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Destinations

Where to Stay in Tokyo: The Best Neighborhoods and Hotels in 2024

La Carmina

La Carmina

November 29, 2023

12 min read

Table of Contents

The best place to stay in Tokyo isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, as it depends on your travel style and interests. Unlike many cities, Tokyo doesn’t have a single “downtown” district. The metropolis is spread out with several major neighborhoods, each with its own distinct vibe and attractions. As a result, families might choose to stay in Ueno for easy access to the zoo and park, while party animals might pick Kabukicho for its late-night dining and clubs. 

Although it’s easy to take public transit around Tokyo, travelers with limited time might prefer to stay in Shibuya or east Shinjuku for quick access to the subway, as well as popular restaurants and shops. Rather than staying in a shared hostel, budget travelers can book a Kanda business hotel for a bare-bones but clean room with a large bathtub. 

When you are ready to secure your accommodations, look on leading platforms that offer free cancellation, such as Booking.com. Reserve as early as you can, and if the room rate goes down before your trip, you can cancel and re-book without penalty. You can often get the best price by booking directly with the Tokyo hotel; the websites may be in Japanese only, so you might need a translation tool or a friend to help. To get you started, here are some Tokyo hotel suggestions for every type of traveler. 

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Where to stay for the first time in Tokyo: East Shinjuku

Shinjuku, Tokyo

Easily recognizable by its anime billboards and skyscrapers, Shinjuku is known as Tokyo’s district for both business and pleasure. It’s a terrific place to stay for first-time visitors that want to be in the heart of the action—Shinjuku has some of the city’s best department stores, restaurants, bars, and clubs. Look for accommodations in east Shinjuku for easy access to attractions and public transportation, including the Yamanote line that stops in Shibuya, Yoyogi, Harajuku, and other popular neighborhoods.  

Highlights: 

  • Shop at east Shinjuku department stores, including Marui Annex, Lumine, Takashimaya, and Seibu. Also, check out tech stores such as Bic Camera and dollar stores like Daiso. 
  • Shinjuku has a wide selection of Japanese food at every price point. Enjoy conveyer belt sushi, takoyaki (octopus balls), ramen, okonomiyaki (a savory pancake), izakaya, and more. For a sweet treat, go to Mr. Donut.
  • Experience nightlife in Kabukicho, the home of host clubs and alternative parties.
  • Visit Ni-choome, the LGBTQ+ area, for themed events like drag nights.
  • Golden Gai has several small streets lined with tiny bars, each with a unique character.

Gracery Hotel

Say hello to Godzilla at Shinjuku’s playful Hotel Gracery, located in the center of Kabukicho. The hotel has public spaces and rooms themed after the Japanese monster:  there’s even a giant moving statue of Godzilla on the roof! Hotel Gracery’s location is ideal for first-time visitors, as it is a five-minute walk to Shinjuku Station and Golden Gai. 

  • Room Price: $130 
  • Vibe / Category: Fun and funky
  • Wifi: Yes 
  • Kid Friendly: Yes, as children will love the Godzilla theme. Some rooms have bunk beds and babysitting services are available.
  • Amenities: Bright, chic rooms with desks, flat-screen TVs, and mini-fridges. Many rooms have scenic window views. Coin-operated laundry, breakfast, and parking are available. 

Sunlite Shinjuku

Hotel Sunlite is a no-frills business hotel that provides excellent value for a low price. The rooms are small but spotless and come with deep bathtubs. Hotel Sunlite’s location is ideal: it’s minutes on foot from Shinjuku Station and Shinjuku-Sanchoome Station, as well as Golden Gai and supermarkets.

  • Room Price: $100 
  • Vibe / Category: Budget business
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Kid Friendly: No
  • Amenities: Functional rooms with flat-screen TVs and mini-fridges. A kettle and tea bags are included, and parking and breakfast are available.

Where to stay with kids in Tokyo: Tokyo Station

Tokyo Station.

