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Where to stay in Tokyo

Find the best accommodation in Tokyo, Japan - Comprehensive Guide

Where to stay in Tokyo for tourists

Wondering where to stay in Tokyo? In this thoroughly researched 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 very close to Tokyo's top attractions like the Golden Gai, the Omoide Yokocho, bustling markets and many restaurants.

There are endless things to do in Shinjuku, including visiting the red district, 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.

Where to stay in Tokyo for tourists

These are our recommendations for the best areas to pick in Tokyo based on the type of traveller you are.

Without a doubt, Shinjuku is the best area to stay in Tokyo if you are a first time visitor or tourist.

Shinjuku - Where to stay in Tokyo as a first-time 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 multi-story 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 - the 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

Luxury: Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo Premier Grand

Keio Plaza Hotel is in the heart of Shinjuku, so this is the right hotel for travellers who are after a top hotel right in the heart of Tokyo. Expect a fantastic outdoor pool and an incredible spa. This is a luxury bucket list hotel!
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Mid-range: Nishitetsu Inn Shinjuku

Nishitetsu Inn Shinjuku is a modern hotel with great rooms for affordable prices. This is a mid-range accommodation in the heart of Shinjuku. You get free access to Wi-Fi, an air-conditioned room, fridge and an electric kettle.
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Budget: Hotel Shinjuku Prince Hotel

Right next to the lively Kabukicho area, Shinjuku Prince Hotel is a 5-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station. It features a Japanese restaurant with panoramic city views. The hotel is a 10-minute walk from Isetan Department Store and a 10-minute drive from Shinjuku Gyoen Garden.
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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

Read More

Luxury: Hotel Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel, A Pan Pacific Partner Hotel

Centrally located in Shibuya, Cerulean Tower Tokyu is a luxury hotel and a great place to stay. It's located just 5 minutes walk from the Shibuya Station and a 2 minutes subway ride from Harajuku. Enjoy the 8 on-site restaurants and unwind in the sauna or hot tub, or enjoy a treatment in the beauty salon. The many other facilities include a pastry shop and a nursery.
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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 short walk from Hachiko Statue and Shibuya. Expect spacious rooms and fantastic views of Tokyo's skyline.
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Budget: Hotel The Millennials Shibuya

The adult only Millennials Shibuya has a terrace and rooms with free WiFi access. Popular points of interest nearby include NHK Studio Park, Shibuya Center Town and Meiji Jingu Shrine. The accommodation offers a shared kitchen and a shared lounge for guests. Each room has a shared bathroom with free toiletries. Bread and pastries are served each morning.
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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

Luxury: Imperial Hotel Tokyo

Situated in a central location with 3 metro stations within a 5-minute walk, Imperial Hotel Tokyo is a prestigious hotel renowned for providing first-class hospitality for over a century since 1890. This is a top-notch hotel in Ginza, but it comes with a price tag. The perfect choice to stay for truly luxury travellers.
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Mid-range: Hotel The Gate Hotel Tokyo by Hulic

The Gate Hotel Tokyo by Hulic is a mid-range accommodation in Ginza suitable for travellers who want to enjoy a western-style larger room in Tokyo.
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Budget: Hotel Agora Tokyo Ginza

Located right next door to Ginza, 4-star hotel Agora Tokyo Ginza offers air-conditioned rooms, a shared lounge, free WiFi and a garden while catering for the more budget conscious travellers.
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Chiyoda - Where To Stay In Tokyo for business tourists

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

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

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 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. Nevertheless, you will probably stay in Chiyoda just in the evening, when there are no crowds around.

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

Things to do in Chiyoda

  • Imperial Palace & Gardens
  • Yasukuni Shrine
  • Tokyo Station
  • Akihabara

Luxury: Hotel The Peninsula Tokyo

The Peninsula Tokyo pampers its guests with a spa centre and a fitness club with a swimming pool and sun loungers, overlooking the Imperial Palace Gardens. It's a 3-minute walk from Ginza shopping district, and offers concierge services. Tokyo Station is just a 5-minute drive away. Guests can relax with a massage or beauty treatment, or unwind in a sauna or an aromatherapy shower.
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Mid-range: Hotel Myoujin-no-Yu Dormy Inn Premium Kanda

