Whether you’re a dedicated bargain-hunter 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. Here are 10 of the nicest and most reasonable Tokyo Airbnb rentals available: some super affordable, some offering built-in breakfast, others with a kendo dojo—all of them good value for money.
Airbnb in Tokyo: Our top 10 picks
One more quick word before we get into it–these Tokyo Airbnb listings are presented in no particular order.
1. Budget choice: Shinjuku, Tokyo — from ¥1,101/night, up to 3 people
Being concerned about value for money doesn’t neccessarily mean you’re prepared to skimp on the basics, and this neat little Shinjuku pad combines a superhost and value with comfort and centrality. Suitable for a couple or a small family, offering free wifi, longer stays and self-check-in, we reckon this is a bargain for ¥1,101 per night. See on Airbnb.
2. Kendo with your overnight: Ueno, Tokyo — from ¥2,500/night, up to 2 people
Tucked away down an alley in Arakawa Ward, this two-person apartment is managed by a pair of superhosts and is perfect if you want to be within easy access of Tokyo Skytree or Ueno Park without being bang in the middle of Shibuya or other super-popular areas. Set up for couples or pairs of friends, the unit offers wifi and a kitchenette. The hosts are known for supplying excellent sandwiches (check with them), and can arrange for you to have a kendo experience in their dojo. See on Airbnb.
3. The double-take: Shinjuku, Tokyo — from ¥32,000/night, 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 to start exploring. The place is 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 ¥7,400/night, up to 7 people
This Airbnb is only three minutes from Tokyo Skytree Station and has a large balcony (which is super rare in Tokyo) from which you can enjoy views of the Skytree, so closeby that you feel as if you could 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 ¥4,500/night, 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. Right in the middle: Shibuya, Tokyo — from ¥5,701/night, 2 people max
Snug, efficient and right in the heart of Shinjuku (without being very noisy), this unit (operated by a superhost) is close to the station, shops, and bars. Perfect for a couple or the solo adventurer, this unit seems to be amenable to early dropping-off of luggage for those who can’t wait to hit the streets. Includes wifi. See on Airbnb.
7. Traditional Japanese: Asakusa, Tokyo — from ¥8,000/night, 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 central: Shinjuku, Tokyo — from ¥17,000/night, up to 6 people
It honestly doesn’t get much cheaper or more central than this: a whole Japanese-style apartment for you and your five closest friends near Takadanobaba Station, which is one stop or walking distance from Shinjuku. The rental is the entire house, which is surrounded by shops and eateries. Everything here screams convenient, including the pocket wifi that your host leaves for you in the place. 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 ¥3,000/night, 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 ¥4,980/night, 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.
Tokyo Airbnb for Disneyland, Narita Airport, and the Olympics
Tokyo Disney: Airbnb options in Maihama and Urayasu
Coming to Tokyo Disney for that once in a lifetime Mickey experience? We’ve picked out some of the best hotels in the areas near Tokyo Disney and Tokyo DisneySea, but if you want a slightly more homey experience, rest assured there are plenty our Airbnb options in the area as well.
This unit has space for seven guests, wifi and parking (truly, the holy grail of amenities in Tokyo), making it great for your friends-trip or a family outing. Starting at ¥3,864/night, that’s a good deal. If you’re not shepherding young ‘uns, and it’s just the two of you, this wooden house is in fact within walking distance of the Disney resorts and, for ¥4,300/night, also offers parking and wifi.
Airbnbs in Narita
Narita is a hop, skip and a jump from Tokyo proper, but chances are good that if you’ve just disembarked from a long-haul flight, it’s a hop, skip or jump you just don’t have the energy for. You can always head straight into Tokyo, but happily, there are several good Airbnb options in Narita.
We like this large unit because the idea of being able to stretch your legs after the flight is very attractive, and the host also offers a pick-up service. Guests report that the space is really comfortable, and that host is very helpful and accommodating, as well. Get it for ¥10,000/night, with up to four guests.
Alternatively, you can start your Japanese journey in this quirky log cabin (¥16,559/night) that sleeps four and also offers an airport pick-up. Breakfast is included, and the host is a superhost. Situated in a quiet residential area, it’s perfect for unwinding after your flight.
Airbnbs for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Settling on where to stay if you’re lucky enough to be in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics isn’t an easy decision, because it depends on which events you’re attending. There are two main venue and event zones for Tokyo 2020:
1. The Heritage Zone, which encompasses some venues used the last time Tokyo hosted the Games, in 1964. Areas involved here include Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ryogoku, Chiyoda, and Yurakucho.
2. The Tokyo Bay Zone, which houses many newly-built venues and the Olympic Village. Areas involved here include Odaiba, Ariake, Edogawa, Koto, and Ota.
Pro tip: Tokyo is going to be really busy during the Olympics, so depending on how well you handle constant dense crowds, it might not be a bad idea to stay a little further away from the venues, and take advantage of Tokyo’s massive and easily-used mass transit system to get to where you’re going. Just be sure to leave well in time.
Various events will also be held in areas other than Tokyo proper, such as Chofu (Ajinomoto Stadium hosts rugby sevens, some football, and the delightfully esoteric modern pentathlon), Yokohama (two major stadiums here will host football, baseball and softball), Oyama (road cycling take place at the Fuji International Speedway) and even Sapporo (football prelims will be hosted at the Sapporo Dome).
I’ve heard things changed with Airbnb in Tokyo. What’s the Minpaku Law?
The Minpaku Law home sharing law passed in 2017 and was aimed at providing a legal framework for the private-sector accommodation market. Since Japan is in dire need of rooms for the upcoming 2020 Olympics, it was expected that the law would make it easier for short-term rentals to operate—but it did add quite a few more hoops that prospective Airbnb hosts needed to jump through.
Property owners who wished to continue operating were required to submit lengthy and complex registration documents which involve a series of potential barriers. Landlord permission, on-site inspections and strict health and safety requirements are just some of the requirements for approval which, if granted, results in a registration number. Always check that your rental has that number!
For more cheapo-approved sleeping options, see our comprehensive Tokyo accommodation guide.
Are you an Airbnb host? Check out our very own Air Kitty for promoting your Airbnb listing. Be sure to read the latest laws around Airbnb registration and the Minpaku Law first!
This post was originally written by Adriana Paradiso in March, 2016. Last updated on May 23, 2019. Information and prices are subject to change.
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