Famous for its incredible cuisine, its shrines and temples, its world-class transport system, its fashionable Harajuku district and its love of anime, cosplay, and karaoke, Tokyo is a destination where the locals are very polite but the culture can also be a little bit crazy.
The Japanese capital has legions of fans (including us) and is often considered to be one of the most exciting cities to visit in the world. Innovation and new ideas are actively encouraged in Japan’s extraordinary capital, but the traditional way of life is still very important here.
This is one eclectic list of hotels – but you’d probably expect nothing less from one of the world’s quirkiest cities. From unique intimate boutiques to sleek, modern and trendy, here are our favorite cool and unusual hotels in Tokyo, Japan (in no particular order)…
Formerly known as the popular Wired Hotel, this exceptionally rated community-focused – and very cool and trendy – Asakusa Kokono Club Hotel offers everything from budget bunk-style beds to very swish suites (pictured above) and is housed in a tall building in the Asakusa district of northwest Tokyo, where a 100-seat theatre also operates on the building’s second floor.
Asakusa has long been the traditional theatre and entertainment district of Tokyo and the area offers more of a local neighborhood vibe (the hotel is surrounded by restaurants, just a minute’s walk from Hanayashiki Amusement Park, and a 6-minute walk from Asakusa train station for easy access to the rest of the city).
If that’s not enough of a reason to stay at this very hip Tokyo boutique hotel they’ve also partnered with local craftsmen and artisans to create beautifully unique boutique-style interiors.
Still want more? Then the regular live music, cultural and community events, the floor-to-ceiling windows, incredible city views and furnished balconies (in the private rooms) might be enough to sway you. Even by Tokyo standards, this hotel has got some pretty awesome things going on!
2. Henn na Hotel – quirky, weird, wonderful, and staffed by anime-style robots!
Summing up all that’s weird and wonderful about Tokyo is the ultra-whacky highly rated Henn na Hotel located in the neighborhood area of Nishikasai (and offers a complimentary shuttle to the nearby Tokyo Disney Resort and is close to Maihama Station station for easy access to the rest of city).
Otherwise known as simply ‘The Weird Hotel’ here you’re checked in at reception by talking robots – either a scary-looking dinosaur or a female android with blinking lashes! They even robotically deliver luggage to your rooms courtesy of an automated trolley. Yep seriously.
That’s not enough? The hotel also features facial recognition technology, so instead of the standard electronic keys, a digital image of your face is registered during check-in.
Soon they’re planning to introduce robot room service and even entertainment. Wonderful or slightly crazy? Both we say, and let’s just embrace what might be the future of all hotels, well you never know!
3. The Aoyama Grand Hotel – this new, striking centrally located retreat with a trendy and hip design is one of the best places to stay in the city
Tokyo is a truly global city and it all comes together at the Aoyama Grand Hotel, located in the fashion and cultural district. The inviting facade pulls you into carefully designed spaces with clean lines that merge mid-century modern with a Japanese aesthetic.
You’re close to the Watarium Museum of Contemporary Art, Advanced Technology Gallery, Aoyama Kumano Shrine and Meiji Jingu Stadium.
The luxurious rooms and suites have a soothing decor, with floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the city or the garden with a pond and bamboo grove. There’s a fitness center, several eateries with Japanese and international cuisine, and a rooftop bar with stunning panoramic views of Tokyo.
4. Trunk Hotel – a popular new eco-chic boutique with a unique design for all people who are living the “now”
The beautiful and much-loved Trunk Hotel is a centrally-located contemporary boutique hotel with a strong eco focus. Housed in a minimalist building in the trendy area fashion-focused of Shibuya the hotel is modern, unique, and featuring just enough quirky features to keep things interesting – this is a great choice for visiting hipsters or just those wanting a very trendy Tokyo stay.
Rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, artwork, and designer up-cycled furniture – the bar is made from wood reclaimed from old Japanese houses, the glasses were pressed from defunct light bulbs and even the gowns in the rooms are made of recycled cotton!
Also on the property is a restaurant serving fine Japanese-Western fusion and a lifestyle store selling Tokyo-made keepsakes, locally sourced honey and craft beer, and more.
The vibe is chic rather than vintage though and here you can expect all mod cons as well as some rooms featuring balconies or terraces. Upgraded suites even offer wow-inducing wine cellars and/or sunrooms. A place to impress!
