Best (and Worst) Coworking Spaces in Tokyo

Five best coworking spaces in Tokyo for expats and remote workers

If you were asked to name a single most important tool that people have at their disposal today, what would you say? Our guess is that your answer would be the Internet. It has improved our lives in so many ways, and the possibility of remote and nomad working is just one of them.

Working online enables you to do so much more. The possibilities range from going through your beauty routine while actually working, to bringing your tasks with you wherever you go. It doesn’t really sound like something you’d look forward to, right? Well, consider this: you don’t have to ask your boss for days off when you want to travel. Whenever you want, you can just… I don’t know, pack your laptop and go to Tokyo for a month or two?

Of course, you’d still have to work. In a densely populated place like Tokyo, though, you’ll hardly be able to find a flat spacious enough to fit in a home office. Besides, even if you could, would you honestly want to spend your days cooped up in a room?

If you wouldn’t, you’ll probably want to take advantage of one of the many coworking spaces in Tokyo. It’s a smart decision too since the orderly environment is likely to boost your productivity and motivation. So, to make your life easier, here is a list of five best coworking spaces in Tokyo.

The Hive Jinnan is our favorite place to cowork in Tokyo

Source: coworkbooking.com

The Hive is located in the Shibuya district, within a walking distance from Akihabara station and Izumi elementary school.

If there is one place in this world perfectly suited to tend to the needs of a nomad worker, it’s the Hive. The interior is pleasant, in soft earthy tones and decorated with vintage-looking photos and pretty pops of little greenery on the desks and shelves.

You can get nice and comfy. There are personal lockers, so you don’t have to worry about your stuff, and there are standing desks in case your back starts protesting. They offer everything you’ll need for a successful workday, from good WiFi to printing equipment. There are an outdoor terrace and a chill-out area, as well as free coffee and tea.

If you have specific cravings, there is a barista at your disposal, and you can also purchase alcoholic beverages and snacks if you want to. The price per day is 2,000 JPY, and the working hours are from 8 am to 8 pm, Monday through Friday.

If you’re a community member, however, you have other benefits, such as:

  • Unlimited 24/7 access to the premises,
  • Free lunches and drinks,
  • Free pass for workshops, events, etc.

The beauty and practicality of the Hive are the reasons we love it so much. So, if you’re in need of a wonderful, inspiring place to work, look no further.

Basics
Pricing
  • Per day: JPY 2,000
  • Per month: JPY 30,000
High-Speed Internet Yes
Open Hours
  • Monday – Friday: 8 am – 8 pm
  • Saturday – Sunday: closed
Ergonomics
Comfortable Chairs Yes
Standing Desk Yes
Workspaces
Dedicated Desks Yes
Conference Rooms Yes
Private Offices Yes
Phone booths Yes
Coliving No

Other places that we also loved

No matter how fabulous it is, the Hive may not be your choice if it’s inconveniently far from your accommodation. So here are other great coworking spaces in Tokyo, organized according to neighborhoods in which they’re located.

Akihabara

If you’re a fan of anime and/or a tech enthusiast, chances are you’ll choose to stay in Akihabara. Maid cafes and arcades — while undoubtedly male-oriented — might just be attractive enough to make you forget about your work. If you manage to keep your head in the game, though, here are some awesome coworking places in your proximity. The best ones are:

  1. Rampart
  2. ⅓ Life
  3. BIZcomfort Akihabara Iwamotocho
  4. Regus Akihabara Minami

So, let’s take a closer look.

Rampart

Rampart boasts a great location, only a few minutes on foot from the Akihabara Station.

There is one big, very bright, open-space room, and two smaller ones for meetings. This coworking space includes a smoking room, which is great if you’re a smoker. It’s less great if you’re not, as you can smell the cigarettes in the air.

That being said, there are plenty of benefits to this place. For one thing, at 22,000 JPY per month, the price is fairly approachable. They also offer the possibility to pay per half an hour, which is great. Finally, the sheer closeness to the station is its best asset — Rampart is easily the most happily situated coworking space on this list.

1/3 Life

Source:⅓ Life

Northwest of Akihabara Station, no more than five minutes’ walk to Suehirocho Station, is where you’ll find ⅓ Life.

In ⅓ Life, you’ll find something that coworking spaces, in Tokyo or anywhere, generally don’t have — an actual gym. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it. Since long hours of work can get you all stiff and uncomfortable, it’s good to have a way to get your blood flowing.

