Where to Stay in Tokyo?
To say that Tokyo is a big city is something of an understatement and does not do the huge and sprawling city justice. Tokyo is massive and for first-time visitors or even if you’ve been before, getting your head around it and especially where to say, can be more than a little confusing.
When choosing where to base yourself, it’s best to think in terms of transport and when in Japan, that means trains. Tokyo is serviced by an equally large and downright impressive train network, without which, it would be impossible to get around. So first and foremost, we recommend thinking in terms of proximity to train stations when choosing where to stay.
Of course not all stations are created equal and with almost 900 in the Greater Tokyo area, it’s important to prioritise the ones that offer the most convenience. With that in mind, these are our recommendations of the best places to stay in Tokyo:
TOKYO STATION / MARUNOUCHI
Tokyo Station is hugely convenient with multiple train lines including shinkansen (Bullet Train) lines running to Central Japan including the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Nagano and Kanazawa, the Joetsu Shinkansen to Niigata, the Tokaido Shinkasen to Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka, and lines running west to destinations including Aomori and onto Hokkaido. The Narita Express (NEX) runs direct to Narita Airport – taking around 55-minutes – while Haneda Airport is only 30-minutes from the station via Hamatsucho Station.
Not just convenient, the area around the station boasts some of the city’s best hotels along with the business/shopping area of Marunouchi and the famous shopping, dining and entertainment districts of Ginza and Nihombashi. In these areas you will find some of Tokyo’s best department stores and boutiques, restaurants and an array of nightlife. Combine that with destinations including the Imperial Palace also being within walking distance of the station, and you see why we recommend staying in this area.
For accommodation listings, see our ‘Tokyo Station/Marunouchi Area’ hotel page.
Ueno Station is another of Tokyo’s major transport hubs with lots to see and enjoy in the immediate vicinity, making it a popular choice when choosing accommodation in the capital. The Keisei Skyliner runs from Keisei Ueno Station – only a couple of minutes walk from Ueno Station – with Narita Airport in 40 to 55-minutes (depending on the service you choose), while multiple shinkansen lines including the Hokuriku Shinkansen bound for Nagano stop at Ueno. With many inner-city rail lines running to and from Ueno, it is one of the most convenient areas to stay in Tokyo. The area around the station is known for its range of mid-range to budget hotel, plenty of nightlife and restaurants, and popular attractions including Ueno Zoo and multiple museums including the Tokyo National Museum – all within walking distance of the station.
For accommodation listings, see our ‘Ueno Station Area’ hotel page.
The area surrounding Shinjuku Station is one of the most popular for accommodation areas of international visitors given its convenient location, numerous train lines running to and from the station, endless array of entertainment, nightlife and shopping in the vicinity, and wide-range of hotels and guesthouses. A stop on the Yamanote Line circling Tokyo, Shinjuku is a convenient base from where to explore the sprawling city.
Many high-end hotels have a foot-print in Shinjuku including the Park Hyatt along with popular options including the Shinjuku Washington Hotel, Keio Plaza, Hotel Sunroute Plaza and Hotel Century Southern Tower. The range of high-end to mid-range to budget makes Shinjuku appealing to many visitors, and with so much entertainment on your door step, it’s easy to see why people choose to base themselves around the station.
For accommodation listings, see our ‘Shinjuku Station Area’ hotel page.
The area around Shibuya Station has a lot of common with Shinjuku with lots of shopping, dining, entertainment and accommodation in and around one of Tokyo’s major train stations. There are plenty of hotels in the area from luxury to mid-range and budget. Shibuya retains a slightly more youthful character than Shinjuku and remains a driving force the contemporary culture and trends of the city. For that reason there are some cheaper options available catering to a younger crowd but on the whole, because of its convenience, accommodation in Shibuya is often expensive.
Much like Shinjuku, Shibuya Station is a stop on the convenient Yamanote Line that circles Tokyo, making another convenient place from where to explore the city.
For accommodation listings, see our ‘Shibuya Station Area’ hotel page.
One of Tokyo’s most famous shopping areas, known for its high-end department and luxury brand stores, Ginza is hugely popular during the day-time with some truly excellent dining available through the day and well into the night. In terms of staying in the Ginza Station Area, it could be said that is neither convenient nor inconvenient. Under a 10-minute walk from Tokyo Station, Ginza boasts multiple high-end hotels, excellent restaurants and as mentioned, one of Japan’s – if not the world’s – most famous shopping streets. If that appeals to you then Ginza is a great option.
