Where to Stay in Tokyo First Time & Tokyo Family Hotels



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Where to Stay in Tokyo First Time

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by : asiatravelbug JUNE 26 2016

Where to Stay in Tokyo First Time 

Are you traveling to Japan soon and thinking where to stay in Tokyo first time? In this blog, I will answer your questions related to the best place to stay in Tokyo for first time tourists and family vacationers to Japan. With Tokyo being a huge metropolis comprising of over 20 district wards, choosing the best area to stay in Tokyo can be overwhelming. It did not come as a surprise to me that a lot of people would ask me for hotel advice each time I return from a Tokyo vacation.

ladies in kimono in asakusa tokyo - where to stay in tokyo first time

Ladies in Kimono – Asakusa, Tokyo


Where to Stay in Tokyo Summary

  1. Tokyo is a huge city with over 20 district wards and taxis are expensive.
  2. The best areas to stay for tourists in Tokyo are Shinjuku and Ginza.
  3. Other recommended places to stay for tourists in Tokyo are Tokyo Station, Shibuya and Asakusa.
  4. It is best to stay near JR Yamanote train line or any subway line for easy access to Tokyo tourist sites.
  5. Apart from convenient transportation, there are plenty of shops and reasonably-priced restaurants in these areas.


For the rest of this post, I will be sharing my reviews of Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku, Millennium Mitsui Garden Tokyo Hotel GinzaPark Hotel Tokyo, and Hotel Nikko Tokyo where I have personally stayed at during my past three visits to Tokyo. Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku and Millennium Mitsui Garden Tokyo Hotel Ginza are my favorites among all of the accommodations I’ve stayed in Tokyo and you can learn the reasons why in this post. The other hotels which I will be mentioning in this blog are the hotels which I’ve thoroughly researched on and would seriously consider to personally stay at in my future trips to Tokyo.

park hotel tokyo - where to stay in tokyo first time

Mount Fuji View from My Hotel Window in Park Hotel Tokyo (Zoomed In)


Are Hotels in Tokyo Expensive?

Tokyo hotels are not as expensive as you think. You can actually forget about capsule hotels! Well-located 3.5-star hotels in Tokyo can be had for ~USD 150 similar to prices of similar range hotels in Singapore and Hong Kong. Below you can find the approximate prices of hotels in Tokyo.

  • 3 to 3.5 star hotels (local business hotels) – USD 100 to USD 200
  • 4 to 4.5 star hotels (local/international luxury hotels) – USD 150 to USD 300
  • 5 star hotels (international luxury hotels) – USD 300 and up

Based on my personal experience traveling to Japan and Asia in general, hotels in Tokyo are of great value with very high level of service standards even for 3.5 star hotels. For a USD 200/night hotel in Tokyo, I need to pay at least USD 250/night in Hong Kong to get the same level of hotel service and value. Hotel rates in Tokyo can be a real bargain if you compare it with similar progressive cities like Paris or New York. Before I talk about the best places to stay in Tokyo for tourists, let me share some tips to guide you before you book your Tokyo accommodation.


Double vs. Twin Rooms in Tokyo Hotels

Hotels in Tokyo typically offer two types of rooms and it is important to distinguish one from each other.

  • Double Room – 1 double-sized bed with typical room size of 15 to 19 sqm. One side of the bed is usually against a wall. Double rooms are typically suitable for couples.
  • Twin Room – 2 twin beds with typical room size of 20 to 25 sqm if your hotel is within Central Tokyo. You can get bigger twin rooms ranging 30 to 40 sqm in luxury hotels or in areas farther from Central Tokyo. Twin rooms are approximately 30% much more expensive than double rooms but the price is well justified since the room size is typically bigger by 30%. Twin rooms are best travelers who place a lot of value in comfort or for families traveling with kids.


Saturday and Peak Season Rates

Expect to pay an additional ~30% from regular room rates when you stay in Tokyo on a Saturday or during peak seasons. Local Japanese people love to do weekend trips, hence the surge in hotel demand on Saturday nights. Cherry blossoms and autumn foliage are super peak seasons in Tokyo. Rooms sell out fast on these dates. It is best to book Tokyo hotels at least 3 months in advance if you will be in Tokyo between the last weeks of March to early April and during the last weeks of November.

yasukuni shrine tokyo - where to stay in tokyo first time

Cherry Blossom Illumination – Yasukuni Shrine, Tokyo


Stay Near a Train or Metro Station

Due to high taxi fares in Tokyo which could cost you USD 30 for a 15-minute ride, I strongly recommend staying in hotels within walking distance to major train stations in the JR Yamanote Line train loop to save MONEY, TIME and ENERGY. The JR Yamanote Line is the main circular train line in Tokyo with stops in major tourist districts like Shinjuku, Shibuya, Yarakucho (Ginza), Tokyo Station, Akihabara, and Ueno. 

Tokyo in a Nutshell | Photo Credit: eerkmans

Tokyo in a Nutshell | Photo Credit: eerkmans


If it is not possible for you to book a hotel near the JR Yamanote line, just book a hotel within walking distance to a Tokyo metro subway or rail station. Central Tokyo is well covered with train and rail systems. As long as you stay near a train or metro station in Tokyo, you won’t find the need to take a taxi unless you have mobility issues.


7 Tokyo Tourist Districts to Consider

Out of over 20 district wards in Tokyo, let me concentrate on 7 districts that I consider as the best areas to stay in Tokyo for tourists. For me, the best place to stay in Tokyo is Shinjuku especially for first time travelers. If you are wondering which other areas can be good base areas convenient for sightseeing, you may want to consider Ginza, Tokyo Station and Shibuya. If you are a huge group traveling together and are looking for alternative locations where to stay in Tokyo with family, you may want to consider Asakusa, Odaiba or Tokyo Disney Area where hotels can offer bigger room space.

where to stay in tokyo first time

Where to Stay in Tokyo First Time. Learn the 7 Best Areas to Stay in Tokyo for Tourists.


1. SHINJUKU: Where to Stay in Tokyo First Time      

(Best Area to Stay in Tokyo For Tourists)

If I were to return to Tokyo anytime, I would choose to stay in Shinjuku in a heartbeat. Shinjuku epitomizes Tokyo as what you see on TV – neon lights, bustling streets, busy train stations, modern business skyscrapers, beautiful public parks, vendor-machine restaurants, large shopping malls, and affordable 100 yen shops – all sitting side by side.

Shinjuku Tokyo - where to stay in tokyo first time

Bustling Shinjuku Tokyo | Photo Credit: Kevin Poh


Here are the reasons why I consider Shinjuku to be the best area to stay in Tokyo for tourists especially for first time visitors.


Why Stay in Shinjuku:

  • Convenient for day trips. Great base for day trips to Hakone and Mount Fuji area via public bus or Odakyu train. Since Shinjuku Station is just walking distance, there is no need to wake up extra early to catch your train or bus to Hakone and Mount Fuji area. Group tours to Mount Fuji area depart from major hotels in Shinjuku.
  • Convenient for sightseeing in central Tokyo.
  • Convenient direct access to airports via airport limousine bus from Haneda and via Narita Express train from Narita.
  • Great local Japanese atmosphere. Bustling nightlife. Restaurants and 100 yen shops close very late at night.
  • Easy access to affordable shopping and restaurants.
  • Good variety of mid-range tourist hotels around the area.
  • Sights Nearby: Shinjuku Gyoen Park for cherry blossom picnics or for autumn foliage sights. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Free Observatory to see Mount Fuji on a cloudless day.
shinjuku gyoen hanami | shinjuku | best area to stay in tokyo

Hanami Picnic in Shinjuku Gyoen Park


Where to Stay in Shinjuku Tokyo: Asiatravelbug’s Recommended Hotels

Shinjuku is a huge commercial district in Tokyo and it houses the world’s busiest station – Shinjuku Station. Shinjuku Station divides the district between the West and East. If you are traveling with kids and worried about the Kabukicho red light district, stay in West Shinjuku. I stayed in West Shinjuku for a week before and never came across the Kabukicho area located in the North East of Shinjuku Station.

shinjuku - best area to stay in tokyo

Lady Commuter in Shinjuku Station Dressed in a Lovely Kimono.


West Shinjuku

  • Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku (3.5*) – I have personally stayed here in a standard twin room and can strongly recommend this hotel! Their twin standard rooms are surprisingly spacious for Japanese hotel standards at 23 sqm. A word of warning though, this hotel is extremely popular and it’s common for all rooms to get sold out months in advance. I actually tried to book this hotel for my second trip to Tokyo as a repeat guest, but was frustrated to know that all of their rooms have been sold out even if I tried to book 1 month in advance. So better book at least 3 months ahead before your arrival, even during off-peak seasons. Standard twin rooms start at USD 160/night while economy rooms start at USD 115/night. Asiatravelbug recommends the standard twin rooms for more space and is well worth the price difference. Check out live rates of Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku in Agoda or Booking.com.
hotel sunroute plaza shinjuku - where to stay in tokyo first time

Standard Twin Room (23 sqm) of Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku ~USD160/night


This hotel sits on an unbeatable location tucked in a quiet street but just a minute away from all the action. Family Mart and McDonald’s are just a minute walk away. Shinjuku station, eateries, malls and 100 yen shops are all within 10-minute walk radius. Airport limousine bus from Haneda or Narita airport drops you right off in the lobby of the hotel. You just cannot go wrong with Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku in terms of convenience. If you are a first time traveler to Tokyo wishing to do day trips to see Mount Fuji using Hakone Free Pass, look no further, Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku is “the” hotel to stay.


  • JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku (4*) – Ran out of rooms in Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku? Don’t fret. There’s a new kid on the block which could easily rival the convenience offered by Sunroute. I stumbled across Hotel Blossom on Tripadvisor by chance and it looks like this hotel is a great alternative to Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku. Hotel Blossom is a fairly new hotel owned by the JR rail company, just 3 minutes walk from Sunroute and less than 10 minutes walk from Shinjuku Station. You practically get an unbeatable location, similar room size and brand new rooms at Hotel Blossom for the same nightly rates as Sunroute. I’m bookmarking this hotel now and will definitely try to stay here next time I’m in Tokyo. If you have stayed in this hotel, tell me about your experience! Double rooms start at USD 140/night while twin rooms start at USD 160/night. Check out live rates of Hotel Blossom in Agoda.com.
jr kyushu hotel blossom shinjuku - best area to stay in tokyo first time

JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku Twin Room (25 sqm) ~USD160/night | Photo Credit: Agoda


Although the airport limousine bus does not directly stop at Hotel Blossom, you can get off or ride the airport bus at Shinjuku Station West Exit, which is just a good 5-minute walk away. I have personally tried alighting at Shinjuku Station West Exit from the airport limousine bus and the walk towards the area of Hotel Sunroute and Hotel Blossom is fairly easy even with a luggage in tow.


  • Keio Plaza Hotel Shinjuku (4*) – The hotel offers free shuttle to Tokyo Disney for their guests and a number of group tours to Hakone and Mount Fuji start from this hotel. Also, the airport limousine bus drops off guests right in the hotel lobby. This hotel should be a great base for families who want to feel the action in Shinjuku while having convenient transportation options to Tokyo Disney, Hakone, Mount Fuji, Haneda Airport and Narita Airport. If you are a family planning to see both Tokyo Disney and Mount Fuji in your trip, I highly recommend you to stay in Keio Plaza Hotel Shinjuku for convenience. Lowest category twin room rates start at USD 230/night. I think the strategic location of this hotel for first timers in Tokyo well justifies its price.
keio plaza hotel shinjuku - where to stay in tokyo first time

Keio Plaza Hotel Renovated Superior Twin Room at Main Bldg. (33 sqm) ~USD250/night | Photo Credit: Agoda


Some of my friends have stayed in Keio Plaza and have no complaints whatsoever except for the long breakfast buffet lines. Just book a room without breakfast since there are a lot of affordable eateries within 5 minutes walk from this hotel. The free shuttle for guests to Tokyo Disney requires advance booking. Check out live rates of Keio Plaza Hotel Shinjuku in Agoda.com. During non-peak seasons, you might be able to book double rooms in this hotel for as low as USD 180/night.


  • Hotel Rose Garden Shinjuku (3*) – Great boutique hotel for group or family travelers located just 10-15 minutes walk away from Shinjuku Station. Triple and quadruple rooms are available for 3-4 adults staying in one room making this hotel a great affordable choice for travelers looking for Tokyo accommodation for family of 4. Nightly rates starts at USD 110, USD 220 and USD 250 for double, triple and quadruple rooms respectively. If it is not necessary for your travel group to be in one room, booking 2 separate double rooms may come out cheaper.
hotel rose garden shinjuku - where to stay in tokyo first time

Hotel Rose Garden Shinjuku Triple Family Room (31 sqm) ~USD220/night | Photo Credit: Booking.com


East Shinjuku

  • Citadines Central Shinjuku Tokyo (formerly Best Western Shinjuku) (3.5*) – If you do not mind staying in Kabukicho red light district, this hotel is cheap with a great location just under 10 minutes walk away from the main Shinjuku Station. Double rooms start at USD 130/night while executive twin rooms start at USD 170/night inclusive of breakfast.
best western shinjuku hotel - where to stay in tokyo first time

Citadines Central Shinjuku formerly Best Western Shinjuku Executive Twin Room (27 sqm) ~USD170/night | Photo Credit: Agoda


  • Citadines Shinjuku Hotel (3.5*) – A bit of walk from Shinjuku Station but great for travelers who are looking for hotel rooms that can fit 3 adults. The hotel is 20-minute walk away from Shinjuku Station and 5-minute walk away from Shinjukugyoenmae Subway. Unlike its sister property Citadines Central (formerly Best Western Shinjuku), Citadines Shinjuku Hotel is not in the Kabukicho area and is tucked in the quieter side of Shinjuku, so you need not worry if you are traveling as a family. Double and twin rooms start at USD 115/night while triple rooms start at USD 135/night.
Citadines Shinjuku Tokyo - where to stay in tokyo first time

Citadines Shinjuku Executive Twin Room for 3 Adults (28 sqm) ~USD 160/night | Photo Credit: Agoda


Read on the rest of this blog to learn more about staying in Ginza, Tokyo Station, Shibuya, Asakusa, Odaiba, and Tokyo Disney Area.


2. GINZA: Where to Stay in Tokyo First Time

Tourists may feel intimidated by Ginza as it is known as the premier luxury shopping area in the Japan. But Ginza has its own fair share of mid-range and cheap shopping too! Yes, I mean cheap shopping – check out the Don Quijote bargain store at the southern edge of Ginza where you can buy cheap 100 yen (~USD1) souvenirs and second hand LV bags. There are plenty of affordable restaurants around the area and it is pretty easy to get a 900 yen (~USD9.00) bowl of ramen. In my personal opinion and based on my own experience in Tokyo, Ginza is the next best area to stay for tourists after Shinjuku.

Ginza at Night - best area to stay in tokyo after shinjuku

Ginza Intersection at Night


Why Stay in Ginza:

  • Convenient for sightseeing in central Tokyo. You can access Ginza metro subway or JR Yarakucho in JR Yamanote line, which can get you practically anywhere in central Tokyo.
  • Convenient for regional travel and airport transfer. One stop away from Tokyo Station where you can board buses or bullet trains to go to Kyoto, Osaka, Narita Airport and Haneda Airport. Ginza is just about 1000-1500 yen (~USD 10 – USD 15) taxi ride away from Tokyo Station, so you need not worry about exorbitant transportation fees between Ginza and Tokyo Station if you have lots of luggage with you.
  • Great Japanese atmosphere but not as crowded as Shinjuku or Shibuya.
  • Wide variety of shopping and restaurants from luxury to cheap.
  • Good variety of mid-range tourist hotels around the area.
  • Sights Nearby: Tsukiji Fish Market, Kabuki-za Theater, Hibiya Park, Imperial Palace and Tokyo Station.


