A hotel is often the first and last place that any traveler goes to. It is where the journey starts and ends. When planning a trip to Tokyo, Japan, just like in any other destination, one essential factor that you need to consider is your hotel accommodation.
Hotel as part of the travel experience
Nowadays, hotels have come up with different innovations in their rooms, facilities, and services offered to cater to the growing needs of the travelers. With that in mind, some of these businesses have improved themselves by incorporating amenities such as Wi-Fi, pool, gym, spa, meeting rooms, and restaurants within their building; therefore, gaining a competitive advantage over the others. Truthfully, hotels today are not only a place to sleep at but have also become a place for staycation – a complete vacation package in a single roof.
Since your hotel experience can either make or break your vacation, it is just right to pay attention in choosing your right hotel as much as you plan the trip itself. You might want to check if breakfast comes with your hotel fee or if the lodging where you will be staying does not allow food from outside restaurants. What if you can’t even upload your vacation photos because the hotel Wi-Fi is not free of charge? Or if there is no working table and chair inside your room and you are a business traveler? Indeed, your hotel experience has a relative effect to your whole travel experience.
But there is no need to worry. No matter what the purpose of your travel is or your personal preferences and interests are, there is surely a hotel in Tokyo that will match them.
How to pick a hotel in Tokyo
Tokyo is among the best cities to visit in Japan. Being the country’s capital, one can have plenty of places to explore and things to do in the city. From seeing the majestic shrines and temples, and bright Shibuya neon lights, to trying Michelin Star restaurants and the cosmopolitan night, and immersing oneself in otaku culture, Tokyo is definitely on every traveler’s bucket list!
Aside from the destinations and activities present in the capital, there are also a lot of hotels available in the area. Your accommodations options are as many as the travel sites that you may want to visit.
If you want to fully experience the country’s culture, then Japanese-style lodging is for you. You can go for a Ryokan, which most likely also includes one or two meals. A Ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn, usually a building made of wood and bamboo, and has a small balcony with a good view. The meals that are included in the package are usually breakfast and dinner, which are regularly served inside the room. Sawanoya has been acknowledged by TripAdvisor as the best ryokan in Japan. Even though it offers small rooms, it is its warm atmosphere and hospitality which gained them that reputation. Few other ryokans in the capital are Edo Sakura, Homeikan, Sukeroku no Yado Sadachiyo, and Hoshinoya Tokyo.
Another option to consider is a Western-style hotel, which Tokyo also has many. These are mostly the international and Japanese hotel chains like Park Hyatt Tokyo, Mandarin Oriental, The Peninsula, Ritz-Carlton, Hotel New Otani, and Miyako Hotel, which are also luxury lodgings. A business hotel is among the choices as well. It also gives off a vibe from the Western countries. Oftentimes, a room in this type of hotel has a bed, a working table and chair, TV, and private bathroom. Among the popular business hotels in Tokyo is the APA Hotel which values high quality, high functionality, and the environment. Other selections will be Route Inn, Tokyo Inn, and Super Hotel.
Airbnb is also one of the available accommodations in the city. It is somewhat cheaper than a room in a hotel, but gives off the same comfort with a sense of being at home away from home. Hosts offer apartments and rooms with either a traditional or modern style. One distinctive Airbnb in the metropolitan is the Pikachu Flat that is full of anything about the character in the popular anime. It is definitely a dream house to someone who is a fan of Pokémon.
Unique types of lodging like Manga Cafés and Capsule Hotels are also present in the capital. Both are budget-friendly, but offer a distinct experience to their guests. If you are an otaku, you will surely have a great time in a manga café as it offers its guests a seat or a booth to read or browse comic books online. Some cafés in Tokyo are GeraGera Manga Café Shibuya, Com Com Manga Café, and Nagomi Net Café. On the other hand, a capsule hotel is a whole different experience. Instead of a room, you will be provided with a small capsule with a bunk bed, a television sometimes, and light and heating control. With shared showers and toilets, and lockers to store valuables, this lodging is simply a place to sleep. Selections in Tokyo for this lodging are Shinjuku Kuyakusho-mae Capsule Hotel, Oak Hostel Cabin, and Capsulevalue Kanda.
Your choice of hotel is definitely up to you. If you are willing to spend for a greater experience, then go for a top-class hotel. If you want to save, but still want a nice and unique memory of your travel, budget hotels are the answer. Whatever your purpose of travel is or your preferences are, you have a wide selection of accommodation in Tokyo, which can add to your whole travel experience.
Tips and things that you should know
Tokyo, being on the bucket list of most travelers, is indeed swamped by tourists throughout the year. To help you in finding your right accommodation, here are some things that you need to know and take into consideration.
The farther the hotel is from a train station, the cheaper its hotel rates are. Not only is it less expensive, it is also easier to reserve as hotels nearer to terminal stations are most of the time fully booked. Sure, it is much more convenient if the station is just walking distance from your accommodation, but if you want to make the most out of your stay, then a hotel farther away is a better option. What you can save from choosing a cheaper hotel can be used to go to more tourist spots or to try more Japanese cuisine.
You might also want to take note that hotels in Central Tokyo are constantly fully booked; thus, it is always wiser to book at least 2 months ahead. It cannot only guarantee you a room, but can also get you discounts on the rates.
If you are a business traveler, business hotels are usually fully booked in the latter half of the week. It is also better to reserve a room ahead of time. But if you are still unable to find vacancies, you may try using less known reservation sites or directly calling the hotel.
Most of the hotels today have their own websites where you can see their availability and rates. Moreover, there are also a lot of booking sites in partnership with these hotels. It can be more convenient to look for and book accommodation online.
Also keep in mind to always check the available amenities and facilities in your preferred lodging. Is it pet-friendly? Is breakfast already included? Are there restaurants in the hotel? Taking all these things into consideration might make a difference to your travel experience as well.
The right accommodation depends on you – your willingness to spend, your motive for travel, and your personal preferences. Whether you want a luxury or a budget hotel, or whether you prefer Japanese-style or Western-style, there is certainly a hotel in Tokyo that will fit your needs. It might be time-consuming to find your right accommodation, but if it will make your travel experience more memorable and enjoyable, then it is definitely worth it.