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Where to stay in Tokyo [updated 2022]

Find the best accommodation in Tokyo, Japan - Comprehensive Guide

Where to stay in Tokyo for tourists

Wondering where to stay in Tokyo? In this thoroughly researched where to stay guide, I will give you around in each of Tokyo's neighbourhoods and explain why to stay there. To make it easy for you, I have hand-picked a few hotels in each location close to tourist attractions.

Shinjuku is the best place to stay in Tokyo as this neighbourhood has it all: attractions, entertainment, restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. Shinjuku is a great place to stay for first time visitors, with many hotel options to pick from.

Visiting Tokyo was one of the most incredible experiences for me. I travelled there with my husband on our second ever long-haul holiday together as a couple. Since then, visited many times and learnt about the best places to stay in Tokyo and figured out which types of hotels we like and which are better to avoid.

I have put together this article to share what I learnt about Tokyo, and it's many areas during my visits. I hope it will help you make the right decision on which hotels to book for your holiday.

Don't worry, while Tokyo might look huge, it is super well-connected by a fast and reliable subway system. It is easy to navigate and once you learn the names of the most important areas you will travel through stations like a local.

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What is the best area to stay in Tokyo?

First time visitors should stay in Shinjuku because it's very close to Tokyo's top attractions like the Golden Gai, the Omoide Yokocho, bustling markets and many restaurants.

There are endless things to do in Shinjuku, including visiting the red district (Kabukicho), the Metropolitan building or relaxing in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

Shinjuku is also home to the world's second-largest train station in the world. It is close to the Yamanote Subway Line and have direct subway connections to stations like Shibuya, Shinagawa, Tokyo Station, Ueno and Ikebukuro.

Close to these stations, you will find all the important tourist attractions in Tokyo. With your JR Pass, Suica Card or Pasmo Card, you can quickly get around the city without walking too much.

In my experience, hotel prices in Shinjuku are higher than in other areas. Shinjuku is super popular with tourists, and it is a very busy area in Tokyo.

Stay in Asakusa as a budget-friendly alternative to Shinjuku. You are still well-connected to other parts of the city by subway, as Asakusa is on the Oedo line. The Oedo line also takes you to Shinjuku, and the journey is only about 30-35 mins.

Tip: I highly recommend you to purchase a Japan Rail Pass before you travel to Japan. Many of the Tokyo Subway lines also accept the JR Pass, so you don't have to spend extra on subway tickets. I learnt this the hard way, until a nice ticket inspector pointed out that we should just use our JR Pass to travel.

Book your accommodation as early as possible if you’re heading to Tokyo during a festival period like the Cherry Blossom Festival in Spring, or the Golden Week in May, since hotels book up incredibly quickly.

Where to stay in Tokyo for tourists

Shinjuku - for first time visitors

As I have already mentioned, I think Shinjuku is the best place to stay in Tokyo. I found so many restaurants, amazing street food, and epic bars when we stayed in Shinjuku.

Shinjuku is home to the iconic, giant neon adverts, colourful lit up streets frequently featured in TV shows and movies. Shinjuku is the real, beating heart of a vibrant, modern Tokyo.

Our top hotel picks in Shinjuku are:

You will have everything you need just around the corner from your hotel, including huge, modern shopping malls, thousands of bars and restaurants.

Shinjuku is also home to Asia's largest red district (Kabukicho) and has Japan's largest adult entertainment quarters. You can rent themed rooms by the hour in many of the area's love hotels. Japanese language skills are necessary. You can read about this and the adult side of Japan in our Tokyo Adult Guide.

After exploring Tokyo for many weeks, I think that Shinjuku is the best area for tourists and first time visitors because of its epic skyscrapers, narrow and bright streets large malls and affordable shops. If you would only have time for one neighbourhood in Tokyo, then I recommend Shinjuku.

Shinjuku is also the perfect area if you are interested in photographing Tokyo at night. It's easy to get lost in the small streets of Shinjuku and still have a great time by discovering tiny Japanese pubs, family-ran eateries and even small hidden shrines.

Shibuya - nightlife & food

Shibuya is also a fantastic location to stay, enabling you to travel around Tokyo with ease. Shibuya Station has excellent subway and Japanese Rail (JR) connections.

Shibuya is perfect for shopping, nightlife, eating local cuisine and feeling the real Tokyo vibe. You are also just a stone throw away from Harajuku, Omotesando and Shinjuku. If you want to know more about the best things to do in Shibuya, I recommend this article.

Our top hotel picks in Shibuya are:

Shibuya attracts a lot of fashion and food lovers, it's a great spot to just absorb Tokyo's colourful vibes. I recommend Shibuya for young adults, families travelling with teens, and couples looking for a party.

People crossing the famed Shibuya Crossing at night

Shibuya is a well-known meeting point and tons of attractions are nearby, including shopping, eating and partying. No surprise that it attracts the younger crowds compared to other, more traditional neighbourhoods.

It's home to many vending machine restaurants, which makes it easier for tourists to order food on a budget.

Many shops sell merchandise related to Japanese pop (J-Pop) and anime. Street vendors sell fluffy pancakes and other colourful sweets, which you won’t be able to resist.

Beyond the Shibuya pedestrian crossing, there are plenty of things to do in Shibuya which you can take full advantage of if you decide to stay in this epic neighbourhood.

Ginza - shopping & luxury

Ginza is a spectacular neighbourhood, especially during the evening, when most shops put up fantastic light shows to lure in the shoppers. If you are after a more luxurious, upscale experience, Tokyo’s Ginza district is your perfect place to stay in Tokyo.

This is a luxurious and expensive neighbourhood in Tokyo, where shopping is done as a form of sport. But we are not talking about any type of shopping, it's about expensive boutiques and crazy big brands. Ginza is also stunning during the weekend when no car traffic is permitted on the main street (Chuo Dori) so the area becomes a many miles long walking street.

Ginza is by all accounts a convenient location. With several subway stations around with connections to all other districts, you can stay in Ginza and quickly make your way around Tokyo without a problem. It is not as crowded as Shinjuku, but it is more expensive. Walking along Ginza's boulevards is an epic experience, even if you only do some window shopping.

Our hotel recommendations in Ginza:

Being a high end, luxurious neighbourhood, it's natural that Ginza is incredibly sought after, expensive and very safe. I would recommend staying in Ginza if you are a luxury traveller who loves shopping. At night, Ginza becomes quieter and more relaxed than Shinjuku, so it's also a great place for couples.