For accommodation listings, see our ‘Ginza Station Area’ hotel page.
Located at the southern end of the Yamanote Line – the convenient loop line that circles through Tokyo – Shinagawa Station is a major transport hub and entertaining area in its own right. Most conveniently, Shinagawa is only 20-minutes by train from Haneda Airport and a stop on the Tokaido Shinkansen running from Tokyo to Nagoya and onto Kyoto and Osaka. The area around the station is largely a commercial and residential area and doesn’t have much in terms of sight-seeing. It does however offer easy access to the popular event spaces of Tokyo Big Sight and Tokyo Teleport – see ‘Odaiba-Kaihinkoen Station’ below – and offers a good range of restaurants and some excellent hotels including The Strings by InterContinental and Conrad Tokyo, along with a good range of mid-range and budget options.
For accommodation listings, see our ‘Shinagawa Station Area’ hotel page.
Odaiba in a man-made island in Tokyo Bay and home to a large shopping, entertainment and event district that attracts thousands of visitors every day. Known for its distinctive, modern architecture, the area is dominated by iconic buildings including Tokyo Big Sight, the Fuji TV Building and the Telecom Center. Visitors heading to Tokyo for large events may well find themselves heading to Odaiba, with locations including Tokyo Big Sight hosting a busy and diverse calendar of events through the year. As such, the area also boasts multiple large hotels including the high-end Hilton Tokyo Odaiba and Grand Nikko Tokyo. The area is also home to a number of good mid-range and budget options, making it an attractive option for many international visitors.
For accommodation listings, see our ‘Odaida-Kaihinkoen Station Area’ hotel page.
Located just to the north of Tokyo Station, Akihabara’s reputation proceeds it. Home to Tokyo’s celebrated ‘otaku’ or geek culture, the area around Akihabara Station is crammed with large electronics stores, manga and anime outlets, games centres, maid cafes and all the neon you can handle. Often just called ‘Akiba’, there’s a good chance you will have heard of or seen photos of Akihabara before you even get to Japan. Around the station a number of mid-range hotels offer good convenience with other options including budget hotels dotted through the area. Whether or not Akihabara appeals to you as a destination, its proximity to Tokyo Station – under 5-minutes – and as a stop on the Yamanote Line – the loop line that circles through Tokyo – make it a convenient base from where to explore the city.
For accommodation listings, see our ‘Akihabara Station Area’ hotel page.
Asakusa is a vibrant neighbourhood of Tokyo, best known for the impressive Senno-ji Temple, lots of eateries and plenty of shopping. As an older area of Tokyo, Asakusa has lots of character with richshaws catering to the many visitors that head to the area each day. Within walking distance of Asakasa, Tokyo Skytree is the capitals tallest building and one of the most popular attractions in the city – another reason the area is so popular with international visitors. In the area around Asakusa Station, there is a good variety of affordable hotels – including some 4 and 3-star options – and traditional ‘ryokan’ guesthouses. In terms of high-end accommodation, there isn’t a lot in the area.
For accommodation listings, see our ‘Asakusa Station Area’ hotel page.
Ikebukuro Station is one of Tokyo’s largest transport hubs, located in the north-west of the city. While the neighbourhood around the station isn’t the most fashionable or exciting area of Tokyo, the convenience of the station combined with well-priced accommodation, make it attractive to many visitors. The Narita Express (NEX) runs from Narita Airport to Ikebukuro Station while the Yamanote Line also runs to and from the station, making it an excellent base from where to explore the city. Many highway bus lines run to and from the station, making it quick and easy to get out of Tokyo, while also being located nearby the action and entertainment of Shinjuku. The area around the station has some good options in terms of 3 and 4-star hotels, with plenty of other mid-range to budget accommodation on offer. If you’re going to be in Tokyo for an extended stay and want some reasonable accommodation without costing a fortune, staying around Ikebukuro Station might be a good option for you.
For accommodation listings, see our ‘Ikebukuro Station Area’ hotel page.