Those traveling with children will love staying near Tokyo Station, which is the city’s largest transit hub and access point to the shinkansen, or bullet train. The area is known for its upscale hotels that offer spacious rooms and special amenities for children. Tokyo Station also has many international dining options and is close to family-friendly attractions such as the Imperial Palace and cute mascot stores. 

Highlights: 

  • Shop for adorable mascot goods at Tokyo Station Character Street. The underground shopping area has stores dedicated to Miffy, Hello Kitty, Totoro, and more. 
  • Spend time at the Imperial Palace and surrounding gardens. 
  • Get immersed in theme restaurants such as the Pokemon Café. 
  • Tokyo Station provides easy access to Tokyo Disneyland and Narita Airport by train.

Tokyo Station Hotel

A stay at Tokyo Station Hotel feels like stepping back in time to the elegance of the Edwardian era. Set inside a red brick building that dates back to 1915, the hotel has spotless interiors that evoke a classic European feeling. The Tokyo Station Hotel is known for its impeccable concierge service, which delights in accommodating the needs of families with children. 

  • Room Price: $385 
  • Vibe / Category: European elegance 
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Kid Friendly: Yes. The staff gladly provides kid-friendly options and can help arrange activities for families. 
  • Amenities: Classically furnished rooms with flat-screen TVs and iPod docks, chandeliers, and large bathrooms. Tokyo Station Hotel is known for its luxurious, extensive buffet served under a glass atrium. 

Four Seasons Maranouchi

The Four Seasons Maranouchi goes above and beyond to accommodate families with children.  The sophisticated rooms are spacious, and up to two children under age 18 can stay for free with adults. The staff welcomes children with gift packages and can arrange a crib or extra bed at no extra charge. The Four Seasons also has connecting rooms for families or relatives traveling together. 

  • Room Price: $900 
  • Vibe / Category: Polished, upscale
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Kid Friendly: Yes, offering many outstanding family-friendly options. 
  • Amenities: Enormous rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, flat-screen TVs, and mini-bars. The hotel has a luxurious spa and multiple creative dining options.

Where to stay near attractions in Tokyo: Ueno

Ueno park in Tokyo.

Ueno is a historic Tokyo neighborhood known for its many museums, parks, and spiritual attractions. If you choose a hotel near Ueno Station, you can easily walk to the world-famous Ueno Zoo and the surrounding pond and gardens, which are covered with pink cherry blossom trees in the spring. In addition to being close to Tokyo’s leading tourist attractions, Ueno is easily accessible from the airport and has many shopping and dining options. 

Highlights: 

  • Explore museums and galleries like the Tokyo National Museum, Metropolitan Art Museum, and Museum of Western Art.
  • See over 3000 animals in Ueno Zoo, which opened in 1882 and is known for its giant pandas. 
  • Visit ancient spiritual sites, including the 17th-century Kaneiji Temple and Toshogu Shrine. 
  • Shop Ueno’s open-air street markets like the lively Ameya Yokocho.

Edo Sakura

Edo Sakura lets you experience the hospitality of a traditional Japanese-style inn, or ryokan. The peaceful environment includes Zen rock garden features, sliding screen doors, and low tables on tatami mats. 

  • Room Price: $120
  • Vibe / Category: Traditional Japanese inn
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Kid Friendly: No
  • Amenities: The Japanese-style rooms have tea and coffee facilities, mini-fridges, and flat-screen TVs. Guests can relax in the shared bathhouse and watch a tea ceremony in the tearoom. Breakfast is available for a fee.

Mimaru Tokyo Ueno East

Mimaru is a family- and dog-friendly apartment hotel located minutes from Ueno Station, which is excellent for extended stays. Spread out in a modern Japanese studio with a living area and kitchenette for preparing meals. Mimaru also has a Pokemon-themed room for fans of the series, complete with a giant smiling Snorlax toy on the bed!

