Where To Stay In Tokyo
Tokyo is big, and trying to figure out where to stay can be difficult. There are many different areas to choose from, whether you’re looking to be in the bustling streets and neon lights, the more traditional areas or fancy modern parts of town. One of Tokyo’s best features is its stellar transport system. Tokyo is home to one of the best subway networks in the world, ensuring key sites are easily accessible no matter where you stay.
With so many great areas to explore, we’ve broken it down for you:
Known for its bustling streets, dazzling neon lights, modern skyscrapers, trendy restaurants, pumping nightlife and great shopping, Shinjuku is arguably the go to destination for most tourists. This area is a great place to stay for first time visitors looking to get a taste of modern Tokyo.
As well as having a plethora of entertainment and eateries at your fingertips, Shinjuku is a great place to base yourself for day trips. Coach tours for the popular Hakone and Mt Fuji depart from the main station as well as many local hotels. Shinjuku is a main stop on the Yamanote line, linking some of the most popular areas of Shibuya, Ikebukuro, Harajuku, Ueno, Kanda, Akihabara, and Tokyo Station among others.
Shinjuku is home to the world’s busiest train station, which acts as a divide between the west and east districts. For those travelling with children and concerned about staying in the red light district (Kabukicho), look to stay in West Shinjuku. This area is so big, you can easily spend a week here without venturing into the red light district.
Tip: Travel to the top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and enjoy panoramic views all the way to Mt Fuji, it’s free! Ensure you visit on a sunny day for best visibility.
Similar to Shinjuku with its vibrant atmosphere, numerous shops and convenient transport hub, however Shibuya attracts a slightly younger demographic.
A popular landmark is Shibuya Crossing, known to be the world’s busiest intersection. Overlooking this pedestrian mayhem is an assortment of huge TV screens and over the top neon lights, perfectly embodying modern Tokyo. Arguably the best spot to view the organised chaos is from the 1st floor of Starbucks.
Shibuya is a pedestrian friendly haven. Apart from the iconic crossing, other popular areas to explore are Centre Gai, known as the birthplace of many Japanese fashion trends. There’s also Koen Dori (Park Street), which is a popular shopping street leading to Yoyogi Park or for those feeling adventurous take a stroll to Love Hotel Hill. Another Instagram worthy area is Spain Slope, a narrow street with stairs leading up to the Parco Department Store.
Roppongi is home to amazing restaurants and great nightlife, arguably some of the best in Tokyo. The area isn’t as popular with families or those wanting to experience cultural and historical Tokyo, as Roppongi is not on the Yamanote Line.
Whilst Roppongi may not be easily accessible to other key sites in Tokyo, it is home to several fantastic museums such as the National Art Center, Mori Art Museum and the Suntory Museum of Art.
For those that enjoy a party, Roppongi would be your best bet. This area has been a popular nightlife district among foreigners for decades. Due to its popularity among expats, it offers a wide range of restaurants, bars and clubs specifically for foreigners.
Shinagawa Station is a major transport hub of Tokyo. The station is convenient as there is a direct train line to both Narita and Haneda Airports, and it is also a stop on the Yamanote Line which ensures local convenience.
The area is home to fantastic eateries and great hotels. There are also a number of shopping malls, including the Shinagawa Prince Hotel complex which contains cinemas, a bowling alley and an aquarium.
Arguably the area is not as exciting as some of the others suggested on this list, but for those looking to take advantage of the excellent transport connections, Shinagawa is a great option.
Ginza is known as the premier shopping area in Tokyo, home to many high end and luxury fashion boutiques. You will also find some cheaper options such as Don Quijote – a store where you can pick up 100 yen souvenirs. Ginza offers a great alternative to the more crowded shopping areas of Shinjuku and Shibuya.
Ginza is a convenient place to base yourself for regional travel, and for accessing both of Tokyo’s airports. With Tokyo Station just one stop away, this ensures you’re not far from the Shinkansen to take you to Nagano, Kyoto, etc.
With Ginza’s reputation for luxury shops, tourists are led to believe that hotels and restaurants are more expensive than in other parts of Tokyo, but there are many budget and mid range options to be taken advantage of.
For those looking for an authentic Japanese experience, you can’t beat Asakusa. Asakusa resembles a mini version of Kyoto, conveniently located in the heart of Tokyo. This area offers a glimpse of a more traditional Tokyo.
The main attraction is Sensoji Temple, a popular Buddhist temple built in the 7th century. The temple is accessed via Nakamise, a shopping street which offers a range of traditional snacks and souvenirs.
Asakusa is a great option for those travelling on a budget, home to many affordable accommodation options and eateries. Conveniently, Asakusa can be accessed from both Haneda and Narita Airports, but can be harder to access other popular tourist sites on the Yamanote line.
This is the main transport hub of the city, and Japan in general. The appeal of staying near Tokyo Station is its central location within Tokyo, whilst offering easy access to other cities and both of Tokyo’s airports. For those staying in Tokyo for one night before heading to the slopes in the Nagano Prefecture, this is arguably the best location with Nagano only 90 minutes on the shinkansen.
The area around Tokyo Station may surprise you, as it has a more European feel. You’ll be spoilt for choice with restaurants and it’s also a relatively easy walk to the popular Ginza district mentioned above.
There are a number of great accommodation options in the immediate vicinity to suit most travellers budgets. For those looking to stay in an area containing more nightlife, Tokyo Station may not be the best fit, but it cannot be beaten for convenience.
Tokyo Disney Area
If you’re planning on spending a good chunk of your time in Tokyo visiting Disney, staying by the theme parks is an ideal scenario. There’s both Disneyland and DisneySea to keep you entertained so spending 2 days or more in this area is easily doable.
The hotels in this Disney area tend to be a lot more spacious which also benefits families. A lot of properties in Tokyo tend to be more catered towards couples and singles, whereas huge rooms to accommodate the whole family is a popular draw card.
Tokyo is easily accessible with a convenient train ride to Tokyo Station, only 20 minutes. Both Haneda and Narita Airports are also easily accessible via the Airport Limousine Bus service.