Where to stay in Tokyo - Best Areas to Stay in Tokyo for 2023
Explore the Best Accommodation Options in Tokyo, Japan. A Comprehensive Guide to Finding the Perfect Place to Stay in Tokyo
Are you wondering where to stay in Tokyo? We have visited Japan and Tokyo many times over the years and wanted to share our experience with you and help you find the best place to stay in Tokyo.
Shinjuku is the best place to stay in Tokyo for first time visitors. You are right in the heart of the city, with easy public transport to most places you want to visit, and there are so many hotel options to pick from.
In this article, we will explain which areas are best to stay in and why, whether you like shopping, culture, nightlife or just want to take it all in.
Table of ContentsOpen
What part of Tokyo is best to stay?
The best areas 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.
Is it better to stay in Shibuya or Shinjuku?
Both Shinjuku and Shibuya are great places to stay in Tokyo. Shibuya is better for shopping, restaurants and upscale bars. Shinjuku is better for nightlife.
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.
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.
|❤️ Best Area for first-timers:||Shinjuku|
|💎 Best luxury 5* hotel:||Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo|
|🏨 Best mid-range hotel:||The Blossom Hibiya|
|🛏️ Best budget hotel:||Tokyu Stay Shinjuku Eastside|
Stay in Shinjuku if it's your first time visiting Tokyo
Shinjuku is a huge neighbourhood on the west side of Tokyo. It's popular with tourists, and it is a very busy area in Tokyo.
Shinjuku is home to the iconic, giant neon lights, colourful lit up streets frequently featured in TV shows and movies. Shinjuku is the real, beating heart of a vibrant, modern Tokyo.
Shinjuku is the best place to stay in Tokyo for tourist and anyone visiting the city the first time. Because of its popularity, hotel prices are slightly higher than in other areas, but you are compensated with a wide range of restaurants, bars and outstanding street food.
Everything you need is conveniently located just around the corner from your hotel, including modern shopping malls, attractions, and parks. While Shinjuku has many skyscrapers, it is also easy to get lost in its myriad small streets.
Shinjuku Station is one of the largest stations in the world. You get access to over 20 subway lines and JR routes. Using the subway will save you a lot of time, and it's cheaper than taking a taxi.
Where to Stay in Shinjuku
The high-end luxury hotels are mostly on the west side of the station, around the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Like Keio Plaza, Hyatt Regency and Kyushu Hotel Blossom are all fantastic hotels with large rooms and outstanding service. The average price is about $1200 for 4 nights.
On the north-east, in Kabukicho, there are plenty of 4 and 3-star hotels for a much lower price. Pick Tokyu Stay Shinjuku Eastside or Citadines Central, these hotels have decent sized rooms and located walking distance from the main station building. 4 nights will cost around $300-$400.
Our top hotel picks in Shinjuku are:
- Luxury: Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo Premier Grand
- Mid-range: Nishitetsu Inn Shinjuku
- Budget: Citadines Central Shinjuku
Stay in Shibuya for shopping & food
About 10-15 minutes south of Shinjuku, is the largest and most populous neighbourhood, Shibuya.
Shibuya is a well-known meeting point and tons of attractions are nearby, including shopping, eating and partying. No surprise that it attracts the younger crowds compared to other, more traditional neighbourhoods.
It's home to many vending machine restaurants, including the famous Ichiran ramen, which makes it easier for tourists to order food on a budget.
Many shops sell merchandise related to Japanese pop (J-Pop) and anime. Street vendors sell fluffy pancakes and other colourful sweets, which you won’t be able to resist.
There are many things to do in Shibuya including the Shibuya crossing, the Shibuya station, Shibuya Center-Street, Shibuya Sky and more.
Where to stay in Shibuya
Shibuya is the perfect place to stay for shopping, nightlife, eating local cuisine and feeling the Tokyo vibe. Stay You are conveniently located close to Harajuku and Omotesando.
Shibuya is a safe neighbourhood, with a lot going on at all times. There are even hotels right in the heart of Shibuya, like the Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu, offering views of the pedestrian scramble.
