Choosing accommodation in the capital is daunting! So we’ve put together this guide to cheap hotels in Tokyo to help you find a good spot to rest, for less. Tokyo might be one of the most expensive cities in the world, but there’s no shortage of budget hotels and other affordable accommodation for business travelers, families, couples, and backpackers alike.
No matter what your budget or tastes are — our list of top places to grab some shut-eye has your visit covered.
Overview: What you need to know
Finding a place to rest your weary head is a necessity for any traveler, and if you are on a budget, the side of the road during a Japanese summer looks more and more tempting. But, please, don’t go the way of the overly intoxicated office worker; there are plenty of accommodation types to suit your needs.
How much to spend
Tokyo has the standard cheap accommodation — hostels and Airbnbs — that you’ll find the world over, but there are also the ones unique to Japan, such as capsule hotels, love hotels, and ryokan (traditional Japanese inns). Expect to pay between ¥2,000 and ¥10,000 for a budget stay, the lower end being rooms with shared facilities and the higher end being your own room with ensuite.
Where to stay
First things first — Tokyo is huge. Some neighborhoods will get you a better deal than others, and the farther you go from the center, the cheaper it will be. However, spending hours on the subway is probably not why you’re here, so you may want to pay an extra ¥2,000 or so more per night to be in a central location.
Alternatively, you can check which train lines are within easy walking distance. The JR Yamanote Line is a great one, as is the JR Chūō. Most metro lines also provide easy connections. Pick up a Suica or Pasmo travel card as soon as you arrive, and the metropolis is your oyster.
Still stuck? Our guide on where to stay takes a closer look at the pros and cons of staying in different parts of Tokyo.
Keep in mind: If you choose somewhere out in the ‘burbs, the room may be cheaper and the area less frantic. However, you might find yourself waiting for rush hour to end before you can comfortably get onto a train into the city in the morning (or back out in the evening).
Some hostels can make or break your trip. Especially if you are stuck in a dorm with inconsiderate roommates. I’m looking at you, people who turn on the light at 2 a.m.
But there are lots of great things about hostels, like common areas for chatting and regular events. Tokyo has some uniquely designed hostels you can’t find anywhere else. And in recent years, some more luxurious hostels have opened up.
Before you book, make sure to check they have the services you require (and desire), such as no curfew, an equipped kitchen, ensuites, or other amenities.
What makes hostels in Tokyo different?
From personal experience, the folk that stay at Japanese hostels tend to be pretty chill. Plus, the cleanliness of the shared bathrooms tends to be better than average. Luckily for the female traveler, there is an abundance of female-only dormitories in Japan. Though, these rooms tend to be small (not great for those of us above average height).
How much is one night?
Dorms range from ¥2,000 to ¥6,000 and private rooms from ¥4,000 to ¥10,000 (you pay more if they are offering an ensuite).
Our recommendations for hostels in Tokyo
Simply put, hostels are wallet-friendly choices that are a great way to meet other travelers. Here are a few of our favorite hostels in Tokyo.
Khaosan World Asakusa Ryokan & Hotel
Khaosan World Asakusa Hostel located in one of Tokyo’s main sightseeing areas (which is also reported to be the city’s oldest geisha district), is one of the best for budget-conscious visitors. You can choose from a private room, family room, or various dormitory options. Everything is bright, clean, and modern, and there’s a shared kitchen.
Prices start from ¥3,000. Book here.
Sakura Hotel Jimbocho
As you might have noticed from the name, Sakura Hotel Jimbocho is technically a hotel, but with a choice of private, group and dorm rooms, we’re listing it as a hostel. It’s right in the middle of Tokyo’s “book district”, four minutes from Shinjuku by train, and within walking distance of the Imperial Palace. Before you head out, you can tuck into the breakfast buffet. There are also Sakura Hotels/Hostels in Ikebukuro, Asakusa, and Hatagaya.
Prices start from ¥2,800. Book here.
Cheap hotels in Tokyo
Cheap and budget hotels in Tokyo are decent places to stay. While you won’t get the sociableness of a hostel, attentiveness of a 4-star hotel, or experience of a capsule, you get what you pay for — a bed.
