A Detailed Guide On Where To Stay In Tokyo
Being one of the most modern and bustling cities in the world, Tokyo is always a destination of wonderful trips for tourists. You can think of it as a collection of cities and all are connected by a fast and reliable transport system. Therefore, it can be overwhelming to find somewhere convenient to stay in a huge city with 47 neighborhoods and over 10 million people. However, with this blog, you will not have any difficulty in choosing where to stay in Tokyo. Now, let’s check it out!
Where To Stay In Tokyo
1. Shinjuku – For First Times
1.1. How Is Shinjuku?
Shinjuku is considered the real beating heart of vibrant Tokyo. It is home to neon lights, colorful lit up streets, modern shopping malls, thousands of bars and restaurants, and wonderful street food.
1.2. Why Should You Stay In Shinjuku?
Shinjuku is the best location to stay in Tokyo for tourists, especially those who visit here for the first time.
During the day, Shinjuku is ideal for shopping in huge, modern shopping malls like Lumine, Takashimaya Times Square and Odakyu. When the dark comes down, Shinjuku is alive with giant neon adverts revealing a lot of bars, restaurants, and other available entertainment options.
Lying in the middle of Shinjuku, the Shinjuku train station makes it easy for tourists to get to anywhere in Tokyo and also out of Tokyo to other parts of Japan. You can take a day trip to Hakone and Mount Fuji area by catching the Odakyu train or public bus, as well as the Narita Express train at the station.
To the west side of the Shinjuku station, there are corporate buildings and towers such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and the iconic futuristic Mode Gakuen Cocoon Towers. Therefore, you should remember to look upwards when wandering around Shinjuku in order not to miss seeing these cool buildings.
To the east side of the station is Kabukicho, which is the biggest and the most bustling entertainment area in Tokyo. This place houses many bars, restaurants and cinemas and it’s most suitable for adult entertainment.
What’s more, it’s also worth visiting Golden Gai, which is a Shinjuku’s neighborhood filled with countless charming old tiny bars and restaurants. It is a great place to grab a bite, have a quick drink, and socialize with the locals.
The famous Piss Alley is also located in Shinjuku, so stay near here if you are a foodie. Yakitori, grilled chicken skewers, is a specialty in the Alley that you must try.
1.3. Top Hotel Picks
- Luxury: Park Hyatt Tokyo, Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo Premier Grand
- Mid-range: Nishitetsu Inn Shinjuku, Odakyu Hotel Century Southern Tower, Hotel Rose Garden Shinjuku, Hotel Gracery Shinjuku, Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku
- Budget: Tokyu Stay Shinjuku
2. Shibuya – For Party Seekers
2.1. How Is Shibuya?
Shibuya is quite similar to Shinjuku as they both have a bustling atmosphere. However, this area is more youth-oriented and suitable for tourists interested in nightlife. Shibuya is also a huge shopping and transport hub in Tokyo with a variety of attractions including shopping, eating and partying.
2.2. Why Should You Stay In Shibuya?
If you are wondering where to stay in Tokyo, Shibuya should be your choice. Why’s that? Let’s see some of the reasons why Shibuya is one of the best places to stay in Tokyo.
First of all, Shibuya is a transportation hub, so you can easily get access to any parts of Tokyo from the well-known Shibuya station.
In addition, there are lots of vending machine restaurants in Shibuya, so it is very convenient for you to order food on a budget.
Being home to myriad shops and boutiques, Shibuya is also perfect for shopping. Many shops sell things related to J-pop and anime, thus this area can make a great number of teenage children feel interested. Therefore, Shibuya is a great place for families traveling with teens.
As Shibuya is like a small Tokyo with its colorful and bustling vibes, it is absolutely a fantastic spot for young adults and tourists interested in nightlife.
