Where to Stay in Tokyo
Find out the best areas to stay in Tokyo in this Where to Stay in Tokyo guide. Having been to Tokyo 7 times in the past, let me share with you my recommended neighborhoods, districts, hotels and the best places to stay in Tokyo that are convenient for tourists based on my personal experience.
Best Area to Stay in Tokyo: What is the best location to stay in Tokyo?
- The best areas to stay in Tokyo for tourists are Shinjuku and Ginza.
- Other good places to stay in Tokyo are Tokyo Station, Shibuya and Asakusa.
- It is best to stay near JR Yamanote train line or any subway line for easy access to Tokyo tourist sites.
- Apart from convenient transportation, there are plenty of shops and reasonably-priced restaurants in these areas.
- Stay in Shinjuku if you want easy transport access to sightseeing within Tokyo and day trips to Mt. Fuji and Hakone.
- Stay in Ginza or Tokyo Station if you you want to be close to your bullet train ride to get to Kyoto, Osaka and other regions in Japan.
- Stay in Shibuya if you love nightlife and want a youthful vibe.
- Asakusa is a great place to stay if you want a deeper cultural experience. It is also a cheap area to stay in Tokyo for those who are on a budget.
The Best Places to Stay in Tokyo
Choosing the best place to stay in Tokyo need not be overwhelming. By sharing my “personal experience” from staying across different Tokyo neighborhoods, hotels and ryokans in my past 7 visits to Tokyo, I truly hope that you’ll be able to pick the right place to stay in Tokyo and the best Tokyo hotel for your much-awaited Japan vacation! 😉
If you are short in time, here are my top 3 favorite hotels in Tokyo where I have personally stayed at. All these 3 hotels are located in the best places to stay in Tokyo which are Shinjuku and Ginza. You can learn more of the reasons why in this post.
- Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku (3.5*) – Best for practical travelers. The hotel sits on a fantastic location in Shinjuku with reasonable price. I strongly suggest their Twin Rooms for more space! Check rates in Agoda.com or Booking.com.
- Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo Shinjuku (4*) – Best place to stay in Tokyo for families and groups who want to stay in Shinjuku and go to Tokyo Disney via the hotel’s free Disney shuttle bus. The 30 sqm superior room which I booked is the biggest room I’ve stayed at in a centrally located hotel in Japan. I highly recommend their renovated superior rooms! Check rates in Booking.com or Agoda.com.
- Millennium Mitsui Garden Ginza (4*) – Best for those who wish to be near Tokyo Station for their bullet train ride or for those who want to shop until they drop. I love the hotel’s very modern rooms and its location right smack in the heart of Ginza. Haneda Airport is just a 30-minute subway ride away right from the hotel’s door step. Check rates in Booking.com or Agoda.com.
I have also personally stayed at The Knot Tokyo Shinjuku, Tokyu Stay Ginza, Park Hotel Tokyo, Hilton Tokyo Odaiba (formerly Hotel Nikko Tokyo Odaiba), The Edo Sakura, and Ryokan Kamogawa Asakusa and can recommend these accommodations highly. 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. Before I talk about the 7 best areas to stay in Tokyo for tourists, let me share some tips to guide you before you book your Tokyo accommodation.
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.
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 Best Areas to Stay in Tokyo
Out of over 20 district wards in Tokyo, let me concentrate on 7 neighborhoods 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.
1. SHINJUKU (Best Place to Stay in Tokyo For Tourists)
Shinjuku is indeed the best place 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.
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.
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.
- 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.com or Booking.com.
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.
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 Tokyo Shinjuku (4*) – Keio definitely rounds up as one of my top 3 favorite hotels in Tokyo based on my personal stay! This hotel is highly convenient and has everything a family needs – spacious rooms, airport limousine bus right at the hotel’s door step and free shuttle bus to Tokyo Disney. Also, a number of group tours to Hakone and Mount Fuji start from this hotel. While some parts of the hotel may look aged, the recently renovated Plaza Superior South Tower Twin Room which I booked looks very new, is huge and is the biggest I’ve stayed in a centrally located hotel in Tokyo. My mother loves this room very much to the point that she wants to relax in the room rather than wander outside. 🙂 I strongly recommend this hotel for families and groups! Check out live rates of Keio Plaza Hotel Shinjuku in Booking.com or Agoda.com.
At Keio, lowest category 23 sqm Standard Twin Room rates start at USD 180/night. However, I recommend that you get at least the more spacious 30 sqm Plaza Superior South Tower Twin room instead for just USD 15/night more! While Keio maybe a little pricier if compared with other Shinjuku hotels, I personally find it to be very worth it and a great value for money. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Heading to Kyoto and Osaka too? Check out Asiatravelbug’s Where to Stay in Kyoto and Where to Stay in Osaka guides.
Read on the rest of this blog to learn more about staying in Ginza, Tokyo Station, Shibuya, Asakusa, Odaiba, and Tokyo Disney Area.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
3. TOKYO STATION
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.
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.
- The Tokyo Station Hotel (4.5*) – Recently opened hotel right in Tokyo Station with a European flair. Rates start at USD 290/night.
4. SHIBUYA (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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
Odaiba is a reclaimed land east of Central Tokyo and is known for the Rainbow Bridge and the Statue of Liberty replica. 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.
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
- Hilton Tokyo Odaiba (formerly 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.
- Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba (formerly Grand Pacific Le Daiba) (4*) – This hotel is right across Hilton Tokyo Odaiba 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.
Both Hilton Tokyo Odaiba and Grand Nikko Tokyo 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
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.
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.
- 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.
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. 🙂
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.
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.
If you have any other suggestions on the best places to stay in Tokyo, please feel free to leave your comments in this blog.
Other Japan Travel Tips:
- Looking for a Japanese style accommodation in Tokyo? Check out Asiatravelbug’s Best Ryokan in Tokyo.
- Heading to Kyoto and Osaka too? Check out Asiatravelbug’s Where to Stay in Kyoto and Where to Stay in Osaka guides.
- 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. 🙂
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Researching Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo and hit the jackpot when I got to your site. Amazing details and great referrals. A lot of the places you suggested are already booked so I know you know what you are talking about! keep up the great work and look forward to your other reviews.
Thank you very much Steve for your kind words. I’m really happy that you found my Where to Stay in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka guides to be helpful.
Hope you’ll be able to find the right hotel for your Japan vacation. If you have any questions on the best places to stay in Tokyo, Kyoto or Osaka, please feel free to reach out and I will be happy to help.
Happy Japan travel planning!
Great information on hotel stays and is very helpful. I’ll be travelling to Tokyo in early January 2023. I will try your hotel recommendations! Do I still need to apply for a visa to enter Tokyo post Covid? If so, how do I go about getting one? I am in Wisconsin, USA.
I’m so excited for your upcoming trip to Japan! Finally, Japan is now open to tourists like us after being closed for more than 2 years. 🙂
Currently, US passport holders do not need Japan visas for short term visits of up to 3 months starting October 11, 2022.
I’m happy to know that you found this Where to Stay in Tokyo guide to be really useful. If you have any other questions about Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto hotels, please feel free to ask and I will try my best to help you decide.
Stay safe and happy Japan travel planning!
Thank you! I would love to stay in Shibuya or Shinjuku.
Fantastic blog, thank you!
How easy is it to navigate the public transportation without speaking Japanese? Is there at least SOME signage in English?
In addition, how severe is the language barrier? Are we likely to encounter anyone that can converse in English?
Thank you very much for your kind words Alex.
As for public transportation in Japan, subways and train stations all have English signs. Also, the announcement inside trains and subway cars include English. So there is no need to worry. 🙂
The English barrier is not that severe and you are likely to encounter anyone who can speak to you in English especially if you stay around the main cities and tourist sites in Japan (like Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hiroshima).
Best if you can rent a Japan pocket wifi ahead so you can access Google Translate from your phone, just in case you encounter people who can’t speak English while in Japan.
Hope this helps Alex!
Hello! So glad I came across your blog!
I’ve been looking at hotels in Tokyo and saw this fine print for every hotel: “accommodation proprietors are required to photocopy passports for all registering guests and keep the photocopy on file”.
Should I be nervous about my passport copies kept by strangers? Has this been your experience?
Hello Sue! Thank you very much for dropping by my blog and for your kind words.
It’s customary in Japan for hotels to photocopy the passports of guests during check-in. I think it is a government requirement.
So far I’ve handed my passport to hotels for them to scan or photocopy for their own file. I’ve encountered no issues so far based on my personal experience.
Hope this helps Sue.
I arrive at Haneda airport on 22 May 2020 and will be staying at the Keio Plaza Hotel for 5 nights. My next stop will be The Royal Park Kyoto Sanyo for a 4 night stay and then onto the Granvia Hiroshima for a 1 night stay and back to Tokyo for 2 nights followed by a departure on May 3rd from Narita airport. What’s the best ticket to purchase if I am using the trains. This is my first time in Japan
Great hotel choices. I’ve stayed in all the hotels you mentioned and they’re indeed highly convenient for sightseeing!
To answer your question, I think a 14 Day JR Pass would pay off for you and you can use it for:
1. Round trip NEX airport train transfer between Tokyo and Narita
2. Bullet train between Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima then back to Tokyo
3. Train and ferry to get to Miyajima in Hiroshima and certain JR bus to get you to the Hiroshima Peace Museum from Hiroshima Station
4. JR trains in Tokyo like JR Yamanote Line Loop which will get you to most tourist sites in Tokyo
On top of JR Pass, I would suggest that you get a Suica prepaid reloadable card and top it with 1000-2000 yen on it. In Tokyo, sometimes you need to use subways too to get from point A to B which is not covered by JR Pass. In Kyoto, most train/subways are not JR lines so having a Suica prepaid card will really be handy in terms of commuting in Kyoto. You can just return the Suica prepaid card and get any remaining balance (less a minimal service fee) at any JR Station in Tokyo before you leave.
Hope this helps and I wish you a pleasant trip to Japan!
Hi Tiffy! Can i check if you heard of hotel century southern tower? And whether the location is convenient?
Hello Terina! Yes. That hotel is just within 1-2 minutes walk from Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku.
No need to worry about the location since it’s highly convenient. Just a few minutes walk to Shinjuku Station and Shinjuku Bus Terminal. Century is also serviced by the airport limousine bus.
If you’re looking for a more upscale option within same area as Sunroute, Hotel Century Southern Tower should be a great place to stay in Tokyo.
Hope this helps you decide!
Hi Tiify, so glad found your blog.
We going japan next year April (2 adults & 2 kids) for the first time. Do you have any recommendation accommodation in Tokyo that suit families with good price ?
Thanks for your kind words. That time for the year is definitely a great time to be in Tokyo! I hope your family will be able to catch beautiful cherry blossom season during the first week of April. 🙂
For families, I would recommend that you get a twin or triple room for bigger space. My recommendation for you would either be
Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku or Tokyu Stay Ginza depending on which district in Tokyo you would prefer to stay. Both of these hotels are in excellent location with reasonable prices. And basing on my personal experience, their twin rooms are quite spacious for Japanese standards.
Hope this helps you decide Joey! Happy travel planning.
Thank you for sharing with us your hotel recommendations! We will be traveling to Japan at the end of March next year. This is our first trip to Japan. We’ve booked two hotels in Tokyo: Park Hotel Tokyo and Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo. They both have very good reviews. We can’t decide which one to choose for our first visit in terms of walking distance to train stations and easy access to major sightseeing spots and cafes/restaurants. Also, do you know which one has a free airport shuttle bus from NRT airport? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
I’m happy to hear that you’ll be heading to Japan next March. I truly hope that you’ll be able to catch the cherry blossoms during that time of the year! 🙂
I’ve stayed both at the hotels you mentioned and both are good hotels. While Park Hotel Tokyo is much newer and has a much more luxurious lobby, I think Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo is much more practical for first time tourists in Japan like you. And if you’re heading to Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo Disney Sea, Keio offers free shuttle bus.
Both hotels are serviced by the Airport Limousine bus from Narita Airport. You just need to pay for the bus fare.
In terms of location, the immediate surrounding within 5-15 minutes walking radius of Keio is much more livelier than Park Hotel. Park Hotel Tokyo is located mainly in Shiodome business district which is quite western looking.
So based on what you’re looking for (proximity to shops, local restaurants, convenient transport for sightseeing), I think Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo will be able to meet your needs.
I hope this helps you choose the right Tokyo hotel for your vacation! Happy travel planning. 🙂
Thanks for your recommendations on where to stay in Kyoto, I took your advice on staying at the Royal park hotel Sanjo.
Do you recommend staying at the Shinjuku Granbell hotel in Tokyo? Have you stayed in that area before?
Thankful for your reply 🙏🏼
Happy to know that you’ll be staying at Royal Park Hotel Sanjo in Kyoto! That area in Kyoto is pretty central and it’s just a bridge away from Gion. 🙂
As for Shinjuku Granbell Hotel Tokyo, it’s located in the heart of the Kabukicho red light district in Shinjuku, so this area can feel a bit of different compared to the other “prim and proper” parts of Shinjuku. While I have not stayed in Kabukicho area of Shinjuku before, I have ventured in that area few times so I’m pretty familiar with the area surrounding Shinjuku Granbell Hotel.
However, I understand that the price of this hotel is very attractive compared to other recommended Shinjuku hotels. If you’re traveling as a couple, with friends or with adult members of the family, then staying at Shinjuku Granbell Tokyo should be fine if the price is right. However, you have to take practical caution with street touts wandering around the area. If you’re traveling with children, I guess it would be better to stay in non-red light district part of Shinjuku. There can be red light district related posters or pictures on the streets of Kabukicho which would possibly raise more questions than answers from a child.
Hope this helps you decide!
Hi! I’m planning a stay in Millennium Mitsui Garden Hotel Tokyo (Superior Twin room) with my kids. And I was planning on pushing the twin beds together to keep my toddlers safe. Is this possible or is the middle table mounted and can’t be moved? I would really appreciate your reply!
From personal experience, the middle table in a “usual” twin room in Japan is usually mounted to the modular headboard. What you’re looking for is what is called a Hollywood Twin room in Japan wherein the twin beds are pushed together without a middle table. 🙂
Based on the room pictures of Millennium Mitsui Garden Hotel, I think what you’re looking for is the Corner Twin room wherein the the twin beds are pushed together. However, since different rooms may have different configurations, best to check with Mitsui directly to confirm the layout of their Corner Twin.
Hope this helps! Have a safe trip with your family Lorra!
It would be my first travel to Tokyo and I found your blog quite helpful. Thanks for sharing your experience. I just have one question, Sunroute is a bit expensive for three people and would not allow to stay in one room. Is it possible we purchase one room for three? is there a sofa bed? What your thoughts? Thanks.
Thanks your dropping by my blog and I’m happy to know that you found this blog helpful for your future trip to Tokyo. 🙂
If you book a twin room for two at Sunroute Hotel Shinjuku, there is no sofa bed from my personal experience.
Rooms in Japan tend to be quite small and rooms for 2 people are usually good enough for 2 only.
Triple occupancy rooms in Japan are usually bigger with provision of either a third bed or sofa bed depending on the hotel.
Hope this helps you decide.
Thanks for your many insights. I see that you list the Edo Sakura as one of the places you’ve stayed. I’m trying to decide between staying there (which is a mile from Asakusa) or a place more within Asakusa itself. (Sadachiyo or Cyashitsu). Do you have a recommendation as to which location would be better? Thanks!
Thanks for visiting my blog! 🙂
Edo Sakura is located in a quiet neighbourhood about 5-10 minute subway ride to the bustling Ueno station. While the service at Edo Sakura is great and is very affordably priced, those accommodations in Asakusa (like Sadachiyo, Kamogawa Asakusa) are relatively better in terms of location for first time tourists.
There are shops, restaurants, human powered rickshaws and historical temples in Asakusa which you can’t find in the immediate vicinity of Edo Sakura.
In summary, picking which area to stay depends on what you like. If you want to experience staying in a local neighbourhood for a more local experience, go with Edo Sakura. If you wish to stay in a much more convenient tourist area, choose an accommodation in Asakusa.
If you wish to get more information about ryokans, check out my blog about the best ryokans in Tokyo.
Hope this helps you decide. Happy travel planning Larry!
Super cool.blog .
I’m planning to visit November 16-19 with a toddler and a 8 month old for a short visit .
Which area would be better ?
Do you have blogs about the train passes ?
Hello Nobin! Thanks for visiting my blog and sorry for the delay in my reply.
Anywhere in my recommended areas in Shinjuku or Ginza should be fine.
If you’ll be staying in Tokyo and Mt Fuji only, Shinjuku is a good base. But if you want to be near Tokyo station for your bullet train ride to other regions in Japan, then stay in Ginza.
If you would like to avoid the crowds in Shinjuku especially that you have a baby in tow, it would be better to stay in Ginza.
If you’ll be in Tokyo only, get a prepaid transport card Suica. It will save you a lot from all paper tickets. I have no blogs about train passes but one will be coming up soon! If you’re heading to Kyoto/Osaka and will make a roundtrip from Tokyo within 7 days, then getting a 7 Day JR Pass will be worthwhile.
I hope this helps Nobin!
Happy to find your blog while waiting on a delayed flight to work. Will be visiting Tokyo in October and looks like your blog is the best guide I stumbled upon. Again thank you.
Happy to have helped Eliab!
Should you have any questions, please feel free to let me know.
Wishing you a happy trip to Japan!
Excellent information very helpful 10/10
I’m happy to know that you found this blog useful!
Have a safe trip to Japan!
Just reading the blog and am I correct that I have to go to Tokyo Station with my JR Pass to get to Kyoto or Osaka. I cannot catch the train from Shinjuku station where I am staying. Does my JR Pass cover the train ride from Shinjuku to Tokyo Station.
