Are you visiting Tokyo soon and wondering where to stay? The uber-cool city has some world-renowned hotels, traditional ryokans, affordable guesthouses, and ultra-cheap capsules.
Amongst the various accommodation types is a hyper-modern city. Futuristic architecture and neon lights paint Tokyo’s skyline in bright colors.
Known as a creative cultural hub, the city is a leader and innovator in fashion, animation, art, and technology. It also boasts huge shopping malls with world-renowned brands and cinemas with excellent features for entertainment.
The home of Mount Fuji sure does sound glamorous and pricey, but it’s possible to travel Japan on a budget. This article will highlight the best neighborhoods and places to stay, along with a list of luxury and budget accommodation options.
Often referred to as a “city,” Tokyo is actually one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. A prefecture is like a state or a province. So, Tokyo is a conglomerate of many cities, towns, and villages.
It is also home to more than 37 million people, making it the largest city in the world.
The best areas to stay in are the ones closest to the Tokyo Station. Tokyo has an impressive transport system called the Yamanote Line, the city’s “loop line” and primary form of transport. It allows you to hop from one town to another conveniently.
No matter where you stay, the city’s loop line and other train stations will let you easily maneuver through the main areas. Here are some of the coolest neighborhoods in Tokyo.
Shinjuku is the best area to stay in Tokyo. This is the part of Tokyo that you see on mainstream media, lit up with neon lights and out-of-the-world architecture.
The city falls on the Yamanote Line and has several restaurants, galleries, theaters, clubs, and karaoke rooms to keep you entertained.
Stay at one of the high-end hotels in the skyscraper district. Splurge on international and Japanese brands at shopping malls like Lumine, Takashimaya Times Square, and Odakyu.
Take a day trip to Hakone or the Mount Fuji area with the Odakyu train or public bus.
Shinjuku can get pretty crowded, especially in the evenings and on weekends. If you don’t mind the crowds and want to stay in one of Tokyo’s upscale areas, choose Shinjuku.
Tokyo Station is the city’s main transport hub, making it a great place to stay.
The original station is situated in the Marunouchi business area, while the newer extension is near the Ginza district. After Shinjuku, Ginza is the best district to stay in Tokyo.
You can easily go to Kyoto from the Tokaido Shinkansen line, while the Imperial Palace is a 10-minute walk from the JR Tokyo Station.
Ginza, the first area in Tokyo to be modernized in the 1870s, is sprinkled with posh shopping malls offering luxurious fashion brands. The nightlife is quieter than Shinjuku, making it a safe area for families with children.
It’s important to note that traffic is closed off on weekends, and the main shopping street, Chuo-Dori, becomes a pedestrian-only zone.
Like Shinjuku, the Shibuya area is also a transport hub located on the west side of the Yamanote Line.
The Shibuya crossing, right opposite the Shibuya Train Station, is the world’s busiest street crossing. There are many bars, shops, cafes, and restaurants lining the crossing and the areas surrounding it.
Shibuya is slightly less busy than Shinjuku and more youth-oriented. Teens gather at the Hachiko Plaza in their voguish outfits. Visit this hotspot to make acquaintances with locals and other foreigners.
Tokyo has some of the best luxury and business hotels in the world. There’s also a range of affordable hotels with excellent value for money.
March to mid-April is known as the Tokyo cherry blossom season. During these months, Tokyo is the busiest, and accommodation often gets booked out months in advance. So if you’re visiting during this time, be sure to book your stay ahead of time.
If you’re a fan of the movie “Lost in Translation,” staying at the Park Hyatt hotel will be like a dream come true. The Academy-award-winning movie was shot here, at the most famous hotel in Tokyo.
Park Hyatt has spacious rooms with wide windows offering views of Mount Fuji or Shinjuku. The service is first-class, providing luxury and comfort. Complimentary toiletries, slippers, and a hairdryer are also provided.
You can go to the top floor to breathe in the thrilling views of the city, dine at the world-renowned New York Grill on the 52nd floor, and relax at the spa or indoor pool.
Shinjuku Central Park is a three-minute walk away, while JR Shinjuku Train Station is a 15-minute walk away.
2. Tokyo Station Hotel
Tokyo Station Hotel is just a few steps away from the station, with the entrance right next to the Marunouchi South Exit.
Hop on and off the station’s platform to quickly get to different parts of the city. Take a 10-minute walk to the Ginza area or a 20-minute walk to the Imperial Palace.
The European-styled rooms are plush and comfy with sophisticated furniture. Modern amenities in the form of an LCD TV, a handy smartphone, a minibar, and an electric kettle are available.
The en-suite bathroom has both a bath and a shower. Complimentary toiletries, a hairdryer, bathrobes, and slippers are also provided to guests.
You can dine at the hotel’s French restaurant or spend your evenings at the elegant bars. To relax, opt for the on-site spa or stretch some muscles at the fitness center. Free Wi-Fi is available all over the property.
Odakyu is a mid-range hotel offering excellent value for a more affordable price.
You can get to the hotel from the Tokyo Narita Airport using the Narita Express Train. The Shinjuku train station is right below the hotel, so you can easily explore the rest of the Shinjuku area and nearby neighborhoods.
