12 affordable hotels near the Yamanote Line in Tokyo
12 affordable hotels near the Yamanote Line in Tokyo
The JR Yamanote Line is an important train line in Tokyo, connecting major stations and districts for both locals and tourists alike. Popular places like Shinjuku, Shibuya, Harajuku, Ikebukuro are all Yamanote stations which makes it really wise to stay in a hotel near the Yamanote Line!
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Why stay at hotels near the Yamanote Line?
I’ve visited Tokyo several times now and have always stayed near train stations on the Yamanote Line. Staying near the train stations on such a prominent line is absolutely convenient as it makes it easy to explore other areas! The last thing I want to do after a day’s activity is to spend a long time getting back to the hotel.
Additionally, if you’re staying in Japan for a week or more, you are likely to hold a JR pass. The Japan-wide JR pass and most JR East passes, such as the JR East Nagano Niigata pass, includes the Yamanote Line as the line is managed by JR East.
Which hotels to stay in Tokyo for couples?
Among the Asian countries, I consider Tokyo hotels pricey, not to mention hotels near the train stations. Accommodations in these prime estates will definitely be charging a premium. To save money, many opt for capsule hotels or accommodations with shared bathrooms.
But there are still gems in these areas which can offer private rooms and en-suite toilets if you’re not fussy with your stars and can make do with smaller spaces!
Hotels that will make this list:
- Good double room for a couple (so no capsule hotels!)
- Has en-suite toilets
- Below SGD180 per night (about USD130)
- Received consistently good reviews
- Be within 15 minutes on foot from one of these Yamanote stations:
Not only are these stations the major ones on the line, the areas around these stations are also vibrant and sights on their own.
Recommended hotels near Ikebukuro Station
Ikebukuro is the second-largest station in Tokyo. It is a bustling hub with a motley mix of shops and entertainment, great for groups that like to shop and dine.
Japanese drugstores are aplenty in streets near the station and there are also large shopping malls such as Seibu and Sunshine City. It’s absolutely perfect for the days where you only have a short window of time to do your last-minute shopping! You pretty much can get everything in Ikebukuro.
There’s also Bake Cheese Tarts (I’ve missed them ever since they exited from Singapore) and many other restaurants in the train station.
Centurion Hotel Ikebukuro: Affordable business hotel
I’ve stayed at the Centurion Hotel twice now and I like how efficient they arrange the rooms and still maintain the expensive vibe to the hotel. This is also one of the most affordable hotels near the train station.
Although Google Maps puts this at about 3 minutes on foot from the train station exit, it is also one of the furthest station exits from the platform. From experience, I’d say this is about a 10-minute walk including the time you spend in the station locating the exit.
What I like about Centurion too, is its proximity to Sunshine city, whereas the other two hotels I’d be recommending are on the opposite side of the train station. Sunshine City is a mega-mall with many Japanese fashion brands, a small Daiso and also Pokemon Center so it’s perfect for last-minute shopping. One of my favourite vegan restaurants, Ain Soph Soar, is also in the vicinity.
A double room (13m²) costs about SGD130 per night.
Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro: Just across the train station
Rated #1 best value place to stay in Toshima (the ward that Ikebukuro is in), Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro is definitely one of the more expensive options in this list of recommendations but justifiably so.
Under 4 minutes from the nearest Ikebukuro Station exit, Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro is part of the reputable Hotel Metropolitan chain. It’s mostly flat ground to the hotel once you get out of the station.
While I’ve not experienced their Ikebukuro hotel, I’ve stayed in their Nagano branch and it was probably the most ‘proper’ hotel I’ve stayed in Japan with its sprawling lobby and a bigger room. Usually, the business hotels will have rooms about 10-13m² but Hotel Metropolitan’s rooms are 17m² or larger. For the size and convenience, each night will set you back by SGD175.
Tokyu Stay Ikebukuro: Hotel with washing machines
Tokyu Stay is another well-known hotel chain known for its no-frills accommodation. This one in Ikebukuro is only 3 minutes from the nearest station exit though it’s also one of the furthest exit from the train line, so I’d put the actual walking time at about 10 minutes.
If you’re planning to stay for a longer period in Tokyo or you’re just a light packer, you’ll be delighted to know that they have washing machines in their rooms! Their rooms are also of decent sizes at 16m² for double rooms. Double rooms go for about SGD150 per night.