This is our itineanary:
Arrive at Narita Airport and validate my 14 day JR Pass to Shinjuku.
2 nights in Tokyo
Then off to Osaka for 3 nights.
2 nights in Hiroshima
Off to Kyoto for 5 nights – doing day trips eg. Kanazawa.
Then back to either Shinjuku or Ginza (not sure yet)
My main question is using the JR Pass. Does it cover all these places.
This is Tiffy. 🙂 Yes, you have to go to Tokyo Station to catch the bullet train to get to Kyoto or Osaka from Tokyo.
From Shinjuku, you have to take the local JR Chuo line to Tokyo Station. This line is covered by JR pass.
In Tokyo, JR pass covers the JR Yamanote Line which stops at major tourist areas like Shinjuku, Yoyogi, Shibuya, Ueno and Tokyo Station.
It also covers the NEX train from Narita Airport.
When I’m in Ginza, I usually use non-JR subways to get around as it is more easy and convenient. But if you would like to use your JR pass, you can go to Yurakucho Station to take the JR Yamanote line train.
The JR Pass covers your regional bullet train rides between these stations in your itinerary.
1. Tokyo Station
2. Osaka Station
3. Kyoto Station
4. Hiroshima Station
5. Kanazawa Station (no bullet train between Kanazawa and Kyoto, but you can use regional JR train which is covered by JR Pass)
In Hiroshima, JR pass is quite useful as it covers the sightseeing bus and JR train to get to major tourist sites, as well as JR ferry to Miyajima.
In Kanazawa, you can use the JR pass to take JR bus. Alternatively, you can pay for the non-JR Kanazawa Loop Bus which runs more frequently.
In Osaka and Kyoto, you will mostly use local subways/trains or bus (Kyoto). These local transportation are run by private companies, hence JR pass cannot be used for these.
The local subways/train fares are quite affordable. So no need to worry. Personally, I allocate JPY 1,000 yen budget per day for local city travel, for days which JR Pass won’t be a good use. For example, travel within Kyoto city or travel within Tokyo not covered by JR Yamanote/JR Chuo line.
I would suggest for you to use a combination of JR Pass and reloadable Suica card. You use Suica card if you would need to use subways/trains/buses that are non-JR. You can purchase Suica card when you activate your JR pass at Narita Airport or any major JR Station.
I have personally purchased my JR Pass from Klook and JRailPass before and can recommend both from my personal experience.
Hope this helps!
Please advise which Ryokan would you advise if we wish to experience a Ryokan with food in Hakone and easy to get to as we will be travelling first time to Japan.2 ladies. Would you recommend Mt View hakone ryokan? Thanks
Hello Kim! Hakone is vast and transportation can be overwhelming to get to some of the ryokans out there.
While not in the heart of tourist area of Hakone like Gora and Hakone Yumoto, I think Mount View Hakone Ryokan is convenient for first timers given that the bus stop is just outside the hotel that will get you to Gora. The major plus point is that there is a bus straight to/from Shinjuku right outside the hotel, so you save a lot of hassle in transferring trains with all you luggage. Also, from there it is very easy to go to Gotemba Premium Outlets if you would like to shop.
Price wise, I think the price of Mount View Hakone Ryokan is a little cheaper than other Hakone ryokans since most rooms do not have their own private shower. If you wish to have a room with private bathroom (including own shower), breakfast, dinner, and even a private open-air onsen bath in your balcony, I think you can get a better deal staying at Hakone Sumeisou where I’ve personally stayed before. I can highly recommend Hakone Sumeisou’s Japanese Style room with open air bath – photos of which you can see in my ryokan blog post. This ryokan is highly convenient too as it is located 3 minutes walk away from Hakone Yumoto Station which is the terminus of the Romance Car train from Shinjuku.
So in summary, both ryokans which I mentioned above are convenient for first timers location wise. If you are on a budget and ok without a private shower/bath inside your room, then Mount View Hakone Ryokan is a good affordable choice. But if you’re looking for a more comfortable experience, I recommend Hakone Sumeisou’s Japanese Style room with open air bath.
Hope this helps you decide Kim! I wish you and your friend a memorable trip in Japan!
I will arrive in Tokyo this September for 10 days.
My itinerary are Tokyo for 4 nights which i am looking to disneys, Mt Fuji, and Roundtrip to the city
then, im going to Osaka for 3 nights for Kyoto experience, and USJ by that time i wonder if going to Hiroshima for a daytrip? then the other 2 nights will be back to Tokyo for last shopping.
What if i only buy JR Pass for 7 days but activate very late on the fifth day (going to Osaka), can it be activate later than i arrived in Japan?
For your note, i might be searching for Halal restaurant, cos im a muslim, might hard to find some Malaysian/Indonesian food.
can you help me?
Yes, you can go to Hiroshima as a day trip from Osaka. However, to make most of out it, I suggest you to target to be at Hiroshima Station no later than 9am. I stayed at Hiroshima Station before, and went to Miyajima and Hiroshima Peace Park area (museum, atomic dome) from 9am to 6pm. You just need to time yourself well.
In terms of JR Pass, when you exchange your voucher with your JR Pass at major JR Station, yes, the activation start date can be at a later date. Just tell the staff and you have to pay attention that the start date which you will write on your JR Pass will be the later date, not the date when you exchanged the voucher nor the date of your arrival in Japan.
In case you’re wondering where to buy your JR Pass, I have previously purchased from Klook and can recommend them.
This website seems to have a good information about Halal restaurants in Japan.
Hope this helps you Aiman!
Hello tiffy. Its like heaven to found your blog while i have no idea about japan. Im gonna go to japan for 9days8night. And we will stay in Tokyo for 6days5night. Is it okay if we choose shinjuku Washington hotel? Because we want to airport Limousin and shuttle bus to disneysea.
And the other question, were gonna spend the rest 3days2night in yamanashi can you tell me whats best from there? And we will sleep in hotel in narita for the last day to make us not late to go to airport. Should we do this or better just go back to Tokyo from yamanashi? Really hope you to catch on, thankyou so muchhh
Thank you for your nice words. I really appreciate it!
While the rooms are very small, Shinjuku Washington is a practical hotel located near Keio Plaza Shinjuku. It’s also serviced by the airport limousine bus and paid Disney shuttle bus. The rooms are quite small though starting at 13sqm for Shinjuku Washington Main and starting at 11sqm for Shinjuku Washington Annex. If you find this to be tight, it would be best for you to choose higher category rooms for more space.
In terms of Yamanashi / Lake Kawaguchiko area, here are my recommendations:
1) Stay in a ryokan. Hotel New Century Kawaguchiko is a practical ryokan with Mt Fuji view on a good day.
2) Take kachi kachi ropeway and lake kawaguchiko cruise.
3) Stroll along the banks of Lake Kawaguchi.
4) Maybe head to Gotemba premium outlets for shopping.
Here is the bus schedule between Kawaguchiko Station and Narita Airport. Whether you’ll spend your last night in Tokyo or Narita shall depend on your flight schedule. If your flight is early, then staying in an airport hotel for your last night would be a good choice.
Hope this helps with your planning Alifah!
I am a solo traveler and was going to stay in Asakusa, mostly because I am staying in hostels to be around people
Is this a good area. I know the train line is not that close will that be an issue.
I do later plan on traveling to Kyoto after Tokyo.
When I get back I will stay in hotels closer to down town.
While not a prime area like Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ginza or Tokyo Station, Asakusa is a good area to stay from my personal experience.
Asakusa is located in the traditional part of Tokyo, which most tourists find to be very interesting with human powered rickshaws around.
Getting to major tourist sites in Tokyo would require at least one train/subway transfer from Asakusa, but should not be big problem for those without mobility issues.
Hope this helps you decide Stewart! Have a happy trip!
Great blog – I did a ton of research for Tokyo Hotels and for convenience to the bullet train, my friend and I are staying at the Hotel Metropolitan Marunouchi for 2 nights at the begining of the trip.
Are you familiar with that hotel?
The bulk of the time we are staying at Hyatt Regency in Kyoto and Osaka (membership rates and points). My friend wants to stay at a Ryokan last 2 nights in Tokyo – can you make a recommendation?
Great to know that you’ll have a vacation with your friend in Japan!
While I’ve not personally stayed at Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Marunouchi, I’m quite familiar with this area. This hotel is located at the northern edge of Tokyo Station where most of regional buses drop off passengers. So in terms of location, it’s great since it’s just steps away from Tokyo Station where you can take the bullet train, NEX airport train, Yamanote train line, local subways, taxis and buses. Marunouchi is a business district though but you can always walk to Ginza if you would like to do some serious shopping.
In terms of ryokan in Tokyo, I’ve personally stayed at Ryokan Kamogawa Asakusa and Edo Sakura and can recommend them highly. You can find more information in my Tokyo Ryokan blog post. For first timers though and assuming that your budget in the range of USD200/night, I would recommend Ryokan Kamogawa since it’s located right in the Asakusa – an interesting traditional district in Tokyo where you can see temples and human powered rickshaws! If you would want to stay close to Shinjuku, you may want to consider the newly opened ryokan Yuen Shinjuku.
Hope this helps Nina. I wish you and your friend a happy trip to Japan! I’m sure you’ll have a blast!
I have learned a lot from your guide and tips. Thank you for sharing.
Our family is a group of 16 people will visit Japan from May 29 to June 4. This is our first trip so we have some many questions that needs your help.
We plan to visit Tokyo, Kyoto and Mount Fuji
1. Should we buy JRP?
2. We will arrive at Narita Airport. Should we go straight to Kyoto or Tokyo first?
3. Which itinerary is best for us?
Thank you in advance.
I’m happy to hear that you were able to find the tips and guides in my blog to be useful!
See my answers to your questions below.
1. For your travel dates, a 7-day Japan Rail Pass would suit your itinerary. I’ve previously bought my JR Pass from klook and jrailpass before and they delivered on time as promised without any problems. Klook is cheaper though if you are based in Asia. The 7-day JR Pass will allow you to use the airport NEX train between Narita and Tokyo Station/Shinjuku, as well as cover your bullet train travel between Tokyo Station and Kyoto Station. I believe the JR Pass also covers part of the new Fuji Excursion train which takes you from Shinjuku to Kawaguchi (Mt Fuji) in less than 2 hours – you just need to pay additional of about 1140 yen per way to cover the the portion of the journey which is operated by non-JR. The JR Pass covers the Yamanote loop train within Tokyo as well as JR chuo line that connects Tokyo Station and Shinjuku Station in 15 minutes. For Kyoto however, most of the subway/train lines that go to tourist sites are owned by private rail company, so you have to pay as you use or get an Icoca prepaid card (like the Octopus card in HK). For Kyoto, I would recommend staying at Downtown Kawaramachi so most of tourist sites in downtown and Higashiyama/Gion district can be reached just by walking. Buses in Kyoto can get pretty crowded even in shoulder season like May based from my personal experience. May is a great time to be in Japan though!
2. Whether you go directly from Narita to Tokyo or Kyoto would depend on the time you arrive. If your flight arrives early in the morning, it is possible for you to go straight to Kyoto but you have to switch trains at Tokyo Station to take you bullet train to Kyoto Station. However, if your flight arrives in the afternoon or late evening, it would be best to stay in Tokyo first.
3. Viewing Mt Fuji is highly weather dependent so I would suggest you to monitor the weather a few days before your flight or while you are already in Tokyo, then you go to Kawaguchiko based on the weather forecast. It would be best to go to see Mt Fuji on the day with the least cloud in the weather forecast. In terms of the sequence of your trip whether Tokyo or Kyoto would go first or last, it would depend on your flight time. To be safe though, I would definitely be staying in Tokyo the day before my flight to give some allowance because on rare occasions, there might be potential delays in bullet train service due to factors outside our control like earthquakes.
Hope this helps Hong. Happy travel planning and have a safe trip with your group of 16!
Good day Tiffy. My granddaughter is joining a group of youngers who will be travelling in a tour group to Tokyo, arriving on 24 June and leaving on 1 July they are undertaking their karate junior black belt and will be staying in accommodation at the Olympic Village. I am looking at the possibility of joining them, obviously making my own arrangements, can you recommend any reasonably priced accommodation nearby!
Look forward to hearing from you.
ps: you assisted a friend of mine last year who travelled to Tokyo and she gave me your blog details.
I’m happy to hear that I was able to help your friend last year through this blog!
After searching online, the Olympic Village in Tokyo is located near Harumi Wharf which isn’t really in a very good location for sightseeing. The nearest station which requires about 15-minute walk to the Olympic Village is Kachidoki Station on the Oedo line.
If you really need to be very near to Olympic’s Village while at the same time be in a convenient location for Tokyo sightseeing, then I suggest you to stay somewhere TsukijiShijo station which is just one stop away from Kachidoki Station near the Olympic Village. Tokyu Stay Tsukiji would be best fit for your case with reasonable price. While I have not personally stayed there, I have previously stayed at their other branch in Ginza (Tokyu Stay Ginza) and found it to be very good value for money. These two Tokyu Stay hotels are actually in walking distance to each other. The Ginza branch is located in a more upmarket area compared to Tsukiji which is a local market area. So take your pick from there and see which of these two are better for your needs.
Hope this helps. Wishing all the best in your grand daughter’s Olympic competition next year!
was wondering if you have recommendation for Ryokan in Hakone pls?
Thank you for your message and I’m sorry the late the reply. I’ve stayed at 3 ryokans in Hakone and can definitely recommend the room with private open air onsen bath at Hakone Suimeisou. It’s located within 3 minutes walk from Hakone Yumoto Station, so it’s a good starting and ending point to tour around the Hakone Loop.
Hope this helps!
Thank You very much for your article. I just came back from Tokyo and I stayed in Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku. Your article is very useful. You are the best , thumb up
Thank you very much Kenny for taking time to leave a comment after your trip.
I’m very happy to know that your Tokyo trip went well. It looks like you had a great time at Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku!
Cheers to more future trips to Japan!
We are planning a 7 day trip to Japan this September and would like your advice on transportation. The two cities we are traveling to are Tokyo an Kyoto.
We arrive in Haneda airport and will be staying in Sunroute Hotel in Tokyo. After three nights, we will go to Kyoto and are staying in Royal Park Hotel. During our stay in Tokyo, we plan to do a daytrip to Mt. Fuji. We will fly out of Japan via Haneda airport at the end of the trip.
What do you recommend to be the most efficient and cost-effective way to get around during this trip, i.e. from airport to Tokyo, to Mt. Fuju, to Kyoto, then from Kyoto to Haneda? Should we purchase bus tickets, train tickets? If so, which ones? Thanks!
Sorry if I replied just now and I hope its not yet too late.
1. Haneda Airport to Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku – I recommend taking the airport limousine bus (You can buy tickets from the airport’s arrival lobby)
2. Shinjuku to Mt. Fuji – If you are going to Lake Kawaguchiko, take bus from Shinjuku Station. If you are going to Hakone, buy Hakone Free Pass from Shinjuku Station and take the Romance Train.
2. Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku to Tokyo Station – Just normal commuter train via JR Chuo from Shinjuku Station to Tokyo Station (you can use Suica card).
3. Tokyo Station to Kyoto Station – Take Shinkansen bullet train.
4. Kyoto Station to Haneda Airport – Take Shinkansen bullet train from Kyoto Station until Shinagawa Station in Tokyo, then change to Keikyu train bound for Haneda Airport.
I suggest hyperdia.com for train, subway, Shinkansen bullet train schedules.
If your itinerary is fixed and do not expect any impromptu side trips from Tokyo / Kyoto using shinkansen, you should be fine without JR pass. Just get a Suica card to pay for non-shinkansen train/subway fares.
Hope this helps!
Hi, I am planning for family trip with friends next year June (2019). Realise alot of recommended hotels are fully booked. Why is that so?
It’s still too early to book. 🙂 Most of the hotels in Japan publish their room inventory only 6 months prior.
I suggest that you start to book sometime January 2019. June isn’t a peak time, so no big worries.
Hi, just looking through your blog and it seems informative. A couple questions if you don’t mind:
Planning on travelling for 10 days:
5 days Tokyo
1 day Mount Fuji
4 days Kyoto
^^Is this doable?
Do you suggest getting the JR pass before getting to Japan?
Looking for something a little higher end, do you have any thoughts on the ‘The Royal Park Hotel Tokyo Shiodome’ and how is the location for this?
Thanks for whatever input you can give!
Yes, your itinerary is totally doable in 10 days.
As for your hotel question, I have stayed at Park Hotel Tokyo before which is just across Royal Park Hotel Shiodome. While the Shiodome – Shimbashi area is generally a nice business district south of Ginza with a number of restaurants around the stations, you might find the area to be too western and business-like for what you maybe expecting.
The Shiodome – Shimbashi area is a good alternative to Ginza, however, 3 to 4 star hotels in Ginza have increased in the recent years so you have more choices now. 🙂
Having personally stayed both at Shiodome – Shimbashi and Ginza before, I can say that Ginza is more convenient, bustling, and is more aligned to typical tourist expectations of Tokyo.
If you are looking some something a little higher end, I would recommend the twin superior room at Millennium Mitsui Garden Ginza. The service is fantastic and the room is quite modern. If you are looking for something a little more affordable, I would recommend the neighbouring Tokyu Stay Ginza. While the service is not as fantastic as Millennium, their twin rooms are very nice and clean. I have stayed at both before so I can recommend them based from my personal experience. 🙂
Regarding JR Pass, the 7-day JR pass will be worth it if you take round trip between Tokyo and Kyoto and round trip NEX train between Narita and Tokyo, all within 7 days. I have done a similar itinerary as yours, sometimes with JR pass and sometimes without JR pass. Beyond the price comparison, the JR pass allows you to be more flexible and spontaneous. So if you plan to go on several sub-urban day trips from Tokyo and Kyoto using JR lines (i.e. Nikko) and will be sure to be back to Tokyo before the pass expires, then the 7-day JR pass will be worth it. If in case you will arrive in Tokyo and exit from Kyoto through Kansai Airport, you don’t need the JR Pass.
