Wondering where to stay in Tokyo? In this thoroughly researched accommodation guide, we will give you our best picks for the top neighbourhoods in Tokyo.
Visiting Tokyo was one of the most incredible experiences for us. We travelled there on our second long holiday as a couple. Tokyo is a huge and complex city, a mega-metropolis so we learn to think of it as a collection of cities.
After visiting many times in the last few years we learnt about the best places to stay in Tokyo and figured out which hotels we like and which are better to avoid.
Tokyo has 47 neighbourhoods and it's home to over 10 million people. Picking where to stay in Tokyo can be very difficult especially when you are visiting the first time.
We put together this article to share what we learnt about Tokyo and it's many areas. We hope it will help you make the right decision on which hotels to book for your holiday.
We will give you a list of carefully handpicked hotels for each neighbourhood to help you with your individual needs and budgets.
And don't worry, while Tokyo might look huge it is super well connected by fast and reliable public transport. It is easy to get around and once you learn the names of the most important areas you will travel through stations like a local.
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Where To Stay In Tokyo
First time visitors should stay in Shinjuku because it's a great place if you want to be close to Tokyo's top attractions like the Golden Gai, the Omoide Yokocho, bustling markets and many restaurants.
There's are endless things to do in Shinjuku, including visiting the red district, seeing the Metropolitan building or relaxing in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.
Shinjuku is also home to the busiest train station in the world. You are close to the Yamanote 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.
We found, however, that accommodation in Shinjuku is not cheap. Shinjuku is super popular with tourists and it is a very busy area in Tokyo.
As an alternative to Shinjuku, you can stay in Asakusa which is a slightly more budget-friendly neighbourhood. You are still well connected to other parts of the city by subway but you might have to change lines.
In general, we thought that hotels in Tokyo were of a very high standard. The rooms are very clean and the prices are comparable to the capital cities of Europe like London or Paris. There is just one difference and that is the size of the rooms. The rooms are generally much smaller and usually come with "double beds" which are smaller than what we are used to in Europe or the USA.
Hotel rooms in tourist hotspots like Shinjuku or Shibuya tend to be the most expensive and offer the smallest rooms as the real estate is precious. The further out you venture from a popular neighbourhood and central areas, the cheaper and bigger the hotel rooms get.
Usually, the closer the hotel is to a subway station the higher the prices. Luckily, there are so many small stations in Tokyo, you are never really far from one. If you are on a budget, pick a hotel away from the main stations and aim for the ones alongside the Yamanote Line or the Marunouchi Line.
Tokyo is one of the safest cities in the world, even for solo tourists, so you can comfortably walk alone at night, after a whole day of exploring all the best attractions.
We recommend you to purchase a JR Pass before you travel to Japan. Many of the Tokyo Subways lines also accept the JR Pass so you don't have to spend extra on subway tickets. We learn this the hard way until a nice ticket inspector pointed out that we should just use our JR to travel.
Look for the JR logo next to the name of the subway line. If you see it, you can use your JR Pass. It's an awesome way to save money as trips can quickly become.
Our list of extensively researched neighbourhoods in Tokyo with in-depth explanations alongside carefully selected hotels based on our personal experiences. We share our research on each touristic neighbourhood so you can easily find the best place to stay in Tokyo.
Book your accommodation as early as possible if you’re heading to Tokyo during a festival period like the Cherry Blossom Festival or the Golden week in May since it books up incredibly quickly.
These are our recommendations for the best areas to pick in Tokyo based on the type of traveller you are.
|Type of Travel||Tokyo Neighbourhood|
|First Time Visitors||Shinjuku|
|Luxury visitors & shopping||Ginza|
|Kawaii Lovers & Youth Culture||Harajuku|
|Art & Museums||Ueno|
|Families with children||Odaiba|
|Disneyland||Tokyo Disney Resort in Urayasu|
|Nightlife & Party||Shibuya, Roppongi|
|Daytrips from Tokyo||Tokyo Station|
Shinjuku - Where to stay in Tokyo as a first-time tourist
Without a doubt, Shinjuku is the best area to stay in Tokyo if you are a first time visitor or tourist.
Shinjuku is home to some of those iconic, giant neon adverts, colourful lit up streets, entertainment establishments and epic street food. Stay in Shinjuku to enjoy the real beating heart of a vibrant, modern Tokyo, frequently featured in TV shows and movies.