You'll find a range of hotels and apartments here to suit your budget, but generally, rooms tend to be on the pricier side. For a quiet accommodation, stay closer to Omotesando or Aoyama.
Prices vary depending on the style of the hotel and the amenities they offer. A 4-night stay will cost you between $400 for budget and $1200 for high end. I recommend booking twin rooms in most hotels as you will get a larger room.
Important: Since COVID, many hotels have closed in the Shibuya area. At the time of the writing of this article, I couldn't find any hotels around Omotesando. This will likely change in the future as Tokyo recovers and the hotels re-open.
Our top hotel picks in Shibuya are:
- Luxury: Hotel Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel, A Pan Pacific Partner Hotel
- Mid-range: Hotel Shibuya Stream Excel Hotel Tokyu
- Budget: Hotel The Millennials Shibuya
Stay in Ginza for shopping & luxury
Ginza is a centrally located neighbourhood, just a couple of subway stops away from Tokyo Station.
If you are after a more luxurious, upscale experience, Tokyo’s Ginza district is your perfect place to stay in Tokyo. It's also a great place for honeymooners or special occasions.
The Higashi-Ginza Subways Station is closest and most convenient, connecting you to other parts of Tokyo. Take the Asakusa line to Akihabara, Ueno and Asakusa. The Hibiya Line will take you to Shinjuku and Shibuya.
The main street, "Ginza Dori" is the upscale, luxury shopping street. Shops, restaurants, and cocktail bars conveniently located in each of the many skyscrapers. Ginza Six has some especially fun restaurants and bars at the top floor.
Take the side streets, and you will find many smaller boutiques and fun, exiting shops. If you stay in Ginza, the opportunities for shopping are endless.
During the weekend, no car traffic is permitted on the main street and the area becomes a many miles long walking street.
Where to Stay in Ginza
Almost all the hotels are south of Ginza Dori. There is a wide range of options starting with 3* hotels for about $400 for 4 nights, to 4-5 star hotels costing anything between $800 to $1800 for the same 4 nights.
A few international hotels chains also have hotels here, like Hyatt Centric Ginza and Mercure Tokyo Ginza.
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.
The more affordable hotels are north of the Yurakucho subway line and just outside of Ginza in Shintomi. Prices are between $250 and $400 for 4 nights. The rooms are decent size, but I always recommend going for the twin bed option, so you have a little extra space for your luggage. (The beds can be pushed together.)
Our hotel recommendations in Ginza:
- Luxury: Imperial Hotel Tokyo
- Mid-range: Daiwa Roynet Hotel Ginza
- Budget: Sotetsu Fresa Inn Ginza-Nanachome
Chiyoda & Tokyo Station
Stay in Chiyoda & Tokyo Station for business or if you love quiet
Chiyoda is the best place to stay for business travellers because it's close to the main office buildings, and it's quiet and relaxed at night. Chiyoda has a range of accommodation options, including many business hotels which specifically targeted at business travellers.
The Chiyoda neighbourhood surrounds the Imperial Palace and gardens and includes the Tokyo Station and Hibiya Park.
Public transport is excellent, you can travel to any part of Tokyo quickly and access almost all the subway and JR lines. Shibuya is 25 mins, Shinjuku is 15 mins and Ueno is just 5 mins away.
A downside to staying in this area is that you will have to travel to get to the main attractions. On the flip side, there are countless restaurants, café shops, bars, and shops here, so it's a good place to relax after a long day of sightseeing.
Important: Because of the large number of offices, expect crowds on the subway during rush hour (7-9 am and 5-7 pm). The weekends tend to be quiet.
If you're planning to take multiple day trips from Tokyo, I recommend that you stay in a hotel close to the Tokyo Station.
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. It's a convenient place to have dinner, get shopping done or just enjoy a cup of coffee.
Where to stay in Chiyoda & Tokyo Station
Most of the hotels are located just north of Tokyo Station. Prices vary greatly between $300 and $1500 for 4 nights stay. When you are booking your room, make sure to check the room size and try to avoid anything below 20 sq metres (194 sq ft). As you are in the very centre of Tokyo, expect the rooms to be very small.
