These are just three of the headlines that appear on a pretty regular basis in the mainstream press. And with headlines like these, it's now a well-established myth that a stay in Japan's capital city will cost you an arm and a leg.
But don't believe everything you read in the press. For sure, Tokyo can be an expensive city if you want it to be. But it certainly doesn't have to be. It's really up to you and your budget how much you spend while you're here. And cheap Tokyo hotels definitely do exist if you know where to look.
So why has Tokyo earned the reputation of being the most expensive city in the world? Perhaps it's because of the number of expats who, for many years, were relocated here on some of the most generous packages in the world.
What constituted a generous package? There were many who had all expenses paid, including one million yen a month or more apartments, international school fees, and all utility bills for starters. No need for cheap Tokyo hotels here.
Now if you measure the costs of a visit to Tokyo against these standards, then yes, you're in for an expensive time.
The message that fails to come over when you read these kind of headlines, however, is that there are other options available. Tokyo standards for the majority of Japanese mean living on a much smaller budget. Take the cost of an average apartment in Tokyo as an example. It can range anywhere between JPY 70,000 per month to JPY 250,000 depending on the size of the apartment and the location. Certainly not one million yen and more.
And just like there's a full range of apartment prices, there are some really excellent cheap Tokyo hotels for you to choose from as well. Of course they don't come with the accessories as higher star hotels, but they are convenient and will let you get on with having a fantastic Tokyo vacation without taking all your savings in the process.
Budget accommodation in Tokyo doesn't mean you're going to be staying in some dive that's dark and in a dodgy neighbourhood. That's one of the beauties of this city. It may be one of the largest conurbations in the world, but just about anywhere you go here is as safe here as you would be at home. If not safer.
What about the rooms? What are they like if you opt to stay in one of these cheap Tokyo hotels? You can expect it to be clean; to have towels and toiletries; to be en-suite in the majority of cases; to have a tv; to have tea and coffee facilities, and to have staff who will help you as much as they can. Just be prepared that not all places will have staff who speak English.
Below we've listed our favourite cheap Tokyo hotels, with links, so you can go through and check costs, facilities, and availability. There's also a link so you can read reviews from other travellers about each one if you want to do a little more homework before deciding:
Akihabara District: Dormy Inn Akihabara
The Dormy Inn Akihabara is in the middle of a lot of Tokyo action. You're right in the heartland of electric town and otaku culture with easy access to the central Yamanote Line. You're also close to Asakusa with Sensoji Temple with heaps of local festivals all year round. Click here to book or read reviews about Dormy Inn Akihabara.
Asakusa/Ueno District: Sakura Ryokan Hotel
The Sakura Ryokan Hotel is one of our cheap Tokyo hotels that's close to Ueno Park and the old district of Asakusa. This makes it a great spot to stay if you want to be close to one of the main areas of cultural activity in Tokyo with plenty going on. Click here to book or read reviews about Sakura Ryokan Hotel.
Kamata District: Vista Kamata Hotel
Kamata is a local area south of the city that's about a 30 minute train ride from central Tokyo. It's a good choice if you want to stay somewhere local with good train access to the city centre. Yokohama and Kamakura are close by for some great one day sightseeing trips. Click here to book or read reviews about Vista Kamata Hotel.
Kichijoji District: Kichijoji Tokyu Inn
Kichijoji is about 30 minutes to the west of central Tokyo on the Inokashira line. It's home to the very popular Inokashira Park as well as the world famous anime museum, Studio Ghibli. The museum is full of hands on activities and displays designed just for children. Click here to book or read reviews about Kichijoji Tokyu Inn.
Meguro District: Dormy Inn Meguro Aobadai Hotel
The Meguro Aobadai Hotel is close to the popular city areas of Shibuya, Daikanyama and Ebisu. It's about a ten minute walk from the nearest station but, as long as you don't mind that, it's central location is more than compensation. The nightlife's good too. Click here to book or read reviews about Dormy Inn Meguro Aobadai Hotel.
Nihonbashi District: Horidome Villa Hotel
This hotel is a modern member of our cheap Tokyo hotels selection, located close to Akihabara and Asakusa. Although there are no restaurants in the hotel there are many good eats in the area including lots of ramen and sushi shops in the neighbouring Kanda district. Click here to book or read reviews about Horidome Villa Hotel.
Nihonbashi District: Nihonbashi Villa Hotel
A central location with easy access to Ginza, Asakusa and Akihabara as well as other popular areas in Tokyo. Ginza is famous for it's high end fashion and food, but there's plenty of choices to meet all budgets. If it's electronics you're after, Akihabara is just next door. Click here to book or read reviews about Nihonbashi Villa Hotel.
Shinagawa District: Chisun Shinagawa West Hotel
The Chisun Shingawa West is next on our list of cheap Tokyo hotels. Shinagawa is an area of town with some great restaurants and shopping close by. And with a shinkansen station right on your doorstep, this is a great location if ou're travelling across Japan. Click here to book or read reviews about Chisun Shinagawa West Hotel.
Shinjuku District: Shinjuku Park Hotel
The Shinjuku Park Hotel is only a 3 minute walk from the New South Exit of Shinjuku Station which makes it easy to get to. This hotel also gives good access to Yoyogi Park and Harajuku, and you can be in Shibuya within 15 minutes using the central Yamanote line. Click here to book or read reviews about Shinjuku Park Hotel.
Akasaka District: Weekly Akasaka Mansion
This option is a mix between a hotel and apartment style accommodation. You can choose to stay for 1 week, 1 month or more. At first glance this may not seem cheap, but for quality accommodation in this particular district in Tokyo, it's a great deal. Click here to book or read reviews about Akasaka Weekly Mansion.
Do you want to do a search of your own to see what other options are available for cheap Tokyo hotels? Put the city as Tokyo and your dates into the search box below and get a full list of hotels available during the time you want to stay.
And if you're wondering why we recommend this company for your hotel searches, it's because of they way they present your search results. You get to see all the different prices that different companies are offering. For example, Company A may be charging US$45 per night while Company B may have an offer at US$40 per night. You get to choose which company you make your final booking with, so you get the best cheap Tokyo hotels deal.
It's a neat way of making sure you save as much as you can on your accommodation costs. And in future, if anyone tells you Tokyo is the most expensive city in the world you'll be able to set them straight ; )
Get the hotels you like the look of booked. Why? Good cheap Tokyo hotels are often the first to reach capacity, especially at busy times of year. Once they're full, the available options start coming with a bigger price tag. It's best to get in first so you don't end up having to pay more than you anticipated for your accommodation.
Wouldn't you love to find a guidebook that is just for first-time visitors to Tokyo. Find those all important things that only a local would know like: what to expect at the airport, what Japanese is most useful for a traveler to know, what packing tips are specific for Tokyo, what should you do in an emergency, the basics of using the trains, and much more. Head over to Taming Tokyo today and judge for yourself.