka, Okayama, Kobe, Kyoto, Trip:

Day
Places to see
Food and Restaurants
Where to Sleep
Day 1
Go to Okayama by train
Wake Wisteria Park, Wake Folk Museum
Go to Kobe by train
Western-style buildings in Kitano area
Walk along Flower Road
Day 2
Go to Kyoto by train
Mimuroto-ji Temple (Azalea)
Kawaramachi Catholic Church
TOEI Kyoto Studio Park
Return to Osaka by train
Namba Parks
Hotel IL Cuore Namba
Day 3
In Osaka, visit Nakanoshima Park (Roses)
Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park
Clever Coffee
Cante Grande
First Kitchen Restaurant
Tully's Coffee
Hotel IL Cuore Namba