EBISU inc. DAIKANYAMA & MEGURO
The areas nearby Ebisu Station – including Ebisu, Daikanyama and Meguro – are three of Tokyo’s most fashionable neighbourhoods. Offering lots of fantastic restaurants, shopping, museums and galleries, staying in the area is a great way to experience one of Tokyo’s most enjoyable and livable areas. High-end hotels include The Westin Tokyo and boutique Claska with the Sheraton Miyako and other mid-range hotels also on offer. There are lots of dining options in the area including some cozy and small restaurants, making the area ideal for couples.While staying in the area around Ebisu isn’t as convenient as nearby Shibuya and Shinjuku, doing so affords a different, much calmer pace and an atmosphere away from the hustle and crowds of more its more famous neighbours.
For accommodation listings, see our ‘Ebisu Station Area’ hotel page.
The neighbourhood of Roppongi is not just popular with visitors to Tokyo but many foreign residents choose to live in the area due to its lifestyle, lively nightlife and dining options. Roppongi boasts some excellent hotels including the Grand Hyatt, the Ritz Carlton and Hotel Okura with a range of mid-range to budget options also available. If you want to enjoy the renowned nightlife of the area without worrying about missing the last train, or if you simply want to take advantage of one of the areas high-end hotels, then Roppongi might be a good option. It’s worth noting however that Roppongi Station isn’t on the Yamanote Line nor is it a shinkansen station, meaning that in terms of getting to and around Tokyo it isn’t that convenient. Staying in the area is more about what’s on offer than convenience.
For accommodation listings, see our ‘Roppongi Station Area’ hotel page.
TOKYO DISNEY RESORT / MAIHAMA STATION
Visitors intending to spend a lot of time at Tokyo’s Disneyland and Disney Sea, especially those with young children, might like to consider staying in or nearby the resort. There are official hotels in the resort with many other options in the area immediately around the resort, offering a good range of accommodation in the Maihama Station area. Hotel chains including Hyatt, Hilton Sheraton and others all have a presence in the area. Prices can be high given the proximity to the resort however mid-range hotels are also available. The resort/Maihama Station are around 20-minutes by train from Tokyo Station.
For accommodation listings, see our ‘Tokyo Disney Resort / Maihama Station Area’ hotel page.
Moving out of central Tokyo, the following options are popular with many visitors given the direct train services – including both rapid and local train services – into the centre of the city:
The area around Omiya Station is a good option for travelers who prioritise ease of access to central Tokyo while also allowing for easy travel outside of the city. Though located in Saitama rather than Tokyo, most international visitors won’t even notice that they’re in a different city given the lack of any discernible gap in the sprawling build-up that between the two cities, and multiple train lines that transport you into the centre of Tokyo in 25-minutes, or popular pockets of the capital including Shinjuku and Shibuya in around 30-minutes. Most attractively, multiple shinkansen lines run to and from Omiya Station, allowing for easy day-trips to Central Japan and beyond – with Nagano only 55 to 65-minutes from Omiya using services on the Hokuriku Shinkansen. Around the station, there is a good selection of 4 and 3-star hotels, along with mid-range and budget options.
For accommodation listings, see our ‘Omiya Station Area’ hotel page.
Located to the south-west to central Tokyo, Yokoyama is good alternative to staying in the capital yet remaining very nearby. Yokoyama itself is a popular place to live for the lifestyle it affords while also boasting some attractions of interest of international visitors. The city’s Chinatown is the largest and most famous in Japan, attracting countless visitors every day. The area is vibrant and boast numerous stores and restaurants, particularly colourful and busy in February for Chinese New Year.
Sankeien garden is one Japan’s most famous while the popular neighbourhood of Minato Marai 21 and Big Wharf (Osanbashi Pier) highlight the city’s modern and energetic character. Needless to say, as one of Japan’s major metropolitan areas, Yokohama has plenty to offer in terms of accommodation.
For accommodation listings, see our ‘Shin-Yokohama Station Area’ hotel page.
For passengers flying in and out of Haneda Airport, its close proximity to Tokyo allows the choice of staying in or nearby the airport, or a little further afield in areas including Shinagawa. If your flight is departing or arriving early, staying in or nearby the airport is your best bet with hotels in each terminal and other options around nearby stations. Expect stand business hotels with small but clean, comfortable and quiet rooms. Some hotels offer shuttle services to and from the airport along with in-house restaurants and other services.
For accommodation listings, see our ‘Haneda Airport Area’ hotel page.
