Where to Stay in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics

Where to stay in Tokyo - Olympics 2020

If you are planning to visit Japan for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo then you should hopefully have already purchased your tickets. I note that the process to purchase your tickets can be problematic, however now that flights have become available to purchase for the 2020 Olympics it is now time to lock in your flights and accommodation, in anticipation that you will be able to get your desired tickets.  As this will be a peak time to visit Tokyo you can expect that accommodation will be quickly sold out, and unfortunately most accommodation providers are likely to raise their prices for this event.  Depending on which Olympic events you plan to attend will determine where to stay in Tokyo.  

The aim of this article is to help you work out the best Tokyo Olympics 2020 hotels to book.  You need to book as early as possible because a lot of Tokyo Olympics accommodation has already been booked out by the officials and package tour companies, so if you are travelling independently you will need to book early to ensure you can stay in a location within reasonable proximity of the events you plan to watch.

Many Summer Olympic 2020 events are also being held outside Tokyo so this article will also help you find the best accommodation for each location.

Join the Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group – Olympics 2020

You are also welcome to join our Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group – Olympics 2020 – it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Japan and to find like minded people!

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Tokyo Accommodation Options

In Tokyo there are multiple types of accommodation options as follows:

  • Hotels are a popular option, however will be expensive and have limited availability due to package tour bookings for the Olympics.
  • Hostels should be a cost effective option, most hostels have both dormitories and private rooms, many with private bathrooms.
  • Guesthouses / Ryokans are independently operated small hotels and are a great option to have a more authentic Japanese experience. Options include both western style rooms as well as Japanese style rooms where sleep on a futon bed on the tatami mat floor.  Bathrooms can be either private or shared.
  • Private Apartments are a popular option, however be aware that Japan recently introduced a requirement for all private accommodation to be licenced. If you plan to book a private apartment ensure you check that they have a valid licence and good reviews.  We are still hearing of cases where AirBnB bookings are being cancelled at the last minute due to licencing issues, so ensure you choose a reputable provider with many good reviews to reduce the risk of this happening to you.
  • Capsule Hotels are common in Tokyo as a cheap accommodation option for a single person with shared bathroom facilities (separate for each gender).

In terms of where to stay in Tokyo, the main thing you want to check is that your accommodation is within an easy walking distance of a train station, and also that it is in good proximity of the venues you plan to attend.  Google Maps is a great option to check out the transport options to get from your accommodation to your Olympic venues.  There is more information on Tokyo public transport options lower in this article.

The Centurion Classic Hotel Akasaka King Suite
Our top pick for mid level accommodation in Tokyo is the Centurion Classic Hotel Akasaka King Suite which we really enjoyed staying in for one week during our recent visit to Tokyo.  It has close proximity to two subway lines, with lots of restaurant options and a Bic Camera store close by.  Click on the photo above to check out further details through Booking.com.

Accommodation Booking Strategies to get the Best Value

Where it appears that the closest accommodation is already booked out, a good strategy to use on Booking.com is to book an accommodation option which you can cancel at no cost, and regularly check to see if new accommodation options have opened up.  For example, where the package tour companies have not sold all of their tours, a whole batch of hotel rooms may be released for general sale from 1-2 months prior to the start of the Olympic Games.  Also, people often book multiple accommodation options while they are still planning their itinerary, and then cancel the ones they do not want closer to the date.

Just be careful with this strategy – we recently had a case where we booked accommodation in Osaka for 4 nights during the peak Golden Week period at a reasonable price through Booking.com.  We changed our itinerary and wanted to reduce our booking by one night.  For this hotel we were unable to reduce our booking, we had to cancel it and then make a new booking – and the price per night had doubled!  We ended up seeking another accommodation option.

This is where there is also a challenge with using AirBnB – when you book you have to pay in full for your booking, and subject to the cancellation rates you are unable to change once you have locked it in.  Booking.com also offers apartment style accommodation at competitive rates, but usually you are able to cancel up to a certain time period, ensure you check the cancellation conditions before locking in your booking.

Our recommended accommodation booking providers are Booking.com and TripAdvisor.  They offer accommodation across all of the above categories.

Click here to check out the available accommodation options in Tokyo for your dates and group size through Booking.com

Enter your arrival and departure dates into the Booking.com map widget below to quickly check accommodation options.