5. [email protected] Hotel – hip, unique and very Instagrammable accommodation with gadgets galore
Tokyo is famous for its impeccable design and there’s arguably no better place to get a taste of what the city is truly capable of than this beautiful boutique hotel. Located within a stone’s throw of Tokyo Skytree in the downtown Oshiage area of eastern Tokyo, the exceptionally rated [email protected] Hotel is just a 3-minute stroll from Oshiage Subway Station (which connects you to the rest of the city).
Designed by acclaimed cult architect Kengo Kuma, the hotel has an arty wooden façade, a rooftop lounge with fabulous views of the both Tokyo skyline and the Tokyo Skytree, and industrial-style rooms adorned in acid-washed metal and reclaimed wood that have been designed to suit a range of budgets, from functional but chic rooms to truly exquisite suites located on the top floor.
All have ensuite bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, and free WiFi and other great touches include a handy Smartphone that can be carried around during your stay and Chromecast, a streaming media adapter that plays online content on the TV. Both design and tech fans will fall in love with this place!
6. Hotel K5 – a beautiful, hip and contemporary upscale boutique housed in a renovated historical building built in 1924
A hip, edgy boutique hotel in the financial district, K5 Hotel Tokyo is just across the street from the Tokyo Stock Exchange and 5 minutes walk from the Nihombashi Station. It offers easy access to the Marunouchi commercial district, Ginza and the Imperial Palace.
The 1924 building has been lovingly reinvented and the eclectic decor is harmonized with a thoughtful use of space and greenery. The rooms are well-planned and soundproof and have seating lounge areas, a minibar and a record player complete with a curated vinyl record collection.
The edgy eclecticism in design is continued in the onsite dining options, with Caveman serving dishes inspired by cuisines from Japan, France and Denmark, as well as wine and beers. There’s also a Brooklyn Brewery, the Switch coffee lounge and the trendy Ao bar.
7. Andaz – a sleek, chic and sexy upscale high-rise hotel offering a stunning design and gorgeous views
A sleek and luxurious hotel that matches the excitement of the city, Andaz Tokyo is located in the Toranomon “gate of the tiger” district near historic landmarks like the Imperial Palace, Atago Shrine, Zojoji Temple and Hamarikyu Gardens. The Hibiya and Ginza line subways are close by,
The rooms and suites are designed according to traditional Japanese use of space with natural materials and partitions to change around the living space as needed. Floor-to-ceiling windows look out over panoramic views of Tokyo city, famous landmarks and the bay. There’s a gym and pool to keep you fit and centred, and a spa to relax and recharge.
You’ll find a range of dining options including the Tavern – Grill & Lounge with dishes based on local flavours and seasonal ingredients and American comfort food at BeBu, plus a pastry shop, a sushi counter, in-room dining and the rooftop bar on the 52nd floor which has one of the best views of the city and the Tokyo Tower.
8. Artist Hotel, BnA STUDIO Akihabara – a hip, amazing and very Insta-worthy boutique gem with rooms individually designed by Japanese artists including some Manga/Anime themes
A quirky boutique hotel in central Tokyo where every room is designed by a renowned Japanese artist. Guests who stay at the hotel help to support Japanese artists through a profit-sharing scheme.
BnA Studio Akihabara features an eclectic mixture of traditional, industrial, urban, amine and kitsch decor, giving guests the opportunity to feel a completely different vibe depending on the room selected.
The unique bedrooms are larger than most at this price point and each room tells a story of the artist’s influences and inspirations from manga and anime to dark and sexy designs.
With many nearby train connections to other parts of the city, BnA Studio Akihabara is ideally located for exploring Tokyo.
9. Roppongi Hotel S – an exquisite and unique apartment hotel set in the lively Roppongi area
This gorgeous and highly rated 4-star Tokyo hotel once won the prestigious Good Design Award for being Japan’s most unique boutique hotel. Offering a beautiful contemporary design that is still quintessentially Japanese, once you step inside the Roppongi Hotel S you’ll instantly see why it won such an award!
Located in a great central location between the Nishi Azabu crossing and Roppongi Hills (a complex with restaurants, an art museum, and a skyscraper with a roof observation deck) and only 2 km from Tokyo Tower and 3 km from Yoyogi Park, the serviced apartments at the hotel are perfect for both longer or shorter stays.
The truly exquisite interiors of the unique rooms (especially the upgraded ones) which come complete with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, ensuite bathrooms, and sitting areas, as well as microwaves and minifridges, will turn your stay into a Tokyo dream.
