Tokyo is full of amazing accommodation options, from high-end luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels/capsule hotels to quaint and homey Airbnb experiences. It’s almost too hard to settle on just one!
If you’re planning a trip to Tokyo on a budget, there’s one major money-saving tip I want to share with you that’ll help you trim down your accommodation choices.
In order to make the most of your time in this bustling city, you’ll want to stay near the JR Yamanote Line. This train line connects many of Tokyo’s most popular neighborhoods and attractions, making it easy to get around quickly and efficiently.
By staying near the Yamanote Line, you’ll save time transporting back and forth, you’ll save money on unnecessary train/bus tickets, and you’ll be able to spend more time exploring all that Tokyo has to offer!
In this post, I’ll share some of the best budget-friendly hotels along the JR Yamanote Line, so you can focus on what matters most — plan your perfect Tokyo travel itinerary!
This post may contain affiliate links. You won’t be paying a cent more, but in the event of a sale, the small affiliate commission I receive will help keep this blog running/pumping out useful and free content. Thanks a lot!
Got a bit more budget to play around with? If so, you might like some of these other hotels along the JR Yamanote line, providing the same level of convenience from the train stations but MORE space and MORE amenities!
Best Budget Hotels In Tokyo Near JR Yamanote Line
Table of Contents
TOKYO IN A NUTSHELL
Here’s a quick overview of all the useful info you need to plan an awesome trip!
- When To Go: Spring (March to May) for cherry blossoms, Summer (June to August) for festival season, Fall (September to November) for epic fall foliage.
- Where To Stay: Choose a hotel along the JR Yamanote Line for the most convenience. We’ll get into all of this in this post!
- Nearest Airport: Narita International Airport (NRT) and Haneda Airport (HND). NRT is 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of Tokyo’s city center. HND is 14 kilometers (9 miles) south of Tokyo’s city center.
- How to Get Around: Public transportation all the way. Don’t even think about renting a car in Tokyo! If you plan on traveling across Japan, a Japan Rail Pass can save you a lot of money on transportation. The pass allows unlimited travel on Japan Railways (JR) trains, buses, and ferries for a set period of time.
- Must-Do’s: Immerse yourself in all the digital art at TeamLab Planets, feel the Disney magic at Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea, eat a crepe in the Harajuku district, try vending machine ramen and conveyor belt sushi, spend your early jet-lagged hours at Tsukiji Fish Market.
- Before You Go: For incredible convenience, get yourself an Airalo e-SIM card so you can download a digital data pack and get connected anywhere in the world as soon as you land.
- Consider getting the Klook Pass Tokyo — you’ll get up to 48% off your tickets to Tokyo’s popular attractions, including Tokyo Disney, teamLab Planets, Legoland, Sanrio Puroland, Shibuya Sky Deck, and more. Choose from 6+ different combinations, and add on activities based on what you like to do!
- ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank You’ in Japanese:
- Hello: こんにちは (Konnichiwa) or おはようございます (Ohayou gozaimasu) in the morning or こんばんは (Konbanwa) in the evening
- Thank You: ありがとうございます (Arigatou gozaimasu)
- Currency: the Japanese yen (¥) – click for current conversion rates
What Is The JR Yamanote Line?
The JR Yamanote Line is a train line in Tokyo that circles around the city’s central districts. It is one of the most convenient and popular train lines for visitors to Tokyo, as it connects many of the city’s top landmarks and attractions.
For first-time visitors to Tokyo, the JR Yamanote Line is a great way to get around the city and explore its many neighborhoods and districts. The line stops at many of Tokyo’s major train stations, including Tokyo Station, Shinjuku Station, Shibuya Station, and Ueno Station, making it easy to transfer to other train lines and explore different parts of the city.
As an example, if you were to stay by Shibuya Station and wanted to go to Shinjuku (a district that you’ll definitely end up in at some point during your trip), it would take approximately 5-10 minutes on the JR Yamanote Line. Easy!