Hope this helps!
I am so glad that I chanced upon your blog!
Mu husband & I will be going to Tokyo for the first time this coming September.
Although I note Shinjuku Washington Hotel is not recommended, will you be able tell us more on this hotel? Truly appreciate your help!
I’m excited to hear that you’ll having a Japan vacation with your husband this September. I’m sure you’ll have a great time!
While the rooms are quite small, Shinjuku Washington Hotel is a practical hotel in a great location in Shinjuku around the same vicinity area as Keio Plaza Hotel Shinjuku. The best part of this hotel is that its serviced by the airport limousine bus so its great for first time travelers. Some of the Mt Fuji day trips also start from here.
If you find their lowest category rooms at 11sqm (annex building) and 13sqm (main building) to be a tight squeeze, then I suggest you to get their bigger rooms for more comfort and space.
Hope this helps!
Hello, We find your blog very helpful. Me and my wife will be in tokyo on Nov 7-12, 2018 and we are going to use my travel certificate. the agency suggested 4 hotels. (APA Hotel Shinjuku Tower, Shinjuku Wahington Hotel main, E hotel Higashi Shinjuku and Tokyu Stay Shinjuku) Among the four hitels suggested, what will be your recommendation? Thank you very much.
Thank you very much for your kind words. I would narrow your choices down to Shinjuku Washington Hotel Main and Tokyu Stay Shinjuku. For APA Hotel Shinjuku and E-Hotel Higashi Shinjuku, their room sizes start at 11sqm to 12sqm which you might find to be quite small especially if you are not yet used to typical Japan room sizes.
Room sizes at Shinjuku Washington Hotel Main start at 13sqm while Tokyu Stay Shinjuku start at 16sqm. If you find this to be a squeeze, you may want to check with your travel agent if you can pay for upgrade for bigger room. 🙂
Both these hotels are located in a good area within 10 minutes good walk from Shinjuku Station. Shinjuku Washington Hotel Main is highly convenient since the airport limousine bus stops here and some Mt Fuji / Tokyo suburb tours start from here.
If you are not particular of the airport limousine bus and wish to stay in a newer hotel, I would suggest and pick Tokyu Stay Shinjuku among all your choices. I have actually stayed in Tokyu Stay’s Ginza branch and find it to be very clean and of good value for money. Even with lack of airport limousine bus, you can always take a JPY 1,000 cab (or even less) to Shinjuku station to take the bus or NEX train to the airport. Also, Tokyu Stay Shinjuku is near Shinjuku san-chome subway station which can get you anywhere easily and simply.
Hope this helps you decide Dan and I wish you a memorable Tokyo trip with your wife!
– Tiffy 🙂
Hello! Your article was one of the first I read and pored over while researching for our first trip to Tokyo. I must say it was VERY helpful and comprehensive!! We ended up staying at Mercure Ginza, which was GREAT being so near to 4 subway lines!!
You might probably want to include in your article the option of taking the Access Narita Bus from Narita, which stops at both Tokyo and Ginza (Yurakucho) stations. It’s cheaper than the Airport Limousine bus (1000 yen vs 3100 yen) and you just pay in cash to driver, no need to buy tickets or reserve in advance. We found the bus very convenient and just walked from Yurakucho to Mercure.
Thank you very much Carla for taking time to provide your personal feedback about Mercure Ginza after your trip! I’m very happy to know that you had a GREAT time there. 🙂
Also, thank you for the tip about the JPY 1,000 Access Narita Bus in Yurakucho Ginza Station. I’ve seen it plying the Tokyo Station route and didn’t notice that it stops by Yurakucho Station too in Ginza. I will definitely consider your suggestion if I land at Narita next time and will update my article about your suggestion. I’m sure other readers will benefit from your tip regarding the Access Narita Bus. Again, thank you very much!
Cheers to more travels to Japan!
Hi Tiffy, thanks for sharing your experience! We have booked Keio hotel based on your recommendation for our upcoming trip to Tokyo! Do u think we still need to rent the pocket wifi since the hotel already provided free smartphone service?
Thanks in advance!
Hi CK! That’s a great news and I’m very happy to have helped.
While the “Handy” smartphone device provided by Keio is really a nice hotel bonus since it provides you with free long distance calls to selected destinations, its internet is only good for one person and it cannot function as a wifi hotspot.
Actually, I have the same question in mind before. I inquired with Keio prior to my arrival and they said that their “Handy” smartphone cannot be used as wifi hotspot and wifi cannot be shared to other device. I tried it myself while I was there and can personally confirm what they said. Their “Handy” smartphone’s wifi tethering function is locked and you cannot share its internet to other devices. So I ended up using my Pupuru pocket wifi while on the go since its more convenient for wifi connection if you are using multiple devices (i.e. various mobile devices within your travel group, ipads, tablets, etc.).
If you are a single traveler and you won’t be changing hotels in your Japan trip, the “Handy” phone provided by Keio should work fine for basic internet while on the go. However, if you have travel companions or wish to connect multiple devices to the wifi, I highly suggest Pupuru pocket wifi. Pupuru actually functions as a wifi hotspot and you can connect up to 10 devices at any given time without any problem. If you will be in Tokyo and other major Japan cities only, Pupuru’s “high-speed wifi” should work well for you.
I hope this helps you make an informed decision. I wish you a happy trip to Tokyo!
What a wonderful and detail blog!!! My husband, friends and I will be spending my 40th birthday in Japan in less than 30 days. How is the weather in July? What type of clothes should we pack? Also any recommended privater airport transfer services you recommend? Between Keio Plaza Hotel Shinjuku and Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku, which do you recommend most? Lastly, what’s a nice rooftop bar for birthday drinks and dinner?
Thanks in advance
Thank you very much for your kind words. I wish you advance happy happy birthday!
I’m sure all of you will enjoy your birthday vacation in Japan. I can feel your excitement! 🙂
July is warm and humid in Tokyo, so light cotton clothing should be fine.
Both Keio and Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku are good practical hotels in Tokyo from my personal experience. Both are in good walking distance to restaurants, shops, Shinjuku Station and Shinjuku Bus Terminal. Both are serviced by the Airport Limousine Bus which you can utilize for a small fee. In case you wish a private transfer from airport to hotel, you can just take a taxi from the airport but cost is going to be on a high side. The price of which is more or less the same as a private transfer. Service standards of taxis are pretty high in Japan and I find taxis to be cleaner than the private transfers I booked before so far. Alternatively, you may wish to consider a shared airport shuttle like this.
The best hotel to stay in Tokyo shall depend on your budget and your desired comfort level. I always believe in “you get what you pay.” 🙂 The 23 sqm Twin Room at Hotel Plaza Sunroute is of good size compared to Japanese standards. However, if you have a little more budget and wish to have 30+ sqm Western-sized rooms, then I would suggest Keio’s renovated superior rooms. Since you are celebrating something special, I would stay at Keio if I’m in your place. While not that luxurious as other 4-5 star hotels, Keio is one of the rare hotels in Tokyo which offer 30+ sqm rooms at a very good price at around USD 250/night. I personally find the service at Keio to be above average, even if hotel policies may look to be kind of rigid compared with smaller hotels.
For rooftop bars in Shinjuku, you may wish to check the rooftop bars at Park Hyatt (luxury) or Roof Top Bar & Terrace G (mid-priced).
Hope this helps Lola!
Asiatravelbug! Thank you for your expertise. My hubby and I are going to Tokyo in about a week. At a friends recommendation I reserved the New Otani Inn Tokyo. She said it was near Shibuya which is a great location to be in she said. She also said easy access for trains. Do you agree? I can still change my hotel if I find something better. Are you familiar with this hotel? We fly into Haneda. Will a train/subway be easily accessible from airport to this hotel? Especially for our return we would need to be at the airport by 8am. Do you agree that cash is widely used and suggest using ATM’s? That’s what I am told. Another friend mentioned Tokyo Bay area. Are you familiar with this area? We plan to do the Mt. Fuji tour taking a bullet train. Any suggestions about tours? Thanks for your time.
Hi there twins4us99! Thank you very much for your kind words. 🙂
I’ve not been to New Otani Inn Tokyo yet but looking at Google maps, it looks well connected to public transportation as its nearby JR Yamanote line Osaki Station. From Osaki Station, you can get to Shibuya in 12 minutes and to Shinagawa Station in 6 minutes via train. Shinagawa is a major transportation junction in Tokyo where you can catch bullet train ride to other regions in Japan as well as switch to a local train to get to Haneda Airport.
If coming from Haneda Airport, yes it is fairly easy to get to your hotel with just one transfer. Once you exit the customs area at Haneda airport, just buy a Suica card reloadable card, pre-load it (approximately JPY 1,000/day of stay) and take the Keikyu line towards Shinagawa Station. From Shinagawa Station, switch to JR Yamanote line to get to JR Osaki Station. Here’s the google map direction. I suggest renting a Pupuru pocket wifi so you’ll have live train schedules while on the go.
Travel time between Haneda Airport and JR Osaki Station is about half hour, so I think you should have no problems getting to Haneda Airport by 8am if you leave the hotel early.
Since your hotel is covered by the JR Yamanote line, it will be easier to get to tourist sites in central Tokyo compared to the hotels in Tokyo Bay area. Also, considering that your stay is upcoming this weekend, I think it will be hard to change hotels if you are looking at the same price point.
While the immediate vicinity of Hotel New Otani Inn is not as lively as the prime tourist spots in Tokyo, I think you should be fine as long as you manage your expectations. Also, the hotel being in a short walking distance to JR Yamanote line station is a big plus! So, your friend is correct that it has easy access to trains.
Yes, cash is widely used in Japan instead of credit cards especially in affordable / mid-range restaurants.
Regarding tours, you may wish to consider this Mt Fuji tour and opt for a return trip via Shinkansen bullet train. Just get off at Shinagawa Station during your return to Tokyo so it will be easier to get back to your hotel.
Don’t worry too much. I’m sure you and your hubby will have a fun time in Tokyo!
You are a God-send! The best! Our first time to Asia! Sending many blessings your way! Thank you Tiffy!!!
You are very welcome Robin! Happy to have helped.
– Tiffy 🙂
Hi, our family is taking our first trip to Tokyo, Japan for 10 days. We would like to see Tokyo Disney & Disney Sea and also see places around or between areas that are not too far away. I am having a very difficult time to choose hotel or airbnb. I love how you added so much information, but I’m still indecisive. Your help and advice would be greatly appreciated. We fly into HND June 20th 2018. Thank you!
June 20 is very near so I would suggest you to book your accommodation really really soon. 🙂
From my personal experience, I prefer to stay in a hotel in Japan since I prefer things to be predictable. I’ve stayed in a “top rated” private rental or bnb one time in Japan, and was surprised that the apartment was dirty with bits of dried rice on the chair cushion, with moldy bathroom exhaust and strands of hair on futon beds. I also had trouble entering the lobby of the apartment building and got stuck outside waiting in freezing cold weather for an hour before the bnb call center was able to get in touch with the host. Even after a long time waiting, the cleaner of the host did not arrive as promised to open the apartment’s lobby door for us. In the end, one of the neighbours realized that we were in distress outside the building and finally let us in the apartment’s lobby door using her own security badge. The host was kind enough to make a partial refund for the trouble even without me asking, but in my mind I would rather have a trouble-free stay rather than the partial refund. My private rental / bnb experience in Japan is quite different from the good experience I had in other countries. While the bnb apartment is huge, I would happily trade the huge apartment space for a smaller room in a hotel with standardized check-in process, predictable cleanliness and a front desk or concierge to help me for any concerns. I’m not sure if this is an isolated incident or maybe I’m just unlucky as there are other bnb success stories out there.
Based on above personal experience, I would recommend a hotel over a private rental bnb in Japan. However, I fully understand that everyone’s budget and risk tolerance is different, so in the end it shall be your decision. 😉
In case you decide to book a hotel in Tokyo, I can recommend Keio Plaza Hotel Shinjuku for its convenience especially if you are with your family. I’ve stayed there just last month in recently renovated 30sqm superior room and the hotel has got all you need. The airport limousine bus from Haneda airport stops at Keio. They also offer free shuttle to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disneysea, so that would save you 2 days of round trip bus trip transfer. Also, Shinjuku is quite strategic for day trips and its easy to get to nearby surburb areas in Tokyo like Hakone or Lake Kawaguchi to see Mt Fuji. As of now, Keio has available room for 10 days from June 20, 2018 which you can either book in Agoda or booking.com.
I hope my answer helps you make an informed decision. Wishing you and your family an amazing trip to Tokyo this June!
Very very informative and useful post! Love it!
Thanks Miki! I’m very happy to hear that my blog is helpful for your upcoming Japan trip!
Wishing you a safe trip to Japan!
Hi Tiffy, I’ll be traveling with my elderly parents of 70s, would you advise to stay at Keio Plaza Shinjuku or Millenium Mitsukoshi Ginza?
I’m looking for the least walk to train stations and convenient eateries near the hotel.
Need your help.
Thanks so much!
Hi Wendy! Sorry it took a while for me to respond. Here’s my comparison for the hotels you mentioned based on my personal experience having stayed at both hotels.
Millennium Mitsui Ginza – This is a newer hotel and one of my personal favorites in Tokyo. I like its modern rooms and the hotel’s fantastic service. It’s located in a prime spot in Ginza surrounded by department stores and flagship stores like Uniqlo, H&M, Shiseido, etc. so it’s a good area to walk and shop around. The subway is right outside the hotel’s doorstep making it highly convenient to get to most of major Tokyo tourist sites easily. While there are more restaurants in Shinjuku, there are some restaurants in the hotel’s vicinity like Ippudo and Ikinari Steak. I would highly recommend this hotel if you need to be near Tokyo Station, perhaps to catch a bullet train ride to your next regional destination in Japan.
Keio Plaza Shinjuku – Actually, I just checked out from Keio Plaza Hotel Shinjuku a few days ago and I love it! While some parts of the hotel look aged, the recently renovated Superior Twin room I booked looks very new, is huge and the room is the biggest I’ve stayed at in central Tokyo. My mother likes it very much and she told me it’s her new favorite Tokyo hotel. Keio is classic hotel located in a quieter side of Shinjuku. Reasonably-priced restaurants and shops are 3 minutes walk away and the massive Shinjuku station is about 10 minutes walk away. The airport limousine bus and most of the Mt Fuji group tour buses stop at this hotel, making it highly convenient if you stay only in Tokyo and plan to have a day trip to see Mt. Fuji. While the price of Keio is a little higher than other hotels in Shinjuku, I think its worth it. We even took the direct bus of Keio to Disney for free which can cost USD 20/person for a return trip if you book a similar bus at Shinjuku Station Express Bus Terminal. Keio gets mixed reviews online but I think it’s a matter of booking the “right” room category. I strongly recommend the recently renovated rooms marked as “renovated” in Agoda or the Plaza Superior South Tower Twin Room where I stayed which has been recently renovated as well. Superior rooms are bigger than standard rooms. Having experienced Keio myself recently, I can say that this hotel now rounds up as one of my favorite hotels in Tokyo which I would highly recommend for families and for groups.
In summary, both are very good hotels in Tokyo and are worth their price. I guess it’s a matter of what you plan to do in Japan. If you’ll be mostly in Tokyo, wish to do a convenient day trip to Hakone/Mt Fuji and if your parent’s taste is the same as my mother, I suggest Keio’s renovated rooms. If you need to be near Tokyo station for your bullet train ride to your next destination in Japan, then I suggest Millennium Mitsui Ginza.
I hope this helps you make an informed decision. Happy travel planning and I’m sure you’ll enjoy your trip with your parents!
I can say this would be one of the best blog tips for a person who travel to japan like me.
Thanks for the great insight and i will keep on reading on your interesting post!
Thank you very much for your kind words Rekha!
Messages like yours keep me inspired to improve this blog and help more people travel better in Japan.
Cheers to more future Japan trips!
I was planning my first trip to Tokyo and came across your blog which gave me many tips on booking hotels and places to visit. It was really useful.
I will be arriving at Haneda Airport at about 10pm on 15 April. Is the airport limousine shuttle still available or any train service? Is it more advisable to stay in a hotel in Haneda.If so, do you have any hotel to recommend?
I’ll be staying for 7 days in Tokyo. Is it better to spend all 7 days in Tokyo or to travel to Osaka for a day or two.
Lastly, will there be cherry blossoms during the period that I’m in Tokyo?
Thank you for your kind words. Please find my answers below. 🙂
1) Assuming that you would stay in Shinjuku, yes, the airport limousine bus from Haneda Airport runs even at 10pm. You can check the timetable here. Haneda Airport is near Tokyo city and it will just take you about an hour via airport limousine bus to get to Shinjuku. So, no need to stay in a hotel in Haneda.
2) If it is your first time in Japan, I think your 7 days would be better spent on Tokyo alone and its surrounding areas. Including Osaka in your 7 day itinerary is technically possible given than the bullet train between Osaka and Tokyo is only between 2.5 to 3 hours. However, you will lose at least one travel day from all the transfers – having to prepare to get to the Shinkansen station, checking-in and checking-out of hotels. With 7 days, your time would be better spent in exploring Tokyo and its surrounding suburbs.