Where to Stay in Ginza Tokyo: Asiatravelbug’s Recommended Hotels

  • Millennium Mitsui Garden Tokyo Hotel Ginza (4*) – Sleek hotel in the heart of Ginza close to shops, reasonably-priced restaurants and Tokyo subways. I have personally stayed in a Superior Twin room and find it to be very spacious at 26 sqm and smartly designed. The Asakusa Toei subway line is just below the hotel with direct transfer to Haneda Airport. Tokyo Station is just a 1000 yen (~ USD 10) taxi ride away if you don’t want to walk. You will save a lot of precious time just by staying at this hotel. If you want to be near Tokyo Station for your Shinkansen bullet train ride and want to stay in a great value 4-star hotel in the heart of Ginza, this is the hotel to stay! Double rooms start at USD 180/night while twin rooms start at USD 220/night. This hotel is highly recommended by Asiatravelbug. I will stay here again next time when I’m back in Tokyo. My mother will definitely be very happy. :)


  • Mercure Ginza Tokyo (3*) – The hotel sits right smack in the middle of Ginza and just 5 minutes walk from Ginza metro station and 15 minutes walk from Tokyo Station. Deluxe twin rooms are of decent 27 sqm size and one child under 16 years old can stay for free using existing beds. Connecting rooms can be available upon request. Superior rooms start at USD 145/night and deluxe rooms USD 180/night.
Mercure ginza tokyo

Mercure Ginza Tokyo Deluxe Twin Room (27 sqm) ~USD 180/night | Photo Credit: Agoda


  • Solaria Nishitetsu Hotel Ginza (3*) – A nice boutique hotel 5 minutes walk from Ginza metro and 10 minutes walk from the famous Tsukiji Fish Market. Double rooms start at USD 160/night and twin rooms start at USD 185/night.
solaria nishitetsu ginza - where to stay in tokyo first time

Solaria Nishitetsu Ginza (24 sqm) ~USD185/night | Photo Credit: Agoda


  • Park Hotel Tokyo (4*) – If you will be in Tokyo for a short period of 2 to 3 days and want to avoid high Saturday hotel rates in Tokyo, try to stay in a less touristy area or a business district over the weekend. The Park Hotel Tokyo in Shiodome Business District has almost flat nightly rates throughout the week and the hotel’s location is just 10 minutes walk away from the southern edge of Ginza. I have personally stayed in this hotel and loved the Tokyo Tower and Mt. Fuji view from my room. Double and twin rooms start at USD 170/night.
 Park Hotel Tokyo Shiodome

Park Hotel Tokyo Shiodome Twin Room (21 sqm) ~USD170/night


3. TOKYO STATION: Where to Stay in Tokyo First Time

Tokyo Station is the main transportation hub in Japan and the main draw of staying here is its strategic central location. Tokyo Station is well connected to central Tokyo, Tokyo Disney, Tokyo airports, Tokyo suburbs, and other regional cities like Kyoto and Osaka. Surprisingly, the area within Tokyo Station has a more European feel rather than a local Japanese feel. Staying around the immediate area of Tokyo Station will be a great choice if you plan to have a stopover in Tokyo for a few days before you head to other regional cities in Japan.

tokyo station area

Tokyo Station


Why Stay Near Tokyo Station:

  • Convenient for sightseeing in central Tokyo.
  • Convenient for regional travel. Tokyo Station is a main shinkansen bullet train stop in Tokyo.
  • Convenient for airport transfers to and from Narita and Haneda Airports via train or airport limousine bus. The NEX train from Narita Airport takes you to Tokyo Station in a little under an hour.
  • Convenient to go to Tokyo Disney. From JR Tokyo Station, it will take only 20 minutes to go to JR Maihama Station in Tokyo Disney via JR Keiyo line or JR Musashino line.
  • Easy access to affordable shopping and restaurants. Tokyo Station is actually a mall itself. Also, the famous Ramen Street is inside the Tokyo Station where there are numerous small ramen eateries.
  • Sights Nearby: Ginza, Imperial Palace and East Gardens of Imperial Palace.


Where to Stay Near Tokyo Station: Asiatravelbug’s Recommended Hotels

Majority of the hotels around the Tokyo Station area are either in budget (think 12 sqm. rooms at ~USD100/night or less) or high-end luxury (USD 400/night upwards) range. If you are looking for mid-range hotels, try Hotel Ryumeikan or The Tokyo Station Hotel within Tokyo Station’s immediate vicinity. If you want a better variety of mid-range hotels to choose from and a better local Japanese atmosphere, I suggest that you stay in Ginza where 3.5 star hotels are plenty. Ginza is just one stop away from Tokyo Station. You can also walk if you want to since these two areas are just next to each other.

  • Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo (3.5*) – Hotel Ryumeikan just sits next to Tokyo Station making this hotel’s location unbeatable. Connecting rooms can be available upon request. Lowest category double room starts at USD 150/night.
hotel ryumeikan tokyo

Hotel Ryumeikan Semi Double Comfort Sleep Room (19sqm) ~USD170/night | Photo Credit: Agoda


  • The Tokyo Station Hotel (4.5*) – Recently opened hotel right in Tokyo Station with a European flair. Rates start at USD 290/night.
tokyo station hotel

Tokyo Station Hotel Queen Room (26 sqm) ~USD290/night | Photo Credit: Agoda


4. SHIBUYA: Where to Stay in Tokyo First Time

(Best Area to Stay in Tokyo for Young Adults)

Shibuya has a similar local bustling atmosphere as Shinjuku but with a younger crowd. If you see people mostly in business suits in the streets of Shinjuku, you will see mostly students in uniform in the streets of Shibuya. Sometimes, you can come across people in bizarre outfits too! If you are young adults in early 20s or if you are family with teenagers, the atmosphere in Shibuya may suit to your liking. Shibuya Station is also a major transportation hub in Tokyo making it easy to connect to airports or anywhere within central Tokyo.

shibuya yoyogi park - best area to stay in tokyo for young adults

Yoyogi Park Street Performance


Why Stay in Shibuya:

  • Convenient for sightseeing in central Tokyo.
  • Convenient for airport transfers to and from Narita and Haneda Airports via train or airport limousine bus. The NEX train from Narita Airport stops in Shibuya.
  • Great local Japanese atmosphere with bustling nightlife.
  • Easy access to affordable shopping and restaurants.
  • Sights nearby: Hachiko Statue, Shibuya Scramble Crossing, Yoyogi Park, Meiji Jingu Shrine, Harajuku, Ometesando. Three stops to Shinjuku.


Where to Stay in Shibuya Tokyo: Asiatravelbug’s Recommended Hotels

  • Dormy Inn Premium Shibuya (3*) – Previous guests have raved about the hotel’s free breakfast, free ramen nights and free access to in-house onsen making Dormy Inn a highly rated hotel in Shibuya. Twin rooms are spacious at 25 sqm. Shibuya and Harajuku Stations are within 5-10 minutes walk away from this hotel. Double rooms start at USD 140/night and twin rooms start at USD 185/night.
dormy inn premium shibuya

Dormy Inn Premium Shibuya (25 sqm) ~USD200/night | Photo Credit: Booking.com


  • Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu (3.5*) – This hotel is directly connected to Shibuya Station and overlooks the Shibuya Scramble Crossing. Twin rooms are huge for Tokyo standards at 30 sqm. Triple rooms are available. Double rooms start at USD 200/night and twin rooms start at USD 225/night.
shibuya excel tokyu hotel

Shibuya Excel Tokyu Twin Room (30 sqm) ~USD225/night


Are you traveling with a bigger family or travel group and need a lot of space?

Read on the rest of this blog to learn why staying in Asakusa, Odaiba or Tokyo Disney Area can be a great choice for you.


Where to Stay in Tokyo with Family

(Tokyo Family Hotels):


5. ASAKUSA: Where to Stay in Tokyo First Time

Asakusa is a little slice of Kyoto in the heart of Tokyo. If you imagine your Tokyo vacation with Japanese rickshaws and temples, Asakusa is the place to be. Although there aren’t many huge malls around, there are lots of small shops and eateries in Asakusa. Asakusa is located in the older part of Tokyo and is not within the JR Yamanote Line loop. So, the location is not as convenient as Shinjuku, Shibuya, Tokyo Station or Ginza. However, Asakusa is just a 10-minute ride away to Ginza via the metro Ginza line. If you are traveling with a group of friends or traveling with older children, you can find affordable triple and quadruple rooms in Asakusa.

things to do in tokyo | asakusa | tokyo itinerary

Human Powered Rickshaw in Asakusa Tokyo


Why Stay in Asakusa:

  • Great local Japanese atmosphere and a perfect place to soak in Japanese culture.
  • Convenient for airport transfers to and from Narita and Haneda Airports via train or airport limousine bus. Asakusa is serviced by Keikyu Limited Express train from Haneda Airport and Keisei Access Express train from Narita Airport.
  • Good variety of affordable ryokans and hotels around the area.
  • Easy access to affordable shopping, restaurants and izakayas.
  • Sights Nearby: Sensoji Temple, Nakamise Dori Shopping Street, Sumida Park, and Tokyo Skytree. One stop away from Ueno Park.


Where to Stay in Asakusa Tokyo: Asiatravelbug’s Recommended Hotels

  • Asakusa View Hotel (3.5*) – Triple and quadruple rooms are available. Best for groups or family with older children. The airport limousine bus from Narita and Haneda Airport service this hotel. Twin rooms start at USD 140/night, triple rooms start at USD 155/night while quadruple rooms start at USD 200/night.
asakusa view hotel - best area to stay in tokyo for groups

Asakusa View Hotel Triple Room (26 sqm) ~USD155/night | Photo Credit: Booking.com


  • The Gate Hotel Asakusa Kaminarimon by Hulic (4*) – Modern and chic hotel in Asakusa. Twin rooms are spacious at 24 sqm. and can accommodate 2 adults and 1 child under 12 years old using existing bedding. Double rooms start at USD 150/night and twin rooms start at USD 165/night.
gate hotel asakusa

Gate Hotel Asakusa Twin Room (24 sqm) ~USD165/night | Photo Credit: Agoda


6. ODAIBA: Where to Stay in Tokyo First Time

Odaiba is a reclaimed land east of Central Tokyo and is known to house the famous giant Gundam statue. Although the area doesn’t have a local Japanese atmosphere and is a bit far from Central Tokyo, Odaiba maybe the best area to stay in Tokyo for family who would like to spend most of their time in children’s activities. The science museums, theme parks and Odaiba’s proximity to Tokyo Disney will definitely keep your children fully occupied.

Odaiba Gundam Statue

Odaiba Gundam Statue


Why Stay in Odaiba:

  • Complimentary shuttle to Tokyo Disney if you stay in Disney Good Neighbor Hotels in Odaiba.
  • Near theme parks and science museums.
  • Convenient access to airports via airport limousine bus during daytime. The Airport Limousine Bus from Haneda and Narita Airports service major hotels in Odaiba like Hotel Nikko Tokyo and Grand Pacific Le Daiba.
  • Major hotels have large rooms between 30 to 40 sqm., making them great hotels in Tokyo for families.
  • Dramatic view towards Rainbow Bridge and Central Tokyo.
  • Sights Nearby: Rainbow Bridge, Fuji TV Building, Gundam Front Tokyo, Tokyo Joypolis, Legoland Discovery Center, Toyota Megaweb, and Venus Fort.


Where to Stay in Odaiba: Asiatravelbug’s Recommended Hotels

  • Hotel Nikko Tokyo (4.5*) – I have personally stayed in this hotel and can recommend it for its huge rooms and great views. The Mt. Fuji view from my Superior Room was a nice surprise. Stay here during non-weekends for better rates. Triple rooms are available and one child under 9 years old can stay for free using existing beds. Double and twin rooms start at USD 150/night while triple rooms start at USD 220/night.
hotel nikko tokyo

Hotel Nikko Tokyo Ocean Twin (40 sqm) ~USD150/night


  • Grand Pacific Le Daiba (4*) – This hotel is right across Hotel Nikko Tokyo and is very popular among group tours. Typical room size ranges between 30 to 42 sqm. Triple rooms are available and one child under 6 years old can stay free using existing beds. Twin rooms start at USD 120/night and triple rooms start at USD 190/night.
grand pacific le daiba

Grand Pacific Le Daiba Twin Room (33 sqm) ~USD120/night | Photo Credit: Agoda


Both Hotel Nikko Tokyo and Grand Pacific Le Daiba are Tokyo Disney Good Neighbor hotels and guests can have complimentary shuttle to Tokyo Disney. Both hotels are also right next to Daiba monorail station which connects to Shiodome Station near Ginza.


7. TOKYO DISNEY: Where to Stay in Tokyo First Time

If you are traveling with kids and if more than half of your Tokyo itinerary will be spent in Tokyo Disneyland, the Official Hotels within the Tokyo Disney Resort maybe the best area to stay in Tokyo for family.

tokyo disney

Tokyo Disneyland | Photo Credit: Amy Gustafson


Why Stay in Tokyo Disney Resort “Official Hotels”:

  • Guaranteed park admission even during peak days.
  • Disney tickets can be obtained at the hotel.
  • Hotels have huge rooms for families. Quadruple rooms are also available.
  • Free shuttle bus between your hotel to the Bayside Station of Disney Resort Line Monorail. The monorail will take you to the entrance of Tokyo Disney Sea and Tokyo Disneyland for a fee.
  • Convenient and fast to go to Tokyo Station in Central Tokyo. From JR Maihama Station in Tokyo Disney, it will take only 20 minutes to go to Tokyo Station via JR Keiyo line or JR Musashino line.
  • Convenient access to airports via airport limousine bus during daytime. The Airport Limousine Bus from Haneda and Narita Airports service major hotels in the area like Hilton Tokyo Bay and Sheraton Grande.


Where to Stay Within Tokyo Disney Resort (Official Hotels):

  • Hilton Tokyo Bay Hotel (4*) – Triple and quadruple rooms are available making this hotel a great accommodation in Tokyo for family. One child under 6 can stay for free using existing beds. Twin occupancy starts at USD 150/night, triple occupancy starts at USD 180/night and quadruple occupancy starts at USD 210/night.
Hilton Tokyo Bay

Hilton Tokyo Bay Celebrio Ocean Quadruple Room (40 sqm) ~USD250/night w/ Breakfast | Photo Credit: Agoda


  • Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel (4*) – Triple rooms available and all children under 6 can stay for free using existing beds. Twin rooms start at USD 155/night and triple rooms start at USD 185/night.
sheraton grande tokyo bay

Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Triple Room (36 sqm) ~USD185/night | Photo Credit: Agoda


Both Hilton Tokyo Bay Hotel and Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel are within the Tokyo Disney Resort area and are great family hotels in Tokyo. You also get all the perks of Tokyo Disney Official Hotels as mentioned above if you stay in any of these two hotels.


Best Place to Stay in Tokyo With Family

(Tokyo Accommodation for Families)

The best place to stay in Tokyo with family depends on how many you are and whether you are with young or adult children. To make it easy for you to objectively decide, I’ve compiled my recommended Tokyo accommodation for families in the chart below summarizing the maximum adult and child occupancy based on data from Agoda and Booking.com, whether connecting rooms can be granted if available and whether the hotels are serviced by the airport limousine bus. The hotels listed below are generally safe for families with kids except for Best Western Shinjuku in Kabukicho red light district.

  • Note: I’ve embedded summary information about each hotel in the table below – just hover your mouse on top of the heart and plus icons to get more details. :)

If you have any other suggestions on the best areas to stay in Tokyo, please feel free to leave your comments in this blog.


Note: This post was originally published on February 5, 2015 and was updated last June 26, 2016 to reflect updates from Asiatravelbug’s latest Japan vacation.