That said, Ginza has some options for the budget traveller too. You can find decent accommodation which represents good value for money. There are several shops around Ginza which will satisfy the inner shopper for the money-conscious traveller. I believe everyone needs to experience shopping in Ginza, even if it's for a souvenir, like handcrafted Japanese chopsticks.

Once you are finished with the shopping, stay to experience the nightlife in Ginza. Accommodation in Ginza is never too far away from bars or classy clubs. Nightlife in Ginza is usually tailored towards the well-dressed, more mature crowd. You will find upscale bars and nightclubs in Ginza like the Genius or the Iron Fairies Ginza.

Read More: Things to do in Ginza Guide

Beyond being a shoppers' paradise, Ginza is also a fantastic spot for photography lovers so it's worth positioning yourself in Ginza if you want to take your camera out at night. There are plenty of neon-lit streets, perfect for exploring during a lazy afternoon/evening. There are plenty of art galleries and museums dotted all around Ginza, and this neighbourhood is full of high-class restaurants, so you won't be at risk of running out of things to do.

Ginza is a great choice for first-time visitors to Tokyo who have a larger budget and wish to spoil themselves. Ginza is located in central Tokyo, with great connections everywhere else in the city, including the airports. I would also recommend Ginza for the luxury travellers and couples, as this is a safe and epic neighbourhood to treat your loved ones.

Best malls, department stores and shops around Ginza

  • Ginza SIX - biggest shopping complex in Ginza
  • Ginza Mitsukoshi - traditional Japanese style department store
  • Ginza Matsuya - a department store with renowned brands and jewellery stores
  • Ginza Wako - traditional Japanese style department store
  • Ginza Place - showrooms & events
  • Tokyu Plaza Ginza - trendy shops, restaurants, and cafes
  • Barneys New York Ginza - luxury designer brands
  • Marronier Gate Ginza - shops and restaurants
  • Hakuhinkan - a 9-story toy store for children and adults
  • Ginza Itoya - an 18-floor stationery store

Clubs & bars I recommend to check out in Ginza

  • Club Genius Tokyo
  • The Iron Fairies Ginza
  • Star Bar
  • Club Diana
  • Oribe Classic Bar
  • Ginza Suki Bar
  • Ginza Lion
  • 300 Bar
  • Tsubakiya Coffee Shop
  • Bar Hoshi

Chiyoda - for business travellers

Chiyoda is technically classed as central Tokyo, with the Tokyo Train Station right at it's doorstep. You will find mostly office buildings in this area.

Those who travel to Tokyo for work will probably find it easier to stay in one of the many business hotels located next to these offices. Chiyoda gets quiet during the evening, when all salarymen and women go home. But that also means you will benefit from a good night sleep with no distractions.

Chiyoda strategically located just a few subway stations away from all Tokyo's vibrant neighbourhoods, like Ginza, Shinjuku and Shibuya.

For experienced traveller who prefer a good night sleep and an early start, we highly recommend staying in Chiyoda. Enjoy a vibrant Tokyo, but come back to a quiet neighbourhood in the evening. As this district is mainly occupied by skyscraper office buildings and some hotels, there is not much going on during the night.

There are subway stations at every corner with good connections to all the other parts of Tokyo. Being so close (mostly 10-15 mins walk) to the Tokyo Station also means great food, and shopping opportunities, as well as access to the Shinkansen to visit places outside of Tokyo. I recommend getting the Japan Rail Pass for the duration of your stay.

However, because of the large number of offices, expect crowds on the subways during rush hours (7-9am in the morning and 5-7pm in the evening). It’s better to avoid peak hours in Tokyo anyway.

Chiyoda is home to the Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor of Japan. Part of the Imperial Gardens is open to the public, a perfect place to spend a quiet, Zen afternoon.

Best hotel picks in Chiyoda that are quiet:

Tokyo Station - for day trips

When I first visited Tokyo, I did three separate day trips to other cities like Kyoto, Osaka. I stayed in a hotel very close to the Tokyo Station in Chiyoda. It was really convenient that in the morning of the trip the Shinkansen was so close.

Because of this, if you're planning to take multiple day trips from Tokyo, I recommend that you stay in a hotel close to the Tokyo Station. Accommodation options around the station are plenty and will appeal for all kind of budgets.

Top hotels that are close to Tokyo Station:

The Tokyo Station is a city within Chiyoda, which is technically a city within Tokyo. The Tokyo Station is so big that it has been divided into two parts. It houses the Shinkansen high-speed rail station, many regional train lines - operated by Japan Rail - the Tokyo Metro and a bus terminal. About half a million people use the station every day. But, don't worry, it's not as scary as it sounds.

Tokyo Station is one of the most important hubs in Tokyo. You can go anywhere from here, including catching an overnight train to the far north of Hokkaido or the very south of Fukuoka and Nagasaki.

Take a day trip to Mount Fuji, Yokohama, Kyoto, Hiroshima or Nagano. If you have only a few days or even 24 hours in Tokyo, take the subway to other districts and neighbourhoods like Shibuya, Harajuku or Asakusa. By locating yourself close to the Tokyo Station, you are never too far from your top attractions in Tokyo.

Asakusa - traditional Tokyo

Asakusa is one of the most historic neighbourhoods in Tokyo, and is a great place to stay if you are interested in traditional activities like sumo games or kimono dressing. There are plenty of budget hotels and quality but affordable accommodation options in this area.

When you stay in Asakusa, you are never too far away from traditional and delicious eateries which offer great quality food for good prices. I found so many exciting "vending machine" restaurants and inexpensive ramen places that it was hard not to stop and eat something at every spot.

Your accommodation in Asakusa will be close to the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo called Sensō-Ji. Make sure to visit it to get a proper introduction into the spiritual life of Japan.

Hotels in Asakusa are family-friendly. There are plenty of subways stations around, so getting to other parts of the city is easy.

Our top hotel picks in Asakusa are:

Asakusa is a great location to stay as a budget traveller, as there is a great concentration of hostels and budget hotel rooms in the area. Asakusa might not be very close to the Yamanote line, so don't be afraid to take the trains from the nearby smaller stations.

