Just share a experience with u.
I send a E mail to book a pension at Kyushu directly at May. The content of the mail are:
asking rate, if have rooms, how many people stay, date will come etc.
I did not receive any reply from them hence I disregard it. Actually I have sent few mails asking rate from several inns and pensions and nobody reply. (I copy the Japanese booking mail from newsgroup and sent to them)
Suddenly I received a mail from one pension for they complained of my absence and asking for compenation at June 08. They also sent an acceptance mail to me for taking my booking as evidence at May 08.
It is come to astonishment that they send a single end mail in May 08 without asking my final acceptance. I asked room rate initially and I may not able to accept the price or situation may change after few days. Or they may not have room too.
This pension practices is you asking and they accept then be a deal. No more communication.
I also investigated and found the reason that I did not read their mail because I used Chinese XP in Outlook that the Japanese font would become "????" in the heading of mail. That is why I may overlook their mail after scan by anti virus system. 原帖地址: 背包客栈自助游论坛 https://www.bbkz.com/forum/showthread.php?t=98480
Pls be aware if you book with small pension that they might not follow the well established hotel booking site rules with final booking confirmation.