Hotel Resol Trinity Sapporo
The room itself was very nice and we didn't have any complaints about cleanliness or service. The staff at the front desk were always willing to help us and we didn't have any issues with a language barrier. They were able to process our luggage forwarding to two different locations successfully and also capably held our remaining suitcases after checking out. Bonus feature: there's an onsen area (male and female separated) at the top floor of the hotel that is free for guests to use and they even give you instructions. I didn't get a chance to check it out but my mom went to go try it lol. She was a bit uncomfortable with the whole thing but I don't think that's the hotel's fault and it's a really nice feature. We would stay here again!
Loisir Hotel Hakodate
Prince Shinagawa: N Tower
Disney, but took our time picking out a few things on the second morning. There was an issue we had with our luggage/mail not being distributed or documented immediately and the N Tower reception desk not knowing our items had arrived when we asked the first time forcing us to spend 4 hours in Tokyo separated without wifi when we would have needed it the most, but it was something we could have further pressed ourselves, so I don't consider it the hotel's fault. If you aren't staying in the Main Tower and are expecting mail on a certain day by a certain time, be sure to ask the staff to call to see if it just hasn't been properly sorted yet!
Hotel New Hankyu
This is an older hotel and more comparable to the Loisor Hotel in Hakodate than the Prince or the Resol Trinity. Same 1 regular old school key issued instead of electronic card key and good location in relation to the station but not the cleanest feeling place. However...when talking about location, Umeda/Osaka station can be a little bit of a bitch to navigate through. I would still hesitate to tell you exactly the best way to get to the hotel from the JR Osaka tracks but from Hankyu or the subway station, it's fairly easy. There's nowhere to sit in the lobby except one piece of furniture that can be shared with maybe 10 people max which my bf and I had to make use of on the last day when we were waiting for my parents and we were extremely lucky there was even space for us.
I think given the choice, we would still go with the Westin Osaka for our first choice in this area when it's priced reasonably just for comfort, but as a second option, we would stay at the New Hankyu again. It was easy and convenient to catch the shuttle to KIX at a reasonable time for our flight (which was its main selling point from the beginning), but I think my mom wouldn't be able to get to the hotel from any part of any station in the area because it was just too confusing for her.
My mom, dad, bf and I each had one large check in suitcase when we arrived in Japan.
On Day 3, when we were checking out of the hotel in Sapporo, between me and my bf (and then in parallel, my mom and my dad) packed whatever we purchased or was done with after the first three days in Hokkaido into one of the suitcases amongst the pair of us and forwarded it to Osaka. The other one we filled with whatever we would want and need in Tokyo between the two of us, but we were sure not to have it packed to the brim (to have room for more shopping there), and had that sent to meet us in Shinagawa. Anything we would need in the meantime in Hakodate (for Day 4) needed to stay with us and fit into our carry on bags.
Our bags arrived on the soonest date possible from Sapporo to Tokyo on the same day we arrived (Day 5). I'm not exactly sure on the time, but it was certainly there by the time we actually checked-in at around 16:45 which was good because I certainly needed some of the things in there for Day 6 when we would be leaving early in the morning and probably wouldn't have to wait for the bags.
On the morning of Day 7, we packed up our remaining check-in bag with Tokyo purchases and things we no longer needed and forwarded it from Shinagawa to the hotel in Osaka, again keeping just the essentials in our carry ons. When we arrived in Osaka via shinkansen later that day and checked into the hotel, our bags from Sapporo were waiting for us.
The Tokyo suitcases arrived by the afternoon of Day 8 in Osaka, and we were able to rearrange our bags and split up our things so that I no longer had my bf's stuff in mine and mine is his. This was enough time to sort everything out before we checked out the next morning and worked out reasonably well imo!
PuPuRu pocket wifi
Spring 2015 and Autumn 2015.