3) The prime time for cherry blossom viewing in Tokyo is usually during first week of April. However, you might be able to see late blooming varieties in Shinjuku Gyoen park. Also, mid April is a good time to go to Lake Kawaguchiko to see cherry blossoms apart from the chance to see Mt Fuji. I would recommend at least a night in a ryokan in Lake Kawaguchiko for a unique Japanese experience. I’ve personally stayed in Shohukaku Kotegsu and loved the Mt Fuji view from my window. For a more affordable option, you may want to consider staying at Hotel Century Fuji Kawaguchiko.
Hope this helps. Happy travel planning!
Hi Tiffy, thanks for sharing ur experience! Ur blog very usefull!!
I plan to stay at hotel blossom as ur recomm for our holiday trip in January 2018. After that, we will move to sheraton disneyland for our 3 last nights in japan. Do u have recomm what is the best transport to go there? (We will go with our 3years old daughter with 3 big luggages and 1 stroller heheh 😬😅)
Hello Erick! Thanks for leaving a message.
There are multiple ways to get from Shinjuku to the Tokyo Disney.
1. The cheapest way is via train. However, since you’ll have a kid in tow and multiple luggages with you, this is not recommended for your case. To get to JR Maihama Station which is the entry point for Tokyo Disney, you need to make a train transfer at Tokyo Station. Tokyo Station is huge and quite complicated. This route should be ok for group of friends but not for family with kids and luggages in tow.
2. The most comfortable is via taxi which will cost about 8,000 to 10,000 JPY.
3. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Shinjuku Express Bus Terminal to Tokyo Disney for JPY 1,000 per adult / JPY 500 per child. From there, you can use Tokyo Disney monorail to transfer to the station nearest to Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Hotel.
Hope this helps! I’m sure your family will have a fun time in Japan!
Hi Tiffany, I really like your blog and it’s very useful. I have questions regarding the transportation in Japan and need your suggestion for ok transport (not so cheap) as I will be travelling from Osaka – Kyoto – Osaka – Tokyo.
1. What is the best local transport to use if I want to go around in Osaka (2 days) and where to buy the ticket?
2. From Osaka – Kyoto (round trip), which one should I get? In Kyoto, what options do I have for transportation?
3. From Osaka – Tokyo, how can I buy the shinkansen ticket and how much is it per person?
4. In Tokyo, what would be the best option to travel around? as I know JR Pass is really expensive.
Need your advice. Thank you in advance.
Thanks for your kind words and for leaving a message in my Where to Stay in Tokyo blog post.
1. The best way to get around Osaka is via subways and JR train. You can purchase a reloadable Icoca card from any JR ticket station, and you pay what you use. Alternatively, if you wish an all-in pass which includes unlimited subway rides and entrance to popular Osaka attractions, you may want to consider purchasing an Osaka Amazing Pass. You can purchase it online or in tourist centers in Osaka.
2. If you’re staying in Kyoto and you’re not arriving late at Kansai Airport, you might want to get to Kyoto directly instead of staying for a night in Osaka. The Haruka train gets you directly from Kansai Airport to Kyoto Station. You can purchase a Haruka-Icoca combo pass from the JR ticket station outside Kansai Airport, which gives you some discount in the Haruka fare. The Icoca card is a reloadable prepaid transport card which you can use in trains, buses or even convenience stores in Osaka and Kyoto (and even to Tokyo). In case you’ll be in Osaka and need to get to Kyoto, there are various local train available which can get you between these two cities. However, my favorite transport means is via Keihan main line which is less crowded and gets you direct to Kyoto downtown in less than an hour.
3. For shinkansen ticket between Osaka to Tokyo, you can purchase this from any JR ticket station or online from a travel concierge.
4. You don’t need a JR pass in your case since you’ll only travel between Osaka – Tokyo one way. If you didn’t return your Icoca card in Osaka, you can continue to use it in Tokyo as long as it has a load. Please do note, however, that the Icoca card can only be returned while in Osaka/Kyoto. But you can always keep it for your return trip to Japan in the future. Alternatively, you can purchase the Tokyo Subway Pass to get around Tokyo via subways.
Hope this helps!
Hi Tiffy, I have really enjoyed reading your blog. It is so informative. We are traveling to Japan in January 2018. We are flying into Narita, staying a night at a Narita Airport Hotel and then heading up to Nozawa Onsen skiing for a week. We will then be heading back to Tokyo via the bullet train for 4 nights. We fly back home early evening, so we will have almost 4 full days in Tokyo and a half day when we return from Nozawa. I am travelling with a friend and our two daughters who are both 11 years old. We intend to spend two days at Disneyland/DisneySea and the other days sightseeing around Tokyo. I think I would like us to stay in the Ginza district as it is central to Tokyo station. I am leaning towards staying at the Daiwa Roynet Hotel Ginza due to it’s closeness to Tokyo Station and therefore save us travel time on our Disney Days. What are your thoughts on this hotel. Is it to far away from the central Ginza? Thankyou for your time and thoughts if you think there might be a better hotel option for us. Kind regards Kim
Thanks for your kind words!
Daiwa Roynet Hotel Ginza is located at the northern edge of Ginza and is in close walking distance to Tokyo Station. So, it should work great if you need to be in Tokyo Station to get to Disney as well as to get to Narita Airport.
Ginza is quite compact and you can walk from the northern edge to the southern edge within 15 minutes. 🙂
In terms of alternative, Tokyu Stay Ginza is more or less similarly priced as Daiwa. However, Daiwa Roynet Hotel Ginza is a little more closer to Tokyo Station and I think booking this hotel would best fit your needs.
In case you wish to skip the ticket booth line at Disney and have fast pass for rides, you may wish to book your tickets here.
Hope this helps. I’m sure you’ll have a blast during your Japan winter trip!
We are staying one day/night in Tokyo and plan to head to Kyoto the following day. Would you recommend Tokyo Stay Ginza hotel (alittle more expensive, smaller room) or a hotel in Minato (rooms are bigger)? We are coming from Narita airport and want to maximize our own day/night in Tokyo to enjoy. Young at heart thirties group . Thanks!
Thanks for leaving a message in my Where to Stay in Tokyo blog post! I have personally stayed at Tokyu Stay Ginza and it’s my second favorite Ginza hotel next to the neighboring Millennium Mitsui Garden Ginza. These hotels are in prime location, just minutes away from subway station which gets you to about anywhere in Tokyo easily – to Shibuya, Shinjuku, Asakusa, Akihabara, Haneda Airport (local train), or even Narita Airport (local train). Tokyo Station is also just a ~JPY 1000 (~USD 10) cab ride away. From Tokyo Station, you can take bus or NEX train to get to the Narita airport and take the shinkansen bullet to get to Kyoto.
I find Tokyu Stay Ginza to be of great value which I would be happy to stay again in the future and would recommend to others. I have stayed in a 25 sqm superior twin room and found it to be very clean, brand new, smartly designed and surprisingly very spacious relative to other Japanese hotels. I recommend their twin rooms for bigger space. 🙂
To maximize your time, I suggest either Shinjuku or Ginza. In your case, since you need to be near Tokyo Station, then Tokyu Stay Ginza should best fit your requirements.
Hope this helps and have a safe trip!
I will be travelling with my husband and my sister’s family in Japan for the first time from Dec 22-26. A Japanese friend recommended Shinagawa Prince Hotel which is near JR station but I didnt see this in your recommendations. I just want to check with you if you are familiar of this hotel and its location. I am not sure if I want to keep our reservation as I am also looking for something near a Catholic church. Your reply will be very appreciated. thank you.
While Shinagawa Prince Hotel is conveniently located near a JR Station, I think that there are better-located hotels either in Shinjuku or Ginza which gets you closer to the “happening area.” This in turn means you’ll be able to maximize your time in Tokyo better. Availability of hotels are pretty low in your travel dates so I suggest that you book soon.
In terms of Catholic Church, looking online, there’s one in Roppongi called Franciscan Chapel Center just 5 minute walk from Roppongi Station. To get to Roppongi Station, you can take 10-minute direct subway from either Shinjuku or Ginza.
I suggest that you try to see first if there are hotels in Shinjuku or Ginza available on your travel dates which fit your budget. In case you proceed booking at Shinagawa Prince Hotel, I think getting to the Franciscan Chapel Center shouldn’t be a big issue since it’s just a 30-minute ride away with 1 subway/train transfer.
Hope this helps.
Hi there! Thanks so much for all the great information! Do I need to reserve a ticket for the airport limo shuttle bus? I’ll be arriving to HND. Thanks!
I’ve used airport limousine bus several times from Haneda Airport to the city center and I find advance reservation to be not necessary. However, for trips coming from Tokyo hotel or a pick-up station, I suggest you to book at least 1 day in advance for peace of mind.
It’s best to check the operating hours of the airport limousine bus as it doesn’t operate 24 hours a day. In case your travel time is outside it’s operating hours, you may want to consider booking a shared shuttle in advance instead.
Hope this helps and have a safe flight!
I plan to go to Tokyo in December, and was wondering how the snow situation is in Tokyo, i.e. whether there is a park in Central Tokyo where my kids can play with snow. And if there is, what would be the closest hotel to that park.
P/S: your write up is totally informative, so big thumbs up to you!
Thank you very much for your kind words. Unfortunately, snow is rare in Tokyo during winter which only happens once or twice in a year. But the good news is that you can see some snow scenery 1.5 hours from Tokyo. Check out Gala Yuzawa.
Hope this helps.
I will be traveling with my kids (7 and 2 years old) to Tokyo this nov 20th to 28th. Wondering how will the weather be? Very cold? What type of clothes do we need to prepare?
Also, we planning a trip to hakone. Could you recommend a royakan with onsen ?
As someone from Southeast Asia who’s always used to 30+ degree Celsius weather, I find the weather during autumn in Tokyo to be very cold particularly during mornings and night time. It generally averages 8 degrees in the morning/night and around 12 to 16 degrees in the afternoon. I had two layers of jacket with me when I went to Kyoto and Tokyo during last week of November last year. It maybe best to go to your local Uniqlo store and ask which jacket best fits for this weather. 🙂
For ryokan in Hakone with onsen, I previously stayed at a 400-year old historical ryokan called Ichinoyu Honkan. The rates are very reasonable for a room with private onsen, great river view and great food! While I had a very memorable experience at Ichinoyu Honkan, I feel that this ryokan is best for more adventurous type of travelers rather than for family with small children who are seeking comfort. The hotel is located by a highway and it can be hard to cross the road to catch the bus.
For family travelers like you, I recommend your family to stay in Gora area in Hakone where it is more convenient to get around. For mid-range ryokans in Gora, you may want to try to stay in Lalaca or Gorakan.
Hope this helps!
Thanks for the recommendations. I checked both ryokans. Seemed like their room is 13 sqm, was thinking maybe a bit squeezy for 4 of us. Do you have other recommendations of bigger rooms but still affordable at mid range prices.
Sorry I missed out on your reply.
You may wish to consider Hakone Gora Onsen Aioso or Setsugetsuka instead. They have roomier Japanese-Western twin rooms with open bath available.
Hope my reply isn’t yet too late. 🙂
Have a safe flight!
Your info saved me for my virgin trip to Japan! So informative! I am going in mid October 17!
I wish to ask…You mentioned day trips to see Mount Fuji using Hakone Free Pass, is it from Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku ?
Hello Shufen! Thanks for your kind words. I can feel your excitement! I’m sure you’ll enjoy Japan as much as I did. 🙂
Hakone Free Pass is actually more like a transport pass rather than a group tour. The pass can be purchased from JR Shinjuku Station West exit and depending on the mode of transportation you choose, you can either take the “romance car train” or bus from Shinjuku Station to get to Hakone.
Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku is about 5 minute walk to Shinjuku Station, so its very convenient area to stay if you wish to go to Hakone.
Hope this helps!
There are many websites giving various info but this is by far the best!! Great work. Thank you so much.
Thank you for your kind words and I’m happy to have helped Benny!
Wishing you a fun and safe trip to Japan.
I would like to commend you for a very informative blog.
My family (3 of us) will visit Tokyo on Nov 11-16 (5 nights). This will be our first time. With so many itineraries I’ve read in various blogs, I am already confused.
Would appreciate your ideas if we can make it to Osaka with the span of time we have? My daughter is excited to witness fall in Tokyo. We also love to go to Disneyland Sea, Mount Fuji, Gotemba outlet and especially fall foilage (pls advise us on what park or garden to visit?).
What hotel do you suggest also with our itinerary? Is it advisable to stay overnight near Mt. Fuji? I hope you can suggest a better itinerary for us.
Lastly, do you have a travel agency where I can contact for possible tour package?
Thanks for dropping by my blog and I’m excited to hear that you’ll have family vacation in Tokyo this November.
The shinkansen bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka only takes about 2.5 to 3 hours per way, so squeezing in Osaka is technically doable. However, it is not practical given that you’ll be in Japan for 5 days only and it will be your first time. If you decide to go to Osaka, then you’ll be losing a day of travel time from the transfers needed and change in hotels, and you’ll left with only 4 days to split between Tokyo, Mount Fuji and Osaka which is rather too short.
With this, I do suggest that you concentrate your trip this time to Tokyo and Mount Fuji only. I’m pretty sure that this won’t be your last trip to Japan and you can just include Osaka in your succeeding trip. 🙂
Autumn in Tokyo is generally between mid to last week of November. So in your case, I suggest that you arrange your non-autumn plans earlier on in your itinerary like visiting Disney Sea. Mount Fuji would be a great time to visit on your travel dates to see beautiful autumn foliage. See this autumn report from japan-guide. Yes, staying overnight near Mt Fuji is actually one of my memorable experience I had in Japan which I can recommend. I have personally stayed at Shuhokaku Kogetsu and love the unobstructed view of Mount Fuji right from my own window! In case you’re looking for a more affordable accommodation alternative, you can try New Century Fuji Kawaguchiko which offers about 2/3 view of Mount Fuji from the room.
To get to Lake Kawaguchi, you can either take bus or train. But bus is more comfortable from my experience. For a more comfortable travel, I suggest that you just take with you a day worth of clothing and leave your luggage at the concierge of your hotel in Tokyo.
Staying in Shinjuku should be fine in your case if you’ll be in Tokyo and Mount Fuji only. I highly recommend Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku.
After your overnight stay in Lake Kawaguchi, you can head to Gotemba Outlets from Lake Kawaguchiko Station via bus – see timetable here. From Gotemba Outlet, there are scheduled buses available to return back to Tokyo.
For tour activities in Japan or day trips to Mount Fuji, you can check Voyagin.
There are number of spots in Tokyo to visit to view autumn colors: Ichiko Namiki, Imperial East Gardens, Showa Kinen Kowen, Shinjuku Gyoen, Rikugien and Koishikawa Korakuen. The last two ones may peak at a later time though. More info can be found here. With limited time, you just have to take your pick and choose what’s the most convenient for you.
Hope this helps. Happy autumn travel planning!
We are planning on traveling with family around November. We would love to stay in Shinjuku for all the entertainment and great food places nearby, but am not sure how convenient this would be compared to a hotel by Tokyo Station since we will need to catch an early flight from Narita airport when we return back. We were planning on taking the Access Narita system since these buses run very early in the morning (even earlier than the narita expresss and airport limos), but the Access Narita only leaves out of Ginza and Tokyo station. With luggage and kids around, I’m not sure how easy it would be to try to navigate from Shinkjuku to Tokyo station. Would it be better to take a Taxi from Shinjuku to Tokyo station ? How close would it be? or is it better to just stay at tokyo station since its more central?
With luggage and kids in tow, it would be more comfortable if you take a taxi from Shinjuku Station to Tokyo Station. Past 10 pm, this taxi ride would cost about JPY 4,000 or ~USD 40. Alternatively, you can book a shared shuttle which costs about USD 50 per person but this gets you straight from your hotel door to Narita Airport even in the wee hours of the morning.
Shinjuku is livelier and more “local” than Tokyo Station from a tourist standpoint. However, I have to agree that Tokyo Station is more central. In case you’ll be visiting Disney for multiple days and really want to take the Access Narita bus past 12 midnight, it would make sense to stay either in Tokyo Station or Ginza.
Hope this helps!
Your blog is chock Gul of information and is really interesting; thank you!!
I’ve booked Millenia Mitsui Garden in Ginza based on your recommendation for an upcoming trip to Tokyo with my mom. My mom loves to window shop and check out food places. However she’s not really into big department stores. Also she has knee problems so she can only walk for abt an hour or so before her knees start giving her problems.
I’d really be grateful if you could let me know if there are plenty of shops and eating places (affordable ones) around the hotel’s vicinity so that I can take my mom out for short jaunts and bring her back to the hotel once she’s tired. This is especially important at night as my mom (knee problems notwithstanding) doesn’t like to be cooped up in the hotel the whole evening. Travelling out to other areas like Shinjuku or Shibuya by train is not ideal as I think it will be too taxing for her.
Many thanks in advance!!
Thanks for your kind words. Shinjuku and Ginza are the top two best areas to stay in Tokyo based on my experience. While Ginza is central and near Tokyo Station, majority of the shops are department stores and international chain shops (think Uniqlo and H&M). There are also a number of eateries in Ginza but not as concentrated as in Shinjuku.
Millennium Mitsui Garden Ginza is a great hotel, very modern and reasonably priced for its caliber in a fantastic location. I usually stay in Ginza if I need to be near Tokyo Station to catch the bullet train.
In your case however, since it seems that you will be exploring Tokyo only and don’t need to catch a bullet train, you may be better off staying in Shinjuku based on your requirements (i.e. affordable local shops and eateries).
If I were in your situation and if you’re looking for a similarly priced 4-star hotel in Shinjuku, I recommend Hotel Century Southern Tower. Shinjuku offers the perfect balance of local shops, affordable eateries and department stores. Also, this hotel is serviced by the airport limousine bus so you don’t need to worry about airport transfer. If you wish, you can also book a Mount Fuji view room so your mother can appreciate the view while relaxing in between short trips. I’m sure your mom will love it!
