Struggling to find the right hotel in Tokyo

kbmartin

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2014
Hi everyone,

I'm all set for the TDR portion of our trip, but I'm really struggling to find the right hotel in Tokyo for the rest. This is a little bit of venting, but I'm also looking for suggestions. I'm looking for somewhere to stay from April 10-15th, 2020.

Originally, I decided we should stay in Shinjuku for the ease of access to just about anywhere from Shinjuku Station. Unfortunately, though, many of the hotels that are an easy walk from the station are so expensive. From researching, I found that a typical "double" room just would not suit our needs. It's just DH and me, but DH is really tall (6'4"), and a double bed just wouldn't do it for us, so I've come to the realization that we will most likely have to book a "twin" room and push the beds together. I guess I didn't realize until I started researching that most hotels in Japan charge per person rather than per room, and it is so much pricier compared to hotels here in the US. I've only found one hotel in the Shinjuku area (NOT Kabukicho, the red light district) that is reasonable and bookable at this time, but reviewers said you basically needed to use yoga poses(!) to get around the bathroom and that you can't control the room temperature (only option is to request a fan and open the window). I have a few places I'm still considering in Shinjuku, but they aren't booking that far out yet.

I guess I'm just feeling a little culture-shocked and looking for some help and maybe a confidence boost! Planning this trip is honestly giving me so much anxiety. I've never left the US, and I'm the only one researching.

I tried looking up AirBnBs, but I feel like we kept running into the bed issue even there (just double beds), and I don't like knowing precisely where something is until we book (in Shinjuku, I really don't want to end up in Kabukicho). I've never used AirBnB, so in some ways I guess I'm a little intimidated, too!

We need a US-sized queen or king bed OR a "twin room" so we can put the two beds together. I would really like it if there was a self-serve laundry right in the hotel. I have asthma, so I'd need to feel confident we wouldn't end up in a smoking room. I also have flat feet and know I'm going to have a hard time with all the walking, which makes me want to be close to a station.

We plan to visit the following areas: Shinjuku (obviously), Harajuku/Shibuya, Akihabara, and Asakusa. I think it would make sense to stay in one of those areas...? We will also go to TeamLab Borderless in Odaiba (maybe Toyosu Market there too?), the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, the Pokemon Cafe, and maybe Shining Moon Tokyo (the Sailor Moon show restaurant) in Azabu-Juban. I hope wherever we stay has somewhat easy access to those as well (not a million transfers...).

If you have any advice or suggestions, I would really appreciate it. I'm hoping this community will be understanding of how difficult it is to plan this trip - I don't feel like anyone I know really gets it or can help. And don't get me wrong, I am excited to go - it's just mixed with anxiety! Ha ha. Thank you for reading.
 

indoshakespeare

Reach out and find your Happily Ever After
Joined
Jun 7, 2011
I'm more familiar than Shibuya dan Shinjuku. In Shibuya, check Excel Tokyu or Cerulean Tokyu. If that's out of your budget, check Shibuya Granbell.
 

LovesTimone

Christmas Day 2017
Joined
Apr 29, 2009
I can't really give you a hotel suggestion as I am in the process of planning for next year...., I can make a suggestion though to help you sort through...

My DH is almost 6'5, and a big guy, there is no way we could sleep in a double nor could he sleep on a twin... Sleeping well and being comfortable when returning to your room to relax at the end of the day for us is super important... I would take that into the equation and make it a higher priority on the list.... You can't function for days and days without proper sleep... and that will effect your overall trip and touring...
 
  • MKTokyo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2018
    My parents stay at the Park Hyatt when they visit. My dad is also a big guy. There is no way he could sleep on a twin bed or in a double with my mom.

    That said, an average (or even budget) hotel room in the US is the size of a luxury hotel room in Japan. Bathrooms will be tiny because that is the norm here. "Yoga poses" is highly exaggerated, though someone 6'4" is indeed going to have a hard time in the average Japanese shower. (It can be done, of course. It just won't be his favorite experience of the trip.)

    Wherever you stay, don't expect to be able to push the beds together. They are usually immovable. Book the kind of room you want at the start. If you end up in a twin room, yes, it is weird for a couple & not preferable, but if a queen/king room is not in your budget then you will just have to reenact I Love Lucy for a few nights. I personally do not sleep well alone but some places we have wanted to go simply do not have larger beds available (even doubles!) & the twin rooms have never been that bad. It really doesn't feel "alone."