However, if you were to stay along another train line or had to bus to the nearest subway station, you’ll need to transfer to the JR Yamanote Line to get to Shinjuku. This could take considerably longer, depending on the distance between your starting station and the nearest Yamanote Line station.
Plus, that doesn’t even take into consideration the time it takes to get off your first train and transfer to your next train!
To save yourself the logistical headache of having to worry about bus/train transfers, AND to save both money and time, opt to stay at a hotel as close to a JR Yamanote Line train station as possible!
Which Tokyo Neighborhood Should You Stay In?
Before we dive into all the hotels that are along the JR Yamanote Line, you’re going to want to have a good understanding of where in Tokyo you want to base yourself.
Tokyo is a humongous city, and you’re going to find a wide variety of different districts, from bustling neighborhoods with vibrant nightlife to peaceful areas with quiet parks and temples. With so many options, it can be overwhelming to decide what area to stay in during your trip to Tokyo.
In this section, we’ll explore the top four neighborhoods we recommend to first-timers in Tokyo and explain why they’re great areas for you to stay in.
Best for: first-timers, solo travelers, couples, foodies, people who want to be in the center of all the action, shopping and nightlife
Shinjuku is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Tokyo, and for good reason. It’s known for its always-buzzing nightlife, shopping, and entertainment. Shinjuku Station is one of the busiest (and most well-connected) train stations in the world, making it easy to get around the city from here.
Among the dozens and dozens of mega department stores you can enjoy, one of the top attractions in Shinjuku is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, which offers breathtaking views of the city from its observation deck. The area is also home to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, a beautiful park with over 20,000 trees and a traditional Japanese garden.
Foodies will love Shinjuku for its many dining options, ranging from Michelin-starred restaurants to street food stalls. The area is also home to Golden Gai, a network of narrow alleys lined with tiny bars and restaurants that offer a unique glimpse into Tokyo’s nightlife.
Shinjuku is a great neighborhood for solo travelers, people who want to be in the center of all the action, and people looking for nightlife. Families may also enjoy the area, but should be mindful of the crowds and noise.
Best for: first-timers, solo travelers, couples, foodies, nightlife and shopping
Shibuya is another popular neighborhood in Tokyo that’s known for its shopping, dining, and nightlife. It’s home to the famous Shibuya Crossing, one of the busiest intersections in the world.
One of the top attractions in Shibuya is Yoyogi Park, a beautiful green space that’s perfect for picnics and relaxing. The park is also home to Meiji Shrine, a popular Shinto shrine that attracts millions of visitors each year.
Foodies will love Shibuya for its seemingly endless dining opportunities! The area is also home to many trendy cafes and bars.
Shibuya is a great neighborhood for people looking for nightlife and shopping. Similar to Shinjuku, families may also enjoy the area but should be mindful of the crowds.
Pro Tip: If you are set on staying in Shinjuku or Shibuya, be prepared to pay a bit more for accommodation/lodging. It’s one of the most popular areas to stay in!
Best for: shopping and luxury hotels
Ginza is a high-end shopping district in Tokyo that’s known for its luxury boutiques and department stores. It’s also home to many high-end restaurants and cafes. For the most part, you can expect high-end everything here!
The area’s main drag, Ginza Dori, is like Tokyo’s Champs Elysees — their luxury shopping street. Along the street, you’ll find lots of shops, boutiques, restaurants, and cocktail bars conveniently located within the many skyscrapers.
One of the top attractions in Ginza is the Kabuki-za Theatre, which is known for its traditional Japanese kabuki performances. The area is also home to several art galleries and museums, including the Mitsui Memorial Museum and the Tokyo Gallery.
Foodies will love Ginza for its many high-end dining options, including Michelin-starred restaurants.
In fact, there are more Michelin-starred restaurants in Ginza than anywhere else in Tokyo. Ever heard of the popular 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi? One of the most famous restaurants in Tokyo, Sukiyabashi Jiro, holds 3 Michelin stars and is located right in Ginza.
Ginza is a great neighborhood for people looking for high-end shopping and dining experiences. Families may also enjoy the area, but should be mindful of the high prices.
