Crowne Plaza ANA Kobe, Kobe, Japan

I’d gotten to the shinkansen platform at Himeji station early for my train to Shin-Kobe so I settled down for a bit of a snack. As I was early I’d planned on jumping on an earlier train. A quick look at Hyperdia told me one would be arriving soon… it did, and for some reason I just sat there, I was probably snacking away – sigh. Anyway, another train arrived soon and I was on my way for the 26 minute train ride to Shin-Kobe.

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Toyoko INN Himeji Station, Himeji, Japan

Toyoko Inn is very much a Japanese salaryman’s hotel. No bells or whistles with simple but functional rooms.

I’d arrived from Kyoto around 2pm but was told I couldn’t check-in until 3 so left my bags and headed out to find a late lunch.

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2018 travel retrospective

My how 2018 has flown by.

I was lucky enough to start 2018 with a short break in Singapore before returning home in the new year.

Drinking in Singapore can be a very expensive pastime if you don’t know the rules:

  • Go to restaurants that aren’t targeted at tourists or expats – you can still get a long neck of Tiger for around SG$7
  • Drink during happy hour(s) – or more precisely, don’t drink during the couple of hours after the business day finishes when it’s not happy hour. Happy hours are predominantly 2-for-1, so beer is essentially half price
  • Steer clear of hotel bars

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Hotel M’s Est Shijo Karasuma, Kyoto, Japan

Hotel M’s Est Shijo Karasuma is a modern hotel near Shijo and Karasuma stations in Kyoto, and it is also now officially the smallest hotel room I’ve ever stayed in, even small than the room I had in Amsterdam last year!

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ANA Crowne Plaza Toyama, Toyama, Japan

Crowne Plaza hotels, particularly in Japan, always seem to live up to a high standard and the Crowne Plaza in Toyama was no exception.

The hotal is in a superb location just south of Toyama Castle with a tram stop on the blue Loop Line right outside so it’s an easy, and cheap, commute from Toyama JR station.

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