    I agree with @LovesTimone & HIGHLY recommend you devote as much of your budget as possible to choosing a room you will be the most comfortable in. You cannot possibly enjoy your trip if you are not sleeping well.

    They will NOT put you in a smoking room if you book a non-smoking room.

    Shinjuku Station is one of the biggest & most confusing train stations in the world. You will probably get lost. People who have lived in Japan their whole lives get lost. I say this so that you will not be focused on easy transfers, etc, which don't exist anyway because the locations you mention are all over the city & there is no one place to stay that will hit them all. Think of it more as an adventure to have fun with rather than as something that will be easy. It won't be easy. But you will enjoy it. & Google Maps will help you quite a lot.
     

    trivan

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 1, 2014
    With the 2020 Olympics in Aug, I wonder if pricing of hotels are being affected. We just did a trip and stayed in the Chiyoda City area ( by Tokyo Station), it was our 3rd trip and like the area since it’s reeally simple to get to from Narita. Getting to Disney was simple from Tokyo station, a 10 min walk and 1 train to the Disney area. I’m not sure of your budget but there are some really nice hotels in the area and I did see a number of smaller ones.
     

    gelatoni fan

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 18, 2018
    I like to stay at the Courtyard in Tokyo Station and it could be a good option for you. I find Tokyo station even more confusing than Shinjuku but it's less than 1/2 an hour to pretty much every station on your list assuming you don't get lost. Since the room is western sized, the bed should be fine for you. The Hyatt Regency in Shinjuku should be cheaper than the Park Hyatt and have King beds. I think pretty much any Western chain hotel with king beds is going to put you in the 150+ USD per night range which may be out of your budget.

    You could also look at Shibuya which is relatively convenient for the places you want.
     

    TipsyTraveler

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 9, 2014
    We stayed at the Hilton in Shinjuku. The rooms were western style and spacious and I’m pretty sure we had a king bed (could’ve possibly been two queens). Prior to the trip we opened a Hilton Honors credit card and used that for our flights, plus other expenses, in order to build points that we could then redeem for free hotel stays. New Honors members get two free weekend nights, which is what we used to cover two of our nights at the Shinjuku Hilton. We paid $85 for the third night and saved the rest of the points for 5 free nights at the Tokyo Disney Hilton. Whatever “Honors status” we have allowed us to be upgraded to executive level and eat at the breakfast buffet for free each morning, which was nice for the convenience of getting a quick meal into us before we hit the ground touring. The Shinjuku Hilton connects via underground passage to a couple of train stations and I believe they have a shuttle to take guests to the Shinjuku Station as well. We just walked to the station, though I can’t remember exactly how far that was.

    In Shibuya we stayed at the Dormy Inn. The rooms were considerably smaller than the Hilton, but perfectly adequate, good location, and reasonably priced.

    We used the Navitime app to guide us through the train stations and never had any problems getting lost.
     
  • AngelDisney

    Dream a Disney Dream 0[;)
    Joined
    Mar 22, 2011
    We stayed in a Japanese style room with tatami once. Do you think this will solve the length issue of the beds? You are basically sleeping on the floor. This is a hotel in Sapporo (not a ryokan), but I think there should be hotels offering Japanese style rooms in Tokyo as well.
     

    MimiDee905

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 24, 2016
    We stayed at the Sheraton by TDR for our entire trip and never moved into a hotel in Tokyo. We traveled to all of the neighborhoods you mentioned with ease. Our
    commute into the city during our 4 Tokyo days was minimal and didn't bother us at all. Free breakfast and large spacious rooms. Have you considered just staying at your TDR property?
     
  • kbmartin

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2014
    Just wanted to update! Thank you all so very much for your comments/suggestions. I looked into the Hyatt Regency and Hilton for rooms with a king bed. I am going to continue to watch the Hyatt Regency for better pricing, but it is still really out of our budget ($327 per night). One other thought is that eventually there might be a big flash sale for the Hilton (they do these periodically). Right now the Hilton is $379 per night. I'm starting to think nothing's going to be in our desired budget ($150-$225ish), though (at least nothing really very nice), and we should probably just give up on that and deal with high prices. I'm still thinking Shinjuku is a good base, but we'll see.