Akihabara Tokyo

Akihabara - Electric Town & Anime

Akihabara is called Electric Town and if you decide to stay here during your visit to Tokyo, you will be close to all the electronic stores, countless shops selling anime and manga paraphernalia. Akihabara is the place to stay in Tokyo if you love anime, manga and cosplay.

Stay in Akihabara and find everything from cosplay clothing to figurines and books. If you can think of it, it definitely exists in Akihabara. Akihabara is also the place where you find the most Maid Cafes.

Akihabara is also home to the now-famous Japanese girl groups. They organize Meet and Greet here, and as you would expect, sell all merchandise you can think of. In a nutshell, Akihabara is the land of the Otaku (オタク). Read more about things to do in Akihabara.

Stay in Akihabara if you want to be close to one of the largest Don Quijote stores, a multi-level shop which sells virtually anything and everything. You can find cosmetics, clothes, electronics, food, drinks, costumes, adult toys, figurines, collectables. A whole floor is dedicated to an arcade, with countless arcade machines.

Hotels in Akihabara book up fast and usually a bit more expensive than in Asakusa, for example. My tip is to look for mid-range affordable hotels in Akihabara, but if they are already booked, check further up North, closer to Ueno.

Luxury: Hotel hotel MONday Premium Ueno Okachimachi

Just a short walk away from Akihabara, the 4-star hotel MONday Premium Ueno Okachimachi features a restaurant, has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi and private bathrooms. Private parking is available on site.
➡️ Book on

Mid-range: Hotel Akihabara Washington Hotel

Right next to the Akihabara station, Akihabara Washington Hotel offers modern accommodation with a restaurant and free WiFi throughout the property. Air-conditioned rooms are fitted with a refrigerator, a work desk and a flat-screen TV. The en suite bathroom comes with toiletries and a bathtub. Services offered by the 24-hour front desk includes luggage storage, currency exchange and laundry.
➡️ Book on

Budget: Hotel APA Hotel Akihabaraeki-Denkigaiguchi

APA Hotel Akihabaraeki-Denkigaiguchi is a more budget-conscious accommodation right in Akihabara, close to many shops, restaurants and tourist attractions.
➡️ Book on

Harajuku - everything kawaii

If you are a kawaii ("cute" in Japanese) fan, stay in Harajuku area, the mecca for kawaii in Tokyo. Harajuku is a wonderful neighbourhood where young adults and teens are free to express themselves.

There is so much to do in Harajuku, from cosplay dressing to shopping or eating in amazing restaurants. Harajuku is a tourist attraction on its own. Harajuku is also very well located within Tokyo. It's walking distance from Omotesando Plaza or even Shibuya, so if you stay in Harajuku you are never too far from touristic hotspots.

Harajuku is youth-oriented & unconventional, with crazy colours, lots of delicious and innovative food places, ranging from the rainbow candy floss to multi-layered ice creams or even bear-shaped cappuccinos. It's a place for crazy shopping if you want something cool and trendy. It's not uncommon to see youngsters dressed in lolita or steampunk dresses.

Stay in Harajuku if you have an open mind and want to break free from the otherwise neutral, conservative colours of Tokyo. It's a great place to stay for those young at heart who want to experience a new & young Tokyo, where teens are getting out of their shells and are not afraid to express themselves.

I highly recommend Harajuku for young travellers or for any families travelling with their teenage kids. Harajuku has a lot of cheap fashion stores available for all budgets, as well as boutiques for those in search of a cool brand.

Finding accommodation around Harajuku is not that easy, as most buildings are dedicated to shopping rather than accommodation. As Shibuya is right around the corner, it's easier to find hotels there and walk the 10-15 mins to and from Harajuku. You can take the small streets for a quiet stroll or the main roads for a more immersive experience.

Our top hotel picks in Harajuku are:

Harajuku is also home to the Harajuku crazy pancake & fluffy cakes, yummy things you need to try during your stay in Tokyo. Besides the crazy pancake stalls, I found colourful candy floss, ice cream, bubble tea, rainbow pancakes and gourmet popcorn - just to mention a few. You will not go home hungry.

Tokyo From Above

Roppongi - international club scene

Roppongi is one of the smaller districts in Tokyo with a long history. It is primarily an entertainment district with a diverse cultural scene, upscale bars and restaurants.

I recommend you to stay in Roppongi to experience the nightlife in Tokyo. The bars, clubs and other venues are targeted at international visitors.

Expect to pay higher accommodation prices than in other districts. I highly recommend to book your room at the top floor in any of the high-rise hotels. The view of the city skyline & lights at night will be worth it.

Our top hotel picks in Roppongi are:

Just around the corner from your hotel, you will find V2 Tokyo, Esprit Tokyo, Roppongi Club Edge, Ibex Tokyo nightclubs. These clubs are frequented by both locals and international visitors.

When the morning headache wears off, get out of the hotel and discover Roppongi during the day. Take a moment to admire Zojoji Temple, which is the oldest wooden structure in Tokyo. Just outside of Roppongi Hills, you will find the Mohri Garden. Take the elevator to the sky deck of Roppongi Hills and take in the views of the surrounding city.

My recommendation is afternoon retail therapy on Keyakizaka Dori, an upscale shopping street with boutiques like Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton.

Ueno Kiyomizu Kannon Temple

Ueno - Art, parks & museums

Ueno is my favourite district, and I always make sure to visit whenever I go back to Tokyo. There is plenty of street food, myriad narrow alleyways with bars and restaurants. It's easy to get lost.

I recommend staying in the Ueno area because it is quiet, convenient, and budget-friendly. As an art lover myself, I appreciate its proximity to several large galleries and museums. As I mentioned above, Ueno is a good place if you want to be close to Akihabara, but you can't find suitable accommodation for yourself there.

Top tip: Shinkansen trains heading to the north stop at the Ueno Station, so Ueno is a good location if you are planning to take day trips. Most common destinations include Nikko, Nagano, or the Snow Monkey Park.

Great hotels I recommend in Ueno:

Ueno is slightly cheaper to stay in due to its relative distance from the larger districts. When you are considering where to stay in Tokyo, you should definitely put Ueno high on your list.

Stay in Ueno if you want a budget-friendly alternative to the otherwise expensive accommodation in Tokyo. I found that the further away you get from the heart of Tokyo, the cheaper and bigger your hotel room will be.