So, if you’re an active person (good for you!), and you want to keep up with your exercise routine while in Tokyo, this is a great place for you. There are other benefits as well.

With ergonomic and Bosu ball chairs, this coworking space is fairly comfortable. It is also fashionably decorated and has a large bar that serves alcoholic drinks. There is free coffee and tea, and a great chill-out area. It provides personal lockers, as well as printing equipment.

It is open from 9 am to 10 pm Monday through Friday for regular visitors, while members have unlimited 24/7 access. They charge 9,320 JPY per month.

BIZcomfort Akihabara Iwamotocho

Source: BIZcomfort

BIZcomfort is only 7 minutes’ walk from Akihabara Station. They don’t allow drop-in, but the monthly subscription is quite low — an all-day plan costs 12,000 JPY, and members are welcome 24/7.

The coworking space itself is pretty pleasant, and the booths are very quiet. It’s amazing for anyone who needs silence to work. Other benefits include personal lockers (at the added price of 2,000 JPY) and free coffee and tea, but snacks are neither provided nor allowed. Still, you’re not likely to be disturbed there, and the price is really low, so the upsides seem to win, don’t you think?

Regus Akihabara Minami

Source: Foursquare.com

Regus Akihabara Minami is situated across the Kanda river, and it is fairly close to the Iwamotocho Station.

For those of you who dislike the contemporary cheerful workplace philosophy, the serious and impersonal atmosphere in Regus might be just what the doctor ordered. While it might be missing the warmth of some other entries on this list, it does provide plenty of space and very few disturbances. This is a great place for you if you need to focus, and you tend to get lost in your work.

If you’re interested in Regus, you’ll need to call them and ask about the prices – and you should expect a higher figure than others on this list.

Basics Rampart ⅓ Life BIZcomfort Regus
Pricing 22,000 JPY/month 9,320 JPY/month 12,000 JPY On demand
High Speed Internet Yes Yes Yes Yes
Open Hours Mon–Fri: 7 am–9 pm,

Sat–Sun: 10 am–7 pm,

Mon–Fri: 9 am–10 pm,

Closed on weekends

24/7 Mon–Fri: 8 am–6 pm, Mon – Fri,

Closed on weekends

Ergonomics
Comfortable Chairs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Standing Desk No No No No
Workspaces
Dedicated Desks Yes Yes Yes Yes
Private Offices Yes Yes Yes Yes
Coliving No No No No

 

Best (and Worst) Coworking Spaces in Osaka

7 best (and worst) coworking spaces in Osaka

Osaka is becoming increasingly popular among digital nomads. It’s no wonder since it is a megahub of tech startups and fresh entrepreneurship. For those who love Japan but find Tokyo overwhelming, Osaka is a great alternative for work and travel. If you’re visiting this cosmopolitan city for the first time, you may take a look at this video:

Osaka is a true coworking hotspot, with over 30 places for working travelers. Here are some we singled out to help you narrow down your choices.

Osakan Space is our favorite place to cowork in Osaka

Image source: Osakan Space Facebook

Located in the heart of Osaka’s business district, Osakan Space is the most welcoming shared space for international professionals. You’ll be in the city center, just minutes away from the central Honmachi station. There are various restaurants around it and even a Starbucks nearby for those of you who prefer the tried and tested over local and new.

Osakan Space has a Coworker Member Choice Award under its belt and rightly so. Whatever your style of coworking, they can accommodate your needs. If you like to chit chat and network, you’ll love their vast open space area. For those who prefer peace and quiet, there is a large concentration room with no talking. If you want to get super comfy, check out their snug sofa room. If you have a travel stand desk and get tired of all the sitting around, attach it to any surface in any of the rooms to work standing up.

The best thing about this place is the warm and friendly atmosphere. The spaces are luminous and pleasant. They even host different social events there. You’ll be surrounded by various professionals from around the globe willing to help and co-learn. With many different skill sets in the mix, you may even find a new business partner or prospect.

