A mix of tradition and ultra modern, Tokyo is the biggest city in the world and over 36 million people live here! Whether you want to go to robot shows, drive around the city streets in a Mario Kart, or just slurp bowls of ramen all day long, we haven’t even started to scratch the surface of what makes the capital of Japan so great!

From wandering around the stunning Sensoji Temple or Ueno Park to the bustling Akihabara area and the super modern Tokyo Tower or taking a trip out to Mount Fuji. There’s plenty to do!

There’s just one little big problem – Tokyo can be very expensive!  One of the best ways to save costs though is on accommodation, but budget accommodation doesn’t have to mean noisy hostels! Homestays in Tokyo are one of the best ways not only to save yourself some cash but also to really get to know the local culture!

With that in mind, we’ve decided to help you out. We’ve scoured high and low to find the best homestays in Tokyo and we think you’re going to love them. After all, you don’t want to leave Japan without having stayed in a traditional tatami mat room!

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Our 5 Favourite Homestays in Tokyo

Shinjuku Sharehouse Tatami

Shinjuku Sharehouse Tatami Room

  • > $
  • > 3 Guests
  • > Rooftop terrace
  • > Equipped kitchen
Cosy Convenient Spot Ikebukuro

Cosy Convenient Spot Ikebukuro

  • > $
  • > 2 Guests
  • > Kitchen
  • > Bicycle rental
share house 'Miraie' @JR Osaki

share house ‘Miraie’ @JR Osaki

  • > $
  • > 2 Guests
  • > Laptop-friendly workspace
  • > Hot Tub
Artistic Cosy House

Artistic Cosy House

  • > $$$
  • > 4 Guests
  • > Temperature controlled bathtub
  • > Small hammock for kids
Private room in villa

Private room in villa

  • > $$
  • > 4 Guests
  • > Amazing location
  • > Private entrance

What is a Homestay?

So what exactly do we mean by a homestay? Well, a homestay can be described as a holiday or other period abroad spent staying in the home of a local family. Or, it can simply mean a private house which offers accommodation to paying guests.

These days, some homestays are more “home” than others. In fact, some are so slick and professional that they are closer to guesthouses. It should normally be easy to identify what kind of homestay you are looking at from the listing and from reading the guest reviews. It is important to choose the right one for you and to decide exactly how much interaction you want with your hosts.

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    Is a Homestay right for you?

    Before deciding to book a homestay, you need to ask yourself whether it is right for you. Bear in mind that you are not simply booking a room in a hotel or a bed in a hostel, but will be living inside somebodies house.

    For example, if you plan on doing some serious partying, perhaps you would be better suited to a hostel? Also, are you ok with the possibility of sharing a house with noisy kids or elderly relatives? I did one homestay in Nepal and it was hard to ever sleep past 7 am as the host’s children were running through the halls!

    The average price of a homestay is similar to that of a hostel, for that you’ll have an authentic experience when visiting Tokyo that a hostel could never give you. But for that, you’ll also miss the company of your fellow traveller if that is something you value. You do usually get other amenities at a homestay/ guest house that you might find harder to come by at other accommodation.

    Remember The House Rules

    When you book a homestay, remember to respect the house rules. Whilst homestay hosts will always try their best to be flexible to your needs, there may occasionally be some ground rules such as no guests, no drugs or even no alcohol.

    There may sometimes even be a curfew. It is important to read the listings and check these things before you book your homestay. You might get an amazing host at your guest house, but be sure to respect them and realise they will be a different experience from the hostels in Tokyo.

    Are Homestays Safe?

    If you are booking through a reputable platform, they will have vetted and verified the homestay host very carefully. Guest feedback is also very important and any complaints are carefully investigated. Therefore, homestays are every bit as safe and secure as hostels or hotels.

    Bridge over muddles water.

    Join Homestay.com For More Great Homestays

    In this post, we’ve listed 10 awesome properties hand picked from the 4 corners of the internet! However, in case you don’t find what you’re looking for here, we recommend signing up for Homestay.com and having a search yourself. They have 1000’s of homestay listings in over 100 countries!

