Is it wise and doable to reserve a ryokan or hotel one day ahead of said destination? For example, Tokyo is our base, but we plan to visit Osaka for 2 nights, then Kyoto (3) nights, etc. Can we book or reserve a hotel 24 hours ahead of where we will be going? Or is it cheaper to book in advance?
Noooooo… don’t leave hotel reservations for the last minute. Tourism has boomed in the last five years, and they can’t build hotels fast enough to keep up with demand. Hotels in popular areas are booked up two months ahead, and are booked up weeks ahead even in unpopular areas.
To give you an idea, my boyfriend and I missed our last train on the weekend, and got stuck in Kawasaki. Kawasaki is off the beaten path for tourists, so you’d think there would be some hotel rooms free, right? Nope. We went to five different hotels on foot and they were all booked up. We even asked the clerk at one place to call around to their other branches nearby, and nope - all booked up. We then went online to see if we could find anything that way, and nope - nothing.
You need to book ahead, especially if you are looking for a inexpensive room in a popular sightseeing area. Otherwise you’ll find yourself sleeping in the park. Sorry about that!