Odaiba - for families with kids

It’s not your usual, ‘authentic’ Japanese neighbourhood. Odaiba is on a large, reclaimed artificial island, just south of Ginza. Representing a modern, futuristic Japan, the area has wide and straight roads with pedestrian-only paths. Museums and other family-focused activities are available.

Stay in Odaiba if you are travelling with kids because you will be very close to Disneyland. I strongly recommend Odaiba for the following reasons. It is family-friendly and there is a direct shuttle bus connections to Disneyland. Hotel rooms are larger than the usual rooms in central Tokyo, and they are more affordable. Hotels are also a lot more prepared for families with small children and have facilities to cater for kids of all ages.

Family friendly hotels in Odaiba:

There is a lot to do in Odaiba, but if you would like to make your way into other parts of Tokyo, maybe add an extra 20 minutes travel time on the subway. Odaiba is well-connected to Tokyo Station via Ginza and to Disneyland via a shuttle service.

Important: The shuttle service called “Good Neighbor Hotel Shuttle” is currently not in operation (updated 2022). Check the official Disney Resort website on how to get there.

Walk to Odaiba Beach and enjoy the views of the surrounding metropolis. Close to the beach is Tokyo’s own replica of the Statue of Liberty. A few minutes away, there is a large amusement park called Tokyo Joypolis. In the Fuji Television building, check out the Observatory Sphere (Hachitama) and marvel at the skyline of Tokyo. Top tip: On a clear day, you can see all the way to Mount Fuji.

Your hotel in Odaiba is never too far from attractions and restaurants. Visit the Mega Web, a huge museum and showcase centre created by Toyota. Learn about the history and future of cars and test your skills behind the wheel on a 1.2 km track. Every age group can find something fun to do here.

If you are up for some shopping, visit one of the many malls in the area. My favourite was Venus Fort, it's a shopping street built in the style of old, rich medieval European streets. Decks might be the oldest mall in Odaiba, but it’s very well worth visiting because of it’s haunted attraction: the School Ghost House.

Tokyo Disneyland Resort

If you are in Tokyo for Disneyland, stay in Tokyo Disneyland Resort. There are of course perks to staying within the "Official Hotels", like skipping queues, guaranteed admission even in peak times, shuttle bus. The hotel rooms are larger than the average hotel rooms in Tokyo centre, and they are well-equipped to suit families with children. You can purchase tickets directly at your hotel.

However, if you are budget conscious or would like to also explore other neighbourhoods, Odaiba, Ginza or the Tokyo Station area might be a great alternative.

There are great connections to other Tokyo neighbourhoods via Tokyo Station, and there is convenient airport access to both Haneda and Narita airports.

Inside the resort, there is a monorail service which you can use to travel between Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea. The tickets cost 260 yen ($2.40) for adults and 130 yen ($1.20) for kids. Under 6 year-olds travel for free.

My fav hotels in Tokyo Disney

So, what is it going to be for you? Do know now where to stay in Tokyo? Which area did you pick and why? Let me know in the comments section below.

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What do you think?

Did you like this article? Do you have any questions or suggestions? Leave a comment below.

Your Comment

11 Nov 2019

Cory please help. Me and my husband want to visit Tokyo during cherry blossom and we were wondering where to stay in Tokyo to avoid crowds. We know it will still be busy but wondering if you have any tips for us.

19 Nov 2019

Hi Michelle, happy to help! For the cherry blossom festival, we recommend staying in Ueno in Tokyo. Ueno Park is one of the best places to see the sakura in Spring in Tokyo.
We recommend booking your place to stay in Ueno right now. The sooner the better and places get really busy in advance. Ueno Park will get busy during the cherry blossom festivities but that applies to the whole of Tokyo (and Japan really). An alternative is Asakusa. You can walk from Asakusa to Ueno if you want a quiet and interesting walk. It's something we always do when we visit Japan and stay in Tokyo. Have fun.

02 Nov 2019

Hey Cory, super article, thanks. Where should we stay in Tokyo for Christmas? We are travelling with our parents and our children as a family of 6. Our kids are teenagers and they will have their own room so we don't mind staying in a hotel where we can get three rooms. Can we expect anything Christmas related in Tokyo? What is the best place to stay to feel the celebration.
Will we get any snow? A lot of questions, I hope you don't mind.

19 Nov 2019

Hey Lara, thank you for reading our article. We are happy you liked it. Omg, Tokyo for Christmas is amazing, you will love it. We celebrated Christmas in Tokyo once and we really want to go back. The best place to stay in Tokyo for Christmas has to be Shibuya and Omotesando hills. That area is dressed in lights and decoration and looks stunning. It's also well connected and pretty much in the centre of it all. Chiyoda could be an alternative for you and you can walk to Ginza from there or just take the subway if you prefer. Ginza is also an option although it will be on the high price side.
Take your teenagers around Harajuku and they will love it.
To answer your other questions, Japan doesn't celebrate Christmas the same way we do. But shifts in Western ways started being seend across the country. Expect to see dressed shops but no usual trees or Western decorations. Just lots of lights and an epic festive feeling.

Adrian David
18 Nov 2019

Where to stay in Tokyo for a young couple? I'm planning a romantic proposal and my (hopefully) soon fiance really loves Tokyo. I'm thinking Shinjuku but I just read that the largest adult quarter is there and I don't really want something like that. I am looking for luxury and romance. Would you recommend Shibuya for us as a couple? Or any other ideas? Thank you so much for your help.

19 Nov 2019

Hi Adrian, congrats on your upcoming engagement. I'm sure your future fiance will be excited to see what you planned for her and Tokyo is an amazing place. I, too, got engaged in Japan actually so super cool.
If she really loves Japan and you can afford it, I would go for Park Hyatt as per Lost in Translation. Please don't worry, Shinjuku is perfect for couples as it has so many restaurants and amazing shops. Kabukicho is just one part of it and it's not vulgar or anything. It's actually a fun place to visit even if you are not looking for anything in particular. I would say go for Shinjuku and she will love it. It's also convenient. Also, if you didn't get an engagement ring yet, Shinjuku is the place for it.
An alternative is Shibuya as it is tailored for a more mature crowd yet just as flashy as Shinjuku. Have lots of fun Adrian!