I hope this helps!
– Tiffy 🙂
Thanks for the wonderful blog on Tokyo. It provides a good insight on where to stay in Tokyo.
We are planning to visit Tokyo end of November and the traveling party is 2 adults and 2 kids (5 and 7 years old).
The plan is to visit Tokyo for 8 days. The first 5 days will be staying at downtown Tokyo and the rest will be at Hilton Disney Land. For the first 5 days in downtown Tokyo, the rough itinerary is to do a day trip to Mount Fuji/Hakone and the rest will be exploring Tokyo attractions, temples, Ueno, Asakusa, Shibuya etc
It appears that Shinjuku will be the ideal place to stay for 1st timers like us. However, they are also comments on how busy it is and so, we are wondering if it is the right place for the kids and should we choose another area to stay i.e. Shibuya or Asakusa.
Which hotel would you recommend if to choose between Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku, Hotel Century Southern Tower and Keio Plaza Hotel Shinjuku? Currently, all 3 hotels are very similar in price for my travel dates.
Your input will be greatly appreciated, thank you.
That’s a great time to be in Tokyo and I do hope you get to enjoy Tokyo’s beautiful autumn foliage during the last week of November!
Shinjuku is a great place to stay and the station can be busy particularly during rush hours. However, the good thing about staying in Shinjuku is there are areas which aren’t that crowded. The 3 hotels you mentioned Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku, Hotel Century Southern Tower and Keio Plaza Shinjuku are all located in peaceful areas and yet just 5 minutes walk to all the action in Shinjuku. Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku is a mid range hotel while Century Southern and Keio are more upper mid range. If these hotels are in similar price range during your travel dates, then picking the upper mid range hotels will give you more value for money. 🙂 I’m leaning towards Keio if you’re going to get their bigger rooms and they would allow you to use their shuttle after check out to get to Tokyo Disney. It maybe best to check this possibility with Keio directly.
With regards to your other alternative areas to stay in Tokyo, Shibuya is actually as busy as Shinjuku. Although Asakusa is charming and unique from a tourist point of view, its location is a bit inconvenient requiring some subway transfers before you get to your destination. Among the 3 areas you mentioned, you’ll be better off staying in Shinjuku.
I wish you and your family a fun trip to Tokyo!
Awesome blog! My husband and I are taking our 9 month-old son to visit Japan for the first time in late October. I’ve been reading a few different sites to see where to stay. The most common areas seem to be Shinjuku, Ginza and Tokyo Station. We are staying for a week in Japan, since we don’t get in to the airport until 9:30PM, does the Airport Limousine still running? How is the weather in October, cold? DO we have to buy JR pass in advance or do we need it to get around Tokyo? How far is Tokyo from Kyoto by train? Since most transportation we plan to do is the trains, it is too crowded for a stroller? Can we get by with limited knowledge of Japanese language? From what I read, Sunroute is a little out of the Higashi-Shinjuku area? Thank you for your help.
If you’ll be heading to Kyoto from Tokyo, it would be more convenient to base yourself near Tokyo Station so you’ll be able to catch the bullet train easily. I personally prefer to stay in Ginza in Tokyo if I need to head to Osaka or Kyoto. I recommend either Millennium Mitsui Garden Ginza or Tokyu Stay Ginza (more affordable but with no baby cots) depending on your budget.
There are 2 Sunroute hotels in Shinjuku – one in Higashi Shinjuku and the other one near Shinjuku Station which is the more popular one called Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku.
As for the JR pass, it would be cheaper to purchase this online rather than purchase once you are in Japan. The JR pass also includes the use of Narita Express (NEX) which you can take in Tokyo Station to get to Narita Airport, however the last trip from Tokyo Station is at 8pm – see the schedule here. As for airport limousine bus going to Narita, they operate out of downtown areas only until afternoon. In case you won’t be taking the last NEX train, you can book a shared shuttle service to get to Narita.
Trains and buses in Japan have dedicated seats for pregnant women and for mothers with infant. However, it can get congested during rush hours. For a more comfortable travel, it would be best to use public transportation outside of rush hours.
Yes, you can get by with limited Japanese knowledge as most signage in train/subway station are in English. However, I suggest that you get a Pupuru pocket wifi so you’ll be able to access Google maps while on the go.
Weather at the end of October is relatively pleasant and similar to spring, typically hovering at the range of 12 to 20 degrees Celsius.
Hope this helps and I hope you and your family will enjoy your trip to Japan this October!
I will be a first time visitor to Tokyo and readings have pointed to staying very close to the main station in Shinjuku. Looking at 3 nights. This is a father and daughter (30) trip. I am looking at twin rooms so like rooms of reasonable size.
I have short listed 3 hotels; Citadines Central Shinjuku Hotel, Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku and JR Yyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku. If you know these hotels, any advice on which one please.
I prefer staying in the quieter side of Shinjuku so I’m leaning towards Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku or JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku. These 2 hotels are located in the same area and is just about 2-3 minutes walk from each other.
The main advantage of Sunroute is that it is serviced by the airport limousine bus from Narita and Haneda airports. So if you need airport limousine bus, book at Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku.
If you don’t need the airport limousine bus right by the hotel door and wish to stay in a newer hotel, book with JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku.
Hope this helps you decide and I wish you a fun father-daughter Japan vacation!
Tiffy.. what you are doing in this blogger page is so amazing and so unique and wonderful, I would like to thank you for whatever you are achieving here and I wish you continue because I never have seen or came across such thing in my life so thank you very much though.
This is my first time to travel to Japan and it will be from 25th of November to 1 December.
All my life my travels is to west from Middle East and this is my first travel to east side and I mean by that far east and I’m glad.
My main concern here is I’m so confused about the hotels modeling(rooms) and locations due to this time of the year I’m traveling in, I strongly need your advice as I am traveling with my wife as tourist.
I like museums, cars, Technologies, shopping malls, nightlife.
Thanks, kind regard
Thank you very much for you kind words! I appreciate it.
I was in Tokyo last year at the same time as your travel dates. Last week of November is peak autumn foliage in Tokyo and I hope you’ll be able to spare some time to visit the city’s wonderful parks!
In terms of museums, you can go to Edo Tokyo Museum and Tokyo National Museum. For cars, drop by Toyota Mega Web in Odaiba. For technologies, you can visit Akihabara for gadgets and see the bizarre side of Tokyo.
For room models in Japan, the main difference is that double rooms are typically smaller than twin rooms if you stay in budget or mid range hotels. Also, the bed in double room is double size and not a queen. However, you’ll be able to find queen size beds when you book in luxury hotels.
You should be fine staying in either Shinjuku, Ginza or Tokyo Station. Shinjuku is better in nightlife though. Both Shinjuku and Ginza are great areas for shopping. Majority of Tokyo’s luxury hotels are surrounding Tokyo Station. I would be happy to recommend a specific hotel for you if you advise your budget. 🙂
Hope this helps.
Thanks for writing such an informative guide! We will be travelling to Tokyo in September and have reserved JR Kyushu Hoyel Blossom Shinjuku for 2 nights before heading to Kyoto then staying at Park Hotel Tokyo for 3 nights. I think my kids will love the view from Park Hotel but I would like to know if it’s a convenient location for moving around with 2 young kids and for getting to Narita airport? And also can you suggest a 3days itinerary in Tokyo? Thanks!
Thanks for your kind words. I’m sorry if I just replied just now and I hope it’s not yet too late since it’s already September.
Park Hotel Tokyo is convenient to get to Narita Airport as this hotel is serviced by Airport Limousine bus until around 3:40pm. The hotel is actually located in a business district and the immediate area feels more western. If you wish to see Mount Fuji, I suggest that you book the Tokyo Tower view room since not all rooms face it. Walking to Ginza is doable but can be a bit of walk with kids on tow. Based on my personal experience, Ginza is more lively than Shiodome business district.
Alternatively, you can book at Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza Premier which offers a chance to see Mt Fuji from their lobby area. Price is about just about 10% to 20% more than Park Hotel Tokyo but is better located at the edge of Ginza. This hotel is also serviced by airport limousine bus. For bargain shopping needs and reasonably-priced grocery, you only need to cross a small road.
In case your flight is outside the service time of airport limousine bus, you can always take a short taxi ride to Tokyo Station to catch the NEX train to Narita.
For ideas on what to do in Tokyo in 3 days, please feel free to check out my Tokyo itinerary.
Hope this helps. I’m sure your family will have a blast in Japan this September!
What a wonderful informative site. Thank you so much for your time. We are planning a trip in 2019 to the Rugby World Cup. We are unable to plan until we know where the matches will be and which we are able to get tickets for, but all this information will really help when we come to book. Thank you!
Hi Clare! Thank you very much for your kind words. I’m sure you will enjoy the beauty of Tokyo when you visit Japan for the Rugby World Cup.
Just let me know if you have any questions about Japan travel and I’ll be happy to help!
Hi Tiffy! Good day! What a very informative guide you’ve written. Thank you!
My mom and I are going to Tokyo this coming September. We’re considering staying at APA Hotel Shinagawa Sengakuji-Ekimae in Takanawa Minato-ku Tokyo. What is your opinion about this hotel and its location? Also, what do you recommend as the must-see-and-do things in Tokyo that should not be left out on the itinerary?
Hi Laurence! Thanks for leaving a comment. 🙂
Looking at google maps, APA Hotel Shinagawa Sengakuji Ekimae is located near the Sengakuji subway station in the Asakusa subway line. What this means is that it will be easy to get to Asakusa and Ginza (Higashi-Ginza) via subway with no transfer required.
Although the area of your hotel isn’t as vibrant and as prime as Shinjuku, Shibuya or Ginza, you should be able to get to most of the other tourist sites with 1-2 subway/train transfers.
APA hotel is a very well known budget hotel chain in Japan. I think you should be fine as long as you’re able to manage your expectations about the room size (11 sqm for double and 16 sqm for twin) and the location.
Feel free to check out my Tokyo itinerary for things to do in Tokyo. I think Asakusa and Meiji Jingu shrine are must dos in Tokyo. Also, if the weather is great, try to do a day trip to either Lake Kawaguchiko or Hakone to see Mount Fuji.
I’m sure you will enjoy your Tokyo trip with your mom this September. Have a safe trip!
First of all, thank you for putting effort gathering such great information for us as traveller.
I’m visiting Tokyo on 28th June for 5 nights, and have reserved hotels in two areas Hotel Gracery Shinjuku and Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza Premier, whereby I need to cancel one by tomorrow to avoid cancellation fee, hence, I’m still bit confused where to stay, I’m single traveller which I often travel alone to spend some good quality times and explore new places, while I was checking on website where to stay, almost everyone suggesting Shinjuku or Ginza… both are totally different in term on lifestyle and nightlife… well, I want to stay somewhere can be good to hang on on different location and also not to get lonely at the end!
appreciate your recommendation and if you can help me to take my decision 🙂
thank you and keep up the good job.
Thanks for your kind words. Both Shinjuku and Ginza are great places to stay in Tokyo and are strategic to explore new places.
Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza Premier is a fine hotel located at the southern edge of Ginza and near the business district of Shimbashi. The hotel is convenient as the 24/7 bargain shop Don Quijote and 24/7 supermarket Hanamasa are just right across the hotel. If you are looking for nightlife however, the area can be lacking relative to what Shinjuku can offer for tourists. Personally, I stay in Ginza if I want to be near Tokyo Station for easy access to shinkansen bullet train.
Since you want to experience a vibrant Japanese nightlife and want a good time, Hotel Gracery Shinjuku may best fit your needs. This hotel is located right in the heart of Shinjuku’s Kabukicho red light district. As long as your exercise common-sense caution as a single traveler, I think you should be fine staying here.
I hope this helps and have a safe trip!
Thank you so much Tiffy, you made things very clear, and it’s my turn now to choose one of those hotels and i def. will let you know post my holiday about my experience.
Hi Tif, I will be traveling to Japan from 25Dec-6Jan. I looking for the hotel in Tokyo from 25Dec-30Dec, and Osaka from 31Dec-6Jan. We are 2 adults and 2 Kids travel together. I have searched on the hotel you recommend however most of them has been fully book. Please advise other recommend hotel.
1. Or can you give comment on Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro or Centurion Hotel Ikebukuro? How is the location of Ikebukuro? is the location strategical located near Shibuya and Shinjuku?
2. If i stayed in Osaka, can i travel to Kyoto using shinkansen and have a daytrip say 2 days without staying in kyoto.
3. do you recommend to take AirBnB?
Looking forward for your reply
Thank you very much
Thanks for leaving a message. 🙂
I’m sorry to hear that most of the recommend hotels in Tokyo have been sold out for your travel dates which fall during the Christmas-New Year peak holiday season.
Please find my answers to your questions below.
1. The location of Ikebukuro isn’t that bad since it’s within the JR Yamanote Line. It’s just 10-minute JR train ride away from Shinjuku Station and 15-minute JR train ride away from Shibuya. If I were in your place with 2 kids in tow, I would choose Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro since it’s served by the Airport Limousine Bus.
2. Yes, you can make Osaka as your base and just do several day trips to Kyoto. I’ve done this myself several times before. Osaka is a more practical place to stay since there are more accommodations available. To learn more on the best place to stay in Osaka, please feel free to check out my Where to Stay in Osaka blog. With regards to transportation between Osaka and Kyoto, aside from Shinkansen, there are actually private railway lines that connect these two cities like Keihan Main Line and Hankyu Kyoto Line. Apart from being cheaper than the bullet train, these private railway lines also get you directly to Kyoto Downtown or Arashiyama without the need to stop by Kyoto Station. In terms of JR Pass, you don’t need it if you’ll be just using it for one way bullet train ride between Tokyo and Osaka.
3. It is no doubt that AirBnb is way cheaper than staying in hotels if you’re at least 4 in your group. However, you have to consider that check-in times in AirBnb are pretty late at 4pm and check-out times are early at 10am. So you have to figure out if that kind of set-up works for your flight schedule.
I stayed in an AirBnb in Osaka once since hotels have been sold out due to autumn season and I was left with no choice. Here are the pros and cons from my personal experience.
Pros: Bigger than hotel rooms. Cheap. Having a kitchen really helped a lot at times when we don’t feel like eating out.
Cons: Lack of quality control and standards. The 5-star rated AirBnb property which I stayed at was surprisingly unclean. Also, there were problems during check-in which left me stuck outside the building for an hour in freezing cold weather.
I personally think that we get what we pay. The cheaper, the more risk and uncertainty you’ll be exposed to. However, different people have different budget and risk tolerance, so I’ll have to leave the decision up to you. 🙂
I wish that you’ll be able to book your accommodations soon. I’m sure your family will have a great holiday in Japan!
We are planning to travel to Japan in the month of Aug this year with my family of four. Let me just say that your blog on Japan was very beneficial and accordingly we have booked our stay at Hotel Sunroute in Tokyo ( as per your guide ) and Holiday Inn in Osaka Namba ( though this hotel was not part of your list 🙂 )
This is our itienary . Our schedule is from 11 Aug to 14th Aug ( check out by after noon ) in Tokyo and from the 14th to 17th Aug in Osaka. We would like to cover Kyoto too during our stay in Osaka. ( our kids are of age 17 & 11 so they love travelling, shopping and enjoy the experience with us as always during our trips abroad to US and Europe so Japan is a first time experience and we are all super excited !!!)
Need your suggestion on how to make the best use of our time by enjoying the Japan experience to the max in these 8 days.
1.Can you please assist in creating us an itienary for our stay in Tokyo , Osaka and Kyoto based on our stay as we have gone thru several websites but totally confused on how to cover the best of Japan.
2. How best to travel in Japan based on the above itienary . How do we go about getting the Travel passes for bus and trains. Please guide us accordingly.
3. Is Mt Fuji worth a trip during our stay in Tokyo ?
4. Can we include a trip to Hiroshima or Nagasaki during our stay in Tokyo as we have 4 days in Tokyo. Is it a one day trip and what are the go to places in Hiroshima or Nagasaki . If yes how best to go about the trip .
5. On Day one in Tokyo while you help us in creating an itienary …. Is a city tour good to get the feel of the place ? If yes which is the best affordable tour to book for in Tokyo .
6. Lastly we would like your suggestion on the some of the cuisine’s we should try other than sushi. We love anything in Fish or Meat ( chicken , beef and noodles of course ) so please guide us with the names of dishes we can dig ourselves into as with the exception of myself the rest are not very keen on sushi ….I know they are simply missing out on something really yum !
I understand the list of question is really long but we are extremely hopeful and eagerly awaiting your response as it would be really really helpful
Thanks and Best Regards
Thanks for your kind words and for patiently waiting for my reply. I can feel your family’s excitement! 🙂
I’m happy to hear that you were able to book a room in Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku and Holiday Inn Osaka Namba. Both are great hotel choices in highly strategic locations.
Holiday Inn Osaka Namba is a great choice in Namba right in the heart of Dotonbori. I’ve just released a new blog about Osaka which you can check out so you can familiarize yourself with the Namba area. You can read it here: http://asiatravelbug.com/blog/where-to-stay-in-osaka-japan-best-place-area/
1. For 7 days, visiting Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka is just about right. For Tokyo, please feel free to check out my Tokyo itinerary. If the weather is great and cloudless, you may want to spend a day trip to see Mount Fuji from Tokyo. For Kyoto and Osaka, I suggest you spend day time in Kyoto and night time in Osaka to maximize your time. Must sees in Kyoto are Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kiyumizudera Temple (facade is currently under construction) and Gion which are all historical sights. Arashiyama in Kyoto’s suburb is great too if you are nature lovers. The Dotonbori area in Osaka is very lively at night and you can also do shopping there.