With huge, modern shopping malls, thousands of bars and restaurants, you have everything you need just around the corner from your hotel.
Shinjuku is also home to Asia's largest red district (Kabukicho) and has Japan's largest adult entertainment quarters. For something quirky, you can stay in a love hotel for one night. Love hotels offer themed rooms and you can rent them by the hour. Checkout out our Tokyo Adult Guide.
After exploring Tokyo as tourists and locals we think that Shinjuku is the best area for tourists, due to its epic skyscrapers, narrow and bright streets large malls and affordable shops. If you would only have time for one neighbourhood in Tokyo, then Shinjuku should be it.
Why Stay In Shinjuku
Shinjuku is the most vibrant district in Tokyo. We found so many restaurants, amazing street food, and epic bars when we stayed in Shinjuku.
This is 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.
Have you ever heard of Golden Gai? It's a great place to grab a bite and have a quick drink. The area has countless tiny bars, which can only accommodate a handful of people at a time. Many Japanese people come to Golden Gai to socialise and have a drink after work so this is the right place to stay if you want to also interact with locals.
The famous Piss Alley is similar to Golden Gai, also located in Shinjuku. Pick a hotel near this area if you are a foodie, you won't regret it. Piss Alley is known for its yakitori (chicken skewers, grilled with tare sauce or salt). We loved trying new foods and drinks here until late at night then walk back to the hotel and enjoy the neon lights along the way.
Shinjuku is the mecca for adult entertainment in Tokyo so stay here if you want to enjoy the normal tourist attractions during the day but also want to have entertainment at night. There are multistory shops which are open until late at night. Shinjuku is also home to the famous robot restaurants where girls fight each other in robotic armour. Don't worry, we won't judge.
If shopping is your calling, almost all hotels in Shinjuku are near the shopping streets. Shinjuku has a labyrinth of narrow streets dotted with stalls selling cheap knock-offs and real, branded goods. This is also the best place to stay for crazy epic street food. Who doesn't want to try some magical street food in Tokyo? One night we eat so much I had difficulties walking back to the hotel. But who can say no to magic pancakes and takotamago?
As you can see Shinjuku is the best place to stay for your first time in Tokyo as the neighbourhood encompasses attractions, fun, restaurants, shopping and nightlife, which everything you need to truly enjoy your time in the Japanese capital.
Being on the Yamanote Line, Shinjuku is an epic hub and home to the busiest train station in Japan. It's a great place with connections to the rest of the Tokyo neighbourhoods.
Things to see in Shinjuku
- Golden Gai & Piss Alley - food, drinks with a side of authentic Tokyo
- Lumine, Takashimaya Times Square, Odakyu - shopping malls
- Shinjuku train station - busiest trains station in Japan
- Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower - the 50-story educational facility
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building - with free Sky Deck
- Shinjuku Gyoen - a large Japanese park & garden
Here are our carefully selected hotels to stay in Shinjuku.
Shibuya - Where To Stay In Tokyo for party seekers
Shibuya is a great place to stay if you are a tourist interested in nightlife because it offers everything from karaoke bars, to dancing clubs. Shibuya is perfect to find accommodation if you want a vibrant neighbourhood where you could see Tokyo's night colours. Shibuya is one of the best places to stay in Tokyo as a first time visitor who seeks parties, restaurants, fashion and a little bit of surreal Japanese madness.
Why stay in Shibuya
Shibuya is known for its younger crowd and epic nightlife opportunities. Shibuya is a well-known meeting point and there are tons of attractions nearby, including shopping, eating and partying.
It's home to many vending machine restaurants which makes it easier for tourists to order food on a budget. Shibuya is home to myriad shops and boutiques and it's not uncommon to see locals shopping in Shibuya.
Shibuya is also a transportation hub, thus staying means you can access any parts of Tokyo with ease from the well known Shibuya station.
We really liked sitting in Starbucks, admiring the famed Shibuya Crossing. It's actually really zen to just look at it from above. You can also stay in one of the fancy hotels right above the Shibuya Crossing so your room has a direct view of it. These rooms don't come cheap but it will make you feel like you are in a movie.
Shibuya is a great place to stay for families travelling with teenage children interested in neon colours, funky shops and younger crowds. Many shops sell merchandise related to Japanese pop (J-Pop) and anime. Street vendors sell crazy pancakes and other colourful sweets which you won’t be able to resist.