Michael Wellington
19 Nov 2019

Where to stay in Tokyo with kids? We are a family of four and we thought staying in Shinjuku makes sense. But I do have a 2 year old and a 4 year old and my wife and I think it may not make sense to locate ourselves there.
Your article is very good and super comprehensive, thank you. We are now considering Chiyoda because you said it's quiet or we are considering Odaiba as per your recommendation. What do you think? Best place for us?

19 Nov 2019

Hi Michael, thank you for reading our where to stay in Tokyo article. Really glad you found it useful. We would suggest Odaiba if you are travelling with kids and want to visit Disneyland. If Disneyland is not on your radar, perhaps settle for Chiyoda as it is very central, very well connected and quiet at night. One thing to note though, Chiyoda has many business hotels with small rooms which may not be as ideal for a family of four. If for any reason you find it difficult to find a hotel there, we can recommend trying Asakusa which has many traditional Japanese inns which look stunning and are a little bigger. Have lots of fun in Tokyo with your family.

06 Nov 2019

Hi Cory,

I came across your article and by far this is the most detailed and comprehensive one from the dozens I've read. I've also run through your profile and wow! I'm both amazed and inspired by your journey. Thank you for sharing your passion to the world, and indeed your blogs reach out to the wannabe travellers of all ages.

07 Nov 2019

Thank you kindly, Nica! That's a very nice message to receive :) I also hope we helped you find where to stay in Tokyo. Safe travels and enjoy Japan, it's magical

Paul Graff
11 Mar 2019

Hi Cory, great article and most informative. We are visiting Japan April 28th for 16 days to visit my stepson who is teaching english in Nagoya. We are leaving him on 4th May for 8 days to travel around and explore! We want to visit Tokyo for three nights and do some tours, spend two nights in a traditional Ryokan (maybe in Hakone or kyoto) and maybe see the mountains for a couple of days before ending up back in Nagoya for a lst day with stepson before we travel home. We are mid 50's on a mid size budget. Can you offer any suggestions of which way round to travel and where to make our stops for the best experience? Many Thanks, Paul

29 Mar 2019

Hi Paul,

8 days in Japan will be awesome. You'll love it there.
We recommend 3 nights in Tokyo, 3 nights in Kyoto, 1 night in a ryokan in the mountains of Kyoto:

I hope this helps. Have fun and safe travels

28 Dec 2018

Hi Cory, i am travelling to Japan with my hubby and a 15 months old kid in May 2019. We have total of 9 nights. How many days do you suggest at each city if we were to go to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Nara?

Any recommendation for hotels preferably less than USD$150 per night. Thanks alot!

30 Dec 2018

Hi Victoria,

Thank you for your message. We recommend this hotel in Tokyo in Chiyoda. We stayed there and we thought was great. It was very quiet which I think is essential for you and your small baby.
I suggest:
4 nights in Tokyo
5 nights in Kyoto (with one day trip to Nara and one day trip to Osaka).
Trains are incredibly fast and reliable so rather than move your base from Kyoto to Osaka, it's best to just take one day trip. Same for Nara (located less than 1 hour away from Kyoto by Shinkansen).

Here is a great hotel in Kyoto as well: (not super cheap but Kyoto tends to be quite expensive)

Have lots and lots of fun.

Steve Saliente
19 Dec 2018

Thanks for the very informative blog. We are family of 7 with 1 child (3yo) & planning to visit tokyo (1st timer) on 12-18 feb 2019. itinerary includes disneyland. Can you please recommend any air bnb around shinjuku which is convenient for us to go disneyland? Will it be shinjuku or ginza area that is suitable for a 5 day stay. Thanks a lot.

30 Dec 2018

Hi Steve,

Thank you for your message. We don't recommend airbnbs in Japan. We only recommend staying in a hotel. Apartments are usually very small is just as expensive and you can get into an illegally run one. Airbnbs in Japan don't really come with cooking facilities either (usually a mini fridge and a microwave). For a large family of 7, it will be a bit tricky to find something in the centre. Japanese apartments are incredibly small (talking 10-20 sqm).

Since you have a small child, I recommend Ginza or Chiyoda (calm area with quiet nights, close to the subway).
You are going to love it!

Kind Regards,


Sue Zaan
28 Sep 2018

Great info on Tokyo. Question for you Cory please. I am going to the Rugby World Cup for a match in Yokohama stadium - I will make Tokyo my base for 8 days - Is it worth making Yokohama my base - age 60 + husband? Prefer somewhere not so loud. Thanks

04 Oct 2018

Hi Sue. I would make Tokyo your base so it doesn't take you long to get to and from Tokyo. Yokohama is a great place but not for a base to visit Tokyo :)
I hope this helps.

25 Sep 2018

Hi Cory,

First of all, thanks for putting up this amazing article, it has been absolutely helpful!

I have an upcoming business trip to Japan, more specifically to Fukushima between the 2-9 of November, however, I'll be landing/staying in Tokyo the 1st and flying from Haneda the next day at 2 pm. Although I was planning to stay near Tokyo Station, after reading your article, I believe that at least for that short time, the best place to stay is Shinjuku. I'm not planning to party or anything like that since I will be having an 11 hour trip, but I would like to have the opportunity of seeing at least the nightlife and part of the area a couple of hours in the morning before heading to the airport.

This being said, I would really appreciate your advice and comments.

By the way, if you have any recommendations of what to do/visit in/nearby Fukushima, it would be great too!

Thanks a lot and keep up this good work!

Ruth Graham
07 Sep 2018

Hi Cory .... thank you so much for all the info - extremely helpful. I've been reading lots of other blogs & Lonely Planet books on Tokyo and where to stay - but to be honest found your blog the easiest and most informative for me. We are husband, wife and 16yrs old son from Australia. So it's been narrowed down to Shinjuku, Shibuya and Chiyoda (I think ... so many options). We only have 8 nights so will spend time only in Tokyo. But we'll be back I'm sure!!

Many thanks. Happy travels!! Ruth

07 Sep 2018

Dear Ruth,

Thank you so much for your message. That's very kind of you to say, I'm very grateful, thank you.
Shinjuku, Shibuya and Chiyoda are all wonderful areas. To narrow it down:
Shinjuku - crazy but awesome and colourful
Shibuya - a bit posher
Chiyoda - perfect location, very quiet at night, but close to the metro to access everything quickly.

Have a lovely holiday in Tokyo, you will love it there.

