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Where to stay in Tokyo - Best Areas to Stay in Tokyo for 2024

Explore the Best Accommodation Options in Tokyo, Japan. A Comprehensive Guide to Finding the Perfect Place to Stay in Tokyo

Where to stay in Tokyo - the vastness of Tokyo as seen from above at sunset

Of course, you must be wondering where to stay in Tokyo. After all, Tokyo is a megapolis, the world's most populous metropolitan area with 23 special wards (特別区, tokubetsu-ku). To make the most out of your trip to Tokyo, you will need to stay somewhere that's very convenient and well-connected to the main landmarks and attractions.

I just returned from my 7th annual trip to Tokyo, where I spent another 3 months exploring the city. Every year I pick a different area to stay in, searching for the best hotels to recommend. My stays ranged from budget hotels, through to luxury accommodation with stunning views. Through my tours and Tokyo itineraries, I've always recommended the best price and value ratio for travellers to Tokyo because I know how important staying in the right area and the right hotel really is.

If you're visiting Tokyo for the first time, the best area to base yourself is Shinjuku because you'll be in the heart of the city's action, surrounded by a vibrant mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Shinjuku's skyscrapers and bustling streets epitomise the fast-paced Tokyo lifestyle, making it an ideal starting point for your adventure. You will also be close to the Yamanote line, which is crucial for getting around Tokyo fast.

For those seeking the latest in fashion and youth culture, Shibuya is your go-to destination. Shibuya is considered a major financial and commercial district by day and a popular nightlife area by night. There are many events happening in Shibuya at all times. Famous for its iconic scramble crossing, Shibuya pulses with energy and is a hub for trendsetters and culture seekers.

If luxury and upscale shopping are your interests, Ginza is the perfect choice. This district offers a refined experience with its designer boutiques, gourmet restaurants, and elegant galleries. Just do note that upscale price tags are the norm here.

For budget conscious travellers, Asakusa offers the best experience, offering larger accommodation options for more decent prices. Home to the famous Senso-ji Temple, Asakusa is a reminder of old Tokyo, with its historic streets and artisan shops. While it's perfect for your wallet, it is a little further away from other wards and landmarks, so you do need to travel on the subway quite a bit.

Where to stay in Tokyo - Best areas

Here is a summary of the best places to stay in Tokyo at a glance:

  • Best area for first-time visitors: Shinjuku
  • Best area for fashion and youth culture: Shibuya
  • Best area for luxury: Ginza
  • Best area for budget: Asakusa
  • Best area for nightlife: Roppongi
  • Best area for anime and technology enthusiasts: Akihabara
  • Best area for families and casual strolls: Ueno
  • Best area for central location: Nihonbashi

In this guide, I will delve deeper into each area, highlighting what makes them unique and ideal for your travel preferences, budget, and style. I will explain the pros and cons for every area so you can make an informed decision that suits you.

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Top tips on where to stay in Tokyo

In choosing the perfect hotel in Tokyo, I follow a set of essential tips applicable across all areas and hotel types:

  • Proximity to public transport: Staying close to a station on the JR Yamanote Line simplifies travel in Tokyo, as this line encircles the city's core, linking major districts and key attractions, offering you a straightforward and efficient way to explore Tokyo.
  • Location is Key: Base your accommodation in Tokyo on your itinerary; central areas like Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Ginza are ideal for first-time visitors, offering easy access to major attractions and transport links, especially if your plans include exploring the city's heart or day trips from Tokyo.
  • Nearby Amenities: Choose accommodation near restaurants and a konbini (convenience store) in Tokyo for easy access to quick meals or snacks, particularly convenient after a long day of sightseeing.
  • Understand Accommodation Types: Tokyo offers various accommodation types, from luxury hotels and business hotels to traditional ryokans and capsule hotels. Each has its own set of benefits and experiences. Most first time visitors will opt for a standard Western style hotel.
  • Budget Appropriately: Tokyo accommodations range from budget to high-end. Determine your budget early and remember that space is at a premium in Tokyo, so even higher-priced rooms may be smaller than you're used to, especially in sought after areas like Shinjuku and Shibuya.

Where to stay in Tokyo Summary

❤️ Best Area for first-timers: Shinjuku
💎 Best luxury 5* hotel: Park Hyatt
🏨 Best mid-range hotel: Kyushu Hotel Blossom
🛏️ Best budget hotel: WPU Shinjuku

Here is my list of the best places to stay in Tokyo. I have created the list based on my personal experience in each area, and my preferred locations are at the top. I have also selected the best hotels in each place based on their location, price, and amenities. Pick the one that's best for your budget, and you like the most.

Shinjuku - Where to stay in Tokyo for the first time

Explore Shinjuku at night and see all the cool skyscrappers and neon lights

Shinjuku is the best area to stay in Tokyo for the first time because it has everything you will need for a convenient stay. It's on the JR Yamanote Line and 17 other subways and train lines. When it comes to attractions, there are plenty of things to do in Shinjuku including the popular Golden Gai and Omoide Yokocho, the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for epic views of the city from above.

Shopping is great in Shinjuku too, with many department stores at your door step. Go to Lumine Est for affordable fashion, or try Lumine 1 and Lumine 2 as well as NEWoMan for mid-range to luxury shops. Takashimaya and Isetan are for high-end brands where you can receive the absolute best customer service. For a large range of souvenirs from Japan, you can shop in Tokyu Hands which is connected to the main Takashimaya department store.

When it comes to food, again, Shinjuku is the best to be, with restaurants ranging from budget izakayas located in Omoide Yokocho, to luxury steak restaurants with private rooms in Nishi Shinjuku. Almost all department stores within the Shinjuku area will have depachikas (food halls) located in the basement level where you can buy all sort of ready-made food ranging from delicious bento boxes, through to cakes and bakery items.