Beyond the famed pedestrian crossing, there are a lot of things to do in Shibuya which you can take full advantage of if you decide to base yourself in this epic neighbourhood.
Let’s see some of the many reasons why Shibuya is one of the best places to stay in Tokyo. Shibuya is a fantastic location which enables all visitors to travel around Tokyo. Shibuya station has Japanese Rail (JR) and subway connections as well. Shibuya is perfect for shopping, nightlife, eating local cuisine and feeling the real Tokyo vibe. You will also be located just a stone throw away from Harajuku, Omotesando and Shinjuku. To get you started, here are the best 15 things to do in Shibuya.
Shibuya is one of the best places to stay for the party seeking tourists because although similar to Shinjuku, the vibe in Shibuya is more youngster oriented. Shibuya is a great meeting place, which makes this district a great hub from which you can access all parts of the city and beyond. Shibuya attracts a lot of fashion and food lovers and it's a great spot to just absorb Tokyo's colourful vibes. Shibuya is a great place to stay for young adults, families travelling with teens, and fantastic for couples looking for a great party.
Things to do in Shibuya, Tokyo
- Shibuya Crossing
- Shopping in Shibuya
- Shibuya Nightlife
- Hachiko Statue
- Nonbei Yokocho
- Manga Cafes
- Pachinko Parlours
- Sakuragaoka-cho Street
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in Shibuya.
Ginza -Where to Stay In Tokyo for luxury visitors
If you are after a more luxurious, upscale experience, Tokyo’s Ginza district is your perfect place to stay in Tokyo. Ginza is a spectacular neighbourhood, especially during the evening when most shops put up fantastic light shows to lure in the shoppers.
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 fantastic during the weekend when no car traffic is permitted on the main street (Chuo Dori) so the area becomes pedestrian heaven.
Why Stay In Ginza
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.
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 also becomes quieter and more relaxed than Shinjuku, so it's a great place to stay for couples also.
That said, Ginza has some options for the budget traveller too. You can find decent accommodation which represents good value for money. There are also 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, check out the nightlife in Ginza. Accommodation in Ginza is never too far away from shops 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.
Shopping in Ginza
- Ginza SIX - biggest shopping complex in Ginza
- Ginza Mitsukoshi - traditional Japanese style department store
- Ginza Matsuya - a department store with famous 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 stationary store
Nightlife 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
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in Ginza.
Chiyoda- Where To Stay In Tokyo for business tourists
Every time we travel to Tokyo for business, we stay in Chiyoda. Chiyoda is technically classed as central Tokyo with the Tokyo Train Station right at your doorstep. The reason why we recommend Chiyoda for business tourists is that some of the main corporate buildings are located in the area and chances are, your business meeting will happen in Chiyoda.
Those who travel to Tokyo for work will probably find it easier to stay in one of the business hotels located next to their offices. Chiyoda gets very quiet during the evening where all salarymen and women go home. But that also means you will benefit from a nice night sleep with no distractions. It's strategically located just a few subway stations away from all Tokyo's vibrant neighbourhoods, like Ginza, Shinjuku and Shibuya.
Why Stay In Chiyoda
If you want to enjoy a vibrant Tokyo but come back to a quiet neighbourhood, Chiyoda is the best place to stay. Tokyo can be overwhelming and exhausting so staying in Chiyoda means guaranteed good night sleep. As this district is mainly occupied by skyscraper office buildings and some hotels, there is not much going on during the night, so you can walk around at night and see a serene, almost perfectly quiet Tokyo.
Chiyoda is a great place to stay for a wide range of visitors as you have subway stations at every corner with good connections to all the other parts of Tokyo. Being close to the Tokyo Station also means getting great food, and shopping opportunities, as well as the chance to jump on a train somewhere outside of Tokyo for a few days out, like Nikko.
However, because of the large number of offices, expect crowds on the subways during rush hours. It’s better to avoid peak hours in Tokyo anyway as for tourists, this time can be a bit scary. Nevertheless, you will probably stay in Chiyoda just in the evening, when there are no crowds around.
Chiyoda is perhaps not ideal for the nightlife seeker, being relatively quiet, but it's definitely a few subways stops away from Shinjuku or Ginza. This makes Chiyoda the perfect hub for business travellers who want to enjoy the vibrant side of Tokyo after their meetings, and come back to a quiet neighbourhood right next to their offices.