Tokyo Station / Marunouchi Area
Best for: travelers who plan on taking day trips
The Tokyo Station / Marunouchi Area is another great district to stay in. It’s home to one of the busiest train stations in Tokyo. Because most Shinkansen trains leave from this station, staying around here is especially convenient and effortless if you want to take day trips outside of Tokyo.
From Tokyo Station, you can easily travel to any part of the city quickly (likely without the need to transfer to another train or bus). From Tokyo Station, Shibuya is 25 minutes away, Shinjuku is 15 minutes away, and Ueno is just 5 mins away — no transfer required for any of them!
Food lovers will love Tokyo Station for its many restaurants, department store food courts, cafes and dessert shops.
Should you choose to stay around here, some of the top attractions near Tokyo Station is the Imperial Palace, which is the residence of the Emperor of Japan. The area is also home to several museums and galleries, including the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum and the National Museum of Modern Art.
You’ll also be pretty close to the neighborhoods of Akihabara (manga, arcades, and electronics haven) and Ginza (luxury shopping).
Having said that, the downside of staying in this area is that you will have to take the train to get to Tokyo’s must-see attractions such as Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Yoyogi Park, Shinjuku/Shibuya districts, Harajuku district, etc.
Still, being based around Tokyo station is super convenient, especially if you plan on taking day trips to farther away destinations like Hakone, Yokohama, Tokyo DisneySea / Disneyland Tokyo, or any of the other theme parks near Tokyo.
Best for: families, travelers on a budget, people who like public parks and value quiet neighborhoods
Ueno is a vibrant neighborhood in Tokyo that’s known for its cultural attractions and outdoor spaces. It can be best described as being quieter than other districts, convenient, family-friendly, and budget-friendly!
Ueno is home to Ueno Park, one of the largest parks in Tokyo, which is famous for its cherry blossom trees and museums.
One of the top attractions in Ueno is the Tokyo National Museum, which houses the largest collection of Japanese art in the world. The area is also home to the Ueno Zoo, which is known for its giant pandas.
Foodies will love Ueno for its many street food stalls and traditional Japanese restaurants. The area is also home to Ameya Yokocho, a bustling shopping street that’s perfect for souvenir shopping.
To give you a sense of its location, Ginza is 12 minutes away and Tokyo station is just 8 minutes away. However because it is further east, Shibuya and Shinjuku are 28-30 mins away by train.
All in all, Ueno is a great neighborhood for families and people looking for a more cultural experience in Tokyo. Solo travelers may also enjoy the area for its lively outdoor atmosphere.
Pro Tip: If you’re planning on taking day trips that lie north of Tokyo (Nikko, Nagano, etc), then staying in Ueno can be a great idea. Most Shinkansens heading north typically stop at the Ueno Station.
10 Budget-Friendly Hotels Near JR Yamanote Line
6-minute walk from Uguisudani Station on JR Yamanote Line (near Ueno area)
Landabout Tokyo is a great bang-for-your-buck hotel for budget travelers who want a comfortable and convenient place to stay while exploring Tokyo. This hip little hotel offers affordable prices without sacrificing comfort or convenience, making it the perfect choice for travelers on a budget.
Designed for comfort, all guestrooms offer a range of amenities to ensure a restful night. Rooms at the hotel are equipped with linen service, blackout curtains and air conditioning, and some rooms even come with extra design features such as a balcony or terrace.
Packing light is possible at LANDABOUT TOKYO thanks to the hotel’s laundromat keeping your clothes clean.
Another one of the standout features of Landabout Tokyo is its location. The hotel is located on the JR Yamanote line, giving guests easy access to popular neighborhoods like Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Harajuku.
In terms of attractions that are within walking distance, you’ve got the likes of Ueno Park, Ueno Zoo, and Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum all a few steps away!