Another reason why Shinjuku is the absolute winner for the best area to stay in Tokyo is the proximity to the train station. Most first time visitors will be planning at least one or two day trips from Tokyo. For a day trip to Hakone, Kamakura or Enoshima island, you will need the Odakyu line which leaves from Shinjuku station. For a day trip to Mount Takao you will need the Keio or Chuo Lines which also leave from Shinjuku Station.

Shinjuku train station as seen from the viewing platform

Finally, Shinjuku really is an epic place in Tokyo with its crazy cool neon lights, towering skyscrapers, that buzzing energy from millions of people all around you. In a nutshell, Shinjuku is the picture perfect urban Tokyo.

Are there cons to staying in Shinjuku? Well, no place is perfect. And as great as Shinjuku is, it does have one downside: Kabukicho. Kabukicho is Asia's largest red-light district area. And while this is not really problematic for most tourists, it can be overwhelming due to dense crowds, and persistent solicitation, which might not be comfortable for every traveller, especially families or those seeking a more relaxed atmosphere.

Where to Stay in Shinjuku

Shinjuku has a very high concentration of hotels ranging from ultra-luxurious, to budget-friendly capsule hotels and business hotels. Whatever your budget, you will be able to find a hotel to match it here in Shinjuku.

The high-end luxury hotels are mostly on the west side of the Shinjuku Station, around the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. If you are looking to replicate your very own Lost in Translation, then I do recommend staying at the Park Hyatt. This luxurious 5 star hotel is 10 minutes walk to the main Shinjuku train station. For outstanding service, I recommend Keio Plaza, which averages a price of around $1200 for 3 nights.

For affordable luxury, my go-to hotel in Shinjuku has been Kyushu Hotel Blossom. The rooms are fairly large for Tokyo, and it takes just 2 minutes to get to the Shinjuku Train Station. You have a 7-Eleven located right in front of the hotel, which is fantastic for a late night snack. When I stayed in Kyushu Hotel Blossom I opted for a standard double room with a queen bed and breakfast included, which I wholeheartedly recommend.

My go-to hotel for Shinjuku: JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku

When staying in the Shinjuku area, JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku has been my go-to. This is a four star hotel that has absolutely everything for a perfect stay in Tokyo. It's just 2 minutes from the main Shinjuku Station, and it has a 7-Eleven right across the street. The staff is extraordinary, and the breakfast is excellent and plentiful, which I wholeheartedly recommend. The rooms are decent sized, especially given their prime location in the heart of Shinjuku. My room has been quiet and comfortable and I can confirm that the AC and refrigerator are both very silent which made my night stay bliss.
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Luxury: Park Hyatt Tokyo

This is the perfect luxury hotel that was featured in Lost in Translation. It is an incredible hotel, especially for those who are on a honeymoon in Tokyo. The deluxe high floor rooms are unbelievable with views of Tokyo that will leave you in awe. In fact, you can even see Mount Fuji from your very own room on a clear day. The rooms here are so spectacular they even have a walk in closet, a luxury which most of Tokyo hotels do not offer. And then, there is an indoor pool and a 52nd floor restaurant with stunning views. Park Hyatt Tokyo is just 10 minutes walk from the Shinjuku Station making it such a convenient and luxurious stay. The only downside? The price tag, but you do get what you pay for here.
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Mid-range: Tokyu Stay Shinjuku

An affordable hotel that is great all around. Tokyu Stay Shinjuku is located right in front of Shinjuku sanchome station and 7 minutes walk from the main Shinjuku station. It has a Family Mart a minute away, as well as two other 7-Eleven convenience stores. You are very close to Isetan Department Store which has a great depachika on the B1 level. The best thing about this hotel? Some rooms come with a sofa, washing machine and microwave, making them very comfortable for a Tokyo stay.
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Budget: WPU Shinjuku

A great option for those who are after a budget - friendly hotel right in the heart of Shinjuku. WPU Shinjuku is just 5 minutes walk from the Shinjuku Station and has a Family Mart and a 7-Eleven right in front. The position of this hotel is especially great if you are planning day trips on the Odakyu line. You are only a couple of minutes away from Lumine Est which has some fantastic restaurants on the 7th and 8th floor.
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Shibuya - The best area to stay for fashion and youth culture

Shibuya, Tokyo's hub of youth culture and fashion, is the ideal area to stay for those enchanted by the latest trends and vibrant street life. Renowned for its iconic scramble crossing, Shibuya is full of energy, making it a compelling choice for visitors seeking the pulse of contemporary Japanese culture. Now, Shibuya is huge and encompasses the area around Shibuya station, Harajuku, Omotesando, Daikan-Yama and Ebisu.

Shibuya is a paradise for youthful culture, the newest trends, nightlife, and colourful food. Shibuya 109, a landmark building, is the epicentre of Tokyo's youth fashion scene, offering a myriad of styles from trendy streetwear to the latest in Japanese fashion. You'll also have Shibuya Parco and Miyashita Park for the newest and coolest. In fact, Miyashita Park is so awesome, you can make your way to the top floor for beach volleyball courts, green spaces and constant pop-up events. For trendy souvenirs, head to the surrounding streets, like Center Gai, which overflow with boutiques and global brands, including a personal favourite, Loft.

Shibuya is a great place to stay if you want to enjoy some nightlife too. Shibuya is home to diverse music venues, from intimate live houses to grand concert halls, showcasing everything from J-Pop to international acts. My personal recommendation is to visit The SG Club for phenomenal cocktails.