  • Room Price: $340
  • Vibe / Category: Modern apartment-hotel
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Kid Friendly: Yes. Mimaru can add bunk beds or futons for children, and up to eight guests can sleep in two connecting rooms. There is also a Pokemon theme room.
  • Amenities: Dog-friendly studios, flat-screen TVs, kitchen and living areas, and hammocks on the roof with views of Tokyo Skytree.

Where to stay for one night in Tokyo: Kabukicho in Shinjuku

Kabukicho in Tokyo

If you only have a night in Tokyo, then you might want to spend most of your time walking around and experiencing the electrifying nightlife. Shinjuku’s flashy Kabukicho is a perfect home base, as you can easily get there via the airport Limousine Bus. Then, you can wander the area all night and pop in to buzzing restaurants and bars.  

Highlights: 

  • Kabukicho has plenty of nightlife offerings, including the alternative dance club DecabarZ. The parties usually go all night, so you can stay out late and walk back to your hotel.
  • Hop around Kabukicho’s music-themed bars. Godz and Psy are popular with heavy metal and electronic fans. 
  • Squeeze into the eccentric bars that line the alleyways of Golden Gai, such as the horror-themed Cambiare and Deathmatch in Hell.
  • Take a moment to breathe at Hanazono Shrine, marked by a large red torii gate

Citadines Central Shinjuku Tokyo

Be in the thick of the action at Citadines Central Shinjuku. The apartment-style rooms are large and fully equipped, and the location can’t be beat. Citadines is surrounded by Kabukicho’s most popular karaoke parlors and offbeat bars, and you are steps away from convenience stores and a variety of restaurants. 

  • Room Price: $125 
  • Vibe / Category: Contemporary, fully-furnished
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Kid Friendly: Yes, there are two-bedroom apartments available, and the hotel can provide baby cots and high chairs.
  • Amenities: Mini-fridges, sitting areas, desks, and complimentary breakfast. The building contains vending machines, a launderette, and a foreign currency exchange machine.

Toyoko Inn Shinjuku Kabukicho

If you’re looking for a crash pad, Toyoko Inn Kabukicho is a business hotel that gets the job done. The rooms are small and Spartan, but they’re clean and have everything you need for a comfortable night. Toyoko Inn’s location makes it a winning choice, as it is in the liveliest part of Kabukicho. 

  • Room Price: $75
  • Vibe / Category: Budget business
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Kid Friendly: No
  • Amenities: Flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, desks, and facilities for making tea and coffee. Complimentary parking and a Japanese breakfast buffet. 

Where to stay for 3 days in Tokyo: West Shinjuku

West Shinjuku

If you’re looking for a more leisurely stay over the course of a few days, consider resting your head in Nishi-Shinjuku, or West Shinjuku. This district is known for its art galleries, skyscrapers, and parks—as well as the Lost in Translation hotel—and is located in a calmer area west of Shinjuku Station. Keep in mind that it takes 10 minutes to walk to Shinjuku Station and 25 minutes to reach Kabukicho, so this may not be the best district for families or those with limited time in the city. 

Highlights: 

  • See performance art at the New National Theater and Opera City concert hall.
  • Relax in green spaces such as Shinjuku Chuo Park, which has an art gallery, and the centuries-old Kumano Shrine.
  • Enjoy yakitori chicken skewers and beer at Omoide Yokocho, an atmospheric food alley northwest of Shinjuku Station.

Park Hyatt Tokyo

The Park Hyatt was immortalized in Sofia Coppola’s film Lost in Translation. Feel like one of the characters as you sit at The New York Bar on the top floor, taking in views of the surrounding skyscrapers and Mount Fuji in the distance. The Park Hyatt’s luxurious rooms occupy the top 14 floors of the 53-story building, with picture windows that make you feel as if you are floating above the city. 