Kind Regards,

Mabel Low
07 Jul 2018

Hi Cory,

I plan to travel within Tokyo + Mt. Fuji for 10D8N with my hubby and 2 kids (5YO & 9YO). Mid-June seems the only option for me since its a mid-term school break.
1) worth to visit during June, rainy season?
2) plan to stay in Hotel 3000 Jyuraku, Asakusa - good metro accessibility to Disneyland, Shibuya, Shinjuku?

10 Jul 2018

Hi Mabel,

You will love Japan!
1) totally worth it. Just have a few umbrellas with you :)
2) The hotel seems to be very close to the Asakusa station, hence good connection with everything in Tokyo ;)

You can book it here->

Please let me know if you have any other questions, always happy to help.

08 Apr 2018

Hi Cory,

My wife and I are in our 50's and will be in Tokyo for 4 days. we plan to stay in Chiyoda area and looking at Hotel Niwa or APA hotel Kanda ekimae for our accomodation. any thoughts on these hotels. we will be arriving at Narita airport and plan to take the bullet train to Tokyo and departing Tokyo to Haneda by monorail. we also like to squeeze in a day trip to Kyoto. is it worth buying the 7 day JR pass?

appreciate your help

09 Apr 2018

Hi Alex,
Both hotels are great. Chiyoda is def the place to be in my opinion. It's very quiet at night but central enough to access the rest of districts without any issues. I'd say it is better to enjoy your full days in Tokyo and not squeeze Kyoto in there. 4 days will barely scratch the surface of Tokyo and the journey to and from Kyoto will be long and tedious to enable you to see enough of Kyoto to worth your while.
If there is any way to extend the trip to 7 days, I recommend spending 4 days in Tokyo and 3 in Kyoto. I hope this helps!

14 Mar 2018

Hi Cory,
Just stumbled on your article and this thread. We're going to Japan for the first time this August.
Can't wait.
Thanks a million for posting everything and for creating a thread.....
So delighted that's it's a 2018 article.

16 Mar 2018

Really glad I could help Jude! Have lots of fun in Japan, you will love it <3

Enrique Salamat
03 Feb 2018

Hi Cory have a great day first of all. your blog is really so helpful and amazing for those 1st timer to travel in Japan. I have plans to visit Japan for 15 days by April month with my family so I would rather stay in Tokyo as this city really famous at all. Japan is my dream country ever. My only scares is to take trains especially the bullet one. thanks a lot.

05 Feb 2018

Hi Enrique,

Japan sure is the best country in the world and you and your family are going to have an excellent time. Why are you afraid of taking the Shinkansen? They are very easy, and once you familiarise yourself with the train station and how everything works you will be just fine :)

Jun Cua
03 Feb 2018

Hi Cory. My family and I are planning to go to Japan next year. Where and when would be the best time to go there if the kids want to see snow. Also, we are traveling with my special needs daughter, are the trains and establishments accessible to PWDs?

05 Feb 2018

Hi Jun,

I hope you are going to have a lot of fun in Japan. The Sapporo Snow Festival (Sapporo Yuki Matsuri) is held during one week every February in Hokkaido's capital Sapporo. You might want to consider it next year where you can definitely see snow. Alternatively, you can try the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route or visit a winter skiing destination such as Nagano in Japan.
You will find lifts everywhere pretty much everywhere and at every train and metro station. I suggest reading more on

20 Jan 2018

Thanks! Have a nice day :D

20 Jan 2018

Likewise! Enjoy your trip and tell me how it went once you are back! x

19 Jan 2018

Thanks for your reply! I have decided to only stay in Tokyo, because I don't want to be stressed out, so I am going to stay in Shinjuku (close to the station) for the whole week. Do you think it's best to buy a Suica/Pasco card? or should I buy two 72h pass and just purchase single tickets on one day? I am not sure how many times I have to take the subway :/

20 Jan 2018

Hi Yeliz, You can get a Suica or a Pasmo. They do the exact same thing. We had a Pasmo, but honestly, it makes no difference. With Pasmo, you have to top it up as needed. With the 72h passes, you can use them as much as you want, of course. The only thing is: if you want to travel by subway a lot, then a 72h pass makes more sense so you can get your money's worth.
If you are in Shinjuku, I assume you want to travel to other parts of Tokyo quite a bit, like Shibuya, Ueno, Harajuku etc to just enjoy the city. If that's the case, then I assume you will rely on the subway quite a bit.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday, I reckon it's going to be epic!

12 Jan 2018

Hi Cory! Thank you for anwsering comments - that's very sweet of you !

I must admit that the transportation system in Japan is very confusing to me :/ I'm going to Japan this April for 7 days. I want to go directly to Kyoto when I arrive to Narita Airport. When I arrive to Kyoto I will only stay there for 3 days and then I want to go back to central Tokyo.
In those 3 days in Tokyo I want to see; ‣ Harajuku ‣ Shibuya ‣ Shimokitazawa ‣ Kimoji ‣ Shinjuku ‣ Ueno ‣ Akasuka ‣ Akihabara ‣ Roppongi ‣ Daikanyama.

What do you recommend for tickets and transportations?

....I am actually considering not to visit Kyoto, I don't feel 3 days there is enough and I think I will feel more stressful about going back and fourth.
But if I make up my mind and choose to only be in Tokyo, what would you recommend for tickets? I am arriving to Narita Aiport and from there I'm going to Tokyo and check the places out there:)

I have researched it, but I still feel lost.

I hope you can help.


18 Jan 2018

Hi Yeliz,

Thank you for your comment. I would still get my Japan Rail Pass and visit Kyoto. It's such beautiful city and 3 days will suffice to at least get to see its main attractions. The food is so varied and so incredible, it would be a shame not to.
For Tokyo only, you can simply get a PASMO card and top it up at the subway as needed. I usually put about 5000 yen on it and use it until it runs out, then top it back up and so on. You said you are arriving in Narita. Where will you stay in Tokyo? From Narita you can simply board the Narita Skyliner into the city. It's the easier way.Upon arrival, simply go to the information desk (they speak English) and they can help you get your ticket. They are very nice and helpful.

Any questions, let me know. Happy to help


03 Jan 2018

Hello Cory, I plan on visiting Tokyo mid to late July. My problem is where to stay. I'm in my late 20's and I'll only in there for about 3 nights total and from there I plan to somehow get to Misawa to visit family. What would you recommend. I'm super nervous because I've never traveled abroad alone.

