"If you go to Tokyo, I think it becomes very obvious that there's this almost seamless mixture of popular culture and and Japanese traditional culture." -Kazuo Ishiguro
Tokyo is often associated with certain cliches such as cherry blossoms in spring, sushi platters, Mount Fuji, or the famous sake. All of these "cliches" are beloved worldwide and visit Japan an excellent idea.
Japan, especially Tokyo, is a real change of scenery from the Western World and you'll want to keep your travel journal near to write about all the exciting adventures.
According to a recent survey conducted by the BBC's international service, Japan was ranked the fourth most popular country in the world. This statistic reflects a craze for Japanese cultural aspects such as geishas, ninjas, mangas, and delightful sushi.
Tokyo has been ranked continuously by reputable sources as a major city to visit; it's safe, it's modern, it's traditional, and it's worth spending a few days or weeks exploring!
Nevertheless, many people often feel lost about where to stay in Tokyo. There is no need to fret, Superprof is here to save the day! We will discuss some of the most attractive lodging options available to foreigners visiting Tokyo for a day, a week, a month, or a year.
Find out about the best Japanese lessons here.
Searching for Comfortable Accommodations in Tokyo
From Kyushu to Yokohama and Okinawa to Hokkaido, Japan is a vibrant archipelago that has plenty of diversity. The language, culture, and traditional activities give people the impression that they have stepped into a completely different world; almost nothing from the western world can be identified!
A change of scenery is always right; therefore, a trip to Japan is highly recommended for all types of world travellers from the ages of 18 to 81! Since Tokyo is the largest city and major transportation hub, foreigners usually arrive at either Haneda or Narita airport to begin their Japanese adventure.
To discover Japan is to discover Tokyo; it is the quintessential Japanese city that should be visited without reservations.
However, it is essential to mention that when staying in a vast metropolis such as Tokyo, whether its two-days, five-days, or three-weeks, comfortable housing is of primary importance and the backbone of a successful visit.
Therefore, a formidable dwelling in a central location will help travellers visit a maximum amount of monuments and tourist attractions in a minimum amount of time. While, on the other hand, a short-term rental property in a specific neighbourhood or district allows visitors to thoroughly visit the particular area they are staying in from top to bottom.
The decision of where to stay in Tokyo dramatically depends on the needs and desires of each person; budget, amount of travellers, and properties available also play a significant part. Going to Japan is a dream come true for onsen, ramen, Shinto temple, rising sun, and sushi lovers; the only issue is finding a comfortable place where all these things are available to grasp.
Which are the most important neighbourhoods in Tokyo?
What Type of Accommodation Should I Stay in While Touring Tokyo?
In Tokyo, as in many other major developed cities around the world, there are many distinct types of accommodations available to choose from, such as the following:
- Youth hostels,
However, it is essential to mention that since Japan is a unique country, there are many peculiar places of lodging that cannot be found anywhere else on planet earth. For example, for those who want to experience an authentic Japanese adventure, sleeping in a capsule is all the rage. Today, many other countries have imitated Japan's capsule hotels, which were initially intended for male travellers wanting to get a few hours of sleep between trains after an extended business trip.
Capsule hotels are well-priced and provide adventurous travellers with the bare minimum needed to have a spectacular trip.
Minshuku is also a type of Japanese lodging that has always been popular among natives from the land of the rising sun. They can be likened to small cottages and are rented for a fair price to travellers who want a more traditional Japanese experience. An added advantage of Minshukus is that instead of the bright light modern lodging options available in Tokyo, visitors can find solace staying at a more peaceful accommodation that feels like your in the countryside.
Also, we cannot go without mentioning the "love hotels" that are available for couples who want to spend an hour, a night, or more; specific themes are available to suit the desires of the couple.
Since Japan is filled with manga lovers, various manga cafés have lodging options. However, it's important to note that comfort is not at its best in these places to stay; but I'm sure that will not distract the most die-hard manga enthusiasts!
What are the typical sites to see while in Tokyo?
