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Hotels and Accommodation in Japan

Japan is one of the most expensive countries in the world, and consequently, hotels in Japan often reflect the high living costs, particularly if you are planning to stay in central locations such as near the Imperial Palace in Chiyoda-ku or in the expensive Ginza districts of Tokyo. Generally speaking, hotel rooms in Japan are smaller than those of western standards, yet more expensive, although virtually any type of accommodation is available at the right price. The most exclusive are the five star hotels in central Tokyo. Types and levels of accommodations descend from there, but, regardless of the accommodations that you seek, you will find the hospitality and service almost anywhere in Japan to be exceptional. The Japanese people, in general, are very polite and are anxious to show guests great manners and hospitality. Hotels in Japan fall into several different categories. At the top of the list are the First Class Hotels. These are of the four star and five star variety, and prices for these hotels begin at about 30000 yen and skyrocket from there. Most of the staff speak English, so these are generally the hotels booked by foreign guests. Reservations are required in Japan, and it considered somewhat impolite and improper not to have booked a room in advance of your arrival. Travel agencies typically make reservations at these popular hotels, which will be equipped with western style services, food, toilets and virtually every western luxury imaginable - and then some. Almost all Resort Hotels nationwide will be fully booked months (even years) in advance for the following periods: Dec. 29 - Jan. 4, Apr. 28 - May 7th, Aug. 5 - 15th. Other peak times are during local festivals and special events. Business Class Hotels are generally slightly smaller and less luxurious than First Class hotels, but this is also reflected in the cost. They are clean and certainly suitable for most travelers and businessmen and you will still find them to be furnished with western style restaurants and facilities, televisions, refrigerators and some English services. Some of the staff will usually speak English as well. Business hotels are usually conveniently located to local transportation and train stations. A growing number of Business Hotels are offering at least one English speaking television station such as CNN or BBC news. The rooms also come with shaving razors, soap, shampoo and even your own toothbrush and toothpaste. Prices begin at around 3000- 4000 yen, and can be found for as low as 7000-8000 yen in Tokyo, based on double occupancy, so a significant amount of money can be saved by staying at these hotels.

Ryokan and minshiku, my personal favorites, are the next category of hotels in Japan, and are especially desirable to those seeking to experience a taste of real Japanese culture. Ryokan ("traveller's inn) and minshuku ("people's accommodation"), are most common in the rural or resort areas of Japan, and provide a variety of more personal services that really give one the flavor of traditional Japan. You sleep on tatami mat floors on a futon, are given a kind of Japanese kimono or yukata to wear during your stay, and most often share the traditional Japanese bathing facilities with other guests. There are shared toilets as well, which generally are not western style toilets, but rather Japanese style, which can be a consideration for those with physical limitations. Often these hotels are family operated, so they generally also include home cooked Japanese set meals. If you have never experienced a Japanese breakfast of fish, seaweed, rice, pickles and miso soup, then here is your chance. The staff will almost never speak any English whatsoever, but will do everything they can to make you feel welcome and at home. Prices range from about 3000 yen and up per person, depending upon the area, and will often include at least one meal.

Capsule hotels are just that; literally plastic tube-like cubicles equipped with a small bed, an intercom and a radio. They are generally used by Japanese businessmen who want to catch a few hours of sleep, and are not popular amongst foreigners. In fact, some prohibit foreign guests and women. You have to crawl inside, and bathing facilities are shared. Some of the more developed capsule hotels have shared saunas and other facilities available. You may wish to try one for the novelty, but should consider a business hotel instead for about the same price. Prices range from about 3000 yen to as much as 10,000 yen. Love Hotels, unique to Japan, developed primarily to offer a discreet place for couples to meet secretly so as not to violate certain cultural taboos. Near the lower end of the accommodation spectrum, they are typically rented anonymously by the hour, although they become available for all night use after about 9:00 p.m. Love Hotels can be distinguished by their elaborate neon signs and color schemes, often in pink or red color combinations, and the prominent word "HOTEL" in their name. They can be found to some degree throughout Japan, and can range from huge multi-story complexes to simple small hideaways in the countryside. Despite their somewhat sleazy reputation, (heart shaped beds, theme rooms, pornographic television options, kleenex, VCR and karaoke machines) they are clean and suitable for comfortable lodging. If you wish to check in, you will first see a sign near the entrance where there may be several prices listed. The lower figure is for a period of use termed by Japanese, perhaps inappropriately, as a "rest period," generally for around two hours. The higher price indicates an all night stay, though generally you cannot check in until after about 9:00 p.m. or so. Once you enter, you'll find a panel with all the numbered rooms on it. The ones that are lit up are available. Push the button corresponding to the rooms, and make payment (cash only) by sending your money through a kind of a drawer in the wall. You will have no contact with any staff, (something designed to protect one's privacy) and will be required to check out the next morning by around 10:00 a.m. There are a couple of more options for staying in Japan. If you are a hard core traveler with nothing more than just a backpack, you may be able to find a Gaijin House, (outside person's, or foreigner's house). These are usually large houses that rent out rooms for short or long terms specifically to offer an inexpensive alternative to foreigners. They have shared facilities and often offer the option of several bunk beds per room. You may be thrown in someone else room, which can be fun and save you money if you are accustomed to this type of situation. They generally do not have offices or reservation numbers, and the only way that I have found them is through the English edition of the Japan Times newspaper, which is available online or at the airport and at most train and subway stations. You may also be able to find a YMCA or Pension similar to those found in the U.S. or Europe, although they are not popular in Japan Below you will find a list of various hotels in Japan, listed by city and by category.