Basics
Pricing
  • 2,000 yen per day
  • 12,000 yen per two weeks
  • 15,000 per month
High-Speed Internet Yes
Open Hours
  • Monday – Friday: 10am – 6pm
  • Saturday: closed
  • Sunday: closed
Ergonomics
Comfortable Chairs Yes
Standing Desk No
Workspaces
Dedicated Desks No
Conference Rooms Yes
Private Offices Yes
Phone booths Yes
Coliving No

Line-up is our least favorite space to cowork in Osaka

Image source: Line-Up Facebook

The Japanese are known for their perfectionism, and a great metropolitan city like Osaka is another proof of that. This holds true for their coworking scene as well. We had to be nit-picky when choosing our least favorite Osaka coworking space.

Line-up is a decent open-concept coworking space in Nishi Ward. It’s on the first floor of a modern building near the Dotonbori river. The place is fresh and hip, great for young creative people who wish to exchange ideas over coffee. The problem lies in the fact that Line-up often hosts various events. Since it is one large open area, this is unfortunate because you cannot work there during these events. If you still decide to give it a go, better check their Facebook page to see if there’s anything scheduled for the day.

Basics
Pricing 500 yen per day
High-Speed Internet Yes
Open Hours
  • Monday – Friday: 10am – 7pm
  • Saturday: closed
  • Sunday: closed
Ergonomics
Comfortable Chairs Yes
Standing Desk Yes
Workspaces
Dedicated Desks No
Conference Rooms No
Private Offices No
Phone booths No
Coliving Yes

4 coworking spaces in Osaka we also like

Narrowing our choices down wasn’t easy. But here are the rest of the best:

  1. Common Room Nakatsu in Kita
  2. Inseed in Chuo
  3. D-SPOT-COM Nagahori in Chuo
  4. Juso Coworking in Yodogawa

Common Room Nakatsu in Kita

Source image: Common Room Nakatsu Facebook

Common Room Nakatsu is in the north of the business district, in a modern building where it spans over several floors. It is near a subway station, so it is well connected with the rest of the city. In its vicinity, you can find various shops, parks, and amazing food places.

It’s open 24/7, and across its several floors, you can find everything you may need. Apart from all the usual stuff (and it offers ALL the usual stuff), Nakatsu also features such things as a soda fountain and a library. It may be the most peaceful place to work in Osaka, with its traditional Japanese elements. Once you enter, you get to slip into their indoor slippers and sip fresh herbal tea. There is even a tatami room where you can relax and meditate (or work, while also trying to meditate). You get a full, immersive experience of the traditional Japanese culture while working stress-free.

Inseed in Chuo

Image source: Inseed

Inseed is yet another coworking gem in the heart of Osaka. Its location is perfect as it’s close to the metro station, and you can easily move around from there. As opposed to our previous pick, this place is more modern and slick. The great look comes with a greater price, so be sure to check your budget before venturing here.

This place is fully equipped to accommodate its guests. There are a number of spaces for various purposes. Among these, you can find anything, from individual workstations and two-person booths to a large conference room with a smart projector. There are even a kitchen and a relaxation area. This place is clearly focused on providing the best service to its international guests. That’s why the staff speaks English perfectly, but they also speak Mandarin.

D-SPOT-COM Nagahori in Chuo

Image source: D-SPOT-COM Facebook

D-SPOT-COM is a cozy coworking spot downtown. It’s close to Nagahoribashi station, so it’s easy to access from any part of the city. Its rooms cover two floors. There are large open area spaces, as well as small meeting rooms and a chill zone. At 1,000 yen a day, it is also pretty affordable for such a great location.

This coworking space is filled with all the necessities, such as scanners, printers, and comfy chairs. If you carry a lot of stuff around, this may be the perfect place for you as it features personal lockers. You can safely put away anything you may not need instead of cluttering your workspace. With soft jazz playing in the background and a great deal of natural light, you will thoroughly enjoy your time here. Another important thing to mention is that receptionists’ English is pretty good.

Juso Coworking in Yodogawa

Image source: Juso Coworking

Juso Coworking is on the other side of the river, in Osaka’s popular shopping and dining area. There are many casual restaurants in the area, as well as a huge indoor shopping mall. If you’re traveling with kids, this is a perfect place to keep you both occupied because it is family-friendly.

While you work hard in one of Juso’s Pinterest-worthy rooms, your kids can enjoy the playground area. If that is not enough to keep your children at bay, don’t worry. Juso Coworking collaborates with a local childcare center. You can drop them off there and work away knowing they’re in good hands. There are different space options here too. You may sit in the main open area, a quiet concentration room, or even a private booth.

