The Wanderlist series began in hopes of helping people plan better trips. I essentially show you how I plan my own trips no matter the duration or distance. But the first thing that is essential before booking hotels/AirBnBs, restaurants, activities, etc. is understanding the lay of the land. Know where the nearest transportation is in relation to the places you most want to see. Plot it out on Google Maps if you need and see how far each activity, tour or landmark is from each other. This is also important to effectively plan your days so that you aren’t running around spending extra on transportation.
Tokyo is really big and spread out. The best advice I found was from Truly Tokyo and all the popular neighbourhoods are conveniently explained in one convenient post. There’s the Tokyo loop line that circles around the city making it easier to get to all the different areas of the city as well. When all else fails I always rely on a hop on/hop off bus to help me quickly understand the layout of a city. Touristy, yes, but it is very convenient for the first timer or if you have limited time.
Truly Tokyo proclaims Shinjuku as the best area to stay because the Yamanote line (Tokyo loop) station is here along with many restaurants and shops so we will begin our search there using AirBnB. As always, I try to recommend Superhosts because they have been awarded that title due to their going above and beyond for the guests.
Additionally, Tokyo is a very compact city densely populated so I’ve found plenty of micro apartments perfect for 2 at what I consider a great deal. Check our my 3 AirBnB picks below! All prices are in Canadian and accurate at the time of writing this post.
This gorgeous 1 bedroom apartment has a view of the city with a balcony to enjoy your morning coffee. I absolutely need a kitchen and prefer it to be away from the bedroom. With free WIFI and 3 free bikes to use at your leisure this is a great option and one of the most expensive at $154 per night.
If you’re staying with a big group of 5 or more it is probably cheaper to get separate apartments to suit each person/couples needs. I’ve found wonderful rooms at $60 per night with a Superhost. However, if you’re traveling with a lot of kids and can’t opt for separate properties then this 4 bedroom apartment would be ideal. It has 2 bathrooms and 4 bedrooms with 6 beds. The host offers to accommodate up to 14 people at this apartment which might be a little cramped but would be great for a family of 6. Plus, on a clear day, it has a view of Mt. Fuji. At $500 per night it is a pricy option but certainly more cost efficient with a kitchen when compared to a hotel.
Finally, for our third option I venture out of the Shinjuku area towards Daikanyama. Considered one of the most desirable places to live it also has plenty of food options in the area. At $78 per night it is very affordable to stay in the trendiest area of Tokyo.
Get $50 off your first stay with AirBnB here!
A city of lights, food and quirky culture. Tokyo would be an exciting overload for the senses. There’s so much to see and do it can easily become overwhelming trying to narrow it all down. These blogs and websites help you do just that and I’ve learned a thing or two about what Tokyo can offer other than cat cafés and great sushi.
Things to do, see and eat!
Top 9 Instagram Photo Spots in Tokyo by Instasize
Ryokou Girl, a blog about travel and life in Japan, offers a guide to 5 days in Tokyo for beginners.
Alternatively, Classic in Grey offers a 1 week itinerary in Tokyo including Disneyland.
If you’re the type of person who enjoys Anime, dressing up and would go to Tokyo for the cat cafés then BuzzFeed has an article for you. How about an owl café and some uncomfortably interactive restaurants among other offbeat things you can only find in Japan.
Decide on your neighbourhood with this guide by Peeking Duck.
Skyscrapers and temples in West Tokyo, a tour by CTB Travels
The number one reason I travel is for the food. Here’s a comprehensive guide featuring the street foods you must try while in Tokyo including Yuba, Mochi, Taiyaki and too many more.
Looking for a hiking adventure? Hike the Nakasendo Way, an old picturesque road that takes 6 days to hike and ends in Tokyo when you begin in Ena.
Looking for a break from all the lights and crowds? Check out this day trip to the tranquil and historic town of Nikko.
Coffee and Passport has a list of 5 things you’ll regret not doing in Tokyo.
Follow Blaine and Erin of B&E who moved to Japan from the US. They specialize in travels within Asia.
Have you been to Tokyo? What did you love? What wasn’t worth the visit?
Hi Deanna! Those apartments look awesome! I’ve always wanted to go to Japan. I think a visit to Mount Fuji would be my first activity! Must be terrific! Thanks for the Airbnb recommendations!
This is an awesome post about Tokyo! You capture the essence of this place! Keep up the great work!
This is so helpful! My fiance and I are in the beginning stages of planning a trip to Japan (one day) and we admittedly do not know where to start. This was such great information!
Thanks Deanna! Figuring out what the layout of the city or town is always my first step just so I can narrow down all my to-dos and desired places to stay.
Great post and great airbnb option. I wish you had written this and I’ve stumbled upon it before my Japan trip. BIG thanks for the mention. ?
Thanks for stopping by! It was so helpful for my readers I just had to add it as a resource!