The Best Cheap Hotels in Shinjuku

Shinjuku has gone through many changes in recent years, but the district is still a nightlife hotspot, home to a plethora of bars, izakaya and entertainment options.

If you want to take full advantage of Shinjuku’s nightlife opportunities but don’t want the hassle of getting across Tokyo afterwards (Tokyo’s public transport system shuts down at 1:00am, at which points the taxis hike their fares with a 20% late-night charge), then it just makes sense to stay overnight in Shinjuku.

Here are some low-cost accommodation options that will save you enough yen to buy a round for all of your new best friends at the tiny Golden Gai bar you’ve managed to squeeze into.  While most of the items in this list are hostels and capsule hotels, you’ll find that they are a great way to save some cash while in Japan.

 

 

Hostels

It’s no surprise that hostels offer the cheapest prices for a night in Shinjuku. However, low prices often come with distinct drawbacks. There are cheaper hostels out there, but these are the ones I actually feel comfortable staying at. These are clean, secure hostels with strong reputations.

 

1. Imano Tokyo Hostel


Imano Tokyo Hostel is a new hostel located around 10 minutes from JR Shinjuku Station by foot, and 5-minutes from Shinjuku 3-chome Station, right on the edge of the entertainment district/Golden Gai.

In addition to being walking distance from one of Tokyo’s major transportation hubs, you have your pick of Shinjuku’s bars and restaurants.

In addition to a common kitchen for guests to do their own catering, Imano Tokyo has a cafe on premises. The Kaku-Uchi style cafe & bar serves breakfast between 7:30am – 10:00am. There are coffee, tea and a selection of soft drinks during cafe time (11:00am – 4:00pm), and a selection of alcoholic drinks from 5:00pm – 10:00pm during bar time.

Although the common areas on each floor are quite bare, the hostel hosts frequent parties and social events. Within the rooms themselves, curtains ensure that each bunk has a measure of privacy. The female-only dorm is located on a female-only floor for added peace of mind.

There is little storage space for luggage within the rooms, which can make it hard to navigate the rooms, especially after dark!

Tip: try and get a bunk away from the door. You get more storage space, and the noise of someone using the pin pad to enter the room isn’t as loud.

The ten and eight-bed dorm rooms are built along capsule lines, and cost 3,500 yen a night. The six-bed dorm rooms are more like your usual bunk beds, and cost 3,800 yen a night. The hostel also offers a four-person bunk room for groups, 20,000 yen a night, and a Japanese style room for two people, 10,000 yen a night. If you have difficulty sleeping on hard surfaces be warned: the mattresses in the dorm rooms are very thin.

 

Pros vs Cons

Pros

  • Cheap prices for Shinjuku
  • Great location
  • Wi-Fi
  • Individual reading lights and curtains on every bunk

Cons

  • Lack of storage space
  • Common areas bare
  • The atmosphere friendly or quiet depending on who is visiting at the same time as you.
  • 4:00pm Check-in time

 

To Check Prices and Availability

Agoda.com:  Recommend for booking properties in Japan

Booking.com:  Recommended if booking properties in multiple countries

 

 

2.  Unplan Kagurazaka


A hostel for those who prefer “journeys” to “travel” and are searching for a one-in-a-lifetime adventure, Unplan is located in Kagurazaka, a sub-district of Shinjuku that is home to Tokyo’s geisha, and has a delightful Parisian vibe that sets it apart from the rest of Tokyo.

The location has definite advantages and disadvantages. While I enjoyed the Kagurazaka vibe, if you’re in Shinuku for the nightlife, you’ll find it a long walk to the entertainment hotspots—a 40-minute walk to Golden Gai. The closest station is Kagurazaka Station on the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line. While this line doesn’t go to any of Tokyo’s main attractions, it does connect with the major lines, making it a 15-minute journey to Shinjuku or Tokyo stations.