04 Jan 2018

Hi Alex, how are you? Tokyo is going to be exciting and I don't think you can go wrong with either area as the city is safe. I would say to pick either Shibuya / Shinjuku area if you want a more vibrant Tokyo or Chiyoda if you want quiet and proximity to the main train station. You are honestly going to love it and once you get over the initial "omg this is so busy" you will feel epic! Tokyo really is impressive.

Wendy F
06 Nov 2017

HI. My boyfriend is going to Tokyo for a week and like everyone we're overwhelmed by the options. What's your opinion of staying in Ueno? I found Ryokan Sawanoya that looks good, but am unsure if this is too inconvenient tranist-wise. Also found Kimi Ryokan in (I think) Ikebukuro, is that a good spot?
Your help is most appreciated!

07 Nov 2017

Hi Wendy,

How are you? I checked both hotels and they are awesome. The first one is just 7 minutes walk from the closest subway station which is great. By subway, it will take your boyfriend about 30 minutes to reach Shibuya. Ueno is a great location, quiet and nice.
The second option is 10 minutes walk from the subway station. By subway it will take around 15 minutes to reach Shibuya. The second option is a little better because it's closer to Shibuya, Shinjuku and because you can book it with free cancellation:;sid=...

In conclusion, they are both excellent choices, but because of proximity, I would go with the second option for the first visit to Tokyo.
I hope this helps.
Any further questions, please let me know.

Kind Regards,


Colin de Souza
03 Nov 2017

Hi Cory,
We are Australian Seniors (65 Year’s) travelling to japan in. April for 8 days. We intend staying in. Tokyo for 3 night then Osaka for 4 nights and using Osaka as the base to do 1 or 2 day trips to Kyoto then returning to Tokyo for 1 day flying out from Haneda airport..
Can you please advise:
1) where we should stay in Tokyo where transport,food and shopping is available?
2) best way to go to Mt. Fuji and is it a whole day trip?
3) what is the best way that we can easily catch a rain from Tokyo to Osaka and from Osaka to Kyoto for the day trips?
4) what train passes should we purchase?
In short base on our itinerary how woulld you plan our travel. Hopper yo. Can assist as I’m quite worried about this trip. Thanks!

05 Nov 2017

Hi Colin,

Thank you for your message. You are going to love Japan and April is a perfect time for your trip.
Let me address your questions:

1) Transport, food and shopping are available anywhere in Tokyo. If you are interested in being in the middle of it all, I would aim for Shinjuku. However, since you are seniors, I would recommend Ginza as it is a little more refined and less noisy during night time. As long as you are 5-10 minutes walk from a subway station, you are absolutely fine as Tokyo has an amazing infrastructure.

2) Mt. Fuji is a whole day trip indeed. The easiest thing to do is to get on a pre-organised tour (I can send you more info on this if you are interested, just let me know). Alternatively, you can take the Shinkansen towards the Five Lakes, change to a local train and go to Lake Kawaguchi). I am writing an article about this, so stay tuned!

3) From Tokyo station, take the shinkansen straight to Osaka. The super speedy train will be incredibly comfortable so all you have to do, is present your JR Passes to the ticket counter and reserve your allocated seats. Ideally, you will do this a couple of nights before your trip. You won't have to pay extra for your seats and you can pick the time most suitable for you). Same applies for Osaka to Kyoto. You will get the Shinkansen from the Shin-Osaka station straight into Kyoto Central.

4) Please have a read:
As you are going for 8 days, you should get a 7 day JR Pass. Remember, you need to order it no longer than 3 months before your trip. The JR Pass will arrive at your home, so you need to order it BEFORE arriving in Japan.

Here is some super useful info for you:

Any questions, let me know.
Have fun in Japan!

Kind Regards,


23 Sep 2017

Hi Cory!! I will go in a month to Japan and I am very undecided where we can stay, I mean the area in Tokyo. We are 4 travelers, one is 16 years old. We have 10 days in total. I am considering 7 in Tokyo and 3 in Kyoto, what is the best way to transport us to Kyoto? Do you think we need to buy JR pass? Can I buy one way Shinkansen tickets? I appreciate you being able to help me. Greetings from Mexico.

24 Sep 2017

Hi Alethia,

Thank you for your message. I recommend staying in Chiyoda, Shinjuku or Shibuya areas. Especially because you are travelling with a 16-year-old who probably wants to be more in the middle of it! (in which case Shibuya or Shinjuku are best). Chiyoda is excellent as it is well connected and very quiet at night.
The JR Pass covers the trip to and from Kyoto. If you have 10 days in Japan, I would recommend buying a Japan Rail Pass and using it a little more.
For example, I would do 5 days in Tokyo, 1 day going to the Snow Monkey Pass, 1 day in Nikko, 3 in Kyoto. This way you get to visit more of Japan and utilise your JR Passes a little more.

Here are some links:

and here is info about the JR Pass plus where we got ours from.

Any questions, please let me know.

Kind regards,
Cory :)

12 Sep 2017

I really love your post! I went to Tokyo last year and I am very impressed about this amazing country. Thank you for this beautiful article :)

05 Sep 2017

I use to travel to Tokyo for work and we always stayed at the Hilton in Shinjuku. I always wanted to stay in the Park Hyatt but it was not within budget. If I go back for fun, I think I would try to stay in Shibuya. I just love that area.

06 Sep 2017

Hi Anisa, yes! I would love to be in Park Hyatt. It's the dream :P Shibuya is so epic, isn't it? The right amount of fun, classy and colour.

Elou S
22 Aug 2017


Very informative article! I was hoping to see any recommendation for the best airbnb in Tokyo. Do you have recommendation, first time for the family (with 3 kids) to Tokyo and first time to use airbnb in our travel. Would love to know best ones in Shinjuku, Asakuza, ChiyodaThank you.

22 Aug 2017

Hi Elou, thank you for your message. Unfortunately, the legal status of Airbnb in Japan is not very well defined. In fact, most airbnb listings in Japan are illegal, hence I am reluctant to offer advice on the matter to my readers. I strongly suggest checking out various options in Chiyoda area as that is the quietest and relatively well off. However, I strongly suggest considering a hotel or an apart-hotel for your own safety.
Kind Regards, Cory

19 Aug 2017

Hi Cory,
Great write up, I'm planning to stay in Tokyo for 3 days, and I was hoping to do day trips to Mount Fuji and Kamakura. What would be the best & safe location to stay in Tokyo for my plans?