Chiyoda is a great place to stay for all-rounder travellers also. Being close to everything, yet in a quiet neighbourhood, it enables you to explore, yet sleep well. Chiyoda is home to the Imperial Palace, the residence of the Emperor of Japan. Part of the Imperial gardens is open to the public, where you can spend a quiet, zen afternoon. Being so close to the Tokyo Station, you can access the shinkansen and visit places outside of Tokyo. I strongly recommend getting the Japan Rail Pass for the duration of your stay.
To reiterate, Chiyoda is the best place in Tokyo which can suit the requirements of almost all travellers. There are budget and luxury hotels dotted all around Chiyoda Tokyo.
Things to do in Chiyoda
- Imperial Palace & Gardens
- Yasukuni Shrine
- Tokyo Station
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in Chiyoda.
Tokyo Station - Where To Stay In Tokyo for day-trippers
The Tokyo Station area is the right place to stay if you wish to take some day trips from Tokyo, as you will be right by the Shinkansen. Don't worry though, there is plenty to do around the Tokyo Station for tourists, as you will find an array of shops, restaurants and attractions.
The Tokyo Station is a city within Chiyoda which is technically a city within Tokyo. City Inception, wow! 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. An estimated half a million people use the station every day.
Why Stay around the Tokyo Station
Tokyo Station is one of the most important central hubs in Tokyo. You can literary 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.
Accommodation around the station is plenty and for all kind of budgets. If you are planning on travelling from Tokyo to other destinations or just have a few hours to spare, stay close to the Tokyo station. There is of course direct train connections to both Tokyo airports.
In the station itself, and the surrounding areas including the massive underground shopping streets, you will find everything you need to complete your first journey to the capital of Japan. Staying here is not a compromise, but an ideal location for those who love adventures.
Did I mention that the Tokyo Station is in Chiyoda and you are 15 minutes walk away from Ginza and just one subway station away from Akihabara? See, there's always something exciting just around the corner.
Stay just outside the Tokyo station and go to the Tokyo Ramen Street which features 8 outstanding must-try ramen restaurants. On this street - which is inside the station building - you will also find sweet shops and anime shops selling collectables and other merchandise.
On the Black Fence Alley, you will find vendors selling the best of Japanese street food. The authentic Japanese style meets with modern gourmet design here. Even if you are not hungry, it’s worth a visit.
Check out the Gransta Mall which can be found in the centre of the station. That's right, when your accommodation is by the Tokyo station, you are never too far away from any amenity. You will find trendy items mixed with designer brands here. The mall also has a huge food store, where if you are not careful you can spend a few hours just walking around which your mouth open.
Close to the station building - connected with an underground passage - is the Daimaru department store with 13 stories to explore until your feet can’t take you anymore.
If you are in Tokyo for a short period of time only and need a place to stay close to the Shinkansen but also with access to some of the Tokyo's main attractions, the Tokyo station is the perfect place for you. Around and outside the station you will find the old Tokyo Station building, the Imperial Palace and its gardens, more shopping malls, skyscrapers and countless restaurants and bars. Also, don’t forget to check out the underground shopping street just in front of the station - just search for “2 Chome-1 Yaesu, Chuo-ku” on your map and you will see what I am talking about.
Things to do in & around Tokyo Station
- Tokyo Ramen Street
- Black Fence Alley
- Gransta Mall
- Daimaru Department Store
- Grand Roof
- Underground shopping street(s)
- The old Station Building
- Imperial Palace and Gardens
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay around the Tokyo Station.
Asakusa - Where To Stay In Tokyo for tradition lovers
Asakusa is one of the most historic neighbourhoods in Tokyo, hence making it a great place to stay for tourists interested in immersing a more traditional side of Tokyo. In fact, some of the most interesting Japanese inns and ryokans can be found here. Traditionally, Asakusa was the entertainment and theatre quarters in Tokyo. But one walk around the neighbourhoods and you will feel as if you arrived in a more historic Tokyo, versus the hyper-modern Shibuya or Shinjuku.
Do you love to shop but Shibuya or Ginza is a little over your budget? Don't worry, we got you covered. Asakusa is where you should stay in Tokyo if you are on a budget. Beyond the spiritual Sensō-ji Shrine, Asakusa is home to an amazing network of streets all lined with stalls selling affordable and interesting merchandise. Some of the best Japanese souvenirs can be found here, in Asakusa.