2. I’m not sure if you are heading back fro Osaka to Tokyo during the last leg of your trip. If you won’t be returning back to Tokyo, you don’t need a JR Pass. Just purchase a reloadable Suica card from a JR ticket office and make an initial load forecasting that you’ll spend about JPY 1,000 per day. You will use the Suica card for local trains in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. For your regional trip between Tokyo to Osaka, just purchase a one-way shinkansen reserved fare between Tokyo and Osaka (Nozomi or Hikari train).
3. Mount Fuji is definitely worth the day trip from Tokyo if the weather is good and cloudless. You can check my Mount Fuji guide from Tokyo. You can either see Mount Fuji from Lake Kawaguchiko or Hakone. You can purchase Hakone Free Pass tickets of bus tickets to get to Lake Kawaguchi from Shinjuku Station. If the forecast is cloudy, then it’s better to stay in Tokyo.
4. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are far from Tokyo. Adding Hiroshima and Nagasaki to your itinerary will be too much for a one week trip already covering Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. I suggest you to save these two areas for your next trip to Japan. I’m sure this time won’t be the last. 🙂
5. Personally, I think the best way to get to know the city is through a local. You can check out this customizable Tokyo walking tour and book if you lik.
6. Most restaurants in Japan serve a certain specialty which are usually as follows:
a. Katsu – pork cutlet
b. Gyudon – beef bowl with rice (you can find this in Yoshinoya, Matsuya)
c. Tempura – grilled shrimp, fish, veggies
d. Ramen – shio (salt broth), shoyu (broth w/ soy sauce)
e. Yakitori – meat skewers (beef, fish, chicken)
f. Okonomiyaki – Japanese pancakes with meat and veggies (popular in Osaka)
g. Takoyaki – octopus balls Japanese snacks
I hope my answer helps. I wish your family a safe and fun trip to Japan!
Your blog is so informative. Hats off to the effort you take in answering the questions sent by readers.
We’re planning on traveling to Japan from 3-15 Aug. The plan is as follows:
Tokyo – 5 days (3-8 Aug)
Kyoto – 3 days (9-11 Aug)
Osaka – 3 day (12-14)
We are planning on doing a Fuji day trip while in Osaka or Kyoto
Does it make sense to get a 7 day JR pass or a 14 day one?
Also for the days in Tokyo, what’s the best way to travel?
We are looking the cover Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ginza, and Harajuku as the main areas.
Pls advice on the best travel method pls.
Thanks for your very kind comment. 🙂
From your itinerary, it seems that you won’t be returning back to Tokyo and will be departing from Osaka. You don’t need a JR pass if this is the case since you only need a one way shinkansen train ride between Tokyo and Kyoto. This one way shinkansen fare costs just half of the price of the 7 day JR pass.
Just get a Suica reloadable transport card from a JR ticket office once you land in Tokyo. You just pay what you use. You will mostly use the JR Yamanote line and Tokyo subway to get around in Tokyo.
You can also use the Suica card for trains/subways in Osaka and Kyoto.
Mount Fuji is nearer to Tokyo than Osaka. So it’s best to do a day trip to see Mt Fuji from Tokyo.
To see Mount Fuji, you can do a day trip from Tokyo to Lake Kawaguchiko, Gotemba Premium Outlets or Hakone but make sure to check the weather before going there.
Hope this helps.
Hi Tiffy. My family will be in Tokyo on June 3 to 8. What’s the usual weather during this period?
That will be early summer with weather hovering around 25 degrees celcius.
Just bring a light cardigan in case temperature drops to about 18 degrees celcius at night.
And keep a foldable umbrella with you just in case it rains.
Hope this helps! I wish you and your family a happy trip to Tokyo.
Hi Tiffy, just want to say that your blog is excellent and very informative! I bookmarked for future use.
Thanks Angel! Happy to answer any questions you might have in the future!
I have 2 families (4 + 3 pax) and will be going to Tokyo in December. This is our 1st time there. Do you have any hotel to recommend? Not too expensive and we hope the hotel can be near to the train station. I have looked at Sunroute and their twin room for 3 adults are no longer available for booking for December…
Thanks in advance
Thanks for leaving a message. I would assume that you’ll be in Tokyo at the end of December, hence having difficulty in booking hotels. The last week of December is peak and I see from Agoda that 80% of the hotels in Tokyo have been booked out already at this time. The better ones have been booked out.
Here are some hotel alternatives available on the last week of December with triple rooms.
1. Hotel Gracery Shinjuku – Similarly priced as Sunroute but located in Kabukicho district in Shinjuku. Close to Shinjuku train station.
2. Cerulean Tower in Shibuya – Great location across Shibuya station. A bit more expensive than Sunroute but worth it due to bigger room sizes.
I suggest you to book soon so you can to secure your place in Tokyo.
Hope this helps!
My wife and I are travelling to Tokyo to adopt a baby in the next month or so. It is very exciting, but as you have said in your blog, Tokyo is very OVERWHELMING!!!
We have been looking at Serviced Hotels – complete with English speaking concierge, weekly housekeeping. We think this type of accommodation will work best when taking care of a newborn. The baby will be born and we will adopt it at about 2-3 weeks old, then we take custody of the baby and stay in Tokyo for 3-4 weeks until immigration paperwork is complete.
We are from Vancouver, Canada. We like the outdoors and would like to be in a part of Tokyo that has some green space or parkland, and is maybe a little bit quieter.
I was wondering if you have any recommedations? Some hotels that we have been told about are Duplex: Roppongi, Ikeburo, Takanawa; Bureau Shinagawa.
Any help or advice that you could provide would be appreciated. We are looking to spend about 300,000-500,000 yen for 4 weeks.
Thanks for your message and I’m so happy that you and your wife will have a life changing moment soon! Congratulations!
Yes, I agree that booking a serviced apartment is the best way to go. For stay for a month, you’ll definitely need a kitchen and a washer/dryer.
Ikebukuro and Shinagawa are major stations and can be hectic. Roponggi is in the middle of the city but can be less favorable for transportation as the JR loop doesn’t cross this district. It’s known for expats and nightlife though.
Why don’t you try Ginza? This Duplex Ginza Serviced Apartment near Ginza Station seems to be perfect for your needs and for your budget. Though known as luxury shopping district, it’s not as busy as Tokyo Station, Shinjuku or Shibuya. Public transportation in Ginza is great too via subways. Tokyo Station is very near. For parks, Hibiya Park is about 10-15 minute walk away. It’s a quiet park east of Ginza and I’ve personally seen day care teachers bring toddlers there in carts. For variety in parks, the lovely East Gardens of Imperial Palace is just a short cab away.
There’s also a 24/7 supermarket at the southern side of Ginza called Hanamasa. I always go there when I stay in Ginza and their prices are very reasonable.
Hope my suggestions help.
hi tiffy, sorry, but this question is out from the usual hotel/travel stays. just would like to know if I can bring flu medicine into japan, esp clarinese. tq
Hello Chew Kim!
Thanks for your message and no worries in asking about non hotel matters. 🙂
I do not have official information about bringing in medicines to Japan but I’ll speak from my personal experience.
I always bring with me a stash of emergency medicine including claritin every time I travel. I put these in my check-in luggage. I have not encountered any issue entering Japan in my past 6 trips so far.
So bringing in claritin/clarinase should be fine based on my prior experience.
Hope this helps.
Hi Tiffy, thank you very much. I’ll just chuck it into my check-in luggage. thanks again.
Hi, love your blog do informative. I was wondering if you could help us please we are in our sixties going to Japan in December. We arrive 16th and staying in Tokyo for two nights then going to Hiroshima for 2 nights then Kyoto for 5 nights and back to Tokyo. We are really wanting to see the snow monkeys where is he best place to do that from? And is 5 nights Kyoto too long? Will we need a JR pass? Thanks so much any info you could tell us we would be grateful for
Hello Joy! Happy to hear that you’ll tour around Japan this December.
1. In your case, since you’ll be traveling long distances between Tokyo and Hiroshima, yes, the JR Pass will be worth it.
2. The snow monkeys are located in Nagano which is 1.5 hour away from Tokyo via shinkansen bullet train.
3. For Kyoto, it depends on where you want to go and your travel pace. Personally, 5 nights might be a little too long if you only plan to get to major sights with Kyoto. However, if you want to have day trips to lovely suburbs of Kyoto and also venture out to Osaka, then 5 nights should be ok.
4. Here are your options. I recommend a maximum of 3 cities in one week, otherwise it will be very tiring.
a. 7-day pass (you have to activate the JR Pass once you head from Tokyo to Hiroshima)
Tokyo -> Hiroshima 2 nights -> Kyoto 4 nights -> Tokyo (shinkansen total is approximately JPY 45,000)
7-day JR Pass Cost ~JPY 29,000
b. 14-day pass
Tokyo -> Hiroshima 2 nights -> Kyoto 4/5 nights -> Tokyo (shinkansen total is approximately JPY 45,000)
Tokyo -> Nagano -> Tokyo (shinkansen total is approximately JPY 17,000)
14-day JR Pass Cost ~JPY 46,500
In both itineraries above, you will save at least JPY 15,000 (~USD 135) per person.
5. To get to Snow Monkey park from Nagano Station, you may want to join a group tour like this for hassle free travel.
I hope this helps you decide.
Happy travel planning!
You have a very informative and helpful blog and gave me ideas and site to visit for our forthcoming trip to Japan. I sent a comment several weeks ago but I’m not sure what happened. Anyway, I would like to ask for your assistance because up to now I have not finalized our destination and place to stay and go to in Japan but one thing is sure we will be landing in Nagoya airport on April 12 at 6:55 PM. I havn’t decided whether to go straight to Tokyo or Osaka from Chubu Airport or stay in Nagoya for the night and travel to Tokyo or Osaka the next day (still havn’t decided to go to Tokyo first or Osaka since our flight back would be on April 18 at 9:35 AM also departing from Nagoya). Basically, we have 5 full days to spent for our tour. We wanted to go to Osaka and Tokyo and Kyoto but I think it will not be possible because of limited time. Can you please suggest where should we go first once we landed in Nagoya – Osaka or Tokyo, given the facts I have previously mentioned. I made a temporary reservation at Shibuya Excel Hotel supposedly from April 13-16 (or 12-16 if we will go to Osaka first on April 12-13). Then we plan to go to Osaka on April 16-17 and go back to Nagoya area for our flight back the next day. We wanted to explore Tokyo and have time to go to Mt. Fuji, Tokyo Disneyland or Disney Sea and Universal Studios in Osaka if all possible because we wanted to explore Tokyo the most as well as go to those places I have mentioned. I am having a hard time choosing the place to stay in those areas but I have made several temporary bookings which I should be able to cancel on or before April 9 so as not to be charged for late cancellation. At this time I could not get the good hotels you mentioned in your blog for a reasonable price. By the way there are 3 of us in this travel, me, my husband and our 16 year old son. Do you think it’s possible to sort of get a room for double occupancy and my son would just share room with us because at this time, it’s hard to get an accommodation for 3 persons with only 1 room. Is it allowed or possible to like “sneak in” 🙂 for our son or share room with us if we can not get a triple sharing room. We are willing to pay extra for 1 person but I am not sure if all hotels allow a third person to share room for a double occupancy even if my son will just share bed if the room can not accommodate extra bed. Anyway, we will be out most of the time so it is alright with us if the 3 of us will stay in 1 room as I do not want my son to be alone in the room and besides it is economical.
Also, is it better to get a JR rail pass for 7 days since we plan to go from one region to another. Nagoya came in the picture because that is where I was able to get a seat sale from PAL. I don’t know if we can manage to go on our tour of the places we wanted to visit but it is quite expensive to get a tour package specially the transportation is included in the pricing and it will be a waste if we have our own JR rail pass. Can you suggest how can we have a guided tour with someone from a local. Sorry I have so many questions and I hope you will have time to reply soonest. Thank you so much and more power to you.
Thanks for your follow-up message and I’m sorry if I’m able to reply just now. Have been busy with work in office lately.
I understand how you feel with regards to the Nagoya flight promo booking, as I once booked a promo fare from the airline you mentioned out of excitement but ended up spending more for shinkansen bullet train. For Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka travel, the best way to book the airfare is to get open-jaw fares arriving in Tokyo and departing from Kansai or vice versa.
Moving on, here’s what I suggest if I were in your place.
1) 5 tour days is too short to explore Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya. In doing so, you will spend more time on bullet trains rather than enjoying the beauty of Japan.
2) On a happy note, the cherry blossom peak in Kansai area is expected to peak around 2nd week of April this year as per the forecast from japan-guide. This is a bit unusual since typical cherry blossom peak period in Kansai is around 1st week of April. I was in Osaka last year for cherry blossoms and it lasted only until the first week of April. I’m not sure if you intend to see cherry blossoms as I don’t see it from your itinerary, so your travel timing could be a blessing in disguise if the forecasts are right.
3) With above information and if I were in your place, I would drop going to Tokyo and focus on Nagoya and Kansai region. Cherry blossom in Tokyo is expected to last only until 1st week of April this year as per usual schedule.
4) You flight will be arriving late but departing early in Nagoya so I suggest you to stay in Nagoya on the day of your arrival and the day before you depart.
5) In Nagoya, you may want to consider quick visit to Nabana no Sato and/or Nagoya cherry blossom spots.
6) Osaka cherry blossom spots: Sakuranomiya Park and Osaka Castle
7) Kyoto cherry blossom spots for one day trip from Osaka: Higashiyama Area – Philosopher’s Path, Okazaki Canal, Keage Incline, Maruyama Park
8) Osaka hotel recommendation for your dates if you want to be near cherry blossom sights: Hotel New Otani Osaka (a bit secluded and old but affordable right across Osaka Castle)
9) Osaka hotel recommendation for your dates if you want to be near Dotonbori: My top choices Swissotel and Fraser are fully booked on your dates. An alternative budget hotel would be Namba Oriental Hotel.
10) I suggest you to book your hotels very very soon as Osaka is near full occupancy for your travel dates.
11) A roundtrip shinkansen bullet train fare between Nagoya and Osaka/Kyoto will be less than the 7 Day JR Pass. So if you’re not going to be in Tokyo and will be staying in Nagoya and Osaka only, then there is no need to purchase the JR pass. JR Pass is of little use within Kyoto and Osaka as you will mostly use private train/subway lines to get around the city.
11) Extra beds can usually be accommodated in 25sqm rooms and above. I think it’s better to check with the hotel of your choice directly.
12) For local guides, you may want to check with Tralocal. However, it seems that you might be requesting a little too late already and your travel dates are peak. In any case, with proper itinerary preparation and with a pocket wifi (I highly recommend Pupuru pocket wifi), I’m sure you will enjoy Japan even if you’re traveling on your own free and easy.
Hope my answers help. Have a great Japan trip!
Hi, thank you for the informative blog! Certainly helpful for many of us here… I’m planning to travel to Japan with my Husband and 2 young kids (2 & 4) and am thinking of flying in Tokyo and out Osaka in about 8 days. In between, I am planning to take a bullet train to travel from Tokyo to Osaka. Do you think such an arrangement is feasible with 2 young kids and multiple pieces of luggage? Additionally, I’ve shortlisted Keio Plaza Tokyo and Swissotel Nankai respectively. Not sure if they are convenient hotels for travelling to airports and on bullet train? One last concern… I wonder if the standard rooms in hotels are able to accommodate 2 children and 2 adults? Actually I just need a baby cot for my younger child and my older one can share our bed. Not sure how strict Japanese hotels are about this. So sorry for the many questions. Am quite stressed with the planning.
Thanks for your kind words. Please find my answers below.
1) From Tokyo to Osaka, you may want to consider TaQbin luggage hotel to hotel next day delivery service. Since your luggage will only arrive the next day, just bring a small luggage with you that contains all the essentials and the things you need overnight.
2) Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo is a great hotel for families and Shinjuku is one of the better areas to stay in Tokyo if your itinerary revolves around Tokyo and its nearby areas (Hakone or Kawaguchi).
3) The Shinkansen bullet train stops in Tokyo Station and not in Shinjuku Station.
4) For more convenient regional travel near bullet train station, I suggest you to stay either in Tokyo Station area or Ginza. Personally, I prefer Ginza over Tokyo Station since it has more in store for tourists especially in terms of shopping. Ginza is very near to Tokyo Station too and the distance between these two is just a JPY 1000 cab ride.
5) I have stayed in Ginza twice before and can highly recommend Millennium Mitsui Garden Tokyo based from personal experience. According to their website, baby cots are available but limited, so I think its best to contact the hotel directly to inquire.
6) In Osaka, I’ve personally stayed at Swissotel Nankai and Fraser Residence Nankai and can recommend both. For families though, I think Fraser is better since it provides a homey ambiance complete with a kitchenette and washing machine. I inquired with them a couple of weeks back and they said that all children up to 12 years old stay free in existing beds. They charge for extra bed and baby cots though. The cost of their baby cot rental is JPY 1,080 per night which needs to be reserved in advance.
7) Namba Station where both Swissotel and Fraser are located, is a major downtown station, however it is not to be confused as a bullet train station. All bullet train in Osaka stops at Shin Osaka Station located at the north of the city. Namba Station and Shin Osaka Station are connected by the Midosuji subway line which is one of the busiest subway lines in Osaka. This subway line can get overwhelming especially during rush hours. In your case since you have children with you, I suggest you to take a cab if budget allows. The last time I took a cab between Shin Osaka Station and Namba, I paid around JPY 3000 which I think was well worth it.
Hope my answers help you decide. After careful planning, I’m sure your family will have a blast in Japan!
I am considering staying at the Hyatt mRegency Shinjuku, and would appreciate your opinion. Are there lots of restaurants in this hotels proximity
Thanks for your message. Hyatt Regency Tokyo is located in the business district of Shinjuku and is about 15 minutes walk to Shinjuku Station. The hotel provides a complimentary shuttle to Shinjuku Station which you can take advantage of.
