Hotels in Japan - here are our best tips

If you are visiting Japan for less than a month and do not want to stay in a host family, then hotels are your best option. Here we recommend hotels that we know and often have stayed in ourselves. Choose from traditional Ryokans, Capsule Hotels, Love Hotels and ordinary Hotels. Welcome to Japan!

I will include hotels in all price ranges, so there is something that suits everyone. First, you will find hotels in Tokyo, then hotels in Kyoto and finally hotels in the rest of Japan. The blue headlines are linked to the hotels.

Hotels in Tokyo

Park Hyatt Tokyo *****

Have you seen the movie Lost in Translation Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray? It was taking place at this hotel. If you want to stay in style in Tokyo, Park Hyatt is the perfect choice. Here you have a great view of the city and can even see Mount Fuji in clear weather. The hotel is located in Shinjuku in western Tokyo. It is one of Tokyo's most popular city centers with a lot of skyscrapers, restaurants and shopping opportunities. From the big Shinjuku station you can quickly travel to other parts of Tokyo.

Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku ****

Shinjuku is the perfect base for exploring Tokyo and you will find no better location than Sunroute Plaza. The hotel often has good prices. This was the first hotel I stayed at when I visited Japan. It is a nice hotel located on a quiet street a few steps from Shinjuku Station's Southern Terrace exit. Just walk down the stairs and turn right then you will see the hotel. Walk a few meters past the hotel and you are on one of the main streets of Shinjuku and on the other side there is a nice area with lots of bars and restaurants on cozy narrow streets.

Hotel Balian Resort Kinshicho (love hotel) ***

Who has not heard of Japanese Love Hotels? If you are curious about staying there for a night, Balian is a good option. Love Hotels can be hard to find and book if you don't know Japanese and you never know what you get. Balian is a good choice since it is easy to book. A fresh, tropical-style hotel that does not feel dodgy at all. Most rooms have a private Yakuzi. Balian is a chain, but this particular hotel is located in Kinshicho near Tokyo Skytree.

Ryokan Asakusa Shigetsu ***

If you want to try a traditional Japanese accommodation in Tokyo, Ryokan Asakusa Shigetsu is a very good option. The location is perfect in the traditional Asakusa district. A Ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn where you live in Japanese rooms with tatami mats and sleep on futons on the floor. We recommend that you choose a Japanese room and add breakfast. Nearby you will find Sensoji, one of Tokyo's most famous temples. The bath overlooks Tokyo Skytree and from Asakusa station you have direct access to Ueno, Shibuya and Ginza.

Annex Katsutaro Ryokan **

A simple Japanese Ryokan with good location in Yanaka - a cozy, old-fashioned neighborhood where the old Tokyo is still alive. I have personal experience from this Ryokan. The location is perfect with a cozy neighborhood and walking distance to Ueno park and 8 minutes walk to Nippori Station on the Yamanote Circle Line. From this station, the flight train Keisei Skyliner goes directly to Narita Airport. This Ryokan is often fully booked so don't wait! Read more about the Ryokan above.

Tokiwa Hotel **

If you want a cheap stay in Tokyo, Tokiwa Hotel is a good option, not least if you fly to Narita as the airport train stops close to the hotel. I have stayed at Tokiwa on several occasions. The rooms are quite simple, not least the bathrooms. The highlights of the hotel are the price, the Japanese bath downstairs and not least the location. The hotel is very close to Nippori Station on the Yamanote Line. From here, the airport train Keisei Skyliner goes directly to Narita Airport and around the corner is the cozy Yanaka area, which you can read more about under Annex Katsutaru above.

The Nell Ueno Okachimachi (capsule hotel for men) *

If you want to live super cheap in Tokyo and try something really Japanese then this capsule hotel is something for you, as long as you don't suffer from claustrophobia... At Japanese Capsule Hotels you sleep in a capsule that contains a bed, TV, AC and an alarm clock. Then there are common areas with bathrooms, including a small Japanese bath. This capsule hotel enjoys a very central location near Ueno park and the Okachimachi Market Streets. It is walking distance down to Akihabara. Please note that the hotel only accepts men.

Hotels in Kyoto

Aoi Hotel Kyoto ****

If you're looking for a modern, good standard hotel with a great location in Kyoto, look no further than the Aoi Hotel. The hotel overlooks the river that passes through Kyoto and it is only a short walk along the nearby canal up to Shijo-dori with shopping and cozy restaurant streets. On the other side of the river, lies the old district of Gion known for its Geishas, and you can walk to the Kiyomizu-dera temple in less than half an hour.

Gion Hatanaka Ryokan, Kyoto ****

If there is somewhere you should live in a traditional Japanese Ryokan; it is in Kyoto. Here you will experience traditional Japan with a lovely atmosphere close to temples, parks and old neighborhoods. Ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn where you live in Japanese rooms with tatami mats and sleep on futons on the floor. You will be served traditional Japanese food, dress in Yukata and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere. From here you have walking distance to the city center and several attractions.

Kyoto Takasegawa Bettei Ryokan ***

If Gion Hatanaka is too expensive, Takasegawa Bettei is a very good alternative if you want to stay at a Ryokan in Kyoto. I have stayed at this nice Ryokan which is in a really good location next to a small canal in central Kyoto. Follow the canal north and you will reach the city center with many nice restaurant streets. Cross the nearby river and you can walk up to the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, one of Kyoto's main attractions. You can walk to Kyoto Station in 15 minutes.

Sakura Terrace The Gallery, Kyoto ***

Do you travel to Kyoto by train and just stay for a few nights? Then Sakura Terrace next to Kyoto station is an excellent option in the summer months. Sakura Terrace The Gallery is located just a few minutes behind Kyoto station in a quiet area. The hotel consists of a large open courtyard where each room has its own front door and many rooms have a balcony. It's really lovely in the summer but maybe not the right choice in the winter. The highlights are free drinks and the Japanese bath.

Nine hours Kyoto * (capsule hotel)

This is a capsule hotel for those who want a central location in Kyoto at minimum expense. As a bonus you get a unique Japanese experience. The hotel is located opposite some temples about a minute's walk from Shijo-dori, Kyoto’s main shopping street. Walk across this street and follow it to the right to the river and you will soon reach the shopping arcades and cozy restaurant streets. This capsule hotel receives both women and men, but they live on separate floors. Read more about Capsule Hotels under The Nell Ueno Okachimachi in Tokyo above.

Hotels in other Japanese cities

Find Hotels in other Japanese cities. Contact us for specific advice on hotels in other parts of Japan.

Please note that hotels might change their offerings without notifying us so always read the description on the hotel website that we link to.

Accommodation options:     Host family     Share House     Apartment     Hotel

Quick facts about hotels in Japan

Is it suitable for students and long term visitors?


Is it suitable for tourists?


How long can I live there?

One night or more

Easy to get to know people?


Do you have private bathroom?

Yes usually

Is food included?

Sometimes breakfast is included

Where are the hotels located?

All over Japan

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