Where to stay in Tokyo

Ties Lagraauw

written by
Ties Lagraauw

updated 29.03.2024

Japan’s reputation for being an extremely expensive place to visit is a little outdated in many fields, but it’s certainly justified as far as accommodation goes. However, the quality of accommodation in Tokyo is generally very high at all levels, from luxury hotels to budget dorms; security and cleanliness are top-notch; and except at the bottom end of the scale, you’ll usually find someone who speaks at least a smattering of English. With each district boasting its own character, choosing where to stay in Tokyo can be a hard decision.

Best area to stay in Tokyo in short

Tokyo, a bustling metropolis teeming with unique neighborhoods, offers something for every traveler. "Choosing the right area to stay can transform your Tokyo adventure," says local expert, Toshi. Discover the best area that aligns with your travel desires, whether it's vibrant nightlife, cultural richness, or tranquil retreats.

The Imperial Palace: the heart of Tokyo

The enigmatic Imperial Palace lies at Tokyo’s geographical and spiritual heart. Home to the emperor and his family since 1868, the palace itself is closed to the public, but the surrounding parks are a natural place to start any exploration of Tokyo.

The most attractive is Higashi Gyoen, where remnants of the old Edo Castle still stand amid formal gardens; to its north lies Kitanomaru-kōen, a more natural park containing the excellent National Museum of Modern Art.

Look east from the Imperial Palace area and you’ll see that the flat parkland on its periphery is, almost immediately, punctuated by a wall of high-rise – this is Marunouchi (literally meaning “inside the circle”). Its crowded streets are transformed at dusk into neon-lit canyons, lined with many of Tokyo’s swankiest places to eat, drink and sleep.

  • Best for Japanese-style luxury: Miyako City offers city view rooms in Tokyo and offers free WiFi and a 24-hour front desk. There is a restaurant on site for guest's convenience. Shinagawa Station is an 8-minute walk and Tokyo Station is a 20-minute train ride away.
  • Best for classic style and convenience: Tokyo Station. A grand old dame of a hotel, whose designers have plumped for dainty Euro-chic in the rooms and chandeliers all over the place.

Find more accommodation options to stay near the Imperial Palace


Tokyo's fine Imperial Palace © Tooykrub/Shutterstock

Before travelling to Japan, do your research on the things to know before you go.

Ginza and around: where to stay in Tokyo for shopping

Ginza is home to many of the city’s swankiest places to eat, drink and sleep can be found within these mushrooming towers, in between which stretch crowded streets that are transformed come dusk into neon-lit canyons.

Ginza, the “place where silver is minted”, took its name after Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu started making coins here in the early 1600s. It turned into a happy association: one street, Chūō-dōri, soon grew to become Japan’s most stylish shopping thoroughfare.

This slice of quintessential modern-day Japan is fascinating enough to choose from all the areas where to stay in Tokyo. Add a sprinkling of great museums and galleries, and you’re set for the day, especially when you factor in the sights of the neighbouring districts of Nihombashi and Shiodome, which bookend Ginza to the north and south.

Once in the bustling Japanese capital, discover the free things to do in Tokyo.

  • Best for sweeping views: Conrad Tokyo. It’s the views that really steal the show at this luxury hotel. From the lobby and bayside rooms you can feast your eyes on what are arguably the best vistas in Tokyo, taking in Hama Rikyū Gardens, Odaiba and the Rainbow Bridge.
  • Best for business trips: The Gate Hotel. Open from December 2018, an 11-minute walk from Marunouchi Building, The Gate Hotel Tokyo by Hulic is set in Tokyo and has a fitness centre and free WiFi. The property is located a 16-minute walk from Tsukiji Fish Market and 1.5 km from Japan Imperial Palace.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Ginza

Ginza, Tokyo © 7maru/Shutterstock

If you are looking where to stay in Tokyo for a luxurious experience Ginza is an ideal options for you © 7maru/Shutterstock

From Tokyo to Osaka, this Japan tailor-made trip features fantastic experiences. View a sumo session, visit ancient temples, and climb the Tokyo Skytree tower. Explore the resort town of Hakone in Mt Fuji’s shadow, savor a tea ceremony in Kyoto, and see cherry blossoms, in season, to complete a wonderful trip.

Asakusa: where to stay in Japan for backpackers

When searching for where to stay in Tokyo, many backpackers choose Asakusa to be their home during their stay in the capital. It’s full of pep and vigour, great things to see, and suitably earthy places in which to eat, drink and be merry.

South of Sensō-ji are hundreds of small shops and stands, some of which have been around for centuries. West of the temple, things take a turn for the seedier, and many a traveller has got sozzled along a small lane known as “Hoppy-dōri” (named after Hoppy, a beer-like drink).

