Japan - where to stay in Tokyo particularly!

(81 Posts)
Aragog Sun 03-Feb-19 15:19:02

We are currently doing some prep and planning for a holiday to Japan in the summer. Me, dh and 17y DD.

We will be flying with Emirates with a one night stop over in Dubai, and flying into Tokyo, though we don't land til very late the first night. We will have 13 nights in Japan and the plan is:

5 nights Tokyo (2 full days and 1 night will be at Disneyland/Disney Seas)
4 nights Kyoto
4 nights Osaka (1 day at Universal; final day is a full day in Osaka as very late flight)

We will travel between the cities by train. Not sure yet on whether we will benefit from having the Rail Pass. I know the fastest 2 Bullet trains are not included, plus the cost of the individual trains between Tokyo-Kyoto and Kyoto-Osaka are not coming out as being quite as much as a 14 day Rail Pass. Need to do more playing around with figures to work out how much with the normal day to day travel.

Been looking at where to stay in Tokyo though. Its mind boggling though as there is so much to choose between.

Can anyone recommend districts or specific hotels you've liked?
We would prefer for DD to be in with us - to save us paying for 2 rooms more than anything else. This (3 adults/triple rooms) seems possible with some hotels, though not all.

For Disneyland we will stay at the Disneyland hotel for the middle night, so thats not a concern but will have 2 nights in Tokyo either side.

Then need to consider Kyoto and Osaka hotels too - argh!!!

Any hints and tops appreciated.

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AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 03-Feb-19 15:45:47

We liked the Hilton in Shinjuku and their daily rates are quite reasonable overall. Its also handy for Shinjuku and has a link to the metro subway. (Hotels generally tend not to let anyone under the age of 18 occupy a room of their own, some hotels will provide a rollaway bed).

Have you actually booked the Disneyland hotel for the one night?. If you have not I would spend the five nights in one hotel rather than potentially ending up with three separate hotel bookings for your 5 day Tokyo stay. Also it is quite easy to travel to Tokyo Disneyland from Tokyo. The station stop you need is Maihama Station on the JR (Japan Railway) Keiyo Line / Musashino Line.

Be aware of which station exit to use; some stations like Shinjuku have multiple exits and choosing the wrong one means you could end up a good half a mile away from where you want to actually be.
Many Japanese people are unfailingly polite and helpful but many citizens do not actually speak much English beyond yes, no and thank you.

Which Tokyo airport are you flying into; is it Narita or Haneda?. I ask only as Haneda is much closer to the city than Narita is. Taxis are hideously expensive so I would seriously consider the coach service from Narita into Tokyo if you are landing at Narita.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 03-Feb-19 15:46:59

This from Tokyo Disneyland is worth reading too.


peachypetite Sun 03-Feb-19 15:48:42

Shinjuku gran bell

SweetAngie Sun 03-Feb-19 15:50:33

We did three days in Tokyo with one day at Disneyland, and we stayed at a hotel at Disney for all three nights. It’s pretty quick to get into the centre from there (30mins on the train I think), and it was good to be able to spend the whole day at Disney and not have to worry about checking in/out at either end of the day.

BubblesBuddy Sun 03-Feb-19 15:51:43

You don’t need a JR rail pass for the time you are in Tokyo and at the theme park. So you don’t need the 14 day one.

The best places to stay in Tokyo is nearish to rail and underground connections. This saves time. So Shinjuko, Shinagawa, Shibuya areas. I cannot really recommend a hotel because I don’t think the one we stayed in has triple rooms. Many hotels do not have bigger rooms so your choice might be quite limited. I would go by reviews on Trip Advisor or booking.com or similar. I have just looked at the recommendations in my Lonely Planet guide and nowhere mentions family rooms! They mention “love” hotels and capsule hotels but in a city so short of space, large rooms are at a premium. I would get a copy of Lonely Planet because it’s invaluable.

Japan has such a wonderful culture I don’t understand the need to import American culture or spend days visiting it. You will miss out on other great sights.

Swiftier Sun 03-Feb-19 15:54:43

We’ve stayed in Asakusa at The Gate. It’s a lovely area, more low-rise than the rest of Tokyo and has a beautiful shrine. It’s quite traditional. It’s still well connected for exploring other parts of the city.

We have also stayed in Shinjuku at the Park Hyatt. It’s a great hotel and the views are amazing including from the swimming pool and the bar. Shinjuku is full of skyscrapers and it gives you the modern side of Tokyo. You can walk to places like Harajuku from there which your teenage daughter might like. It’s also well connected.

Both areas are very different but equally good. Japan is amazing 😊

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 03-Feb-19 15:56:30

I would recommend a visit to the Tokyo Skytree whilst you are there because of the views you receive particularly on clear days.

Aragog Sun 03-Feb-19 16:06:46

Attila - I think DH and DD will maybe go up; I, however, am terrified of heights and I've read it sways so I think I will pass!

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Aragog Sun 03-Feb-19 16:08:56

Thanks for all the suggestions. Going to go and have a look at them all now.

Have you actually booked the Disneyland hotel for the one night?.

No, and I do know what you mean. However, DD is a huge fan and has already spotted the Beauty and the Beast rooms - her childhood favourite, so is very keen! To be fair, we don't mind moving for the one night.
We can also consider a different location for the second set of Tokyo stays I guess if it means we can see more too.

