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Tokyo on a budget: Where to stay like a local?

Where to stay in Tokyo | Budget Accommodation in Tokyo | Tokyo backpacking hostels
Showa Kinen Park | Image Courtesy of Yoshikazu TAKADA / Flickr

Japan is one of few Asian countries that achieved strong economic progress for a long time. The lifestyle of Japanese match the country’s economic prowess making the cost of living above average. Tokyo, the city centre, is considered to be one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. But Japan is undoubtedly known for unparalleled customer service and high-quality products. No matter how much you are spending you are assured that every cent is worthwhile.

However, having extra bucks that can let you explore more parts of Japan and try out new things to do in Tokyo is also a good idea.

Aside from plane tickets, a bulk of your trip expense is allotted to your place of stay especially in Japan. Tokyo, being a business hub is a densely populated city. This makes the price of land and housing in Tokyo pricey.

But scarce resources bring out the creativity in people. Hence, Japanese were able to come up with reasonably-priced accommodation but still provide the quality service and unique experience Japan is known worldwide. Below are the recommended types of accommodation that you may consider in planning your Tokyo trip:

Where to stay in Tokyo | Budget Accommodation in Tokyo | Tokyo backpacking hostels
Capsule Hotel | Image Courtesy of kallerna / Wikimedia commons

1. Capsule Hotel

This place originally caters to the busy salarymen who missed their train home after a night of drinking. It offers small rooms with basic amenities good for an overnight accommodation with a cheap price tag. The bathrooms are typically shared. It’s in Japan so you don’t need to worry about the cleanliness of shared spaces. You can store your luggage in the lockers.

In the recent years, the industry gone transformation with more types of capsule hotels popping out around Tokyo. The types can range from basic to luxurious, simple designs to themed designs and all-female to co-ed. The price can be as low as 2,600 yen up to 5,000 yen which is usually half the price of a hotel room in Tokyo.

Aside from price, capsule hotels can easily be found in tourist districts – Shibuya, Ginza, Akihabara and Shinjuku. If space is not an issue to you, include capsule hotel in one of your things to do in Tokyo.

When you join the free Night Tour in Shinjuku and decide to continue exploring izakayas in the area, you might consider staying in a capsule hotel! Don’t need to cut the fun to catch the last train when there is a capsule hotel nearby!

Where to stay in Tokyo | Budget Accommodation in Tokyo | Tokyo backpacking hostels
Tokyo Hostel | Image Courtesy of lhoon / Flickr

2. Japanese Hostel

Hostels usually do not enjoy positive image among tourist. But Japanese hostel is a league of its own. Contrary to the typical hostels, it is clean, quiet and relaxing. Though similar with capsule hotels because of the noiseless ambience, any move you or other occupants make can be easily heard.

Hostels typically offer dorm beds which mean you are sharing it with fellow travelers. With this set-up, you can meet new friends in your trip to Tokyo. In addition, hostel staff tend to have Japanese locals who can speak English. This is especially useful when navigating the complicated train system in Tokyo and simply, when getting information about the local area. Aside from socialization, hostels are also cheap and convenient. For a bed in a dorm, it can cost around 2,000-3,000 yen while a private room can start as slow as 5,000 yen.

It is complete with basic amenities too like shared shower, kitchen, common room with TV/PC, vending machine and wifi.

Where to stay in Tokyo | Budget Accommodation in Tokyo | Tokyo backpacking hostels
Tokyo Residential Building | Image Courtesy of Alyssa Stevenson / Unsplash


Of course, Airbnbs and budget hotels are also present in Tokyo. But capsule hotel and Japanese hostel provide not only an affordable stay but an interesting experience too. Most of the hostels and capsule hotels are run by locals where you can learn more about the area you are staying and the culture of Japan.

For the list of available capsule hotels, hostels and other accommodations in Tokyo, visit or You will find the best one that will suit your trip purpose and budget!

Do you know where you can also make some new friends and brush up your knowledge about Tokyo aside from hostels? Through joining free walking tour in Tokyo. Tourists from all over the world frequently participate in Tokyo Localized’ day tour and night tour in Tokyo!


Tokyo Localized provides visitors and travellers to Tokyo with a unique perspective of this great city, what makes us unique is that our tour guides live and work in Tokyo, have a passion for this city and love meeting and welcoming new faces. Find out more about our Unique Day and Night Tours of Tokyo - we can't wait to meet you!

Rocel is a believer of living life to the fullest through creating memories with her loved ones – family, friends and self. One of the things she enjoys doing with them is travelling where they get to experience new cultures, new cuisines, new stories to share and memories to look back. In 2018 alone, she travelled to 5 continents which exposed her to the world’s wonders. After all those trips, Japan is still one of her favorite countries because of its unique and rich culture and natural resources. She lived and studied in Tokyo, Japan for one year where she developed deeper love and appreciation towards the country.




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