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The Eastern Capital of the Land of the Rising Sun, Tokyo is that astonishing blend of old and new that captivates all who visit. Stand at the busiest crossing in the world and watch throngs of people from literally ALL walks of life go past.
The size of the city is mind-boggling though, with it being made up of 23 central wards, several cities and villages, and a few islands. So we’ve decided to take that pressure off you and our experienced travel team have put together this local guide on where to stay in Tokyo, so you can choose your ideal neighbourhood based on your interests.
Planning where to crash should be easy so you can worry about the serious stuff, like where to find the freshest and tastiest sushi on the planet!
Let’s get to it then, and you’ll soon be navigating the city like a pro, confident you know exactly where to stay in Tokyo.
Table of Contents
Where to stay in Tokyo your first time – Shinjuku
Where to stay in Tokyo on a budget – Asakusa
Best area to stay in Tokyo for nightlife – Roppongi
Coolest place to stay in Tokyo – Nakameguro
Best neighborhood in Tokyo for families – Ueno
Not worried about where you’ll be and just looking for a fit for you? Check out our top picks for Tokyo in general!
Rated 9.6 on travel sites, the 3-star hotel features 5 rooms, all of which are filled with a variety of amenities to ensure a comfortable stay. Fukuwauchi is within walking distance of Tokyo Skytree Tower, Asakusa and the Edo-Tokyo Museum.
Each funkily decorated room at this 3-star hotel is well-equipped to make guests comfortable and has a pillow menu and a mini bar. They all have slippers, tea and coffee making facilities and a refrigerator. Guests of Park Hotel Tokyo are invited to sample French cuisine at Tateru Yoshino Bis, or try Japanese meals at Hanasanshou.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Tokyo is a short walk from the Bank of Japan and Mitsukoshi and provides valet parking, a sauna and a Jacuzzi. It is situated a brief walk from Nihonbashi and Kanda. The 5-star hotel rated an impressive 9.9 on booking sites, provides a luxurious spa and a fitness centre with city views.
Insider tip – Use our expert guide to see when the best time to visit Tokyo is!
Tokyo sits in the east of Japan, about halfway up the main island of Honshu.
It’s a mega metropolis, with greater Tokyo taking the title of the most populous metropolitan area in the world.
Known for its bright lights, technology and interesting fashions, Tokyo is on every traveller’s bucket list.
The new rubs shoulders seamlessly with the old in this urban jungle, with Harajuku girls mingling with the temple goers of Asakusa.
It’s also more of a monster than you’d think, having absorbed entire villages, towns and even other cities in its borders. Using train stations as the means of defining an area, some estimates put the number of neighbourhoods in Tokyo at over 1000! The more common definition, and the one we’ll be using includes just 50…but that’s still heaps!
You can head to hipster-ville in Shimokitazawa, or nerd out in Akihabara. Get your cosplay on in Harajuku, or see that busy crossing in Shibuya. If you’re into high-end shopping then Ginza is the place for you. Or you could head over to Odaiba, the green artificial island in Tokyo Bay. Shimbashi might be your style if you’re keen to get out and about with Japanese businessmen cutting loose. And what about Koenji, the town where time stands still?
Tokyo is the city with it all – whatever it is that you’re into, whoever it is you want to see, wherever it is you want to go!
Close to the central Tokyo train station, and slightly to the west, Shinjuku is the place to stay in Tokyo for first-timers. And that’s largely because if you don’t, you’ll be coming back into the neighbourhood most days anyway!
It has the grand title of the largest neighbourhood in Tokyo, so it covers a huge area. Also, its train station has the even grander title of busiest in the world! Good luck finding your way through that labyrinth! (But seriously, it’s not that hard. There are signs galore.) This obviously also means that its transport links are fantastic, so you can head on out of the hustle and bustle for a day trip to some quieter ground if desired… or sideways to more hustle and bustle in nearby Shibuya!
A busy retail and business district by day, Shinjuku caters for shoppers and tourists, alongside the businessmen and workers earning their wage here. At night there is a change of pace, as the neighbourhood comes alive in a swirl of colour and sound!
Kabukicho is the entertainment district, partially red-light, where you can find a range of vibrant love-hotels, that most Japanese of institutions; pachinko parlours; and the legendary Robot Restaurant. Yes, it’s what it says on the packet!
For the night-owls, there’s Golden Gai – an iconic pocket of twisting alleys and lanes housing wall-to-wall drinking establishments. Pick a foreigner-friendly bar to make sure you have a great evening!
Rooms of this 3-star hotel have a modern décor, air-conditioning and movies-on-demand. Hot drinks can be made with complimentary tea and coffee supplies. Tokyu Stay Shinjuku is close to Shinjuku Train Station, making it easy for guests to travel around Tokyo and its surrounding areas.