Unplan offers a basic free breakfast to guests served between 8:00am – 10:00am. Breakfast consists of eggs, bread and one drink (tea, coffee or orange juice). There’s also a cafe open from 8:00am onwards that morphs into a bar in the evening, offering barista made coffee and over 50 different cocktails. The food menu includes light meals and snacks. There is also a common room on the third floor with basic kitchen facilities (microwave, fridge, no oven).

Unplan offers four different room types. The dormitory rooms are capsule style with curtains, with safe deposit boxes and individual reading lights. There are quite a few capsules in each room, so they are noisier than your average hostel. They make up for this by being more spacious.

As a bonus, the female-only dorms have a shower attached. A dorm bed is 4,500 yen a night.

The private family room has bunk-bed style beds for four, a microwave, kettle and attached bathroom and verandah. The room is rented at 19,800 yen a night. The private double room contains one double bed, and can sleep three people. It also includes a verandah and private bathroom, kettle and microwave, and storage space.

 

Pros vs Cons

Pros

  • Great design
  • Fantastic lounge/restaurant
  • Free breakfast
  • Wifi
  • Hostel cleaned twice daily

Cons

  • Location a bit out of the way
  • No rental bikes
  • Noisy dorm rooms
  • No real kitchen

 

To Check Prices and Availability

Agoda.com:  Recommend for booking properties in Japan

Booking.com:  Recommended if booking properties in multiple countries

 

 

3.  Ace Inn Shinjuku


Priding itself on innovating combination bunk/capsule beds, Ace Inn Shinjuku has been around many years. That it is still doing business is a testament to its excellent location and solid reputation—not to mention its cheap prices. This hostel is a good choice for budget conscious travelers who want to be within easy traveling distance of Shinjuku and Shibuya.

Ace Inn is located a 1 to 2 minute walk from the Akebonobashi Station of the Toei Subway Shinjuku Line, a short subway ride or 30-minute walk to JR Shinjuku Station.

What it lacks in location, it makes up for in other conveniences: all staff speaks English, and there is a common space on the ninth floor where you can cook, watch TV, and relax with other guests.

All the rooms are dormitory style, but the room types vary. The basic dormitory is the cheapest option, from 2,160 yen a night, and consists of ten single beds and tatami space for two people.
The dormitory is mixed, and there are no curtains on the bed.

The economy floor consists of wooden capsule style bunks with curtains and lockers. The rooms are mixed and cost 3,240 yen a night.

The luxury floor consists of wooden capsule style bunks, but there are fewer bunks to each room, making them more spacious and quieter. There is a seat and small desk space for each bed, and the rooms are separated by gender. 4,320 yen a night.

 

Pros vs Cons

Pros

  • Cheap accommodation
  • Self-catering facilities
  • Close to transport options
  • Free tea and coffee in kitchen

 

Cons

  • The location isn’t great
  • Free showers operate on a 10-minute time limit
  • Thin mattresses
  • Hostel is a bit old and tired looking

 

 

To Check Prices and Availability

Agoda.com:  Recommend for booking properties in Japan

Booking.com:  Recommended if booking properties in multiple countries

 

Capsule Hotels

Capsule Hotels are designed for commuters who miss the last train rather than tourists, so they don’t really have options for luggage storage.

However, spending a night in a capsule hotel is an “only in Japan” experience high on many travelers’ to-do lists. Although there are a number of capsule hotels in Shinjuku, most however, are male-only. The two listed below welcome female guests.

 

 1. Shinjuku Kuyakusho-Mae Capsule Hotel


For an authentic capsule hotel experience, you can’t go past Shinjuku Kuyakusho-mae Capsule Hotel. The plastic capsules aren’t exactly attractive, but inside they have lights, a clock, radio, TV, electric outlet, and Wi-Fi. There is a locker where you can leave your luggage (enough room for a backpack but not a large pack or suitcase), and pick up a yukata(light kimono) to sleep in.

The capsule hotel is located a 4-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station East Exit, and is a little hard to find. Some guests recommend taking a taxi rather than spending time trying to find it. The capsule hotel is only a short walk from the entertainment district, making it very convenient in terms of location.