Booking.com

If you prefer to book using TripAdvisor then click on the link below to check out the options.

Click here to check out the available accommodation options in Tokyo for your dates and group size through TripAdvisor

For those of you looking for private apartments we have also recently partnered with Tokyo Family Stays, who are a family run licenced business who offer a great selection of apartments in the Harajuku and Shibuya region of Tokyo which is in great proximity to the Heritage Zone events.  Click here to check them out and use coupon code PRETRAVELLER19 to receive a 5% discount.  They have advised that they are in the process of getting several new apartments licenced, so expect to see more options become available over time.

Click here to check out the available accommodation options in Tokyo for your dates and group size through Tokyo Family Stays.  Use coupon code PRETRAVELLER19 to receive a 5% discount!

2020 Olympics Venues in Tokyo

A common question is where are the 2020 Olympics going to be held.  55 Olympic and Paralympic sports will be contested in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games, which includes 33 Olympic Sports and 22 Paralympic Sports.  As a result there are 42 venues being used to conduct the 2020 Tokyo Olympics which are spread over a wide area.  Most venues are within or close to Tokyo, with several venues being further away from Tokyo.

Within Tokyo there are two main zones, the Heritage Zone and the Tokyo Bay Zone.  The Heritage Zone represents the legacy of the 1964 Olympic Games which were the first time that the Olympics had been held in an Asian country.  Many of the original venues in the Heritage Zone have been upgraded to be used for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  The Tokyo Bay Zone has all new venues constructed specifically for the 2020 Olympics.

The centrepiece of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is Olympic Stadium which will be used for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Athletics and Football.

All Heritage Zone venues are detailed on the below map in purple.  All Tokyo Bay Zone venues are detailed on the below map in orange.  Click on the map below to zoom in and out and click on each icon to see further details of each venue without leaving this page.

Where to Stay in Tokyo – Heritage Zone

The Heritage Zone is located on the northern and western side of Tokyo and consists of eleven venues.  Seven venues are located in inner city Tokyo, while four venues are located further west from Tokyo.  The inner city venues will host the following events:

  • Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Athletics, both Track and Field, Some Football Matches, Table Tennis, Handball, Judo, Karate, Athletics (Race Walk), Weightlifting and Boxing

The venues located further west from Tokyo will host the following events:

  • Equestrian (Dressage, Eventing, Jumping), Badminton, Modern Pentathlon (Fencing), Some Football Matches, Rugby, Modern Pentathlon (Swimming, Fencing, Riding, Laser-Run), Cycling (Road Race Start)

In addition the Shooting event will be held to the north of the Heritage Zone.

Our recommended areas of Tokyo for the 2020 Summer Olympics are as follows in order of preference for the Heritage Zone venues.  Click on the links to see the options through Booking.com, Tripadvisor and AirBnB (which have been filtered to show superhosts).

Each of these areas has a large range of restaurants and shopping, as well as access to other attractions in Tokyo.

Robot Restaurant
The Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku
Khaosan World Ryokan and Hostel Asakusa Family Room
Our top pick for budget group, family or dormitory accommodation with a private bathroom in Tokyo is Khaosan World Ryokan and Hostel in Asakusa.  We really enjoyed staying here for a few nights during our recent visit to Tokyo.  It is literally a short walk to two subway lines, over the road from a Don Quixote Department Store, in close proximity to some great grocery stores, and there were lots of great restaurants within close proximity, as well as being a short walk to Sensoji Temple.  Click on the photo above to check out further details through Booking.com.

Where to Stay in Tokyo – Tokyo Bay Zone

The Tokyo Bay Zone is located on the southern and eastern side of Tokyo and consists of the Olympic Village and 16 venues.  14 Venues are located in Odaiba, a series of man made islands in Tokyo Bay, while two venues are located further east from Tokyo.  The inner city venues will host the following events:

  • Volleyball, Gymnastics, Cycling (BMX Freestyle, BMX Racing, Skateboarding), Tennis, Aquatics (Marathon Swimming, Swimming, Diving, Artistic Swimming, Water Polo), Triathlon, Beach Volleyball, 3×3 Basketball, Sport Climbing, Hockey, Equestrian (Eventing, Cross Country), Canoe (Sprint, Slalom), Rowing and Archery.