Conveniently located just a minute's walk away from Exit 6 of Kanda Station, Myoujin-no-Yu Dormy Inn Premium Kanda offers Western-style rooms. There is a 24-hour front desk and free luggage storage. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property. All guest rooms are air conditioned, heated and have soundproofing.
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Budget: Hotel Sui Kanda

Ideally located in the Chiyoda district of Tokyo, Hotel Sui Kanda is a short walk away from Ryoshainari Shrine and Yanagi Inari Shrine. Featuring a restaurant, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk, and currency exchange and laundry.
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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

Luxury: Hotel The Tokyo Station Hotel

Stay at the luxurious Tokyo Station Hotel right next to the Marunouchi shopping centre in the heart of Tokyo. This hotel is registered as an Important Cultural Property and boasts gorgeous rooms in a classical European style.
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High-end: Hotel Courtyard by Marriott Tokyo Station

Courtyard by Marriott Tokyo Station is a four-star hotel that offers modern and quiet rooms. Get access to all the amenities you will need around the Tokyo Station and come back to a quiet and relaxing accommodation.
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Budget: Hotel Hotel Intergate Tokyo Kyobashi

Hotel Intergate Tokyo Kyobashi is a great budget accommodation by the Tokyo Station. The hotel is very quiet in the evening, making it great to relax after a long day of exploring.
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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 fascinating 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 remarkable 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 great location to stay as a budget traveller because you will find a great concentration of hostels and budget hotel rooms in the area. Asakusa might not very close to the Yamanote line, so don't be afraid to take the trains from the nearby smaller stations. You will actually save money in Asakusa that you can spend on food and souvenirs.

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.

Visiting Senso-ji, Asakusa, Tokyo

  • Sensō-ji Shrine
  • Denboin Garden
  • Sumida Park Waterfront
  • Nakamise Shopping Street
  • Asakusa Shin-Nakamise Market
  • Hanayashiki Amusement Park

Luxury: Hotel Hotel Gracery Asakusa

Less than a km from Sensoji Temple, Hotel Gracery Asakusa provides 4-star accommodation for the tourist who wants to enjoy a little luxury for a better price tag than in the tourist districts of Tokyo. Don't forget to ask at the reception to arrange for a traditional Rickshaw experience.


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Mid-range: Hotel The Gate Hotel Asakusa Kaminarimon by Hulic

The Gate Hotel is conveniently located in the historic neighbourhood of Asakusa. Just 2 minutes walk from the subway station, making it ideal if you want quick access to other attractions around the city.
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Budget: Hotel APA Hotel Asakusa Ekimae

APA Hotel Asakusa Ekimae is 900 m from Sensoji Temple. This is a very well priced hotel which can enable you to save on accommodation and enjoy more traditional experiences in Asakusa or shop for many souvenirs.
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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. People waiting in long queues 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. Learn more about things to do in Akihabara in our dedicated article. All in all, Akihabara is the geeky heart of Tokyo, where people stay to find electronic equipment, anime, and manga.

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

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 has fantastic accommodations for shopping lovers who want to explore a cheaper side of Tokyo. We bought a talking fridge Penguin from Don Quijote.

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

Luxury: Hotel hotel MONday Premium Ueno Okachimachi

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

Mid-range: Hotel Akihabara Washington Hotel

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

Budget: Hotel APA Hotel Akihabaraeki-Denkigaiguchi

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

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 candy floss to multi-layered ice creams or even bear-shaped cappuccinos. It's a place for crazy shopping if you want something cool and trendy or want to photograph youngsters dressed in lolitas or steampunk.

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 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 candy floss, 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.

Luxury: Hotel TRUNK (HOTEL)

Located 11-minute walk from JR Shibuya Station, Trunk (Hotel) offers free Wi-Fi throughout the property. A bar and two restaurants are available, alongside 24-hour front desk and concierge service. Guests can unwind in the shared garden and terrace, or shop for souvenirs at the gift shop on site.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: Hotel Dormy Inn Premium Shibuya-jingumae

Located just 5 minutes walk from Meiji Jingumae Subway Station, the completely non-smoking Dormy Inn Premium is perfect for tourists interested in the vibrant district of Harajuku. This is a great mid-range modern accommodation option in Tokyo.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Budget: Hotel Hotel Wing International Premium Shibuya