The Millennials Shibuya
3-minute walk from Shibuya Station on JR Yamanote Line
The Millennials Shibuya is a unique and innovative capsule hotel located in the heart of Tokyo’s vibrant Shibuya neighborhood. The Millennials Shibuya’s location in the Shibuya neighborhood makes it close to famous attractions including Meiji Jingu, Shibuya Crossing and Hachiko.
Unlike traditional hotels, capsule hotels offer a unique and minimalist experience, where guests sleep in small, individual capsules instead of traditional hotel rooms.
The hotel is perfect for solo travelers and budget travelers who want to meet new people and make friends during their stay. In fact, 20% of the hotel floor area is dedicated to shared spaces: workspaces, kitchens, play zones, dining areas and bar counters that are available 24 hours a day!
The hotel’s communal areas make it so easy to socialize and connect with other travelers from around the world. They also have free coffee and beer (at certain hours)!
Every day at The Millennials Shibuya begins with a delicious in-house breakfast. A memorable night with your travel companions can be had without going far, at the hotel’s very own nightclub.
For the ultimate convenience, you can even have groceries delivered to your room at The Millennials Shibuya, with their exclusive service. Do you prefer to cook your own meals? Then you’ll love the in-house shared kitchen.
What sets The Millennials Shibuya apart from other capsule hotels is its innovative design and focus on technology. The hotel features a high-tech co-working space, where guests can work and collaborate with other travelers when they’re not out exploring Tokyo.
APA Hotel Higashi Shinjuku Kabukicho Tower
8-minute walk from Shinjuku Station on JR Yamanote Line
APA Hotels are known for their affordable accommodations in Tokyo. It’s getting harder to find hotel rooms for under $100 USD these days, but somehow APA seems to be able to deliver that!
The APA Hotel Higashi Shinjuku Kabukicho Tower is no exception, offering budget travelers a comfortable and convenient place to stay while exploring the city.
While the rooms at APA Hotel Higashi Shinjuku Kabukicho Tower may be smaller than other hotels, they are well-designed and equipped with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay. The hotel’s location in the heart of Shinjuku makes it the perfect base for exploring Tokyo’s top landmarks and attractions, with easy access to the JR Yamanote Line and other train lines.
The hotel is perfect for budget travelers who plan on spending most of their day exploring Tokyo and only need their room for resting, sleeping, and freshening up. The hotel’s affordable prices make it easy to save money while enjoying all that Tokyo has to offer.
Guests can enjoy a range of amenities at the hotel, including free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and comfortable bedding. The hotel also has a restaurant and bar, making it easy to grab a quick bite or drink before heading out to explore the city.
MIMARU TOKYO SHINJUKU WEST
5-minute walk from Shinjuku Station on JR Yamanote Line
For those of you traveling in groups of 4 or more, a great accommodation option could be MIMARU TOKYO SHINJUKU WEST, which features budget-friendly apartment-style living spaces.
This hotel is perfect for families or other larger groups who want to stay together and enjoy comfortable yet affordable accommodations while still in the middle of all the action in the bustling district of Shinjuku!
Unlike traditional hotels, MIMARU TOKYO SHINJUKU WEST offers a unique and spacious experience, where guests can enjoy a private apartment-style room with all the amenities they need. Each room comes equipped with a kitchenette, private bathroom, comfortable bedding, and other creature comforts such as air conditioning, a fridge, a microwave, an electric teapot, and a bidet.
You can choose between rooms with Japanese-style beds or Western-style beds, as well as rooms with single beds or bunk beds. There are lots of options at various price points to fit any type of travel style and budget!
The hotel’s prime location in the heart of Shinjuku makes it the perfect base for exploring Tokyo’s top landmarks and attractions. It’s close to several well-known attractions and is a 10-minute walk from Kumano Shrine, 0.6 miles from Yamano Hall, and an 8-minute walk from Lumine Shinjuku 1.
MIMARU TOKYO UENO NORTH
3-minute walk from Ueno Station on JR Yamanote Line
Much like the MIMARU property listed above, MIMARU TOKYO UENO NORTH offers very similar rooms and amenities with the only main difference being its location and price. If you’d rather stay in the Ueno neighborhood, the Ueno North location is just the apart-hotel you’re looking for!