    Join Homestay.com

    The Top 10 Homestays in Tokyo

    Best Homestay in Tokyo – Shinjuku Sharehouse Tatami Room

    Shinjuku Sharehouse Tatami Room

    Let’s begin our list of the best homestays in Tokyo with an awesome shared house! Now, when you first look at the pictures you might well wonder where the bed is?! Well, this is a traditional tatami mat room with ultra-comfy futon beds! There are other rooms at this place, so you’ll be able to meet other travellers at this central Tokyo share house. A Tokyo travel guide would be lacking if it didn’t include having an authentic local experience such as this.

    Cook yourself a meal in the fully equipped kitchen then head up to the roof terrace where you can have a few beers and marvel at the views of the world’s biggest city! It’s the perfect place to experience Japanese culture in a guest house located close to downtown Tokyo and offering an average price way less than nearby hostels. From here it’s around 30 mins to Haneda Airport.

    Budget Tip: Dorms in Tokyo start from $21USD per bed. They’re the cheapest accommodation in the city. Search for hostels in the area!

    Best Value Homestay in Tokyo – Cosy Convenient Spot Ikebukuro

    Cosy Convenient Spot Ikebukuro

    Travelling in Japan can drain your bank account faster than you realise. So, you’ll probably be best off looking for a budget homestay in Tokyo if you’re worried about spending, as the city can be very expensive! Another tatami mat room, this air-conditioned place in Ikebukuro is run by a super host who will happily help you find your way around Tokyo or visit further afield like a trip to Mount Fuji. It’s easy to visit all the best places to see in Tokyo from this awesome base.

    You can even rent bicycles to go out and explore the city on! The beds come from some of Tokyo’s five-star hotels after being cleaned – so you know that you’ll have a good night’s sleep! There’s a kitchen too, so you can keep your costs down further by preparing your own meals! It’s also easy to reach Haneda Airport on public transport from here.

    Best Traditional Homestay in Tokyo – Japanese Tatami Room

    Japanese Tatami Room

    Thinking about where to stay in Japan for a traditional experience? You won’t do much better than this two-storey Japanese house in Ikebukuro. Your friendly homestay host will give you a key so that you can enter and leave whenever you like. It’s another tatami mat room, but this one has a modern twist as there’s a TV which will keep you entertained! There’s also a small table and chairs where you can play cards or have a cup of matcha tea! To make you feel welcome and truly at home, you’ve also got the essentials provided like shampoo!

    Perfect Homestay for Digital Nomads – share house ‘Miraie’ @JR Osaki

    share house 'Miraie' @JR Osaki

    Now, if you’re a digital nomad, perhaps being bent over on a tatami mat with your laptop on your knees isn’t the best way to work. But don’t worry! This Tokyo share house comes with a Western-style bedroom. And in it, you’ll find a laptop-friendly workspace and quick Wi-Fi. What more could you need?! Also, there’s a hot tub, so when you’ve finished a long day of sending emails or getting your latest article finished, you’ve got somewhere to relax and unwind!

    Perfect Homestay for Solo Travellers – Cozy Double Bed near Shinjuku

    Cozy Double Bed near Shinjuku

    Travelling solo and wondering where to stay in Tokyo? Plenty of people will tell you to stay in a hostel, and while that can be fun, it’s not for everyone. Thankfully, here’s an alternative share house in Tokyo that’s got three private rooms. So, there’s every chance you’ll make friends with fellow travellers and have someone to explore the city with. As well as your homestay host. It’s right near Korean Street, so if you’re interested in KPop and real Seoul food, then this is the place for you!

    Is This the Best Backpack EVER???
    audy on top of a mountain in japan with the osprey aether

    We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

    Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

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    Best Homestay in Tokyo for Couples – Cosy Japanese Room near Shibuya

    Cosy Japanese Room near Shibuya

    If you’re looking for a Tokyo homestay where you can get a bit of privacy and spend some quality time with the one you love, look no further than this cosy Japanese room. It’s near the popular area of Shibuya, where the famous crossing is!