Other highlights include a complimentary breakfast, a chic lounge, and a library, five on-site restaurants to choose from, a fitness centre and bike rentals too – impressive stuff!
10. all day place shibuya – a cool, fun and funky spot with trendy industrial chic decor near the backstreet bars of Nonbeiyokocho
You can make yourself at home at this new cool hotel lcoated in the bustling, creative Shibuya district. It’s near the Ancient Egyptian Art Museum, Shidax Culture Hall, the Hachiko Statue, Shibuya Crossing and the Center-gai Shopping Street.
The interior spaces at all day place shibuya have a minimalist modern design with quirky artwork are a relaxing oasis in the heart of the city, with clean, bright rooms and eco-friendly toiletries.
The onsite Pizza restaurant will keep you fueled with pizza made from locally sourced ingredients and homemade dough. There’s also Mikkeller, a Danish craft brewery and the About Life Coffee shop, and a full English/Irish breakfast is served every morning.
11. Candeo Hotel Roppongi – a popular trendy boutique with a stunning rooftop spa and an amazing central location
This swish little beauty of a 4-star Tokyo hotel is set just off the craziness of the uber-trendy Roppongi district (and only a very short walk away from the Roppongi station which easily connects you to the rest of Tokyo) the exceptionally rated Candeo Hotel is surrounded by a plentiful supply of restaurants and shops and very near Tokyo Midtown, which basically means it’s in a pretty fabulous location!
The stylish minimalist rooms provide everything you need and more including designer beds, work desks, flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and great city views. Arguably, though, the real highlight is its wonderful rooftop Japanese-style bath otherwise known as an ‘Onsen’.
Aptly named the Sky Spa, it comes complete with indoor and outdoor hot pools, a freezing cold pool, and a sauna. A great choice for international travelers looking for a friendly and attentive stay in a trendy, vibrant Tokyo location!
12. Andon Ryokan – a mix of the traditional and modern Japanese inn perfect for sociable Millenials and Gen Z’s
Located only a 5-minute walk from Minowa Subway Station (for quick access to the rest of Tokyo) and a 20-minute walk from the historical Asakusa for great sightseeing, this is a genius take on the traditional Ryokan (Japanese Inn).
The designer Andon Ryokan Hotel is a contemporary, reasonably priced Tokyo haven housed in such a spectacular building it won an architecture award. Its facade is a striking mix of glass and louvred metal and when night falls it’s illuminated so much the hotel the idea is to resemble a traditional Japanese lantern.
Inside the highly rated Andon Ryokan, the rooms are sparse (in a true Ryokan style) but intriguing, compartmentalized by industrial metal and glass, and come with futons which you unroll when you want to sleep.
Contrasting the modern metal design is more than a good handful of Japanese antiques offering an innovative fusion of traditional and modern decor. Flower-arranging, tea ceremonies, and origami sessions also – endearingly – take place at this trendy gem of a Tokyo hotel on a regular basis.
13. Hotel Gracery – a quirky and fun Godzilla-themed place with whimsical modern rooms
You go to Tokyo for the craziness right? Well, you need to choose a hotel that is just as off-the-wall as the wonderful city itself. Look no further than the Godzilla-themed exceptionally rated Hotel Gracery.
From the imposing Godzilla statue on the roof, the creatures head residing outside the 8th-floor lobby, to the interactive Godzilla room (no spoilers here, you’ll have to find out for yourself!) to the Godzilla-themed treats to commemorate your stay, yes you’ll have to love monsters but this quirky Tokyo hotel is anything but dull.
Located in the fabulous Tokyo funky area of Shinjuku, South West of central Tokyo, and only a 6-minute walk from Shinjuku train station (which connects you to the rest of the city), this modern high-rise and high-tech hotel offers a truly unforgettable stay in a very unforgettable city!
14. Kimpton Shinjuku Tokyo – a unique upscale boutique with a beautiful and creative design
With a style that’s described as “Manhattan meets Tokyo”, the Kimpton Shinjuku Tokyo is right in the middle of it all, with the galleries, art installations, shops and restaurants of the Shinjuku district right on the doorstep.
The East-meets-West aesthetic with modern designs and Japanese artisanal workmanship make the hotel itself a work of art.
Calm, light-filled spaces like the terrace bar and the well-designed guest rooms with comfortable beds provide a retreat from which to contemplate the city in all its moods.