Hotels near Akihabara
Akihabara is the paradise for anime lovers, electronic fanatics and geeks. I enjoy staying in Akihabara because it’s just so fun and vibrant. Anime murals, neon signs and gaming posters cover every single building on the streets. It’s also where you’ll find maid cafes and themed restaurants, such as the AKB48 and Gundam cafe, and the Final Fantasy restaurant.
Popular places around the area include Mandarake, which started off with used manga before branching into other related merchandise; Yodobashi, which stocks a wide range of electronics across its 9 levels; and Akihabara Radio Kaikan, a slim 10-storey building with a different store on each level selling everything from RPG cards to figurines to ball-jointed dolls.
It’s also just two stops from Tokyo station, which is the hub to other key train lines (e.g. to Disney). Compared to Shinjuku and Ikebukuro, Akihabara is much more convenient for visiting Asakusa, via Tsukuba Express, a direct line between the two stations.
APA Hotel Akihabara Ekimae: You can see the hotel from the station
My spouse and I have consistently gone back to this hotel because the price is unbeatable for the proximity to Akihabara Station. For just SGD120 per night, this business hotel is a steal.
Admittedly, the hotel room is small at 11m² but we’ve learnt to make do with it. It’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make to stay just across the road from the station. We’ve even made the space work for 3 enormous luggage. It’s not the best hotel, but it meets the sweet spot between price, comfort, and location.
As with all business hotels, the rooms are clean and the service is professional. If there’s one thing I have to nitpick, it must be the complimentary bottles of water that come with a picture of their founder. It’s weird.
Hotel Mets Akihabara: Relatively new hotel next to the station
If you see this on the map, this relatively new hotel is right next to the train station towards the electric town, where all the merchandise and electronic stores are. You also get a relatively big room at 17m² for SGD180 per night.
The interior is modern, and the reviews have been positive so far. Most travellers liked that the bathrooms are larger than usual, free bath salts and the self-service laundromat.
Hotel Mets Akihabara also belongs to the same company which manages Hotel Metropolitan.
remm Akihabara: room with a view
About as close to Akihabara Station as Mets, rem Akihabara offers a wide window with city views in their compact room. A 14m² double room will set you back by SGD150 per night. Reviewers like it for its relatively large rooms but have also pointed out that the furnishing is not as well-maintained as they liked.
Akihabara Washington Hotel: all-rounded option
I will position this hotel somewhere in between Mets and remm. At about SGD170 a night, you’ll get a 15m² double room. On the map, it looks slightly further from the station than remm but the difference in distance is negligible.
Reviewers liked that the hotel was clean and well-kept.
Hotels near Shinjuku Station
Shinjuku has the busiest train station in the world. In just a single day, the station serves over 3.5 million people. The station serves as a major interchange with multiple key train routes and Shinkansen lines. Not only is it well connected, there are also many malls and shopping districts around it. The bus terminal also serves many bus routes, including one for Kawaguchiko and Fuji.
Naturally, hotels in Shinjuku demand a higher price. Don’t expect to get anything as convenient as the options above; they will be exorbitant. Affordable options are slightly further from the station but as a consolation for some, they are nestled in the heart of Kabukicho.
Kabukicho is Tokyo’s red-light district and there are many adult-oriented shops and love hotels. It is slightly dodgy by my standards; though I have always bookmarked the below two hotels, I have never stayed there and prefer to keep my visits short and earlier in the day or evening. It’s a preference though. 😄
Shinjuku Granbell Hotel: Near Golden Gai and Robot restaurant
The hotel is about 15 minutes away from the station but much nearer to the Higashi-Shinjuku subway station. The subway station serves two lines, giving you direct access to Shibuya, Yoyogi, Ikebukuro, and Meiji Shrine. Both lines are managed by the Tokyo Metro so you cannot use your JR passes.
Similar to other hotels on the list, Granbell’s most affordable option for two is a 14m² room, about SGD150 per night. Rooms are clean and they even have a rooftop lounge.
Super Hotel Shinjuku Kabukicho: breakfast and common onsen included
For just SGD135 per night, you’ll get a good complimentary breakfast and access to the hotel’s public onsen (bath). Super hotel is also slightly nearer to the JR Shinjuku Station than Granbell. However, the rooms, at only 12m², are considered small on the list.
Hotel Wing International Shinjuku: great value for money
The nearest option of the Shinjuku hotels, Hotel Wing is surprisingly also the cheapest. At SGD125 per night for a 15m² room, this hotel is a steal.
