Whether you’re a cheapo or not, accommodation is probably not where you want to be spending all your travel money. While there are extreme budget options like pulling an all-nighter at a manga café, most people want to stay somewhere a bit more private and practical. Perhaps somewhere with (or at least near) a hot shower. So your royal cleanliness, here we’ve compiled a list of some of the nicest and most reasonable Tokyo Airbnb rentals available: some super affordable, some completely decked out in Pokemon, others with a massive rooftop terrace—but cheaper than staying in a hostel dorm nonetheless.
1. Budget choice: Bunkyo, Tokyo – From ¥1,150/night/person, up to 2 people
For a tenner, you can rent yourself a simple little (emphasis on those two adjectives) room near Myogadani Station (about seven minutes from the hub of Ikebukuro). The room is in an old wooden building (with a paper factory on the ground floor), and has no wardrobe, kitchen or hot water. The loo is a shared affair. If you just need a place to sleep, it’s very doable—and there’s a public bath nearby. The free wifi helps. See on Airbnb.
2. Pokemon party: Ueno, Tokyo – From ¥2,050/night/person, up to 4 people
This room is for you Pokemon otaku out there. The host has completely decked it out with Pikachus in all shapes and sizes and also added a retro Super Nintendo should you wish to game the night away. Wifi is also available. The room offers a double bed, a single bed and a futon and there is a fully-equipped kitchen and bathroom. Don’t forget to go out though! This pad is five minutes from Iriya Station on the Hibiya Line, one stop from Ueno, with lots of traditional sightseeing spots nearby, as well as Tokyo Skytree. See on Airbnb.
3. The double-take: Shinjuku, Tokyo – From ¥1,875/night/person, up to 8 people
Traveling in a large group? This host has combined two apartments into one and decked it out with enough beds for eight travelers. One half is Western, the other Japanese style, so you can take your pick. According to reviews, everyone fits comfortably and the host also gives you a pocket wifi router so you are basically set. The place is close to Hatsudai, one stop from Shinjuku and not far from Shibuya, which makes it an ideal base for exploring Tokyo. See on Airbnb.
4. Skytree rooftop: Skytree Station, Tokyo – From ¥843/night/person, up to 7 people
This place is only three minutes from Tokyo Skytree Station and has a large balcony (super rare in Tokyo) from which you can enjoy views of the Skytree, so close you feel that you can touch it. The apartment comes fully equipped, and we are intrigued by the “access to whirlpool” mentioned, but it’s best to confirm the rules with the host. The reviews are rave, but some say that it is quite a squeeze with seven people. However, even with just three or four of you it will still be cheaper than most hostel beds. Has wifi. See on Airbnb.
5. The hotel experience: Shinagawa, Tokyo – From ¥2,600/night/person, up to 2 people
This small, modern and clean studio feels just like staying in a boutique hotel, according to the guests—but for a fraction of the price. It’s near Heiwajima Station, which is in a quiet residential area not far from Shinagawa Station, from where you can catch the Shinkansen, as well as the Airport Express to Haneda. The flat comes with large beds, a kitchenette, washer and dryer in the bathroom, wifi and even Netflix on the TV. This one is for you, creature-comfort seekers! See on Airbnb.
6. The expat hangout: Azabu-Juban, Tokyo – From ¥4,000/night/person, 1 person only
If you want to sleep where lots of expats gather, live and work, then this room is for you. A small, clean private room with shared facilities smack in the middle of Tokyo. Azabu-Juban is an upper-class neighborhood, and the infamous party-central Roppongi is just around the corner. Guests rave about the location of this one (obviously), but also mention that it is safe and offers all the conveniences, including internet. Single travelers are usually not well catered to in Japan, so this one is a pretty good deal. See on Airbnb.
7. Traditional Japanese: Asakusa, Tokyo – From ¥1,250/night/person, up to 4 people
A beautifully furnished and traditional Japanese guest house in a 90-year old building. The room has two bunk beds, which makes it super budget-friendly. Previous guests have raved about the flair of the house and the apparently really nice hosts. Facilities are shared. There is wifi in the building plus free pocket wifi available for guests. The location next to Sumida River in Asakusa couldn’t be better for feeling transported back to the Edo era while exploring the area on foot. See on Airbnb.
8. Super cheap but super central: Shinjuku, Tokyo – From ¥667/night/person, up to 3 people
It honestly doesn’t get much cheaper or more central than this: a whole apartment for yourselves near Takadanobaba Station, which is one stop or walking distance from Shinjuku. The apartment is on the first floor and surrounded by shops and eateries. Everything here screams convenient, including the pocket wifi that your host leaves for you in the place. It’s small, but you can’t beat the location and the price, and the reviews are excellent. See on Airbnb.
9. The modern Japanese homestay: Sangenjaya, Tokyo – From ¥1,550/night/person, up to 2 people
Setagaya is a slightly trendy residential area close to Shibuya where a lot of young families live. This homestay is located close to Sangenjaya, which is a popular station on the local train lines and just two stops from Shibuya. It offers you a small, but spotless room with all conveniences plus wifi in a modern Japanese house with a young family. Guests comment that both the hosts and the local area are super nice, and as it’s close to Shibuya, you might want to look into this one if you are in Tokyo for the shopping. See on Airbnb.
10. Norwegian Wood with a view: Shinjuku, Tokyo – From ¥2,490/night/person, up to 2 people
Another super-central location. This tiny room on the 10th floor is decked out with wood and a large window pane, allowing you to view all the craziness of the Shinjuku red-light/business/entertainment district and peacefully sleep right above it. It has all the facilities (including wifi) you would need, but they are shared outside your room. See on Airbnb.
For more cheapo-approved sleeping options, see our comprehensive Tokyo accommodation guide.
This post was originally written by Adriana Paradiso in March, 2016. Last updated on September 3, 2018. Information and prices are subject to change.
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