Tokyo is a wonderful, vast and sprawling city and where you stay can have a big impact on how you experience it. While the transport system is nothing short of amazing, there's something lovely about having a good selection of spots within stumbling distance from where you're staying. You'll find a map below to help you get a sense of where these hotels are. If you have a longer stay in Tokyo, it's a good idea to break it up between hotels- maybe try a stint in Shibuya or Shinjuku, and then try a different side of the city.
If you can, book early
As tourism is having a 'moment' across Japan, accommodation is often on the scarce side, so we recommend booking early. For some hotels you can only book so far in advance- so if they're completely booked out for your dates, double check. It could be that bookings haven't actually opened yet.
The boom is also contributing to a lot of new hotels opening, and we do tend towards these. The rooms can be a little larger (a little!), there's more chance of a cafe on-site, and there's less chance of booking a room that people have previously been allowed to smoke in.
Looking for something different?
Across Japan you'll often find hostels that also offer private rooms, often with their own bathrooms, or conversely, boutique hotels that have a dorm room or two. We've included a few in this list for a couple of reasons. Hostels in Japan tend to a lot nicer, cleaner and quieter than their counterparts on this side of the world. Accommodation can get a little expensive, and these offer a more wallet-friendly alternative. It's also just a nice way to meet people.
You won't find traditional ryokan listed here. A ryokan stay tends to be more expensive, and if this is something that's on your radar, it might be nice to consider doing it outside of Tokyo. Try using a guesthouse specific platform like: www.japaneseguesthouses.com
What we look for
In our search, we don't look for a lot of luxury, but location, a bed that fits a tall person, and a reasonable price are all high on the wish-list. Where possible we've included when the hotel was built, and any extras that are on offer. We haven't stayed in all of these hotels, this is the product of a long Google search, cross-referenced with Agoda.
A note on prices
Prices are estimates only, based on the dates we looked at. Be aware that hotel prices change a lot across the seasons, and even depending on when you stay during the week. If you're staying across a weekend or a public holiday you can see some spiking quite dramatically. If you're planning to book through a site like Agoda, make sure you double check the price through the hotel's site directly, you might find a better 'accommodation plan'.
Our Tokyo accommodation shortlist:
Claska is one of Tokyo's original 'design hotels' and has 20 rooms, all designed in a different style: modern, tatami, contemporary or story. Rooms sizes and prices vary, and if you happen to be travelling solo there are some cute and well-priced options.
The location is possibly a little off-beat, and it's a great area to explore, but know that there's a walk between stations. There's also a certain... attitude that comes with being a design hotel innovator.
Muesli at Claska
Even if you're not staying there, if you happen to be in the area, it's worth heading to the design store. Bookings open six months before.
Expect to pay around AU$300 a night for a room for two that's 35m².
We're pretty vocal about our love for Hotel Graphy and the surrounding area. Time Out Tokyo agrees, naming Yanaka the city's 'coolest neighbourhood'. It's somewhere you won't see in most guides, and the quiet and understated area is a far cry from the neon delights of areas like Shibuya and Shinjuku. But it will give you a taste of shitamachi Tokyo, and a look at the different side of this incredibly diverse city.
The hotel itself is part hostel, and so has an amazingly-equipped kitchen, a laundry and a roof terrace. The rooms are small but have everything you need, and there are good options for groups. This hotel is already a handy cost-saver but if you're really on a budget, choose to share a bathroom, they're on each floor and kept perfectly clean.
Expect to pay around AU$200 a night for a room for two that's 13m².
Hotel Gracery Shinjuku
Best known for the giant Godzilla statue that monsters this building, the Gracery is also a well-priced, and central hotel, a five minute walk from Shinjuku Station.
Built into the side of a shopping centre, you'll find plenty to do without moving too far from the hotel. Godzilla fans can opt for an 8th floor 'Godzilla View Room', which looks frankly terrifying.
Expect to pay around AU$360 a night for a room for two that's 18m².
The hotel opened in May 2018, with a focus on design and space. It's especially good for families or small groups travelling together because the rooms are big (one room per floor!) and most have a sofa bed included. Most also have a bit of a 'living room' or working area and some also have balconies.
Close to Tokyo Station, the hotel is also within walking distance to sights like Ginza, the Tsukiji Market (the market may have moved but the outer market businesses are there and need your support!), and the Kabuki-za Theater.
Expect to pay around AU$330 a night for a room for two (that will sleep up to five) that's 30m².
Hotel Felice Akasaka
Boasting a modern and clean design, this hotel opened in March 2018. It seems to be a boutique offering from the Hotel Relief chain.
There are rooms designed for wheelchair users, which is something of a rarity. There is an on-site bathhouse (separated by gender). Bicycle rental is available onsite.
One note, don't get confused between Akasaka and Asakusa. This hotel is set in the more upscale and modern area. If you're looking to stay in the more traditional, temple-oriented area, this isn't it.
Expect to pay around AU$220 a night for a room for two that's 12m².
Share Hotels Lyuro Kiyosumi
One of the excellent Share Hotels small chain of boutique hotel and hostels, this hotel occupies something of an unusual position in Tokyo, set next to the Sumidagawa River. Kiyosumi is in east Tokyo and is an understated spot where lovers of coffee and green spaces will find a lot to like.
There's a lovely riverside space, perfect for an afternoon beer, and the hotel also holds film screenings there. There are shared hostel rooms on site, along with a BBQ-inspired restaurant and microbrewery.
Expect to pay around AU$300 a night for a room for two that's 26m².
Another outpost of the boutique Granbell chain, this chic hotel in the upmarket but fun Ebisu area opened in May 2018 and seems very much geared towards international tourists, with bigger rooms and bigger bathrooms.
There's a cafe and diner on site and breakfast is available. Explore Ebisu, Daikanyama and Nakameguro on foot, you'll find loads of great options for eating and drinking (hint: you're very close to our favourite bookshop).
Expect to pay around AU$160 a night for a room for two that's 17m².
There's so much going on in Shibuya that you can chalk a bit of mess and noise up to general sprawl and just enjoy the environment. The same is kind of true here- the hotel is perhaps a touch tired around the edges, but the location makes it totally forgivable. You're a two minute walk from Shibuya Station here, and in easy reach of loads of sights and explorable-suburbs.
It's worth shelling out for one of the slightly more upmarket rooms, which are comfortable and quiet and give you a little more floorspace. Oh, and there are much better breakfast options in the area.
Expect to pay around AU$260 a night for a room for two that's 17m².
There are mezzanine or 'loft' rooms on offer, which is a great way to stretch the space in a hotel room. These have a little living space upstairs and the bed and bathroom downstairs (more of a ladder situation). Perfect if you're settling in for more than a night or two.
Enjoy an art lounge, a club lounge, a bar and a cafe. Plus, there's a 13th floor rooftop terrace, which is something of a rarity in Tokyo, and it offers a stunning view. Enjoy exploring a fun area, perhaps rent one of the hotel bikes.
Expect to pay around AU$280 a night for a room for two that's 15m².
Hotel The Knot Shinjuku
Yet another newly opened hotel with an emphasis on design, the one also benefits from a great location, very close to Shinjuku gyo-en (park). It's about a 10 minute walk to the nearest station, and just a little further to Shinjuku Station.
There's an onsite bar and bakery and the hotel also offers breakfast. Bikes are available for rent.
Expect to pay around AU$210 a night for a room for two that's 17m².
Where to stay in Tokyo
Wondering where to stay in other parts of Japan? See more of our picks