Tokyo Hotels

Four and Five Star First Class Hotels

Century Hyatt
The Hyatt is situated in Tokyo's metropolitan commercial center in Shinjuku, and the hotel is facing Shinjuku Central Park, adjacent to Tokyo's most vibrant shopping area. This hotel offers some of the finest in room amenities, with fax or internet access(IPORT) available on request, direct dial phones, beauty salon, shuttle services, a lap pool, and 24 hour English speaking room service. Rates start at about $300.
2-7-2 Nishi-Shinjuku,Shinjuku-Ku,Tokyo 160-0023,Japan
Phone : (+662) 913-6030 Fax: (+813) 45123002

Shinjuku Prince
Shinjuku lies in the heart of Tokyo, and the Shinjuku Prince is probably the most popular and well known of the hotels there. Just minutes from bustling nightlife of the famous Kabukui-cho district, the Shinjuku Prince has over 500 rooms starting at around $125.00 a night including breakfast. Shinjuku is the busiest train station in the world, and convenient to the finest shopping, restaurants, and nightlife that Tokyo has to offer. It is also just a short train or taxi ride to Yoyogi Park (a real treat on Sunday afternoons), the Olympic Stadium, Roppongi (a popular party spot for young people), Ginza and numerous site seeing spots in Tokyo. For a more detailed description of the Tokyo Prince, go to .

Shinjuku Prince Hotel
30-1, Kabuki-cho 1-chome
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8487
Phone: 81-3-3205-1111
Fax: 81-3-3205-1952

Keio Plaza
Keio Plaza Tokyo is a deluxe hotel with over 1500 rooms, offering a wide selection of superb guest rooms and excellent service as standard for Inter-Continental hotels around the world. It is located in the New Metropolitan Center in Shinjuku, an area convenient for business and pleasure.

The Keio Plaza offers a great variety of outstanding restaurants and bar/lounges, so guests can feast on some of the best in Cantonese food and Italian dishes, dine casually in the brasseries or enjoy the tastiest in French cuisine on the 44th floor of the Main Tower. The bartenders at the Keio Plaza are renowned, and have won a number of national and international awards for their cocktails.

The Keio Plaza's facilities range widely in size and decor from small rooms for private parties to meeting space for seminars, and two convention halls fitted with the best in sound and lighting equipment, and equipped for simultaneous interpretation into six languages. Rates are around $235 U.S. a night.
2-2-1 Nishi-Shinjuku,Shinjuku-ku, TOKYO 160-8330
Phone : (+662) 913-6030 Fax: (+813) 45123002

Tokyo Dome Hotel
Located at the very center of Tokyo inside the cities main train line (JR Yamanote Line), the Tokyo Dome Hotel is close to some of Tokyo's most historic neighborhoods, sightseeing interests and business centers, including the business and financial districts of Marunouchi and Otemachi. There are over 1000 rooms, 10 restaurants & lounges, 18 banquet rooms, two distinctive chapels and other wedding facilities, a business center, a child care room, and an outdoor pool. Rates start at around $225 US.
1-3-61, Koraku, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-8562, Japan
Phone : (+662) 913-6030 Fax: (+813) 45123002

Akasaka Prince
The Akasaka Prince Hotel is situated in the heart of the business and government district by day and one of Tokyo's premier entertainment areas by night, thereby making Akasaka the perfect place to stay for the business and leisure traveler.