One huge plus of choosing this one over the Shinjuku property? The price. Ueno accommodations typically cost a bit less than those in Shinjuku.
If this hotel and its location caught your eye but you’re finding that the room type you want has sold out, you’re not totally out of luck because there are a few other Mimaru properties nearby you can check out:
- MIMARU TOKYO UENO EAST: 3-minute walk from Ueno Station
- MIMARU TOKYO UENO INARICHO : 5-minute walk from Ueno Station
APA Hotel Shinjuku Kabukicho Tower
6-minute walk from Shinjuku Station on JR Yamanote Line
APA Hotel Shinjuku Kabukicho Tower is another affordable and comfortable hotel option in Tokyo, located in the bustling Kabukicho neighborhood of Shinjuku.
While APA Hotel Higashi Shinjuku Kabukicho Tower (listed above) is located on the eastern side of Shinjuku, APA Hotel Shinjuku Kabukicho Tower is located on the western side of the neighborhood.
This location offers guests easy access to many of the city’s top shopping and dining destinations, including the famous Isetan department store and the Shinjuku Golden Gai nightlife district.
Again, you’ll be getting super affordable accommodations with the utmost convenient location!
Sotetsu Fresa Inn Tokyo Kanda
4-minute walk from Kanda Station on JR Yamanote Line (in Tokyo Station area)
If staying on the eastern side of Tokyo is more your vibe, Sotetsu Fresa Inn Tokyo Kanda is a perfect home base for you. Firstly, the hotel is only a short walk to the heart of Akihabara, the famous electronics and anime district, and Tokyo Station, the city’s main transportation hub.
Being close to Tokyo Station is particularly convenient, as it allows you to take day trips to nearby destinations such as Yokohama, Kamakura, and Nikko with ease. Additionally, Tokyo Station is a major transportation hub, with several train lines and subway lines connecting to different parts of the city.
The property is also super close to popular shopping places such as Chuo Dori, Kai House Japanese Cooking Class Tokyo, and Chomp Chomp, as well as popular restaurants such as Kanda Yabu Soba, Ramen Restaurant Tanaka and Isegen.
While the rooms are more compact than others on this list, they come with everything you need to have a comfortable stay in Tokyo.
Asakusa Kokono Club Hotel
12-minute walk from Asakusa Station (along Ginza Line)
Asakusa Kokono Club Hotel is a wonderful hotel in the lovely Asakusa area, about 7-8 minutes’ walk from the nearest subway station. While this one is not located on the Yamanote line, you are in the iconic Asakusa district!
Previous guests love the hotel’s more intimate location in the heart of Asakusa, one of Tokyo’s most historic and charming neighborhoods. The hotel is within walking distance of many of the area’s top landmarks and attractions, including the famous Senso-ji Temple and the bustling Nakamise shopping street.
In terms of sizing, this one’s considered really spacious by Tokyo standards.
The hotel’s rooms are very stylish and have practical interior design. Rooms come with amenities such as comfortable beds, free coffee/tea in the room, a flat-screen TV, comfortable bedding, and a private bathroom with a shower and complimentary toiletries. Some rooms also have a balcony with views of the city!
The hotel’s common areas are well-designed and offer a range of amenities for guests to enjoy. The hotel has a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the city skyline, as well as a communal lounge and kitchen area where guests can socialize and prepare their own meals.
One of the standout features of Asakusa Kokono Club Hotel is its commitment to sustainability and eco-friendliness. The hotel uses renewable energy sources and eco-friendly products wherever possible, making it a great choice for travelers who want to minimize their environmental impact.
1-minute walk from Shin-Ōkubo Station on JR Yamanote Line (in the Shinjuku area)
If you happen to be traveling to Tokyo alone, Hotel Matsunoi has got you and your accommodation needs covered.
