If you’re a true cheapo, accommodation is not where you want to be spending your money. And sure, while there are extreme budgeting options like staying at a manga café or even urban camping (watch out for tanuki), some of you upturned-nose cheapos may want to stay somewhere a bit more private. Perhaps somewhere with (or at least near) a hot shower.
Well your royal cleanliness, here we’ve compiled a list of some of the cheapest Airbnb rentals available: some offbeat, some a small trek to the nearest station, some too good to be true (I’d triple-check the small print)—but cheap nonetheless! And nope, we haven’t been paid to mention any of ’em.
1. Kawaguchi, Saitama – From $10USD/night
If you’re a woman, here for at least three nights and are happy staying a good 30 minutes from Tokyo (by train), you can rent a Star Wars-themed (sorta) room for cheap-cheap. It’s a shared room, and you get a basic bed and shower, with a complimentary breakfast (and coffee) thrown in. Not a bad deal, all in all—and the host (a woman) gets pretty good reviews.
2. Bunkyo, Tokyo – From $10USD/night
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.
3. Wako-shi, Saitama – From $10USD/night
Just on the edge of Tokyo is another budget Airbnb rental—this one gives you a private room in a house. The host describes it as “nothing fancy or special”, but the room seems comfortable enough (based on the good reviews it gets) and accommodates up to three people. You have access to the kitchen, bathroom and wifi, and the host can help you plan your travel itinerary. The downside? It’s a 15-minute walk from Wako-shi Station (though that’s only 15 minutes by train from Ikebukuro).
4. Higashimurayama, Tokyo – From $10USD/night
If you’re looking for a quiet, chilled environment, this bargain is for you. You get a small studio apartment about 30 minutes from Shinjuku, with all the essentials (except wifi). You’ll be staying in a nice residential neighborhood, a stone’s throw from Hagiyama Station. This one’s for solo travelers.
5. Adachi, Tokyo – From $11USD/night
This particular listing piqued our interested because of its “rock bed” offering. You get to sleep on a heated stone bed, complete with overhead dome. The word “detokkusu” (meaning “detox”) gets thrown around too. The bed is outdoors, so it’s recommended for the adventurous. One reviewer said they used their own clothes as a pillow, so bring your own if you decide to stay here. While it may lack in the pillow department, the place does have a common area, full kitchen, 24-hour check-in, hot tub, fireplace and a workspace. Not too shabby, really.
Are you an Airbnb host? Check out our very own Air Kitty for promoting your Airbnb listing.
For more cheapo-approved sleeping options, see our comprehensive Tokyo accommodation guide.
This post was originally published in March, 2016. Last updated by Carey Finn on October 9, 2017.
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