The Akasaka Prince Hotel is surrounded by beautiful Japanese gardens rimmed with cherry blossom trees - a real treat during the springtime Cherry Blossom festivals. The hotel is a sparkling oasis within minutes of bustling shopping areas, popular tourist sightseeing spots and the city's dazzling array of entertainment attractions. There are over 750 rooms, many with beautiful panoramic views, all of which have the ultimate in amenities. 60 of the rooms have full internet access (at an additional charge), and the services include a pool and a beauty salon. Prices begin at around $300 US. For more details go to
Akasaka Prince Hotel
1-2, Kioi-cho
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8585
Phone: 81-3-3234-1111
Fax: 81-3-3262-5163

Hotel New Otani
The Hotel New Otani, another favorite five star hotel, lies in Akasaka, and offer every amenity available for foreign guests. One of its premier attractions is a 400 year old, 10 acre Japanese Garden, which allows for a tranquil escape from the bustling city. Conveniently located in central Tokyo, the hotel's room features include pay per view movies, CNN and BBC television, bar, climate control, Japanese robes and 24 hour room service. Starts at $300 U.S.
Phone : (+662) 913-6030 Fax: (+813) 45123002

Osaka Hotels

Hyatt Regency Osaka
Osaka's only Business Retreat with resort facilities features 500 spacious rooms with panoramic harbor views. Conveniently situated between Kansai International Airport and the city center. Accessible to the nearby ancient cultural attractions in Kyoto and Nara. Located in Cosmo Square adjacent to Japan's largest international exhibition center, INTEX Osaka, the Asia Pacific Trade Center and the World Trade Center. There are 15 restaurants and bars offering Japanese, Western and European cuisine. Extensive fitness, conference and meeting room facilities (with state-of-the-art audio and lighting). Rates are$300 U.S. to start.
1-13-11 Nanko Kita, Suminoe-ku, Osaka 559-0034, Japan
Phone : (+662) 913-6030 Fax: (+813) 45123002

Osaka Tokyu
At the Osaka Tokyu, the rooms are characterized as very spacious (for Japan) with amazing views all over the harbor and to the mountains beyond. The decor throughout the hotel is remarkable, with traditional woodblock prints and art throughout. The bathrooms have black marble that surrounds the basin area to contrast to the stylish tiling. You get a private shower and a tub and an excellent selection of quality soaps, shampoos, body lotions and other personal care products. There are over 500 rooms, with rates starting from about $275 U.S. for single occupancy.
7-20, Chaya, machi, Kita-ku, Osaka, Japan, 530
Phone : (+662) 913-6030 Fax: (+813) 45123002

Osaka Tokyu Inn
Located in Umeda, the center of Osaka, walking distance from JR Osaka Stn. Convenient for shopping, business and leisure. An outdoor swimming pool is available (1 Jul-31 Aug). Part of the Tokyu Hotel Chain, this full service hotel includes a 24-hour front desk, babysitting and child services, a bar, two lounges, a barber and beauty shop, a business center, car rental, CNN, free movies, a concierge, a drugstore, a florist, Japanese tea service, laundry and valet services, mail and postage service, meeting and banquet facilities, a mini-bar, free newspapers, nightly turndown, non smoking rooms and facilities, free parking, a steam bath area and massagesÉand more. Around $215 U.S. to start.
2-1 Doyama-Cho,Kita-Ku,Osaka,530-0027,Japan
Phone : (+662) 913-6030 Fax: (+813) 45123002

New Osaka Hotel
The New Osaka Hotel offers the perfect combination between traditional and modern Osaka with our whole heart.

As a gateway of Osaka, The New Osaka Hotel offers successful business and graceful memories to you. The Hotel is conveniently located near the Shin Osaka Station and is the bridgehead of commerce in Osaka. Rates at about $150 U.S.
5-14-10 Nishi-nakajima,
Yodogawa-ku, Osaka, Japan
Phone : (+662) 913-6030 Fax: (+813) 45123002

Holiday Inn Kansai Airport
Holiday Inn Kansai International Airport offers exceptional service and decent accommodations. The hotel is conveniently located close to the Kansai International Airport. It offers complimentary shuttle bus to the airport. There is also a 24-hour check-in/out system and the staff is prepared to meet the business travelers' unique demands. This hotel is unique in that its service exceeds the usual standards of the worldwide Holiday Inn chain - but then again it also costs a lot more. Starts at about $155 U.S.
3-3-34 Ichiba-Nishi Izumisano City OSAKA 598-0006 JAPAN
Phone : (+662) 913-6030 Fax: (+813) 45123002

