|Tokyo - An Internet Miracle: A $21 Hotel Room By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
A hotel room in Tokyo for $21? It seems incredible, but the Hotel New Koyo charges just 2,500 yen for its smallest single rooms, including service charge and tax. In a city where a fine melon can cost more than $100, that is an extraordinary find, and I turned it up through a Web site called Planet Tokyo at www.pandemic.com/tokyo.
Information about Tokyo abounds on the Internet, but Planet Tokyo is perhaps the best Web site for visitors. It offers a range of information about restaurants and hotels -- the $300-a-night variety and the $21 kind -- as well as temples and shrines and even the Japanese language. The information is mostly timely and accurate and ranges from the serious to the whimsical: this is the only Web site I know of that tutors people in expressions like "mapputatsuni hiki sakuwayo," which means "I will tear you in half."
Planet Tokyo has separate sections for restaurants, hotels, sightseeing, general trip planning and travelers' tales. It does not have a site index, but it is easy to navigate. Under sightseeing, for example, it offers a four-paragraph introduction and then a list of 19 possibilities, from amusement parks to the Ueno Zoo, which is more than 100 years old. Click on any of them, and you get the information.