Where to stay in Tokyo – What you need to know

The Japanese capital is the ultimate concrete jungle a stimulus for all the senses.

This city, the largest and most populated in Japan and one of the largest cities in the world, perfectly combines tradition and modernity.

It is recognized for its large buildings full of lights and its historic temples that guard the great legends of Japan.

Best areas to stay in Tokyo - Top districts and hotels

Best areas to stay in Tokyo – Top districts and hotels

The Shinto Meiji Shrine, its forests, the Imperial Palace, its wide variety of museums, and several tourist attractions, make it a very interesting city from a tourist’s point of view.

Other of the recognized sites and attractions include the narrow and ancient streets of the district of Asakusa and the Buddhist tempo Senso-ji, of the VII century. (See hotels in Asakusa)

Tokyo is located in the east central area of the island of Honshu, in the Kanto region. Tokyo is divided into two main areas: the continental one, which is located near Tokyo Bay, northwest of the city, and the insular part that spans a few islands in the Pacific Ocean to the south. In these two areas you can find various tourist attractions and you can all the different faces Tokyo has to offer.

Tokyo has train, subways and ground transportation, making it one of the best connected cities in the world. Rail and subway are the main means of public transport. In addition, for tourists and the entire general population, there are also urban buses for shorter trips through the main neighborhoods in Tokyo.

Accommodation in Tokyo is usually astronomically priced, and hotels tend to have small rooms. A cheap hotel in the center of Tokyo can cost around US$100. There are cheaper alternatives such as hostels or capsule hotels, in which space and privacy are sacrificed in favor of a better price.

When it comes to the best areas to stay, as it happens in most large cities, the center of the city (Shinjuku, Minato, Shibuya and Chiyoda) tend to be the most expensive areas (See hotels in Central Tokyo), and the peripheral neighborhoods, such as Ikebukuro, are the cheapest areas to stay in Tokyo (See accommodation in Ikebukuro).

Accommodation Options in Tokyo

Hotels in Tokyo

The best hotels to stay at in the Japanese capital.

Hostels in Tokyo

Hostels and cheap stays in Tokyo.


Apartments

Looking for independence? Book an apartment in Tokyo.

Pensions and B&B

Pensions, B&Bs and guesthouses in Tokyo.

Best areas to stay in Tokyo

1. Best area: Shinjuku

Shinjuku, the best district to stay in Tokyo, is recognized as the most important commercial and administrative center of the Japanese capital.

In this area, you can find the famous Shinjuku train station and other attractions such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building, or Tocho, the most recognizable icon in this. Near the train station, there are several electronics stores, some shopping centers, restaurants, cinemas and bars.

Shinjuku is located in the central part of Tokyo, to the south: It has an area of ​​7 square miles and an approximate population of 328,000 people. This district includes the tourist sites such as the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

Shinjuku is a very convenient area to stay in Tokyo, as you can use the train system to travel around the different parts and attractions of the city.

Shinjuku is definitely the best area to stay in Tokyo.

Best areas to stay in Tokyo - Shinjuku

Best areas to stay in Tokyo – Shinjuku

Tokyo - Shinjuku - Click to see all hotels on a map

Tokyo – Shinjuku – Click to see all hotels on a map

Why stay here:

  • Very central area
  • Best area for tourists
  • Great area for business travelers
  • Great connections
  • Some attractions
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
  • Good nightlife

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    APA Hotel Shinjuku Gyoemmae, opened in July 2014, offers air-conditioned accommodation with free Wi-Fi. It is ideally located, just a 1-minute walk from Shinjuku-Gyoenmae Subway Station and a few steps from Shinjuku Gyoen Garden.. – from US$82.

  • Budget Option

    Sophiearth III Hostel offers accommodation in Tokyo. The property offers private parking and free WiFi. The rooms have a shared bathroom with a hairdryer and free toiletries. – from US$43.

  • Midrange Option

    E Hotel Higashi Shinjuku was renovated in July 2015 and is located next to the Higashi-Shinjuku subway station (exit A1). The property offers free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour convenience store and self-service laundry machines. The lively Kabukicho area is a 10-minute walk away.. – from US$85 .