Stay in Asakusa if you want an accommodation which is quiet and more family-oriented also. You will be very close to many traditional shopping opportunities where you can purchase chopsticks, ramen bowls, small miso bowls, plates and bamboo spoons. It's a fantastic place to stay for the budget traveller who is still interested in shopping and wants to experience many traditional restaurants.
Why Stay In Asakusa
Asakusa is a great place to stay in Tokyo if you are interested in traditional activities like sumo games or kimono dressing. There are lots of budget hotels and quality but affordable accommodation in this area so you can enjoy spending on traditional experiences instead. It's also a fantastic place to stay if you wish to immerse yourself in a more traditional Tokyo.
When you stay in Asakusa you are never too far away from traditional and delicious eateries which offer great quality food for good prices. You can also find and experience Japanese vending machine restaurants or the inexpensive ramen places dotted all over the district’s narrow streets.
Your accommodation in Asakusa will not be too far from 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. Just a few blocks away you will find the Nakamise Shopping Street and the Asakusa Shin-Nakamise Market.
Asakusa is a fantastic location to stay for the budget traveller because you will find a great concentration of hostels and budget hotel rooms in the area. Asakusa might not have the proximity you need to the Yamanote line, but we promise you, if you go to your nearby station and learn how to use the Tokyo subway map, you will actually love that you get to save money in Asakusa.
I recommend Asakusa as a place to stay in Tokyo for the history-loving tourist who wants to spend money on traditional experiences. Asakusa is a great choice for those interested in seeing the historical quarters of Tokyo who don’t mind getting the subway for a few extra stops to get around the city.
Visiting Senso-ji, Asakusa, Tokyo
- Sensō-ji Shrine
- Denboin Garden
- Sumida Park Waterfront
- Nakamise Shopping Street
- Asakusa Shin-Nakamise Market
- Hanayashiki Amusement Park
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in Asakusa.
Akihabara - Where To Stay In Tokyo for anime lovers
Akihabara is the place to stay in Tokyo if you love anime, manga and cosplay.
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 store, countless shops selling anime and manga paraphernalia.
Sailor Moon lover? 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 can find Maid Cafes and other interesting establishments for those with an open mind.
Why Stay In Akihabara
Akihabara is the best place for anime, manga and cosplay lovers. There are shops upon shops which sell so many gadgets, figurines, and weird items.
It's unreal really, and you will probably need months to explore the whole shopping side of Akihabara. There are lots of people waiting in line first thing in the morning to try out the newest games in a Japanese pachinko for example. There are people waiting to be taken to a maid café. There are lots of entertainment quarters in Akihabara too. But all in all, Akihabara is the geeky heart of Tokyo, where people stay here for the shops for electronic equipment, anime, and manga.
Akihabara is also home to the now-famous Japanese girl groups. They organise 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).
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.
Akihabara is a fantastic accommodation option for shopping lovers who want to explore a cheaper side of Tokyo. We bought a talking fridge Penguin from the area, being one of the coolest souvenirs from Japan. and one of the weirdest things too.
Akihabara is a great place to stay for young adults interested in anime and manga. We would recommend it for travellers who want to have an adventure and are into electronics and cutting-edge technology. It can be a great district for families travelling with kids who watch lots of cartoons, as you can find lots of figurines.
Things to do in Akihabara, Tokyo
- Go to a Maid Cafe
- Walk around the Electric Town
- Don Quijote Akihabara
- Visit the AKB48 Cafe and Shop
- Mandarake - a multi-story shop dedicated to anime
- Kanda Myojin Shrine
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in Akihabara.
Harajuku - Where To Stay In Tokyo for Kawaii lovers
If you are a kawaii fan stay in Harajuku area, the mecca for kawaii in the whole of Tokyo. This is the place to stay if you love everything cute... or everything weird. 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 with crazy colours and everything cute. Harajuku is also where you will find lots of delicious and innovative food places ranging from the rainbow cotton candy to multi-layered ice creams or even bear-shaped cappuccinos. It's a place for crazy shopping if you want something cool and trendy or want to photograph youngsters dressed in lolitas or steampunks.
Why Stay In Harajuku
Harajuku is the place to be in Tokyo if you are young and want to explore an alternative side of Japan. Harajuku is colourful, vibrant, unconventional and a little bit weird. It's the place where pink contact lenses and kitten hoodies are welcomed and cactus-shaped iPhone cases are encouraged.