2.3. Top Hotel Picks
- Luxury: Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel, Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu
- Mid-range: Hotel Emit Shibuya, Hotel Unizo Tokyo Shibuya, Shibuya Tobu Hotel, Shibuya Tokyu REI Hotel, Shibuya Granbell Hotel
- Budget: Hotel Fukudaya, Capsule Hotel Shibuya, Sakura Fleur Aoyama Hotel
3. Ginza – For Luxury Visitors
3.1. How Is Ginza?
Known as a luxurious and expensive neighborhood in Tokyo, Ginza is the next best area to stay for tourists after Shinjuku. Being the first area of Tokyo to be modernized in the 1870s, Ginza now has modern Western-style buildings and some of Tokyo’s most upscale shopping malls. Ginza’s streets are like boulevards and they are the answer of Tokyo to New York`s Fifth Avenue, or London`s Oxford Street.
3.2. Why Should You Stay In Ginza?
With several subway stations that connect Ginza and all other districts in Tokyo, Ginza is really a convenient location to get around Tokyo. Being not as crowded as Shinjuku, Ginza gives you an epic experience when walking along its boulevards and just doing window shopping.
If you are a luxury traveler who loves shopping, Ginza will be your perfect choice. However, it also has some options for those who travel on a budget with decent accommodation and reasonably-priced souvenir shops.
The nightlife is another attraction besides shopping in Ginza. With upscale bars and nightclubs, Ginza usually attracts the well dressed and more mature crowd.
Additionally, Ginza is also an ideal place for photography lovers. At night, you can take your camera out and wander around neon-lit streets in Ginza to snap colorful photos. What’s more, there are plenty of restaurants, art galleries and museums all around Ginza, so you won’t be at risk of running out of things to do.
3.3. Top Hotel Picks
- Luxury: Imperial Hotel Tokyo, Palace Tokyo Hotel
- Mid-range: Hotel Monterey Ginza, The Gate Hotel Tokyo By Hulic, Millennium Mitsui Garden Hotel Tokyo
- Budget: Tokyu Stay Tsukiji
4. Chiyoda – For Business Tourists
4.1. How Is Chiyoda?
Located in central Tokyo, Chiyoda is an area for business tourists because it houses some of the main corporate buildings and business meetings are usually held here. Different from the vibrant nightlife in Ginza, Shinjuku and Shibuya, Chiyoda is very quiet at night when all salary men and women have gone home.
4.2. Why Should You Stay In Chiyoda?
As there is not much going on during the night in Chiyoda, you can enjoy the serene and perfectly quiet atmosphere of Tokyo when walking around the area. The quietness at night in Chiyoda also means you will have a good night sleep with no distractions.
In addition, there are subway stations at every corner in Chiyoda, thus it is easy to get to all the other parts of Tokyo. This makes Chiyoda the perfect place to stay for business travelers who would like to enjoy the dynamic side of Tokyo after their meetings, and then come back to a quiet neighborhood to relax and sleep.
Now, let’s have a quick tour around Chiyoda to see how beautiful it is
4.3. Top Hotel Picks
- Mid-range: SAKU REN Jimbocho, Myoujin-No-Yu Dormy Inn Premium Kanda
- Budget: ICI HOTEL Kanda By RELIEF
5. Tokyo Station – For Day Trippers
5.1. How Is Tokyo Station?
Tokyo Station is a city within Tokyo and the main transportation hub in Japan. Its strategic location and the Shinkansen high-speed rail station make it well connected to many places in Tokyo like Tokyo Disney, Tokyo airports, Tokyo suburbs and also other regional cities such as Kyoto and Osaka. One surprising thing about the Tokyo Station is that it features a more European style rather than a local Japanese style. If you are planning your trip to Japan and haven’t known where to stay in Tokyo, the Tokyo Station will be the right place for you.
5.2. Why Should You Stay Around The Tokyo Station?
As mentioned above, Tokyo Station is one of the most important transportation hubs in Tokyo, so you can easily get anywhere from here. Staying close to the Station, you are never too far from the top attractions in Tokyo. Taking a day trip to Mount Fuji, Yokohama or Kyoto and visiting Shibuya, Harajuku or Asakusa within days become easy.
With massive underground shopping streets in the Station and the surrounding areas, you will find everything you need for your trip to the capital of Japan. Have you ever heard about ramen, which is a famous and tasty kind of food in Japan? If you want to try it, stay near the Tokyo Station because the Tokyo Ramen Street, which houses 8 outstanding must-try ramen restaurants, is just outside the Station.