View of Shibuya 109 from the Shibuya station square

You won't be going hungry in Shibuya because there are so many restaurants, you won't be able to go through all of them in this lifetime. For trendy spots, you will want to hit the area around Shibuya station. For classy and luxury restaurants, Ebisu and Omotesando will be your go to. For everything sweet and colourful, you'll find it all in Harajuku.

There are so many things to do in Shibuya as well. Right next to the station, you have Shibuya Sky in the Shibuya Scramble Square skyscraper, which is one of the top attractions in the whole of Tokyo. You can also check out views of Shibuya for free from the top of the Hikarie building. And for the latest development, don't miss the Shibuya Stream, which 4 floors of stores and restaurants and its adjacent Shibuya Streamline with brand-new restaurants.

Are there downsides to staying in Shibuya? The area's popularity leads to substantial crowds and noise, which might be overwhelming. The vibrant nightlife, while appealing to some, can make the area noisy at night and potentially less suitable for travellers with families. While Shibuya is a haven for modern and youth culture, it offers a less authentic local experience due to its tourist-centric atmosphere. The convenience of Shibuya Station as a transport hub is offset by the congestion and busyness of the station, particularly during peak times. And finally, I do need to mention that prices in Shibuya do tend to be higher than anywhere else in Tokyo. A mid-range hotel in Shibuya could cost as much as a luxury 5-star in other popular areas.

Best hotels for Shibuya

Shibuya has a vast range of hotels including luxury, affordable-luxury, mid-range but limited budget accommodation. You will even be able to find love hotels here in the Dogenzaka area.

My go-to hotel for Shibuya is the Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu, which is located just 3 minutes from the Shibuya Scramble. Some rooms offer stunning views of Shibuya as well, which look incredible at night. This is the hotel I check-in when staying in Shibuya because I enjoy that the rooms are larger than what you'd usually get for the prime location. This hotel is just 4 minutes from the main Shibuya Station and is surrounded by convenience stores and restaurants.

Another great option for its views is the stunning and luxurious Cerulean Tower, although one night can set you back $500. The hotel has excellent amenities, including an indoor pool, sauna and hot tubs.

My go-to hotel for Shibuya: Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu

For the best stay in Shibuya, I recommend my go-to hotel for the area, Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu. The location of this hotel is excellent, with just 4 minutes walk to the main Shibuya Station. The hotel is surrounded by convenience stores and restaurants. Some rooms come with insanely beautiful views of Shibuya and you can even see part of the scramble from your window. My recommendation is to go for a twin room, as the size of the rooms are really decent for Tokyo (323 feet²). The downside? Well, you are in Shibuya and you will inevitably hear some noise from outside. If you are a light sleeper like me, I do suggest using ear plugs.
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Luxury: Hotel Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel, A Pan Pacific Partner Hotel

I mean, speaking of luxury in Shibuya, this is what you've been dreaming of. The hotel is a 5 minute walk to the main Shibuya Station. My advice is to try to score a corner room if your budget allows it. You will enjoy a whooping 530 ft² with some incredible views of the city. You have access to all the fashion, convenience, and eateries but the truth is, the hotel itself is equipped with 8 different restaurants. Don't miss the top floor bar called Garden Lounge and the Jazz Club
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Mid-range: Hotel Shibuya Stream Excel Hotel Tokyu

Shibuya Stream Excel Hotel is located right in the heart of Shibuya, just a 3 minute walk from Hachiko Statue and Shibuya Station. While the hotel is downright gorgeous with a fairly decent sized rooms and great amenities nearby to have a great stay. For this hotel, I can recommend the breakfast, as it comes with plenty of options, both Western and Japanese.
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Budget: Hotel The Millennials Shibuya

Hotel The Millennials Shibuya specialises in capsule hotels for adults-only. It's good to remember that capsule hotels come with shared bathrooms and some capsules can be rented adjacent to one another so you can travel comfortably with your partner.
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Ginza - The best area to stay for luxury

Ginza main street in the evening

Ginza, renowned for its upscale shopping, fine dining, and entertainment, stands as the quintessential location for a luxury stay in Tokyo. This district, appealing to a mature and affluent clientele, is the embodiment of elegance and premium experiences.

Choosing a hotel in Ginza places you mere minutes away from exceptional shops, top-tier restaurants, and chic rooftop bars. Ideal for those seeking both luxury and convenience, Ginza is situated on the Tokyo Metro Ginza line, providing easy access to additional attractions in Shibuya and Asakusa.

While the hotels in Ginza are on the more expensive side, they compensate with outstanding service and luxurious accommodations. The district is a hub for luxury shopping, with flagship stores of renowned international brands like Chanel, Dior, and Louis Vuitton, alongside esteemed Japanese labels. Here, the selection of fashion, jewellery, and accessories is unmatched.

For gourmet enthusiasts, Ginza is a paradise, boasting an array of Michelin-starred establishments and exclusive sushi bars, delivering an unparalleled culinary experience. Renowned restaurants such as Ginza Okuda, Ginza Uchiyama, and Ginza Ibuki offer private or semi-private dining experiences, featuring premium kaiseki menus. This area is not for those seeking budget eats; even yakitori spots like Kuuraku carry a higher price tag, aligning with the area's upscale vibe.

Ginza also shines as a cultural hotspot with numerous art galleries and theatres, including the iconic Kabukiza Theatre, known for traditional Kabuki performances. On weekends, Chuo Dori, Ginza’s main thoroughfare, transforms into a pedestrian haven, perfect for leisurely exploring the luxurious shops without the hustle of traffic.

Best places to stay in Ginza

Ginza caters primarily to luxury travellers, and all hotels here reflect that. You can expect to find a wider range of luxury hotels with larger and lavishing rooms.

