With over 1,000 neighbourhoods, thousands of shrines and temples, and 160,000 restaurants, Tokyo is an urban metropolis that would truly take months, years even, to explore — and even then you’d only be scratching the surface.
Take it from someone who’s visited Tokyo five times and plans to visit a million times more: There’s truly no way you could cover this unique, historic, hectic, delicious, wonderful city in only a few days, which is why any number of time in the world’s most populous city leaves everyone that passes through it wanting more.
Whether you’re stopping in for just a few days or planning a months-long sabbatical, It might comfort you to know there’s really no wrong way to do Tokyo… That said, there is absolutely a right way to explore this city, and to make it easy for you, we’re rounding up our favourite places to stay, eat, go and see in Tokyo, Japan as part of our very first instalment of #TheLatchLiftOff series.
To kick things off, we’re showing you the very best places to stay in Tokyo, Japan. With everything from budget picks to luxurious escapes, the perfect hotel for every Tokyo traveller is right here in this list.
Japanese hospitality means no matter where you stay, be it a hostel or a five-star hotel, it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll experience the cleanliness and comforts of the latter.
While you can nab epic return flight deals to Tokyo with airlines like Virgin Australia, oftentimes accommodation in Japan is what sets travellers back the most money.
Let’s break down by budget and levels of luxury.
Somewhat buried within the loud, neon chaos that is the area of Ikebukuro, this compact hostel is not exactly easy to spot, but once you make your way up to the seventh-floor accom, you’ll be met with a calming quiet reminiscent of a library in more ways than one.
At Book and Bed Tokyo, the walls are lined with more than 3,000 books, only broken up by nooks just large enough to sleep a tired traveller. Ideal for singles, yet two single beds can be booked next to one another, making it a great spot for couples and friends, too.
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Down a secluded backstreet in Tokyo’s central Kagurazaka neighbourhood lies Trunk House, a one-room architectural masterpiece and former Geisha house designed to offer guests a truly luxurious and private Japanese experience.
Accommodating up to four guests, the property’s architecture fuses traditional design with contemporary finishes, and is ripe for entertaining with an expansive living room, kitchen and dining room with private chef, and miniature, neon red karaoke-disco-bar.
It’s by no means the most lavish hotel one could stay at in Tokyo, yet the Park Hyatt in Shinjuku consistently draws travellers from around the world for one reason.
The hotel backdropped many of the more iconic scenes from Sofia Coppola’s 2003 film, Lost In Translation. The New York Bar on the 52nd floor, in particular, played host to many of Bill Murray’s more notable pensive drinking scenes, and to this day attracts a slew of visitors who wish to sample whisky and enjoy the glittering light below.
Twice now, I have returned to Kimi Ryokan during my visits to Tokyo. At ¥7,500 a night (AU $99 or AU $50 between two adults), this is undoubtedly one of the cheapest ways to visit the city.
Don’t be deterred by the guesthouse’s one-star rating; this place has everything a Tokyo traveller needs to enjoy a comfortable stay and then some. Yes, the bathrooms are shared, however the facilities here and central Ikebukuro location more than make up for it.
Travellers seeking a more traditional Japanese experience will surely love the room configurations, too, which are comprised of a comfortable futon atop Japanese style tatami mats. Plus, there’s a rooftop terrace perfect for taking in the view at night.
BnA Hotels aims to create an immersive experience for art-loving tourists with rooms designed by local Japanese artists.
This one below is located in Tokyo’s shopping hub of Akihabara, though the boutique hotel group is expanding fast with new locations popping up in Kyoto and Tokyo in 2020. Rest assured, no two rooms are the same here, so you know you’re having a unique experience when you stay with BnA.
Hoshinoya Tokyo is Japan’s first luxury five-star ryokan. The 17-story inn is undoubtedly one in a handful of Japan’s most opulent accommodations with tons more space than the average hotel room and a myriad of extras that include free sake every evening, seasonal snacks and drinks available all day, and designer toiletries.
Considered interior design and unparalleled hospitality aside, the main attraction for this $1,000-a-night ryokan is the open-air hot spring baths on the roof. The mineral-rich spring water is drawn from 1,500m below Tokyo, allowing you to soak away the day with a view of the star-speckled skies.
Now you know where to stay, it only makes sense you head on over to Japan’s capital. Lucky for you, The Latch has teamed up with Virgin Australia to giveaway two return flights to Tokyo.
To win, simply tell us in 25 words or less, ‘Where in Tokyo are you most excited to visit and why?’
And then start planning your trip, with what you need to know before climbing Mount Fuji and this is the only way to get a table at Jiro’s famous Tokyo restaurant.
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