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A traditional Japanese ryokan | © Jonathan Lin/Flickr
A traditional Japanese ryokan | © Jonathan Lin/Flickr
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Where to Stay on a Budget in Tokyo

Picture of Alicia Joy
Tokyo Writer
Updated: 13 March 2017
Tokyo has some high property values, which means finding a cheap place to stay can be challenging. But if you’re willing to think outside the box a little, the city has tons of options for the budget-conscious traveler. Check out your best options on where to stay on a budget in Tokyo.

Internet and Comic Cafés

24-hour Internet and comic (manga) cafés are a godsend for youth on a budget. Most have around a seven-hour limit for under thirty bucks, which is cheaper than most capsule hotels. You can charge your phone, grab a snack, and at some places even store your luggage. Manboo Internet Comic Café in Shibuya isn’t difficult to spot, and they have locations at most major centers. If you don’t mind sleeping in a reclining chair or a shabby couch, comic cafés are in the running for the cheapest overnight stay in Tokyo.

Manga cafe (mangakissa) | © Connie Ma/Flickr
Manga café (mangakissa) | © Connie Ma/Flickr

Hostels

Hostels are another great way to save money on accommodations. They also make it easier to meet fellow travelers, since the atmosphere is much more communal than your typical capsule hotel setup. Sakura Hotel & Hostel are one of the most well known chains in Tokyo. They frequently organize group excursions and parties at their café/hostel combo locations and work hard to maintain a fun, friendly, international vibe.

Kitchen area of a typical hostel | © Oh-Barcelona.com/Flickr
Kitchen area of a typical hostel | © Oh-Barcelona.com/Flickr

Capsule Hotels

Capsule hotels are a mainstay of Tokyo budget accommodation. These days, the quality and atmosphere of a capsule hotel can vary widely, from a no-nonsense salaryman setup to the luxurious Prime Pod Ginza with sky view lounge. Some even have saunas, onsen, or cozy communal lounges to make your stay feel more like a vacation. If you can find one to suit your travel needs, capsule hotels are a great way to save.

Bed at Nagakin Capsule Tower Japan | © urbz/Flickr
Bed at Nagakin Capsule Tower Japan | © urbz/Flickr

Ryokan

The traditional Japanese inns known as ryokan are usually comparatively cheaper than hotels. Kimi Ryokan is still a favorite among Tokyo’s budget travelers, because it manages to combine the traditional ryokan experience with low rates. A single traveler could have a private room to themselves for less than US$50 a night. Taito Ward in Tokyo is a good place to look for budget ryokan and accommodation.

Japanese ryokan are popular among budget travelers | © Banalities/Flickr
Japanese ryokan are popular among budget travelers | © Banalities/Flickr

Love Hotels

Love hotels are great value for money. Overnight stays (12 hours) can be less than US$100, which is great considering the rooms are spacious, include huge bathtubs, and are fully stocked with any toiletry you could possibly require. They’d probably turn you away if you showed up with all your luggage intending to take up camp, but for a night or two they’re a great option. They don’t accept online reservations; just wander around Dogenzaka in Shibuya and pick one with a theme to suit your taste.