To answer your question, the area within the hotel’s immediate proximity (i.e. within 3-5 minutes walking radius) isn’t the lively Shinjuku as you see on TV. Most of the restaurants and shops in Shinjuku are clustered around Shinjuku Station which you can reach within 10 minutes walk from Hyatt Regency Tokyo.
Although the location of this hotel is not as prime as those immediately surrounding Shinjuku Station, the hotel makes up for it with relatively bigger room sizes (compared to Japan standards) and cheaper rates.
Personally speaking, I would stay somewhere within 5-minute walking radius of Shinjuku Station for more convenience. For a similarly priced 4-star hotel in Shinjuku with better location, you may want to consider Hotel Century Southern Tower.
I’ll have to leave the decision up to you but I hope my answer helps you decide.
I’m planning my 1st family trip to Japan in Sep for 10 days. 2 adults and 2 teenagers. Round trip starts from Tokyo/Osaka/Kyoto/Nara/Tokyo. I’ve few questions need your advice as it’s my first time there and have not done any plans and itinerary yet. My concern is convenient in shopping/food/getting around.
1) Which hotel or apt do you recommend(not too expensive) ?
2) Is it advisable to self drive from Tokyo to Osaka?
3) How to get to Universal Studio in Tokyo?
4) Which area will you recommend to stay at all places ?
5) Which shopping area suitable for teenagers?
6) How to get to city from Haneda Airport?
7) Places to visit for your recommendation?
Thanks for leaving a message. Kindly see my answers to your questions below.
1) Which hotel or apt do you recommend(not too expensive) ?
-> Business hotels are the best value hotels in Japan as they provide functional space for a reasonable price.
-> Tokyo – I suggest you to stay in Ginza in Tokyo so you’ll be near Tokyo Station, which is one of the main gateways in Tokyo to get to other cities. I have stayed in Tokyu Stay Ginza and can recommend it. This hotel is brand new and not too expensive for its location.
-> Osaka – I recommend the Namba Area. Check out Holiday Inn Osaka Namba
-> Kyoto – I recommend the Downtown Kyoto Area. Check out Royal Park Hotel Kyoto. I’ve stayed here before and can recommend it for its central location.
2) Is it advisable to self drive from Tokyo to Osaka?
-> I’ve never tried this myself but based on what I read, it’s impractical and can be expensive. The most efficient way is via shinkansen bullet train which will take you from Tokyo to Osaka in a little just over two hours. If you are on a budget, try the regional midnight buses.
3) How to get to Universal Studio in Tokyo?
-> Universal Studios is in Osaka. Just like in Tokyo, railway system in Osaka is pretty extensive. You can get to Universal Studios via subway/train from anywhere in Central Osaka easily.
4) Which area will you recommend to stay at all places ?
-> Kindly see my answer in point 1. For Nara, this can be done in a day trip from Osaka.
5) Which shopping area suitable for teenagers?
-> Shibuya in Tokyo. However, Shinjuku (Tokyo), Ginza (Tokyo) and Shinsaibashi (Osaka) are great for general shopping.
6) How to get to city from Haneda Airport?
-> I recommend taking the airport limousine bus for first timers. If you group of 3-4, you may want to consider taking a taxi from Haneda Airport to central Tokyo.
7) Places to visit for your recommendation?
-> Tokyo – Check out my Tokyo Itinerary blog post.
-> Osaka – Dotonbori, Kuromon Market
-> Kyoto – Higashiyama District
Hope this helps. Happy travel planning!
Hello…We will be arriving at the Haneda Airport in March. We want to take the bullet train the next day to Osaka for a couple days then come . Can you tell me which area is the best to stay in? And which station and train to take? We were there last year and the trains were to confusing 🙁
In your case, I suggest staying at Ginza area which is very near to Tokyo Station. Tokyo Station is where you will board the bullet train to Osaka.
From Haneda International Airport, take the train to Higashi Ginza Station. See sample google map route here: https://goo.gl/EwcB6W
There are limited elevators on subways below Ginza, so I suggest you to prepare your mind in doing some luggage lifting for short flight of stairs. 🙂
For more comfortable airport transfer, you can take Airport Limousine Bus to selected hotels in Ginza and just take a short cab from there to your hotel (in case your hotel is not a drop off/pick up point). Alternatively, if you are two or three, you can always take a taxi which will cost around USD 60 one way between Haneda Airport and Ginza.
I’ve personally stayed atMillennium Mitsui Garden Ginza (4.5 Star) and Tokyu Stay Ginza (3.5 Star) and can highly recommend them both. These hotels are less than 5 minutes walk to Higashi Ginza Station and to the major shops and department stores in Ginza.
From Ginza, just take a taxi to Tokyo Station to board your Shinkansen bullet train to Osaka. Taxi fare will only cost more or less USD 10 between Ginza and Tokyo Station.
Subways and trains in Japan are highly sophisticated and you will need real time train information most of the time to get on the right train. I suggest you get a Pupuru pocket wifi so you will have real time information on which trains to take.
Hope this helps and have a safe trip!
Thank you so much! This is one the best blogs you are so informative and the best assistance! Thank you again Tiffy!
You are very welcome Cindy! Happy to have helped.
Hello Tiffy, What do you think of the The Strings by Intercontiental Hotel? Can we get to Osaka? I have read the reviews and just wanted to see your thoughts?
Hi Cindy! The Strings by Intercontinental Hotel is located near Shinagawa Station, a major station in the southern part of the city.
Shinagawa Station is actually one of the two stops in Tokyo for the shinkansen bullet train apart from Tokyo Station. It also serves the Yamanote JR Line which can get to most tourist locations in Tokyo in about 15-30 minutes. If I remember it correctly, the train to Ginza from Haneda Airport stops at Shinagawa Station too.
Given that Shinagawa is a business district, I think Ginza is more central and better for tourists. However, The Strings by Intercontinental should be able to serve your needs if you’ll only be in Tokyo for a brief time and just need an easy access to the airport and to a shinkansen station.
Hope this helps you decide.
Can you tell me what my options are to get from Haneda Airport to Shinjuku Granbell Hotel ? Thank you for all you do!
You’re very welcome. If I were in your place, I would take an airport limousine bus from Haneda Airport to Shinjuku Station.
Once at Shinjuku Station, take a cab to get to Shinjuku Granbell Hotel. The short cab ride will cost more or less USD 10 without traffic.
Hope this helps and have a safe flight!
Thank you for your blog. It is extremely well presented and informative. We will be in Tokyo for a week and considering staying in Ginza (Mercure perhaps) due to larger hotel rooms. We do however like to walk the streets, people watch and eat or drink in the middle of the night in casual eateries. We heard most restaurants & bars close early (10pm-12mn).
Is that true and if so would you suggest east Shinjuku or west Shinjuku instead?
Thanks so much.
Thanks for your kind words. You’ve got a great question!
Having stayed at Ginza and Shinjuku before, I can say that Shinjuku has a more bustling nightlife after 9 pm. I’ve strolled the streets of Ginza at midnight before to do some grocery shopping and the streets are relatively quiet. However, Ginza is more convenient if you need to be close to Tokyo station for shinkansen bullet ride to other regions in Japan.
The izakayas near Ginza are under the JR Yamanote train tracks stretching from Yurakucho Station to Shimbashi Station. I’ve tried izakaya once somewhere near Shimbashi train tracks, just a little south of Ginza, but that’s before 12 midnight.
Checking the Tokyo food websites, there are more izakayas open past mid night in Shinjuku Kabukicho area which you can see in bento.com’s restaurant list. Kabukicho is a red light district situated to the east of Shinjuku station.
West Shinjuku is a more family friendly area (mix of office building and commercial areas) while East Shinjuku is more into nightlife. The good thing about East Shinjuku is that hotels are cheaper there. In case you wish to be near Golden Gai but don’t want to stay in Kabukicho, I think you may like staying in Shinjuku Sanchome area. Shinjuku Sanchome is just one station east of the main Shinjuku station, not in the red light district, in an upmarket location with big department stores, but is just less than 10 minutes walk to Kabukicho/Golden Gai area. I recommend Tokyu Stay Shinjuku and booking a twin room for more space. I’ve recently stayed at their sister property Tokyu Stay Ginza and their twin rooms are very well laid out and spacious for Japanese standards.
Hope this helps you decide.
(Not sure if my earlier comment was posted, I can no longer find it in any of your posts–Apologies if double posted)
This is a gret blog you have here! Thank you for sharing your experiences in your travels to Japan.
I’m planning to visit Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Nara from March 4-10 but I haven’t firmed up my itinerary yet. Truth be told, I’m not sure where and how to start–this will be my first time to travel solo. I’ll be based in Tokyo (I’m travelling for work and will stay for another week for sightseeing) and I’m wondering whether to head out for the farthest area first (Osaka?) or the other way around. I also want to do a Mt. Fuji tour — have read your post about it as well.
I’m also interested about the “tralocal” engagement you had for one of the tours you had. Is it really safe? I’m thinking of doing this for Tsukiji and Mt. Fuji. Thoughts?
Lastly, would have recommended/suggested hostels in Tokyo and Osaka? Gathered from friends that hostels are also a good accommodation option.
Thank you in advance!
PS. your blog is such an easy-read. It’s just that i have never planned any of my itineraries in my previous travels elsewhere and I’m legendary for being poor with directions, so any additional tips are most welcome. 🙂 Thank you!
Thanks for your kind words and I’m happy to hear from you! Yes, I saw your earlier message and I’m so sorry if I replied just now. Was swamped with office work last January.
To answer your question, if you will be departing from Osaka, then I suggest that you plan your itinerary from Tokyo, Mount Fuji Area (Hakone/Kawaguchi) then to Osaka and Kyoto. If you will be making a u turn back to Tokyo for your flight, yes it makes sense to go to the furthest destination first which in your case is in Osaka.
I would suggest you to pick one base either in Kyoto or Osaka since these two areas are just an hour train away from each other. Nara is less than an hour train ride Kyoto or Osaka too. If most of your plans are in Kyoto, stay in Kyoto and just have a day trip to Osaka. If you love food more than nature and history, stay in Osaka and just do a day trip to Kyoto. I would suggest you to spend 3-4 days in Kansai area (Osaka/Kyoto), 1-2 days in Tokyo and 1 day for Mount Fuji day trip (if weather is good).
Yes, based on my personal experience, tralocal is safe. I suggest that you book at least 2 weeks ahead to increase your chances of having a volunteer guide assigned to you. You will have higher chances of getting one in Tokyo rather than in Mount Fuji. They’re not professional guides but real locals who can tell you the best places to eat and shop which the locals only know, in exchange for a chance to practice their English with you.
Congrats on your courage in traveling solo! I’ve never had the chance to travel alone myself so I’m sorry that I’m unable to recommend any hostel which I have personally stayed at. But if I were in your place, I would book “only in Japan” type of single accommodation for a more adventurous experience. Capsule hotels sound exciting! Here are my suggestions:
Prime Pod Ginza Tokyo – Looks like a swanky version of capsule hotels right in the heart of Ginza. Higashi Ginza, where this capsule hotel is located, is actually my favorite place to stay if I need to be near Tokyo Station for bullet train shinkansen ride.
First Cabin Midosuji Namba Osaka – Very close to Dotonbori and Namba Station.
Prime Pod Kyoto – Brand new swanky capsule hotel in an unbeatable location in Downtown Kyoto near Sanjo Keihan Station. Very nearby Royal Park Hotel Kyoto where I’ve stayed at before.
Lastly, I strongly suggest that you get a Pupuru pocket wifi in Japan so you’ll be able to navigate Japan with ease and reduce time in getting lost. 🙂
Enjoy your business trip and your Japan vacation! Take care.
You have a very informative blog. We’re planning on going to Tokyo this June. I’m looking at Citadines Shinjuku Hotel as our base during our stay, before I book this Hotel, would you mind if I ask you the following information?
1. What’s the cheapest and convenient way going in and out to this Hotel from Narita Airport
2. Going to Disneyland
3. Going to Mt. Fuji
Citadines Shinjuku Hotel is a great hotel choice just 2 stops away from the main Shinjuku station. Please find my answers to your questions below.
1. Take the NEX train or the Airport Limousine Bus from Narita Airport to Shinjuku Station. From Shinjuku Station, take a short taxi ride which will cost about JPY 1000 (~USD 10) from Shinjuku Station to the hotel.
2. Take subway from Shinjuku Gyoen Mae station to Tokyo Station, then switch trains for Maihama Station to get to Disney. Total travel time is about 1 hour. I suggest that you rent a pocket wifi for your travel so you will be able to check live train schedules on the go. I recommend Pupuru pocket wifi to make commuting in Japan more efficient.
3. There are buses available from Shinjuku Station that will take you to Hakone, Gotemba or Lake Kawaguchiko. Alternatively, you can take the Odakyu Romance Train from Shinjuku Station to Hakone as part of Hakone Free Pass. On a cloudless day, Lake Kawaguchiko provides a better and direct view of Mount Fuji.
Hope this helps! Have a safe trip.
Hi tiffy. Thank u for all the info you’re giving to first time traveller to japan. Would like to ask which travel agency in dusit thani were u referring that we can easily apply japan visa and even a chance of having multiple entry. Ty
Just sent you an email regarding the travel agency which I used before for Japan visa application. Good luck!
This is Nice and very informative, I’m planning to visit Japan for the first time soon with my family and I find your blog very useful and interesting. Keep posting Tiffy and God bless!
Thank you very much for taking time to leave a comment and I really appreciate your kind words.
In case you have any questions about traveling in Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto, please feel free to ask!
Hi! Thanks for your excellent blog.
Me and my partner is going to Tokyo for just a few nights. We have been recommended Cerulean Tower Tokyo Hotel in Shibuya by friends. Do you have an opinion?
Thank you for your kind words. Cerulean Tower Tokyo in Shibuya offers highly spacious rooms (mostly at 30 sqm+ which is rare in Tokyo) and is located in a great location very near to Shibuya Station. Although Shibuya Station is a bit smaller than Shinjuku Station, it can get you anywhere easily whether you’re going to Ginza or Shinjuku. It can get very crowded though during rush hours just like any major station in Tokyo. Shibuya is a great place to stay if you like nightlife and shopping in a youthful environment. Personally, I prefer to stay in Shinjuku as it offers similar convenience as Shibuya plus, most of the buses/trains for day trips start in Shinjuku making it a highly convenient base in Tokyo. Maybe I’m just getting too old to like Shibuya over Shinjuku, and this is a personal preference. I fully understand that everyone has different wants and needs, so I’ll leave the decision up to you. Whether you pick Cerulean or any other hotel in Shibuya or Shinjuku, I’m sure you will enjoy Tokyo!
Hope this helps you decide.
hi, i’m so happy to discover your blog as we’re planning to go to japan for the first time. i really hope that you could help me. can you give a hotel suggestion where we can stay if we plan to go to disneyland and sanrio puroland? thanks in advance!
Thanks for dropping by and happy to hear that you will be going to Tokyo for the first time.
Sanrio Puroland and Disney are located on opposite sides of Tokyo but here are my suggestions on where to stay.
1. Shinjuku – nearer to Sanrio Puroland
Keio Hotel Plaza Shinjuku – You can take about 30 minutes train ride from Shinjuku Station to Sanrio Puroland and take the complimentary shuttle bus of the hotel to go to Tokyo Disney. Shinjuku is a bustling area perfect for first time travelers.
2. Tokyo Station or Ginza – Tokyo Station is a major transport hub but Ginza has a more local flair. Ginza is less crowded than Shinjuku but will require 1 train transfer to get to either Disney or Sanrio Puroland. I have personally stayed in Millennium Mitsui Garden Ginza (upper mid range) and Tokyu Stay Ginza (mid range) and can recommend both. For Tokyu Stay Ginza, I suggest you to get the twin rooms for bigger space.
Hope this helps!
Hi! Me and my family will be in Japan november 6 to 13. We are group of 6 adults. We will start at Osaka (nov. 6 to 8) then day tour Kyoto (nov 8), travel to nagoya (nov 8 late afternoon), stay in nagoya until nov 10, then to tokyo (nov 10 to 13).
1. Do you recommend the JR pass for our itinerary? If we use the jr pass, do we still need to purchase additional train tickets going kyoto, then to nagoya then to tokyo stations or jr pass is enough?
2. Can we use the jr pass for subways? Like to travel around tokyo.
3. Can we use jr pass from the airport?
4. We have booked thru airbnb for our stay in osaka and nagoya. But i still havent decided for our tokyo. We want to stay in shinjuku area, the choices in airbnb for shinjuku area area quite confusing, i am having hard time to choose. Do you know any apartment in airbnb ?
Please find my answers below.
1. Since you will be traveling from Osaka to Tokyo with Nagoya as pitstop in between, you don’t need a JR pass. The 7 Day JR pass will only be worth it if you use it for a round trip Shinkansen ride between Tokyo and Kyoto or Osaka plus a round trip NEX train ride between Narita and Tokyo.
2. The JR Pass can only be used in JR lines like JR Yamanote line. It cannot be used for metro subway lines owned by private companies.
3. If from Narita, yes you can use the JR Pass via NEX train.
4. I suggest you to stay somewhere to the west of Shinjuku station / Nishi Shinjuku. Shinjuku-SanChome which is one train stop away from the ever busy Shinjuku Station is also a good choice. The closer to the train station, the better.
Hope this helps!
I would like to seek your advice whether we should stay at Citadines Central Shinjuku or Shinagawa Prince Hotel. Our priority is shortest distance to Stations and better accessibility to Airport Limo Bus or NEX to/from Narita Airport.