The venues located further east from Tokyo will host the following events:

  • Taekwondo, Wrestling and Fencing

Our recommended areas of Tokyo for the 2020 Summer Olympics are as follows in order of preference for the Tokyo Bay Zone venues:

Each of these areas has a large range of restaurants and shopping, as well as access to other attractions in Tokyo.

Sensoji Temple in Asakusa at Night
Sensoji Temple in Asakusa at Night

How Does Public Transport Work in Tokyo?

Tokyo is unusual compared with many other cities as there are multiple providers of public transport.  As a result where you see a station where multiple train company lines connect, when transferring you actually have to exit one station and enter another station and tap on and off each time you enter and exit.

The Japan Rail Yamanote Line runs in a large circle around Tokyo and the subway system also has a circle around Tokyo as well as many other cross Tokyo options which are also an effective way to get around.

The Tokyo Bay area is accessible either by bus from Tokyo Station or by train.  The relevant train lines are as follows.

The Yurikamome Line which goes from Shimbashi Station to Toyosu Station which provides access to a large number of Olympic venues in Odaiba and near Toyosu.

Yurikamome Train Line through Odaiba
Yurikamome Train Line through Odaiba

The Keiyo Line which runs from Tokyo Station to Shin-Kiba Station near the Aquatic Centre precinct.

All venues are easily accessible using either the Japan Rail Yamanote line or the Subway lines.  The easiest way to get around Tokyo is using a Suica tap on tap off public transport card which you can pre-order though Voyagin.  You get a starting amount of credit and then just top it up as you need it.  While there are other Tokyo transport passes available, they restrict you to only one company and you may need to choose a longer route to get to the same place.  The Suica pass can be used for ALL public transport within Tokyo and most public transport in other Japanese cities.  Each person must have their own Suica Card, and children up to 12 years old can get a special pass where they only pay 50% of the adult fare.  The child Suica Card can only be purchased after you arrive in Tokyo as you must show their passports.

The Heritage Zone venues are very easy to get to, however the Tokyo Bay Zone has more limited train infrastructure and is slower to get around so if you are going to many events in that area ensure you allow extra time to get to and from each venue.  In particular, on our recent visit to Tokyo we used the Yurikamome Line several times and found it to be a very slow transport option compared with the subway.

Accommodation Options Outside Tokyo

If accommodation is not available in within Tokyo, check out nearby towns which have good train access to enable easy access to Tokyo.  The best accommodation options to explore outside Tokyo are as follows:

  • Narita Airport has excellent access to Tokyo, and a large range of hotels are located around the Airport.
  • Yokohama Station is located to the south west of Tokyo and is connected by both local trains and shinkansen (to Shin-Yokohama Station) with a travel time of 30 minutes to Tokyo Station. Yokohama is a tourist destination in its own right and has a great range of attractions, restaurants and accommodation options.
  • Kichijoji Station is located to the west of Tokyo, close to the Ghibli Museum with a large selection of eateries and accommodation options. It has a travel time of 20 minutes to Shinjuku Station and 30 minutes to Tokyo Station.
  • Kawasaki is located between Tokyo and Yokohama and is connected by local train with a travel time of up to 30 minutes.
  • Chiba is a more industrial town located to the east of Tokyo and is well connected by local trains with a travel time of 30-60 minutes to Tokyo.

Shinkansen Lines from Tokyo

If the above towns do not have accommodation, the next option is to check out accommodation options which are located along the major shinkansen lines from Tokyo.  Note that shinkansen travel is more expensive than local trains, and the most cost effective option to get around will be a 7 day, 14 day or 21 day Japan Rail Pass, so ensure you allow for this expense in your budget.

Click here to check out how to purchase your JR Pass

Shinkansen Shin-Osaka to Okayama
Shinkansen!

The Tokaido Shinkansen line runs from Tokyo to Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka to the west of Tokyo.  Note that the JR Pass does not include the Nozumi line, so look for the Hikari and Kodama options.  You can use the Hyperdia.com website to search for the train timetable and to filter to exclude the Nozumi.

