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. Scroll through to see what you like.
1. Tiny but lovely: Shinjuku, Tokyo — from ¥2,000/night, up to 3 people
This apartment might be small, but the room is nicely laid out. It’s fairly new and gets good sunlight, and it offers all the amenities including wifi and a full kitchen. Located in Hatagaya, it is a stone’s throw from Shinjuku—or in modern terms: one stop on the metro. Rates start from ¥2,000 for one guest per night, but as there is a ¥5,500 cleaning fee, the best bargain is yours if you stay a few nights here. 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. The cleaning and service fees come out to less than ¥1,500 for one night or ¥1,900 for e.g. three nights, making it a reasonable deal for one or two travelers. See on Airbnb.
3. The double-take: Shinjuku, Tokyo — from ¥35,000/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. As a roughly ¥10,000 cleaning fee and a ¥5,000 nightly service fee will be added, this Tokyo Airbnb is only really worth it for large groups. 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 close that you feel as if you could touch it (apparently). 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. This place has wifi. A ¥6,500 cleaning fee will be added at the end of your stay, and a ¥998 service fee per night, but this is on the more reasonable end, compared to what many other Airbnb hosts demand. See on Airbnb.
5. The hotel experience: Shinagawa, Tokyo — from ¥5,200/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! The service fee is ¥1,003 and cleaning ¥6,000, making it a pretty good deal if you stay a few nights. See on Airbnb.
6. Right in the middle: Shibuya, Tokyo — from ¥7,000/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. It includes wifi. The cleaning fee is ¥4,000 total and the service fee around ¥1,400 per night. See on Airbnb.
7. Traditional Japanese: Asakusa, Tokyo — from ¥8,000/night, up to 4 people
A beautifully furnished, traditional Japanese guesthouse 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 the Sumida River in Asakusa couldn’t be better for feeling transported back to the Edo era. The cleaning fee is a very reasonable ¥2,000 and the service fee adds ¥1,000 per night to your bill. See on Airbnb.
8. Super central: Shinjuku, Tokyo — from ¥20,000/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. The cleaning fee is ¥6,000 no matter how long you stay, and the service fee around ¥2,000 to ¥3,000 per night/person, depending on the number of guests and nights. See on Airbnb.
9. Forests & Parks: 15 minutes to Shinjuku, Tokyo — from ¥1,800/night, up to 2 people
This Tokyo Airbnb is a room with a forest theme in a house. The modern property itself is 15 minutes by metro from Shinjuku and a 6-minute walk from the nearest station, Shin-Egota on the Oedo Line. It overlooks a park and is a good choice for those who want a relaxing environment away from the hustle and bustle after a long day of shopping, while still being fairly close to the city. You share the large living room (with a bar!), kitchen and bathroom with your host and his two dogs. All of them seem to get rave reviews. Service and cleaning fees are also very much on the reasonable end, so this listing is clearly one of passion, rather than cold, hard cash. See on Airbnb.
10. Norwegian Wood with a view: Shinjuku, Tokyo — from ¥5,980/night, 1 person
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. There is no cleaning fee, but there is a ¥888 service fee per night. See on Airbnb.
Bonus: Tokyo Airbnb for Disneyland, Narita Airport, and the Olympics
Looking for a Tokyo Airbnb near Tokyo Disneyland or Narita Airport, or thinking about where to stay during the 2020 Olympic Games? We’ve got you covered.
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 of Airbnb options in the area as well.
If you’re not shepherding young ‘uns, and it’s just the two of you, this wooden house is within walking distance of the Disney resorts, goes for ¥4,300/night, and also offers parking and wifi.
This room is fit for a princess, a 20-minute bus or short cab ride from Tokyo Disney, and more than reasonable at ¥3,778/night. It sleeps up to three people and cleaning and service fees are on the low end.
Airbnbs near Narita Airport
Narita Airport is a hop, skip and 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 the surrounding area of 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. There are no cleaning fees, and super-low service fees at under ¥1,000 per person/night.
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 you’re dealing with a superhost, but you must add varying cleaning and service fees depending on the number of guests. 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 extensive and easily-used mass transit system to get to where you’re going. Just be sure to leave well in time, and be prepared for the summer heat.
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 takes place at the Fuji International Speedway) and even Sapporo (football prelims will be at Sapporo Dome).
I’ve heard things changed with Airbnb in Tokyo. What’s the Minpaku Law?
The Minpaku home-sharing law passed in 2017 and was aimed at providing a legal framework for the private-sector accommodation market. Since Japan is apparently 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 around Airbnb registration and the Minpaku Law first!
This post was originally written by Adriana Paradiso in March, 2016. Last updated on July 1, 2019. While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change.
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