When kabuki and bunraku were banished from central Edo in the 1840s, they settled in Asakusa. Over the next century, almost every fad and fashion in Japanese popular entertainment started life here, from cinema to cabaret and striptease.

Today a handful of the old venues survive, most famously Rock-za, with its daily strip shows, and there are loads of cinemas, pachinko parlours, gambling halls and drinking dives

  • Best for families: hotel MONday. Ideally situated in the Taito district of Tokyo, hotel MONday Asakusa is situated a few steps from Edo Taito Traditional Crafts Center, 500 m from Kinryu Park and 500 m from Asakusa ROX Shopping Center. With a restaurant, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom.
  • Best for location: Henn na Hotel. Boasting a bar and a terrace, Henn na Hotel Tokyo Asakusa Tawaramachi is situated in Tokyo, 500 m from Kuramae Jinja Shrine and 300 m from Eiken-ji Temple.

Find more accomodation options to stay in Asakusa

Gateway to Asakusa Temple in Japan © FOTOGRIN/Shutterstock

Gateway to Asakusa Temple in Japan © FOTOGRIN/Shutterstock

This tailor-made culinary trip takes you from Tokyo to Kyoto, where you will experience authentic Japanese foods, visit morning markets in the local cities, learn how to make Japanese food and enjoy a unique stay at a monastery. A once in a lifetime experience.

Ueno: best place to stay in Tokyo while the cherry blossom season

The Ueno district sprawls south and east of the eponymous train station. The atmosphere is completely different on the west side of the tracks, with much of the immediate area taken up by Ueno Kōen, a gorgeous wide park with plenty of things to see and do.

Although it’s far from being the city’s most attractive park, all of Tokyo seems to flock to Ueno Kōen during spring’s cherry blossom season. Outside this brief period, however, the park only really gets busy at weekends, and during the week it can be a pleasant place for a stroll, particularly around Shinobazu Pond.

At the top of the steps leading up to the park from Ueno station, you’ll find a bronze statue of Saigō Takamori, the great leader of the Restoration army, which helped bring Emperor Meiji to power – his life story was the inspiration for the Tom Cruise movie The Last Samurai.

  • Best for location: MIMARU TOKYO UENO EAST. Situated in Tokyo, within 400 m of Ryukoku-ji Temple and 500 m of Hoon-ji Temple, this hotel features accommodation with free WiFi throughout the property. The property is set 600 m from Atre Ueno Shopping Mall, 700 m from Kissho-in Temple and 500 m from Gate of Former Residence of Koda Rohan.
  • Best for comfort: Landabout Tokyo. Boasting a restaurant, bar, shared lounge and free WiFi, this hotel is situated in Tokyo, 400 m from Kemmyo-in Temple and 600 m from Shunsho-in Temple.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Ueno

"Shinobazu Pond" in Ueno Park where the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, Tokyo © AdobeStock

"Shinobazu Pond" in Ueno Park where the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, Tokyo © AdobeStock

Roppongi: Tokyo’s arts hub

Roppongi (in English, "six trees",) was once reputed to be home to six daimyō, all of whom coincidentally had the Chinese character for “tree” in their names. From the Meiji era onwards, the area was a military stamping ground, first for the imperial troops and then, during the American Occupation, for US forces.

Thus the gaijin community started hanging out here, and today’s entertainment district was born. Roppongi is still principally a party town, but three major developments – Roppongi Hills, the National Art Center and Tokyo Midtown – have recast the area in a more refined light, and today it’s increasingly known for its galleries and arts scene.

Roppongi subway station is the principal access point for the area, although you can also use Nogizaka for the National Art Center and Kamiyachō for Tokyo Tower.

  • Best for post-partying peace: Candeo Hotels Tokyo Roppongi. Set in Tokyo, within 70 m of Asahi Shrine and 200 m of Roppongi Station, Candeo Hotels Tokyo Roppongi offers accommodation with a spa and wellness centre. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space, along with free WiFi.
  • Best for old-school style: Grand Hyatt Tokyo. Glamour is the order of the day at the Grand Hyatt. The rooms’ appealing design uses wood and earthy-toned fabrics, while the restaurants and bars are all very chic.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Roppongi

Tokyo, Japan

The Tokyo Tower © Pixabay

Japan in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. In our guide you will find a variety of countries that are stunningly beautiful all over the world.

Akasaka: an entertainment district in Tokyo

Lying southwest of the Imperial Palace, Akasaka was once an agricultural area where plants producing a red dye were farmed – hence the locality’s name, which means “red slope”. Akasaka developed as an entertainment district in the late nineteenth century, when ryōtei restaurants, staffed with performing geisha, began to cater for the modern breed of politicians and bureaucrats.