The Most Touristy Neighbourhoods in Tokyo
Many would argue that north-east Tokyo is the best geographic location to visit the most Japanese landmarks and fully take advantage of sightseeing; this is entirely true since many well-known districts such as Asakusa, Ueno, and Yanaka offer a mix of historical charm and mindblowing modernity as well as a lively atmosphere during the day.
Akihabara, another major Tokyo district suited for manga lovers, has a wide variety of trains connecting individuals to various parts of the city such as the other neighbourhoods previously mentioned. The advantage of finding a place to stay in Akihabara is that everything is near, and visitors can enjoy a very traditional atmosphere that will have them planning their next Japanese voyage.
There is a wealth of places to rent in Akihabara that are available for all budgets and types of people.
While taking the train in Tokyo is a unique experience some of the best sites and typical Japanese culture can be experienced by walking the cherry blossom-lined streets; most of Tokyo is entirely safe, so there is no need to worry!
The centre of Tokyo is quite touristy with a lot of things to see, to eat, and to buy; however, it is quite pricey and does not necessarily cater to those who are on a tight backpacking budget. Tokyo's centre has some of the best luxury hotels in Asia, offering some of the most breathtaking city views.
Is it necessary to be fluent in Japanese while visiting Tokyo?
Typical Neighbourhoods to Stay at in Tokyo
In the west of Tokyo, there are many lively districts dedicated to a younger, more nocturnal crowd who is looking to have fun at all times of the day. Some of the most popular neighbourhoods include Shinjuku and Shibuya; that are beloved by tourists all over the world.
From the city districts of Shibuya and Shinjuku, many train lines go directly to Mount Fuji.
Nevertheless, since Shibuya is a popular neighbourhood, lodging options are reserved quite quickly. Booking in advance is necessary to find the most comfortable options.
Ebisu, Daikanyama and Meguro are also other desirable Tokyo based neighbourhoods that are frequently visited by international travellers. Although they might be a bit more residential than the glitz and glamour of Shibuya and Shinjuku, these districts are more typical and boast cute little cafés, children's squares, and Western restaurants.
Also, the districts of Roppongi and Odaiba located in the south-east and south-central neighbourhoods of Tokyo are great places to find lodging and boast a wide variety of expatriates. Since these districts are quite modern and luxurious, visitors have to be prepared to pay the price for staying at hotels in these areas. However, the steep price tag is worth every penny for the proximity to Disney attractions and spectacular views of Tokyo.
Ikebukuro is another attractive sector that should not be ignored since it mixes aspects of practicality and accessibility with a tranquil environment. Featuring major department stores and shopping areas, Ikebukuro pleases both shopping lovers and nocturnal animals since the nightlife scene is reputed as being one of the best in Tokyo.
How does one get from point A to point B in Tokyo?
The Do's and Dont's of Lodging in Tokyo
As is the case while visiting many international cities, certain things should not be done to avoid injury, lack of money, or even homelessness. The anxieties of any issue are heightened in Japan for UK citizens since many Japanese natives do not speak any English; therefore, be careful!
Among some of the mistakes to avoid is to book accommodation at the last minute and think that there will be available upon arrival. Tokyo is a busy city that welcomes millions of tourists per year; therefore, booking ahead should be done to prevent yourself from sleeping on the streets!
Another common mistake made by first-time travellers is not downloading a map of the city beforehand. When using Google Maps or Maps Me, no internet connection is needed if you have downloaded the entire city map before arrival. We highly recommended doing this because being lost in a foreign city where barely anyone speaks English can be quite scary even in super safe Japan.
Airbnb and Couchsurfing apps have made life much easier for individuals; however, it is possible to get lost and not be able to navigate the maps to find the correct location of the place where you will be staying. Therefore, we encourage all to have the phone number of the host and exact address written down on a piece of paper of notes on your phone. Because as we previously stated, even though the Japanese are friendly and would want to help us, there is a language barrier.
In conclusion, Tokyo is one of the world's most beautiful, dynamic, wealthy, and charming cities that has a large variety of housing solutions for visitors. Thus, everyone will be content and find what they need according to their budget, desires, amount of travellers, and time spent on the spot.
For what are you waiting? Visit Tokyo; it truly is something worth seeing!