MUST READ – Where to Stay in Tokyo (2019 )

Tokyo is far and away one of the coolest cities you will ever travel to. Whether you are a veteran traveler or a newbie, Tokyo fills everyone that visits with a sense of culture shock and wonder.

But with 10 million people sprawled over 47 neighbourhoods - Tokyo is massive! And figuring out where to stay in Tokyo can be super overwhelming.

Which is why we put together this no stress guide for the best areas to stay in Tokyo!

This is the ultimate guide the best districts in Tokyo (photo credit - Dhafir Holiday and Travel)

 With the help of this guide, you'll get a feel for the different neighbourhoods, and based on your style of travel, we'll make recommendations for exactly where to be in Tokyo.

So whether you are traveling to Tokyo solo or as a family, are looking to stay in a hostel, hotel, or Airbnb, our ultimate guide will show you the best spots - eliminating any guesswork for you!

This way you can focus on what matters - eating sushi and dining in cat cafes   đź™‚

Let's take a look at the Tokyo's neighborhoods and the best places to stay in Tokyo.

Quick Tips for Where to Stay in Tokyo

  • Where to stay in Tokyo first time - Shinjuku
  • Where to stay in Tokyo on a budget - Asakusa
  • Best area to stay in Tokyo for nightlife - Roppongi
  • Coolest place to stay in Tokyo - Shibuya
  • Best neighborhood in Tokyo for families - Tokyo Bay

Where to Stay in Tokyo - Our Top Picks

We are going to break down our favourite places in our favourite neighborhoods, but these are our top recommendations for where to stay in the entire city of Tokyo. 

Best Hostel in Tokyo

Planetyze Hostel 

With mixed and female-only dorms featuring pod-style beds with privacy curtains and lockers, an onsite restaurant, a cosy common room, modern bathrooms, and laundry facilities, you can be sure of a comfortable stay. Meeting people is easy and the staff will help you make the most of your time in Tokyo.

Best Hotel in Tokyo

Hotel Hokke Club Asakusa

 A clean and modern boutique-style hotel in Asakusa, rooms are well-designed with lots of storage space and natural light. Each room has a fridge, kettle, TV, free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, and an en suite bathroom with complimentary toiletries and a bathtub. The hotel also has a restaurant.

Best Airbnb in Tokyo

This cosy private apartment for two is just a short walk from Shibuya station. Decorated with calming plants, it has two beds, a combined bedroom and living area, a well-stocked private bathroom and a small cooking area. Follow this link for $30 free AirBnB credit. Learn how to score AirBnB credit, even if you’re not a new member in this post. 


Backpacking Tokyo? Check out our insider guide to the 20 best hostels in Tokyo

Tokyo Neighborhood Guide

Tokyo is a huge and sprawling city with diverse neighbourhoods to appeal to different people. Bustling and lively, the Greater Tokyo Area is the world’s most populous metro area; it’s definitely not a place for people who hate crowds!

The Japanese capital has many neighbourhoods, with most locals connecting the neighbouring with the closest train station that serves the area.

With some 1,000 train stations through Tokyo, that’s an awful lot of neighbourhoods! There’s even a neighbourhood that occupies its own artificial island—Odaiba.

While many visitors have heard of famous areas, like Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ebisu, Ginza, and Gaienmae, some of the more offbeat city areas include Tsukiji, with its mammoth fish market, geeky Akihabara, the well-planned Shiodome, the olde-worlde Sugamo, and quirky Harajuku.

Shibuya is one of Tokyo's most popular neighborhoods (photo credit - trulytokyo)

Nippori is a top place to immerse yourself in history and culture, Kagurazaka has a French-like air and many traditional Geishas, and Shimokitazawa has a distinct hipster vibe.

Major business areas include Marunouchi, Kyobashi, Shimbashi, Shinagawa, and Yurakucho. There’s an “unlucky” Tokyo neighbourhood too—Ueno. Located in a direction that is seen as being inauspicious and unfavourable, property prices are relatively low here.