When I stayed in Ginza, I booked a room in the remm plus Ginza, a mid-range hotel. During my stay, I opted for a corner twin room, which I highly recommend. Not only was it spacious at 293 ft², but it also boasted spectacular views of Ginza. The room's thoughtful amenities, including a massage chair, were a practical luxury, especially after spending hours exploring the city. A Family Mart right downstairs added to the convenience. Moreover, my room, located on a higher floor, was remarkably quiet. The hotel's proximity to major metro lines was perhaps its most significant advantage. It was a mere 5-minute walk from Shimbashi Station, which connects to nine different metro lines, and a 10-minute walk to Ginza Station, servicing three metro lines. This accessibility made it incredibly easy to navigate Tokyo and explore its myriad attractions.

Near Hibiya park, overlooking the Imperial Palace, just minutes away from the Yūrakuchō Station (JR and Subway), you find The Peninsula and the Imperial Hotel Tokyo. Both are five star luxury hotels that will cost you over $3000 for a 4-night stay.

There are affordable hotels in Ginza too but in exchange, you do get very small rooms. KOKO HOTEL in Ginza 1-chome offers semi-double rooms for just over $100 per night. Quintessa Hotel is another great example of affordable hotel in Ginza but with rooms of just 140 ft².

My personal recommendation: remm plus Ginza

remm plus Ginza is a fantastic option for staying in Ginza and my go-to option for this area in Tokyo, because it's clean, quiet, has fairly large rooms and is extremely conveniently located. There is a massage chair in the room which feels so luxurious, the staff is lovely and accommodating and some rooms come with great views. The corner twin room is excellent, especially because it's much larger than what you normally get in Tokyo. The hotel has a Family Mart downstairs and it's just mere minutes from two metro stations, making it ideal for exploring the rest of the city.
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Luxury: Imperial Hotel Tokyo

At the Imperial Hotel Tokyo, you'll find yourself in the lap of luxury and history. Established in 1890, this hotel is famed for its top-notch hospitality. You're just a 5-minute walk from key stations like Ginza, Hibiya, and Yurakucho, making it super easy to zip around Tokyo. The rooms are elegant and spacious, and some overlook the Imperial Palace. My recommendation is to not miss an afternoon tea offered in the main lobby. You have 3 different 7-Elevent konbini within 3 minutes walk from the hotel. The hotel is also connected to the The Imperial Hotel Plaza which is a luxury shopping centre since 1983.
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Mid-range: Daiwa Roynet Hotel Ginza

Daiwa Roynet Hotel Ginza is conveniently located just 1 minute walk from Ginza-itchome Sta and a minute walk from a 7-eleven, Natural Lawson and a Family Mart. The hotel is clean and the rooms are decent-sized. However, I do advise that you book a twin room which is 248 feet² instead of the the economy double which has only 194 ft². The bed in all rooms is a standard double.
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Budget: Sotetsu Fresa Inn Ginza-Nanachome

In Ginza, Sotetsu Fresa Inn is my recommended budget-friendly accommodation, though it's worth noting that a typical double room in Sotetsu Fresa Inn measures around 128 ft², which can feel quite snug for a couple with two suitcases. You're only a 7-minute walk from Shimbashi Station and a 6-minute stroll to the main Ginza Station, making it incredibly convenient for exploring the city. Moreover, the proximity to Ginza Six, just a 2-minute walk away, is a real bonus. This place is a haven for anyone looking for coffee, a variety of restaurants, stunning rooftop views, and even a unique tea-themed cocktail bar.
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Asakusa - Best area to stay in Tokyo for budget

Somentaro okonomiyaki restaurant in Asakusa Tokyo

Asakusa is a historic neighbourhood in the east of Tokyo known for its affordable and larger accommodation options, making it a great area to stay if you need a budget-friendly hotel.

Asakusa is fantastic if you wish to enjoy traditional activities like sumo games or kimono dressing, want to enjoy a more budget-conscious shopping experience from the many Shotengai (shopping street). It's home to one of the top attractions in the city, Senso-ji, the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo. Asakusa is typically more budget friendly because it is slightly more removed from high - paced, modern areas like Shinjuku and Shibuya. This distance often means lower property and rental costs, which translates into more affordable accommodation options.

Asakusa has this beautiful traditional charm with a historic vibe. Nakamise Dori is a wonderful place for traditional shops and souvenirs and after dark, Hoppy Street is the place to be for a traditional izakaya experience. Because many visitors seek modern luxury when it comes to Tokyo, Asakusa tries to compete by offering more affordable accommodation.

And generally speaking, Asakusa's hotels and guesthouses typically target budget travellers, including students and backpackers, rather than business travellers or luxury seekers.

Don't worry, though, Asakusa is a very safe place, and it's very well-connected to other parts of Tokyo via the Asakusa Subway Station. You do, however, have to travel for about 30 minutes on the subway to get to places like Shinjuku and Shibuya.

Best hotels in Asakusa

For a fantastic stay in Asakusa, I recommend a traditional ryokan I stayed in called Cyashitsu Ryokan Asakusa. The best part about this ryokan is that the room comes with traditional futons and has a private bathroom as well. The breakfast is phenomenal and well-balanced. The ryokan's room are sound-proofed, which is so important when staying in a traditional Japanese inn. Furthermore, there is even an open-air-bath which accepts people with tattoos.

This sort of experience is usually available when you stay in Kyoto or other types of onsen stays. If you want an affordable yet traditional ryokan stay, I 100% recommend Cyashitsu Ryokan Asakusa enough. It's just 4 minutes to Senso-ji and 10 minutes to the main Asakusa Station. The closest konbini, a Lawson, is a 2-minute walk away.

For a comfortable, affordable and convenient stay, hotel MONday Asakusa is a great option. It has a Lawson downstairs, and it's a 3 minute walk from Senso-ji and Nakamise-Dori, 4 minutes from Hoppy Street and 5 minutes from a Don Quijote.