Other Japan Travel Tips:

  • Afraid to get lost in Japan? A pocket wifi can be your travel best friend. Asiatravelbug strongly suggests first time visitors to rent a pocket wifi. Check out 5 reasons why you need a Pocket Wifi Japan Rental in your trip to Tokyo. Free public WiFi is RARE in Japan! 
  • No Tokyo itinerary yet? No problem, we’ve done all the grunt research work for you! Check out Asiatravelbug’s Tokyo Itinerary travel blog.
  • Want to see Mount Fuji? Mount Fuji only shows up 80 days a year! Increase your chances of seeing Mount Fuji by checking out our How to See Mount Fuji blog. Other readers have reported to see Mount Fuji following Asiatravelbug’s guide. :)


Have you picked the hotel where you will stay in Tokyo?

Asiatravelbug recommends Agoda for best hotel rates in Tokyo.


Need more time to decide?

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Need help from your travel buddies to decide the best area to stay in Tokyo? Share this article with them using the social share buttons below!

About the Author
Tiffy, a.k.a. asiatravelbug, remains to be a nervous flyer despite of her frequent travels to Asia and beyond. Travel and blogging has kept her sane from all the hustles and bustles of corporate life. After working for 5+ years as a finance manager in the world’s leading consumer goods company, Tiffy finally left her comfort zone and quit her day job in 2014 to pursue her own dream as a web entrepreneur. Her favorite cities are Kyoto and Tokyo and would choose to visit Japan over Paris in a heartbeat!

  1. melodx Reply

    Hi, have u tried shinjuku prince hotel? i cnt decide f we will stay at shinjuku princd or hotel blossom.

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Melody,

      Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, I have not been to Shinjuku Prince Hotel. But I did a little bit of research and found out that it is located right in Shinjuku Station with a basement entrance. Their room rates look affordable but their standard rooms are very small at 15 sqm which could be claustrophobic for 2 adults staying together, in my personal opinion. Their 30 sqm deluxe rooms seem to be a better value for money with rates starting from USD 150.

      The inside of Shinjuku Station is a big maze (with lots of people) and I find it easier to navigate by walking outside the station rather than inside. So, it is a possibility that you will need sometime inside Shinjuku Station to locate the entrance of Shinjuku Prince Hotel.

      Newer hotels tend to have better rooms, better facilities and better service. For this reason, I suggest Hotel Blossom over Shinjuku Prince Hotel. Hotel Blossom is near Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku, a good 5 to 10 minute walk from Shinjuku Station West Exit and navigating your way is pretty much straightforward if you walk outside the station.

      I hope this helps! :)

      • Lilia Reply

        Hi Tiffy! Thanks for sharing your experiances! Any recommendation for AIRBNB in the shinjuku area for 16 Pax?

        • asiatravelbug
          asiatravelbug Reply

          Hello Lilia! Thank you for visiting my blog!

          I think it will be better for your travel group to stay in a hotel in Tokyo. Space in Tokyo is really scarce is it is very rare to find a airbnb condo which can accommodate 16 people. Actually, just like you, I’ve considered vacation rentals but decided to stick to book a hotel as the latter offers much more convenience in terms of accessibility and the price difference between the two is not that big.

          If you will be going to Kyoto, I can recommend you to stay in a Machiya (century old Japanese homes) which you can book and have the whole house to your travel group. Unfortunately, Machiyas can rarely be found in Tokyo.

          My friend with the same case as yours (travel group with more than 12 pax) booked multiple rooms in Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku last year and have no complaints whatsoever.

          I hope this helps and please do let me know if there is anything else I could do to help! :)

          • Lilia Garcia

            Thank you, Tiffy! We are considering Hotel Blossom for our Christmas vacation until New Year! Let you know how it was! Can we ride the airport limousine from Hotel Sunroute to Narita even if we are booked in Hotel Blossom? Just wondering, how is New Year in Tokyo? Thanks again!

          • asiatravelbug

            Hi Lilia! Thanks for dropping by!

            I just checked with Hotel Plaza Sunroute Shinjuku earlier and they confirmed that non-guests are allowed to purchase airport limousine bus tickets from their front desk. You just need to purchase in advance, like at least 1 to 2 days ahead. If you want to be 110% sure, you can always give them a call or email them. :)

            Christmas-New Year is an interesting time to be in Tokyo though I’ve never been there personally during year end holidays yet. Unlike other countries, Christmas in Japan is more like a day for couples and people eat KFC chicken. During new year, you might want to purchase some lucky new year bags from department stores. The stuffs inside the new year bags remain to be a mystery not until after purchase and the value is much higher than the price you pay.

            Yes, I would love to hear about your experience in staying in JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku! This will definitely help other readers as well. Thank you very much.

            I hope this helps!
            -Tiffy :)

  2. helen Reply

    Hi i just love the blog you shared. My family is also looking forward to visit japan soon. And i think it would be helpful for us. Can you recommend a travel agent re our visas?
    Thanks & God bless us all.


    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Helen!

      Thank you for your message and I’m happy that you found this blog useful.

      My travel agent has office in Dusit Thani Hotel (Makati) and they got my multiple entry Japan visa released in a matter of 2 business days.

      I will message you separately for the travel agent’s name. :)


      • CLLC Reply

        Hi Tiffy, My family is also planing to travel to Japan this year. Is it okay to let me know the travel agent’s name in Dusit Thani Hotel (Makati)? and also the rate that I need to pay? :D please please. Thank You


        • asiatravelbug
          asiatravelbug Reply

          Hi CLLC!

          I’ve just emailed the details of my travel agent to you, as well as the service fee which I paid last year.


          • Grace

            Hi Tiffy! Can you please send me your agent’s name as well? :) This blog is so amazing, I did not even consider doing more research after I read this! I’m planning a family trip and need to fix things very very soon. If your agent is fast, then that would really be awesome. I work near Dusit Thani so yay!

          • asiatravelbug

            Hi Grace! Thank you very much for your kind words. I’ve just emailed you the business name of the travel agent and I hope you have received it!

            Happy Tokyo travel planning! :)

  3. Jp Reply

    Hi Tiffy! You have a very useful yet entertaining blog.
    My friend sent me your link and it has actually changed my plans on where to stay in Tokyo. Other reviews tend to make all the districts seem the same so it’s quite overwhelming to decide. You laid it out so clearly, perfect read for first time vistors to Tokyo.

    My girfriend and I are visting Tokyo this coming March and maybe you can share an advice as to how different Yoyogi and Yotsuya areas in Shunjuku are from eachother. Im trying to choose between 2 hotels namely Mitsui garden hotel in yotsuya and Hotel sunroute plaza in yoyogi. Hotel reviews are almost identical but theres a slight difference in price. Thanks again and thanks in advance for your feedback.

    More power to your blog!

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi JP! I am happy that you found this blog post useful in your Tokyo travel planning. :)

      I would assume that you are referring to Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku with address Yoyogi 2-3-1, Shibuya-ku, Japan. If this is the Sunroute hotel which you are referring to, I strongly recommend this hotel! I have personally stayed here before in a twin room and loved its highly convenient location. This hotel is sandwiched between the edge of Shibuya (Yoyogi) and Shinjuku districts, near business buildings in Shinjuku, but is just 5 minute walk away from all the action (shopping, cheap eateries, night life, Shinjuku station). The airport limo bus drops you off right in the lobby of Sunroute. The Shinjuku Station West Exit where you can buy Hakone Free Pass is just a good 5 to 10 minute walk away.

      Yotsuya is well-connected and is located somewhere in the middle of Shinjuku and Tokyo Station. As far as I know, Yotsuya is not as lively as Shinjuku. Yotsuya could be a good place to stay if all your hotel alternatives within the immediate area of Shinjuku Station have all been sold out, which could happen during peak seasons in Tokyo.

      If I were you, I will go ahead and book rooms in Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku even if the price is a little bit higher than Mitsui Garden in Yotsuya. You get to save time in commuting between Yotsuya and Shinjuku, which means you will have more time to explore, more time to shop and more time to enjoy Tokyo. PS. The double rooms in Sunroute are compact, 18 sqm, which is the typical size of double rooms in mid range Tokyo hotels. If you value space, you may want to book their 23 sqm twin rooms.

      I hope this helps!

      • Jp Reply

        Thanks so much Tiffy!

        I’ll definitely follow your suggestion.

        The idea of the hotel’s location being sandwhich between the edge of shibuya and shinjuku districts and also having much action within that location will allow us to maximize our Tokyo experience.

        It’s also pleasing to learn that the airport limo bus drops off directly to Sunroute plaza Shinjuku.

        We’re all set then.

        • asiatravelbug
          asiatravelbug Reply

          Hi JP! I’m glad I’m able to help you make a decision.

          Have a safe trip and I’m sure you will enjoy Tokyo as much as I did! :)


  4. Gerald Monreal Reply

    hello ,
    Im set to go narita this august for 8 days, i want to see heritage place , landscaping and rich culture , please teach me ? Thank you

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Gerald,

      Thanks for dropping by and I’m excited to know that you are bound for Tokyo this year. Please feel free to check out Asiatravelbug’s Tokyo itinerary to know the must visit places in Tokyo.

      I hope this helps! :)

  5. Mary Reply

    Hi Tiffy, thank you for writing this article. I thought is what near impossible to travel to Japan with my toddler and infant and be able to see the city life. But with this article, I feel more confident that it could be done and would we very convenient!
    I did want to know if I stayed at sunroute plaza shinjuku hotel, will I be able to take a convienient transportation with my kids from sunroute plaza hotel to Tokyo Disney theme park?


    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hello Mary! Thank you for dropping a message in my blog. Since you have little kids with you, staying in Keio Plaza Shinjuku maybe more convenient to your needs. This hotel has free shuttle to Disney for guests, which needs to be pre-booked in advance. Also, some Mount Fuji tours start from this hotel so staying in Keio maybe the most convenient if you want to avail Mount Fuji bus tours, visit Disney while still being very close to the local action in Shinjuku.

      Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku is located in a highly strategic location in West Shinjuku. However, in order to go to Tokyo Disney, it will involve getting into Shinjuku Station and transferring lines in Tokyo Station which should be ok for adults but could be stressful for someone with very little kids in tow. I have to warn you that these two stations are massive train stations and it is quite common for visitors to get lost inside Shinjuku or Tokyo Station. Alternatively, you can take a bus going to Disney from JR Shinjuku Station New South Exit but I’m afraid I’m not able to comment further since I have not tried it myself. I checked google maps and this bus station is just 10-15 minutes walk from Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku.

      If you are not planning to go to Hakone and Mount Fuji, you may want to consider staying in Ginza instead which is quite close to Tokyo Station. Cabs between these two areas are not too expensive since they are just next to each other.

      I hope this helps! :)

  6. mutya Reply

    hi tiffy,
    thank you for the blog. find it very informative and useful. can i also get some info on the travel agency and visa assistance, including the price? my sisters and friends are planning to go to japan too.


    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Mutya,

      I’ve just emailed you the name of my travel agent and some other Tokyo travel tips!

      Happy Tokyo travel planning! :)

  7. bebe capuyan Reply

    HI…..will be going to Tokyo ds oct 29 . how can we get there in the city fm narita airport. bus or taxi.

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hello Bebe! Taxi is very expensive in Japan and it costs between USD 250 to USD 300 for one way taxi ride between Narita Airport and central Tokyo. So taxi is not recommended.

      I’m not sure which part of Tokyo will you be staying but if coming from Narita, you can take Narita Express train (NEX) or Airport Limousine Bus which will only cost a fraction of your taxi fare. If you will be staying in a hotel serviced by the Airport Limousine Bus, then taking the bus will be the most convenient way to transfer between Narita and central Tokyo.

      Just save your airport taxi budget for your next airplane ticket to Japan. :)

      I hope this helps!

  8. Dodie Reply

    Thank you for your blog , very useful. If travelling with family, what hotel would you recommend and can I have info on the travel agency for visa assistance


    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Dodie,

      Thank you very much for visiting my blog! Choosing the hotel to stay will depend on how many you are, whether you are with young or adult children and what activities you would like to do in Tokyo. If you will be able to provide more information, then I might be able to pinpoint which hotel may work best for you. But as a first time visitor, I recommend you to pick a hotel either in Shinjuku or Ginza.

      I will be emailing the name of the travel agency to you shortly.

      Thanks! :)

  9. marissa Reply

    My family is travelling to Japan in June 2015. My agent is offering a package for 3 nights at Shinagawa Prince Hotel. This will be our first visit to Japan. What can you tell me about that hotel or should we try doing this ourselves to save money?

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Marisa! If you will be traveling on a “free and easy basis” and within Tokyo only, I suggest that you do the hotel booking on your own and use mass public transportation (trains) to save money. Agoda and Booking.com have good hotel rates in Tokyo. Majority of the hotels there offer free cancellations too to allow more flexibility in case you change your mind at a later time.

      Private transfers are rare in Japan and my understanding is that these are not usually offered by travel agencies, unless you are on a private group bus tour. The trains and metro systems in Japan can overwhelming at first, but with some advance research (check out hyperdia.com), you should be able to get the hang of it. The signs in trains and stations are mostly bilingual in Japanese and English.

      Regarding Shinagawa Prince Hotel, the hotel is located somewhere south but is well-connected with JR Yamanote line (the main central line in Tokyo) and Shinkansen bullet train going to Kyoto-Osaka. If you are planning to visit Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka in one go, then the location of Shinagawa Prince Hotel would be strategic. If you will be visiting Tokyo only, I recommend that you stay in a more happening area like in Shinjuku or Ginza to experience the real local Japanese atmosphere as you see on TV. :)

      I hope this helps!

  10. Nikki Reply

    I have stayed at both the JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku and the Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku in January 2015.

    I preferred the Blossom hotel as I felt the same price room (the cheapest single room) was larger there and better laid out. The room furnishings seemed to be of a higher quality and there were more free bathroom amenities.

    Thank you for your wonderful website! I am planning a solo trip to Osaka and Kyoto in June and will be sure to consult your site.


    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Thank you Nikki for sharing your wonderful experience about JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku! This is a very helpful information to the other readers. Indeed, Hotel Blossom looks like a very good alternative to Sunroute in Shinjuku!

      Cheers to more travels to Tokyo and beyond! :)

    • Lya Reply

      Hi Nikki/Tiffy, have you stayed at Hotel Century Southern Tower before? Choosing between that and JR Kyushu. Personally prefer JR gor its cleanliness but quite worried about the walk to Sunroute for the airport limo bus. Which of the 2 is closer to the subway and restaurants? Have elderly companions. Thank you.

      • asiatravelbug
        asiatravelbug Reply

        Hi Lya! Thanks for your message.

        I have never stayed at Hotel Century Southern Tower but I have seen the facade of this hotel when I stayed at Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku before. The three hotels you mentioned – Hotel Century Southern Tower, Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku and Hotel JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom are within 3 to 10 minutes good walk from each other.

        The three hotels above are located in the quieter part of Shinjuku but are just minutes walk away from all the action. They are all good hotels with great feedback on Tripadvisor.

        For Hotel Century Southern Tower, the hotel sits within a small cluster of business buildings and is surrounded by western cafes and shops just like what you see in other countries (Krispy Kreme, Starbucks). The advantage of staying in this hotel is that it is located beside the JR train station so it will be convenient to access the train. The airport limousine bus also stops at this hotel.

        JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku, on the other hand, is tucked in a quite street near McDonalds and is about 3 minutes good walk away from Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku where the airport limousine bus stops. The streets between these two hotels are not that crowded. There is also another airport limousine bus stop with higher bus frequency located across Shinjuku Station West Exit just 5 minutes walk away from this hotel.

        Hotel Blossom is 5 minutes walk away to the livelier part of Shinjuku as you see on TV – the neon lights, local restaurants, 100 yen shops as well as big malls. In terms to access to Shinjuku station, you should be able to reach the nearest exit in Shinjuku station within 5-7 minutes walk. Although the location of this hotel could be a bit more inconvenient than Century Southern, I do feel that the location of Hotel Blossom allows you to have a much more authentic Japanese experience as it’s much closer to local shops. Their lowest category 19 sqm room could be too small for elderly folks. So in case you choose this hotel, I recommend you to book their 25 sqm or bigger twin rooms. Personally, I have a bias towards brand new hotels. :)

        Depending on the physical limitations of your elderly companion, I will have to leave the decision up to you but I do hope that the above information helps!