    You’re also just a hop, skip, and a jump from many of the top shopping in Tokyo here, not to mention being well connected by public transport to the rest of the city. Looking for advice on exploring the city or taking a trip to somewhere like Mount Fuji, the hosts are super helpful.

    Let your homestay host know in advance if you’d like pocket Wi-Fi internet access, they’ll be able to set that up for you for a small fee!

    Best Homestay in Tokyo for Nightlife – Private room in villa

    Private room in villa

    Shinjuku has some of the best nightlife in the Japanese capital, so it makes sense to find a Tokyo homestay nearby! Check out this awesome option – it comes with two double futon beds. Great for a small group! If you’re on your own or in a couple, it just means more space to spread out as you sleep off your hangover. There’s also a private entrance here – so you don’t have to worry about disturbing your homestay host if you stay out really late. Lively, cool Shinjuku isn’t just great for nightlife, but for sightseeing and shopping too! If you’re looking for the best place to stay in Tokyo, this area is probably it!

    Best Student Homestay in Tokyo – Cosy Hilltop with Green View

    Cosy Hilltop with Green View

    Looking for somewhere to stay near Tokyo University? The private room in this air-conditioned townhouse is perfect – and you’ll be treated to a complimentary breakfast too! You have a fridge in your bedroom but you’re welcome to use your host family’s kitchen to cook any meals. There’s also a laptop-friendly workspace and pocket Wi-Fi internet access as well as a flat-screen tv.

    So, you can either study in the comfort of your own bedroom or find a cafe or park and hook up to that connection! If you’re studying long-term in Japan, this friendly and welcoming Tokyo homestay offers longer stays! It’s also in a great location if you’re planning on visiting the Edo Tokyo Museum.

    Best Homestay in Tokyo for Families – Artistic Cosy House

    Artistic Cosy House

    The majority of homestays in Tokyo are best suited to solo travellers or couples – but that doesn’t mean you can find somewhere for the whole family. With a king bed on offer and a super cute single up some ladders, this is perfect if you’re travelling with small children! There’s a little hammock too… but probably best if mum and dad don’t try that out.

    If you’ve had a long day sightseeing, you can freshen up and clean yourself off in the temperature-controlled bathtub! What’s the catch then? Well, it’s certainly not location. You’re just one stop from Shibuya on the Yamanote Line! There’s even free internet access and the homestay is air-conditioned too.

    Best Homestay in Tokyo for Groups – Sunny Relaxing Room

    Sunny Relaxing Room

    Let’s round off our list of the best homestays in Tokyo with the perfect place to stay for groups. This Japanese house offers four futon beds, so if you’re travelling with friends or family, give this cool Tokyo homestay a closer look! Not only do you have a safe and comfortable room, but there’s a hot tub where you can chill out at the end of the day! Looking for things to do nearby? You’re only a couple of stops away from the Tokyo Skytree – the third tallest building in the world!

    FAQs about Homestays in Tokyo

    Here’s what people usually ask us when they look for vacation homes in Tokyo.

    Don’t Forget Your Tokyo Travel Insurance

    Thankfully, Tokyo is super safe but you’ve always got to be prepared for the worst and travel insurance is the best way to protect yourself against any unexpected accidents or illnesses. You just never know!

    ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

    They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

    SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

    Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

    Final Thoughts on Tokyo Homestays

    So, that concludes our list of the best homestays in Tokyo. We hope you found something that ideally suits your travel style and personality. But the most important aspect is the budget! Whether you want a western-style room (with one of those crazy toilets) or a traditional tatami room, there’s a homestay in Tokyo for you!

    We just hope you’re not feeling too overwhelmed by so much to choose from! If that’s the case, don’t panic. Just head back to the top of our page and pick our favourite Tokyo homestay: Shinjuku Sharehouse Tatami room. It boasts a great location, excellent value for money, and it’s a traditional Japanese experience!

    All that’s left now is for us to wish you a great time and safe travels to Japan. And the best way to keep yourself safe when you travel is with World Nomads, so make sure you take out a policy with them!