Other budget friendly hotels include Ryokan Asakusa Shigetsu with prices starting from $100 a night for a tatami room, Hotel Amanek Asakusa Ekimae or the APA Hotel Asakusa Kuramae Kita.

My go-to hotel in Asakusa: cyashitsu ryokan asakusa

For a memorable stay in Asakusa, I highly recommend Cyashitsu Ryokan Asakusa, a traditional ryokan where I had a wonderful experience. One of the highlights is the traditional futons provided in the rooms, each of which also has its own private bathroom. Another plus is that the rooms are soundproofed, an essential feature for peace and quiet in a traditional Japanese inn. Additionally, the ryokan offers an open-air bath, and I mentioned, yes, it does accept guests with tattoos. It's conveniently located just 4 minutes from Senso-ji and 10 minutes from Asakusa Station. Plus, there's a Lawson convenience store just a 2-minute walk away.
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Mid-range: Hotel The Gate Hotel Asakusa Kaminarimon by Hulic

The Gate Hotel is conveniently located just 2 minutes walk from the subway station, making it ideal if you want quick access to other attractions around the city. But the best part about this hotel is how large the standard double rooms are: you get a large double bed in a 258 feet² which is very decent for a couple travelling with suitcases. The top floor lounge offers stunning views of the Tokyo Skytree. For a 4-star hotel, it offers fantastic value for money.
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Affordable Ryokan: Ryokan Asakusa Shigetsu

An affordable ryokan experience right in the heart of Asakusa. Prices for a tatami room start from $100. You will sleep on a traditional futon and have access to a private bathroom. I recommend this for its convenience as it's only a few minutes from Senso-ji, Nakamise-dori and the main Asakusa station.
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Budget: Hotel Amanek Asakusa Ekimae

Hotel Amanek Asakusa Ekimae offers budget friendly rooms in an excellent location, just 200 metres from Asakusa Station. It has a Family Mart just across the street and it's perfectly positioned for evening strolls by the Sumida River. However, the rooms are on the small side, with a standard double being just 118 ft². I do recommend booking their twin rooms for some extra space and a more comfortable sleeping arrangement.
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Roppongi - The best area to stay for nightlife

Roppongi district at night - a great place to stay for nightlife

Roppongi, the heart of Tokyo's nightlife, is the perfect area to stay for those seeking a lively and varied night scene. The area is a haven for nightlife enthusiasts, boasting close to 100 nightclubs and discos that are foreigner-friendly, alongside a countless number of bars.

Roppongi Crossing is a great divide as on one side, you have the upscale Roppongi Hills, and on the other there's a lively network of alleys, alive with bars, cabarets, and clubs.

This diverse range of venues ensures that every night in Roppongi is filled with excitement and new experiences, catering to all preferences, whether you're looking for an upscale clubbing experience or a more relaxed pub vibe.

However, a word of caution: along the main strip, you might encounter touts trying to lure you into their establishments. My advice is to steer clear of them unless you're fluent in Japanese and know exactly what you're getting into. This caution helps to ensure your night out is both enjoyable and safe.

Roppongi's central location also makes it a convenient base for exploring Tokyo by day, with excellent transport links to other parts of the city. The area's extensive selection of dining options, which stay open late, is ideal for enjoying a meal before or after a night out.

Additionally, the district's reputation as a hub for contemporary art, with landmarks like the Mori Art Museum and Roppongi Hills, provides a unique cultural dimension to the nightlife experience.

Best places to stay in Roppongi

When it comes to staying in Roppongi, you can choose from a great selection of accommodations that cater to nightlife enthusiasts, with bars and clubs located minutes from your hotel.

The most expensive hotel here is The Ritz-Carlton but for a good reason. You will be staying in Tokyo's tallest building, with no less than 53-storeys. My favourite part? You can use the hot pool with city skyline views.

For affordable luxury, look no further than the Mitsui Garden Hotel Roppongi which is located just 6 minutes walk from the Roppongi Stations. You are surrounded by bars and restaurants, and you have a Daily Yamazaki konbini right across the street.

If you want to splurge on your night out instead of your accommodation, there are budget-friendly options in Roppongi, including the Sotetsu Fresa Inn Tokyo Roppongi. While small, a double room here is usually under $100 per night.

Luxury - Tokyo's tallest building: The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo

It's hard to imagine anything more luxurious than staying in Tokyo's tallest building. The views alone are worth it and on a clear day, you can see Mount Fuji directly from your room. The Ritz-Carlton offers all the amenities you could possibly ask for, and it's located just 4 minutes from the Roppongi Station. Don't miss a visit to The National Art Centre in Tokyo which is just 8 minutes from your hotel. Cross the Roppongi Crossing and find yourself in the heart of all the roppongi nightlife.
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Affordable Luxury: Mitsui Garden Hotel Roppongi Tokyo Premier

My top recommendation for Roppongi is the Mitsui Garden Hotel Roppongi Tokyo Premier because of its great location (6 minutes from the Roppongi Station) and well sized rooms (standard Queen at 267 feet²). You have one konbini across the road and you are mere minutes away from the nightlife in Roppongi. You are surrounded by steak restaurants and even international eateries. I especially recommend a trip to the Verve Coffee Roasters for a morning cup of coffee.
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Budget: Sotetsu Fresa Inn Tokyo Roppongi

For a budget-friendly option, I recommend the Sotetsu Fresa Inn Tokyo Roppongi with rooms usually priced at under $100 per night. While the rooms are fairly compact, they are affordable and the hotel itself is located just 2 minutes from the Roppongi Station. You will be very close to all the nightlife that Roppongi is known for, and have a konbini just across the road.
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Akihabara - Best place to stay in Tokyo for anime and technology enthusiasts

Akihabara Tokyo

Akihabara, known as Tokyo's main spot for tech and anime, is a great area to stay for fans of these things. If you love technology or anime, or both, choosing Akihabara for your Tokyo trip is a smart choice.