    We're already set for staying at the Hilton Tokyo Bay for part 1 of the trip, but I definitely wouldn't stay there for part 2. One of the hotels I'm watching is the Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku. They're a Disney good neighbor hotel which means they have a shuttle from the hotel to the parks. I contacted them and they said taking our luggage on the bus is no problem on the day we check in, which would make things really easy (it just would suck having to wait around until about 4-5 pm for the first bus back to Shinjuku, but we could sleep in and then wander to the Sheraton to do laundry while we wait). Unfortunately, Keio is not booking for April right now, so it's a little frustrating to not have any idea of what their pricing might be like. I also like that the airport limo back to Narita stops there - again, it makes things pretty simple. I found another hotel like this in Asakusa (Disney good neighbor with shuttle, airport limo, pretty good station nearby - just not super close to things), but the pricing is still pretty high and no king bed. In fact, the twin bed there is shorter in length than my DH. Poor guy. :-(

    Anyway, that's kind of where I'm at and just wanted to let you know what I'm thinking now. Any other ideas, send them my way! Thank you again!!!
     

    greenkai3000

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 10, 2011
    Try staying closer to Tokyo Station . Areas such as Kyobashi, Hatchobori, and outer Ginza have decently price hotels. Also you can walk to most train stations from those areas
     

    princesspiglet

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 12, 2001
    We are staying at Hotel Ryokan Takemine. It's about a 20 min ride to shibuya station and is very nice and relatively cheap. They have king sized beds.
     

    JKalai

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 16, 2014
    One of the hotels I'm watching is the Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku.
    We stayed at Hotel Gracery in Shinjuku and it was great with lots of stuff to do, but every time we wanted to leave to head to either Shibuya or Ginza etc. it was always a hassle. The walk back to the room after walking all day was not fun. Shinjuku station is really that massive.
     

    MikeOhio

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 7, 2011
    If you happen to have a travel credit card, you can book the hyatt regency for 12,000 points per night which is an absolute steal. If you don't have one you can sign up for and then use the points bonus to book. Chase sapphire preferred has a 65k point bonus right now so that would get you 5 free nights at the hyatt regency.
     

    jgl130

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 26, 2015
    We stayed at the Hotel New Otani last November when we went. My dad is 6’3” and he and my mom were in a King Room. He didn’t have any problems.

    It was a short train ride to Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku, etc.

    Great location! We paid about $800 for two rooms for two nights in the Garden Tower section.
     

    bibbidibobbidibecky

    The Fairy Godblogger
    Joined
    May 12, 2009
    Hi! I understand how overwhelming planning a trip to Japan for the first time can be. We stayed at the Hotel Wing International Premium Yotsuya this summer. It's right by a metro station and they have a great breakfast. I booked through Expedia and got a great rate on two rooms. My son is almost 6'5" and he didn't have any issues with fitting in the beds. Some doorways were a different story haha.

     

    Wallyworld81

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 11, 2019
    My husband and I have been to Tokyo 2 times in the past two years - He was apprehensive at first about traveling that far abroad but the second we landed he said "wow this feels like home" - Its a lot of planning but don't be worried!

    The first year we went we stayed at The Tokyo Station Hotel and loved the hotel itself! Its right within Tokyo Station and so grand. We got it for a steal and only paid $250 a night. It wasn't the most central if you plan to spend a lot of your time on the Shibuya/Shinjuku side of town, but we liked it.

    Last year we stayed at the Cerulean Tokyu hotel right in Shibuya and also loved it! It was a 5 min walk from the Shibuya station and the rooms were very large by Japanese hotel standards. We had a king size bed with a city view for $300 a night. We booked it through hotels.com and it was a better deal than going through the hotel's website.

    Honestly I think you would be better off staying in the Shibuya area and using Shibuya station as your home base. Its a large station but we didn't find it overwhelming at all. Shinjuku station on the other hand was crazy!! (and this is coming from a new Yorker who has taken trains everywhere for her whole life)
     

    fabfemmeboy

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2014
    It's MUCH cheaper to stay over by Asakusa/Akihabara than in Shibuya or Shinjuku. It's easier to get bigger rooms there, too. And still convenient, with the JR. Tobu Levant has amazing views,
     

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