Harajuku is epic, and after a few hours in this neighbourhood, I guarantee that Japan will change your life forever. Stay in Harajuku if you have an open mind and want to break free from the otherwise neutral, conservative colours of Tokyo.
Dominated by salarymen and women dressed in suits, Tokyo can seem like a dystopian future to the young adult interested in vibrancy and colour. Harajuku is the antidote needed to make your heart pound with love. It's the non-conventional ecstasy quarter of Tokyo much needed to showcase the extraordinary alternatives, the place where some of the craziest world trends come to life.
Still, need convincing? Stay in Harajuku because it is centrally located and not far away from Yoyogi Park, Shinjuku or Shibuya. 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.
We 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.
Harajuku is also home to the Harajuku crazy pancakes, one of the best things you need to eat during your stay in Tokyo. Besides the crazy pancake stalls, you will find colourful cotton candy, ice cream, bubble tea, rainbow pancakes and gourmet popcorn - just to mention a few. You will not go home hungry.
Things to do in Harajuku, Tokyo
- Takeshita Street
- Cat Street
- Harajuku street food
- Harajuku Cafes
- Fashion stores & boutiques
- Cute Cube Harajuku
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.
Roppongi - Where To Stay In Tokyo for parties
Roppongi is one of the smaller districts in Tokyo with a long history. Roppongi is primarily an entertainment district with a diverse cultural scene, upscale bars and restaurants. Stay in Roppongi if you want to experience the nightlife in Tokyo or are looking for a more clubbing-oriented alternative to central Tokyo. Roppongi can feel a bit surreal and at times and it must come with a warning: although Roppongi is suitable to all styles of tourists and visitors, the nightlife can sometimes turn into an over sensory experience.
Why Stay In Roppongi
Roppongi is a recommended neighbourhood to stay during your Tokyo visit if you are into a more international nightlife scene or prefer contemporary art.
Expect to pay slightly higher prices than in other districts. If you can, go for the high-rise hotels and get a room on the top floor. The view of the city skyline & lights at night will be worth it.
There is a lot to do in Roppongi and it’s not just for night owls. Roppongi is famous for its clubs, bars and other night-time entertainment but it's so much more than that.
Just around the corner from your hotels around the Roppongi Station, 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.
You will never be located too far from shops on Keyakizaka Dori, an upscale shopping street with boutiques like Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton.
Stay in Roppongi if you want close proximity to the Mori Art Museum which is the largest contemporary art museum in Tokyo. The museum is inside the Roppongi Hills skyscraper.
The National Art Center is one of the largest exhibition halls in Asia. The centre showcases regularly changing collections and exhibitions of all kinds.
Things to do in Roppongi, Tokyo
- Roppongi Nightlife, clubs & restaurants
- Roppongi Hills
- Keyakizaka Dori shopping street
- Tokyo Midtown
- Mori Art Museum
- National Art Center
- Zojoji Temple
- Nogi Shrine
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in Roppongi.
Ueno - Where To Stay In Tokyo for art tourists
Stay in Ueno area if you love art, museums and parks. There is plenty of street food around Ueno as well. Ueno is known for one of the main stations where you can catch the Shinkansen if you wish to travel in and out of Tokyo. It is home to a traditional residential area where you can find some peace and quiet, further away from the madness of the otherwise busy Tokyo.
Ueno is a Northern district surrounding the Ueno Station and it’s famous for the Ueno Park which was one of the first public parks in Japan. In the park, you can find many museums and art galleries and a zoo. If you arrive during the Cherry Blossom Season, Ueno park is the perfect place for cherry blossom viewing and picnic.
Ueno has myriad narrow alleyways with bars and restaurants as well as international chains like TGI Friday. We love Ueno and we always see the neighbourhood when we go back to Tokyo. We recommend staying in the Ueno area because it is quiet, convenient and budget-friendly. As art lovers ourselves, we do appreciate its proximity to several main museums.
Why Stay 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. The Ueno Station as most stations in Tokyo has very good connections to other parts of the city and direct link via subway and JR to Tokyo Station. In fact, the Shinkansen trains heading to the north stop here, so Ueno is a good location if you are planning to have day trips outside of Tokyo, towards Nikko or Nagano if you plan on seeing the Snow Monkey Park.