There’s a fully equipped gym, and you can get lunch or dinner at the District brasserie, along with wine and cocktails. The Jones Cafe and Bar is an NYC-style lounge with coffee, craft beer, indie music, reclaimed art and plenty of room to relax and mingle.
15. Cotoha Hotel Okachimachi – a striking boutique that mixes traditional with modern
Sleek and chic just like Tokyo itself, the new and much-raved about Cotoha Hotel Okachimachi offers exceptional value in an otherwise expensive city.
It’s located near the vivid areas of Ueno and Asakusa which are home to some of Tokyo’s finest cultural sites but handily for further exploring, the hotel is only a 4-minute walk to five metro stations which will take you to all the major sightseeing spots.
The theme is Japanese Glitz and it certainly delivers. The rooms are compact but designed in a very easy-on-the-eye striking modern mixed with a traditional Japanese style and come complete with flat-screen TVs, bathrobes and private bathrooms.
A relaxed, reasonably priced but yet still a glamorous choice for a unique Tokyo stay!
16. Aloft Tokyo Ginza – a fun, funky and cool spot perfect for partying Millenials and Gen Zs
When you want a hotel in the heart of Tokyo, in the exciting shopping district of Ginza and close to subway stations, restaurants, department stores and boutiques, the delightful Aloft Tokyo Ginza Hotel is the right place for you.
The decor mixes inspiration from traditional Japanese design with modern touches and the rooms with 9-foot ceilings are airy and spacious. You’ll find comfy beds, galley kitchens, and flat-screen televisions in the rooms, and a 24/7 fitness center with all the equipment you could want.
The onsite eateries with their creative names and innovative menus, like the W XYZ bar with live music, the WAREHOUSE restaurant, and the Roof Dogs rooftop bar will keep with fed and watered through your visit to this exciting city.
17. Remm Roppongi – functional Japanese chic located in a high rise in a vibrant district filled with bars and nightclubs
Great value mid-range hotels aren’t always easy to come across in Tokyo, especially if you’re a little claustrophobic and don’t fancy staying in a capsule hotel.
Enter the exceptionally rated Remm Roppongi! Set in a fabulously vibrant and trendy district that only a 4-minute walk to Tokyo Midtown is this no-nonsense high-rise hotel that offers comfortable accommodation but with enough quirky details to make it stand out from its rivals.
As well as all the usual room mod cons, expect your very own in-room massage chair, a rainfall shower, a handy tablet (to check out all the coolest events in town obviously), and a bedside control panel that covers everything from the lights to the temperature.
There’s also a pretty hip onsite industrial-chic restaurant/bar, a female-only floor, and kids under 12 stay for free – yep not a bad choice of a Tokyo hotel at all!
18. Apartment Hotel Shinjuku – a quirky and eclectic self-catering Shinjuku apartment-hotel perfect for extended stays
Live like a Tokyo local in the fabulous Apartment Hotel Shinjuku. With a funky, urban design and oodles of Japanese functional style, this hip Tokyo accommodation is a very popular choice for travelers.
The bright, modern, and eclectic rooms are quirkily adorned with found objects and although the ‘apartments’ are compact they come complete with everything you will need for a long or short-term stay including en-suite bathrooms (with a shower and a bathtub), a desk, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, as well as a kitchenette which is equipped with cookware.
There are also on-site laundry facilities, and the lobby even doubles as an eccentric second-hand shop – wonderful! The location is pretty fabulous too.
Shinjuku is the center of Tokyo culture and is the place you’d probably imagine when thinking of Tokyo with bright neon lights, crowds, towering buildings, bustling streets, and an energetic pace.
It’s also a 2-minute walk from Shinjukusanchome train station (which will take you to all the sites), only 2 km from Meiji Shrine, and 3 km from the upscale shopping on Omotesando Avenue.
19. First Cabin Atagoyama – innovative capsule micro accommodation designed to look like a plane’s first-class cabin
Embrace Tokyo’s space-saving culture by booking into the fabulous First Cabin micro hotel. Who needs hotel rooms when you an innovative and futuristic “Cabin” to stay in!
The First Cabin Hotel is located just a 5-minute walk from Onarimon Station (in a very popular area of Tokyo) these stylish capsule rooms offer flat-screen TVs, free WiFi, and a partition to ensure privacy.