The district is home to Yodobashi Akiba, an extensive electronics retail store that's a must-visit for tech lovers. This sprawling complex offers a wide range of gadgets, from the latest tech innovations to everyday electronics. Nearby, Bic Camera caters to all kinds of electronic and household needs, ensuring you can find virtually anything tech-related. Make sure to bring your passport with you to enjoy tax-free shopping.

For anime fans, Animate Akihabara is a treasure trove, filled with a vast selection of anime merchandise, while Mandarake Complex specializes in pre-owned manga, toys, and collectibles. Akihabara's Book Off is particularly unique, being a second-hand shop that specializes in electronics, providing a chance to snag some great deals.

Location-wise, the Akihabara Station is well-connected, being on the Yamanote Line and having access to the Hibiya Line. It's about 20 minutes to Shinjuku and 30 minutes to Shibuya by train. However, it's worth noting that Akihabara is primarily geared towards those interested in anime and subcultures. As such, it might not appeal to everyone.

One downside is the limited dining options in the area. While there are eateries, they might not meet everyone's expectations, especially if you're looking for a fine dining experience. You may find yourself taking the subway to other districts for a wider variety of food and landmarks.

Best places to stay in Akihabara

Akihabara is mainly geared towards mid-range, business hotel and budget accommodation options.

My top recommendation for Akihabara is Hotel Resol. It's affordable and compact, and the rooms are clean. It's a budget-friendly hotel in Akihabara located just 5 minutes from the main Akihabara station. Try to score a room overlooking the Kanda River which looks so beautiful and serene, especially at night. Even though this hotel is so close to the train tracks, the sound proofing is excellent. You will be in electric town, without all the crazy Tokyo noise. There is a Lawson just 1 minute walk from the hotel.

Akihabara is not the place for luxury hotels, but you can still get a comfortable room in the 4-star NOHGA HOTEL. Their superior double rooms are 226 ft² which is very good for its prime location. The hotel is 7 minute walk to the Akihabara station but you are just a couple of minutes away from Mandarake, Animate and Don Quijote. There is a Family Mart one minute away from the hotel.

For budget friendly hotels in Akihabara I recommend UNDER RAILWAY and Comfort Hotel. Both of them have rooms for under $100 per night and are 5 and 10 minutes walk away from the main Akihabara Station.

🔊 Top Tip: If you are a light sleeper, be aware that hotels facing the Ueno Express Way may be noisy due to the traffic, even at night.

My top recommendation for Akihabara: Hotel Resol Akihabara

For Akihabara, my go to accommodation has been Hotel Resol Akihabara. While the rooms are fairly compact, they are very clean and well-organised. I love the bed as the mattress is on the harder side, making it very comfortable to sleep on. I recommend a room which overlooks the Kanda River as it looks very beautiful, especially at night. While you are just minutes from the train tracks, the sound proofing is excellent. The nearest konbini is a Daily Yamazaki, just 2 minutes from the main entrance.
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Mid-range: NOHGA HOTEL AKIHABARA TOKYO

NOHGA HOTEL is one of the few 4 star hotels located in Akihabara. This hotel is ideally located just mere minutes from all the attractions and main shops Akihabara has to offer. It's off the main road and far enough from the train tracks to ensure you have a comfortable night sleep. It's only 7 minutes walk to the main Akihabara station making it convenient for visiting other parts of Tokyo as well.
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Budget: APA Hotel Akihabaraeki-Denkigaiguchi

Apa Hotel is a classic busines hotel chain in Japan so you expect pretty standard, buget friendly rooms. The rooms are generally small, around 118 ft². Please be mindful when you book, as some rooms are still smoker friendly. This Apa Hotel Akihabara is just 6 minutes walk to the main station and located less than 3 minutes from all the main electronic stores you'd expect to enjoy in Akihabara.
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Ueno - Best area to stay for families

The beautiful pine at Ueno Park

Staying in the Ueno area is a fantastic choice for families visiting Tokyo because of its residential character, quiet streets and high safety levels, making it ideal for those travelling with children.

Ueno Park, the main attraction in Ueno, is a haven for families. This expansive green space, dotted with shrines, temples, and a picturesque pond where you can enjoy pedal boating, offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city. It's a perfect spot for a family picnic, leisurely walks, or just to let children play and explore.

One of the biggest advantages of staying in Ueno is its proximity to the main Ueno Station. This station is not only a hub for local Tokyo travel, making it incredibly easy to explore different parts of the city, but it's also a major station for the Shinkansen (bullet trains). This accessibility is a huge plus for families planning day trips or looking to include other Japanese cities in the itinerary.

Moreover, Ueno is known for its concentration of museums, including many that are very family-friendly. These museums offer educational and entertaining experiences for kids, making Ueno not just a convenient place to stay, but also a culturally enriching one.

Top tip: Stay in Ueno if you are planning to take day trips to the north of Japan because Shinkansens heading that way stop at the Ueno Station. Most common destination to go for from Ueno include Nikko, Nagano, or the Snow Monkey Park.

Best places to stay in Ueno

Unlike some of the more bustling areas of Tokyo, Ueno's accommodations often offer more spacious room options. This extra space is essential for families, especially those with children, as it allows for a more comfortable and relaxed stay. Mimaru Tokyo offers family apartments for 4 or 6 family members. The rooms are clean and spacious and they come with a dining table and access to a private kitchen.

