Mar 14, 2023



Travel Inspiration

Where to Stay in Tokyo: The 8 Best Neighborhoods

Fora Author Fora Travel

The Modern Travel Agency

Fora Travel

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Striking and modern with a rich culture to explore, Tokyo is among the world’s foremost urban destinations. Nearly 40 million people from all over the world call Japan’s capital home, making Tokyo a truly global city. With so many options and sights, deciding where to stay in Tokyo can be a gargantuan task without expert help. 

When you book your travel to Tokyo with a Fora Advisor, though, you’ll be able to stay in the best neighborhoods in Tokyo while unlocking VIP hotel perks and upgrades at no extra cost. Plus, you’ll get expert travel recommendations on everything from the most notable landmarks to the best restaurants in Tokyo.

The best neighborhoods to stay in Tokyo: from Shinjuku to Akihabara


Tokyo is a massive and magical city, and many of its neighborhoods have earned their place among the best places to stay in Japan

The capital is one of the best choices for anyone’s first time in Japan (check out our first-timer’s travel guide to Japan), both in terms of the cultural experience and the sheer amount of things to do. And though Tokyo is the world’s biggest city (by most metrics), it’s surprisingly easy to navigate… once you get the hang of it (our beginner’s guide to visiting Tokyo can help here).

Read on for the best neighborhoods to stay in Tokyo.

1. Shinjuku: where to stay in Tokyo for first-timers

Iconic neon lights, luxe hotels and an incredible array of clubs, restaurants and entertainment options — Shinjuku is Tokyo from the movies. If you want to see the capital at its most modern and electric, this is where to stay in Tokyo. 

This district is extremely popular. Even in slower months, you’ll be hard-pressed to find restaurants and bars without a wait — and the streets are nearly always crowded. Don’t let that be discouraging, though. Shinjuku is an amazing place to visit and hands-down one of the best places to stay in Tokyo. It’s also a great representation of the best of Tokyo, so if this is your first visit to Japan, Shinjuku is a must.

Among many other highlights, you’ll find Shinjuku Gyoen Park, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Free Observatory — where you can see Mount Fuji in the distance — and for Vegas-style fun, Kabukicho, Tokyo’s more adult-oriented district.

As for Shinjuku’s access to the rest of the city, you can’t be much more central (without technically being in Central Tokyo). It’s very easy to travel from Shinjuku to most of the major wards and districts of Tokyo.

Connect with a Fora travel advisor to learn more about Shinjuku, including the best months to visit Japan to avoid the crowds (unless you want to visit the district at its liveliest).

2. Shibuya: the best place to stay in Tokyo for nightlife

Like Shinjuku, Shibuya is amazingly energetic. In many ways, the two wards are very similar. Shibuya, however, places a little more emphasis on nightlife and entertainment. As such, the crowds veer younger, so this is where to stay in Tokyo if you’re looking for dancing, trendy bar hopping and the like.

Also like Shinjuku, many of the streets in Shibuya are exceptionally vibrant and buzzing, especially at night. Tens of thousands of people (if not more) pour through Shibuya daily, enjoying the district’s fantastic shopping, food (see our foodies’ guide to Japan) and nightlife options. 

You’ll also find that Shibuya is well connected to the rest of Tokyo. Western travelers may have an easier time navigating here, as it’s common for businesses to employ English-speaking staff. Plus, many of the coolest hotels in Tokyo are found in, or at least near, Shibuya.

Highlights include the Meiji Jingu Shrine, Shibuya Crossing — the busiest intersection in the world — and Yoyogi Park, among many others.

Overall, if you’re spending at least one week in Japan, Shibuya and Shinjuku are must-stop destinations. Chat with a Fora Advisor for travel recommendations and help booking hotels in either district.

3. Tokyo Station (aka Marunouchi): where to stay in Tokyo for easy access to the rest of Japan

Marunouchi, better known as the area surrounding Tokyo Station, is Tokyo’s central district. It’s arguably the city’s most convenient place to stay because it not only grants you fantastic access to much of Tokyo, often at a more affordable rate, but also to the rest of Japan. 

In other words, this is where to stay in Tokyo if you want to see as much of Japan as possible from a singular location.

The architecture style is also unique. You’ll find a mix of traditional Japanese and Western influences, which makes sense considering this is one of Tokyo’s most business-savvy districts. Marunouchi also features a stunning variety of international restaurants and shops.