What makes cheap hotels in Tokyo different?
You’ll find many budget hotels in Tokyo, but a lot are geared towards traveling business people. This means they aren’t flashy — at all. It’s generally a slim bed in a narrow room with some questionable PPV channels on the TV.
If you aren’t careful, the marketing of some “cheap hotels” means you may accidentally end up staying in a love hotel (not that there’s anything wrong with that; it’s just a wildly different experience.)
How much is one night?
Prices range from ¥9,000 to ¥15,000. Generally, the cheaper ones are in less desirable or noisy areas, such as (somewhat gentrifying) red light district Kabukichō. You also pay more if breakfast is included.
Our recommendations for cheap hotels in Tokyo
We understand that budgets vary as widely as tastes in ramen, but we reckon these are fairly reasonable Tokyo hotel choices.
Hotel Gracery Shinjuku
If you’re keen on an ultra-modern, snazzy hotel in the heart of Kabukichō, then this one’s for you. Hotel Gracery Shinjuku is central, classy and cool to boot—this is the hotel favored by the area’s most prominent resident, Godzilla himself. The hotel is situated above a cinema and restaurants, making entertainment and eating easy.
Rates start at ¥9,500. Book here.
Centurion Hotel Grand Akasaka
You could also check into the swanky Centurion Hotel Grand Akasaka. ¥11,000 and up a night will get you a spacious room (by Tokyo standards), with double beds, loft beds, couches, a proper bath—even access to a foot massage machine. A buffet breakfast is included. The family rooms are good value if you’re got a big brood.
Prices start from ¥11,000. Book here.
Capsule hotels in Tokyo
While not for everyone, Tokyo’s capsule hotels have gained a kind of cult status among visitors to Japan.
If you book a capsule hotel in Tokyo, bear in mind that you’ll have to store your luggage in a locker on the premises, or, if it’s too big, leave it near the front desk. Also, many of these places only cater to males (and are regarded as business-friendly beds for busy men on the go). Most capsule hotels are fairly modern, but some don’t have outlets on the inside, so be sure your phone/laptop is charged.
How much is one night?
Capsule hotels are surprisingly not the cheapest option on this list at between ¥4,500 and ¥7,500 a night. You may also find some at ¥2,000 in low season. The high-end capsule hotels provide well-stocked communal spaces and — if you are lucky — a sauna, manga library, restaurant, and/or laundry services.
If you’re happy to forego comfort and are all about compact, then you might want to book one of these options — even if it’s just to say you tried it. Here are a few recommendations.
Capsule Hotel Shibuya
Capsule Hotel Shibuya, like many cheap capsule hotels, is open only to gents. Roughly ¥3,300 gets you your very own sleeping capsule, with access to a decent hot tub and sauna. The hotel is near Shibuya’s famous Scramble Crossing, if you feel like surrounding yourself with more people. Shibuya Station is also nearby for easy transport.
Prices start from ¥3,300. Book here.
First Cabin Akasaka
First Cabin Akakasa, with rooms starting around ¥5,000, is a cross between a capsule hotel and a normal hotel. Both men and women can stay, and you can choose a “Business cabin” or a “First-class cabin.” The rooms are compact, but much bigger than a standard capsule hotel — so it feels more like a closet than a morgue. Akasaka has plenty of restaurants and is adjacent to the lively neighborhood of Roppongi.
Prices start from ¥5,000. Book here.
Pro tip: This place books up fast — so reserve well ahead of your trip!
Tokyo love hotels
Although not usually used for actual shut-eye, it is possible to simply sleep in love hotels. That said, at the price they are (they can run you about ¥9,000 for an overnight stay), you’d do better in a capsule hotel, hostel, or even a cheap hotel.
Also there are cons: You can imagine the noise, the rambunctious local area, and don’t get me started on the cigarette smell.
How much is one night?
Love hotels have nightly and hourly rates, so it really depends on when and for how long you want to “sleep.” Typically, daytime rates run around ¥3,500 for two hours and one night will cost you between ¥8,000 and ¥15,000. If you want the extras — karaoke, hot tubs, massage chair, party package — expect to pay more.