Southwest of the Imperial Palace, Hirakawachō is a lesser known area for tourists. There are a few options for every budget here, and the area is conveniently located within walking distance of Nagatachō Subway Station.
The Japanese hotel chains, like APA hotel, are located in the Kanda area, close to the Kanda Subway Station. There are large, modern shopping streets in Kanda, where you will find bookshops, noodle shops and karaoke bars. Akihabara is just one station away.
Best hotel picks in Chiyoda that are quiet:
- Luxury (Well priced!): Marunouchi Hotel
- Mid-range: Mitsui Garden Hotel Otemachi
- Budget: Sotetsu Fresa Inn
Stay in Asakusa for budget accommodation
Asakusa is a historic neighbourhood of Tokyo, and is a great place to stay if you are interested in traditional activities like sumo games or kimono dressing. There are plenty of budget hotels and quality but affordable accommodations in this area.
In Asakusa, you are within walking distance from traditional and delicious restaurants that offer great quality food for good prices. We found so many exciting vending machine restaurants and inexpensive ramen places that it was hard not to stop and eat something at every spot.
The oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo called Sensō-Ji is just a few minutes away from your hotel. Make sure to visit it to get a proper introduction into the spiritual life of Japan.
Asakusa is safe and well-connected to other parts of Tokyo via the Asakusa Subway Station. You are only 30 minutes walk from Ueno Park and 17 minutes on the subway from electric Akihabara.
Where to stay in Asakusa
Hotels in Asakusa are family-friendly. The guest houses are usually more affordable than in other parts of Tokyo.
Prices vary, at high-end hotels 4 nights will cost about $900, while the more affordable options will cost between $300 and $600.
Room sizes are larger than in the more central areas. We found double rooms with a large bed that are 260 sq ft (24 sq m).
Stay close to Kaminarimon-dori street for best food and the Nakamise shopping street leading to Sensō-Ji.
Our top hotel picks in Asakusa are:
- Ryokan: Kaminarimon Ryokan
- Mid-range: Hotel The Gate Hotel Asakusa Kaminarimon by Hulic
- Budget: Asakusa Kokono Club Hotel
Stay in Akihabara for manga and anime
Akihabara is a small neighbourhood within Taito City, located between Ueno and the Kanda river. It's called the "Electric Town" and if you decide to stay here during your visit to Tokyo, you will be close to all the electronic stores, Maid Cafés, countless shops selling anime and manga, cosplay clothing, figurines and books.
Stay in Akihabara if you love anime, manga, and cosplay. The 4th largest Don Quijote, a multi-level store that sells cosmetics, clothes, electronics, food, drinks, costumes, adult toys, figurines, collectables is just 5 mins away.
The famous Akihabara street with the neon lights and flashy advertisements starts at the Manseibashi bridge and continue towards the Suehirochō Subway Station.
Take the Hibiya, Yamanote subway lines or the Tsukuba Express line to quickly get to other areas of Tokyo. Ueno station is within walking distance. Take the Narita Express from here to Narita Airport.
Where to stay in Akihabara
There are plenty of hotels around the main Akihabara Station. The hotels are very popular, and they usually book up fast, so I recommend that you plan ahead. The rooms are typically of average size, and some hotels offer smoking rooms.
A 4-night stay in a hotel close to Akihabara will cost between $300 and $600.
Top Tip: If you are a light sleeper, be aware that hotels facing the Ueno Express Way may be noisy due to the traffic.
I recommend these hotels in Akihabara
- Mid-range: MONday Premium
- Mid-range: Akihabara Washington Hotel
- Budget: Hotel APA
Stay in Ueno for parks & museums
Stay in Ueno district because it is quiet, convenient, and budget-friendly.
Ueno is one of my favourite districts, and I always make sure to visit whenever I go back to Tokyo. There is plenty of street food, myriad narrow alleyways with bars and restaurants. It's easy to get lost. As an art lover myself, I appreciate its proximity to large galleries and museums. There is so much to do and see in Ueno.
Ueno Station is a large public transport hub with access to the Ginza, Yamanote and Chiyoda subway lines. Shibuya and Shinjuku are 30 mins away, while Gina is 12 mins and Tokyo station is just 8 mins.
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.