  • Luxury Option

    Keio Plaza Tokyo, offering stunning views of Shinjuku, free Wi-Fi and 21 dining options, is located in Shinjuku’s skyscraper district, only a 5-minute walk from Shinjuku Train Station. – from US$194 .

 

 

 

2. Shibuya

Shibuya is located on the Yamanote circular train line west of Tokyo and south of Shinjuku.

This neighborhood is one of the most famous in Tokyo.

Shibuya is a commercial and entertainment district for both locals and foreigners.

In this neighborhood there is a variety of fashionable shopping centers; the most popular being “Shibuya 109”, designed exclusively for young people and teenagers.

Another attraction in this area is the crossing located in front of the station, known as Scramble Kousaten. It uses can be crossed in all four directions and the amount of pedestrians flooding the street is a tourist attraction in itself.

Shibuya is a a quite unique district in Tokyo, it has several tourist attractions and attractive areas, including Yoyogi Park and the different bars and nightclubs.

There are trains and buses to travel to different places.

Shibuya is an excellent area to stay in Tokyo.

Best districts to stay in Tokyo - Shibuya

Best districts to stay in Tokyo – Shibuya

Tokyo - Shibuya - Click to see all hotels on a map

Tokyo – Shibuya – Click to see all hotels on a map

Why stay here:

  • City center
  • Great area for tourists
  • Skyscrapers and modern architecture
  • Restaurants and nightlife
  • Shibuya Crossing
  • Shopping malls

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    Sakura Fleur Aoyama is located in the center of Tokyo, a 5-minute walk from Shibuya Train Station. It offers rooms with free Wi-Fi, on-demand movies and a bathroom. – from US$112.

  • Midrange Option

    Shibuya Hotel En, renovated in February 2016, offers comfortable rooms with free Wi-Fi. The property offers massage services and 2 places to eat. Shibuya Station is only a 7-minute walk away.. – from US$108.

  • Luxury Option

    Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel enjoys a central location in Shibuya and offers spacious rooms with panoramic views of the city. The hotel has a fitness center, swimming pool and various dining options. – from US$318 .

 

 

 

3. Taito

Located northeast of central Tokyo, Taito is a central but quiet neighborhood, connected by the metro system and trains.

In Taito you will find some of the best areas to stay in Tokyo for tourists, such as Ueno and Asakusa.

In this district there are several museums; the National Museum of Tokyo, the National Museum of Sciences and the National Museum of Western Art, which are the major tourist attractions. There are also important temples such as the Sensoji Temple, with its five-storey pagoda, located in the Asakusa area.

This neighborhood is one of the smallest districts of Tokyo and therefore it is very easy to navigate.

In Taito, you can move around using several types of transport.

Without a doubt, Taito is a quiet district with quirky attractions, one of the best locations to stay in Tokyo.

Keep in mind that this district is about 20 minutes or more by train from Shibuya or Shinjuku, so it is not the most central city but it is well connected with the rest of the Japanese capital.

Many of the budget Tokyo hotels are also located in this district.

Taito, Asakusa & Ueno - Best neighbourhood to stay in Tokyo

Taito, Asakusa & Ueno – Best neighbourhood to stay in Tokyo

Tokyo - Taito - Click to see all hotels on a map

Tokyo – Taito – Click to see all hotels on a map

Why stay here:

  • Relatively central
  • Traditional vibe
  • Relatively quiet
  • Cheap accommodation
  • Sensoji Temple
  • Ueno park

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    Asakusa View Hotel has an Art Deco style and offers 4 places to eat and rooms with free Wi-Fi. The hotel is directly connected to the Asakusa station, in one of the best areas to stay in Tokyo. – from US$81.

  • Budget Option

    HOTEL MYSTAYS Ueno Iriyaguchi, located just a 5-minute walk from JR Ueno Train Station, it offers spacious rooms with a kitchenette, free wired internet and a private bathroom. Free WiFi is available in all areas. – from US$55.