Visitors can enjoy a wealth of sights, however, including several museums and art galleries, a large zoo, an expansive park, and a number of thriving markets.

Almost all of Tokyo’s neighbourhoods have things of interest for tourists. Accommodation, eateries, and shops can be found all around the city.

That doesn’t necessarily mean, though, that you should stay just anywhere—there are some areas that are great for a visit and others that are ideal for a fabulous stay.

Where to Stay in Tokyo - 5 Best Neighborhoods

Wondering where the best place to stay in Tokyo is? Our highest recommendation is... (photo credit - tokyocheapo)

Excellent public transportation links make moving between Tokyo’s different neighbourhoods easy and relatively fast.

No matter where you stay, Tokyo’s vibrant energy and myriad sights are within easy reach.

That said, some neighbourhoods are more suited to different requirements, with some offering overall cheaper accommodation costs, some right at the heart of the partying hotspots, those that have an overall more suburban and residential vibe, and those that are a bit quirky and offbeat.

Whatever you’re looking for, here are some of the best Tokyo neighbourhoods for your stay:

Shinjuku (Visiting Tokyo for the first time!)

Shinjuku is the coolest place to stay in Tokyo (photo credit - wildtanuki)

Shinjuku is a very famous Tokyo neighbourhood, and our recommendation for the best place to stay in Tokyo for your first time.

If you like to be right in the action, Shinjuku is often said to be the city’s tourism heart and soul. Skyscrapers make for a dazzling skyline and bright neon lights cannot help but grab your attention. There are numerous places to stay as well as a plethora of eating, drinking, shopping, and entertainment options.

Top things to do in Shinjuku

  • Shop till you drop at places like Odakyu, Lumine, Beams Japan, and Takashimaya Times Square.
  • Stroll around the olde-world area of Golden Gai
  • Go bar hopping in Kabukicho
  • Soak up the views from the 45th-floor observation deck of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
  • Soak up the views from the 45th-floor observation deck of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building.
  • Wander through the delightful garden of Shinjuku Gyoen
  • Appreciate photography at Place M
  • Ride in a swan boat and see a shrine honouring the sea goddess of Benzaiten at Inokashira-Koen Park.
  • Relax in the lush Central Park.
  • Bat away any tensions at Shinjuku Batting Centre
  • See global clothes from throughout the ages at Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum
  •  Watch an enchanting puppet show at Puk Pupa Teatro
  • Get a sense of nostalgia at Omoide Yokocho
  • Snap a selfie with the LOVE statue.

Where to Stay in Shinjuku (For all budgets)

The best place to stay in Shinjuku depends on your travel-needs and travel-budget. Take a look at our highest recommendations for the best place to stay in Shinjuku for hostels, hotels and Airbnb. 

Shinjuku is the most popular choice for good reason

Best Hostel in Shinjuku

Imano Tokyo Hostel â€“ In the heart of Shinjuku, Imano Tokyo Hostel has private rooms and single-sex dorms. All dorm beds are capsule style with a curtain. There are common areas for dining, working, and socialising, and the onsite restaurant-bar serves tasty meals and drinks. Other perks: laundry facilities, housekeeping services, and luggage storage

Best Hotel in Shinjuku

Shinjuku Granbell Hotel – Attractive and stylish, rooms have fresh and modern designs. All rooms have a private bathroom with free toiletries and a hairdryer, air-conditioning, a mini fridge and kettle, TV, Wi-Fi, and an iPod docking station. Some have seating areas. The hotel has a restaurant, bar, and garden, and massage services can be booked for a surcharge

Best Airbnb in Shinjuku

A lovely and tasteful studio apartment in Shinjuku. Close to three train stations, three people can stay here, with one double bed and one single sofa bed. There’s a well-equipped kitchen, complete with a fridge, stove, microwave, and full crockery and cookware. Other facilities include a washing machine, TV, and Wi-Fi

Asakusa (Off the map and staying in Tokyo on a budget!)