  • Room Price: $890
  • Vibe / Category: Sleek and cinematic
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Kid Friendly: Yes. The hotel staff makes families feel welcome with toys and treats and offers babysitting, cribs, and high chairs upon request.
  • Amenities: Posh rooms with city views, original art, and flat-screen TVs. Some rooms have kitchenettes and libraries. The hotel has a bamboo garden lounge, gym, indoor pool, and spa.

Keio Plaza

Keio Plaza is a polished 47-floor hotel with floor-to-ceiling windows, which lets guests take in beautiful sunrises and sunsets above the city. Keio’s best features include its large and spotless rooms and a well-executed Japanese breakfast among the 11 international dining options. 

  • Room Price: $300
  • Vibe / Category: Spacious, modern high rise 
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Kid Friendly: Yes, Keio Plaza has a nursing room, complimentary strollers, and amenities like child toothbrushes. One child aged five or under can stay for free, per adult. 
  • Amenities: Warm decor with flat-screen TVs, mini-bars, and panoramic window views. The suites have separate living rooms. Guests can enjoy 11 restaurant options within the hotel.

Where to stay for a romantic trip to Tokyo: Shiodome

Hamarikyu garden in Tokyo

Treat yourself to a romantic getaway in Shiodome, a recently-developed district with a serene atmosphere away from the crowds and noise. Shiodome has several stunning parks and gardens, including the picturesque Hamarikyu. Couples have plenty of chic dining and entertainment options and can take selfies at the waterfront by Tokyo Bay.   

Highlights: 

  • Spend quality time together at Hamarikyu Gardens, an Edo-style park with a pond and wooden bridges dating back to the 17th century. 
  • Walk to Ginza to try on jewelry at Mikimoto, followed by a fine dining meal.
  • Take a stroll by the water and atmospheric Tsukiji Outer Market, known for its food retailers and fresh sushi.

Park Hotel Tokyo

Park Hotel Tokyo is designed to make you feel as if you’re living in an art gallery. The boutique hotel is filled with works by contemporary Japanese artists and hosts rotating exhibitions. Park Hotel also has 33 rooms that are extravagantly decorated by artists in residence. Each reflects the hotel’s signature style, with dreamy floor-to-ceiling paintings and original sculptures. 

  • Room Price: $220
  • Vibe / Category: Hip artistic boutique 
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Kid Friendly: No
  • Amenities: Flat-screen TVs, desks, sitting areas, mini-fridges, and tea and coffeemakers. The Artist Rooms have enormous murals, and many have window views of Tokyo Tower. Room service is available.

Conrad Tokyo

Splurge on a stay at The Conrad, a high-rise hotel with views of Tokyo Bay. The upscale property is known for its large rooms decorated in a romantic contemporary-meets-Japanese style, which include freestanding bathtubs and original art pieces. 

  • Room Price: $735
  • Vibe / Category: Refined luxury 
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Kid Friendly: Yes, children under 18 can stay for free when sharing a bed with their parents. Rooms are spacious, and cribs and gift bags are provided.
  • Amenities: Flat-screen TVs, mini-bars, coffeemakers, and freestanding tubs. The suites have living rooms, and the penthouse has a dining area and kitchenette. The Conrad offers a spa, gym with an indoor pool, parking, cocktail bar, and four chic restaurants.

Where to stay on a budget in Tokyo: Kanda

Kanda Tokyo

Known as a student district, Kanda has many excellent places to stay and eat for those watching their wallets. Kanda is within walking distance of Akihabara, the “electric town” known for its anime and manga attractions, as well as the Jimbocho neighborhood filled with book shops and shrines. Public transportation is also convenient: from Kanda Station, you can take the Chuo line and arrive at Shinjuku Station in 12 minutes. 

Highlights: 

  • Join the students in eating delicious Japanese fast food. Try Coco Ichibanya (Japanese curry), Ootoya (nanban chicken and teishoku sets), Yoshinoya (beef rice bowls), Katsuya (tonkatsu, or deep fried pork cutlets), and other favorite chains. 
  • Visit the many Shinto shrines on the quiet backstreets, such as the 1300-year-old Kanda Myojin Shrine marked by a crimson gate.
  • Browse Jimbocho’s bookstores and antique shops, and admire the area’s traditional architecture.
  • Walk 15 minutes north to geeky Akihabara to play arcade games, eat at maid cafes, and shop for anime and manga goods.