The men-only bathroom has a spacious Japanese-style public bath and sauna. Unfortunately, women can only use the showers provided on the female only floor. There is also a lounge area with chairs and desk space for the guests to use.

One night’s stay in a capsule costs around 3,500 yen. Uncommon for capsule hotels, which normally don’t take reservations, you can book online and even receive a hundred yen discount for doing so.

Due to the fact that there isn’t much space for luggage in the room, it’s not the best option for vacation travelers. However, it is a good option for a single night for those curious about the capsule hotel phenomena.

 

Pros vs Cons

Pros

  • Genuine capsule hotel
  • Great location
  • Cheap
  • Yukata to sleep in provided

Cons

  • Noisy. Especially when people’s alarms go off in the morning
  • The capsules can be a bit claustrophobic
  • No public bath for women
  • Heavy smell of tobacco in the lounge

 

To Check Prices and Availability

Agoda.com:  Recommend for booking properties in Japan

 

2.  Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510/ Ladies 510

Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 is recommended if you’re very short on cash or a woman who really wants a bath with your bed. It’s basically a less clean version of the Shinjuku Kuyakushomae Capsule Hotel, with heavy smoke smells, particularly in the men’s areas.

Women are not only welcome, but there is a women-only floor with only female staff members for added security.

The female public bath isn’t particularly fancy, but it is hot and that’s all you really require in a Japanese style bath. While the basic capsules start at 2,700 yen, you can upgrade to different capsule options that give you more space and different amenities.

Not recommended for stays longer than one night, as you’ll be required to check in and out every successive day (huge pain in the butt).

Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 is located right in the entertainment district itself, so if you’re visiting Shinjuku for the nightlife, you will not find a more convenient capsule hotel. It’s about an 8-minute walk from the Shinjuku Station East Exit.

 

Pros vs Cons

Pros

  • Woman-only floor and bath
  • Located in Kabuki-cho (The entertainment district of Shinjuku)

 

Cons

  • Smoky
  • Can get really hot in summer

Men: If you want a capsule hotel experience but don’t want to be uncomfortable, check out Luxury Capsule Hotel Anshin Oyado. With spacious capsules, high-end mattresses and thermal bathwater, this is a capsule hotel unlike any other. Unfortunately, it’s men-only.

 

To Check Prices and Availability

Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 Website (Japanese Only)

 

Hotels

 1. Shinjuku City Hotel N.U.T.S. Tokyo


N.U.T.S stands for New Urban Time and Space. Despite the name, it is a standard hotel, located close to Shinjuku Gyoen Mae Subway Station. It is within walking distance of JR Shinjuku Station and Shinjuku Gyoen, one of Tokyo’s best parks. It’s a good location, providing easy access to train and subway lines, as well as Shinjuku’s many shops and restaurants.

To take advantage of N.U.T.S’s low prices, it’s necessary to book a stay with a minimum of three nights through their website. If you do this, you won’t only get a discounted price for your room, but they’ll throw in a Wi-Fi router free (otherwise a charge of 800 yen applies). N.U.T.S also has an 800 yen breakfast, in addition to a variety of rooms.

In addition to the elevator, there are five universal design rooms, which can be booked as you would any other room.

Taking advantage of their discounted for at least a three-day stay and online booking, a room at N.U.T.S starts at 7,900 yen for a standard single room, 4,550 yen for the same room shared between two people (during the low season). The maximum occupancy for their largest rooms is 5 people.

Pros vs Cons

Pros

  • Good location
  • Universal Design Rooms
  • Recently Renovated

 

Cons

  • Minimum three-night stay to get discount
  • Website is hard to navigate
  • Price hiked during high demand periods
  • Expensive for solo travelers

 

To Check Prices and Availability

Agoda.com:  Recommend for booking properties in Japan

 

No matter what your budget or accommodation preferences are, you’re bound to find an affordable Shinjuku option to suit your travel plans. Enjoy your time in Shinjuku, knowing you don’t have to worry about missing the last train!

 

Image Credits:

danielvfung/123rf.com

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