        Have a safe trip!
        -Tiffy :)

  11. teresita sales Reply

    Hi tiffy , thank you so much very useful.can you share with me also your travel agency pls. My family is planning to visit tokyo in july.

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Teresita,

      I’ve just sent you an email regarding the travel agency for Japan visa. I hope this helps.

      Happy Tokyo travel planning!

  12. Miva Reply

    You’re heaven sent Tiffy! coming across your asiatravelbug.com, it saves me a lot of time doing researches for our Japan trip on June. This trip is our advance 18th birthday (Oct.) gift for my daughter who has been requesting a Japan trip from the time she started “cosplaying ” 4 years ago. I want this to be a super memorable one for her better than having a debut party ( well, she never really wanted one) . She wants to see/go to places where the cosplayers are seen frequently and fashion malls that sells nice and cheap clothes. We also plan to go to Kyoto, Osaka, Disneyland and Mount Fuji. Please advise where to get an accessible, convenient and affordable hotels. Is 5D/4N enough for the activities that we are planning to do.? How much does your travel agency charges for visa assistance?
    Thanks Tiffy, may you continue to be a blessing to others! God Bless!

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Miva,

      Thanks for your kind words! In your case, I would recommend you to stay in Shibuya. You may want to check out Shibuya Excel Tokyo Hotel for your accommodation. This hotel is in Shibuya station so it is very convenient for airport transfers via NEX train and exploring central Tokyo using the JR Yamanote line. Dormy Inn Premium Shibuya could be a cheaper Shibuya hotel alternative, but the number of rooms available there are rather limited. The crowd in Shibuya are mainly teenagers so this is something which your daughter may really like.

      Apart from Shibuya, I suggest you to wander around Akihabara to see the bizarre / otaku side of Tokyo. I’ve seen cheap cosplay clothes in the Don Quijote store in Akihabara.
      Try to schedule your trips to Shibuya and Akihabara during weekends to increase your chances of seeing cosplayers. Feel free to check out my Akihabara tour blog.

      I think 5D/4N is sufficient for Tokyo only and you can probably squeeze in a day either in Tokyo Disney or see Mount Fuji. With this tight timing, I do not suggest you to include Kyoto and Osaka to your itinerary otherwise you will spend more time in commuting rather than enjoying Japan. Kyoto warrants a separate trip. :)

      Sure, I will email you the name of the travel agency which assisted me in my visa before.

      Thanks and I hope my answer helps! :)

  13. Kye Reply

    thanks for your blog, can you please share your travel agency in dusit and how many days will you recommend for a stay in japan, that will be able to see all those places you mention.

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hello Kye! Thanks for dropping by. I suggest 1 week in Tokyo if it will be your first time. You can check out my Tokyo itinerary and just pattern your travel plans from there.

      I will email the name of the travel agency in a short while.

      Happy Tokyo travel planning!

  14. Joyce Reply

    hi tiffy, loved your article so much, we are a family group of 5 adults going to tokyo and osaka this april in time for the cherry blossom. Any advice on how to take the shinkansen from shinkuku where we are staying in tokyo to osaka. And maybe a tip for the readers on osaka next? Thanks! Joyce

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Joyce! Thanks for your kind words.

      The Shinkansen going to Osaka from Tokyo stops in Tokyo Station. From Shinjuku Station, you have to take the JR Chuo line to Tokyo Station which will take about 15 minutes. I suggest you to allot 1 hour or so in commuting between Shinjuku and Tokyo Station since these two are massive stations. There is high probability of getting lost. But don’t worry, you can always ask young Japanese people for directions in case you can’t find your way around.

      If you have time, you should spend sometime in Kyoto and Nara too since these two places are really known for beautiful cherry blossoms in Japan.

      I have been to Osaka before on a separate trip but just for 2 days. I made Osaka a pitstop to go to Kyoto. I might go back to Osaka this year for a second try and will definitely share my experiences for the benefit of the readers.

      Please feel free to share your cherry blossom experience in Japan when you are back!

      I wish you and your family a fun and unforgettable cherry blossom trip in Japan!
      -Tiffy :)

  15. tp Reply

    nice article! hope to visit japan soon with these tips…

    Good job Tiffy!!!
    From Tp

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Thank you for your kind words TP! I’m sure you will enjoy Japan as much as I did.

      Oh, I just realized we have rhyming nick names. Haha. :)


  16. Josie Reply

    Hi Tiff,

    We are having a 6 day trip to tokyo this coming May. Our schedule will also include an overnight stay in kyoto. A friend told me to buy a JR pass since we will be traveling to kyoto. Then what are Suica cards for? I have travelled to tokyo before but we joined the tour, this time we want to explore it on our own. Can you help us?

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Josie!

      The Suica card is a prepaid reloadable transit card which you can use to pay fare if you ride JR trains, Tokyo metro and other rail lines. The Suica card can also be used in convenience stores. If you have been to Hong Kong, the Suica card is much like the Octopus card.

      My understanding is that the JR pass only covers JR trains and not Tokyo metro. Train and railway systems in Japan are pretty complex and they are owned by different companies. In order to get to point A to point B in Tokyo, it is highly likely that you will need to make some transfers between JR train and Tokyo metro line which are operated by two different rail companies. Given this, the Suica card will give you much more convenience and flexibility since you are not only restricted to JR trains.

      The JR pass gives a lot of value if you will be visiting multiple regions in Japan. If you will be visiting Kyoto only, purchasing a non-JR pass shinkansen ride may come out a little bit cheaper. Also, I suggest you to stay at least 2 nights in Kyoto to maximize your shinkansen train fare. In my personal opinion, Kyoto and Osaka warrant a separate 1 week trip. There are a lot of things to see in Kyoto and an overnight stay might not be enough.

      I hope my answer helps!
      Tiffy :)

  17. Dennis Reply


    My family (2 adults and 2 children – 8 and 6 yrs old) is planning a trip to Japan from 28Apr to 06May. Our flight is Mla-Osaka-Mla only. We plan to go around osaka, Kyoto from 29Apr-03May and plan to go to Tokyo from 03May to 06May.Where do you suggest we book our hotel if one of our plan is to see disneysea?

    Thanks very much!

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Dennis,

      I suggest you to have two bases in your trip. One hotel base either in Kyoto or Osaka, and another hotel base in Tokyo. Since the main purpose of your Tokyo side trip is to see Disney only, I suggest you to book your hotel in Hilton Tokyo Bay which is within the immediate area of Tokyo Disney/Disneysea.

      You might need to spend your last night in Osaka since your departure will be from Osaka.

      If you are looking for hotel recommendations in Osaka, I recommend Swissotel Nankai Namba Osaka Hotel. I’ve personally stayed in Swissotel Namba before and can recommend it for it’s highly convenient location. It is located just atop Namba station which can easily get you to Kyoto, Nara and Kansai airport. Swissotel is located within the Dotonburi district which comes very lively at night.

      I hope this helps! I wish you and your family a safe trip to Japan! :)

  18. vicky d Reply

    Dear tiffy,
    My husband daughter and i will tour japan from march 21 to 27 . WE would like to visit the following places : shibuya march 21 to 22 then proceed to shinjuku march 22 to 23 then ginza 23 to 24. We will then proceed to kyoto fr the 24th to 26 then to osaka on the 27th for one day. We will then depart to our home country on the 28th. It will be our first time in japan and i want my 24 year old daughter to remember this very much wished for trip. I am so confused whether to buy the jr pass . Will this pass be useful with regards to our itinerary . What is the best way to explore the above places. The more i read themore i got confused. Pls help us. She would like to see cultural shows too.

    Thanks a lot

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Vicky! Thanks for your message.

      The difference between the price of 7 day JR pass and a round trip shinkansen ride between Tokyo and Kyoto is just about 1000 yen. Will you be departing from Narita/Haneda Airport in Tokyo or from Kansai Airport in Osaka? If you only need a one way transfer between Tokyo and Kyoto, then I suggest you to purchase a standalone shinkansen ticket. If you need a round trip transfer between Tokyo and Kyoto and would need airport transfer between Narita and Tokyo, then the JR pass will be a good value.

      Your itinerary looks doable but you have to start your day early. You don’t need to change hotels within Tokyo since Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ginza are reachable via JR Yamanote line.

      March 21: Arrival, Shibuya
      March 22: Shibuya and Shinjuku (Shibuya AM, Shinjuku PM)
      March 23: Ginza – Tsukiji Fish Market, East Gardens of Imperial Palace, Ginza Chuo Dori (you may want to go to Asakusa from Ginza, 10 min. train ride)
      March 24: Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto
      March 25: Kyoto
      March 26: Kyoto
      March 27: Day trip to either Osaka or Nara or just stay in Kyoto (Nara is known for great cherry blossoms)
      March 28: Departure (You have to give yourself sufficient allowance, are you going back to Tokyo on this day? If you will be departing from Tokyo in the morning or early afternoon, you might need to spend your last night in Tokyo.)

      For activities, you might want to check the cultural experiences offered by GoVoyagin. I’ve tried GoVoyagin before for their Akihabara tour and it was great!

      I hope my answer helps! I wish you and your family a happy trip to Japan!
      -Tiffy :)

  19. Marites Reply

    Dear Tiffy;

    I find your blog so helpful. Thank you for sharing it.

    I am planning to go to Tokyo with my sister who will be coming from Nagoya. I want to explore big bargain shopping of used luxury brands that I could re-sell to my friends plus of course sight seeing and eat authentic japanese food and I think Shinjuku area will be a good place for us to stay.

    Also, can you please refer me to your travel agency who could process my visa.

    By mid may this year, I will comeback again to Tokyo with my kids and my husband.

    By the way, do you think I can still book a hotel even if I plan to go 4th week of March?

    Thanks much!

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Marites! I’ve personally seen Don Quijote stores sell second hand designer bags when I was in Tokyo, so you might want to go there and see for yourself. Don Quijote is a chain discount store in Japan and there is a branch in Shinjuku. You may also want to try Komehyo and Daikokuya for second hand luxury bags, but I’ve never been to these stores yet.

      Your travel date at the end of March is super peak when cherry blossoms are forecasted to start to bloom. Just last week, I helped a personal friend find a hotel in Tokyo (Shinjuku) for the end of March and it was extremely difficult to find mid-range accommodation for 1 week. We ended up splitting the stay between two luxury hotels in Shinjuku. But there is some chance that you maybe able to find accommodation in non-central Tokyo hotels but it is highly likely that you may need to do split hotel bookings. If you are not intending to see cherry blossoms, I suggest you to combine your itinerary in your mid-May trip when hotel choices are not as sold out as the last week of March.

      I will email the name of the travel agent shortly.

      I hope this helps!
      -Tiffy :)

  20. Tonette Reply

    Hi Tiffy’

    I find your blog so informative. We will be considering the places you recommend in your blog in finalizing arrangements for our May visit to Osaka and Tokyo. Our group of 9 will be travelling Mla-Osaka-Tokyo-Mla. Could you also recommend for affordable accommodations in Osaka? and maybe an itinerary for a 2 day visit in Osaka too?

    I would appreciate getting the name of your agent too who could assist in the processing of our visa application. Are visa applications to Japan only processed through travel agencies?

    Your reply will be greatly appreciated.


    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Tonette,

      Thank you for dropping by! I would recommend you to stay in Namba district in Osaka for convenience. It’s a happening area with lots of eateries and small shops around. I’ve personally stayed in Swissotel Nankai Osaka which just sits on top of the Namba station and I recommend it for its convenience. If you are looking for more affordable hotel alternatives, try either Cross Hotel Osaka or Namba Oriental Hotel. These two hotels are just minutes walk away from Namba station.

      I’m not sure if you are with kids. Maybe you want to spend a day in Universal Studios? If not, you can spend one day visiting Osaka Castle and having a food trip in Namba area (Dotonbori/Shinsaibashi).

      I do suggest you spend a day trip to Kyoto specifically in Kiyomizudera temple and Higashiyama to soak in traditional Japanese culture. If you are lucky, you might get the chance to see Maikos (trainee Geishas) and tourists in kimonos strolling in Kyoto. Osaka and Kyoto are just 1 hour train ride from each other. You can use the local line for transfer and there is no need to take the expensive bullet train between Osaka and Kyoto.

      Yes, Japanese visa applications are only processed through accredited travel agencies. Regarding the travel agent’s name, I shall email this to you shortly.

      Thanks and I wish your travel group a happy trip to Japan! Happy travel planning!
      -Tiffy :)

  21. Leanne Reply

    Hello Ms. Tiffy,
    Thank you for this informative blog. I was wondering when’s the best time to booked our hotel room? I don’t know if Agoda and Booking.com got some problems or something but I tried booking to see what prices I am to expect for that period but they are all fully booked. I input Feb 17 to 23,2016 and it resulted in the rooms were full in your recommended hotels. :(

    Hope you could give me some tips. Truth to be told, this will be my first trip abroad and I was tasked to handle our planning.

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Leanne! I am happy to hear that you chose Tokyo as your first travel destination abroad! Definitely, you made an excellent choice.

      I think you are booking your hotel rooms too early. :) Based on my experience, hotel inventories are generally available to book online 6 months before your travel date. You can try to check your preferred Tokyo hotel in Agoda or Booking.com sometime late August to book your hotel. So, please do not forget to bookmark this blog post for your future reference.

      I normally book my hotels 2-3 months from my travel date. If I’m traveling during a peak season, I always ensure to book 3 months ahead.

      February is not peak season in Japan so you should be fine booking your hotel 3 months ahead from your expected arrival. But booking your hotel 6 months ahead wouldn’t hurt if this will make you more comfortable and put your mind at peace.

      I hope this helps and please feel free to let me know if you have any other questions Leanne! :)

  22. Terence Reply

    Hello Miss Tiffy,

    Thank you for your great infor on visiting Japan for the 1st time.
    I tried to you all the link you provided to book the hotel from date 11 April till 16 April.
    All the hotel is fully booked. Is there any other alternative on that. I will be traveling with my partner.
    Any recommendation. Hope you can help me.

    Thank you

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Terence!

      April is super peak season and it’s common for all prime hotels to get sold out months in advance. :) It’s best to book at least 3 months ahead if you are heading to Japan for spring or autumn.

      Anyway, I checked the available hotels for your travel dates in Agoda and I recommend these two hotels:
      1. Hotel Niwa Tokyo – This hotel has great service but not really right smack in a tourist area. However, Tokyo station is just 10-15 minutes ride away with two quick train transfers.
      2. Hotel Villa Fontaine Shiodome – This hotel is located in Shiodome business district 10 minutes walk away from the southern edge of Ginza and Tsukiji fish market. I have personally stayed in Shiodome district (Park Hotel Tokyo) before and I find the area to be a good alternative if all good hotels in Ginza and Shinjuku are sold out. There’s Don Quijote just a few minutes walk away which is great for cheap shopping 24/7. Shiodome Station is within JR Yamanote line so it’s easy to get anywhere in Tokyo from Shiodome. You can book Hotel Villa Fontaine Shiodome here.

      P.S. Don’t forget to book your pocket wifi in advance as it can sell like hotcakes during spring. I recommend Pupuru wifi and you can book it here.

      I hope this helps and I wish you and your partner a great 1st trip to Tokyo! I’m sure this will not be your last trip to Japan. :)

      • Terence Reply

        Dear Tiffy

        Thank you for your prompt responce.
        I shall look up the 2 hotel and also the pocket wifi you told me.


  23. Yeeming Reply


    Have you tried four seasons at marunouchi? Want to know if it is good. Thanks ya!