Just a 15 minutes walk from Harajuku, Hotel Wing International Premium Shibuya features views of the city, a restaurant, air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi and private bathrooms. The property is close to popular attractions like Hachiko Statue, Moyai Statue and Shibuya Mark City.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

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 nighttime 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 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

Luxury: Hotel Candeo Hotels Tokyo Roppongi

Located just half a km from Roppongi Hills and Tokyo City View Observation Deck, Candeo Hotels Tokyo Roppongi is the right choice for party goers. The property is also close to Mori Art Museum, Tokyo Tower and Nezu Museum, so you can spend your time browsing art during the day.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: Hotel Act Hotel Roppongi

Stay in Act Hotel Roppongi just around the corner from Roppongi Hills and the Tokyo City View Observation Deck. Featuring a sun terrace, this property is situated near attractions such as Mori Art Museum. It's a good accommodation option for tourists who want to enjoy the nightlife in Roppongi.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Budget: Hotel APA Hotel Roppongi Ekimae

Conveniently located a 1-minute walk from Roppongi Subway Station on the Hibiya and Oedo lines, APA Hotel Roppongi Ekimae is a great budget option for tourists who want to be close to the main nightclubs. It's also great for those who need quick access to the metro station to explore other parts of Tokyo during the day.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

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 as 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 many shops, restaurants and bars to 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

Mid-range: Hotel APA Hotel Keisei Ueno Ekimae

APA Hotel Keisei Ueno Ekimae is a great mid-range hotel for those who want to be close to Ueno park, key transportation system and also all the important museums in Tokyo.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Budget: Hotel Hotel Sardonyx Ueno

Hotel Sardonyx Ueno offers free Western-style breakfast and its 8-minute walk from Keisei Ueno Train Station with direct high-speed rail link to Narita Airport. Simplicity and comfort define the air-conditioned rooms equipped with an LCD TV, fridge and an electric kettle with green tea. The en suite bathroom has a bath with a shower.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

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

Shopping

  • Decks
  • Aqua City
  • Venus Fort

Luxury: Hotel Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba

Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba is the closest city resort hotel to central Tokyo. The spacious guest rooms of this hotel feature elegant European-style decor. Stay here for the upper floors that boast panoramic views of Tokyo Bay, as well as views of the Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Tower.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Mid-range: Hotel Daiwa Roynet Hotel Tokyo Ariake

Located in the Koto Ward district of Tokyo, Daiwa Roynet Hotel Tokyo Ariake is situated less than 0.6 miles from Tokyo Water Science Museum, a 17-minute walk from Ariake West Terminal Park and 1.1 miles from Palette Town.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Budget: Hotel Sotetsu Grand Fresa Tokyo-Bay Ariake

Sotetsu Grand Fresa Tokyo-Bay Ariake offers comfortable individually decorated rooms with free Wi-Fi and spectacular night views of the bay area. It houses a convenience store, a restaurant and a cafe. It is just a 3-minute walk from Kokusai Tenjjijo Station.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Tokyo Disneyland Resort - Where To Stay In Tokyo if you are 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.

Tokyo Disney: Hotel Okura Tokyo Bay

Located right in front of Bayside Station on the Disney Resort Line, Hotel Okura Tokyo Bay boasts 4 restaurants, a bar, spa and fitness centre including a gym and an indoor swimming pool. Stay here if you want to reach Tokyo Disneyland in 10 minutes and Tokyo Disney Sea in 5 minutes from Bayside Station using the Disney Resort Line monorail.​
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Tokyo Disney: Hotel Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel

Official hotel of Tokyo Disney Resort, Sheraton Tokyo Bay offers indoor and outdoor pools, speciality Disney shops, a kids’ play area and 4 dining options. Stay here if you want to be just 2-minute walk from Bayside Station on the Disney Resort Line. From the balcony, most rooms have views of the Disney Resort or Tokyo Bay.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

Tokyo Disney: Resort Hilton Tokyo Bay

The crème de la crème, the Hilton Tokyo Bay Hotel is the official hotel of Tokyo Disney Resort. Stay here if you want views of the ocean or Disney Resort. The Bayside Monorail Station on the Disney Resort Line is just a 6-minute walk or 1-minute shuttle ride away and goes directly to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea.
➡️ Book on Booking.com

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.

What do you think?