The hotel’s rooms are big, compared to Tokyo standards, and they have modern amenities like an air-conditioner, mini-bar, electric kettle, flat-screen tv, and free Wi-Fi. The staff here is moderately fluent in English and very kind.
Shibuya Granbell is a small mid-range boutique hotel surrounded by tons of cafes, shops, and restaurants. Shibuya Station is a mere three-minute walk away.
The standard rooms aren’t too big but offer convenience and comfort. They each have an air-conditioner, refrigerator, LCD TV, and free Wi-Fi. If you’re willing to spend more for extra space, you can upgrade to one of the premier rooms.
Millennium Mitsui Garden Hotel is another popular mid-range hotel with medium-sized rooms and modern amenities. The rooms have a minimalist design and a flatscreen TV and air-conditioner. Wi-Fi is fast and free.
The Ginza Station is approximately two minutes away, so you can easily get to Haneda Airport or the rest of Tokyo.
Many of Ginza’s high-end shopping malls and restaurants are within walking distance. The hotel is an ideal accommodation for solo travelers and couples.
For tourists and travelers looking for budgeted accommodation, knowing how to get the best and cheapest room is essential. And the good news is that Tokyo has an impressive range of accommodation options that can cater to any budget.
Aside from hotels, there are also ryokans, guesthouses, and capsule hotels. So take your pick and get started on your Tokyo adventure right away.
Ryokans are traditional Japanese inns. Unfortunately, most of Tokyo’s traditional accommodations were destroyed when the city was bombed during WW2. Today, there are a few ryokans left, with most of them in Kyoto.
A ryokan is the best place to stay in Tokyo for an authentic Japanese experience. Some of the best-rated ryokans include:
- Ryokan Asakusa Mikawaya Honten (for a tight budget)
- Ryokan Asakusa Shigetsu in Asakusa (mid-range)
- Ryokan Kamugawa Asakusa in Asakusa (luxury)
Guesthouses are a suitable accommodation type for backpackers and people traveling on a budget. Here are some of the three best-rated guesthouses in Tokyo:
Innovatively designed to accommodate people needing a bed to crash for a night or two, capsule hotels are cheap and cheerful.
Just as the name suggests, these hotels have narrow capsule-shaped rooms. Sleeping in one of these is like sleeping in a sleek, well-lit coffin. The best capsule hotels are:
- Resol Poshtel Tokyo Asakusa
- Nine Hours Suidobashi
- Nine Hours Otemachi-Imperial Palace
- Nadeshiko Hotel Shibuya (for women only)
Since Tokyo is one of the most visited cities in Asia, there’s an endless list of hotels and other creative accommodations to choose from.
Space is a luxury in this big city, so the rooms tend to be small. But the standards and services are on par with international hotels.
Hopefully, now you have a better idea of where to stay in Tokyo. And maybe you’ve already set your mind on a specific hotel or traditional ryokan.
Regardless of where you decide to stay, this vibrant city is brimming with luxury malls, hip cafes, fine restaurants, and buzzing bars.
Essential Info: Logistical Tips and Tricks to Book your Trip
BOOK YOUR FLIGHT
Regarding cheap airfare, I highly recommend using Skyscanner and Expedia. These are two of the sites I use the most due to their exhaustive search on several websites and airlines around the world. They usually bring the cheapest fares.
Additionally, I recommend getting the WayAway Plus membership to save money on cheaper fares and earn cashback (sent straight to your PayPal) on your bookings.
BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION
For hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and other types of accommodation, I highly recommend Booking.com. They are my go-to booking site because they usually have the cheapest fares.
If you’re a registered Booking.com user (“Genius”), you can take advantage of their “Genius discount” to save even more money. I almost always book my accommodation with Booking, and I’ve saved thousands of dollars with their Genius discount.
And of course, as one of the largest travel booking sites in the world, Expedia is another excellent accommodation booking site with a free reward program and discounted member prices.
If you’re looking to save money by staying at a hostel, HostelWorld has the largest inventory of hostels with shared dorms and private rooms. On the other hand, Vrbo offers a wide variety of rooms and apartments at affordable prices.
DON’T FORGET YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE
Travel insurance with comprehensive coverage will protect you against unexpected events like theft, cancellations, injury, and illness.
I use HeyMondo to insure my trips and recommend them. Their affordable plans offer a 24/7 assistance platform for claims, medical coverage for every traveler, adventure sports and covid-19 coverage, and more. And better yet, GloboTreks readers get 5% off their plan! Get a quote.
Alternatively, if you’re a nomad and travel often or long-term, then SafetyWing could help you save a lot of money on long-term travel insurance.
FIND THE BEST TOURS AT THE BEST PRICES
If you’re looking for the best day tours and cheapest ticket entrances to local attractions, I recommend checking Viator, as they have the largest selection of attractions, passes, and activities all around the world.
BOOK YOUR LOCAL TRANSPORTATION AHEAD OF TIME
Bookaway offers the easiest and most accessible way to book overland transportation with local operators, be it by bus, train, ferry, plane, mini-van, or even private transfers.
If renting a car, then I highly recommend DiscoverCars to get the largest car selection at the best price.
OTHER TRAVEL AND MONEY-SAVING TIPS?
Lastly, check out my resources page for some of the best products and companies to use for your trip. If you like saving money (like I do!), then this page will help.
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