22 Aug 2017

Hi Valencia,

So cool you are going to visit Tokyo! I would position myself as close to either the main Tokyo train station (or within 10 minute subway ride to it) or close to Ueno Park as most trains tend to stop there as well. Another option is to position yourself around the Yamanote line and use your JR Pass to access the main train station and take your shinkansen to Mt. Fuji from there.

I hope this helps, but please let me know if you have any more questions.

18 Aug 2017

Hi Cory,
Thanks for Sharing Information about Tokyo Nightlife.

Ryan Biddulph
07 Jun 2017

Hi Cory,

Super write up! Tokyo fascinates me. Unlike any city on earth. My wife taught English for a month in Hiroshima but never made it to the big city. Trip there soon, for sure.


Rob Taylor
30 May 2017

This is great. Every time I start researching Japan, and Tokyo specifically I get overwhelmed. Seriously.

31 May 2017

Hi Rob, thank you for your message. I am very glad I could help. I really hope you enjoy your stay in Tokyo. You will love it.

06 Mar 2017

Hello Cory, great article. We are interested to go to Tokyo somewhere this year. It seems to me that near Tokyo train station would probably best for us as we need a more traditional and quiet area. But a lot of articles most suggest Shinjuku as the best for Tokyo first timer. Any suggestion for traveler wanting to stay in more traditional and quiet place but yet easy access to go around Tokyo: Chiyoda or Asakusa or Ueno? And what about the transport, between JR Yamanote vs subway 3 day pass? Which one is more advantageous or more practical? Thanks a lot !!

07 Mar 2017

Hi Andreas, Thank you for your message. I would say Chiyoda was the quietest for us. We stayed 2 minutes away from the metro station. As long as you have a subway at your doorstep, I'd say go for Chiyoda. Alternatively, Asakusa is a great option for sure. Ueno can be a bit busy at times because it's a major station and people do change a lot. In fact, most Shinkansens stop there anyway.
Shinjuku is recommended because that is where the heart of Tokyo is. You can see everything you imagined about Tokyo...the lights, the ads, the busy streets, the fun food. I'd say maybe stay in a quieter place and take the subway to Shinjuku. The sub is incredibly clean and reliable.
I would just get the Pasmo card and pay as you go for the subway. If you plan on getting our of Tokyo and travelling around Japan, get the JR Pass. You can also use it on the Yamanote line (but not on the subway).
For flexibility, I would rely more on the subway though. :) I hope this helps. Any questions, please let me know.

09 Mar 2017

Hi Cory, thanks for your reply. Chiyoda seems to be convenient for us. No, we don't plan to go anywhere else outside Tokyo. We only have around 7-8 days in total, not too long. Probably we'll go to Mt. Fuji but not farther than that. One more question: what would be the easiest way to go to Mt. Fuji?

To be honest, Tokyo really seems to us to be very complicated. The subway system, JR train system, areas in Tokyo for where to stay and what to visit, etc. End 2016 we went to Hong Kong and the planning was pretty simple. That's why now we are gathering all information that we can about Tokyo.

09 Mar 2017

Hi Andreas,

No worries, I am here to help. Chiyoda is a good option as long as you are relatively close to the subway. I remember the first time I planned for Japan, scary stuff! Everything is sooo different.
I recommend getting the Shinkansen to Mount Fuji. It will take virtually no time to get there. You can visit either the Lakes or Hakone (most go for Hakone). But the train is the best (fastest and most convenient) option. From the Tokyo Station (Chiyoda is super close to it) ask for tickets to Fuji. They will direct you to the right line, plus there are virtually signs everywhere showing you which Shinkansen to board.

There are so many things you are going to love about Japan and the moment you get to understand it, you will become addicted to it. I know, I did!
Don't be too worried about the subway. In fact, I have an article explaining how it works.
The idea is to remember that each line is colour coded, so it makes it a bit easier to navigate. When two colours touch on the map, it means you can change lines.

There are a few things I recommend for first-timers in Japan.

1. make sure you have internet on your phone. If your roaming is not that awesome, order your sim card directly to your hotel. Now, I appreciate they don't come cheap, but having internet around Tokyo is a life saver. Streets don't tend to have names on them, which makes it pretty difficult to navigate. So having google maps handy is the best thing ever :) We ordered our sim from these guys:
Just give them your hotel address. Then, let the hotel know there is a small letter arriving for you. The hotel staff will set it aside.

2. Pasmo Card. When you go to the machine, you can change the language to English. It's really easy to understand. Top up the card right away and simply tap at the subway gates. Easy peasy. Note that all stations in Tokyo have signs everywhere showing you where to go. Most arrows are also colour coded for the actual lines you need, so you can navigate with ease without getting lost. You will get the gist of it in no time!

3. Make sure you read a little bit about the Japanese manners. We made so many not understanding why there are no bins, or how to properly eat sushi. You, of course, don't have to adhere to the Japanese standards, but it's nice to try to integrate as much as possible to have a better experience.

4. Please make sure you have cash on you. Japan is a cash based society and chances are your card won't be accepted anywhere. The good news is that Japan is super safe, so you can carry your money around without any worries (of course be vigilant as always). Alternatively, some 7/11 shops will have some international cash machines.

If you have any questions, I'm super happy to help so let me know. And enjoy Tokyo. Honestly, it will change your life. Have lots and lots of fun.

Best, Cory

Cherene Saradar
24 Dec 2016

I always love learning about different neighborhoods before visiting a big city. I can't decide for Tokyo...they all have so much to offer! But the magical street food....mmmm.

26 Dec 2016

Oh the street food is divine! I mean I can't think of something better than just wandering around Tokyo and eating lots of food hehe

24 Dec 2016

Super comprehensive and helpful, Cory! When I went to Tokyo I basically followed your advice: I stayed in Shinjuku, and it was really convenient. There was also one night in Akihabara, and I agree it is definitely kinda polarizing! Accidentally wandered into the Hentai section of an anime store and saw some weeeeird stuff O_O

26 Dec 2016

Hi Monica, thank you for your reply. Yes, Shinjuku is great for tourists whilst Akihabara is a little different, isn't it? Definitely not your ordinary place, but still had some charm in its own way.