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!
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!
Table of Contents
Our 5 Favorite Homestays in Tokyo
|Shinjuku Sharehouse Tatami Room||VIEW ON AIRBNB|
|Cosy Convenient Spot Ikebukuro||VIEW ON AIRBNB|
|Alleviate the Fatigue of TR||VIEW ON AIRBNB|
|Artistic Cosy House||VIEW ON AIRBNB|
|Private Room in Shinjuku City||VIEW ON AIRBNB|
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.
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 some bodies 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 7am as the hosts children were running through the halls!
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.
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.
Join Homestay.com For More Great Homestays
In this post, we’ve listed 10 awesome properties handpicked 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!
The Top 10 Homestays in Tokyo
Best Homestay in Tokyo – Shinjuku Sharehouse Tatami Room
- 3 Guests
- Rooftop terrace
- Equipped kitchen
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 Tokyo share house. 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!
Best Value Homestay in Tokyo – Cosy Convenient Spot Ikebukuro
- 2 Guests
- Bicycle rental
Travelling in Japan can drain your bank account faster than you realise. So, you’ll probably be best of looking for a budget homestay in Tokyo if you’re worried about spends! Another tatami mat room, this place in Ikebukuro is run by a superhost who will happily help you find your way around Tokyo.
You can even rent bicycles to go out and explore the city on! The beds come from some of Tokyo’s five-star hotels before 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!
Best Traditional Homestay in Tokyo – Tatami Room in Ikebukuro
- 2 Guests
- Luggage drop off
- Essentials provided
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 – Alleviate the Fatigue of TR
- 2 Guests
- Laptop-friendly workspace
- Hot Tub
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 – Cosy Room near Shinjuku
- 2 Guests
- Great location
- Three private rooms
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!
Best Homestay in Tokyo for Couples – Cosy Japanese Room near Shibuya
- 2 Guests
- Laptop-friendly workspace
- Helpful homestay host
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 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. Let your homestay host know in advance if you’d like pocket Wi-Fi, they’ll be able to set that up for you for a small fee!
Best Homestay in Tokyo for Nightlife – Private Room in Shinjuku City
- 4 Guests
- Amazing location
- Private entrance
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!
Best Student Homestay in Tokyo – Cosy Hilltop with Green View
- 2 Guests
- Free breakfast
- Opposite Tokyo University
Looking for somewhere to stay near Tokyo University? The private room in this 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.
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!
Best Homestay in Tokyo for Families – Artistic Cosy House
- 4 Guests
- Temperature controlled bathtub
- Small hammock for kids
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!
Best Homestay in Tokyo for Groups – Japanese House Family Bungalow
- 4 Guests
- Great location
- Hot Tub
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 second tallest building in the world!
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We have loads more information to help you plan your trip.
Need More Homestays?
Personally, I’d stay in any of those lovely homestays! However, in case you didn’t quite find what you were after, or just want to see what else is out there then why not sign up for Homestay.com and have a browse for yourself? They have 1000’s of homestay listings in over 100 countries!
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 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!
And don’t forget to sort your travel insurance before heading to Tokyo! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, buy a book or sort your insurance, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only link to stuff I’ve actually used and never endorse crap. Your support helps me keep the site going.
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A self-proclaimed travel-yoga-freak, Mathilde Magnier is French, raised in Brussels, and spent most of her adulthood in Sydney. Prior to working for The Broke Backpacker, Mathilde was working in the tech industry for a few years. She plans to spend most of 2020 balancing wellness and la Vida Loca in Central and South America.
You can connect and follow her journey on Instagram!