Tokyo, Japan is a big and crazy city with so much going on. Nearly 30 million tourists visit the city each year and with the Olympics on the horizon in 2020, the city is expected to experience an even greater boom in tourism.
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Japan’s capital is an interesting mix of old and new. On one hand, you’ll have no problem finding ultra-modern skyscrapers, hotels and restaurants. But, you’ll also be surrounded by plenty of historic sites, museums and shrines. Some of the most popular places to visit in Tokyo include the Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo Tower, the Meiji Jingu shrine, Sensō-ji Temple, the Imperial Palace and Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.
Especially as a first-time visitor, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to stay in Tokyo. With more than 14 huge districts that feel like cities unto themselves, Tokyo is massive and can be stressful at times. Due to this, it’s essential to stay in an optimal location. In general, western Tokyo is the newer, more glitzy part of the city. The eastern side is older and, while it may not be as fancy, prices are often cheaper.
This guide will outline some of the best neighbourhoods in the city and help you figure out where to stay in Tokyo on your next trip.
Where to Stay in Tokyo
Shibuya is the best district to stay in Tokyo if you want to be at the center of all the action. It’s modern, attractive and is a youth hub within the city. Here, you’ll find the famous Shibuya Crossing, a chaotic and impressive sidewalk where up to 3,000 people cross the street at once.
Within this district, you’ll also find the super trendy Harajuku neighbourhood, where you can experience Harajuku culture and fashion in full swing. Also, don’t miss lovely green spaces such as the Yoyogi Park and the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.
If you choose Shibuya as the best area to stay in Tokyo, you’ll find easy transportation to other parts of the city as well as plenty of places to eat and drink nearby. Check out these awesome hotels in Shibuya.
Luxury: Trunk Hotel
The TRUNK HOTEL is an awesome choice of a luxury hotel in Tokyo, Japan that is also eco-friendly thanks to a great recycling program and more. It may very well be the best place to stay in Tokyo overall.
Mid-Range: Shibuya Granbell Hotel
With moody decorations and a comfortable feeling, the Shibuya Granbell Hotel is a great choice of mid-range hotel in Tokyo, Japan. Its location is directly at Shibuya station, making it optimal for those looking to get around easily.
Budget: Wise Owl Hostel
Wise Owl Hostel Shibuya is an upscale hostel in an excellent location in Shibuya City. This is the best place to stay in Tokyo for you if you’re looking for a clean but affordable accommodation with an organic restaurant on site.
The district of Minato can be found to the south of the city and is the center of a lot of excitement in Tokyo. The Tokyo Tower can be found in this neighbourhood, as well as the Mori Art Museum and the Zojoji Temple, two popular attractions. In addition, if you’re interested in visiting the Tsukiji Fish Market in the early morning, this is the best area to stay in Tokyo.
The larger district of Minato includes smaller neighbourhoods such as Ginza, known for it’s chic and luxurious vibe, as well as Roppongi, the center of nightlife. If you want to go shopping or party the night away, Minato is a great option for where to stay in Tokyo.
Luxury: The Peninsula Hotel
The Peninsula Hotel is found in the Ginza neighbourhood and is one of the most luxurious choices for where to stay in Tokyo. They’re also extremely environmentally conscious, having sourced all their building materials from sustainable suppliers and continuing to source their food responsibly as well.
Worm’s eye view of The Peninsula, Tokyo. Photo by studiomohawk via Flickr CC.
Mid-Range: Shinbashi Atagoyama Tokyu REI Hotel
The Shinbashi Atagoyama Tokyu REI Hotel is a clean and welcoming hotel right in the center of the Minato district. You’ll find a delectable restaurant on the property as well as the Green Coin Program that helps plant trees outside the city.
Budget: First Cabin Atagoyama
A perfect option for a budget hotel in Tokyo, Japan is First Cabin Atagoyama. You can book “first-class” or “economy” cabins that feel like private, individual rooms while still in a community hostel setting.
Shinjuku is a great balance of green space and cultural attractions. It’s definitely busy, like the rest of Tokyo, but it has a ton of charm and excitement. Here you’ll find the popular Samurai Museum for a fun peek into the traditions of Japan. There are lots of public parks, but Shinjuku Gyoen is one of the best.
In addition to being lovely at any time of year, it’s especially popular during the cherry blossom season. While all of the city is amazing for food, Shinjuku is where to stay in Tokyo if you want to devour local street food.
Shinjuku is another one of the best places to stay in Tokyo if you want to enjoy the city’s nightlife. You’ll find tons of bars and restaurants as well as neon-lit clubs and karaoke salons. Shinjuku will also be the area where the 2020 Olympics will be held.
Luxury: Keio Plaza Hotel
For a taste of modern luxury, stay at the Keio Plaza Hotel. Not only is the hotel stunning, but there are a number of cultural shows and activities right on-site, making it a great hotel in Tokyo, Japan for culture and entertainment lovers.
Mid-Range: Hundred Stay
Hundred Stay is a great choice if you’re looking for huge rooms and city views during your time in Shinjuku. There is an on-site fitness centre as well as a tasty cafe.
Budget: Nine Hours
Looking for a quirky experience? The Nine Hours is a designer capsule hotel that attracts solo travelers as well as those who just want to book a bed to take a nap during the day. The capsules are all very private and resemble something from a space station.
The district of Taitō is one that is often overlooked by tourists. However, there are plenty of things to do here, making it one of the best places to stay in Tokyo. The famous Sensō-ji Shrine can be found here and is not to be missed. In addition, you’ll find one of the city’s most enjoyable parks, Ueno Park, in the Taitō district.
If you’re interested in seeing the older parts of the city, this is the best area to stay in Tokyo. Taitō includes smaller districts such as Asakusa, a place to find traditional culture, and Akihabara, an area that is adorned with anime, neon, and electronics. It’s a wild blend of ancient and modern.
Luxury: Hotel Coco Grand
With touches of traditional Japanese style and decor, the Hotel Coco Grand will make you feel both immersed and comfortable in Tokyo. Best of all, the hotel is located right in Ueno Park.
Mid-Range: Wired Hotel
Located in the smaller neighbourhood of Asakusa right next to the Sensō-ji Shrine, the WIRED Hotel is an awesome choice of mid-range hotel in Tokyo, Japan. It’s modern and classy with an incredible restaurant on-site.
Budget: Kangaroo Hotel
Japan is expensive, but the Kangaroo Hotel is one of the single cheapest places to stay in Tokyo. You’ll have a small bed to yourself in a private room, offering great value for your money.
The Bottom Line
All things considered, choosing where to stay in Tokyo is no easy feat. The city is crowded, expensive and not the best when it comes to sustainability. However, there are still many hotels and accommodations to choose from if you know where to look.