The Best Cheap Hotels to Book in Tokyo

The underrated Otsuka neighbourhood is close to Ikebukuro and is a balance of traditional and modern Tokyo
The underrated Otsuka neighbourhood is close to Ikebukuro and is a balance of traditional and modern Tokyo | Courtesy of Hoshino Resorts OMO5 Tokyo Otsuka /

The capital of Japan gets a reputation for being a rather expensive city to visit. Sure, it’s easy to drop a lot of cash if you want, but like many other Asian cities, it’s definitely possible to visit on the cheap. You just need to know how to get around, what to eat and where to stay on a budget in Japan. Save your yen to spend on sushi and karaoke bars by staying in one of these cheap hotels in Tokyo – from capsule hotels to classic ryokan inns – all bookable with Culture Trip.

Shinjuku Granbell

Double bedroom in Shinjuku Granbell with simple white bed, striped carpet and sage green walls
Courtesy of Shinjuku Granbell /

Set on the fringes of Shinjuku’s nightlife district, Kabukicho, with karaoke bars, izakaya (pubs) and throngs of revellers, this affordable stay gives you access to the charismatic Tokyo you’re craving, any time of day or night. Classy rooms provide respite from the electric crush: white walls, marble-style accents, views over the city skyline. Come sunset, a rooftop terrace – a rarity in Tokyo – is the perfect place to sink a sharpener before heading out to explore the scene.

Wired Hotel Asakusa

Modern double bedroom in Asakusa Kokonokurabu with concrete room divider, geometric wooden floor and cosy lighting
Courtesy of Asakusa Kokonokurabu /

One of the most celebrated temples in Tokyo, Sensoji, is on your doorstep at Wired – its grand, postcard-perfect red lanterns are a three-minute walk away, so it’s easy to visit early or late to escape the tourist crowds. Other benefits of a stay here? Bike hire, so you can explore the quaint shopping streets of Asakusa on two wheels. Cool, contemporary rooms are available in both private formats (with city views, parquet floors and the occasional balcony) and extra-thrifty dormitory styles.

Hotel Hillarys Akasaka

Modern double room in Hotel Hillarys Akasaka with simple white bed and wooden wall and ceiling
Courtesy of Hotel Hillarys Akasaka /

Sleek wooden walls and crisp whites give the compact rooms at this central stay a contemporary Japanese feel. A top-floor public bathing space further adds to the effect, along with a minimalist lobby sporting a stony backdrop. The location is great for travellers of all kinds: Tokyo’s business district is nearby, while leisure guests can easily dart to palaces, historic gardens and a clutch of great Korean-style barbecue restaurants.


Minimalist room at ONE@Tokyo with grey and white furnishings and light wooden walls
Courtesy of ONE @ Tokyo

The clue is in the name – many of the rooms at ONE are designed to sleep single travellers, making it perfect for business visitors on a budget or a couple of friends travelling together. Compact rooms come with windows gazing out to the city, corner desks and cleverly designed storage to maximise the space, while larger suites (sleeping three) are themed around libraries and artist studios. The must-see Skytree Tower, with its view to Mount Fuji, is within walking distance.

Hotel Risveglio Akasaka

Stylish industrial restaurant at Hotel Risveglio Akasaka with white brick walls, bulb wall lights and slate grey features
Courtesy of Hotel Risveglio Akasaka /
There’s a New York-style cool to the rooms at Hotel Risveglio Akasaka, between the painted white bricks, industrial-chic lighting and variegated wood. Just a two-minute walk from a well-connected metro station, Akasaka Mitsuke, you’ll be able to dash to westerly Shibuya for shopping sessions, or easterly Ueno for museum visits, with ease. A 24-hour front desk can help sort what you need, even if you stumble in late; comfortable beds and a solid daily breakfast are extra perks.