The Black Fence Alley featuring the best Japanese street food, the Gransta Mall and the Daimaru department store with 13 stories to explore are other attractions in the Tokyo Station that will also give you a memorable experience.
5.3. Top Hotel Picks
- Luxury: The Tokyo Station Hotel, Mandarin Oriental Tokyo
- Mid-range: Hotel Intergate Tokyo Kyobashi, Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo
- Budget: Smile Hotel Nihonbashi Mitsukoshimae
6. Asakusa – For Tradition Lovers
6.1. How Is Asakusa?
Being one of the most historic areas in Tokyo, Asakusa is a great place to stay for tourists who want to immerse themselves in traditional Tokyo. Beyond the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo called Sensō-Ji, Asakusa is home to some of the most interesting Japanese inns and ryokans.
6.2. Why Should You Stay In Asakusa?
Asakusa is a perfect place for you to experience the traditional side of Tokyo with traditional activities such as sumo games and kimono dressing. Besides, you will also have many traditional shopping opportunities here. You can buy chopsticks, ramen bowls, small miso bowls, plates and bamboo spoons. When staying in Asakusa, you are never too far from traditional restaurants which offer delicious food for reasonable prices.
If you travel on a budget, you should choose Asakusa to stay because there are lots of budget hotels as well as affordable accommodation here.
Asakusa is a great choice for travelers who love history, want to spend money on traditional experiences, and don’t mind using the Tokyo subway to get around.
6.3. Top Hotel Picks
- Mid-range: Sadachiyo Ryokan, The Gate Hotel Asakusa Kaminarimon by Hulic
- Budget: MyCube by MyStays
7. Akihabara – For Anime Lovers
7.1. How Is Akihabara?
Akihabara or Electric Town is the best location to stay in Tokyo for anime, manga and cosplay lovers as there are countless shops selling anime, manga, cosplay costumes here. However, why does Akihabara have the name “Electric Town”? Well, it’s because the area is home to many electronic stores. Besides this, Akihabara also houses Maid Café and other interesting establishments for those who are open-minded.
7.2. Why Should You Stay In Akihabara?
Besides being the best place for tourists who love anime, manga and cosplay, Akihabara is a great accommodation option for shopping lovers who want to shop at cheaper prices. One of the largest Don Quijote stores, which is a multi-level shop selling virtually everything, is located here.
If you travel with kids, you can consider staying in Akihabara.
7.3. Top Hotel Picks
- Luxury: Best Western Hotel Fino Tokyo Akihabara
- Mid-range: Super Hotel Akihabara Suehirocho, Akihabara Washington Hotel
- Budget: Hotel Mystays Asakusabashi, APA Hotel Akihabaraeki-Denkigaiguchi
8. Harajuku – For Kawaii Lovers
8.1. How Is Harajuku?
Harajuku is located within Tokyo and it is a tourist attraction with everything cute or everything weird. You can easily find things like pink contact lenses or kitten hoodies here. If you are a kawaii fan, stay in Harajuku. Besides, it is also a wonderful place for young adults and teens to express themselves.
8.2. Why Should You Stay In Harajuku?
With its central location, Harajuku is just walking distance from touristic hotspots such as Omotesando Plaza, Yoyogi Park, Shinjuku or Shibuya. Therefore, staying in Harajuku means you are never far away from these attractions.
What’s more, a lot of cheap fashion stores and boutiques selling clothes of cool brands are available here. Thus, Harajuku is highly recommended for young travelers or for families traveling with their teenage kids to stay.
Harajuku is also the birthplace of the Harajuku crazy pancakes, which is one of the best food you ought to eat during your stay in Tokyo. Besides the pancakes, there are a lot more kinds of street food that you should try such as rainbow pancakes, gourmet popcorn, colorful cotton candy, and so on.