The area still has its fair share of exclusive establishments, shielded from the hoi polloi by high walls and even higher prices, and their presence lends Akasaka a certain cachet.

At the southern end of Akasaka’s main thoroughfare, Sotobori-dōri, stands a huge stone torii, beyond which is a picturesque avenue of red torii leading up the hill to Hie-jinja, a Shinto shrine dedicated to the god Ōyamakui-no-kami, who is believed to protect against evil.

  • Best for the views: Hotel New Otani. Conveniently located just a 5-minute walk from Akasaka Mitsuke Subway Station, The Hotel New Otani Tokyo Garden Tower features a 400-year-old Japanese garden. In summer, guests can take a dip in one of the largest outdoor hotel pools in the city.
  • Best for onsen experience: Super Hotel Premier. Opening in March 2015, Super Hotel Premier Akasaka is conveniently located in the central Tokyo, just a 4-minute walk from Akasaka Subway Station. The non-smoking hotel features a spacious public bath and free WiFi.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Akasaka

National Diet Building © AdobeStock

National Diet Building © AdobeStock

Ebisu, Meguro and the south: one of the most fashionable places to stay in Tokyo

The area immediately to the south of Shibuya has, of late, become one of the most fashionable places where to stay in Tokyo – a maze of chic cafés, tiny clothing boutiques, and lunchtime specials of foreign and fusion cuisine. Like Shibuya, Ebisu is best visited at night, when its many bars and restaurants are at their liveliest.

The district is also home to the former Yebisu brewery (the old transliteration of Ebisu lives on in the name of the beer), now developed into the Yebisu Garden Place complex, where you’ll find the excellent Tokyo Photographic Art Museum. Head uphill to the west of Ebisu and you’ll hit Daikanyama, one of Tokyo’s most upscale districts and a great place to chill out at a pavement café or browse boutiques.

  • Best for a view from above: The Strings. Watch the shinkansen come and go from this chic Intercontinental eyrie, located from 26 floors up in one of the brace of towers next to the station. The Strings evokes traditional Japanese design in a contemporary way.
  • Best for comfort: Ebisuholic Hotel. Ideally set in the Shibuya Ward district of Tokyo, Ebisuholic Hotel is set 400 m from Statue of The God Ebisu, 400 m from America Bashi Park and 500 m from Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.
Yebisu Garden Place, Tokyo, Japan © Dimitri Lamour/Shutterstock

Leafy Yebisu Garden Place, Ebisu © Shutterstock

Harajuku, Aoyama and Shibuya: quirky areas to stay in Tokyo

If it’s “wacky” Japan you’re after, Harajuku should be neighbourhood number one on your list. Much of Tokyo’s youth culture starts here, on streets which often resemble densely-populated catwalks, complete with zany clothing, hairstyles and accessories; in the surrounding soup of quirky boutiques and cafés, you’ll be able to kit yourself out and dine in much the same manner as the local fashionistas.

Shibuya, just south of Harajuku, is almost absurdly busy – a neon-drenched, kanji-splattered, high-rise jungle second only to Shinjuku for sheer eye-popping madness. East of Harajuku, those with gilt-edged credit cards will feel more at home among the antique shops of Aoyama and the big brand boutiques along Omotesandō, the area’s key tree-lined boulevard, often referred to as Tokyo’s Champs-Elysées.

  • Best for city glamping: Caravan Tokyo. Glamping in Tokyo? Yep, it’s quite possible, at this actual caravan, located in the Commune 246 snack-courtyard complex. Not quite the great outdoors, but pretty great nonetheless.
  • Best for Tokyo cool: Granbell Hotel. Curtains with Lichtenstein-style prints, kettles and TVs from the trendy local electronics range Plus Minus Zero, and a cool palette of greys and crisp whites give this boutique hotel a hip atmosphere.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Harajuku, Aoyama and Shibuya

Shibuya crossing, Tokyo © Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Flashy buildings and the famous Shibuya crossing © Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Shinjuku and the west: representation of the real Tokyo

No Tokyo neighbourhood has as evocative a name as Shinjuku, the very mention of which will conjure images of buzzing neon, teeming masses and drunken debauchery to anybody with more than a superficial knowledge of the city. Only 4km due west of the leafy tranquillity of the Imperial Palace, Shinjuku has a long and illustrious history of pandering to the more basic of human desires.

This action-packed district has it all, from the love hotels and hostess bars of Kabukichō to shop-till-you-drop department stores and dazzlingly designed skyscrapers. Throw in robot performances, two-hour all-you-can-drink specials, Tokyo’s main gay bar stretch and teeming covered arcades, and you’ve still only just scratched the surface.