Odakyu Hotel Century Southern Tower has 375 modern air conditioned rooms. Wireless internet access and a desk are also included. Those staying at the 4-star hotel can indulge in a drink at South Court, before sampling a meal at Tribeks. A wide choice of dining options are also found nearby.
Showcasing views of Shinjuku, Park Hyatt Tokyo provides an indoor pool, a Jacuzzi and a sauna so guests can unwind during their stay. Rooms at this 5-star hotel are well-appointed and provide slippers, a refrigerator and a mini bar.
Love hotels? These are the top hotels in all of Tokyo!
Northeast of Tokyo station and situated in Taitō City ward is Asakusa, the cultural heart of the city.
Retaining some of the old world charms that Japan is famous for, you’ll find a very different style of architecture here than in Shinjuku.
Home to Senso-Ji, Tokyo’s oldest shrine, it’s here that you will definitely find more locals than foreigners (a push in some areas of the city). You’ll be ignored by the grey-hair brigade, and their younger counterparts, as they make their way to worship. Make sure you take your paper fortune on your way in as well!
Asakusa is easy to explore on foot, without any pricey public transport, and that helps earn it our ranking of best on a budget. The shopping street that leads up to the temple might undo that hard work though!
You can find all that Tokyo has to offer in the bounds of this neighbourhood, with the Rokku entertainment district flourishing, Sumida park wowing its visitors with riverside cherry blossoms, and Asakusa underground street providing that eclectic shopping experience!
If you want to explore more of the city, leafy Ueno and high-tech Akihabara are both walkable neighbours of Asakusa, and Shinjuku is only 25 minutes away by train.
Hotel Hokke Club Asakusa features 186 air conditioned rooms equipped with all you might need to ensure an enjoyable stay in the big city! Each has a bathroom that has slippers and a shower. On-site dining options include a restaurant, which is a convenient spot to have a meal.
Just a stone’s throw from nearby bars and clubs, this 3-star hotel also allows guests to easily discover the best of the local nightlife. Richmond Hotel Premier Asakusa International offers 270 rooms, all of which are equipped with a refrigerator, cable/satellite channels and tea and coffee making facilities.
The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon By Hulic provides stylish, 4-star accommodation close to Asakusa. It offers complimentary Wi-Fi, a coffee bar and a rooftop terrace. The rooms at the hotel are air-conditioned and include a refrigerator, slippers and a coffee maker. They all offer a seating area, an in-room safe and a flat-screen TV.
Editor’s Note – If you are visiting Tokyo, you HAVE to check out our article about things to do in Tokyo!
Diagonally across from Asakusa is Roppongi, southwest of Tokyo station and slightly southeast of Shinjuku. It’s a famous neighbourhood for locals and foreigners alike to cut loose in the evenings.
There is a huge range of choices when it comes to food here, local and international, and you can find some really good deals on set menus for lunch – an ideal way to fuel up for the night ahead!
Once burdened with a seedy reputation, Roppongi has had a revival with the appearance of some high-end restaurants, bars and shopping areas, catering to a more discerning crowd. This has led to the perfect mix of respectability and debauchery, for when you want to be good but also have a really good time!
Just throw caution to the wind though, and join the Roppongi Pub Crawl. It’s what you’re here for after all! The whole area caters to foreigners so even if your Japanese is limited to ‘biiru, kudasai’ (beer, please), you’re in good hands.
It’s not all after-hours though, with the emergence of several museums and galleries earning Roppongi its more serious stripes as a cultural hub. The ‘Art Triangle’ consists of the largest art museum in Japan, The National Art Center, as well as two others worth a visit. Why not make a day of it, if you’re an art fan?
15 minutes by train from Tokyo station, or 10 minutes from Shinjuku, you couldn’t find an easier place for access to and from other neighbourhood destinations!
Rated 9.2 on travel sites, Concieria Azabu Juban provides 38 air conditioned apartments. For those who wish to cook independently, there is a kitchenette that is equipped with a refrigerator and a microwave. On-site dining options at this 3-star hotel include a restaurant, which is an ideal spot to enjoy a meal.
Candeo Hotels Tokyo Roppongi offers 4-star accommodation and free Wi-Fi, a sauna and a mineral bath. A short stroll from TV Asahi, it provides comfortable rooms equipped with a private bathroom, a flat-screen TV and a refrigerator. Guests can enjoy a range of relaxing treatments and beauty therapy at the in-house spa.
Grand Hyatt Tokyo provides unique 5-star accommodation in Tokyo, including honeymoon suites. It also offers a Jacuzzi, a free shuttle service and a sauna. Guests can soak up the outdoors on the terrace or have a drink at the bar. Those staying at the property can get their daily exercise in the gym or enjoy a dip in the swimming pool.
Recommended article! Also – if you’ll be in this area, you HAVE to check out our article about some of the best day trips from Tokyo.