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Yeeming,

      Thanks for dropping a message in my blog. I haven’t tried Four Seasons Marunouchi but I’ve been to Marunouchi area.

      Marunouchi is a upscale business district in central Tokyo. Four Seasons Marunouchi is sandwiched between Tokyo Station and Ginza so the location of this hotel is great – walking distance to Tokyo Station, Ginza and Imperial Palace. If all good hotels in Ginza are sold out, I would consider to stay in Marunouchi if the price is right.

      If you’re able to get a great deal at Four Seasons Marunouchi, go for it! It could be worth the splurge. :)


  24. Terence Reply

    Dear Tiffy,

    A quick one. I would like to book the pocket wifi and collect it in the Narita airport.
    But i am not sure which terminal i will be in. Terminal 1 or Terminal 2.
    I am flying Air Asia.
    Hope to hear from you soon


    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Terence,

      According to the website of Narita Airport, Air Asia X is serviced in Terminal 2. You can check more info here.

      I hope this helps.
      -Tiffy :)

  25. Yoyo Reply

    Hi Tiffy,

    We are a party of 3 travelling with my 90 yr old mom this October to Tokyo and will be landing in Haneda. Would you suggest we take a taxi or the airport limo? We are staying at JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom. Thank you.

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Yoyo! Thanks for visiting my blog. :)

      The first two rows of the Airport Limousine bus are actually for disabled, pregnant or elderly people. Your 90 year old mom should be able to seat in this section of the airport limousine bus comfortably, unless there are impolite passengers. Based on my experience, these seats are often not taken unless the bus is full.

      Now, the challenge is the walk between the bus stop from Shinjuku Station West Exit to JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom. It is a good 5 minute to less than 10 minutes walk to JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom for people without mobility issues. If you want, you can just flag a taxi once you get off from Shinjuku Station West Exit to go to Hotel Blossom – this will cost more or less 1000 yen.

      Alternatively, you can take the limousine bus to Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku which is about 5 minutes walk from Hotel Blossom. The bus ticket can be purchased from Haneda airport even as a non-hotel guest. If you get off from Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku, there is no need to cross a big road to get to your hotel.

      If you will be taking the bus from Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku going to Haneda Airport, you may want to double check with them if you can purchase airport limousine bus tickets even as non-hotel guests.

      If you want more comfort, reduce travel risk and if money is not an issue, you can always hire a cab from Haneda Airport. It will cost you 2x-3x than your Airport Limousine bus for 3 people but it is not as prohibitively expensive as the taxi fare coming from Narita Airport.

      Depending on the physical limitations of your mother, I’ll have to leave the decision up to you but I hope above information helps!

      -Tiffy :)

      • asiatravelbug
        asiatravelbug Reply

        Hi Yoyo,

        Further to my comment earlier, I checked with Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku and they told me that even non-hotel guest can purchase airport limousine bus tickets from their front desk. You just need to buy the tickets in advance. In my case before as a staying guest in Sunroute, I purchased my airport limousine bus tickets a day before my departure.

        I hope this helps.
        -Tiffy :)

  26. Christina Reply

    Hi Tiffy!

    Just read your blog and would like to ask for your input. I will be traveling to Japan next week with my family of 7. I have been given the choice of staying in an apartment in Komagome vs in Tsukiji for a week-long stay in Tokyo — I need advice on where to set up home base! :)

    Things I’m considering- I will be traveling with my parents, so convenience and proximity is a must. (to Tokyo attractions, as well as cheap eats and convenience stores.) Both places are within walking distance from their respective stations (Komagome and Tsukiji). My mom may not want to travel too far or take too many subway transfers to see what Tokyo has to offer. This is my family’s first time in Tokyo as a group.

    Between Tsukiji and Komagome, which would be a better choice? Thank you! :)

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Christina! I’m so sorry for the delay in my reply.

      To answer your question, the area in Tsukiji market is more central and closer to tourist areas. Komagome is up north.

      Tsukiji is right next to Ginza, about 5-10 minutes walk away. It is true that there are glitzy shops in Ginza but I was able to find affordable restaurants and Don Quijote (the huge bargain shop) there. The only watch out being in Tsukiji is that the market is actually a trade area, so you have to be careful when you walk there especially inside of the market where there are fish trucks and busy merchants.

      I hope this helps.
      -Tiffy :)

  27. ika Reply

    Hi Tiffy.. we (together with our parents n 3yo kid) are going to go to Tokyo by mid July.and we plan to visit mt Fuji and Disneysea as well. Could you pls advice how to arrange the itinerary?and do we need to stay overnight in mt Fuji and Disneysea area?if yes,could you pls advice the hotels? Thanks

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Ika!

      Thanks for visiting my blog! If you wish to visit both Mount Fuji area and Disneyland, I suggest you to stay in Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku. Day trip buses to Hakone and Mount Fuji area regularly start from this hotel. If you wish to go to Mount Fuji and Hakone via train using Hakone Free Pass, the hotel is about 10 minutes walking distance to Shinjuku station. Also, Keio offers free shuttle to Disney for their hotel guests. You just need to book the shuttle in advance.

      Keio Plaza could be a little more expensive than its neighbouring hotels in Shinjuku but the convenience it offers well justifies its price. If I were in your situation, I will book this hotel. I hope this helps and I’m sure you will enjoy Tokyo as much as I did!

      Have a safe trip!
      -Tiffy :)

  28. lenny Reply

    Hi, Tiffy.
    Your blogs are so helping for a-first-timer like me.
    me and my family are going to Japan on this July. And will be staying in Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku. I just wondering from this hotel how will I go to disneyland and mt.Fuji Since Keio would be the prefect choice if we plan to visit these places.

    And how can I get from Narita to Sunroute plaza shinjuku?

    Thank You

    Regards, Lenny

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Lenny!

      Thank you for your kind words.

      To get to Tokyo Disneyland from Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku, take the JR Chuo line from Shinjuku Station to Tokyo Station. From Tokyo Station, switch lines and take the Keiyo line towards Maihama Station. Allow about an hour for your commute time. I suggest Hyperdia.com where you can check live train schedules. Having a pocket wifi also helps. (Check out 5 reasons why you need a pocket wifi in Japan.)

      For airport transfer, you can take the Airport Limousine bus from Narita airport which stops directly at Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku. Alternatively, you can also transfer from Narita via NEX train which stops in Shinjuku Station.

      To see Mount Fuji, you can have a day trip to Hakone using Hakone Free Pass. You can purchase the pass from Shinjuku Station West Exit which is about 10 minutes walk away from your hotel. The trains going to Hakone depart from Shinjuku Station.

      I hope this helps. I wish you and your family a happy Tokyo trip!
      - Tiffy :)

  29. suki Reply

    Dear Tiffy;
    I find your blog so helpful. Thank you for sharing it.
    2 aldult n 2kids – (3yo & 18 mth) is planning a trip to Japan from 15 April-21 April 2016
    -Our flight is Kl-Osaka round trip
    -plan for 3 days Kyoto and 4 Days in Osaka
    -Best time to book my stay
    -should go Kyoto or Osaka for my trip
    Where do you suggest we book our hotel if one of our plan is to see disneysea

    Thanks very much!

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Suki!

      Thanks for your kind words and happy to have helped. It looks like you are very excited for your trip next year. :)

      April is peak season in Japan. For spring, I suggest you to book at least 4 months ahead of your travel dates to get good hotels and better rates.

      Combining Kyoto and Osaka in one week trip is highly doable. Disneysea is located in Tokyo and you need to take a Shinkansen bullet train or a very long bus ride to get there from Osaka. If Tokyo is out of your plans and you are looking for kids activities, you may want to go to Universal Studios Osaka and Osaka Aquarium instead.

      I personally like Kyoto over Osaka since I’m a nature lover. But considering you have children with you, staying in Osaka maybe more accessible to get to theme parks.

      I’ve stayed in Swissotel Nankai Namba Osaka Hotel and can recommend it for its central location with lots of shops and eateries around. It’s also on top of Namba station so it’s easy to get anywhere in Kansai area (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kansai Airport).

      If you would really want to stay a day or two in Tokyo instead of Kyoto because of Disneysea, I suggest you to stay at Hilton Tokyo Bay Hotel which is within the area of Tokyo Disney.

      I hope this helps and happy travel planning!
      -Tiffy :)

  30. vignesh Reply

    Beautiful blog!!! very informative and very pleasant. Thank you very much.

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Thanks Vignesh! Happy to have helped!

      -Tiffy :)

  31. VLT Reply

    Hi Tiffy,
    Your blog is veryful for us as 1st timer tourist go to Japan. I have been try to book all hotel that you recomend but all the hotel was fully book. Fyi i will travel to Japan from Haneda airport at 18-28 dec 2015 with group (7adults 4childs). We will stay at Tokyo 23-28 dec. What would you suggest for me?

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi VLT,

      I checked your travel dates and some of my recommend hotels in Shinjuku and Ginza are still free from December 23-28, although the popular ones in West Shinjuku have been sold out.

      If you don’t want to stay in East Shinjuku, a good alternative would be to stay in Ginza. I suggest any of these 3 well-located hotels in Ginza depending on your budget.
      1) Budget – Hotel Monterey Ginza (Looks a bit old but cheap and in a good location.)
      2) Mid-Range – Mercure Hotel Ginza
      3) Upper Mid-Range – Millennium Mitsui Garden Hotel Tokyo

      Remember that double/queen rooms are small and twin rooms are recommended if you have children in tow.

      I hope this helps!
      -Tiffy :)

  32. MG Reply

    hi Tiffy

    Your blog is very informative. Glad to have chanced upon it.

    Are you able to advise me. We plan to go around 1st week of december, with my husband and 2kids (6&10years old). THis is our first time in Japan. We are planning for 8days trip, with 1st 5 days exploring Tokyo while last 3days in Tokyo Disneyland. Few things that i hope you can advise

    1. hotel stay (1st 5days): My option is between Keio and Hotel Sunroute which are both in Shinjuku. Seems Keio is better with their free shuttle bus to Disneyland, but it is a pricier than Sunroute. Plus i have the problem of Japan hotel stay policy whereby over 7 years old is considered as adult hence must get own bed. Is this normal? Are they really strict on this? Whenever we have hotel stay, we usually get a twin room, 1 bed for 2kids then 1 bed for 2Adults.

    2. 1st 5days itinerary – where is the best place to go for first-timers?


    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi MG!

      Thanks for your kind words.

      1. Since you plan to go to Tokyo Disney, staying in Keio Plaza Hotel may suit your family better. The hotel rooms in Japan are compact hence majority limit their child policy to one small child. I suggest you to contact Keio Hotel directly to reconfirm. I personally know a family of 4 who stayed in Keio, but they booked a quad room since the children are above 12 years old.

      2. You may want to check out this Tokyo itinerary.

      I hope this helps and happy travel planning!
      - Tiffy :)

  33. Edith Reply

    Hi Tiffy,

    you have a awesome site. My family is planning to travel in japan on december 26-30,2015. I want to explore Ginza or Shinjuku. I am now researching on these places, maps, shopping areas, and restaurants. I have four hotels to consider: Courtyard Marriott , Mercure Hotel Ginza, Millenium Mitsui Garden and Hotel La Graciery GInza. As i have seen in Maps, these hotels are near to GInza Shopping District. In your views or suggestions, can you please help me with the following: In terms of location (particulary to shopping areas), cleanliness, safety, food services etc, numbering from 1 to 4…

    Thank you . Have a NIce day.


    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Edith!

      Thanks for your kind words. Ginza is actually a small walkable district and the hotels you mentioned are within 5-10 minutes walk to each other. Shops and eateries are dotted all around Ginza. Tsukiji Fish Market is within walking distance too. Ginza is very safe.

      I checked the availability of preferred hotels in Agoda and only 2 are available on your travel dates.
      1) Mercure Hotel Ginza
      2) Millenium Mitsui Garden Ginza

      Millennium Mitsui Garden is relatively newer and more centrally located in Ginza, though both hotels above are in good location.

      I think you should be able to decide based on the price. If price is not an issue, go for Millennium Mitsui Garden Ginza. If you have a tighter budget, go for Mercure Hotel Ginza.

      I hope this helps!
      Tiffy :)

  34. Claudia Reply

    Hi Tiffy,

    Thank you so much for your helpful guide, I really appreciate it! I have a few questions I wanted to ask.

    In December, my bestfriend and I will be in Japan for 8 nights. We’re flying down from Sydney and will arrive at Narita airport at 7:30pm. We have both never been to Japan before and after reading your article, most likely we’ll book staying at Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku for 5 nights since you mentioned it’s your most recommended hotel for first time people and the location. It’s great to know there is a bus limousine that drops you off directly to the hotel.

    After 5 nights in Tokyo, we plan to do 2 nights in Kyoto and do a day trip in Osaka. However for the last night, we are thinking of staying in Tokyo because we didn’t realise it’s quite a long ride back to the airport about 3.5 hours. I think it would be safe to stay in Tokyo for the last night just in case any delays happen or anything. What do you think? Do have any hotels you would recommend staying in Kyoto?

    Would love to hear back from you :)

    Thank you so much Tiffy!

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Claudia,

      Thanks for your kind words!

      Yes, it makes sense to have an overnight in Tokyo before you fly out of Narita. Since you plan to stay in Shinjuku once you arrive in Tokyo, I suggest you to try to stay in another area like Ginza for your last night to experience some area variety.

      In my past trip to Kyoto, I stayed at Hotel Monterey Kyoto. Though this hotel is good, very clean and great value for money, I think there are better located hotels within the same price range. Hotel Monterey Kyoto is located in Karasuma Oike Station making it very easy to travel to Kyoto tourist sites via subway/train. I remember there are two convenience stores right next to this hotel but the main challenge is the lack of restaurants within its immediate vicinity.

      If I return to Kyoto, I would consider these two hotels in the following order:
      1. Royal Park Hotel Kyoto – The location of this hotel is sandwiched between Central Kyoto and Higashiyama District (Old Kyoto) making some of major tourist sites within walking distance. There are also two stations within 5 minutes walk from this hotel making it easy to go to South Higashiyama (Fushimi Inari) or Arashiyama.
      2. Citadines Karasuma Gojo Hotel Kyoto – Spacious rooms for Japanese standards, just one train stop away from Kyoto Station.

      If you are feeling more adventurous in Kyoto, I suggest you to try to stay in a ryokan (traditional Japanese Inn) for a blast in the past experience.

      I hope this helps!
      Tiffy :)

      • Claudia Reply

        Hi Tiffany,

        Thank you so much for your help!

        Would you recommend catching a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto?


        • asiatravelbug
          asiatravelbug Reply

          Hi Claudia,

          Yep! Bullet train is the fastest way from Tokyo to Kyoto. Another way would be to take the bus but its quite a very looong journey.

          Tiffy :)

  35. Bee Reply

    Wow! You are such a gem, Tiffy. I wish I had come across your blog sooner. My husband and I are planning a land tour before our cruise in August. Please comment/advise us on our itinerary.
    Day 1 – Arrive Osaka airport mid-day. Immediate train transfer to Kyoto. Visit Nishiki market and
    Gion district. Stay Hotel Grand Bach.
    Day 2 – Arashiyama area – Tenryu-ji, Bamboo Grove. Is there time to visit Nara? Stay Ibis Styles Kyoto Station.
    Day 3 – Train Kyoto to Hakone. Visit Lake Ashi area. Stay 2 nights Hakone Pax Yoshino ( any other suggestions?).
    Day 4 – Visit Gora/Togendai area.
    Day 5 – Train Hakone to Tokyo.
    Day 6 – 3a.m. to Tsukiji market to watch tuna auction.
    Day 7 – Train Tokyo to Yokohama port.
    Please suggest a Tokyo hotel. We are not interested in Disneyland, more into nature and heritage.
    Appreciate your advice and travel tips.
    What rail or travel pass should we buy?

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Bee,

      Thank you for your kind words. Please see my comments below.