Where to stay in Asakusa (photo credit - actravel)

If you want to visit Tokyo on a budget - Asakusa is an excellet pick. Tucked away from Tokyo’s main hustle and bustle, Asakusa is one of the cheapest neighbourhoods to stay in Tokyo.

Looking rather like it’s been stuck in a time warp when compared with the rest of the modern city, the area has a rather charming old-fashioned vibe. Relatively quiet and relaxed, Asakusa is also a top place to shop for traditional handicrafts.

Top things to do in Asakusa

  • Admire the modern wonder that is Tokyo Sky Tree before visiting one of the observation decks for fabulous city views.
  • Observe creatures from the ocean deep at Sumida Aquarium.
  •  Learn more about the skies at Konica Minolta Planetarium.
  • Buy tickets to watch a wrestling match at the National Sumo Stadium Kokugikan.
  • Visit the beautiful Senso-ji Temple and marvel at the towering pagoda and gleaming statue of Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy
  • Step back in time at the 17th-century Edo-period Asakusa-jinja Shrine.
  • Travel the globe through beer at the large beer hall that is the World Beer Museum.
  • See how Tokyo has changed through the ages at the Edo-Tokyo Museum.
  • Appreciate modern works at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
  • Rub the sacred cow’s stomach at Ushijima Shrine to cure a range of ills.
  • Ride the antiquated roller coasters and other rides at Hanayashiki amusement park.
  • Relax in Sumida Park and see the beautiful cherry blossom when in season.
  • Take a stroll alongside the Sumida River.

Where to Stay in Asakusa - A pick for every budget 

Best Hostel in Asakusa

Sakura Hostel Asakusa – A lively and sociable purpose-built hostel, the program of events includes Geisha shows, Sumo matches, and walking tours. There’s a kitchen to help keep costs down further and the lounge, complete with a TV and PS2, terrace, and bar are perfect places to chill and mingle

Best Hotel in Asakusa

Agora Place Asakusa - Within easy walking distance of the neighbourhood’s major sights, the hotel offers free-use computers and free Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, luggage storage, and a restaurant. Rooms are en suite and each has a flat-screen TV, telephone, fridge, and safety deposit box. There are both smoking and non-smoking rooms

Best Airbnb in Asakusa

Sleeping up to seven people in two double beds, two single beds, and a single sofa bed, this is an ideal apartment for a family or group of friends. The compact apartment has a kitchen, a bathroom with a bathtub, a washing machine, storage space, and Wi-Fi. Great location in Asakusa and highly reviewed

Roppongi (Best area to stay in Tokyo for nightlife and a crazy time!)

Roppongi is one of the most energetic neighborhoods in Japan

Pulsating, vibrant, and electric, Roppongi is one of the best places to stay in Tokyo for a diverse, fun, and cool night scene which is why it's our pick for best area to stay in Tokyo for nightlife.

Tokyo nightlife in Roppongi is world class, and you'll never have to wonder what to do at Roppongi at night! The party’s keep pumping every night of the week and you’ll never be short of something to do when the sun goes down. The neighbourhood also has plenty to enjoy during the daytimes too; it’s not only a place for night owls!

Top things to do in Roppongi

  •  Visit Nogi-jinja Shrine, dedicated to a war hero, General Nogi, who tragically killed himself through grief.
  •  Gaze up at the soaring Tokyo Tower before heading to one of the two observation decks for panoramic city views.
  • Climb the huge lantern-lit stone steps at Atago-jinja Shrine to reach Tokyo’s highest natural point.
  • Connect with your inner creative at diverse art museums and galleries such as the National Art Centre Tokyo, Gallery Side 2, Perrotin Tokyo, and the Mori Art Museum
  • Shop, eat, and be entertained at the massive Roppongi Hills complex.
  • Sip craft beers and gorge on homemade pub-grub favourites at BrewDog Roppongi.
  • Take in some local culture and history at the 14th-century Zojo-ji Temple, home to a gigantic Edo-era bell.
  • Aim for the bull’s eye or try for one-hundred-and-eighty at I Darts Tokyo.
  • Enjoy fresh air and nature at Hinokicho Park.
  • Hop from bar to bar and party hard in the area’s numerous nightclubs.