  • Midrange Option

    Red Planet Tokyo Asakusa, opened in 2015, is located just a 2-minute walk from the Asakusa train station. All rooms at this elegant hotel are equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and free Wi-Fi. – from US$66 .

  • Luxury Option

    Hotel Coco Grand Ueno Shinobazu is only a 5-minute walk from Ueno Train Station and offers views of Ueno Park. It also has a sauna and public baths and rooms with free internet connection and an iPod dock. – from US$126 .

 

 

 

4. Chuo

Located in the eastern part of the city of Tokyo, the name of Chuo also means “center” due to its location in the middle of the old city neighborhoods of Tokyo: Sumida, Taito, Chiyoda and Minato.

Chuo used to be the commercial center of Tokyo although it was displaced by Shinjuku after World War II.

However, this neighborhood has several attractions to offer, such as the mint (Kinza), the Mitsukoshi department stores, the Tsukiji Honganji Temple and others.

This small neighborhood has a very modern look and upbeat atmosphere, with several innovative buildings and busy streets.

Currently, Chuo concentrates most of the luxury shopping options in Tokyo. Both local chains and major international brands are present in its streets and shopping centers.

Chuo hotels tend to be, as its high-end reputation indicates, luxurious and expensive.

Chuo is one of the best areas to stay in Tokyo for a luxurious visit to the Japanese capital.

Where to stay in Tokyo - Chuo

Where to stay in Tokyo – Chuo

Tokyo - Chuo - Click to see all hotels on a map

Tokyo – Chuo – Click to see all hotels on a map

Why stay here:

  • Old city center
  • Very central
  • Best area for luxury shopping
  • Nightlife
  • High end hotels
  • Great for business travelers

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    Shinagawa Tobu Hotel, located just a 5-minute walk from the Takanawa Exit of JR Shinagawa Station, it offers modern rooms renovated in 2016. The hotel’s restaurant serves Italian Tuscan dishes. Keikyu Shinagawa Train Station is a 5-minute walk away. – from US$99.

  • Luxury Option

    Mandarin Oriental Tokyol, located in the historical area of Nihonbashi, in the center of Tokyo, it houses excellent restaurants and an award-winning spa (located on the 37th floor) and offers all the luxuries of a 5-star hotel. In addition, its rooms are the largest in all of Tokyo and enjoy magnificent views of the city. – from US$569 .

 

 

 

5. Chiyoda

The Chiyoda district of Tokyo is the geographical center of the city and, in many ways, the center of all of Japan.

In only 12 km² you can find the Imperial Palace, the Diet (Assembly), the ministries of Kasumigaseki, the corporate headquarters of Marunouchi, the controversial Yasukuni Shrine and the commercial districts of Akihabara, Jimbocho and Kanda.

It is the geographic and political center of the Japanese metropolis and therefore it is one of the best areas to stay in Tokyo.

Some of the neighborhood’s attractions include, in addition to the Imperial Palace and the Diet, the Nippon Budokan Stadium and the Yasukuni Shrine.

Chiyoda is the best connected neighborhood in all of Tokyo. Tokyo Station, the hub of all Shinkansen trains, is located east of Chiyoda. The JR Yamanote line (light green) passes through Tokyo Station in a circle around the center of the city, and the JR Chuo line (orange) and the Sobu line (yellow) cross horizontally. Yurakucho, Akihabara, Kanda (on the Yamanote line) and Ochanomizu, Yotsuya (on the Chuo line) are among the train stations located within the neighborhood. Narita Express trains from Narita Airport stop in Tokyo Station. Many subway lines run through the district. Otemachi station, with five subway lines, is the largest subway station in Tokyo and extends under multiple city blocks below the Marunouchi district between Tokyo station and the Imperial Palace.

