Tokyo's best budget hotels

by mattjapan

You may think hotels in Tokyo are all five-star wallet-bruisers, but if you know where to look there are plenty of cheap and cheerful hotels with rooms for under 50 quid a night

Not everyone can afford the presidential suite at the Grand Hyatt in Roppongi, which comes complete with a private pool and has played host to the Beckhams and Madonna, but a trip to Tokyo doesn't have to break the bank. There are plenty of places to stay that are both central and affordable if you know where to look - and I do! Here's my guide to Tokyo's best budget hotels, which all come in well below the £100 mark, with many costing less than £50 a night for a single. Don't expect a palace in a city where space comes at a premium, but, this being Japan, you can expect cleanliness, efficiency and good service.

Best Western Astina

Loacted in the centre of Tokyo, in the bustling neon-lit district of Shinjuku, the new Best Western Astina has modern decor and is walking distance from some of the city's biggest department stores, a host of restaurants, neon-bathed nightlife and the world's busiest station; it is also close to Tokyo's main gay area. Rooms start from around 7,000 yen per person for a semi-double, including breakfast.

Shinjuku New City Hotel

Located on the opposite side of Shinjuku, the New City Hotel offers budget beds at special rates if you book online. Their standard rate singles go for 9,975 yen but can be had for just 6,405 yen at the discounted rate, and doubles are even better value at 10,000 yen. With 400 rooms, even with these prices, you should be able to bag a room. Situated in front of the Shinjuku Chuo Park, the hotel offers a shuttle bus from the main station and is only a four-minute walk from the Tochomae subway station at the iconic Tokyo Metropolitan Building. Close to Nishi-Shinjuku's bustling electronics district, this would make a good base for gadget-obsessed geeks, as Akihabara is also easily accessible by train from Shinjuku.

Chisun Grand Akasaka

Another modern hotel with small but stylish rooms, the Chisun Grand is located in Akasaka close to the party district of Roppongi, the government buildings and central Tokyo. If you overdo it in neighboring Roppongi's bars and clubs, where visitors and expats go to let their hair (and other things) down, just make sure you have some cash left for the short cab ride home. A superior double starts at around 5,250 per person, making this a great deal for an upscale area.

Tokyu Stay Aoyama

Located close to the swanky Aoyama area, the new Tokyu Stay Aoyama is walking district from many of the flagship stores of the world's best-loved fashion labels, boutiques and upscale eateries. It's a great spot for frugal fashionistas and beautiful people who want to spend their dough shopping rather than sleeping. Head down the street to Omotesando for the best shopping and don't miss a whirl around the Omotesando Hills designer shopping centre or a browse through the uber-cool Prada building. A standard single with breakfast will set you back 11,000 yen, although couples get a better rate at 9,900 per person, leaving plenty of moola to spend on Issey Miyake. Single gals of a nervous nature can even opt to stay on the ladies-only floor.

Tokyu Stay Shibuya

Part of the same chain, the Tokyu Stay Shibuya is walking distance from Shibuya's iconic scramble crossing, made famous by movies such as Lost in Translation and Tokyo Drift. Home to a wide variety of shops, restaurants and movie theatres, the area is known as a hotspot for youth culture. Single rooms start from 8,460 yen, while a twin comes in at 7,560 per per person.

Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro

Run by a local real estate company that specialises in accommodation for short-term expats, the Sakura Hotel Ikebukuro is aimed at travellers and the budget-conscious. One of the newest and largest in their chain, the Ikebukuro branch comes with mod cons including in-room amenities and free Internet. Only six minutes' walk from Ikebukuro station, the hotel offers easy access to Tokyo's public transport. Single rooms start at 6,800 yen, a twin room with bunk beds from 9,000 per room, and economy doubles from 9,000 yen per room.

Ikebukuro Theatre Hotel

The Ikebukuro Theatre Hotel, a modern business hotel, is also located in Ikebukuro, a few minutes' walk from the station and close to the Sunshine City shopping and entertainment complex. Rooms are compact but come with flat screen TVs, tea-making facilities and ensuite bathrooms. Single rooms range from 5,900 yen to 9,135 depending on the package and dates, while a double comes in at around 15,225 yen.

Ginza Capital Hotel

Stylish Ginza is where Tokyo's elite go to spend their not-so-hard-earned cash on everything from Philippe Patek watches and Tiffany baubles to Cristal and hostesses, so it comes as somewhat of a surprise to find budget accommodation amidst all the bling. Rooms at the Ginza Capital Hotel can be snapped up for only 5,500 for a single or 11,000 for a double, and the hotel makes a great base for an early morning trip to nearby Tsukiji fish market. Also in the area is the amazingly modern Tokyo International Forum, the Kabuki theatre, traditional gardens and plenty of shops.



Matt Wilce is originally from the UK and has spent most of his adult life in Japan and has traveled extensively throughout Asia, Europe and North America. He first visited Tokyo as a student and taught for two years at a public junior high school in Toyama prefecture as part of the JET program. He went on to a career in media and communications. Specializing in Japanese entertainment and culture, he was editor in chief of Eye-Ai magazine before he moved to Metropolis magazine, Japan’s largest English publication, as editor. Matt continues to write about Japan for publications in the US, Australia and Japan. His recent work includes stories for People Magazine, The Rochester Review, Ikebana International, POL Oxygen, Fodor’s Guide to Japan and Tokyo, Time Out Guide to Tokyo and JapanInc magazine. He has also been quoted on Japanese popular culture in Details magazine and the Sydney Morning Herald.