The hotel is about 5 to 10 minutes from the train station on foot. Reviewers liked that the rooms are clean and you can top up for a good breakfast buffet. I think overall, travellers agree that the Hotel Wing offers great value for the price and they are comfortable without the bells and whistles.
Hotel recommendations near Tokyo station
Tokyo station is one of the busiest train stations in the capital. Not only is it a hub connecting multiple key Shinkansen and train lines, it is also a major business district. In just a single day, about 3000 trains arrive and depart from the station.
What does this mean for you as a traveller? If you’re visiting other major cities such as Osaka and Nagoya the next day, staying near Tokyo station will be very convenient since the bullet trains depart from there. It’s also one of the best stations to depart for Disneyland and DisneySea if you don’t want to stay near the theme parks.
There are also many departmental stores such as Daimaru and themed streets. My favourite street has to be the Tokyo Character street where you can find merchandise of popular franchises such as Hello Kitty, Ghibli (stocked at Donguri Republic) and the Shonen Jump Store (think Naruto and Bleach). You can access the street from the basement level of the Yaesu exit.
Besides all these stores, the station itself, with its red brick facade, is also a sight to see.
remm Tokyo Kyobashi: close to Ginza
About 10-15 minutes on foot from Tokyo station, remm offers good value for money for its 15m² room which costs about SGD170 per night.
Reviewers liked that there are massage chairs in each room to help relax their bodies after a tiring day. Also helps that it’s walking distance from Ginza, another top shopping district. It is also close to the Kyobashi subway station, which is a few stops from Shibuya, Omotesando and Asakusa.
Sotetsu Fresa Inn Tokyo Kyobashi: two subway stations nearby
Also about 10 to 15 minutes from the JR Tokyo Station, Sotetsu Fresa Inn is also sandwiched between two subway stations – Kyobashi and Tarakacho. Ginza and Asakusa are accessible via the Toei Asakusa line at the Tarakacho station. You can also walk to Ginza.
The rooms are clean and staff are known to be friendly and helpful. An 11m² double room at Sotetsu Fresa costs about SGD170 per night.
How to get to these hotels in Tokyo from Narita and Haneda airport
Getting to your hotel by train
From Narita Airport, take the Sky-liner and transfer at Nippori Station to the Yamanote Line. It takes about an hour to Tokyo station and just 1 hour 15 minutes to Shinjuku.
From Haneda Airport, take the Keikyu Main/Airport Line Rapid Ltd. Exp. and transfer to the Yamanote Line at Shinagawa Station. It should take you about 30 minutes to Tokyo station and another 5 to Shinjuku.
Check Hyperdia for the detailed route.
Getting to your hotel by bus in Tokyo
Trains in Tokyo are super reliable but sometimes, changing train lines are not the most convenient when you’re lugging heavy luggage. It’s also tricky to find lifts and escalators in the stations.
My favourite mode of transport is actually the Airport Limousine service. You can check out the schedule on their website. The airport limousine offers rides to both Narita and Haneda airports although the districts they ply differ. They stop at major stations such as Shinjuku, Tokyo, and Ikebukuro and also some hotels. For example, if you are coming in or leaving by Narita, take note that the airport limousine does not pick up at Akihabara. But if your flight is at Haneda, then the airport limousine will stop in the Akihabara area.
The airport limousine is a large, comfortable coach bus and you can book the tickets online via their reservation portal. I usually only do it for the return journey when my luggage is significantly heavier and I’ll arrange it with the concierge of the pickup hotels a day or two in advance.
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Getting around Tokyo on the Yamanote line
Instead of tapping your Suica, Pasmo or Icoca cards (pre-charged cards for public transport similar to the EZ-link card in Singapore) at the automatic gantry, you go through the mini office at the side where it’s manned by the train staff. They will check your JR pass and let you through. This is the same when you exit the station. If you already have an all-japan JR pass or other JR passes that can be used in Tokyo such as the JR East Nagano Niigata pass, you can use JR pass to cover for the Yamanote lines and other JR train lines such as the Keihin-Tohoku, Chuo-Sobu and the Keio Line.
Disclaimer: Prices listed are of the cheapest option for a double room taken from different websites as of the time I write this post. Always do your own research for best prices because (1) prices change and (2) there could be flash deals or discounts. 🙂
Drop a comment if you have other questions or share a hotel near the Yamanote line you’ve personally stayed in!