Bathrooms are shared but you’ll also find plenty of other mod cons which ensure happy guests, such as free toiletries, vending machines, and relaxing but sociable communal areas.
20. Share Hotel – a fun, sociable and hip hotel/hostel hybrid located in the Koto part of Tokyo perfect for those on a budget
This is a popular and highly rated new hotel/hostel hybrid that enjoys a unique location right on the banks of the Sumida River (only an 11 minutes’ walk from Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Station which connects you to the rest of Tokyo and only 4 km from the Tokyo Imperial Palace).
The Share Hotel has a contemporary industrial-chic style with stand-out amenities such as a cool restaurant and brewery, a souvenir shop, and a sociable large terrace where you can soak up the river views and mingle with fellow travelers.
There’s a mix of different room types on offer to suit all budgets from mixed or female-only dorms featuring capsule-style bunk beds to private rooms with-suite facilities, all air-conditioned and complete with nightwear, slippers, towels, and toothbrushes – cute touches indeed!
21. Park Hyatt – one of the best and most luxurious places to stay in Tokyo made famous by the Lost in Translation movie
Located high above Shinjuku’s lively streets, the 5-star exceptionally rated Park Hyatt is a must for both movie fans and luxury lovers.
Occupying the 14 top floors of a 52-story skyscraper and with wide windows of the spacious rooms offering beautiful views of Mount Fuji or Shinjuku, The Park Hyatt Tokyo is one of the city’s best and most expensive hotels and was made famous by Sofia Coppola’s film Lost in Translation.
The New York Bar Grill, where Bob (Bill Murray) spends so much time drinking whiskey, is one of the city’s great cocktail bars and affords spectacular views over Tokyo. The rooms and lobby are as equally impressive – a truly exquisite place all round!
22. Meguro Emperor Love Hotel – a themed traditional ‘love hotel’ for adults only
Couples or ‘Love hotels’ where guests can stay through the night (a ‘stay’) or just for a few hours during the day (a ‘rest’) are very common throughout Japan.
They range from the fantastical to the surprisingly tasteful and they are often very discreet – many don’t even have a front desk. One of Tokyo’s most famous love hotels, Hotel Meguro Emperor opened in 1973 and at the time was the Cadillac of love hotels.
Designed by the famous architect Yasuhisa Kurosaka, it was a monument to 1970s kitsch, and its fairytale castle exterior became something of a tourist attraction. Located 1.1 km from Ebisu Garden Place and 3.1 km from Hachiko Statue, the adults only hotel is still going strong today but today it’s much more tasteful with surprisingly sedate and cozy rooms which seem much more romantic than seedy!
23. Hilltop Yamanoue Hotel – a classic and traditional historic boutique located in an area of the city famous for writers, journalists and scholars
One for history fans, this classically styled 4-star highly rated hotel is located in the ever-shrinking district of historic Old Tokyo (only a 6 minutes walk from Ochanomizu train station which connects you to the rest of the city).
Offering the perfect antidote to Tokyo’s increasing supply of high-rise hotels, Nobel prize nominee Yukio Mishima actually completed his last few novels at the Hilltop and it’s still an occasional hangout for writers, scholars, and journalists.
One of the original Tokyo boutique hotels Hilltop Yamanoue Hotel was established in 1937 but re-designed 17 years later. Refurbished with standards you’d expect from a boutique hotel, details are not forgotten. Extra oxygen and negative ions are pumped into every room and the decor is elegant and authentic with wood-paneled walls, worn leather sofas, antiques, and a well-stocked wine cellar.
24. Shukubo Komadori-Sanso – where to find your zen a 1.5-hour train journey from the city centre
To escape the city hassles take the 1.5-hour train journey from Tokyo and join the spiritual types on their way to worship at the sacred Mount Mitake shrine located in the Chichibu Tama Kai National Park (which is filled with hiking trails, beautiful mountains, and ancient shrines).
The much cherished Shukubo Komadori-Sanso offers centuries-old temple lodging located in this sacred and unspoiled mountain area. Once you arrive at the two-story wood-constructed inn, the peace, scenery and breathtaking views are unrivalled in the Tokyo area.
Only basic Japanese-style rooms with shared facilities are available but the real attraction at this unusual Tokyo hotel is learning to meditate – takigyo style – in a nearby waterfall.
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Becky Moore – Owner, writer and photographer
My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my ex Athens street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Borneo, Finland, Greece, Berlin, Laos, California and the surreal and beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.
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