Alternatively, stay at hotel MONday Asakusa which offers very decent-sized family rooms with can accommodate up to 4 people. stayme Ueno has private suites which can accommodate families of 4, with beds and bunk beds for the kids.

For a super studio for your family, opt for Section L Ueno which is a recently renovated aparthotel.

Japanese Style Apartment: Mimaru Tokyo Ueno East

This is a fantastic hotel for families who need family apartments to accommodate the parents and the kids. You'll have access to a kitchen and a dining table which is essential for a family who needs more amenities. This hotel is only 4 minutes walk from the main Ueno Station which has a wealth of restaurants and shops. Cross the station and find yourself exploring the large Ueno Park. There is a Lawson konbini just 3 minutes walk away.
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Family-friendly stay: stayme THE HOTEL Ueno

Stayme offers several options for families including smaller studios for those who are on a budget and private suites for those who need more space. The apartments do come with small kitchens and a washing machine, which is super handy for when you need to travel light and wash clothes on the go to maximise your suitcase space. the hotel is just a 2 minute walk from the main Ueno Station and the nearest Family Mart.
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Studios for families: Section L Ueno-Hirokoji

Great studios for families looking to stay in an aparthotel. You can book a smaller studio or a larger family room depending on your needs and family size. They even have large suites with saunas which are 753 ft², considered huge for Tokyo. Each unit comes with kitchen and a dining area. Section L Ueno-Hirokoji is a 10 minute walk to the main Ueno Station and 8 minute walk to the entrance of Ueno Park. Your nearest konbini is a Family Mart, just 1 minute walk away.
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Nohonbashi - Best place to stay for a central location

Nihonbashi - near the main Tokyo station

Nihonbashi, a district often bypassed by tourists in favour of Tokyo's busier areas, is a hidden gem for those seeking upscale tranquil nights. During my first-ever trip to Tokyo, I chose a hotel in Nihonbashi and was delighted by the quietude at night. The district, primarily a business area with a high concentration of office buildings, becomes peaceful in the evenings as the office crowd disperses, offering a serene environment for hotel guests.

This quiet, however, means you might have to travel slightly further for amenities. Nearby Tokyo Station (5-10 minute walk) serves as a hub for shopping and dining. During the day, several department stores like Kitte Building, Marunouchi, and Coredo, feature shopping and dining options. The top floors of these buildings are a gastronomic paradise, featuring a diverse array of restaurants which normally stay open until late at night. Additionally, Tokyo Station is renowned for its depachikas, like Daimaru, with an impressive selection of cakes and ready-made meals.

Shinkansen going in and out of the Tokyo train station

Despite its tranquillity, Nihonbashi is strategically positioned, with pricier accommodation options such as Shangri-La, Oakwood, and Bulgari. This reflects its prime location, especially being just a 15-minute walk from the bustling Ginza district. Here, you can enjoy upscale shopping, dining, and entertainment during the day, then retreat to the calm of Nihonbashi at night.

Nihonbashi's proximity to Tokyo Station means access to 25 metro and JR lines, making it effortless to explore Tokyo. Nihonbashi, with its mix of serenity, luxury, and location, provides a balanced experience for Tokyo, appealing to those seeking a quieter, yet conveniently located, stay in the city.

Best place to stay in Nihonbashi

Nihonbashi has plenty of hotels which mainly cater to an affluent clientele who wants luxury stays just mere minutes away from the main Tokyo Station. Shangri-La Tokyo, Four Seasons, Oakwood Premier Tokyo and Bulgari Hotel Tokyo are well known for their utmost luxury and a very high price tag.

The hotel I first ever stayed in is called Hotel Monte Hermana. It's a comfortable and clean 4 star hotel located just 6 minutes from the Nihonbashi station and 4 minute walk to the main Tokyo Station. Being so close to the Yaesu artery of the station meant access to many coffee shops for breakfast. Just a minute walk, there is a Lawson for quick snacks.

My recommended hotel in Nihonbashi: Hotel Monte Hermana Tokyo

For Nihonbashi, I would not hesitate to stay again in the Hotel Monte Hermana. This is a great mid-range 4-star hotel, with a very well sized bed in a room that's 183 ft². The room was very clean and comfortable and quiet at night. If you do visit in the summer, I must advise that the air conditioning is fairly noisy, though. I loved the location of the hotel, being literally in what felt like the central of Tokyo, 20 minute from Shinjuku and 20 minute from Asakusa. All the restaurants and amenities were located in and near the main train station, including great local coffee chains for breakfast.
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Luxury: Shangri-La Tokyo

One of the top luxury hotels in the whole of Tokyo, you just know it's strategically located for their affluent visitors to enjoy the absolute best of the city. Shangri-La Tokyo is a 2-minute walk from Otemachi Subway Station (Tozai Line, Exit B7) and a 3-minute walk from Nihonbashi Subway Station (Ginza Line, Exit A3).
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Luxury: Oakwood Premier Tokyo

Another upscale stay in Nihonbashi is Oakwood Premier Tokyo which literally right next to the Tokyo Station. I recommend this hotel if you are after a luxurious studio stay in the city. Their units are 355 ft² and come with very large stunning kitchens, especially for Japanese standards and have their own washing machine for utmost convenience.
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Mid-range: karaksa hotel TOKYO STATION

If you want to be in central Tokyo located just 200 metres from Bellesalle Yaesu, then Karasa hotel is the perfect place to stay. Their standard double rooms come with a very large and comfortable bed which is a great luxury for Tokyo and ideal for a couple who loves space. The room itself is also decent sized, being 237 ft². The hotel is just 4 minutes from the Tokyo Station and it has a Family Mart next door.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Tokyo

  • What part of Tokyo is best to stay?

