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Home to more than 13 million people, Tokyo is a vibrant city, with towering Mt. Fuji providing a stunning backdrop. The city has much to offer visitors, including the chance to visit several historic shrines and temples (like the Sensoji Temple and Meiji Shrine) and the Tokyo Tower or Sky Tree; it's an incredible place to soak in the Japanese culture. When seeking a place to stay on a budget, be prepared that rooms in Japan are extremely small when compared to Western hotels, and that you will be required to show your passport. Some hotels may feature Japanese traditions and amenities like public baths (spas), tea service, massage chairs and floor mats (in lieu of typical beds). Not sure where to stay? Our list of the 10 best budget hotels in Tokyo can help.
Best Overall: Hotel Niwa Tokyo
With a prime location (you're less than a mile from the Yasukuni Shrine, Imperial Palace Garden and Akihabara Electric Town), affordable prices, modern, clean digs and an attentive staff, the 38-room Hotel Niwa Tokyo is our pick for the best overall accommodation. The hotel has a spacious gym, free massage chairs for relaxing after a workout, and a peaceful outdoor courtyard. Rooms have modern décor, free Wi-Fi, soundproofing and mini refrigerators. When hunger strikes, the hotel has two dining options, including a French-inspired restaurant for breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea time, as well as a Japanese restaurant located just across from the hotel’s courtyard.
Best Location: Richmond Hotel Premier Asakusa International
Practically next door to the world-famous Sensouji Temple, the Richmond Hotel Asakusa makes an excellent basecamp to explore Tokyo. And with the Tsukuba Express Line, Toei Asakusa Line and Tobu Skytree Line all less than 10 minutes away, the city is really at your fingertips. The 270 rooms are spread out between the 6th and 13th floors, so those asking for upper level will be treated to views of the city. Standard Rooms have 190 square feet with modern décor and free Wi-Fi. A plentiful breakfast buffet is available in the window-lined dining lounge (although a tad on the pricey side), and a business center is located in the lobby.
Best Near the Nightlife: Super Hotel Lohas Akaska Minato
Tourists looking to experience the nightlife of Tokyo should visit the happening Roppongi neighborhood, one of the top areas for dance clubs and bars. The 167-room Super Hotel Lohas Akaska Minato puts guests on a quiet street, but within walking distance to the bars and restaurants of the trendy neighborhood. At 129 square feet, rooms are tiny but include free Internet access, portable battery chargers (especially useful!) and comforts like soft slippers and soothing green tea. An impressive breakfast buffet is available for an additional charge, and there is a small coffee shop on the property as well. Children are not permitted at the hotel.
Best for Families: Shiba Park Hotel
Finding a hotel in Tokyo that can accommodate families can be tricky: rooms are often just large enough for one or two people. The Shiba Park Hotel offers more spacious rooms than most, and families can opt for the triple (247 square feet), quad rooms (355 square feet) or connecting rooms (kids under seven years of age stay free when sharing an existing bed). In addition, staying at the hotel makes it easy to get around the city with kids in tow (the Onarimon and Daimon subway stations are just a short walk away). Hotel amenities include two restaurants serving Chinese and Japanese cuisine and a bar/lounge.
Best for Solo Travelers: Andon Ryokan
The Andon Ryokan is full of authentic Japanese antiques and unique cultural aspects, but at just 75 square feet, rooms are tiny and are ideal for solo travelers. Accommodations have free Wi-Fi, simplistic décor and furnishings in traditional Japanese style. Other hotel amenities include a Jacuzzi (free upon reservation), a rooftop terrace with picnic tables and views, a traditional Japanese tea ceremony and breakfast in the lounge (served on antique tableware) for a chance to mingle with other travelers. The designer hotel is within a five-minute-walk from the Arakawa Line Minowabashi Station and the Hibiya Line Minowa Station. TripAdvisor members rave about the incredibly friendly and helpful staff who made their stay special.
Best for Views: The Gate Hotel Asakusa Kaminarimon by HULIC
For a change of scenery (and incredible views), the Gate Hotel is located in vibrant Asakusa, in the outskirts of central Tokyo, where old Edo and modern Tokyo collide. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with beautiful vistas out the floor-to-ceiling windows or on the outdoor terrace. Even the bar is designed to soak in views of the Sky Tree Tower. The 137 guest rooms fall into several categories, with basic rooms ranging from 160 to 200 square feet with Slumberland brand beds and rain showers in the bathrooms. Please note that while last-minute, weekend rates for this hotel can get expensive, advance booking and mid-week prices are quite reasonable.
Best for Shoppers: Tokyu Stay Tsukiji
Many TripAdvisor members chose to stay at the Tokyu Stay Tsukiji because of its close proximity to the Tsukiji Market, one of the largest marketplaces in the world (it's a famous spot to buy fish, fresh sushi, produce, meats and flowers). But if you're looking for handmade crafts, the hotel is located near Ginza, one of Tokyo’s premier shopping areas known for boutique shops. Location aside, the hotel's 125 rooms have free Wi-Fi, a soaking tub and in-room washers/dryers (so feel free to only bring a carry-on bag). You can start the morning with breakfast at the family restaurant for a small fee, but if you book a higher category room, you'll also have a kitchenette (perfect for cooking up some of your finds from Tsukiji Market).
Best Traditional Japanese Hotel: Hotel Fukudayu
Ryokans are traditional Japanese inns with intimate settings and basic bedding styles (pillows are filled with buckwheat and mats and futons replace mattresses), and are often more affordable that traditional accommodations. So if you're penny-pinching and want an authentic experience, you'll want to stay here. Hotel Fukudayu has been operating as a ryokan since the early 1900s, but established itself at the present location shortly after WWII. The inn has 17 rooms, of which 13 are Japanese-style with minimalist décor and futon bedding spread out on tatami mats (so you sleep on the floor). There other four rooms have traditional Western-style beds, with free Wi-Fi and Japanese tea service. The inn is located 15 minutes from the Shibuya metro station near Yoyogi Park and the Nezu Art Museum (two miles), but the fashion and shopping area is within walking distance.
Best Spa: Coco Grand Kitasenju
Want some pampering after your long flight? Coco Grand Kitasenju's second-floor public baths (spa) with therapy chairs, a dry sauna and hot rocks (in the women’s spa) will be the perfect jet lag remedy. Located in Adachi with beautiful views of the city, the 100-room, Coco Grand Kitasenju, is an excellent value. Standard single rooms start at 176 square feet and include massage chairs, pajamas, contemporary décor, and free Wi-Fi. Guests can start the day with a free breakfast buffet that has both Japanese and Western-style items served in the dining area or out on the terrace, but if you're after some sweets, head to the hotel's well-known Japanese bakery and dessert shop. The hotel is a three-minute walk from the JR Kita-Senju railway station.
Best Outside the City Center: Chiyoda Inn
Travelers who enjoy staying in less busy, more residential areas should consider Chiyoda Inn, a friendly guesthouse in Arakawa that is a home-away-from-home for many travelers. Rooms are dimly lit and ideal for one or two guests, with simple décor, a desk, single beds and shared bathroom facilities. TripAdvisor members noted that the noise of the trains can be heard throughout the day (although not at night) and that the English-speaking staff was extremely welcoming and helpful. The hotel is a short walk from the Minami-Senju Station and is easily accessible from the airport.