We are planning side day trips to Hakone/Mt Fuji 5 lakes and/or Kamakura on separate days in 1st week during our 10 days stay in Tokyo.
Your insights is appreciated whether we should go for Hakone or Kamaruka. The Hakone route appears to be more complicated.
Personally, staying in Shinjuku is better than staying in Shinagawa. In Shinjuku, you’ll be in the center of all the action and it’s also very easy to do day trips to Hakone or Fuji Five lakes. I’ve never been to Kamakura yet so I will be comparing Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi (one of the Fuji 5 lakes) here.
Well, I have to agree with you that the route to Hakone can be kind of overwhelming as you need to take different modes of transportation and switch trains to get there. However, there are buses going direct from Shinjuku to Togendai in Hakone. Alternatively, you can visit Lake Kawaguchiko. Personally speaking, visiting Lake Kawaguchi is more straightforward and less stressful. Plus, since Lake Kawaguchiko is nearer to Mount Fuji than Hakone, your chances of seeing Mount Fuji would be higher. Direct buses to Lake Kawaguchi are also available at Shinjuku Station.
Hope this helps.
Great suggestions Tiffy! Really helpful 🙂 Going this December for the first time!
Thanks for your kind words! Wishing you a safe and wonderful trip to Japan this December.
Hello, we have heard Ueno area is also a good place to stay. What is your opinion? Do you have any recommended places to stay there?
Yes, Ueno is a good and affordable area to stay. My suggestion is for you to stay near Ueno Station and Ameyoko Shopping street where there are plenty of shops and restaurants.
Please find my recommended accommodations to stay in Ueno.
1. Mitsui Garden Hotel Ueno – I’ve stayed at their sister branch in Ginza and can say that this local hotel chain provides good value for money.
2. Dormy Inn Ueno Okachimachi – Small rooms but budget friendly. Situated in lively area offering free ramen nights and communal hot bath.
Thanks Steve! Happy to have helped! 🙂
hi mam, hope you can guide me on our itinerary. will be in tokyo this coming nov. 15 – 19. i was able to booked hotel sunroute thru agoda. what will be the mode of transportation best if coming from narita airport to the hotel? also please guide us on how to explore these site: mt. fuji (even from afar), gotemba outlet, shibuya crossing, hachiko, tokyo tower, temples and other areas. if we have time, we wanted to visit also tokyo disney.
thank you mam
Hotel Sunroute Shinjuku is a great hotel choice! Staying in Shinjuku is pretty convenient as there are multiple transport options to get to the airport and for day trips.
1. From Narita Airport – You can take Airport Limousine Bus direct to Hotel Sunroute Shinjuku or you can take NEX train from Narita to Shinjuku Station. Hotel Sunroute Shinjuku is about less than 10 minutes walk from Shinjuku Station.
2. Gotemba Outlet – There are buses going direct to Gotemba Outlet from Shinjuku Station. More info here.
3. Shibuya (Shibuya Crossing and Hachiko) – Take the JR Yamanote line from Shinjuku Station. Shibuya is just 2 stops away from Shinjuku.
4. Asakusa, Akihabara, Ginza, Tokyo Tower, Tsukiji – Google Maps is pretty accurate in terms of identifying which train lines to take depending from your starting point. I suggest you get a Pupuru pocket wifi so you will have real time information on which trains to take.
5. Tokyo Disney – Take train from Tokyo Station to Maihama Station.
hi mam. thanks for your very informative blog. hotel sunroute though bit pricey but very accessible. we were able to save time as well as expenses for our transpo. your blog gave me the courage to explore japan. it’s not difficult to explore and not expensive. we’re planning already for our next visit this year. we want winter this time.
I’m so happy to hear that you had a great time in Japan and had a very satisfactory stay at Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku.
Thank you very much for sharing your personal experience to the asiatravelbug community.
Cheers to more travels to Japan!
Hello Tiffy! Thanks for writing this article, it’s very informative especially for first time travellers in Tokyo
Thank you very much Jenny! Happy to have helped.
Hello Tiffy! I just bookmarked this blog as I found it very useful and really informative. My husband and I are planning to visit Japan for a week in November. I have made an itinerary for a tour in Tokyo and would like to might as well include Kyoto. Just wondering if you can suggest a convenient yet cheap hotel in Kyoto? Thanks a lot in advance.. -JP
I suggest you to stay Kyoto Downtown area between Sanjo and Shijo dori. Shijo dori is the main shopping street in Kyoto.
Hotel Grand Bach Kyoto in Shijo dori is pretty cheap during normal/off-peak season. Remember that it will be super peak during the last 2 weeks of November in Kyoto and it will be very hard to secure rooms. Good luck!
Hope this helps.
First of all I want to thank and congratulate you for the the time and input you put into your blog.
I wonder if you can help me with this topics:
1.- My wife and I are traveling next September 2016 to Tokyo for the second time, on this occasion we’ll go to Kyoto, but I want to make sure we are taking the right train.
We will arrive in Narita airport, there we will take a KEISEI Skyliner train to Tokyo Station and immediately take a Shinkansen NOZOMI train to Kyoto, please tell me if what I described is correct, specially the train Stations.
2.- What Markets do you recommend us to go like in the Asakusa picture you show?
3 – Where can we find Sumo tickets?
Thank you so much, regards
Thank you for your kind comments. Please find my answers below.
1. The Keisei Skyliner ends at Ueno Station far north from Tokyo Station. To get to Tokyo Station directly, take the NEX train from Narita. In Tokyo Station, go to Tokaido Shinkansen platform (near Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit) to buy tickets and board Nozomi train bound for Kyoto. Please allow some time for transfer within Tokyo Station as it is a very huge train station.
2. If you’re into local market shopping rather than mainstream shopping, try Ameyoko Shopping street at Ueno or Tsukiji Outer Market near Ginza. In Kyoto, you should not miss Nishiki market!
3. You may wish to check out Voyagin for Tokyo sumo tickets.
I wish you and your wife a wonderful trip to Japan!
Need your help as this is the 1st time we go tokyo and on our own. a lot of issue not sure.
I will be going to Tokyo and arrived on 29.9.2016 8am and depart on 7/10/2016 at 8pm.(9D8N)
Planning to stay in tokyo from 29/9 to 2/10, Hakone from 3 to 4 and back to Tokyo on 5 to 7/10/2016. In tokyo we plan to stay in Shinjuku and we are 6 adult.
Like to check with you the following :-
1)For Hakone we planned to be there from Mon to Wed, i.e. stay 2 night and back to shinjuku on the 3rd day. on the 3rd day we plan to go Gotemba Premium outlet to shop full day before heading back to Shinjuku. Should we go by Ramance car from Shinjuku via hakone Yomoto station or should we travel back by Gotemba station. Not sure which way is better to and fro Shinjuku to Hakone and Mt Fuji. The location we are staying is within Gora.
2) which is the better budget hotel that near to shinjuku station:
– Super Hotel Shinjuku Kabukicho
-Nishi Shinjuku Hotel Mystays
-Nishitetsu Inn Shinjuku
3)which is the better Roykan i:-
– Hakone Lake Hotel
4) Please advise on my iternary :-
Day 1 (Thur) Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku (not sure enough time)
Day 2 (Fr) Mt Takao
Day 3 (sat) Ginza, Tsukiji market, Imperial Palacce & Asakusa
Day 4 (Sun) Kamakura
Day 5 (Mon) Hakone, ropeway,
Day 6 (Tue) Mt Fuji , lake,
Day 7 (Wed) Heiwa Park and proceed to Gotemba Premium outlet,than back to Shinjuku
Day 8 (Thur) Nikko
Day 9 (Fri) Last minute shopping around Shinjuku area.
Thought of taking limousine bus to and fro to Narita Airport. Should we purchase all our Harkone Free pass, Suica pass in the Airport JR office? The limousine bus ticket should buy at airport or internet before arrival in Japan,
i am so sorry to ask so much as ready not so sure about a lot of thing.
Thank you very much for your time.
Please find my answers below.
1) Based on what you’re wanting to do, it seems like the 3-Day Fuji Hakone Pass will best fit your case. See sample model course here.
The route will be Shinjuku -> bus to Lake Kawaguchi -> bus to Gotemba -> bus to Hakone -> Romance Car train to Shinjuku.
Lake Kawaguchi, Gotemba and Hakone are 3 different ares offering different vantage points of Mount Fuji. Lake Kawaguchi offers closer and better view of Mount Fuji in my opinion, followed by Gotemba then Hakone. So for 3 days, I suggest you to stay 1 night in Lake Kawaguchi and 1 night in Gora Hakone.
Recommended ryokan hotel in Lake Kawaguchiko: Shuhokaku Kogetsu (upper mid range) or New Century Fuji Kawaguchiko (budget-mid range). I’ve personally stayed at Shuhokaku Kogetsu and can recommend it. This ryokan hotel provides perfect symmetrical view of Mount Fuji right from your room window given a clear day. The views from New Century aren’t that bad either as 3/4 of Mount Fuji can seen right across the hotel (again, on a clear day).
2) Nishitetsu Inn Shinjuku – I considered this before before finally deciding to stay in Hotel Sunroute Shinjuku.
3) Setsugetsuka – Great location in Gora and offers private hot spring baths.
4) Your itinerary seems ok to me.
Day 1 should be ok.
Day 5 to 7 – Please find my comments in point #1.
5) You can purchase Suica card and reload it from the airport JR ticket office. For Hakone Free Pass, I believe this is only available at Shinjuku Station. For the Airport Limousine bus tickets, I purchased it from the bus ticket counter and not from the JR ticket office.
Hope this helps!
Tiffy, I’ve really enjoyed reading all the recommendations posted re visiting Japan. We’re hoping to visit for 17-21 days next July, from 23rd possibly. We hope to visit Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka but are open to other suggestions, further north or south. Thanks, BCM
3 weeks in Japan sounds very exciting! You may want to try exploring below beyond the usual Japan Golden route.
1) Hokkaido – It’s lavender season during July.
2) Shirakawago / Takayama / Kanazawa – check out this pass.
3) Hiroshima / Nagasaki / Miyajima
I’m taking my family to Japan for 10 days in October. After a fair bit of research I was lucky enough to read about your experiences.
There are 6 of us and we’ve never been before.
We arrive Tokyo – 2 nights, then I was thinking of 2 nights in Kyoto, then train to Sapporo 3 or 4 days. Then train back to Tokyo. I know it’s rushed, but my wife really wants to visit Hokkaido. We’re hoping to see snow somewhere (never seen before).
I’ll book the Green Rail Pass.
Hope you don’t mind if I pick your brains.
Shibuya sounds like the place to stay in Tokyo.
Where would you suggest for Kyoto
Is there somewhere beautiful we should spend a night on the way upto Sapporo?
Where in Sapporo should we base ourselves?
My wife wants to eat Hokkaidos famous crab.
Shopping, culture and beautiful things is what we’re looking for. 3.5 to 4 star.
Any advice you can give would be amazing.
Yes, Shibuya is an exciting area to be in Tokyo and it’s bustling from day until night time.
For Kyoto, I suggest you to stay in Downtown Kyoto area near Karawamachi between Sanjo and Shijo Streets. I’ve stayed at Royal Park Hotel Kyoto and can recommend it for it’s strategic location. I suggest you to get the corner rooms for more space.
Yes, going to Sapporo seems to be too rushed for a 10 day trip including Tokyo and Kyoto. Visiting Hokkaido remains to be on my bucket list so right now I’m unable to make any advice based on my personal experience. I would love to hear more about your Hokkaido adventure when you get back!
Have a happy trip!
love your blog! We will be in Tokyo mid August for 4 days. We would like to visit Mount Fuji on one of those days. Could you let us know what are the main and must see touristic spots that we could cover on our short stay. Do you think its better to get a portable wifi on rent for our short stay. We will be based in Shinjuku our entire stay.
Thanks and look forwrd to hearing from you.
Yes, day trips are possible to see Mount Fuji. You can do it on your own or join one of group bus tours from Tokyo.
DIY: Take bus from Shinjuku to Lake Kawaguchiko Station. Explore Lake Kawaguchiko on your own.
Tour: 1-Day Bus Tour to Mt. Fuji and Meet Ninja from Tokyo
An alternate location would be Hakone but Lake Kawaguchiko provides better view of Mount Fuji based from my experience. If you wish to go to Hakone, you can purchase Hakone Free Pass from Shinjuku Station.
Yes, I highly recommend all travelers to get a pocket wifi in Japan. It makes your travel much more efficient and you can now say goodbye to paper maps. I highly recommend Pupuru pocket wifi!
Have a safe trip to Japan!
Hi Tiffy, I’m glad I stumbled on your blog. I found it informative and well-written. Am in the preparation stages for a first time family trip to Japan (for 5) which I originally was planning for last week of November(2016.) The plan was to do 7 days (fly in to Osaka then exit Tokyo.) But after reading your blog I just realized that last weeks of November are super-peak so am re-thinking to move our trip to mid-December (Dec. 12 onward thereabouts.)My concerns though are: 1) Will it still be worth travelling in December?(i.e., will there still be attractions worth seeing?) 2) Since we’ll be on a budget will this be a peak period? and 3) if we push thru with an Osaka,Kyoto and Tokyo itinerary will it be better to start in Osaka then leave via Tokyo (or the other way around?)…in which case will a JR Pass still be worth it? Thanks in advance for any advice you can give. Best regards, Ted
Thank you very much for your kind words. Yes, last week of November is considered super-peak particularly in Kansai area where hotel prices skyrocket 2x to 4x depending on how early you book. Last week of November in Tokyo is surprisingly cheap though and you’re able to see autumn colors too.
1, 2) Mid of December is not peak season. However, towards Christmas and New Year are considered peak. Winter temperatures in December in the places you mentioned are mild. Definitely, there will still be attractions worth seeing but it will now be less on parks.
3) It actually won’t matter where you start. I think it will depend on your flight schedules. The most important thing though is to book open jaw tickets arriving in Tokyo and departing in Kansai or vice versa. This will save you time and money from doing a round trip bullet train ride between Tokyo and Osaka/Kyoto. For one way ride between these two areas, just buy single way Shinkansen ticket which will cost about JPY 14,000 per way. The 7 Day JR Pass will cost JPY 29,000.
Hope this helps!
I will travel with my husband to Japan in December. We will arrive early morning on Dec 1. We are planning to stay in Tokyo for 2 nights. Then we will leave on the 3rd to go to Mt. Fuji, Lake Ashi…etc for 2 nights. On the 5th and 6th we want to visit one of the famous hot spring but we don’t know where yet. Would you please help?
On the 7th, we want to go to Kyoto and go back to Tokyo on the 9th evening. Then we will go shopping around Tokyo on the 10th, and we will fly back at night.
Would you please give me advise on my schedule? We are looking for cheap hotel but not too bad. We just need a safe/clean/convenient place to stay. Would you please recommend any hotel? We are thinking about aribnb. Is it good?
Appreciate your reply and thank you in advance.
For your 3rd to 6th night, I suggest you to compress this to 3D/2N tour in Fuji and Hakone area so you have more time staying in Kyoto. Hakone area is famous for hot spring.
Budget Friendly Recommendations:
1) 3 Day Fuji Hakone Pass
2) New Century Kawaguchiko Ryokan Hotel (Lake Kawaguchi) – Rooms have good view of Mount Fuji on clear day. Communal hot spring bath available.
3) Ichinoyu Honkan Ryokan (Hakone) – Some rooms with private hot spring bath. Communal hot spring bath available. Great dinner. Sleep by the soothing sound of a rushing river. This ryokan has been serving guest for about 400 years.
4) Tokyu Stay Ginza (Tokyo) – Near Tokyo Station and in the middle of Ginza. I have personally stayed here.
5) Grand Bach Hotel Kyoto – In the middle of Kyoto’s shopping street Shijo dori and convenient to trains and buses.
High Level Itinerary Breakdown Recommendation
Tokyo – 2 nights
Lake Kawaguchi – 1 night
Hakone – 1 night
Kyoto – 3 nights
Tokyo – 2 night
Hope this helps.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Are some things closed are Saturday or Sunday such as stores, sites? Thanks
Not really. But the inner market of Tsukiji market is closed during Sundays and some Wednesdays.
Have a safe trip!
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!
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!
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?
You are very welcome! I’ve never stayed at Hyatt Regency Tokyo before but looking at google maps, it will be more convenient for you to stay in either Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku and JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku as the latter two are nearer to the main Shinjuku station, shops and eateries.
I hope this helps you decide.
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?
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!
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
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!
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
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
So happy to have helped Jules!
I’m sure you will enjoy your autumn trip to Japan.
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.
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!
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 ?
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.
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!
Please feel free to check out my Tokyo Itinerary blog.
I hope this helps!
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?
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!
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?
Have a lovely 2016 full of travels 🙂
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.
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 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!
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?
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!
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
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!
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.
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 🙂
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!
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.
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
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!
Hi – just wanted to say a big thanks! for this blog post. Very helpful for a first-timer such as myself!
Thank you very much for your kind words and I’m very happy to have helped.
Have a safe trip to Japan!
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
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 🙂
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 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 🙂
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?
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 🙂
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:)
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.
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!
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 🙂
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 🙂
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!
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.
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 🙂
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?
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 🙂
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.
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 🙂
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
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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?
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
Thank you so much for your help!
Would you recommend catching a bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto?
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.
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.
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!
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?
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 🙂
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?
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!
Beautiful blog!!! very informative and very pleasant. Thank you very much.
Thanks Vignesh! Happy to have helped!
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!
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!
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 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 🙂
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
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!
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! 🙂
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
Have you tried four seasons at marunouchi? Want to know if it is good. Thanks ya!
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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. 🙂
Thank you for your prompt responce.
I shall look up the 2 hotel and also the pocket wifi you told me.
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.
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! 🙂