Hotel prices in Tokyo stay consistent all year round, with little variation due to weather or tourism. The only notable exceptions are New Year's Eve and Japan's Golden Week, when prices rocket.
Summertime is oppressively humid. Also, the city is packed with tourists, both domestic and international. Winter is the least crowded season, and Tokyo winters are chilly but not freezing. Spring and Fall are both beautiful and enjoyable times to visit. In the fall, visitors can enjoy the autumn foliage. Cherry blossoms are abundant in the springtime.
Find Budget Hotels in Taitō District
Many of the cheap hotels in Tokyo city proper are clusters in the Taitō district. Although not as shiny and modern as other areas, Taitō is one of Tokyo's oldest neighborhoods and has many traditional markets and historic shrines. It also features some of the city's best museums. This area also includes the Asakusa neighborhood, which is home to the famous Sensōji, Tokyo's largest buddhist temple.
The Taitō area is easily accessible via Ueno station, a major transportation hub that connects to the JR Yamanote line as well as the Hibiya and Ginzo subway lines. Many of the attractions in the area are also reachable on foot.
There are hundreds of hotels, many of which are clustered around Asakusa. Some of the best known properties are the Dormy Inn Express Asakusa, Hotel Keihan Asakusa, and Tokyo Ueno Touganeya Hotel. The area is also home to many traditional ryokans (traditional tatami-mat inns) and hostels.
It is possible to spend a small fortune experiencing Tokyo's many attractions; however, there are also many free and inexpensive things for visitors to do. Start the day very early with a visit to the Tsukiji fish market where giant tuna compete for space with baby octopi. This is a great place to try incredibly fresh and low-priced sushi. Later, visit Sensōji and get a picture in front of the iconic giant red lantern. Alternately, pay a visit to the National Palace and the adjoining gardens. Finally, skip some of the more expensive high rises and take in a view of the city at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Offices.
One of the most enjoyable free things to do in Tokyo is to wander and experience some of the city's most vibrant neighborhoods. Visit Harajuku for the shopping, Roppongi for the public art, or Akihabara for a futuristic abundance of techonology.
There is a festival going on nearly every weekend in Tokyo, and most are free to visitors. To find out what is going on during your visit check out the Go Tokyo webpage.
Tokyo is home to some of the most opulent luxury hotels in the world. Many high-end chains are found in the city, including the Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo, the Four Seasons Marunouchi, and the Park Hyatt Tokyo. In a city where even mid-range hotels are sometimes pricey, luxury hotels can be exceptionally expensive.
The best shot at scoring a very nice hotel at a reasonable price is to use a booking site to find a last-minute hotel deal. Results are mixed, but top-tier hotel rooms are sometimes severely marked down a day or two in advance. Another option is to book a package deal with an airline that includes flight plus hotel in one discounted package. British Airways offers great package deals to Tokyo that include stays at four-star and five-star hotels.
Tokyo's Narita Airport is one of the largest and busiest airports in the world, and will be the first port of entry for most visitors to Japan. It lies about 70 miles outside of central Tokyo. Transportation can take several hours to get from the airport to the city. Taxis are prohibitively expensive, but the airport is easily accessible via a variety of public transportation options. There are half a dozen different private and local trains that connect the airport to downtown Tokyo. The price varies depending on the comfort and relative speed of the train. There are also shuttle buses run by various hotels plus the Tokyo Shuttle bus line, which connects the airport and Tokyo Central station for just ¥1,000.
Those with early or late flights may decide to stay in the Narita area overnight. For the cheapest hotel rates, be sure to book in advance. Walk-up rates near the airport are often highly inflated. There are many hotels in the vicinity, but consider the Narita Gateway Hotel, the International Garden Hotel Narita, or the Crowne Plaza ANA Narita. For a unique and inexpensive local experience, the Nine Hours Narita is a capsule hotel located inside the airport. They rent rooms on an hourly or nightly basis, which makes them a great option for a long layover.
Tokyo has many clean, safe and well-maintained hostels that make a fantastic cheap alternative to staying in a hotel. Most hostels in the city offer both dorms and private rooms. Unlike many hotels, they usually feature free Wi-Fi, an information desk, and social activities. Some hostels even create a unique cultural experience by being styled like traditional ryokans.
Hostels are found all around the city, but many cluster near Asakusa, which is a great base for exploring. Some of the top-rated hostels in Tokyo are Khaosan Tokyo Kabuki, Quality Hostel K's House Tokyo Oasis, and the hip and modern Nui. Hostel & Bar Lounge.
Apartment rental services such as Airbnb are very popular in high-tech Tokyo, and there are literally thousands of apartment-rentals available. These range from someone's couch to a four-bedroom luxury apartment. Prices to rent private studios or one-bedroom rooms are on par with, or slightly cheaper than, staying in a mid-range hotel.
Apartment rentals can also save visitors money in more indirect ways. Many provide free laundry facilities and a place to self-cater meals. If you decide to book an apartment rental, be sure to pay close attention to the location. Tokyo is an incredibly vast city, so even urban apartments may not be centrally located.
Most of Tokyo's major landmarks are centrally located and easily accessible via public transportation. One major exception is Tokyo Disney, which is in the suburb of Chiba, well outside the city center. Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea can take several days to fully explore, so visitors may want to stay near the parks.
The Disney Resort has nine hotels located directly next to the parks. The cost to stay within the resort is significant. Visitors may find it cheaper to stay slightly further away. There are five partner hotels in the Shin-Urayasu area that run direct shuttles to the park, including the Palm and Fountain Terrace Hotel. There are also 15 Good Neighbor hotels that run bus services to the resort. The list is on the Tokyo Disney website. Other cheap hotels in Tokyo near Disneyland include the R&B Hotel Tokyo Toyo-cho and Pearl Hotel Kasai.
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© 2015 Hipmunk, Inc. Hipmunk is a trademark of Hipmunk, Inc.