Hotel MyStays Kanda

MyStays Kanda is part of a Japanese budget hotel chain known for providing great value for a low price. MyStay’s rooms are on the small side, but they are private and include a bathroom with a tub, as well as pajamas and slippers. The hotel is also conveniently located near Kanda Station.

  • Room Price: $63
  • Vibe / Category: Relaxed budget business 
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Kid Friendly: No
  • Amenities: Rooms with modern decor, flat-screen TVs, and seating areas. Some rooms have desks.

Comfort Hotel Tokyo Kanda

The Comfort Hotel Kanda is a clean, no-nonsense hotel geared to businesspeople and budget travelers. The rooms are small but quiet and have fully-equipped private bathrooms. The hotel also offers free breakfast every morning. 

  • Room Price: $74
  • Vibe / Category: Efficient, good value 
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Kid Friendly: Kids aged 12 and under can stay at no cost when accompanied by an adult.
  • Amenities: Rooms have flat-screen TVs, desks, and mini-fridges. Free Japanese or Western-style hot breakfast every morning. Coin-operated laundry facilities are available.  

Where to stay in the city center in Tokyo: Shibuya

Shibuya Tokyo.

While Tokyo doesn’t have a single “city center,” Shibuya is indisputably one of the city’s most popular districts—perhaps best known for its chaotic street crossing and flashing billboards. Young people love to shop at the area’s trendy malls and eat out at its innovative restaurants. Choose a hotel near Shibuya Station so that you can rapidly reach other areas like Shinjuku, Roppongi, Ginza, and Asakusa. For those seeking a lively pop culture experience, Shibuya is the place to be. 

Highlights:

  • Take a photo with the beloved Hachiko dog statue and walk across Shibuya Scramble, the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing.  
  • Go up to the Shibuya Sky observatory for 360-degree views above the city. 
  • Shop ‘til you drop at Shibuya’s hip malls, Parco and 109. Look for cute goods and gizmos at Don Quixote, Village Vanguard, and 100 yen “dollar stores.”
  • Shibuya has hundreds of food options at all price points, from countertop sushi to izakayas and dessert parlors. 

Cerulean Tower

Cerulean Tower is a high-rise hotel for travelers that adore city life. The rooms have soaring skyline views and luxurious features such as deep soaking tubs and high-end bedding. 

  • Room Price: $530 
  • Vibe / Category: Sleek with skyline views 
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Kid Friendly: No
  • Amenities: Rooms have flat-screen TVs, Bluetooth speakers, minibars, and coffee and tea-making facilities. Cerulean Tower has three restaurants, a lounge, a jazz club, and a fitness center with an indoor pool and sauna.

Shibuya Excel

The Shibuya Excel is steps from Shibuya Station and the Scramble Crossing, making it a prime location for those keen on being near the action. The upscale property has stylish and comfortable furnishings, and many rooms have city skyline views. 

  • Room Price: $270
  • Vibe / Category: Modern and well-located
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Kid Friendly: Children below elementary school age can stay for free if they share beds with their parents.
  • Amenities: Large rooms with flat-screen TVs, sitting areas, mini-fridges, and tea and coffee makers. One of the floors is female-only. Room service is available.

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La Carmina

La Carmina

Freelance Writer

La Carmina is an award-winning travel writer and the author of four books. She runs the leading alternative travel blog LaCarmina.com, and freelances for publications including The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Eater, and Time Magazine. La Carmina has hosted travel television shows for Food Network, Travel Channel, Discovery, and National Geographic. Follow her adventures at @LaCarmina.

Published November 29, 2023

Last updated January 3, 2024

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