Visitors flying in and out of Narita Airport have a choice to hotels in and around the airport. While there are only a small number of hotels inside the airport itself, the broader Narita area has multiple hotels within easy reach of the airport with some offering shuttle services to and from the terminals. Most hotels are mid-sized to large business hotels catering to arrivals and departures from the airport, with the standard facilities and comforts you’d expect of any business hotel in Japan. While rooms are often small, they are comfortable, quiet and clean with many hotels offering in-house restaurants or within easy walking distance of eateries.
For accommodation listings, see our ‘Narita Airport Area’ hotel page.
Can’t find accommodation in Tokyo? Needless to say, Tokyo has a lot of accommodation but even in a city of its size, hotels can be heavily booked during certain times of year and around large events. In the lead-up to the Olympic Games in summer 2021, expect accommodation to be fully booked in the capital, with hotels charging extremely high prices.
Many if not most international visitors will however take advantage of one of Japan Rail’s passes – including the full JR Pass, the JR East Pass and JR Hokuriku Arch Pass – covering use of the train system including shinkansen lines, and as such, staying outside of Tokyo and commuting in, becomes a very good option when accommodation is heavily booked or too expensive.
Here are some good options within 1.5 hours of Tokyo using the shinkansen network:
NAGANO CITY, NAGANO
A stop on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line running from Tokyo to Kanazawa, all services departing the capital stop at Nagano Station and many return services starting from Nagano. Only 80 to 110-minutes from Tokyo (depending on which service you choose), Nagano is regarded as one of Japan’s most livable cities, with many well-priced hotels in and around the station. Host of the 1998 Winter Olympics, Nagano shares an Olympic legacy with Tokyo, something sure to be celebrated in 2021.
As the primary transport hub of Central Japan, staying in Nagano also opens-up the mountains, natural beauty and wildlife of the region including the Jigokudani Monkey Park, the tranquility and spirituality of Togakushi, intriguing history of Matsushiro, and of course, Nagano’s near-1400 year old Zenko-ji – one of Japan’s oldest and most important Buddhist Temples.
For accommodation listings, see our ‘Nagano City Area’ hotel page.
The small mountain resort town of Karuizawa is another stop on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line. Around 75-minutes from Tokyo, Karuizawa has a good number of hotels catering to the many visitors who head there to enjoy its scenic beauty, shopping and restaurants. Much like Nagano and Tokyo, Karuizawa also shares an impressive pedigree being the only town in the world to have hosted events in both the summer (Tokyo 1964) and winter (Nagano 1998) Olympic Games. It’s important to note that prices in Karuizawa are not cheap and are likely to also book-out in advance, so make sure to get in early if you want to secure a good deal.
For accommodation listings, see our ‘Karuizawa Area’ hotel page.
Serviced by Echigo-Yuzawa Station on the Joetsu Shinkansen Line, the hot spring town of Yuzawa is famous throughout Japan for its heavy snowfall each winter. As a hot spring town, Yuzawa boasts plenty of hotels including many ‘ryokan’ (traditional guesthouses) with their own ‘onsen’. Only 80-minutes from Tokyo using the shinkansen, Yuzawa is another convenient option in Central Japan.
For accommodation listings, see our ‘Yuzawa Area’ hotel page.
PACKAGE & SAVE: BOOK YOUR TRIP TO NAGANO & CENTRAL JAPAN!
Locally-based and operating all year round, Snow Monkey Resorts is Nagano’s No.1 tour and charter operator. We have the local knowledge of where and when to go, to help you discover and enjoy the region’s many wonderful attractions and destinations.
As a registered travel agent participating in the national ‘Go To Travel’ campaign, we can package your next trip to Nagano and Central Japan including transport, accommodation, tours, restaurants and more!
For guests wanting to access the resorts in the comfort of their own transport, we can arrange a private tour or charter customised to fit your needs, starting and ending at any destination. Our drivers and vehicles are fully certified, allowing us to transport you to and from your preferred destinations in combination with any activity that suits your interests and schedule.
Vehicles are fitted with a protective screen – separating the driver from passenger and luggage area – and our drivers wear protective masks, allowing you to move between your destinations in comfort and safety.
We can arrange both private tours with an English-speaking guide or a private charter, including a private vehicle and driver but without a guide. We’d love to be part of that experience and help you discover even more!
Why choose us?
Awarded a 2019 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour – recognised as one of the Top 10 Experiences in Japan – we have the local knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of your time in Nagano.
Got a question about visiting Nagano and Central Japan? Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get planning together!