8.3. Top Hotel Picks
- Luxury: Hotel Emit Shibuya
- Mid-range: Dormy Inn Premium Shibuya-Jingumae
9. Roppongi – For partiers
9.1. How Is Roppongi?
Roppongi is known as Tokyo’s most popular entertainment district for foreigners. If you go along the streets in Roppongi, you will see a series of restaurants, bars and clubs where you can expect English menus as well as English-speaking staff. Normally, Roppongi is famous for its nightlife, but nowadays it’s also becoming a destination to go in the daytime with shopping malls, museums, art galleries, and cultural centers like Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown complex.
9.2. Why Should You Stay In Roppongi?
If you are into a more international nightlife atmosphere and keen on contemporary art, Roppongi is definitely where to stay in Tokyo.
When staying in Roppongi, you will easily find nightclubs to chill. Some popular nightclubs such as V2 Tokyo, Esprit Tokyo, Roppongi Club Edge, Ibex Tokyo are just around the corner from your hotel.
Moreover, you can have a chance to get the view of the city skyline & lights at night if you don’t mind spending a little more money on a room on the top floor of a high-rise hotel.
During the day, you can go out of your hotel and explore Roppongi. You can go to the Roppongi Hills, take the elevator to the sky deck to see the surrounding city. Additionally, you can go to visit Mohri Garden or Zojoji Temple which is the oldest wooden structure in Tokyo.
Stay in Roppongi if you want to be located close to Keyakizaka Dori, an upscale shopping street packed with boutiques like Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton. Besides, if you are a contemporary art lover, Roppongi is the right place for you to stay as it houses the Mori Art Museum which is the largest contemporary art museum in Tokyo and The National Art Center which is one of the largest exhibition halls in Asia.
9.3. Top Hotel Picks
- Luxury: Act Hotel Roppongi
- Mid-range: APA Hotel Roppongi Ekimae, Candeo Hotels Tokyo Roppongi
10. Ueno – For Art Tourists
10.1. How Is Ueno?
Ueno is a northern district surrounding the Ueno Station and it is well-known for the huge and beautiful Ueno Park, which is one of the first public parks in Japan. In the park, there are plenty of museums, art galleries and a zoo. What’s more, the biggest museum Tokyo National Museum and some of the best museums in Tokyo are also situated here. To the north of the park is Yanaka, a peaceful small area housing over a hundred temples. If you go to Ueno during the Cherry Blossom Season, the Ueno park is a perfect place for cherry blossom viewing. Besides the peaceful atmosphere, Ueno is also famous for narrow alleyways filled with bars and restaurants.
10.2. Why Should You Stay In Ueno?
With myriad museums and art galleries, Ueno is truly a wonderful neighborhood to stay if you are an art lover.
Because of its relative distance from several larger districts, Ueno is slightly cheaper to stay in. Therefore, it’s very budget-friendly for you.
Despite being far from the larger neighborhoods, it is not inconvenient to travel to other parts of Tokyo at all as the Ueno Station is well connected to these parts as well as the Tokyo Station via subway and JR. Besides, the Shinkansen trains also head to the north stop in the Ueno Station, so Ueno is a good place for day trips outside of Tokyo.
Inside the Ueno Train Station and underground, there are a large number of bars, shops and restaurants that will not make you disappointed.
From the Station, you can visit the Ueno Park as well as some other attractions such as Gojo Tenjinsha shrine with its familiar Torii gates, Ueno Toshogu Shrine and check out the Monster Lantern and the Five Storied Pagoda of Kan’ei-ji.
Another attraction that may appeal to you and your kids in Ueno is the Ueno Zoo. Being the oldest zoo in Japan, it is home to over 3,000 animals. Here you can see giant pandas, elephants and many other animals native to Asia, Africa, North & South America.
Ueno is also a great place to stay if you love street food. With plenty of street food vendors selling dango, yakitori and other delicious kinds of food, you are never afraid of being hungry when staying here.
10.3. Top Hotel Picks
- Mid-range: Hotel Coco Grand Ueno Shinobazu, Dormy Inn Ueno Okachimachi, APA Hotel Keisei Ueno Ekimae
- Budget: Hotel Sardonyx Ueno
11. Odaiba – For Families With Kids
11.1. How Is Odaiba?
Located in the south of Ginza on a large artificial island, Odaiba represents a more futuristic Japan with a variety of family-oriented activities and museums. Because of a great number of entertaining things to do, Odaiba is also a great choice of location for locals to go on their first dates.