      1. It takes at least 1.5 hours from Osaka Airport to Kyoto and you have to consider the time needed for checking in to your hotel. It is possible that time might be tight to go to Nishiki market on your first day. From what I remember, the market closes early at 6pm. I still remember we arrived at Nishiki market at around 5:30pm before and was in a mad rush to wander around since the shops were about to close. Better yet, put Nishiki market in your day 2 morning itinerary just before you head to Arashiyama.
      2. You might be spreading yourself too thin if you visit Arashiyama and Nara in one day. Just choose one. I enjoyed Arashiyama better than Nara but both are unique in terms of heritage and nature.
      3. Hakone is popular for ryokans / Japanese style inns. I suggest you to stay in a Ryokan in Hakone instead of hotel. It’s a unique way to immerse in Japanese culture.
      4. Since you plan to see the tuna auction in Tsukiji market early in the morning, it makes sense to stay in Ginza which is walking distance to Tsukiji. Apart from the Ginza hotels which I mentioned in my blog, you may want to try Millennium Mitsui Garden Tokyo which is a fairly new and nice hotel in Ginza. I think Ginza is the perfect area for you due to its close proximity to Tsukiji fish market and Yurakucho Station / Tokyo Station where you can catch the train to Yokohama. I suggest you to include a visit to Asakusa in your Tokyo itinerary. There, you can find human powered rickshaws along the streets and see Sensoji temple. Asakusa is just a few subway stops from Ginza.

      For your trip to Hakone, I recommend Hakone Free Pass for its value.

      I hope this helps!
      Tiffy :)

      • Bee Reply

        Hi Tiffy

        Thank you for taking the time to reply. I have noted your comments and will make some changes to my itinerary. Where can I get maps of Tokyo, Kyoto and Hakone before my trip departure?
        I have had more time to read your blog on your Tokyo and Japan itinerary and will take your advice on Travelers and Locals Japan, Pupuru and Suica cards. Your attention to details is a GREAT help to all travellers to Japan.

        • asiatravelbug
          asiatravelbug Reply

          Hi Bee,

          I remember getting Japan tourist maps from JNTO booth from a local travel expo. For paper tourist maps, you may wish to contact your local JNTO office.

          However, I think it is highly doable to plan your trip even without the paper maps before departure. Google maps is kind of handy and accurate for Tokyo and Kyoto. For Hakone, check out the Hakone Navi website. I also suggest you to use hyperdia.com to check out train schedules ahead.

          I hope this helps!
          Tiffy :)

  36. Ricky Reply

    Hi Tiffy,
    Your blog is very helpful! I am planning to visit to Tokyo next month. I am searching for Hotels in Shinjuku or Ginza are but i have limited budget below USD 80. I am traveling for business purpose and for 4 days. Can you suggest me any hotels that you have come across which suits my budget?
    Will be really helpful!

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Ricky,

      Thank you for your kind words! Please find my suggestions below.
      Ibis Hotel Shinjuku – This hotel is located just north of Shinjuku Station and their single room fits your USD 80 budget.

      However, I think booking below hotels will have better value for money. For just about USD 20/night more than Ibis, I think your stay will be more comfortable.
      Hotel Gracery Shinjuku – This is a brand new hotel located in Kabukicho district in Shinjuku and is also walking distance to Shinjuku station.
      Hotel Sunroute Ginza – This is a fairly new Sunroute chain hotel located in Ginza. They have single rooms for about USD 100/night.

      I have not personally stayed in these hotels but based on google maps, I can see that these hotels are in strategic location. These are the hotels which I’ll consider if I’m in your shoes. The prices mentioned above are average prices from Agoda this July.

      The single rooms in Tokyo are typically between 12 sqm to 16 sqm in size. If you are on tight budget and if you plan to be out of your room most of the time, then I guess above hotel choices will work for you.

      Have a safe flight and I wish you a great business-leisure Tokyo trip.
      -Tiffy :)

  37. Angie Reply

    Hi Tiffy,

    Stumble upon your blog and found to be very informative with precise explanation and really a great help for first timer planning to Tokyo. Planning a 2 weeks trips on the 3rd & 4th weeks of December and now starting to look for suitable hotel with budget below USD150. With a 8yo kid and plan to go Disney & also Mt Fuji beside exploring Tokyo itself, appreciate your travel tips & advise. Will fly in and depart from Narita. Thanks.

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Angie,

      Thank you for dropping by my blog and for your kind words. Appreciate it. :)

      The last 2 weeks of December are peak travel dates, so my best advise to you is to book your hotel as soon as possible before you run out of rooms. I strongly suggest that you book a twin room instead of a double room to have more space especially that you have a child with you. Double rooms in Tokyo are typically too small for a couple with a kid.

      Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo fits your itinerary, however it is about 25% more than your budget.

      Alternatively, you can stay in Ginza instead of Shinjuku. Ginza is just a short cab away from Tokyo Station where the NEX train from Narita Airport stops. In Ginza, Hotel Monterey Ginza and Hotel Monterey La Soeur Ginza are within your budget and they have twin room available on your travel dates as of this writing. These hotels can feel a bit old relatively but I think they are very good value for money since they’re located in prime Ginza area. I have personally stayed in a Monterey chain hotel before but in Kyoto. I can say that they’re a good and clean budget hotel chain. If you are able to manage your expectations, you should be fine. Ginza is pretty central and it’s easy to get to Shinjuku and Tokyo Disney with 0-2 subway/train transfers.

      I hope this helps! Again, please book your hotel as soon as possible.

      Happy Tokyo travel planning!
      Tiffy :)

  38. Em Reply


    You have an amazing site! I’ve been blog hopping prior to my visit to Japan early December this year with my sister (she’s 16) and your blog is certainly helpful. I’m so glad that I stumbled upon it.

    The thing is, we have a tight budget despite having saved most of my income for this trip (as my country’s currency is falling faster than a jet descending). I’ve booked a hotel from agoda Sotetsu Fresa Inn Nihombashi-Kayabacho – haven’t paid anything yet and I really want to have your opinion on it. I have checked out the hotels that you suggested on this post, however most of it are all booked out for our dates or are too expensive for us (rm400+ per night yikes!). Our budget is around 60 usd.

    We planned on spending two or three days at DisneyLand and DisneySea, and maybe another two days sightseeing Tokyo. We’d then travel to Osaka/Kyoto. I wonder if this hotel is a good idea? I’m used to travelling by myself and I’m pretty familiar with how subway works, having explored Paris, London, Athens, and Singapore subways/tube on my own. I wonder if the train system in Tokyo would be different or more challenging? We planned on using the train as our main form of transportation and I’m a bit nervous as from what I read, the train system is pretty complex in Tokyo.

    I would really appreciate your thoughts on this. Thank you very much in advance for your help.

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Em!

      Thank you for visiting my blog and for your kind words!

      Nihombashi is a business district to the east of Tokyo Station. Although it’s not as lively as tourist areas like Ginza, Shibuya or Shinjuku where budget hotels average USD 120 – USD 150 during non-peak times, I think the location of Sotetsu Fresa Inn Ninhomabshi Kayabacho is good for the budget you mentioned. If you are able to manage your expectations, you should be fine.

      I checked google maps and Kayabacho station is just about 15-20 minutes walk to Tokyo station or about 5 minutes via subway. If you have luggage with you, you can take a short cab to your hotel from Tokyo Station. From Tokyo Station, you can take NEX to Narita airport and catch overnight buses or Shinkensen bullet train to go to Osaka/Kyoto.

      Overall, I think Kayabacho station is a good central base to get to major central Tokyo tourist sites and Tokyo Disney within 30 minute radius, with average of 1-2 train transfers per way for destinations between 15 to 30 minute radius.

      Regarding complexity of train lines in Tokyo, smaller train/subway stations are pretty straight forward. Also, most of the public signs inside subways/train stations and inside the trains are bilingual in English and Japanese. When it becomes challenging is when you get to major stations like Shinjuku Station where there are multitude of exits that go over hundreds. Tokyo Station, where you will be most of the time, can also be confusing due to its sheer size and the presence of a mall inside the station itself. To answer your question, yes the major train stations in Tokyo are more complex than the subways in Singapore or Paris based on my personal experience. However, if you have a pocket wifi with you, you should be able to check out google maps and be able to access live train schedules on the go. I have used Pupuru pocket wifi twice in Tokyo and I highly recommend them. The pocket wifi has helped me immensely in navigating Tokyo. You can check out my review of Pupuru in this pocket wifi in Japan blog.

      I hope this helps!
      Tiffy :)

  39. Jessica Reply

    hello! I came across your blog while planning a trip to Tokyo next week. We will be travelling to Tokyo from Aug 5 to Aug 13 with an 18-month old. Could you please suggest a suitable itinerary? I was thinking of doing first 3 nights in Tokyo and spend another 3 in Kyoto and back to Tokyo for another 2 nights. where do u suggest we stay please? Keio hotel unfortunately is fully booked and Hotel Sunroute’s room rate seems to be quite high perhaps because i have left the hotel booking till so late! Thank you so much!

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Jessica,

      I’m so sorry to hear that you ran out of prime hotel choices on your travel dates.

      Looking at the available hotels on your travel dates, you may want to try Hotel Villa Fontaine Tokyo Shiodome just south of Ginza. I have personally stayed in Shidome-Shimbashi district before staying in Park Hotel Tokyo just across Hotel Villa Fontaine. The area is highly accessible by public transportation, however, it is not as lively as Shinjuku or Ginza since Shiodome is a business district. The good thing though is that it’s just a few stops away from Tokyo Station and walkable to Ginza.

      In Kyoto, I suggest Royal Park Hotel Kyoto.

      Tokyo and Kyoto for 9 days is ok. However, if you have a baby in tow, I think you would have a more leisurely trip if you go Tokyo all the way and save Kyoto for your next Japan trip.

      I hope this helps and I wish your family a happy trip to Japan!
      -Tiffy :)

  40. Jen Reply

    Hi tiffy! Wow this blog is really informative. I am amazed how helpful you are to travelers like us…
    Well my family (2kids+4adults) are traveling to Tokyo this October for 8 nights. Looking at your suggested places, I am considering Shinjuku or Shibuya area for our hotel. We’ve tried staying in Oakwood apartment/hotel (Korea) and it was very convenient since the apartment has 2rooms and a living room. it turns out to be cheaper than getting 2 separate rooms.
    Would you know if there are hotels that has 2rooms or Oakwood in the area? Preferably close to public transpo? hoping to hear from you…thanks

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Jen! Thanks for your kind words.

      Happy to hear that your family had a nice stay in Oakwood in Korea. I have to agree that quadruple 2-bedroom suites are great value for money and are sometimes cheaper than 2 separate studio rooms. Plus, you get a nice living room! :)

      However, space is pretty scarce in Tokyo and 2 bedroom condotels are very rare in prime tourist areas. There are condotels in Tokyo (like Citadines and Tokyu Stay chain) but most only offer studio units with kitchenette and washing machine.

      If you really wish to have huge quadruple rooms/suites in Tokyo, you may wish to refer to Rihga Royal Hotel Tokyo. This hotel has 49sqm 2-bedroom junior suites with rates ranging from USD 220 to USD 350+/night depending on your travel dates, good for 4 adults. The location is near Waseda university and north of Shinjuku tourist district but not walking distance to the lively tourist area. Hotel shuttles are available though to take you to the nearest train station.

      Alternatively, you can always book 2 separate rooms in a prime Shinjuku location for convenience and easy access to public transportation. I have personally stayed at Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku and I think their 23 sqm standard twin rooms will be comfortable for 2 adults and 1 kid. I recommend this hotel highly to my friends.

      The two hotels I mentioned above are good hotels. I guess it’s a matter of knowing what you value more – space or location.

      I hope my reply helps you decide. I wish you and your family a great trip to Tokyo!
      Tiffy :)

  41. Connie Reply

    Your information is great. I will be visiting Tokyo with my husband, daughter, son-in-law, and 8 month old grandson Oct 23 to Oct 27. I will be looking at your hotel suggestions SOON. We were thinking of taking a tour on Saturday. Can you suggest any tour companies? Also, it sounds like the twin rooms are larger but do they ever push the beds together? Thank you.

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Connie!

      Happy to hear that you’ll be having a multi-generational travel to Tokyo. I’m sure you’ll have a blast!

      Yes, twin rooms in Tokyo are generally about 20% to 30% larger than double rooms. Twin rooms are a little bit more expensive but I think they’re worth the money.

      Based on my experience staying in 3 different hotels in Tokyo in twin rooms, I haven’t encountered any hotel which pushed the two beds together. There’s a bedside table fixed against the wall in between the two beds if I remember it correctly. However, different hotels have different room configurations. It’s best to contact the hotel directly to check if your preferred room/bed configuration is available.

      Regarding paid tours in Japan, I have personally tried govoyagin.com for a private walking trip and my experience has been good so far. If you are looking for group tours, I recommend searching for tours that you like in Viator. I have not used Viator in Japan but I have good experiences using them in my North American trips before.

      I hope this helps. I wish your family a great trip to Tokyo!
      - Tiffy :)

  42. Mei Reply

    Hi Tiffy,

    Glad to come across your blog! Great reading your comments and advise. I would like to bring my family of 5 (3 boys from 17, 15 & 6) for a week, next year March. Any interest place to visit on our own?
    Any ideal for food like seafood/sushi/ramen, stay at rayokan and ski or snowball activities?

    - Mei

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hello Mei,

      Thanks for dropping by Asiatravelbug! If you plan to visit Tokyo sometime in March, I suggest you to schedule it towards the end of the month so you’ll have a greater chance to see Japan’s famous cherry blossoms. The blooms are everywhere during the season and can easily be accessed within the city.

      At this point, I’m unable to provide any advise about ski resorts but based from what I know, the ski resorts are located outside Tokyo. In case you push through with your skiing plans in Japan, I’m excited to hear about your experience! Snow ball activities seem to be a lot of fun! :)

      For places of interest which you can visit on your own, please feel free to browse through my 1 Week Tokyo Itinerary. You can always iterate your travel plans depending on what your family likes to do.

      Most of the ryokans in Tokyo are in Asakusa district. For better quality ryokans, I suggest Hakone or Lake Kawaguchiko areas which are a few hours bus or train ride away from Tokyo.

      For affordable but yummy eats in Tokyo, I recommend Hamakatsu for tonkatsu and Ippudo for ramen.

      I hope this helps and happy travel planning!
      - Tiffy :)

  43. Jes Reply

    Hi Tiffy,

    This has been very helpful. We’ll be in Japan for the first time on November. Travelling with my wife, 2 kids (14 & 15), a yaya and our toddler. Would you recommend booking 2 twin bed rooms, or one family room? My concern is the yaya as extra. Are they super strict about the number of people in the room? The yaya could stay with my 2 teenagers in one room. We would like to visit Disney Land & Sea while in Tokyo. We’ll fly to Osaka to check out Universal Studios then back to Tokyo before heading home. Any recommendation on hotels and budget airlines to Osaka? Thank you very much.

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Jes,

      Happy to hear that your family is planning to have a trip in Japan this November! I’m sure you’re going to have a blast. But do remember that the last 2 weeks of November is peak due to fall foliage especially in Kyoto.

      I suggest that you book your flight arriving in Tokyo and departing in Osaka (or vice versa) to save on travel time and bullet train cost. I think you’ll be able to book two one-way fares using budget airlines. For non-budget airlines like PAL, these round trip tickets are called open-jaw tickets that allow you to arrive in Tokyo and depart in Osaka with fare cost just similar to a round-trip ticket between Manila and Tokyo. This way, you’ll be able to save a one-way bullet train ride between Tokyo and Osaka. The regional bullet train rides are quite expensive in Japan.

      I flew with Jetstar to Osaka before and their departure schedules are better than other airlines, departing Manila in the morning and departing Osaka for Manila in the afternoon. Service is quite good but I find the seats to be quite cramped. If you go for this airline, I recommend that you book the seats with bigger legroom. Personally, I think full service airlines provide better value for money giving you way a lot more (meals, huge baggage allowance, bigger and well-maintained planes, standard legroom) for just a few dollars more than non-sale budget airline fares.

