It took me a while, but I found a way to balance my preferred location with ¥15,000 per night hotel budget. The most important factor in finding a cheap Tokyo hotel for me was to stay close to the JR Shinjuku station (新宿駅) to avoid transferring too many trains when we moved about. Hence, I started out by googling maps of the station, and identifying hotels located within walking distance of it.
Shibuya Tokyu Inn
If it weren’t for our budget, I would have settled on the Shibuya Tokyu Inn. This hotel is just minutes from the famous Shibuya 109 building, and right next to Tower Records and Tsutaya Records, and is really close to the Shibuya station, very near Shinjuku Station too. But the location came at a price tag of 19,000 yen per night (promotion rate), so I decided to shop around to see if there would be other cheap Tokyo hotels within the same budget range.
Tokyo Serviced Apartments
I am a fan of the Ascott Serviced Apartments – either the Somerset or Citadines brand. I often recommend serviced apartments for families with young children who appreciate a kitchenette and a bit more space – space is a luxury in any Tokyo hotel!
The Citadines Shinjuku Tokyo is quite a distance from the JR Shinjuku station, but there is a convenience store within sight, and a supermarket within walking distance. The other draw about Citadines was that I spotted rates for a double room at under 12,000 yen.
Nearer to the JR Shinjuku station than Citadines is City Hotel Lonestar Shinjuku. It’s a decent hotel, if you don’t mind staying right in the middle of a gay district!
Sunroute Plaza vs Hotel Rose Garden
In the end, selecting a cheap Tokyo hotel for me was a close fight between Hotel Sunroute Plaza and Hotel Rose Garden. Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku was built in 2007, and is close to departmental stores, convenience stores and restaurants. It is also within walking distance of JR Shinjuku station. The best part was that Hotels.com had room for less than ¥12,000 per night.
In the end, Hotel Rose Garden Shinjuku was selected for its location and value for money. In terms of location, it is right next to a subway stop (Nishi-Shinjuku), but the JR Shinjuku stop is very walkable. Plus, the hotel offered all the amenities you would expect from that class of hotel, but at very competitive rates.
Of course, I did not cover the really cheap and unusual sleeps here (read: capsule hotels). For an unusual experience at 5,000 yen or less, that would be a capsule hotel…