Tokyo is a city well known for being full of amazing hotels, traditional ryokans, quirky capsule and themed hotels and, of course, your classic hostels. So trying to work out which one is right for your stay can be a bit daunting and a little overwhelming to say the least. That is why having an idea in mind of what you like or want before you go is essential.
For those who seek an area that is right in the heart of Tokyo then you simply can’t go past Shibuya. It is home to the famous Shibuya crossing which is well known as one of the world’s busiest intersections. It is also an amazing shopping hub (hello, Shibuya 109). The pros and cons to staying in this area, however, are what make it interesting. The pros include, of course, its shopping district and busy nightlife. It is an area that will keep anyone entertained as there is something for everyone whether you’re a shopper, food enthusiast or just like to have a bit of fun (karaoke anyone?).
It also boasts a very central location. Shibuya provides easy access to anything and everything through the brilliant JR line. However, the cons lie in that it is a ward that doesn’t sleep. Think bright neon lights and lots of street noise. It is also known for having one of the busiest stations in the city so its best to try and avoid peak hour as much as possible. So the recommendation here is to just check that your hotel is soundproofed to ensure the best night’s sleep possible so that you’re always charged and ready to hit those amazing streets each day.
Next is Ueno. This ward is well known for its stunning Ueno park which even has its own zoo and is a very popular weekend spot for many people. Now while not as central as Shibuya, Ueno gives the impression of slowing things down. I don’t mean that it isn’t busy or thriving in its own way. It is packed on weekends when families or groups of friends head over to enjoy the park, local shops or nearby museums. So the pros of staying here are its major attractions in the must-see Ueno park. It provides so many different things to see and do right on your hotel’s doorstep that it’d be hard to get bored while staying here. The cons are that on weekends it can get crowded and the ward itself isn’t that close to some of the other big attractions that Tokyo has to offer. So if you stay here, you’ll get a wonderful stay, but it’s best to know that you might have to keep travel times in mind when heading out to explore.
Finally we have Odaiba, a man-made island right in Tokyo Bay. It is also well known as a weekend getaway and a popular date spot for young couples. Boasting three massive shopping malls, one of which is themed around venice in Italy (known as Venus Forte), Odaiba has something to please anyone. Filled with museums, shops, a very large arcade known as Joyopolis and a Madame Tussauds wax museum, restaurants and even a statue of liberty! It even has a giant Gundam robot statue, as if everything else wasn’t enough.
Odaiba has plenty to see and do, however just like the previously mentioned places, it does have its own set of pros and cons. Pros include all of the above and of course a great many chances to do some brilliant holiday shopping. It is also home to Oedo-Onsen Monogatari, otherwise known as an onsen theme park. It offers visitors the chance to don gorgeous yukata and wander old Edo-style streets before heading in to try the many many baths they offer.
The cons however include that Odaiba requires a ride on lines which are outside the public JR lines, meaning they have their own fare. In addition, there is another train or two to transfer to get to other tourist attractions. It isn’t exactly the closest location to pick when staying but for those who still want lots to do and see and still get the peace and quiet away from the city noise and lights then Odaiba is the one for you.
Now while there are only three different wards here for you to look at, be sure that these are merely some of the best Tokyo has to offer. So if it’s just a weekend getaway you’re after or a much longer stay, then Tokyo is simply full of amazing things to see and do and having even a little direction goes a long way to helping sort through the hundreds and hundreds of different hotels and reviews of where the best place to stay is. If nothing else, just pick the one thing you wanna see or do the most and pick an area that best suits that, you just can’t go wrong in Tokyo.
・100 Things to Do in Shibuya, Tokyo’s Fashionable Metropolis, in 2018
・50 Things to Do in Ueno, Tokyo’s Fusion District of the Old and the New, in 2018
・49 Things to Do in Odaiba, the Entertainment Island of Tokyo, in 2018!