      In terms of hotels, I stayed in a triple room in Swissotel Nankai Namba Osaka Hotel and they arranged for a third bed for the third person. I recommend this hotel for its convenience since it’s right smack in Namba area, just on top of Namba station and walking distance to shops and restaurants. I understand that in Hong Kong, some mid-range hotels have guards in some floors checking for sneak-ins but I’ve not seen anything similar in mid-range hotels in Japan so far. However, I think that the cost of third bed (~USD35/night) is a good value for money to make everyone have a comfortable stay. Alternatively, you may want to check out Cross Hotel Osaka or Namba Oriental Hotel for more affordable hotel choices within walking distance to Namba Station.

      In Tokyo, I think staying in Mercure Ginza Tokyo best fits your case. They allow up to one child up to 15 years old to stay in the same room at no additional cost, if using the same bedding configuration. So technically, in your second room, your 2 teenagers and the nanny can be booked in a twin room without the need for a third person charge.

      I hope this helps and I wish you happy travel planning!
      - Tiffy :)

  44. Michelle Reply

    This is really helpful. Thank you so much for sharing – very kind of you! I managed to book a room at Sunroute Plaza for my upcoming trip :)

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Michelle,

      Thank you for your kind words. Happy to have helped!

      I’m also very happy to hear that you’re able to book a room in Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku. I’m sure you’ll enjoy your stay in Tokyo!

      Have a safe trip!
      -Tiffy :)

  45. TSK Reply

    Hi Tiffy,

    Chance upon your blog and was delighted as it was so informative for my upcoming trip to Tokyo in November from Singapore . Took your advice and booked Keio Plaza hotel for the convenience as we are traveling with our 12mth and 3 yr old kids. We only have 5 days there and wonder if you have any suggestions where should we visit to maximize our time there? We will be going to Disneyland for sure in one of the days, and probably will be booking a day tour to visit Mt Fiji. Do you have any good suggestion on which website I should book from? Thanks!

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi TSK!

      Thank you very much for your kind words and I apologize for the late response. I hope that my response is not yet too late.

      I’m happy to hear that your family will be having a Tokyo trip this November! To maximize your trip in Tokyo, I would suggest that you group nearby places together when you’re doing your itinerary. Based on your information, I would assume you have 3 days left for Tokyo. Here’s my suggestion.

      Day 1 – Explore Shinjuku and Shibuya (Meiji shrine), do some shopping.
      Day 2 – Explore Ueno Park, enjoy a blast in the past experience in Asakusa.
      Day 3 – Go to Imperial Palace East Gardens and Ginza. (Tsukiji is very near Ginza but I think it’s not kid friendly since it’s an active fish market.) Explore Odaiba, if you still have some time and energy left. :)

      I’m not sure when exactly in November are you heading to Tokyo. Towards the end of November is autumn. If you’ll be there during autumn season, then it makes more sense to allot more time to visit parks to enjoy beautiful fall foliage.

      Alternatively, you can always make my Tokyo itinerary as reference and just pick the activity you wish.

      My number 1 tip to maximize your time in Japan is to rent a pocket wifi. It will save you a lot of time in navigating the streets of Japan which don’t usually have street signs except for major avenues. I’ve used Pupuru pocket wifi twice in Japan and strongly recommend it. You can check out why you need a pocket wifi in Japan in my Japan pocket wifi review blog.

      Regarding day tours to view Mount Fuji, you may want to try the Mount Fuji tours available in Viator.com which has hotel pick-up from Keio Plaza Hotel. I have not used Viator in Japan but I have used it multiple times in my trips outside Japan. So far I’m happy with the service of the tours I’ve booked in Viator.com and can confidently recommend this website.

      I hope this helps. I wish your family a happy and safe trip to Tokyo!
      - Tiffy :)

  46. Angela Reply

    Hi Tiffy,

    4 of us (2 couples) plan to visit Japan Tokyo next year Mar 18 to 27. This is our 1st trip so we need your recommendation where to stay and visit? We on tight budget so hotel no need 4/5 stars as long as is clean and near train station and easy for food and shopping:)

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Angela,

      You may want to check Hotel Monterey Ginza and Hotel Monterey La Soeur Ginza to see if they’re within your budget. These hotels can feel a bit old relatively but I think they are very good value for money since they’re located in prime Ginza area, near train station (Ginza and Tokyo Station) and shopping.

      Towards the end of March is peak in Tokyo due to cherry blossom. Better book now to secure your accommodation.

      I hope this helps.
      -Tiffy :)

  47. Jayce Cairo Reply

    I love your post! It’s so comprehensive! We’re going to Japan in December and we are glad we stumbled upon your guide.
    Just curious, though, where do you make your infographics?

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Jayce,

      Thank you very much for visiting asiatravelbug and I’m so happy to hear from a fellow blogger. I’m also happy to hear that you found this blog useful for your upcoming Japan trip!

      I had some of the infographics here designed by a professional web agency. Please feel free to check out 7th Media Digital.

      Have a safe trip! I’m sure you’ll have a blast in Japan.
      - Tiffy :)

  48. Elaine Reply

    Hi Tiffy,

    Your blog is so informative. Glad I came upon it and as a first timer to visit Tokyo I book the Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku as recommended. I will be staying here for 5D4N.

    Can the room accommodate 3 pax? I book a Standard Twin Room and request for an extra bed.

    Do Hotel Sunroute Plaza provide free Limousine bus from Haneda Airport to Hotel or do I have to purchase bus ticket online or at airport counter? Please advise me.

    Will appreciate very much if you can suggest places of interest to visit. I’ve dedicate 1 day for Disneyland trip.

    Thank you.

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Elaine,

      Thank you very much for your kind words and thank you for taking my advice.

      As far as I know, Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku offers Standard Twin Room Plus Sofa Bed to fit 3 adults comfortably. Instead of an extra bed, the hotel might offer you to upgrade to the room I mentioned when they reply back. The fee involved should be more of less similar to a usual extra bed fee or third person charge.

      With regards to the Airport Limousine bus, you have to purchase ticket from the limousine bus counter at Haneda Airport after you pass through immigration. On your way back to the airport, limousine bus tickets can be purchased from the front desk of Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku.

      Regarding places worthy to visit in Tokyo, please feel free to check out my tokyo itinerary blog. Also, I suggest you to book a pocket wifi in Japan online so it will be easy to navigate your way around Tokyo.

      I hope this helps you in your planning! Have a safe trip.
      - Tiffy :)

  49. Thomas Klassen Reply

    Hi Tiffy: Thanks so much for the great blog (which I discovered quite by accident). So helpful! One question: I will be in Tokyo with my 9-year old twins and their 12 year old friend from Dec. 15th to 20th. My plan is to spend Dec. 16th and 17th at Disneyland (I figure that has got to be a guarantee of a good time!). For Dec. 18th and 19th I am undecided between Hakone (spending two nights there) or spending those days in Tokyo (museums, palace, etc. etc.). What might your advice be? Thanks and cheers, Tom

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Tom!

      Thank you very much for your kind words and I’m excited for your upcoming family vacation in Tokyo.

      Since you will only have 2 full days in Tokyo outside Disneyland, I suggest that you spend Dec 18-19 exploring the city instead of heading to Hakone.

      Although Hakone is interesting, the travel time to Hakone from Tokyo will take around 2 hours or so per way which will eat up your precious 2 full days. There are loads of activities in Tokyo which can fill up your 2 days quickly. The tourist places in Tokyo are pretty much kid friendly except for Tsukiji fish market, Akihabara and Kabukicho. Please feel free to cherry pick on what you would like to do in Tokyo from my Tokyo itinerary.

      Just save Hakone for your next trip and you’ll have a very good reason to return to Tokyo. :)

      I wish your family a fun trip in Japan!
      - Tiffy :)

  50. Juanita Reply

    Hi – just wanted to say a big thanks! for this blog post. Very helpful for a first-timer such as myself!

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Juanita!

      Thank you very much for your kind words and I’m very happy to have helped.

      Have a safe trip to Japan!
      -Tiffy :)

  51. Feridah Reply

    Dear Tiffy

    I will be going to Tokyo from 26th Dec to 30th Dec 2015 , and this is the first time. Just would like to check with you the area that I have booked through airbnb . This is the address : Shimoochiai, Shinjuku, Tokyo 161-0033, Japan. So is this place easy access to public transport.?

    And if I want to go to Tokyo Disneyland, how do I go from here? Thanks

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Feridah,

      Shimo-Ochiai is north of Shinjuku Station and it will take you about 20 mins to get to the core of Shinjuku with 1 train transfer + some walking. I do suggest first time visitors to stay within walking distance to Yamanote loop such us Shinjuku Station, Tokyo Station or Yurakucho Station/Ginza to make train commute simpler and faster. The train, subway systems and stations in Tokyo can be overwhelming for first time visitors.

      To get to Tokyo Disneyland, you have to get to Shinjuku Station, then Tokyo Station then take JR Keiyo line towards Maihama Station.

      Personally, I’m ok to stay in Shimo-Ochiai as a repeat traveler and if the accommodation can offer a unique experience such as a nice ryokan (Japanese Style Inn).

      In any case, I suggest you to have a pocket wifi to help you navigate Tokyo. Please feel free to check out my Pupuru Japan pocket wifi review.

      I hope this helps. Have a great trip!
      Tiffy :)

  52. Lia Reply

    Just stumbled onto your blog – it’s awesome!

    Our travelling party of 3 (1 couple + 1 single) will be inJapan from Feb 7 to 15 – sadly, it seems we may have left the accommodation booking too late as almost all your recommended hotels in Shinjuku & Shibuya are all booked!

    Our intention is to spend 3 days in Tokyo, 3 days in Kyoto, 2 days in Nagano and back to Tokyo to fly out. Do you have any recommendations on ryokan or minshuku in Kyoto or Nagano? Guess I’ll have to scoured the net to find an alternative to your Tokyo suggestions … :(

    Thanks again for such an excellent blog!

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Lia!

      Thank you for your kind words and I’m sorry to hear that you ran out of prime hotel choices in Shinjuku and Shibuya. Actually, your travel dates fall during the week of Chinese New Year, hence it’s super peak and it’s hard to get rooms due to surge in demand. I suggest you try to find hotels in other areas like Ginza, Tokyo Station, Asakusa or Ueno and see if there are still hotels available within your budget.

      In Kyoto, I stayed in Central Kyoto before. If I were to return, I would love to stay in a ryokan in Higashiyama area or the area between Central Kyoto and Higashiyama. Here are my picks for accommodation in Kyoto. Both are located within Gion, Higashiyama district.
      1) Mid-range – Maifukan Hotel (Japanese Style Rooms Available)
      2) Upper Mid-range to High-end – Ryokan Gion Hatanaka

      I haven’t been to Nagano yet so I’m afraid I’m unable to provide advice in terms of recommended accommodation there. In case you found a suitable accommodation in Nagano, let me know about your experience!

      I hope you get your accommodation requirements sorted out soon for your upcoming trip. Have a safe trip to Japan! I’m sure you’ll have a blast.
      -Tiffy :)

  53. Jamie Reply

    Hi Tiffy,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences!
    My family is planning to go Tokyo,Osaka and Kyoto. Any recommendation if we should get a JR pass. Will be staying in Tokyo for few days when we arrive then travel to Kyoto and then to Osaka for few days before heading back to Tokyo.


    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Jamie,

      You are very welcome!

      If you need a round trip transfer between Tokyo and Kyoto/Osaka and will need airport train transfer between Narita and Tokyo, then the JR pass will be a good value.

      However, the JR Pass is limited to JR trains and you are highly likely to use various train lines (subways, monorails, etc.) operated by different companies when in Japan. For non-JR trains, I recommend you to get a Suica reloadable card when in Tokyo.

      In summary, if you will be arriving in Narita and will go to Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto in a round trip loop within 7 days, I recommend a combination JR Pass plus a Suica reloadable card (for trains not covered by JR Pass).

      I hope this helps you decide and I wish your family a fun trip to Japan.
      - Tiffy :)

  54. Kelvin Reply

    Hi. Would like to check what are the concerns if staying jn the kabukicho area ie the central citadine hotel that you recommended. I am travelling as a couple with a 2yr old kid.
    Also should we take hotel with breakfast or without. What are the hotel breakfast like in japan

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Kelvin,

      Kabukicho is a red light district in Shinjuku and I think the area is more suitable for couples rather than for families with small children. Google Maps Street View gives you a good visual of what Kabukicho streets look like.

      If you require a similarly priced apart-hotel accommodation in Shinjuku, you may wish to consider the recently opened Tokyu Stay Shinjuku which is located in Shinjuku-Sanchome outside Kabukicho. Shinjuku Sanchome is just 1 stop away from the main Shinjuku station.

      Alternatively, you can opt to stay in East Shinjuku either in JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom or Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku for a more comfortable and convenient stay.

      For breakfast, there are lots of choices in Shinjuku. If you opt not to eat in a restaurant for breakfast, you can buy local hash browns, pork buns or onigiri rice triangles from convenience stores. If you’re looking for western breakfast, you can find burgers and the usual western fast food meals in McDonalds.

      I hope this helps. I wish your family a fun and safe trip to Tokyo!
      -Tiffy :)

  55. Kevin Reply

    Hi Tiffy!

    I know you get this a lot but your blog is the absolute best!

    My wife and i are traveling to Tokyo for our honeymoon in April and have a reservation at the Keio Plaza hotel. However, after reading your blog im thinking of switching to the JR Blossom hotel. Which would ur recommend?



    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Kevin!

      Thanks for your kind words. Choosing between JR Kyushu Blossom Shinjuku and Keio Plaza Hotel is going to be difficult decision. Both are in a great location in Shinjuku within walking distance to Shinjuku Station.

      JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku
      is newer but their double room is small at 19 sqm. I would go for JR Blossom for their 25 sqm twin rooms.

      Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo can feel a little bit dated but their rooms come at minimum size of 23 sqm which is quite roomy for Japanese standards. I have previously stayed in an equally sized room in Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku and find my 23 sqm room to be reasonably spacious. If you are worried about the dated rooms in Keio Plaza, I suggest you go for their renovated rooms.

      I hope above helps you decide. Wishing you and your wife a great honeymoon in Tokyo!
      Tiffy :)

  56. Joan Reply

    Thank you for a great blog – so much information!! I really love it!
    I have a question about hotels — we are planning on visiting Tokyo in early June. There will be 4 of us (my husband and I and our 2 kids aged 9 and 10). I’m still trying to understand how to book a room. Based on your information I would like to stay in the Shinjuku area but I don’t see any triple or quad rooms. One of the sites did suggest two rooms – which made me wonder if the hotels have rooms that can be joined like in American hotels (by opening a locked door) – as I would not want us to be too separate in the hotel — and can I ask for this?
    Thank you!!

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Joan!

      Thank you for your kind words! I’m happy to hear that you’ll have a family vacation this year in Tokyo. I’m sure your family will have a fantastic time!

      Most of the hotels in central Tokyo are compact so rooms for family of 4 are rare. With regards to connecting rooms, they are not common in Japan.

      But here are your options in Shinjuku:
      1) Hotel Rose Garden Shinjuku – This is a family run hotel located north of Shinjuku Station. Quad rooms are available.
      2) Keio Plaza Hotel Shinjuku – I suggest you to call them directly to inquire for Quad rooms. A family friend was able to get a room for 4 before by calling direct. Alternatively, you can ask them if there are 2 twin/double connecting rooms available.

      I hope this helps!
      Tiffy :)

  57. Sara Reply

    Hey Tiffy!