Hotel Matsunoi is a great hotel for budget travelers and solo travelers who want a simple and convenient place to stay while exploring Tokyo. It’s nothing fancy, but you do get your own room (which is perfect if you’re looking for more privacy than what a hostel or capsule hotel can offer).
Hotel Matsunoi offers both double rooms and single rooms, making it a great option for solo travelers who want to save money without having to pay for a double occupancy room. The single rooms are cozy and well-appointed, with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay.such as a desk, a flat-screen TV, and free toiletries.
Popular points of interest near the accommodation include the Koizumi Yakumo Memorial Park, Inari Kio Shrine, Yodobashi Church, Korea Museum, Okubo Park and Meotogi Shrine. All in all, this one’s a great choice for its price and location.
Book And Bed Tokyo Shinjuku
6-minute walk from Shinjuku Station on JR Yamanote Line
Book And Bed Tokyo Shinjuku is an amazing budget-friendly accommodation option in Tokyo if you’re looking for hip hostel vibes!
This centrally-located hotel is perfect for budget-conscious travelers who want to experience something new and unique during their trip to Tokyo.
One of the standout features of Book And Bed Tokyo Shinjuku is its unique design and concept. The hotel features a range of capsule-style beds that are built into bookshelves, creating a cozy and comfortable space for guests to sleep and relax.
The hotel’s communal areas, including a shared lounge and library, make it easy to socialize and connect with other travelers from around the world.
Book And Bed Tokyo Shinjuku is also a great option for budget travelers who want to save money on food and drinks. The hotel has a small cafe that serves coffee and light snacks, as well as a communal kitchen that guests can use to prepare their own meals!
Where To Stay In Tokyo: Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the best area to stay in Tokyo on a budget?
Asakusa and Ueno are great areas to stay in Tokyo on a budget. These areas offer affordable accommodation options, great food, and easy access to many of Tokyo’s top landmarks and attractions.
Where should first-timers to Tokyo stay?
First-timers to Tokyo should consider staying in the Shibuya or Shinjuku neighborhoods. These areas offer a great mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment options, as well as easy access to many of Tokyo’s top landmarks and attractions.
While a lot of the hotels in these neighborhoods are going to be a bit pricier than in other areas, there are hidden gems (found in this post!) that are perfect for budget travelers!
Which is better: Shinjuku or Shibuya?
Both Shinjuku and Shibuya are great neighborhoods to stay in Tokyo, and which one is better depends on your personal preferences.
Shinjuku is known for its incredible nightlife, shopping, and endless dining options. It’s also home to Tokyo’s red-light district, Kabukicho, which can be appealing or not, depending on your preferences.
Shibuya is known for its trendy fashion boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. There’s absolutely no shortage of shopping here!
If you value nightlife, nothing can beat Shinjuku’s night atmosphere! If you value shopping, Shibuya has a wider range of options. And for food, both Shibuya and Shinjuku are amazing — they are the two most competitive gourmet areas, where you can find pretty much anything you want!
They are both relatively close to each other (just a few train stops away), so I’d say you really can’t go wrong with either.
Japan Travel Insurance
This is a no-brainer. When traveling internationally, be sure to get yourself some travel insurance.
I’ve heard of too many unfortunate experiences where friends and family have had baggage lost/stolen, hotels canceled, or have had unexpected medical emergencies while traveling where they’ve had to cut their trips short.
True story alert — in 2022, my partner even had his shoulder completely dislocated while surfing in Mexico, resulting in a $950 USD emergency room bill that we had to pay out of pocket for! Not fun… and most definitely not cheap.
Without travel insurance, you would have to pay out of pocket for these mishaps. This is why I get travel insurance for all my international trips now!
One of the best budget-friendly travel insurances for those traveling outside their home country is SafetyWing.
SafetyWing Insurance provides coverage for unexpected illness or injury, including eligible expenses for hospital, doctor or prescription drugs. This means that if you get ill or injured, they will cover the medical expenses.
In addition, it provides emergency travel-related benefits such as emergency medical evacuation (much needed if you like to go hiking / trekking in the wild), travel delay, and lost checked luggage.
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