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Aragog Sun 03-Feb-19 16:11:31

BubblesBuddy - I know theme parks aren't for everyone. However, we enjoy them - and DD is very very keen and it is her holiday too. So those days are non negotiable for us. We have extended our holiday time in Japan to take these days into account and knocked off a coupe of nights on a separate holiday elsewhere later in the year to take them into account.

SweetAnge - I did wonder other it was doable to stay at the Disney location for the whole time, or Tokyo Bay, but wasn't sure how doable it was in terms of travelling each day.

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Aragog Sun 03-Feb-19 16:13:28

In Kyoto or Osaka we would like to stay at a traditional Ryokan hotel perhaps too, at least for a night. Can anyone advise on those?

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Ilikehamsandwiches Sun 03-Feb-19 16:14:16

Hotel Chinzanso is classy as! It is surrounded by a beautiful Japanese garden as has a brilliant pool and spa x

Swiftier Sun 03-Feb-19 16:17:09

If you’re breaking up your time in Tokyo with the Disney visit you could definitely look at staying in two different areas - as it’s such a big city staying in two areas means you could explore everything in one area, go to Disney and then explore a different area and spend less time travelling overall.

I haven’t been to Disney as it’s not our thing but I’m sure you could look at staying there for one night and two days - I don’t think it’s far from Tokyo.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 03-Feb-19 16:18:17

I've been up it and it does move by millimeters (its supposed to do this) BUT you do not notice any movement. Its a great place to visit and I think there is also a shopping mall attached to it.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government buildings also have an observation deck which I believe is still free to visit.

If there is a particular room I would book this asap; accommodation at that park is very popular with the Japanese and rooms do get booked up quickly.

FWIW I did not find Tokyo Disneyland to be simply yet another offshoot of the US theme parks; its very different in atmosphere to those and has some unique rides. My family enjoyed our days there immensely and I would happily return.

Swiftier Sun 03-Feb-19 16:21:05

Also it’s definitely worth staying in a Ryokan. I haven’t got any recommendations for Kyoto or Osaka but I’m guessing Kyoto will be easier to find a Ryokan as it’s more traditional than Osaka, although it will probably be quite expensive. We stayed in a few Ryokans elsewhere in Japan and it’s definitely an experience not to miss. If you only want to stay in one for one night though it might mean quite a lot of moving around? Eg one night in a Ryokan in Kyoto followed by a stay in a hotel in Kyoto.

You could look at doing a one night in a Ryokan in one of the Fuji Five Lakes region - a couple of hours from Tokyo and a good single night trip. Lots of Ryokans with beautiful views of Fuji and the lakes.

EnormousDormouse Sun 03-Feb-19 16:23:10

We stayed in Ueno and it seemed to be an excellent base to get around from.
We stayed in Toyoko Inns a few times - basic 'business' hotels but reliable and great value for money when other options were v. basic hostels or eyewateringly expensive places.

Aragog Sun 03-Feb-19 16:26:59

The rooms are not yet available for our dates yet Attila but I will be checking regularly! DD in particular is very excited by it all anyway, but the Tokyo Disneyland really does appeal to her - though an older teen, she is still a child at heart! Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

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Aragog Sun 03-Feb-19 18:08:02


So long as fairly central and comfortable to sleep at, Im happy to do longer at a Ryokan.

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Swiftier Sun 03-Feb-19 18:17:39

I think if you can stay longer at a ryokan it would mean moving around a bit less - ryokans are more expensive than hotels though so depends on your budget.

Aragog Sun 03-Feb-19 19:04:45

Well at present we are pleasantly surprised at how much everything is coming in at. We had budgeted more than the prices were are getting. Maybe end of August isn't a peak time I guess. Used to paying over the odds in recent years going to California, Florida and Canada so this is feeling a lit better right now!

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Swiftier Sun 03-Feb-19 19:43:18

Then definitely splash out on a few nights in a ryokan in Kyoto 😁

Aragog Sun 03-Feb-19 21:04:57


Spent the day planning and looking at suggestions so now totally fired up and excited!

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BumblebeeBum Sun 03-Feb-19 21:18:47

We loved the area we stayed - Asakusa.

Really like our hotel too: Wired wiredhotel.com

Nice and modern, big room, close to so many shops and restaurants and less than 10 mins walk to train and underground station. A few mins walk from Sensojo temple area which is beautiful.

Here’s my list of things to do in Asakusa taken from my planning notes.

Sensoji Temple - fortune told
Nakamise-dori - shopping street
Free view tokyocheapo.com/place/asakusa-culture-tourism-center/
ebisuya.com/en/index.html - rickshaw ride
kanji-house.com - calligraphy sourviner, origami, tour and more
osumo-3.com/boj/ - sumo (£140 for us all including meal)

BubblesBuddy Mon 04-Feb-19 19:39:13

Ryokans in Kyoto will be at least £250 a night for a decent one and that’s for one room. Getting a triple might be difficult. Stay in Gion. Loads of restaurants there. You can see the Gaikos and Maikos as they go to the tea houses. It’s good for transport too. A ryokan is a traditional inn and you will sleep on a tatami mat. Comfortable ususlly! Again, Lonely Planet will have recommendations. We stayed at the Hotel Mume. That’s amazing!

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