The Gate Hotel Asakusa Kaminarimon by Hulic

Double bedroom at The Gate Hotel Asakusa Kaminarimon by Hulic with blue wallpaper, green carpet, TV and table and chair
Courtesy of The Gate Hotel Asakusa Kaminarimon by Hulic /

While many Japanese hotels opt for a minimalist aesthetic, the Gate goes all-in with opulent patterned wallpapers, vibrant carpets and pops of colourful art. This boutique hotel in historic Asakusa doesn’t overdo it, though, keeping the vibe classy enough for business travellers (who can take advantage of the city-facing desk spaces in the smallest rooms). The 13th-floor R Restaurant & Bar is lined with windows and a rare Tokyo terrace; it serves up French toast for breakfast, plus steak and wine come evening.

Artist Hotel – BnA Hotel Koenji

Two single beds in Artist Hotel BnA Hotel Koenji with zig-zag wallpaper and matching bedding, with fluorescent lights
Courtesy of Artist Hotel - BnA Hotel Koenji /

West of Tokyo’s main transport hub, Shinjuku, this arty stay is tucked away in an area less often visited by tourists: Koenji. Both bedrooms – there are only two at this intimate stay – have been designed and built by a team of local Japanese artists and textile designers; a gallery public space hosts events and exhibitions. Meanwhile, the front desk bar area is a place to sip a morning coffee and hang out with the locals.

Andon Ryokan

Japanese style sitting area in Andon Ryokan with colourful tiles and flowers
Courtesy of Andon Ryokan / Expedia
Ryokans are traditional Japanese inns. While they are mostly found in the countryside, Andon brings their characteristic intimate, homely vibe to this corner of northeast Tokyo. Traditional Japanese carvings, slippers and knick-knacks meet a communal bath space and simple rooms with traditional fold-out futon mattresses and tatami mats. A small dining space serves a daily cooked breakfast, as well as evening beers. Sign up for some of the cultural classes on site: a tea ceremony, say, or flower arranging.

The Millennials Shibuya

Capsule hotel The Millennials Shibuya with double bed-sized room and monkey-print wallpaper
Courtesy of The Millennials Shibuya /

Calling all shoppers: the location of this hotel, right in the heart of the best shopping district in Tokyo, Shibuya, is the stay for you. As you’d imagine, space comes at a premium in this popular district, but the Millennials keeps things super-affordable by offering capsule-style sleeping arrangements with comfy beds, storage areas and a pull-down screen for watching bedtime films. All the more cash to save for splurging on nearby Cat Street, or on quirky homewares at Tokyu Hands.

Moxy Tokyo Kinshicho by Marriott

Spacious sitting area at Moxy Tokyo Kinshicho by Marriott with leather chairs, blue sofa and blue geometric wallpaper
Courtesy of Moxy Tokyo Kinshicho by Marriott /

A big open-plan lobby with table football, bar and cushy sofas gives you plenty of space to spread out and socialise at this eastern Tokyo pad. Funky wall art, black taps in bathrooms and exposed lightbulbs lends an urban, trendy air that will especially suit younger travellers (a crowd who’ll also appreciate Moxy’s 24-hour noodle bar after a late-night karaoke session). Tokyo’s electronic district, Akihabara, is just a quick metro ride away.

Hoshino Resorts OMO5 Tokyo Otsuka

Simple double bedroom at Hoshino Resorts OMO5 Tokyo Otsuka with pink walls and minimalist wooden frame structures
Courtesy of Hoshino Resorts OMO5 Tokyo Otsuka /

Underrated Otsuka, with a Michelin-starred ramen restaurant, Nakiryu, and a photogenic old tram, is your ‘hood when you book into this modern stay. Sign up to a grand tour of the local food and drink scene, free historic walking tour or enjoy DJ nights in a comfy lounge. Rooms sleeping up to three (great for small families) come with loft-style design – the futon bed is suspended above a sofa area to maximise space. Tatami mats lend a proper Japanese feel.

Want to splash the cash on an opulent stay in Japan? Book one of the best luxury hotels in Tokyo with Culture Trip.

This is an updated version of an article originally by Lucy Dayman.

These recommendations were updated on October 8, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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