Where to Stay in Roppongi (no matter your style of travel)

Best Hostel in Roppongi

BNB+Trip Community Tokyo 

Located close to the best nightlife spots, fall into a private pod-style bed, complete with a privacy curtain, in the 20-bed mixed or female-only dorm after a night on the tiles. No need to contend with stairs when you get back—there’s an elevator

Best Hotel in Roppongi

Sotetsu Fresa Inn Tokyo Roppongi

Situated a short walk from the famous Roppongi Hills, there are heaps of leisure and entertainment options close to hand. Onsite facilities include a café, laundry services, and luggage storage. Massages can be arranged for an additional fee. All rooms have a private bathroom and TV

Best Airbnb in Roppongi

 Located in Roppongi, this stylish apartment is spacious and can sleep up to seven people. It has four beds in two bedrooms and the comfy living area. The kitchen and bathroom are roomy, and there’s a lovely dining area too. Other bonuses include a large TV and free Wi-Fi

Shibuya (Close to everything and overall coolest place to stay in Tokyo!)

Shibuya is one of the most interesting neighborhoods in Tokyo (photo credit - Landlopers)

One of Tokyo’s most popular areas, Shibuya is also one of the coolest places to stay in Tokyo. There’s always plenty going on and, whether by day or by night, it’s all but impossible to feel bored here. Youthful and hip, Shibuya is a favourite hangout spot for trendy locals. There are tons of funky shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars, not to mention a heap of terrific things to do and see.

Top things to do in Shibuya

  •  Travel back in time at Nonbei Yokocho and grab a drink in one of the dinky bars.
  •  Hunt for your all-time favourite tunes at the enormous Disk Union..
  • Brave the frenzy that is The Scramble, the world-famous frenetic pedestrian crossing.
  • Be impressed by the collections at the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum.
  • Admire the edgy pieces in the Diesel Art Gallery.
  • Flick through the diverse titles at ultra-hip book stores like Yamashita Shoten.
  • Watch arty and indie movies from Japan and overseas at Uplink.
  • Feast your eyes on the marvellous Meiji-jingu Shrine, the most opulent shrine in Tokyo.
  • Bag a bargain on second-hand clothes along Cat Street and Harajuku Street and give your credit cards a workout along the high-end Omote-sando street.
  • Go people watching in Harajuku, an area known for its quirky stores that attract alternative groups.
  • Snap a picture of the bronze effigy of Hachiko, a Japanese Akita with a sad tale.
  • Visit the family-run Maruara Watanabe to pick up a selection of souvenirs and grab some kitsch from the vending machines.
  •  Head to Yoyogi-koen Park at the weekends to watch varied street performers entertaining passersby.

Where to Stay in Shibuya (To see it all!)

Best Hostel in Shibuya

Almond Hostel & Café Shibuya

 Dorms may be large here, sleeping up to 26 people, but the private pods with curtains help you to sleep well. There are plenty of bathrooms to avoid long morning queues and the spacious common area and onsite cafĂ© are great places to get to know your fellow travellers

Best Hotel in Shibuya

Tokyu Stay Shibuya Shin-Minamiguchi

 A comfortable city-centre base, each room has a private bathroom and a kitchenette, a TV, and even its own washing machine for total convenience. The hotel has a restaurant and you can start the day with a filling breakfast for a surcharge

Best Airbnb in Shibuya

This one-bedroom apartment can sleep an extra person on a mattress in the living area. As an added bonus, they provide three bicycles so that everyone can get out and explore. The bright and airy apartment has a sunny balcony, a kitchen, and a dining area for a real home-from-home experience. 