Best location to stay in Tokyo - Minato

Best location to stay in Tokyo – Minato

Tokyo - Minato - Click to see all hotels on a map

Tokyo – Minato – Click to see all hotels on a map

Why stay here:

  • City center
  • Best connected area in Tokyo
  • Imperial Palace
  • Tokyo Station

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    Hotel Niwa Tokyo is a 3-minute walk from JR Suidobashi Station and offers elegant accommodation with touches of traditional Japanese design. It has a Japanese-style patio, 2 restaurants and free Wi-Fi. – from US$90.

 

 

 

6. Sumida

This part of the city is a very commercial area of Tokyo and the center of many local and international companies.

Sumida’s top attraction is the Tokyo Skytree, the tallest tower in Japan.

Here you can also find traditional public baths (onsen) and old wooden houses.

The Sumida District stretches along the curves of the river that bears its name, reflecting its ancient and traditional lifestyle.

Sumida is a small neighborhood and public transport is very accessible and enables visitors anywhere, you can even walk to other nearby neighborhoods without any problem and thus learn more about the city of Tokyo.

Best area to stay in Tokyo - Sumida

Best area to stay in Tokyo – Sumida

Tokyo - Sumida - Click to see all hotels on a map

Tokyo – Sumida – Click to see all hotels on a map

Why stay here:

  • Traditional area
  • Tokyo Skytree
  • Shopping areas
  • Excellent for business travelers

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    Richmond Hotel Premier Tokyo Oshiage, open since December 2015, is located just a 2-minute walk from the Oshiage metro station, the station closest to the Tokyo Skytree tower. It offers free Wi-Fi and a restaurant. All rooms have a free smartphone. – from US$99.

 

 

 

7. Minato

Minato is one of the largest districts in Tokyo.

It has an area of 20 km2 and a population of 243,000 inhabitants. Minato is south of the Imperial Palace and is considered one of the neighborhoods that comprise the center of Tokyo.

Minato is home to Roppongi, one of the best neighborhoods for nightlife, one of the best bars here is the Velfarre Club.

Minato also hosts some daytime attractions such as Roppongi Hills, full of shopping complexes, homes, offices, skyscrapers and luxury boutiques.

Tokyo Tower, Shiba Park and Zojoji Temple are other attractions of Minato.

There is a wide variety of public transport to Minato, there are several metro and bus lines that make it easier to move around.

Minato is also the embassy district of Tokyo.

Undoubtedly, Minato is a neighborhood that is worth knowing and one of the best districts to stay in Tokyo.

Best location to stay in Tokyo - Minato

Best location to stay in Tokyo – Minato

Tokyo - Minato - Click to see all hotels on a map

Tokyo – Minato – Click to see all hotels on a map

Why stay here:

  • Very central
  • Tokyo Tower
  • Great area for tourists
  • Best area for nightlife

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    HOTEL MYSTAYS PREMIER Hamamatsucho, located a 5-minute walk from JR Hamamatsucho Station, which is a 20-minute monorail ride from Haneda Airport, it offers spacious rooms and free Wi-Fi. – from US$95.

 

 

 

8. Toshima

Toshima is another of the 23 special districts of Tokyo, also known as “City of Toshima”, it was created in 1947.

Toshima is also considered the most international area of Tokyo, since the majority of its population is of foreign origin, mostly Chinese and Korean, along with other nationalities.

Thanks to the construction of several railway lines, Toshima was able to boost its growth and thus its attractions, such as the old village of Somei.

The Sugamo Jizodori shopping area is a wide market where you can find different stores and a wide variety of items. In addition to this market, there are few attractions in this neighborhood.

Being a not so central area with a large population of immigrants, hotels in Toshima are usually the cheapest in Tokyo.

Best area to stay in Tokyo - Toshima

Best area to stay in Tokyo – Toshima

Tokyo - Toshima - Click to see all hotels on a map

Tokyo – Toshima – Click to see all hotels on a map

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    Kimi Ryokan is located just 600 meters from JR Ikebukuro Train Station, it offers traditional Japanese-style rooms with tatami (woven-straw) floors and futon bedding. This establishment has a traditional bath in cypress wood. – from US$57.

 

 

 

9. Ikebukuro

Ikebukuro is part of the Toshima neighborhood. It is a commercial and entertainment district of Tokyo.