Best accommodation options along the route are as follows:

  • Odawara (30 minutes from Tokyo Station) (Gateway to the Hakone area)
  • Hakone-Yumato Station (30 minutes from Tokyo Station to Odawara Station and then an additional 20 minute local train from Odawara Station) (lots of traditional ryokan and onsens, access to Hakone area with lots of sightseeing options)
  • Mishima (35 minutes from Tokyo Station) (views of Mt Fuji)
  • Shizuoka (55 minutes from Tokyo Station) (views of Mt Fuji, close to the beach)
  • Hamamatsu (80 minutes from Tokyo Station) (close to the beach)
Closer views of Mt Fuji from the Shinkansen
Closer views of Mt Fuji from the Shinkansen just past Odawara Station

The Hokuriku Shinkansen line runs from Tokyo to Nagano and the Joetsu Shinkansen line runs to Niigata to the north west.  Best accommodation options along the route are as follows:

  • Omiya (Saitama) Station is a major stopping location and has access to three shinkansen lines and is a 30 minute trip to Tokyo Station

The Tohoku Shinkansen line runs from Tokyo to Sapporo to the north of Tokyo.  Best accommodation options along the route include:

Shinkansen Carriage Markings
Shinkansen Carriage Markings on the train station platform

2020 Olympics Venues across Japan (not including Tokyo)

A large number of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics events are being held outside Tokyo.  Here is a quick overview of the events, venues and a map to help you find where they are located.

2020 Olympics Venues close to Tokyo

Many of the venues outside Tokyo are within potential transport distance from Tokyo as follows:

  • Surfing will be held at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach – is a 1:00 hour train trip from Tokyo Station to Kazusa-Ichinomiya Station. If you want to stay locally check out this link to see the options to stay in Ichinomiya.
  • Basketball will be held in the Saitama Super Arena, which is a 34 minute train trip from Tokyo Station.
  • Golf will be held at Kasumigaseki Country Club which is a 1:37 hour trip from Tokyo Station. If you want to stay locally check out this link to see the options to stay in Kawagoe.
  • Sailing will be held at Enoshima Yacht Harbour which is a 1:30 hour trip from Tokyo Station. If you want to stay locally check out this link to see the options to stay in Enoshima.  Alternatively it is located 50 minutes from Yokohama.
  • Cycling (Track and Mountain Bike) will be held at Izu Velodrome and Izu MTB Course which are a 2:45 hour trip from Tokyo Station. If you want to stay locally check out this link to see the options to stay in Izu or Mishima.
  • Cycling (Road Race and Individual Time Trial Finish) will be held at the Fuji International Speedway which is accessible by bus from either Gotemba Station (2:15 hours from Tokyo Station) or Suruga-Oyama Station (2 hours from Tokyo Station). If you want to stay locally (and see Mt Fuji!) check out this link to see the options to stay in Gotemba, Kawaguchiko or Gora.

View of Mt Fuji from Mt Ashi in Hakone
View of Mt Fuji from Lake Ashi in Hakone, close to Gora and Gotemba
  • Some Football matches will be held at the International Stadium Yokohama which is a 30 minute train trip from Tokyo Station
  • Some Baseball matches will be held at the Yokohama Baseball Stadium which is a 30 minute train trip from Tokyo Station.
  • Some Football matches will be held at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium which is a 2:15 hour trip north east from Tokyo. If you want to stay locally check out this link to see the options to stay in Kashima.
  • Some Football matches will be held at Saitama Stadium which is a 1:20 hour trip north from Tokyo. If you want to stay locally check out this link to see the options to stay in Omiya.
Where to stay in Tokyo - Olympics 2020
Hover over image to pin to Pinterest

2020 Olympics Venues Distant from Tokyo

Finally, several baseball and football matches are being held in more distant locations from Tokyo as follows:

  • Some Baseball matches will be held at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium which is a 3 hour trip north from Tokyo. Check out this link to see the options to stay in Fukushima.
  • Some Football matches will be held at the Sapporo Dome which is a 8-9 hour trip north from Tokyo. If you want to stay locally check out this link to see the options to stay in Sapporo.
  • Some Football matches will be held at Miyagi Stadium which is a 1.5 – 2 hour trip north from Tokyo. Check out this link to see the options to stay in Sendai.

Join the Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group – Olympics 2020

You are also welcome to join our Japan Travel Planning Facebook Group – Olympics 2020 – it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Japan!

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

 
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