  • Best for a relaxing time: Park Hyatt Tokyo. Occupying the upper section of Tange Kenzō’s Shinjuku Park Tower, this is the epitome of sophistication. Head to the New York Bar on the 52nd floor to listen to jazz and do your best Bill Murray impression.
  • Best budget treat: Kadoya. This efficient business hotel is a little charmer – a major plus is the lively izakaya (Japanese-style pub) in the basement.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Shinjuku

Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan cityscape past the Metropolitan Government Building in the day © Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan cityscape past the Metropolitan Government Building in the day © Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Tokyo Bay: where to stay in Tokyo for a sea view

So thoroughly urban is Tokyo that it can seem surprising to discover that the city is actually beside the sea. Yet many of the ukiyo-e masterpieces of Hokusai and Hiroshige depict waterside scenes around Tokyo Bay, and several of the city’s prime attractions are to be found here, not least the vast Toyosu fish market, whose relocation from Tsukiji in 2018 became a major controversy.

Across the bay to the south lies Odaiba, built on vast islands of reclaimed land; its principal sights are a couple of excellent museums and a raucous onsen complex, as well as some of Tokyo’s most striking and distinctive architecture.

The bayside area of Tsukiji dates back to 1657, when Tokugawa Ieyasu had the debris from the Fire of the Long Sleeves shovelled into the marshes at the edge of Ginza, thus creating “reclaimed land”, or “tsukiji”. The area was long famed for its huge, almost otherworldly fish market, which was finally shifted east to Tosoyu, after years of delays, and no small amount of controversy.

Most of the area’s prime sushi shops have also relocated, but Tsukiji still boasts a distinctive atmosphere, and a lovely temple.

  • Best for families: Comfort Suites Tokyo Bay is situated in Tokyo, 4.1 km from Tokyo DisneySea and has a fitness centre. With free WiFi, this 3-star hotel offers free shuttle service and a 24-hour front desk. The accommodation provides luggage storage space and a kids' club for guests.
  • Best for the views: Tokyo Bay Tokyu Hotel. Set in the Tokyo Disney Resort district of Tokyo, Tokyo Bay Tokyu Hotel is 5 km from Tokyo DisneySea. Featuring a restaurant, the 4-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom. Tokyo Disneyland is 5 km from the hotel.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Tokyo Bay

Odaiba Marine Park Tokyo, Japan © AdobeStock

Odaiba Marine Park Tokyo, Japan © AdobeStock

Essential tips on where to stay in Tokyo

Whatever your budget, it’s wise to reserve your first few nights’ accommodation before arrival. This is especially true of the cheaper places, which tend to fill up quickly, particularly over national holidays and in late February, when thousands of students head to Tokyo for the university entrance exams. 

Rooms are also in short supply during holiday periods, as well as during the cherry-blossom season in late March and early April. Good deals can be found online via hotel websites and general booking engines, and it’s always worth asking if there are any promotions on offer.

How much does it cost to stay in Tokyo

Staying in Tokyo will cost you around ¥3500–5000 for a hostel dorm bed, or ¥5000–9000 for the very cheapest private rooms. You’ll be looking at upwards of ¥10,000 for a more comfortable en-suite double in a business hotel. Mid-range hotels start in the region of ¥17,000, while top-end hotels charge at least twice that and often many times more. Rates in the text are given for high season.

Mind the taxes

All hotel rates include consumption tax, on top of which top-end hotels levy a service charge. All but the cheapest sleeps are also liable for the modest Tokyo Metropolitan Government tax.",

Booking online

The international standbys have plenty of Tokyo options: try Trivago or Booking.com for hotels, or Hostelworld for hostels. Locals usually use Rakuten Travel, which has an English site (though you’ll need to register). Also worth checking out is ryokan.or, which lists good places to stay, mostly ryokan, in Tokyo and beyond, though it has no booking mechanism.


Breakfast tends to come as standard in ryokan (though you can usually forgo it to get a cheaper rate) but rarely features in hostels. At hotels breakfast usually costs extra; usually you can add it when booking. Establishments offering free breakfast as standard have been noted in the listings.

Explore more Tokyo's by checking the best things to do in Tokyo, getting around in Tokyo and explore these day trips from Tokyo.

Ready for a trip to the Tokyo in Japan? Check out the snapshot The Rough Guide to Tokyo or The Rough Guide to Japan. If you travel further in Japan, read more about the best time to go. For inspiration use the itineraries from our Travel Guides and our local travel experts. A bit more hands on, learn about getting there and getting around the country.

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Ties Lagraauw

written by
Ties Lagraauw

updated 29.03.2024

Ties is a true world explorer - whether it be for work or leisure! As Content Manager at RoughGuides, and the owner of Dutch travel platform Reis-Expert.nl, Ties is constantly on the move, always looking for new destinations to discover.

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