We rented just one unit for the four of us for our first four days in Hokkaido because we figured that we wouldn't be separated too much. There were maybe two or three instances where it could have been slightly handy to have one more unit as an option, but we didn't suffer too much. When we arrived in Tokyo, we wanted to have 2 additional units available to us and, when placing the order, requested delivery early in the day. I do believe that they arrived at a reasonable time but we just didn't have access to them when we wanted them due to miscommunication at the hotel. For the four hours I didn't have wifi, I really suffered and wasted a whole bunch of time. I was also afraid to venture as far as I had planned due to not being about to contact my family in case I was going to be late since there was a train delay. I felt much more comfortable being on my own when I was able to use the internet for help.
Anyway, imo, it's good to be connected, especially to use Google Maps. We use PuPuRu because that's who I initially ordered with the first time and we haven't been disappointed by them yet.
In Tokyo and Osaka, it was hot during the day as expected which was such a rude wake up call after the great, mild weather in Hokkaido lol. Night temperatures were a bit lower but nothing a simple cardigan couldn't conquer. Overall, we've been in worse heat and worse cold and didn't need too much specialty clothing, so I'd say that May is a pretty good time to visit Japan in general!
my last trip, so here's a similar screenshot of our "steps" for each day of the trip! Click through each date to see what we did that day! Can you guess which day we did DisneySea? I don't usually do a lot of walking (my average number of steps is less than 1000 per day lmao), so this is clearly a step up for me, but with a lot of water and resting whenever possible, this was definitely doable in heels! Sorry this layout isn't as nice as last time where I had the screenshots from Christa's FitBit, but if this could be useful to you, I thought I'd just quickly include it.
I was so glad I was able to finally get to Hokkaido and see not only Sapporo, but also Otaru and Hakodate as well. It was nice to kind of focus on something other than just clothes shopping for once, and I especially enjoyed our visit to Shiroi Koibito Park and the view from Mt Hakodate. Highlights for my dad and my bf were the fresh seafood in Hokkaido which we tried to take advantage of pretty much every day we were there! When I travel with just my bf, he gets the short end of the stick and usually just goes to whatever restaurant will accommodate my picky eating habits and doesn't include fish or sushi. I'm so happy that the crowds and weather were reasonably mild the day we visited DisneySea and that we were able to ride almost everything we wanted to (all priorities accomplished, some more than once!), plus so much more for my parents' first experience there. As for me and shopping, I'm happy with what I ended up with (Liz Lisa and non-Liz Lisa purchases), even though I didn't have a ton of time to do it and so many Liz Lisa locations have now closed!
Phew! By the end of the nine days, I was definitely ready to get home. Each day of our trips are usually filled to the brim with activities, and this was no different, but I wouldn't have it any other way. We don't yet have any solid plans for a future trip, but I can't wait to go back and see more of what Japan has to offer :)
I usually try to write this post in conjunction with the daily posts but I somehow forgot about it a bit and it feels like so much time has already passed since we've come back from the trip! I may need to update this post later with other relevant information as I remember it, but for now, this is what I have!
Japan trip Spring 2016 posts
Part 1: Packing (Liz Lisa outfits) for Hokkaido to Osaka in May
Part 2: Arrival to CTS & Day 1 - Curb Market, Shiroi Koibito Park and shopping in Sapporo
Part 3: Day 2 - Nijo Market, Sapporo Beer Museum & Tanukikoji in Sapporo
Part 4: Day 3 - Exploring Otaru & experiencing the Hakodate Liner
Part 5: Day 4 - Morning Market, Red Brick Warehouses & Mt Hakodate in Hakodate
Part 6: Day 5 - Hokkaido Shinkansen & shopping in Tokyo and Funabashi
Part 7: Day 6 - Tokyo DisneySea
Part 8: Day 7 - Last minute shopping in Omiya and Tokyo & Tokaido Shinkansen to Osaka
Part 9: Day 8 - Kinkakuji in Kyoto & shopping in Osaka
Part 10: Day 9 - Utsubo Park Rose Festival, Namba/Shinsaibashi & departure from KIX in Osaka
Part 11: Liz Lisa shopping, purchases & coordinates
Part 12: Other shopping, purchase & coordinates
Part 13: Travel notes - Hotels, Luggage forwarding & Pocket wifi
✦ Japan trip Autumn 2015 posts
✦ Japan trip Summer 2015 posts
✦ Japan trip Spring 2015 posts
✦ Japan trip Summer 2014 posts