From ageing shrines, temples and ramshackle family-run restaurants to alleyways populated by Pokemon, J-pop idols and other geeky memorabilia, Akihabara is a Tokyo neighbourhood that has it all.
If you’re looking for a diverse pocket of Tokyo to set up home base while exploring the city, consider this very backpacker-friendly hub overflowing with history and adventure. Here are eight very different accommodation options worth considering during your next visit.
Artist Hotel BnA STUDIO Akihabara
Guest room at Artist Hotel BnA STUDIO Akihabara | Courtesy of Artist Hotel BnA STUDIO Akihabara/Hotels.com
Originally born in the trendy neighbourhood of Koenji, BnA Studio is an art-centric hotel concept. The project was so popular and successful that the owner branched out to launch this new offshoot in Akihabara. The hotel’s design has been created in collaboration with some of the city’s most fascinating contemporary artists, who also receive a cut of the room’s profits. It’s been lauded as a fresh and exciting new way to both connect with and support the local art scene while also giving guests the opportunity to truly immerse themselves in the underground creative scene.
For something a little more classic, consider a night or two at Hotel Ryumeikan Ochanomizu Honten, the luxury hotel that effortlessly combines modern comforts with traditional Japanese design. Positioned just five minutes from JR Ochanomizu Station by foot, its easy location offers access to both the hustle and bustle of Akihabara’s neon-drenched streets as well as simple connectivity to the rest of the city. Non-guests can also pop by for tea at the elegant 1899 Ochanomizu Restaurant.
If it’s accessibility, comfort, affordability you’re looking for, then Hotel MyStays Asakusa-bashi is the place for you. A modern, laid-back no-fuss option, this hotel’s ideal location means you’ll save money on transport, and will be able to spend it on more important things (like food). Sitting just one train stop from Akihabara and two subway stops from Asakusa, it offers both old world charm and contemporary fun right at your doorstep.
If you’re the type of traveller who’s allergic to being trapped in a hotel room and would much rather be hitting the streets than be tucked up in bed, a capsule hotel may be the best choice for you. Simple, affordable and easy to book, Glansit is a convenient capsule hotel that’s right in the heart of the action. Positioned just a 30-minute stroll from the historic Senso-ji Temple and less than five minutes from the centre of futuristic central Akihabara, Glansit offers the best of both worlds.
Arguably a little more youth-centric than some of Tokyo’s other neighbourhoods, it’s this young vibrant energy that makes Akihabara such an exciting place to stay. If you’re looking for an accommodation option that balances accessibility, affordability and stylish comfort, you can’t go past Nui. Hostel & Bar Lounge. A renovated toy warehouse, this contemporary hostel features both communal and private rooms and houses an excellent open-plan café and bar perfect for work, play and making connections with like-minded fellow travellers.
Another hostel that proves you don’t have to sacrifice style for affordability is Grids, a modern hostel and guesthouse situated in the heart of Akihabara’s most exciting pockets. There are both dorm and private rooms available. Modern and self-contained, but with communal spaces ideal for meeting fellow travellers, it’s the perfect place to stay if you’re travelling solo and are looking to make new connections.
Positioned just one minute from Kuramae Subway Station, seven minutes from Asakusa Station and about 30 minutes from Akihabara Station by foot, K’s House Tokyo is great for those who want to easily reach the heart of Akihabara but are also on the hunt for something a little more hidden. This relaxed, affordable hostel almost feels more like a sharehouse, which is great for those planning to hang around a little longer and are looking to set up a longer-term home base.
For a more authentic Japanese experience, it’s worth considering a stay at one of the Tokyo’s quaint guesthouses, and Tokyo Hikari Guesthouse is a wonderful choice. Offering both private and dorm-style rooms, this cozy laid-back hangout is a one-minute stroll from Kuramae Subway Station and a stone’s throw from the Sumida River. If you’re looking for a little geek action, the heart of Akihabara is only about 20 minutes away by foot.