    The best area to stay in Tokyo is Shinjuku. It's super well-connected to every part of the city, there are plenty of hotels for all budgets, and there is a lot to do.

    Other areas in Tokyo you should consider:

    • Shibuya: Famous for its iconic crossing and fashionable youth culture, Shibuya is a popular area for young travellers who want to experience Tokyo's trendy side.
    • Ginza: Considered one of Tokyo's most upscale neighbourhoods, Ginza is known for its high-end shopping, gourmet restaurants, and luxury hotels.
    • Asakusa: Home to Tokyo's oldest temple, Senso-ji, Asakusa is a great choice for travellers who want to experience Tokyo's traditional side and immerse themselves in Japanese culture.
    • Roppongi: A popular area for nightlife and entertainment, Roppongi is a fantastic area to experience Tokyo's vibrant club scene.
  • Best place to stay in Tokyo on a budget?

    Asakusa is the best place to stay in Tokyo if you're on a budget. There are plenty of guest houses and good quality but affordable hotels.

    The best budget accommodation close to Asakusa, less than $65/night:

  • Is it better to stay in Shibuya or Shinjuku?

    Both Shinjuku and Shibuya are popular areas and great places to stay in Tokyo. Shibuya is better for shopping, restaurants and upscale bars. Shinjuku is better for nightlife.

    • Shibuya is known for its trendy and fashionable vibe, with plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. It's a popular destination for those who want to experience Tokyo's youth culture and nightlife. Shibuya is also conveniently located on the Yamanote Line, making it easy to explore other areas of Tokyo.
    • Shinjuku, on the other hand, is known for its bustling atmosphere and variety of entertainment options, including numerous bars, restaurants, and shopping centres. It's also home to Tokyo's red-light district, Kabukicho, which can be exciting or overwhelming depending on your preferences. Shinjuku Station is also one of the busiest train stations in the world, connecting you to various parts of Tokyo and beyond.
  • Where to stay in Tokyo for first timers?

    Shinjuku is the best area to stay in Tokyo for first time visitors because it's close to many attractions, restaurants, and bars as well as metro stations for quick access to other areas.

    We have collected all the information about where to stay in Tokyo to help you make a decision.

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

What do you think?

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

Your Comment

C
Cyndee

Loved the article. very informative. Its late where I am so will write more later. But I did. want to ask about your opinion of Okura Hotel in Tokyo. I like luxury but at a reasonable price. Only time in Japan was 11 YRS AGO and I stayed with points at The Ritz Carlton in Roppongi, it was fabulous. But I do not have enough points this time. I like good concierge to help with reservations and other things I may need so the that is important to me. Will get back to you later but in the meantime, I will look for your reply on Okura Hotel. ( rooms, location and service and concierge and near to transportation etc, ). Many thanks.

M
Michelle

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.

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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.

L
Lara

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.

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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.

A
Adrian David

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.
Adrian

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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!

M
Michael Wellington

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?

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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.

N
Nica

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.

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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

P
Paul Graff

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

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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: https://www.youcouldtravel.com/travel-blog/kyoto-onsen

I hope this helps. Have fun and safe travels

V
Victoria

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!

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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.
https://booki.ng/2CGV3H1
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: https://booki.ng/2LE7VAt (not super cheap but Kyoto tends to be quite expensive)

Have lots and lots of fun.

S
Steve Saliente

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.

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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,

Cory

S
Sue Zaan

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

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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.

J
Javi

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!

R
Ruth Graham

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

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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,
Cory

M
Mabel Low

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?

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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-> https://www.booking.com/hotel/jp/3000-jyuraku.en-us.html?aid=1150290

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

a
alex

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

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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!

J
Jude

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.

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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

E
Enrique Salamat

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.

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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 :)

J
Jun Cua

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?

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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 http://www.japan-accessible.com/transport.htm

y
yeliz

Thanks! Have a nice day :D

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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

y
yeliz

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 :/

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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!

Y
Yeliz

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.

Sincerly

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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

Cory

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Alex

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.

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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.

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Wendy F

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!

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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:
https://www.booking.com/hotel/jp/kimi-ryokan.en-gb.html?aid=1150290;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,

Cory

C
Colin de Souza

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!

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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: https://www.youcouldtravel.com/travel-blog/everything-you-need-to-know-a...
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:

https://www.youcouldtravel.com/travel-blog/how-to-behave-in-japan-essent...

https://www.youcouldtravel.com/travel-blog/7-day-tokyo-itinerary

https://www.youcouldtravel.com/travel-blog/where-to-stay-in-osaka

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

Kind Regards,

Cory

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Alethia

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.

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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:
https://www.youcouldtravel.com/travel-blog/7-day-tokyo-itinerary

https://www.youcouldtravel.com/travel-blog/how-to-plan-the-perfect-japan...

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

https://www.youcouldtravel.com/travel-blog/everything-you-need-to-know-a...

Any questions, please let me know.

Kind regards,
Cory :)

m
mirela16

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 :)

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Anisa

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.

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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.

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Elou S

Hi,

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.

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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

V
Venencia

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?
Thanks

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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.

N
Nick

Hi Cory,
Thanks for Sharing Information about Tokyo Nightlife.

R
Ryan Biddulph

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.

Ryan

R
Rob Taylor

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

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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.

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Andreas

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 !!

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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.

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Andreas

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.

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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. https://www.youcouldtravel.com/travel-blog/understanding-the-tokyo-subwa...
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: https://www.econnectjapan.com/products/sim/
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 mistakes...like 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. https://www.youcouldtravel.com/travel-blog/how-to-behave-in-japan-essent...

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

C
Cherene Saradar

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.

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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

M
Monica

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

Cory Varga
Cory Varga - You Could Travel

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.

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