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If you’re heading to Japan next summer for the 2020 games, you’re probably anticipating some kind of athletic glory, regardless if you’re competing or just watching. (Go sportsball!) Please allow this list to be your friendly reminder that the closer you get to the summer spectacle, the harder it will be to find a really good, reasonably priced place to stay.  The hotels on the list below have the benefit of being located right in the city, as well as an added element of Japanese culture, and they come at every price point.

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Omo Tokyo

Hoshino Resorts OMO5 Tokyo Otsuka | Photo: Joshua Mellin

Hoshino Resorts OMO5 Tokyo Otsuka

Many Japanese hotel rooms are small, but with the sleek design of OMO5, which allows you both a work space and loft bed, you won’t be counting square feet. You’ll also be encouraged to mingle, thanks to its relaxed lobby, and complimentary one-hour walking tour where local guides (“rangers”) will show you the best places to eat, drink, soak in local culture, and party.



Photo courtesy of ARTIST HOTEL


Yes, art hotels are a dime a dozen, but this two-room haven is actually designed by local Japanese artists—and they actually earn money every time their creation is booked for the night. Enjoy their bright swirls (each room both in Tokyo and their Akihabara location is unique) and then join them in the attached bar for a drink. Bonus: This isn’t just an exercise in art chic—a gang of USB ports, oversized bed, and washer-dryer are on hand for your convenience.


Chinzanso Tokyo

Chinzanso Tokyo | Photo: Joshua Mellin

Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

This is your ultimate Olympic refuge, a former garden estate located in the heart of the city, complete with a three-story pagoda right outside your window. Without leaving the property, you can indulge in the best of Japanese culture by sampling matcha/red bean sweets from the bakery, eating at one of their nine restaurants, soaking at an on-site onsen, or strolling the expansive property, where some of the most famous poets of the country once stood.



Photo courtesy of MANGA Art Hotel

MANGA Art Hotel

If you’re on a budget, it’s good to know that hostels in Tokyo tend to be a bit cleaner and more orderly than their American counterparts. The Manga Art Hotel will offer you something else state-side establishments won’t—all the manga comics (in both Japanese and English) you can read. Curl up with a title or twelve in your gender-segregated dorm and read yourself to sleep. They’re free to read, and available to buy, so you might just find some of the best souvenirs of your trip here.


Keio Plaza Hotel | Photo: Joshua Mellin

Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo

Like many people across the world, we love Sanrio. But even if you’re not interested in staying in Keio Plaza’s Hello Kitty-themed room (a big mistake—it’s a lot of fun!), Tokyo’s first skyscraper hotel has a lot to offer. Namely: traditional Japanese breakfasts, classes in traditional tea ceremonies and ikebana, and a location next to the Shinjuku train station that, thanks to Tokyo’s high-speed transit system, means you’re minutes away from most major landmarks.



Photo courtesy of Robot Hotel by Henn na Hotel

Robot Hotel by Henn na Hotel Maihama Tokyo-Bay

If Japan’s reputation for futuristic weird is what you’re after, book a room at Henn na Hotel Maihama, where the front desk is staffed by robot dinosaurs. Your room is opened via facial recognition, and features an egg robot ready to listen and help out. (Think of it as an unhatched Siri.) As long as the robot uprising doesn’t happen anytime soon, this is the perfect place to sleep, particularly if you’re headed to Tokyo Disneyland next door.



Sunshine City Prince Hotel | Photo: Joshua Mellin

Sunshine City Prince Hotel

Located in Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City Mall, Sunshine City Prince Hotel has location location location in its favor. But the real attraction is the IKEPRI 25, the just opened theme floor, which plays into the desires of kids—at heart or in actual age. Each of their concept rooms (and hallway gacha ball dispensers), pays tribute to a different Japanese Manga series, meaning even if you can’t get up close and personal with your favorite characters, at least you can live like them for a night.



Photo courtesy of HOSHINOYA Tokyo


In Japan, bathing culture is extremely important—and devotees claim it can cure a WebMD-worth of illnesses. HOSHINOYA is Tokyo’s first luxury ryokan—an onsen-oriented hotel where you can bathe in natural hot spring water, walk in slipper-clad feet across tatami floors, and dine on traditional rice balls and green tea, all without sacrificing access to flat-screen televisions, WIFI, or an impeccably bilingual staff.



Hotel Gracery | Photo: Joshua Mellin

Hotel Gracery Shinjuku

Yes, we’re sure Hotel Gracery is a high-end hotel with many amenities. Plus, it’s located in Shinjuku, one of Tokyo’s most central and vibrant neighborhoods. But we’re too busy surviving its hourly Godzilla attacks to investigate. Every hour during the day, the Godzilla head located on the roof bursts into action, screaming and spitting steam, threatening to huff, puff, and basically tear the whole hotel down. (Hasn’t happened yet—but we’re dedicated to checking back.) Wanna really experience the famous monster’s attack? For added verisimilitude, book one of the hotel’s Godzilla view rooms, which promises a super-secret bonus experience.


Park Hyatt Tokyo

Park Hyatt | Photo: Joshua Mellin

Park Hyatt

The granddaddy of all luxurious Tokyo experiences, Park Hyatt is worth a visit—even if you’re unlikely to find Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray drinking in the upstairs bar. Thankfully the watering hole/New York Grill hasn’t changed much since the Lost in Translation era, and the view is jaw-droppingly expansive. Take tea in their 41st story atrium (another location from the Sofia Coppola film), and splash away jet lag in their skylight-lit pool.

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Tagged: Asia, Japan

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Laura Studarus

Laura Studarus

Laura is a writer/vagabond with bylines in Marie Claire, Vice, Bandcamp and Lenny Letter. Sometimes she can go several hours without a cup of tea. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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