    Thank you for all your tips and replies (i tried to read all questions/replies =p )

    I think i have 16+ bookings around Tokyo and now i finally have to make a decision so i can cancel without having to pay any fee lol

    We will be in Tokyo between 10/01 and 16/01 (2 adults and a lovely baby 6 months..) and i was thinking about staying in Ueno Mitsui Garden as it is close to Skyline dropoff and relatively near a JR station and Ueno park. My idea is to walk in the park and whereabouts from 7-9am to avoid rush time and then head to other areas (like shibuya, odaiba, ginza etc etc… still deciding the itinerary hahahah)

    What’s yours thoughts about it? Would you recommend staying in Ueno?

    Thank you!!!
    Have a lovely 2016 full of travels :)

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Sara!

      I’m sorry for the very late reply. By now, you should have been back from your vacation.

      I hope you enjoyed your stay in Ueno! Though it’s in the older part of Tokyo, Ueno is in a great location and is within the JR Yamanote line loop. Ueno Park is lovely and Ameyoko Market Street is full of affordable restaurants and shops.

      In case you have time, I would love to hear about your experience.

      Tiffy :)

  58. t Reply


    Thank you for this blog! So so informative! Thank you!
    I am travelling with my 5 year old daughter in April and wondered if you could advise if Shinjuku is safe at night for us to wonder out and about to eat and shop or whether it’s a little too busy and overwhelming with bustling nightlife? If you could advise if it’s safe I think we will stay here.
    Please also could you recommend activities/places to visit for a 5 year old and whether you would recommend 1 or 2 days at Disneyland?

    Many thanks!

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi T,

      Thanks for your kind words.

      I stayed in West Shinjuku area before and I can say that it’s safe. West Shinjuku is a business-commercial area dotted with office buildings, malls and some neon lit shops and restaurants. Just avoid venturing in Kabukicho which is the red light district located north east of Shinjuku Station. What might overwhelm you is the sheer size of Shinjuku Station with literally hundreds of exits.

      Majority of activities/museums for kids are in Odaiba area. In case you’ll not be going on a day trip to Hakone/Mount Fuji, staying in Ginza might be better for you as it’s more central to reach Odaiba area and Disneyland via train. Also, Ginza area is more quiet and laid back compared to Shinjuku or Shibuya.

      I hope this helps!
      Tiffy :)

  59. Denisse Reply


    Can you please suggest or give me and my family a 6-day itinerary in Tokyo, Japan ONLY. :) we will be staying there for 6 days. we’re not familiar with the differnt attraction we must visit but we would like to visit disney sea and mount fuji definitely.

    Thanks in advance!

  60. Boyke Reply


    Is there any firm regulation about kids about share room in Japan Hotel ?
    Regarding i have 2 kids, 5 and 9 years old.
    is it possible to share in 1 twin room ?


    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Boyke,

      Generally, mid range hotels in Japan allow up to 1 child under 6 years old to stay for free using the same bedding configuration.

      Different hotels might have different child policies, so you may wish to contact your chosen hotel directly to confirm just to be sure before you proceed with booking.

      I hope this helps. I wish you and your family a happy trip to Japan.

      Tiffy :)

  61. EL Reply


    Need your advise re where to stay in Tokyo on May for 5 days. We are a party of 11 (6 adults, 5 kids). We will be coming from Kyoto and are planning to take the bullet train to Tokyo. We plan to immerse ourselves with the local culture but would also like to visit Disney. Most of the time we plan to do shopping and eating. Where do you think we should stay in terms of transportation convenience (with kids) and shopping? What hotel would you recommend which can accommodate 3 adults per room? Thanks.

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi EL,

      Since your goal is to visit Disney, immerse in local culture and to shop, I suggest you to stay in Ginza which is just south of Tokyo Station. From Tokyo Station, you can take train to Disney. Also, Ginza is about 20 minute subway ride to Asakusa where you can see temples and human powered rickshaws.

      There are also loads of restaurants, high-end to mid-range shops in Ginza for you to choose from. To shop for cheap souvenirs, I suggest you to drop by Don Quijote at the southern tip of Ginza.

      You may want to stay in Mercure Hotel Ginza. Although most of their rooms are for 2 adults only, 1 child under 16 years old can stay for free if using the same bedding configuration.

      Hope this helps!
      Tiffy :)

  62. Jules Reply

    Hi Tiffy,
    My friend and I are planning to visit Japan in the Autumn. Following many hours scouring accommodation options eg TripAdvisor, etc, almost to a zombie state : ), it was a welcome relief to come across your blog. So, Thank You heaps for all your advice, very helpful and useful indeed.

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      So happy to have helped Jules!

      I’m sure you will enjoy your autumn trip to Japan.

      Tiffy :)

  63. Rachel Tan Reply

    Hi Tiffy,
    Your blog is really superb informative about Japan! The itineraries are very well written :)
    I’ll be travelling in mid Dec to Tokyo for 5D4N with 2 kids in tow, will be spending 6D in Club Med Hokkaido before that. Our Tokyo budget will be really low cos having spent a bomb already! Any recommendation for hotels at max S$120 per night? We’re planning to go Mt Fuji and Hakone and also Disneysea, to name a few. Have you tried other accommodation other then hotels? Guesthouse perhaps?
    Your advice appreciated. Thanks!

  64. de sikva Reply

    Hi tiffy as i will be staying in keio hotel tokyo for 10 says with my 81 year old mum could i know if from the hotel i am able to walk to shinjuku main neon lights shopping and eateries with a wheelchair. Also is third week of may a good time to travel to tokyo. Between ginza and akakusa which place is the best to experience the old tokyo charm and see rickshaw. Could u please recommend any hotels in these area that is walking distance to main shoping area and eateries while soaking in the atmosphere.tks and appreciate it.

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi De Silva!

      Happy to hear that you’ll have a Tokyo vacation with your mom. Please find my answers below.
      1. Yes, you can walk from Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo to Nishi Shinjuku neon lights area where you can find affordable restaurants and shops. These 2 areas are about 5-10 minutes good walk apart. Allot a little more time if there will be someone on wheelchair.

      2. I’ve been to Tokyo middle of May before. Although all pretty flowers are gone during mid May, the weather is great! It’s aircon weather – not too cold, not too warm.

      3. Asakusa is in the older part of Tokyo where you can find rickshaws and the “old Japan charm.” Since it is a tourist area, it can get pretty crowded at times. Ginza is more central, less crowded and with more upscale to mid-range shops. If you wish you can stay in Ginza and just take subway or cab to spend half day in Asakusa. But I’ll have to leave the decision up to you. Below are my recommended hotels.
      > Ginza: Millennium Mitsui Garden Hotel Tokyo – right in the middle of Ginza, near department stores, shops, subways and walking distance to Tsukiji market.
      > Asakusa: The Gate Hotel Asakusa – near Asakusa subway and Asakusa Sensoji Temple.

      Hope this helps! Have a safe trip!
      Tiffy :)

  65. myrian v. Reply

    Hi tiffy,
    I’ve already took on a package tour for me and my husband. I’d really like to explore
    But he prefers package tours so we dont have problems riding trains and speaking japanese
    When talking to locals. We will be staying at hotel agora asakusa but there is a tour guide who will take us out everyday for 5 days.
    Next time, if ever, i will come to japan again i guess, hopefully i’ll try that shinjuku experience where you can really be with people and shopping centers around you and restaurants. At least i know the best place to stay, there will always be next time.

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Myrian!

      Happy to hear that you’ll have a Tokyo trip with your husband soon!

      Japan is a great place to have a vacation, with nice people, good shopping, great food and fantastic culture. I’m sure you’ll be back in no time.

      Have a safe trip!
      Tiffy :)

  66. myrian v. Reply

    Hi again Tiffy,
    I would like to try that kimono outfit and have a picture taken. Where is it located?
    How much does ut cist to wear (not buy)
    That kimono on rental only for pucture raking?

    Thanks and many tganks your blog is really helpful

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Myrian!

      JNTO recently launched free Kimono trial for tourist pictorial purposes. However, my understanding is that you can try and have your photo taken only within the JNTO Marunochi Tourist Center premises. You can see more information here.

      Hope this helps!
      Tiffy :)

  67. Eric H. Reply

    Hello Miss Tiffy,

    Thank you for a very informative blog
    I really apreciate your work
    My family want to stay in Tokyo in mid May for a week (16-23)
    we are 2 adults and 2 kids (4 and 6 years old)
    if i understand correctly your hotel table above i have to book a triple room and 1 kid can stay free
    since i noticed that many hotels dont have an option for 2 kids, is there an hotel with a possibility to have a 2 twin beds with 2 kids as they are small and can sleep with us in the same beds

    Thank you for your great Help

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Eric!

      You are very welcome! Rooms in Tokyo are relatively small compared to the global standard room size, so it’s understandable for them to restrict 1 child to stay in the room in their standard hotel policies. However, different hotels have different child policies. I would suggest that you contact the hotel of your choice to check if they can consider your 2 small children to stay with you. Hotels in Tokyo are very responsive on inquiries. In any case, I suggest you to book at least a twin room instead of double room for bigger space.

      Hope this helps. I wish your family a fun and happy trip to Tokyo this May!
      Tiffy :)

  68. steve Reply


    Thank you for detailed and helpful information. You made my planning simple. I have one query. I will be in landing in tokyo( departing from Kyoto) on 14th and I am flying out on 16th at 00.30. i was thinking either to book a room for two nights or book for one night and manage luggage in locker.we are couples and no kids. what do you suggest?

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Steve!

      Thank you for your kind words and I’m happy to hear that my blog made your Japan trip planning more simple. :)

      Generally speaking, hotels can keep your luggage for you after check out until your departure for the day, so staying for one night will be fine unless you want to have a shower before you leave for your flight. Alternatively, you can use paid coin lockers at Kyoto Station to store your luggage for a day.

      Check out times in Japan are pretty strict for business hotels. Also, check out times vary from 10am to 12nn depending on the accommodation so my tip for you is to pick a hotel which allows a 12nn check out time. For 4-5 star hotels in Japan though, they can be a bit lenient and they can sometimes allow you to check out until 1 pm basing on my own personal experience.

      Hope this helps!
      Tiffy :)

  69. Clara Reply

    Hi Tiffy,

    Thanks for all the tips and useful information. Just a quick question: have you stayed at Hyatt Regency Tokyo before? How does it compare to Sunroute and Blossom?


  70. Elizabeth Reply

    Hello! We are staying in Tokyo 3 nights pre cruise. I am deciding between Hotel Sunroute Ginza and Dormy Inn Express Asakusa, and Citadines Shinjuku. I realize Asakusa is the least convienent transportation wise. However when doing a search of these areas and seeing pictures Asakusa is very pretty and traditional looking which I think is appealing compared to the bright neon lights of the other areas which we would see while touring. The pictures look like what I had imagined Ginza would look like! We wanted to go to Kyoto but are not able to go on this trip. The way we tour is to leave hotel in morning and be out all day rhen go to hotel freshen up and go to dinner in hotel area. So would Asakusa be that inconvenient if only leaving from there and returning at end of day? My concern of Ginza is that we will not be shopping at channel type stores anyway and do not want to have to search for reasonable price restaurants in a high end restaurant, feeding 6 people! Any comments on these hotels would be greatly appreciated!

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Sorry for the delay in response and I hope my reply isn’t too late yet. Actually, I just came back from Tokyo and stayed in Ginza and Asakusa this time around.

      Ginza is no doubt more convenient in terms of public transit, mainstream shopping and variety of restaurants. It’s easy to go Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ueno, Asakusa and Akihabara without the need of train transfers from Ginza. Ginza is lined mostly with western establishments but it has its own fair share of reasonably-priced local shops and restaurants if you know your way around.

      Asakusa has a more unique Japanese atmosphere dotted by mom and pop establishments. Although it isn’t as convenient as Ginza or Shinjuku in terms of public transit, going from point A to point B isn’t that bad as long as you plan your day properly. I stayed in Ryokan Kamogawa Asakusa just last week and had a memorable and convenient stay. Asakusa is crazy busy with tourists during day time but it’s a peaceful oasis during night time after all tourists are gone. I felt like a local and it’s good to feel that I’m returning back to a local neighbourhood after being out all day. In summary, I would recommend Asakusa for travelers who are a bit adventurous and would want to experience traditional Japan. Be sure to get back early for dinner in Asakusa (like 6pm or earlier) since mom and pop restaurants close earlier than commercial ones.

      I’m only be able to comment on the location as I’ve not personally stayed in the hotels you mentioned. Actually, all hotels you mentioned are in great location near subway/train station. I think it now boils down to your own personal area preference whether you would want to stay in Asakusa, Ginza or Shinjuku. But given your expectations, I think staying in Asakusa will work best for you.

      Hope this helps and I wish you a happy trip to Japan!
      Tiffy :)

  71. Elizabeth Reply

    Are some things closed are Saturday or Sunday such as stores, sites? Thanks

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Elizabeth!

      Not really. But the inner market of Tsukiji market is closed during Sundays and some Wednesdays.

      Have a safe trip!
      Tiffy :)

  72. Verl Reply

    Hi. I am planning for 3 adults end of year for about a week. I intend to go disney 2 days and to cover odaiba shinjuku harajuku roppongi asakusa mainly. I am undecided where to stay for triple room and which airport to fly to to best make full use of the trip and economically. Grateful if you could advise me. Thks!

    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Verl!

      If possible, I suggest you to land in Haneda instead of Narita since it’s much closer to Tokyo Downtown. You will save time and money.

      I suggest you to stay in Ginza which is central to the places you mentioned.

      Hotel Monterey Ginza has triple rooms available and is one of the most economical hotels in the prime Ginza area. If you’re able to manage your expectations, you should be fine.

      Hope this helps.
      Tiffy :)

  73. Ivana Reply

    Dear Tiffy,

    First, I would like to express on how detailed and informative your blog is. Definitely helps me a lot in planning my visit to Japan. It was very kind of you to answer all the questions asked. I have read each and every one of them. Thank you.
    If it’s not too troublesome, do you mind me asking on your experience on taking shinkansen? Our luggage will be two big ones and I’m afraid if it will be troublesome to ride the train with two big luggage? Will there be any space? Also, I’ll be going to Tokyo from Kyoto and stay at JR Kyushu Blossom Shinjuku. I was wondering if you can provide me with the route tips? I have searched Hyperdia but still wasn’t sure on the route I should take. From Kyoto station, should I purchase the ticket to stop at Tokyo station first? Or I could directly buy the ticket to stop at Shinjuku station?

    Appreciate your reply and thank you in advance.


    • asiatravelbug
      asiatravelbug Reply

      Hi Ivana,

      Thanks for your kind words. The regular seats in Shinkansen have big leg room pretty much like the legroom of premium economy or short to medium-haul business class airplane seats. There’s also a row of luggage rack on top of the Shinkansen seats. In my recent trip, we had one small luggage and one medium-size luggage which fitted perfectly on the luggage rack above us. We actually got tired of having to put them in the luggage rack and ended up just putting them in front of our legs during one of our transits. This should be no problem unless the person in front of you would want to recline his/her seat.

      For bigger luggage, there’s actually some space at the back of each train coach but this is on first come first serve (good for about 4 luggages). I remember seeing a sign that you have to notify Shinkansen staff that you’ll be leaving your luggage there.

      Alternatively, you can avail services of Ta-Q-Bin to help you deliver your luggage from one place to another. You can inquire with your hotel for this service.

      From Shinjuku Station, you can take Chuo line to Tokyo Station. Both stations are huge so in case you take the train, make sure to have sufficient buffer time and avoid the rush hour.

      Personally, I prefer taking a cab if I have a luggage with me. To be nearer to Tokyo Station for my Shinkansen ride, I stayed in Ginza during my latest visit and the cab ride to Tokyo Station was just 1000 yen (~10 USD).

      The Shinkansen from Kyoto extends only up to Tokyo station so there is no Shinkansen ticket up to Shinjuku station. To get to Shinjuku from Tokyo station, you have to change to a local train.

      Hope this helps!
      Tiffy :)

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