Take the Narita Express from Ueno to Narita Airport.
Ueno is a very safe area, mostly residential when you get out of the shopping streets.
Where to stay in Ueno
Ueno has more affordable accommodation due to its relative distance from the more popular districts.
Ueno offers many options for guest houses, as well as budget-friendly hotel rooms. The hotel rooms in Ueno tend to be larger than those in other areas of Tokyo.
The hotel prices close to Okachimachi station range from $300 to $600 for 4 nights. More expensive options can be found code to Inaricho station, where the room prices are between $600 and $1300 for a 4-night stay.
It's generally a good idea to avoid hotels that face the Ueno Express Way because of the noise from the traffic.
Great hotels I recommend in Ueno:
- Japanese Style Apartment ($$$): Mimaru Ueno East
- Mid-range: Hotel APA Hotel Keisei Ueno Ekimae
- Budget (Ryokan): Ryokan Katsutaro
Tokyo Disneyland Resort
Stay in the Tokyo Disneyland Resort hotels for easy access to Disneyland
If you are in Tokyo for Disneyland, stay in Tokyo Disneyland Resort. There are of course perks to staying within the "Official Hotels", like skipping queues, guaranteed admission even in peak times, shuttle bus. The hotel rooms are larger than the average hotel rooms in Tokyo centre, and they are well-equipped to suit families with children. You can purchase tickets directly at your hotel.
However, if you are budget conscious or would like to also explore other neighbourhoods, Odaiba, Ginza or the Tokyo Station area might be a great alternative.
There are great connections to other Tokyo neighbourhoods via Tokyo Station, and there is convenient airport access to both Haneda and Narita airports.
Inside the resort, there is a monorail service which you can use to travel between Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea. The tickets cost 260 yen ($2.40) for adults and 130 yen ($1.20) for kids. Under 6 year-olds travel for free.
My fav hotels in Tokyo Disney
- Tokyo Disney: Hotel Okura Tokyo Bay
- Tokyo Disney: Hotel Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel
- Tokyo Disney: Resort Hilton Tokyo Bay
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.
- 7 days in Japan itinerary
- 2 weeks in Japan itinerary
- 3 weeks in Japan itinerary
- Things to do in Japan
- Things to do in Tokyo
- Where to stay in Tokyo
- 7 days in Tokyo itinerary
- Things to do in Kyoto
- Where to stay in Kyoto
- 5 days in Kyoto itinerary
- Things to do in Osaka
- Where to stay in Osaka
- 4 days in Osaka
- Is Japan expensive?
- Planning a trip to Japan
- What to pack for Japan
What do you think?
Did you like this article? Do you have any questions or suggestions?
Leave a comment below.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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
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
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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!
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
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.
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?
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.
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
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!
Just stumbled on your article and this thread. We're going to Japan for the first time this August.
Thanks a million for posting everything and for creating a thread.....
So delighted that's it's a 2018 article.
Really glad I could help Jude! Have lots of fun in Japan, you will love it <3
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.
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 :)
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?
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
Thanks! Have a nice day :D
Likewise! Enjoy your trip and tell me how it went once you are back! x
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 :/
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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:
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.
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!
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:
Any questions, let me know.
Have fun in Japan!
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.
Thank you for your message. I recommend staying in Chiyoda, Shinjuku or Shibuya areas. Especially because you are travelling with a 16-year-old who probably wants to be more in the middle of it! (in which case Shibuya or Shinjuku are best). Chiyoda is excellent as it is well connected and very quiet at night.
The JR Pass covers the trip to and from Kyoto. If you have 10 days in Japan, I would recommend buying a Japan Rail Pass and using it a little more.
For example, I would do 5 days in Tokyo, 1 day going to the Snow Monkey Pass, 1 day in Nikko, 3 in Kyoto. This way you get to visit more of Japan and utilise your JR Passes a little more.
Here are some links:
and here is info about the JR Pass plus where we got ours from.
Any questions, please let me know.
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 :)
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
Thanks for Sharing Information about Tokyo Nightlife.
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.
This is great. Every time I start researching Japan, and Tokyo specifically I get overwhelmed. Seriously.
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.
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 !!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.