Most of the offices of the Toshima district are located in Ikebukuro.

Ikebukuro Station is the main transport hub of this commercial area. The station is located in the center of the district, from it there are buses and subways in a large urban concourse to all parts of the neighborhood.

There are two shopping centers inside the train station, designed mostly for young people. In addition, many people come to shop at the Seibu, Loft and Parco department stores.

This district has few but fun attractions and it is still a good place to visit or to stay in Tokyo.

Best area to stay in Tokyo - Ikebukuro

Best area to stay in Tokyo – Ikebukuro

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    Oak Hotel Ikebukuro is located in a convenient area to stay in Tokyo, 1.1 km from Sunshine 60 Observatory and 5 km from Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.. – from US$45.

 

 

 

10. Asakusa

Taito, Asakusa & Ueno - Best neighbourhood to stay in Tokyo

Asakusa – Best area to stay in Tokyo

This neighborhood is one of the most historical areas in downtown Tokyo.

Here, the huge luminous signs give way to wooden temples and funky clothes and makeup are replaced by old and traditional clothes.

In Asakusa there are several places to visit, among them is the Sensoji Temple, the oldest in Tokyo, popular not only because of its age, but also because of the different activities and events that take place there. Kappabashi Dodugagi boulevard with variety of shops and restaurants is another Asakusa attraction.

The small amusement park Hanayashiki right next to the Sensoji and the fun Brazilian style carnival parades are other attractions of this neighborhood.

Asakusa has always been very traditional, you can even spot some geishas in some neighborhood streets and typical decorations in various parts. It’s a great place to know more about traditional Japanese culture, specially if you’re not traveling to other Japanese cities like Kyoto.

Asakusa is one of the top areas to stay in Tokyo.

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    Asakusa View Hotel boasts an Art Deco style and has four restaurants and rooms with free Wi-Fi. This hotel is directly connected to the Asakusa metro station. – from US$81.

 

 

 

11. Ueno

Ueno - Where to stay in Tokyo, Japón - Best areas and districts

Ueno – Where to stay in Tokyo, Japón – Best areas and districts

Very close to Asakusa lies the Ueno neighborhood, in Taito district, this place is also very busy and has several attractions popular with locals and visitors.

The main attraction of this neighborhood is the Ueno Park, known for its large green areas and also for its zoo.

The Shitamachi museum and the lotus flower pond are some of thje park’s highlights.

In Ueno you can find different terraces and courtyard restaurants where people usually spend a lot of time enjoying a good meal or drink and sharing with friends and family.

Thanks to Ueno subway station, Ueno can be easily reached.

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    HOTEL MYSTAYS Ueno Iriyaguchi is located just a five-minute walk from the Ueno train station, it offers spacious rooms with kitchens. Free WiFi is available in all areas. – from US$55.

 

 

 

12. Minami

Minami is a part of Minato district.

Minami-Aoyama lies south of Aoyama Dori to the limit with Roppongi, Azabu and Hiroo.

In this area of the city you can find several temples, sanctuaries and samurai houses. It is a good area to stay in Tokyo.

Minami is also one of the most popular shopping and entertainment areas, especially for the youth of Tokyo.

To the south of the Omotesando juction, next to the Nireke-dori you can find the Prada Building, one of the largest shopping centers in Tokyo.

In this neighborhood there are also several train stations that make it easy to move around the neighborhood and Tokyo.

Hand-picked hotels in this area

  • Our Top Pick

    APA Hotel Nihombashi Hamacho-eki Minami is located just 500 meters from Hamacho Subway Station, it offers free Wi-Fi in all areas and modern rooms with free LAN internet, an LCD TV and a private bathroom. – from US$42.

 

 

 

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About the Author

My name is Luis Cicerone. When I was little, I would walk around the house with an atlas in my hand. My rainy Sundays were spent memorising maps and capitals. At fifteen I did my first solo trip and since then I travel whenever I can. I work in travel marketing. I love photography, movies and cat videos.

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