Osaka Castle
The Okawa River used to link the two ancient cities of Kyoto and Osaka. Osaka Castle Hotel stands on the Osaka side overlooking the river. Located right above Osaka Station and near Osaka Castle, it offers easy access to areas of interest within Osaka City and its neighboring city, Kyoto.Great accommodations beginning at $145 U.S.
1-1 Temmabashi Kyomachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Phone : (+662) 913-6030 Fax: (+813) 45123002

Esaka Tokyu
The Shin Osaka Esaka Tokyu Inn is a superior tourist class hotel located in the Esaka district near Shinosaka station. The hotel is only minutes from the major business and commercial district of Umeda. The hotel provides quick access to transportation for travelers. A 24 hour front desk is available for the guests. Begins at around $135 U.S.
9-6 Toyotsu-Cho, Suita, Osaka, 564-0051,Japan
Phone : (+662) 913-6030 Fax: (+813) 45123002

Kyoto and Nara Hotels

Kyoto Takargaike
The Kyoto Takaragaike Prince Hotel is adjacent to the Kyoto International Conference Hall in Takaragaike, north of Kyoto. The hotel was designed by the late Togo Murano, an architect who made valuable contributions to Japanese architecture. Consideration has been given to the general design of the building in order to match the surrounding setting. The hotel offers wester as well as Japanese cuisine and a Japanese tea house. There is also a souvenir shop, a business service room, a wedding hall, a photo studio, a beauty salon and parking. About $280 U.S.
Takaragaike, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 606-8505
Phone : (+662) 913-6030 Fax: (+813) 45123002

Kyoto Holiday Inn
The Kyoto Holiday Inn has146 guest rooms as well as 4 suites. Although part of the Holiday Inn chain, you can expect better than usual service, amenities and rooms compared to Holiday Inn hotels in North America. Rooms begin at $168 U.S. While prices are non negotiable in Japan, check to see if they offer discounts through Triple A, to students or credit card holders.
36 Nishihiraki-cho Takano,Sakyo-ku
Kyoto 606-8103 Japan
Phone : (+662) 913-6030 Fax: (+813) 45123002

Kyoto Tower Daini
Part of the Kyoto Tower Hotel chain, the Kyoto Tower Daini is conveniently located in front of the JR Kyoto Station which is useful if you plan or doing sightseeing or conducting business. Kyoto Tower has department stores, a bank service, restaurant floors, a hairdresser and a barber plus satellite TV. Rates are $140 to start.
Nijo-jo-mae, Horika Wa-dori, Nakagyo-ku,
Kyoto 604-0055, Japan
Phone : (+662) 913-6030 Fax: (+813) 45123002

Karasuma Kyoto
With one of the most convenient locations in the city, right in the heart of the business district, the Karasuma Kyoto Hotel provides easy access to all major transportation options. A modern oasis of comfort within the busy city surroundings, the hotel offers 255 rooms at a very reasonable cost. Facilities feature six restaurants and a bar with a delicious variety of cuisine, four large and medium-sized banquet rooms for meetings, parties or get-togethers and a team of capable staff ready to assist in any way that they can. Around $165 to start.
Karasuma-Shijo Sagaru Shimogyyo-Ku
Kyoto, 600-8412 Japan.
Phone : (+662) 913-6030 Fax: (+813) 45123002

Kyoto Daisan Tower
The friendly hotel is a 3 minute walk from Karasuma Exit of JR Kyoto Station on the JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line. Reasonably priced and comfortable, the Kyoto is a good deal with rooms starting at about $140 U.S.
Shichijosagaru, Shinmachi-dori,
Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-0000
Phone : (+662) 913-6030 Fax: (+813) 45123002

Kyoto International
The Kyoto International Hotel is located across from Nijojo castle in the center of Kyoto. The combination of the Japanese gardens with swans swimming in the pond and the modern hotel building makes this a unique international hotel loved by foreign travelers as well as their families. There is an incredible view from 'Starlight Bar' on the top floor which overlooks the brilliant Nijo Castle. Rates at about $189 U.S.
Horikawadori Nijojomae, Nakagyo-ku,
Kyoto, Japan
Phone : (+662) 913-6030 Fax: (+813) 45123002

Ryokan and Minshuku Accommodations


Location: Near Shibuya, Central Tokyo
The Hotel Fukudaya is a ryokan that is located in a quiet neighborhood of Tokyo, with close proximity to Shibuya Station. It has 17 Japanese-style rooms which can accommodate up to 39 guests. The Hotel Fukudaya is within easy access of one of the city's most popular shopping and entertainment districts. Guests can leave their luggage at the hotel prior to check-in and after checking out. English is spoken. Prices start at about $60.00 U.S. with no meals.