11.2. Why Should You Stay In Odaiba?
It is highly recommended to stay in Odaiba if you plan to travel here with kids because of its close proximity to Disneyland, where every child loves checking out.
Stay in Odaiba and you will have a lot of things to do for entertainment. One of the most appealing attractions here is the Mega Web, which is a huge museum and showcase center owned by Toyota. Here you can try to drive a car on a 1.2 kilometer track and learn about the history and future of cars. Everyone of different age groups can find something fun to do on the Mega Web. What’s more, you can either walk to the Odaiba beach and enjoy the surrounding metropolis’s stunning views or have a great time at Tokyo Joypolis, which is a large amusement park in Odaiba. If you are into shopping, there are plenty of malls in Odaiba for you to visit. Last but not least, Odaiba is a perfect location to see Mount Fuji.
11.3. Top Hotel Picks
- Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba
- Hilton Tokyo Odaiba
Other Recommended Places To Stay In Tokyo
1. Tokyo Disneyland Resort
If you travel with kids to Tokyo and would like to visit Disneyland, stay in Tokyo Disneyland Resort “Official Hotels” as you will get many benefits during your trip here.
Staying in the Tokyo Disneyland Resort and you will have larger hotel rooms than the average hotel rooms in Tokyo center and these rooms are all well equipped to be suitable for families with children. Besides, the Tokyo Disneyland Resort has good connections to other neighborhoods such as Odaiba, Ginza, etc. via Tokyo Station and there is also great access to both Haneda and Narita airports from here.
Below are the top hotel picks in Tokyo Disneyland Resort:
- Hilton Tokyo Bay
- Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel
- Hotel Okura Tokyo Bay
2. Shimbashi, Shiodome, Hamamatsucho And Shinagawa
Shiodome, Shimbashi, Hamamatsucho and Shinagawa are four adjoining districts near Tokyo’s waterfront. Shiodome is a tight collection of skyscrapers and hotels and there is a great stroll garden nearby. Just north of Shiodome is Shimbashi, which is popular with after-work dinner and drinking areas. Hamamatsucho is similar to Shimbashi, but has several interesting sights nearby such as Tokyo Tower, Zojo-ji Temple and Shiba-koen Park. Finally, Shinagawa which is located further south of Shiodome is an important transport hub because the shinkansen and Haneda and Narita airport trains stop here.
Here comes a trip around JR Shimbashi Station
Below are the top hotel picks around Shimbashi, Shiodome, Hamamatsucho and Shinagawa:
- Luxury: Conrad Tokyo
- Mid-Range: Royal Park Hotel The Shiodome
- Budget: Hotel Villa Fontaine Shiodome-Tokyo
3. Ebisu, Meguro and Daikanyama
Situated on the west side of Tokyo, Ebisu, Meguro and Daikanyama are considered the most desirable places to live by elite young Tokyoites. These three areas are attractive urban hubs where you can see how fashionable Tokyoites spend their time. Ebisu is on the Yamanote loop line (Tokyo loop line station) and it is the center of the Ebisu Garden Place shopping/dining complex. Daikanyama, which is within a short walking distance from the northwest of Ebisu, is one of the playgrounds of rich and young Tokyo dwellers. Located south of Ebisu is a fashionable residental area called Meguro, which features distinctly Western style.
In Ebisu, Meguro and Daikanyama, there are only a few attractions, but the most appealing things of these areas are wandering around, doing some shopping and having a drink in a nice café or getting a bite in a restaurant. Housing some great bars and clubs, the three locations are also great for going out in the evening.
You can easily walk to Daikanyama from Shibuya
Below are the top hotel picks in Ebisu, Meguro and Daikanyama:
- Luxury: The Westin Tokyo
- Mid-Range: Sheraton Miyako Hotel Tokyo
- Budget: Hotel Mid in Meguro Ekimae
Above all are a very detailed guide on where to stay in Tokyo. Hopefully, you will find this location guide helpful for you when you travel to Japan. You can try to stay in different areas mentioned in the blog and share your experience.