Hotel Mume. Kyoto, Japan. January 2013

Japan

Arriving in Kyoto for the very first time on the shinkansen from Hiroshima was an incredible thrill. Catching a cab from the station to the stunning riverside boutique Hotel Mume nestled in the old Gion district with a soundtrack of David Bowie’s Japanese instrumentals playing on the iPod was one of the highlights of my whole trip to Japan.

We had an idea the service would be exceptional at this quiet, beautifully appointed and small  hotel but we really weren’t prepared for how accommodating Ms Kikuchi and her staff would be. I think the confirmation email for our booking best sums up the Mume experience better than I ever could. Please enjoy the read.

Dear Mr./Ms. casjumbo,

Thank you so much for your reservation with us!

Now I would like to confirm it as follows:

Arrival Date: 8 January, 2013
Departure Date: 10 January, 2013 ( 2 Nights )
Room Type: The Wind
Number of Guests: 1 Male and 1 Female

Will you come to Kyoto by Shinkansen Train on your way to our hotel? I have attached our address in Japanese so that you can show it to your taxi driver at JR Kyoto Station. It will take you about 15 minutes and approximately 1,500 yen by taxi from Kyoto Station to our hotel.

If you come to our hotel from Kansai Airport, I would like to recommend you a mini shuttle bus service called “MK Sky Gate Shuttle. ” If you take this mini shuttle bus, they will wait for you with your name card at the exit gate (after custom clearance) at Kansai Airport, help you carry your suitcases and drive you almost directly to our hotel.
In order to have some more precise information, please kindly visit their official site as follows: http://www.mk-group.co.jp/english/shuttle/
You may have to share this shuttle bus with some other passengers, but the maximum is only 9 people and it will be, I believe, quite a comfortable drive.
It takes approximately 2-2.5 hours from Kansai Airport to our hotel by this bus and it costs 3,500 yen per person.
When I travel, I always use this bus because this is the fastest and most reasonable way to travel between Kansai Airport and Kyoto City. If you would like to take this, please kindly remember to book it 3 days before your flight at the latest.

Alternatively, you can take an express called Haruka departing from Kansai Airport Station to Kyoto Station, but this will cost you 3,490 yen per person (almost the same price as that for the MK Shuttle) and take you 75 minutes. This Haruka Express used to run more frequently, every half an hour, but now it normally runs once per hour except the peak time.

In fact, thinking about the waiting time for Haruka at  Kansai Airport Station, the train journey time, taking your luggage to the taxi meeting point at Kyoto Station , and then coming to our hotel (which will take you about 15-20 minutes and cost you approximately 1,500 yen, as mentioned above), I personally think the MK Shuttle is a much better way of travelling between Kansai Airport and our hotel, but I do understand some people prefer taking a train and so I leave it to your decision.

Another option will be simply to hire an MK taxi from Kansai Airport to our hotel so that you may not have to stop at other places to drop off other passengers (as you would have to do by taking the MK Shuttle.)

It will take you about 1.5-2 hours for this direct journey by taxi and cost you approximately 16,500 yen for a normal sized sedan, 17,800 yen for a larger sedan, and 18,800 yen for an Estima-typed car (http://toyota.jp/estima/ ) which can be very convenient if you are travelling with a lot of luggage.

By the way, if this is your first time to visit Kyoto, are there any particular things you would like to do?
If you have not made any plan yet, please visit the following site of the official Kyoto guide, which I think is the most practical of all: http://www.kyoto.travel/

If there is anything you would like me to assist you before your arrival, please do not hesitate to contact me anytime so that I may help you make the best of your stay in Kyoto/Japan.

Once again, thank you very much for choosing us and all of our staff truly look forward to welcoming you to Mume on 8 January!!

Best regards,

Yoshie Kikuchi
Hotel Mume