Honorable mentions

As we have said, there are plenty of cool spaces to work in Osaka. It would be a shame not to mention at least some of those that didn’t make it to this list. Here are more Osaka coworking spaces for you to explore:

Best (and Worst) Coworking Spaces in Hakone

3 Best (and 1 Worst) Coworking Spaces in Hakone

Being able to travel without regard to other people’s schedules is undoubtedly one of the essential benefits of internet-based jobs. You can take the work wherever you go, and do it from a fancy European city such as Paris, a sandy beach in the Caribbean, or even a Buddhist monastery, provided they have Wi-Fi there. Have you spotted a glaring problem in this idea yet?

Whether you want to admit it or not, aside from incorrigible workaholics, nobody looks forward to working while on holiday. Your motivation is likely to drop significantly if you have to stay in your room and miss the fantastic weather or give up on seeing something you want because you’re about to miss a deadline. That’s why it’s a good idea to find a pleasant coworking space — it promotes productivity, and it gets you out of your apartment.

If there is one thing that’s bound to give you plenty of grief when you decide to use the perks of the fact that you work online, it’s the lack of coworking spaces at the location. Unfortunately, Hakone is one of the most amazing places with the lowest number of available coworking spaces. And, you know — it’s a truth universally acknowledged that an American in a foreign country must be in want of Wi-Fi. Once again, Google is your best friend, so here are three best — and one worst — coworking spaces (or alternatives) in Hakone.

Our favorite coworking space is Hakone Honbako

The book hotel, Hakone Honbako, is located 4 min on foot from Nakagora Station, and a 12-min walk from the Hakone Museum of Art.

The hotel boasts an impressive collection of books, which are all at your disposal when you check-in. There are plenty of places to read, and it’s incredibly calm and peaceful, so it’s a great place to work in. There are many reading spots in the lobby, which looks like a little library, and the seating is really comfy.

While not officially so, it is considered an “adults only” hotel, so there is no noise connected with little children running around. There is no TV, so the distractions are at a minimum. The staff is lovely and always helpful.

There is free parking on the premises if you’re driving. If you’re traveling with your furry friend, though, we have some bad news — the place is not pet-friendly.

Even though coworking space is not the primary function of Hakone Honbako, the hotel is a great place to work in. The environment is quiet and peaceful, and there are some incredibly comfortable armchairs scattered around the place, which makes sitting much easier on your back. There is free Wi-Fi, and you can chill with a cup of coffee, enjoy the view from the lobby, and get some work done.

Basics
Pricing
  • 49,000 yen for 2 people per night
High-Speed Internet yes
Open Hours
  • 24/7
Ergonomics
Comfortable Chairs Yes
Standing Desk No
Workspaces
Dedicated Desks no
Conference Rooms no
Private Offices no
Phone booths no
Coliving yes

Two other great places for work in Hakone

If you’re not staying in Hakone Honbako, you may not find the hotel so convenient. There are some alternatives, of course, but none of them are legit coworking spaces. That being said, many cafes in Hakone are work-friendly – you just have to know where to look for them. Don’t forget to order a new drink every once in a while! So, here’s our pick for the two places in Hakone you can work at.

  1. Naraya Cafe
  2. Timuny

There is an extra tip included too!

Naraya Cafe

Naraya Cafe is a cute little cafe that serves excellent coffee. It is situated on the slope behind Main Street. Google maps are a bit unclear in this area, but you can’t miss it since it’s right on the way up to the train station.

The only complaint we have about this place is the size of their coffee – it’s delicious, but there are only about two mouthfuls of it. The food is excellent, though, and they even offer some gluten-free options! It’s great if you have to work for a longer time since you don’t have to go out to get a delicious snack.

The place itself is pretty cozy and peaceful. You’ll see many people reading (and some even taking a nap!) in the café, which makes the atmosphere very work-friendly because of the low levels of noise. Naraya overlooks beautiful scenery, and there’s a lot of greenery around, so it can provide you with a lot of inspiration for creative work.

There is another bonus – once you’re done with work, you can treat yourself to a relaxing foot bath. Just don’t forget to bring your own towel, or you’ll have to buy one.

Timuny

Timuny is a very cozy little place overlooking the river. It is situated to the right of the footbridge, just 3 minutes’ walk from the Hakone-Yumoto Station.