Tokyo Bay (Great access to theme parks and one of the best areas in Tokyo for families)

Tokyo bay is a great place to stay for families or anyone who wants to be near the them parks (photo credit - airgms)

Completely different to the rest of the city, Tokyo Bay and the connected island of Odaiba are the best places for a family stay in Tokyo. Theme parks and fun galore will keep the whole family entertained for many days on end, and there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy some downtime on the beach too. The modern area feels more like a resort than part of a huge global city.

Top things to do in Tokyo Bay

  • Meet your favourite characters, have thrills and spills on the rides, and be thoroughly enchanted at Tokyo Disney, and have a unique underwater Disney experience at Tokyo Disney Sea.
  • Soak up some rays at Tokyo Beach and chill out at Odaiba Seaside Park.
  • Marvel at the views from Odaiba Ferris Wheel.
  •  Leap into the future at the National Museum of Emerging Science & Innovation, AKA Miraikan.
  • Enjoy retail therapy at places like DiverCity Tokyo Plaza, Palette Town, Aqua City, Venus Fort, and Decks Tokyo Beach.
  • Pose for pics with famous (wax) faces at Madame Tussauds Tokyo.
  • Soak in the hot springs at Oedo Onsen Monogatari.
  • Visit the gigantic Fuji TV Building.
  • Feel shivers down your spine as you go ghost hunting at Daiba Kaiki Gakko.
  • Take tons of cool pictures at the Tokyo Trick Art Museum.
  • Try varied activities, including darts, pool, and karaoke, at Tokyo Leisure Land.
  • Be impressed by plastic fantastic at Legoland Discovery Center Tokyo.
  • Enter the world of video games at Joypolis, a theme park run by SEGA.

Staying in Tokyo Bay (one pick for every budget)

Best Hostel in Tokyo Bay

The Prime Pod Ginza Tokyo

Although located a short distance from Tokyo Bay (hostels are somewhat lacking in this area), reaching the major attractions is a breeze by public transport. There are large single-sex dorms with private capsule-style beds. There’s an onsite bar and café, and other pluses include laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi, luggage storage, and 24-hour reception.

Best Hotel in Tokyo Bay

Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba

Situated less than a ten-minute walk from the beach, the modern hotel has a selection of rooms to suit different group sizes and inter-connecting rooms are available. The hotel has a variety of restaurants and bars, a fitness centre, and a swimming pool. There are child-friendly services as well as free shuttles to Tokyo Disney Resort

Best Airbnb in Tokyo Bay

Perfect for a family getaway, five people can sleep in one large room. Snuggle in front of the TV, cook dinner in the kitchen, and enjoy a stay close to some of Tokyo’s most fun attractions. The apartment has Wi-Fi, and there are two bicycles that guests can use, and Disney is only 18 minutes train away!

Final thoughts on Where to Stay in Tokyo

Shinjuku is the most vibrant  and coolest place to stay in Tokyo

Editor's Note: Heading to Japan? Check out our ultimate guide to traveling Japan on a budget! 

Tokyo can be overwhelming, but with the help of this guide it doesn't have to be. And with world-class public transit readily available, you can have the entire city at your fingertips.

But to reduce travel time and save a few extra travel-bucks, use this guide to help you pick the neighborhood that best suits your travel-needs.

And remember, if you can't decide where to stay - go with Shinjuku, our top pick for the best neighborhood in Tokyo for your first time. It's the heart of Tokyo's tourism district for a reason!

So what do you think? Did we miss any of the best areas in Tokyo? Do you have a favorite neighborhood or area of Tokyo that we missed? Comment below! It will help future  travelers     🙂

Safe travels!

Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps keep the site going. 

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