4. Ginza: where to stay in Tokyo for luxury hotels, shopping & dining


Ginza is the best place to stay in Tokyo for upscale shopping and fine dining. This ritzy neighborhood is home to dozens of luxe department stores, upscale boutiques and high-end restaurants (many of Tokyo’s best). 

The cultural influences here are somewhat subdued compared to Tokyo’s more historic districts like Asakusa, but this is still very much classic Tokyo (with a lavish twist). 

The only major downside to staying in Ginza is that it’s somewhat removed from the rest of the city. By no means is staying in Ginza inconvenient, though; just expect to add slightly more time to a commute than you would if you stayed in Shinjuku or Tokyo Station.

A Japan travel advisor can give you the full lowdown on Ginza, and our Japan regulars’ guide covers a few surprises that even second- and third-time travelers will likely enjoy.

5. Asakusa: the best area to stay in Tokyo for a lived-in vibe & older Japanese architecture

An older part of the city that hasn’t been fully hit by the country’s embrace of continual modernization, Asakusa is the best neighborhood to stay in Tokyo if you want an experience more indicative of everyday life in urban Japan.

It’s easy to get lost here amongst the rows of uniform streets and endless stores, cafés and coffee shops, but that’s also the appeal of Asakusa. It’s a great place to explore Tokyo’s culture outside of the glamor of its more popular districts. The downtown area is easily walkable and there’s no shortage of authentic dining options.

Asakusa’s lived-in vibe earns comparisons to Kyoto. If you’re only able to visit one major city during your vacation to Japan, sojourning to Asakusa amidst trips to Shinjuku or Shibuya may be an exciting compromise. Or, you can totally explore Kyoto, too (an advisor is happy to help in either case!). 

6. Roppongi: where to stay in Tokyo for art & entertainment

Roppongi is the bridge between Shibuya and Chiyoda, where the Imperial Palace is located, and this location helps make it one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Tokyo.

Here you’ll find some of Tokyo’s top museums, like the Mori Art Museum and National Art Center, Tokyo, along with a number of things to see and do. Casinos, ritzy nightclubs and a spectrum of dining options ranging from quick treats to elite restaurants are all within walking distance from Roppongi Station.

Overall, the district has a worldly feel, and everything from the hotels to the nightlife establishments cater to a global audience. Yet, Roppongi still feels like classic Tokyo.

7. Akihabara & Ueno: where to stay in Tokyo for anime & pop culture fanatics


One of the most unique places to visit in Japan, Akihabara (aka Akihabara Electric Town) embraces Japanese pop culture. The downtown area is filled with gaming halls, street food vendors and collectible stores. 

At night, Akihabara comes to life with colorful streets and energetic crowds. Meanwhile, nearby Ueno is fairly low-key, with a variety of museums, parks and traditional architecture to explore.

Together, the two districts offer a snapshot of traditional-meets-modern Japanese culture. This is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Tokyo for culture enthusiasts, and may be where to stay in Tokyo if you want some of the best of all worlds.

8. Odaiba & Tokyo Bay area: one of the best places to stay in Tokyo with family

The Tokyo Bay area is actually a collection of many different districts and wards, spanning from Minato (Downtown Tokyo), through western Chiba, where you’ll find Tokyo Disneyland. 

One of the more notable areas also happens to be one of the best areas to stay in Tokyo for families: Odaiba, an artificial island connected to Minato by the Rainbow Bridge. 

The area is heavily Westernized, but there’s a variety of attractions kids and families can enjoy, from the Disney resort to massive entertainment centers and more. 

Chat with a Fora Advisor to learn more about where to stay in the Tokyo Bay Area.

Decide where to stay in Tokyo with a Fora Advisor (and get access to awesome travel perks, too)

With dozens of districts, each offering its own unique version of Tokyo, deciding where to stay in Tokyo can be an overwhelming task for first-timers. But by planning a trip to Japan with a Fora Advisor, you get to focus on the fun aspects of travel while they take care of all the heavy lifting. 

In the meantime, you get to enjoy awesome hotel perks and upgrades for the same cost as booking alone. Plus, advisors can hook you up with pro travel recommendations on the most exciting things to do in Japan, the coolest hotels in Japan and beyond. It’s the best way to travel to Japan.


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