DIrectly south of Shibuya is the trendy neighbourhood of Nakameguro, in Meguro City. It has a stylish, laid-back charm that isn’t easy to find amongst the hectic pace of life in the more central districts.
Most tourists never make their way to this area, which is another reason it can be considered the coolest! It’s known amongst the creative set as the place to be, so the atmosphere is unarguably calm and collected while buzzing with what’s coming next.
Hipster bars, cafes and boutiques line the quiet backstreets of the neighbourhood (less quiet at night), and you can take a walk down the Meguro River canal to get your bearings. Beautiful at any time of year, it’s in the spring that the cherry blossoms hang over the river, creating an enchanting scene that evokes how you imagined Japan to be. The river itself turns pink with the blossoms that have drifted onto its surface, making for the most romantic setting, or Instagrammable scene.
It’s super close to Shibuya, taking you only 10 minutes on the train, and connects directly to Roppongi and Ginza on another line. You can stay right in the relaxed realm and have your morning espresso at a quality cafe before embarking on a day amongst the bright lights in the big city.
Located less than a five-minute walk from Nakameguro Railway Station, the hotel offers a lift. Grand Residence Nakameguro features 13 rooms and provides a convenient place to explore nearby Roppongi, Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Bay, as well as everything the local area has to offer.
Dormy Inn Express Meguro Aobadai Hot Spring offers 3-star accommodation. It provides complimentary Wi-Fi, free bicycle rental and a sauna. The 3-star property has 49 apartments and has been recently refurbished. Welcoming and professional staff are available 24 hours a day.
The Westin Hotel Tokyo provides elegant accommodation with sweeping city views. The various facilities this peaceful 5-star hotel offers include an executive floor, 24-hour room service and a coffee bar. The Westin Tokyo treats guests to a variety of recreational amenities, including bicycle rental and Westinworkout Fitness Studio.
The perfect place for families, Ueno is home to plenty of attractions to keep the kids happy, and parents happy too!
Right next to Asakusa, and directly north of Tokyo station, Ueno is known most of all for being pretty. It’s easy to get to from either main city airport, making it perfect as a destination after a long flight.
You simply cannot run out of things to do in Ueno, and many of these things won’t cost you a cent, so you can spend those savings on delicious, delicious Japanese food instead!
The star of the show is Ueno Park. This is where you can find the beautiful nobazu Pond, ideal for a picnic under the cherry blossoms. The park is also home to a range of museums, ranging from art to science. The Ueno Zoo is here too, so you could literally spend days, just in this one park alone!
The shrines of Ueno are similarly famous, and their area number to choose from (if you don’t fancy visiting them all!). The 17th century Ueno Toshogu is impressive to see, well-maintained to retain a youthful appearance despite its age, and covered in gold leaf of course!
For a shopping fix, there are a few colourful markets to choose from, where you can find uniquely Japanese items on sale.
Situated in the popular hub of Taito, Tokyo Ueno Touganeya Hotel is within walking distance of several tourist attractions in the area. It is located a brief stroll from Ueno Park, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan and Ueno. The 2-star hotel has 54 rooms and has been recently refurbished.
Hotel Lifetree Ueno provides 3-star accommodation, as well as a swimming pool. The hotel has 137 rooms that are fitted with all you could want to ensure a comfortable stay. Tokyo’s popular attractions and landmarks are within close proximity, with Ueno Park just a few minutes away.
Situated in Taito, this 4-star hotel offers stylish accommodation with state-of-the-art amenities. Featuring views of Ueno Park, it also provides a wide range of facilities, such as a Jacuzzi, a sauna and free Wi-Fi. On-site dining options include a restaurant, and a wide selection of cafés and restaurants are also found in the area.
Japan is an incredible country that leaves all who visit wowed, and Tokyo is the centre of it all. The bewildering array of neighbourhoods that make up its bounds won’t be a problem to you, fearless traveller, now that you’ve had a chance to check out this local guide.
You could stay in Tokyo for a year though, and still not see all it has to offer. So you’d better get started to give it your best shot!
Staying in our best overall hotel Mandarin Oriental Tokyo will have you directly next to Tokyo station, ideally located to explore the city. The little bit of luxury will give you a calm spot in the middle of the wonderful chaos!
So there you have it: our top picks on where to stay in Tokyo, and why you should stay there. Promise me you’ll get a photo at the Robot Restaurant!
‘On the subway in Tokyo, everyone reads’ – Umberto Eco
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Emma Johnson lives to travel! Born in Washington D.C., Emma is a hotel connoisseur and a staff writer at Hotel Jules. An army brat, Emma got the travel bug early and has never been able to stop. Now, she has proudly visited 70+ countries and plans to visit every country in the world! Passionate about her ukelele (obviously) and her family, Emma eventually wants to retire in Thailand and write a book about all of her travel experiences.