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

Your Comment

M
Michelle
11 Nov 2019

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

C
Cory
19 Nov 2019

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

L
Lara
02 Nov 2019

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

C
Cory
19 Nov 2019

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

A
Adrian David
18 Nov 2019

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

C
Cory
19 Nov 2019

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

M
Michael Wellington
19 Nov 2019

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

C
Cory
19 Nov 2019

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

N
Nica
06 Nov 2019

Hi Cory,

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

C
Cory
07 Nov 2019

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

P
Paul Graff
11 Mar 2019

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

C
Cory
29 Mar 2019

Hi Paul,

8 days in Japan will be awesome. You'll love it there.
We recommend 3 nights in Tokyo, 3 nights in Kyoto, 1 night in a ryokan in the mountains of Kyoto: https://www.youcouldtravel.com/travel-blog/kyoto-onsen

I hope this helps. Have fun and safe travels

V
Victoria
28 Dec 2018

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

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

C
Cory
30 Dec 2018

Hi Victoria,

Thank you for your message. We recommend this hotel in Tokyo in Chiyoda. We stayed there and we thought was great. It was very quiet which I think is essential for you and your small baby.
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
19 Dec 2018

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

C
Cory
30 Dec 2018

Hi Steve,

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

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

Kind Regards,

Cory

S
Sue Zaan
28 Sep 2018

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

C
Cory
04 Oct 2018

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

J
Javi
25 Sep 2018

Hi Cory,

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

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

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

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

Thanks a lot and keep up this good work!

R
Ruth Graham
07 Sep 2018

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

Many thanks. Happy travels!! Ruth

C
Cory
07 Sep 2018

Dear Ruth,

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

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

Kind Regards,
Cory

M
Mabel Low
07 Jul 2018

Hi Cory,

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

C
Cory
10 Jul 2018

Hi Mabel,

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

You can book it here-> 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
08 Apr 2018

Hi Cory,

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

appreciate your help

C
Cory
09 Apr 2018

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

J
Jude
14 Mar 2018

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

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Cory
16 Mar 2018

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

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Enrique Salamat
03 Feb 2018

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

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Cory
05 Feb 2018

Hi Enrique,

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

J
Jun Cua
03 Feb 2018

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

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Cory
05 Feb 2018

Hi Jun,

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

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yeliz
20 Jan 2018

Thanks! Have a nice day :D

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Cory
20 Jan 2018

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

y
yeliz
19 Jan 2018

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

C
Cory
20 Jan 2018

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

Y
Yeliz
12 Jan 2018

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

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

What do you recommend for tickets and transportations?

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

I have researched it, but I still feel lost.

I hope you can help.

Sincerly

C
Cory
18 Jan 2018

Hi Yeliz,

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

Any questions, let me know. Happy to help

Cory

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Alex
03 Jan 2018

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

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Cory
04 Jan 2018

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

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Wendy F
06 Nov 2017

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

C
Cory
07 Nov 2017

Hi Wendy,

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

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Colin de Souza
03 Nov 2017

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

C
Cory
05 Nov 2017

Hi Colin,

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

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

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

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

4) Please have a read: 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
23 Sep 2017

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

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Cory
24 Sep 2017

Hi Alethia,

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

Here are some links:
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 :)

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mirela16
12 Sep 2017

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

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Anisa
05 Sep 2017

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

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Cory
06 Sep 2017

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

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Elou S
22 Aug 2017

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.

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Cory
22 Aug 2017

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

V
Venencia
19 Aug 2017

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

C
Cory
22 Aug 2017

Hi Valencia,

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

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

N
Nick
18 Aug 2017

Hi Cory,
Thanks for Sharing Information about Tokyo Nightlife.

R
Ryan Biddulph
07 Jun 2017

Hi Cory,

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

Ryan

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Rob Taylor
30 May 2017

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

C
Cory
31 May 2017

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

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Andreas
06 Mar 2017

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

C
Cory
07 Mar 2017

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

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Andreas
09 Mar 2017

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

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

C
Cory
09 Mar 2017

Hi Andreas,

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

There are so many things you are going to love about Japan and the moment you get to understand it, you will become addicted to it. I know, I did!
Don't be too worried about the subway. In fact, I have an article explaining how it works. 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

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Cherene Saradar
24 Dec 2016

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

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Cory
26 Dec 2016

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

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Monica
24 Dec 2016

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

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Cory
26 Dec 2016

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