Ueno is great for visitors who wish to visit Tokyo during the cherry blossom festival or want to explore the artsy side of the city. Stay in Ueno if you want a budget-friendly alternative to the otherwise expensive accommodation in Tokyo. As a tip, the further away you get from the heart of Tokyo, the cheaper and bigger your hotel room will be. You can find plenty of upscale hotels in Ueno too.
Stay in Ueno and spend at least a few hours wandering around, checking out stores in the Ueno Train Station. Inside the building and underground, there are a large number of shops, restaurants and bars ensure that each traveller leaves satisfied.
To the South-West of the station, you will spot the Ueno Park entrance. If you enter, prepare for a day-long tour around the park. Walk along the spacious path and make your way towards Gojo Tenjinsha shrine with its familiar Torii gates. From here, head towards the Ueno Toshogu Shrine and check out the Monster Lantern and the Five Storied Pagoda of Kan’ei-ji on your way.
Purchase a ticket to the Ueno Zoo where you can see Giant pandas, elephants and many other animals native to Asia, Africa, North & South America. The Ueno Zoo is Japan oldest zoo, home to over 3,000 animals.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Western Art or the National Museum of Nature and Science can be your next stop depending on your preference.
After your visit to one or more of the museums and galleries, find your way towards the Shinobazunoike Bentendo Temple, a Buddhist temple located on a small island in the middle of the Shinobazu Pond. In the summer months, the pond is covered with giant water lilies and you can barely see the water.
Hungry? No wonder... Ueno is a great place to stay for street food lovers as you will find many street food vendors in your neighbourhood selling dango, yakitori and other delicious foods.
Things to do in Ueno, Tokyo
- Tokyo National Museum
- Cherry Blossom Festival
- National Museum of Western Art
- Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
- National Science Museum
- Ueno Kaneiji Temple
- Ueno Shinobazu Pond
- Ueno Kiyomizu Kannon Temple
- Ueno Zoo
- Ueno Toshogu Shrine
- Shinobazunoike Bentendo Temple
- Shitamachi Museum
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in Ueno.
Odaiba - Where To Stay In Tokyo for a family with kids
It’s not your usual, ‘authentic’ Japanese neighbourhoods, Odaiba is on a large, reclaimed artificial island, just South of Ginza. Representing a more 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. Odaiba is also known to be a date area where locals go on first dates because of the sheer number of entertaining things to do here. Odaiba is well connected to the more central areas of Tokyo like Shinjuku or Shibuya.
Why Stay In Odaiba
Odaiba is recommended for two reasons. Stay in Odaiba because it is family-friendly and there is a direct shuttle bus connection to Disneyland. Hotel rooms in Odaiba 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 all ages.
There is a lot to do in Odaiba, but if you would like to make your way into other parts of Tokyo, maybe calculate 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.
The shuttle service is called “Good Neighbor Hotel Shuttle” and reservation is required. Check the website for more information.
Stay in Odaiba for a holiday feel in Tokyo. Walk to Odaiba Beach and enjoy the views of the surrounding metropolis. Close to the beach, you will find 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. 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 1.2km 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. Venus Fort is built in the style of old, rich medieval European streets. It’s a famous photo location as well. Decks might be the oldest mall in Odaiba but it’s very well worth visiting it’s a haunted attraction, the School Ghost House.
Things to do in Odaiba, Tokyo
- Gundam statue
- Mega Web
- Odaiba Beach
- Statue of Liberty
- Observatory Sphere
- Tokyo Joypolis
- Palette Town Ferris Wheel
- National Museum of Science and Innovation (Miraikan)
- Oedo-Onsen Monogatari
- Aqua City
- Venus Fort
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in Odaiba.
Tokyo Disneyland Resort - Where To Stay In Tokyo if you a Disneyland fan
If you wish to visit Disneyland in Tokyo and travelling with kids, 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, etc. However, if you are budget conscious or would like to also explore other neighbourhoods, Odaiba, Ginza or the Tokyo Station area might also be a good alternative.
Why Stay In Tokyo Disneyland Resort "Official Hotels"
Staying in the Tokyo Disneyland Resort "Official Hotels" during your trip has many benefits. 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. There is a free shuttle bus service (reservation required) between your hotel and the Resort entrance.
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.
Here are our carefully selected accommodation options for when you stay in the Disneyland Resort "Official Hotels"
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.