For more info on the ins and outs of the love hotel scene, check out our dedicated guide to Tokyo love hotels.
Ryokan in Tokyo
If you’re after a traditional Japanese inn experience — but don’t have the time or the money to leave Tokyo — you can opt for a ryokan in Tokyo. A ryokan offers old-school Japanese accommodation with history and etiquette going back centuries, usually much smaller in scale than a hotel would be, and often family-run. They can cost more than a hotel would, but the experience of a night in a ryokan is like nothing else.
Remember, a ryokan generally means you won’t be sleeping on a bed but rather on a rolled out futon on a tatami floor. Cheaper ryokans also have shared bathrooms; if that’s not your thing, make sure to check the finer details.
How much is one night?
Prices range from ¥4,000 to ¥10,000, depending on how many people per room and breakfast options. Unlike hotels, ryokan tend to charge per person rather than per room. However, the per person price decreases when more people stay in the room. If that makes sense.
With incredible views of Tokyo Sky Tree on its rooftop, you get a lot for your money at Andon Ryokan. The dim-lights, antique wares, and thoughtful design create an old-school Japanese ambience that is hard to find in the modern, contemporary landscape of Tokyo.
Prices from ¥6,500. Book here.
Airbnb accommodation and vacation rentals in Tokyo
Airbnb offers travelers a number of options in Tokyo. Despite the regulatory changes of the last few years, Tokyo has an apartment rental to suit every possible type of traveler and every sort of budget.
This sort of accommodation is very hands-off, and you may not even see your host face-to-face. Properties are often in apartment blocks and residential neighborhoods, so there will usually be noise curfews and an emphasis on keeping quiet.
We’ve picked out our top Tokyo Airbnbs for value.
What makes Airbnbs in Tokyo different?
The passing of the minpaku homesharing law in 2017 made it more difficult for homeowners to register their properties as short-term vacation rentals. Protocols, inspections, and lengthy paperwork meant many owners just stopped renting out their properties…legally. All short-term rentals in Japan should have a registration number — make sure to check before you book.
How much is one night?
The answer to this depends on what type of property you are looking for. If you are looking for a modest apartment for one to two people, expect to spend around ¥10,000. Flashy apartments will be doubled. A two-bedroom + apartment is hard to find in Tokyo and is generally quite expensive at around ¥20,000. Rule of thumb is to add ¥10,000 for every bedroom you need.
Remember, there are often extra fees — cleaning, tax, etc. — with Airbnbs and vacation rentals, so the prices shown are often not the final price.
Ultra-cheapo accommodation options
You could always spend the neon Tokyo night at an internet café, but because you can’t book in advance, you’re not guaranteed a “room”. Read this first, so you know what to expect. Then check out our list of internet cafes here.
Alternatively, if you party hard and scorn those who need sleep (and showers), you could just roll into a karaoke box when you’re ready to turn in for the night, and sing till the sun comes up. There’s also couch surfing (yeah, it’s still a thing).
Tips for booking budget accommodation
The hard work is over — you’ve found where you want to stay. However, there are other things to keep in mind when looking for the best deal. Take a look at our tips so you don’t get caught out.
What sites should I use?
Booking directly with the accommodation can offer you hidden deals and packages you may not find elsewhere, especially on a Japanese-language site (get a browser plug-in). However, this isn’t always the case, and it is better to shop around before making your final choice — just remember to clear your browser’s cache and cookies.
When should I book?
The busiest (and therefore, the most expensive) time in Japan is from mid-March to early May. This is due to the cherry blossom season at the start of spring and Golden Week, a succession of national holidays, at the end of April. If this is your must-go season, book way in advance.
Other times when national holidays line up — including Obon in August, Silver Week in September, and end-of-year festivties — are also pretty expensive and require pre-planning.
Read our full guide on how to plan your perfect trip to Japan for more insight.
This post was first published in 2015. Last updated in August, 2022. Although we make every effort to be accurate, details may vary. Prices and ratings are intended only as a rough guideline and may differ significantly.