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Friday, May 25, 2012
Skytree waiting list too long? Some hotel packages include tickets
The masses unable to visit the newly opened Tokyo Skytree without a reservation due to the extreme demand to check out the capital's latest landmark may have caught a break.
Six hotels near the world's tallest broadcasting tower and more than 10 travel agencies are currently selling tourist packages that include an entrance ticket to Skytree.
Individual visitors probably won't be able to visit the tower for a while as all tickets already have been reserved through July 10.
But wannabe visitors willing to spend a night at one of the hotels or go on sightseeing trips to certain tourist spots the same day could be granted their wish to ascend the 634-meter-tower and its two observation decks.
Asakusa View Hotel is one of the six offering such packages. Rooms on the 20th floor or higher are priced at between ¥11,025 and ¥26,250 per night, and come with breakfast and a ticket to the tower thrown in.
"This hotel is 1.8 km from the Skytree, so our guests can view the tower and Asakusa's Sensoji Temple through the same window," said Miho Fukushima, a spokeswoman of the hotel.
Asakusa View will continue selling the special packages until the end of July, and there are still some weekday vacancies, Fukushima said.
In addition, a dozen travel agencies have formed a tieup with Tobu Railway Co., which owns the operator of the landmark, and are selling travel packages that include rail transportation, one night at a hotel at a popular tourism spot in the Kanto region — and a ticket to the tower.
"More than 10 travel agencies are selling a variety of packages," said Masashi Takahashi, a spokesman for Tobu Railway Co.
"But in particular, we are focusing such tours on Nikko and Kinugawa Onsen" hot springs resort, he said.
Attracting tourists to the two locations in Tochigi Prefecture is considered important for the Tobu conglomerate group's travel agency and railway subsidiary, which serves nearby stations, Takahashi said.
The Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant have reduced the number of tourists to these areas, he explained.
Prices for packages that include one night at a hotel in the Kinugawa hot springs facility, breakfast, dinner, round-trip tickets for the railway and a ticket to Tokyo Skytree start at ¥14,500, according to the Tobu group's website.