Hotel Fukudaya
4-5-9 Aobadai
Meguro-ku, Tokyo

Central Tokyo
The Homeikan Ryokan Hotel is located near Tokyo University and Tokyo Dome, which provides guests with easy access to Tokyo's sights and attractions. Homeikan Ryokan provides traditional Japanese rooms with three public baths for the guests, open 24 hours a day, and there is no curfew so guests are free to enjoy the Tokyo nightlife. Prices are from around $100.00

Homeikan Ryokan
5-10-5 Hongo
Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo

Central Tokyo
Sadachiyo Ryokan, in Central Tokyo, offers rooms decorated with antiques and traditional woodblock prints, giving one the essence of the feeling of ancient Japan. There are 2 shared baths for the guests - one made of Japanese cypress and another made of unique black granite.Very nice and traditional, this first class ryokan is a real experience. Starting at about $150 U.S. a night.

Sadachiyo Ryokan
2-20-1 Asakusa
Taito-ku, Tokyo


Kaneyoshi Ryokan is located in the heart of downtown Osaka, so guests can access all major transportation links as well as the city's finest restaurants, stores, and nightlife. There are 15 Japanese-style rooms, accommodating up to 65 guests. Prices start from about $100 U.S.
3-12 Souemon-cho
Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi

Kyoto and Nara

Unohana is a cozy ryokan with comfortable Japanese style rooms, located in a quiet neighborhood in western Kyoto near the world famous Golden Temple (Kinkakuji). Each room has its own private bath and washroom, and the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Yamamoto, really attempt to see that guests have a comfortable and relaxing stay. Guests can enjoy excellent homemade Japanese dinners and breakfasts (very unlike western breakfasts!). Unohana also has a special treat...Mrs. Yamamoto serves her own homemade tofu! This accommodation is a top pick, but, please remember that they do not speak English! Rates start from around $60.00 U.S.
188 Shimodate-cho
Ninwajikaido, Sagaru
Omae-dori, Kamigyo-ku
Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu

The Kamogawa Ryokan is conveniently located in downtown Kyoto, with 31 traditional Japanese-style rooms. The rates include breakfast (served in the privacy of the guest's room). The Kamogawa Ryokan also has a women's bath and a men's bath. It is located with easy access to the major historical sights of Kyoto (the Heian Shrine, Nijo Castle, and Chioin Temple are the most noteworthy attractions). Rates begin at around $100 U.S.
Kamogawa Shinkan Ryokan
Sanjo Oohashi Nishizume
Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu

Outside of Central Kyoto (65 minutes by bus from Kyoto)
Shouenso Ryokan is one of the kings of ryokan. This very large, spectacular ryokan with 56 rooms and accommodating up to 350 guests, includes rooms with private outdoor hot spring baths, and in the ryokan's new building all of the rooms have their own wooden bath. Separate hot spring baths and steam baths for women and men are found throughout. Handicapped guests have access to their own private wooden bath. In addition, you can experience the best of Kyoto-style cuisine with dishes changing according to the seasons. There are three karaoke rooms, two coffee shops, a bar, an open-air lounge, an arcade and a souvenir shop.Well worth the bus ride from outside the city. Prices begin at about $150 U.S.
Kameoka Kyoto-shi
Kyoto-fu 621-0034

Sakurai-shi, Nara
The Kansuikan Ryokan sits in front of Nara's famous Hase Temple, and has a comfortable and cozy feeling. There are 13 Japanese-style rooms and a shared hot spring bath for the guests. From around $100 U.S.
909 Shorui
Sakurai-shi, Nara-ken

Kankaso Ryokan is conveniently located just a few minutes from Nara's main train station. It is beautifully located and features two large baths for the guests to enjoy. A gorgeous Japanese garden is the highlight here. Meals are served either in the dining area or in the privacy of the guest's room. Prices begin at about $175 based on double occupancy.
10 Kasugano-cho
Nara-shi, Nara-ken

NOTE : There are many more ryokan and minshuku located in Kyoto and Nara, two of Japan's most ancient and traditional cities. If you are planning a trip to either one of these cities, I would highly recommend trying this type of accommodation rather than a western style hotel in order to get a taste of traditional Japan.

LOVE HOTELS and CAPSULE HOTELS - see description above, and use at your own risk!

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