It’s a good place for coffee lovers – they have four types of coffee beans, so you can pick and choose. There is a smokers’ room on the upper floor. It’s not used a lot, and, even when it is, most of the smoke stays up there. Still, if you’re particularly sensitive, this is something to have in mind. It’s vegan-friendly. For those of you who get homesick a lot, they offer a superb grilled-cheese sandwich!

It’s nice and peaceful, with a great, inspiring view, and they offer free Wi-Fi. The downside to this café is that there aren’t many available power outlets. You can ask the staff to charge your laptop for you while you’re having lunch, though, so it’s not too big of an obstacle. Still, you’ll want to make sure your laptop battery is reliable and charge it before you come to the café.

Name Naraya Timuny
High-Speed Internet yes yes
Comfortable Chairs yes yes
Open hours Every day 10:30 am – 6:00 pm Mon – Tue 10:00 am – 7:00 pm,

Thu – Sun 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

An extra tip

If none of these options work for you, you can always get a good travel stand desk. Some models weigh less than 4 lbs, so they’re convenient to carry around. There are several benefits to this option:

  • It’s good for your back;
  • You can take it basically everywhere with you;
  • You can set up your own little office wherever you go.

So, if you don’t like any of the other ideas, you can always take your desk wherever you want, and work from there.

Ninja Cafe Fuma is incredible – but not a great place to cowork in Hakone

Ninja Cafe Fuma is a great place to visit when you’re in Hakone. You’ll have a ninja making and serving your food, and you can even have a shuriken-throwing practice! There is a corner with ninja merchandise as well. The owner speaks fluent English, the food is great, and there are some vegetarian options as well.

It’s great for children – but not so great for working. The most important issues are:

  1. The shuriken throwing
  2. The flashy food preparation process
  3. The level of noise
  4. The children running around being thrilled with the ninja staff

These are all factors that contribute to the annihilation of your ability to focus. The seating is hardly comfortable, and there are no power outlets available to customers. So if you have to work, go to basically any other place and, when you’re done, come back to Ninja Cafe Fuma to practice your ninja skills.

Final thoughts

So, there you have it – a few places to work in while staying in Hakone. Even though the area is not overflowing with coworking spaces, it would be a shame to miss out on some of the most beautiful attractions of this magical place. If this is your first visit, check out these 21 things to do in Hakone, and make sure you make the most of your trip.

Where to Stay in Okinawa

Where to stay in Okinawa, the tropical paradise of Japan

Thanks to its rich and interesting history and culture, Japan has plenty to offer as a popular tourist destination. In the south of Japan’s main archipelago is a group of islands known as Okinawa, which is one of the favorite hotspots for international and local travelers alike. The islands are a true tropical paradise with pleasantly warm temperatures and pristine waters throughout the year. We have created a list of the best areas to make things less overwhelming for those of you looking where to stay in Okinawa for your next travel adventure.

Image by Joshua Bouchard from Pixabay

Transportation in Okinawa

Main public transport in Okinawa involves a Yui Rail monorail, buses, and taxis. It’s still more convenient to rent a car, motorcycle, or even a bicycle to get around if you want unlimited freedom to explore Okinawa. You’ll need a license for driving in Japan if you want to rent a car. Learn more about it here.

Image Source: yuirailgirl.kayoko

Five best neighborhoods to stay in Okinawa

Okinawa is a group of islands in the East China Sea, perfect for everyone who wants to explore Japan in a tropical atmosphere. Snorkeling and diving are immensely popular, but there are also plenty of shops, restaurants, gardens, old castles and temples, and a jungle waiting to be explored.

If you’re looking for the best neighborhood to stay in, make sure to check out our top picks:

  1. Nago
  2. Iriomote
  3. Naha
  4. Ishigaki
  5. Kerama Islands

For our neighborhood roundup, we used several factors to pick the best areas for your stay:

  1. The atmosphere and vibe of the area
  2. Interesting things to do and see
  3. The cultural and historical importance
  4. Neighborhood safety
  5. Ease of transport
  6. Accommodation cost
Best neighborhoods to stay in Okinawa
Nago For a first-time visit Natural and wildlife paradise
Iriomote For a budget-friendly stay Jungle and tropical forests
Naha For nightlife fun The largest city with sandy beaches
Ishigaki For a cool and boho vibe A place with beautiful beaches
Kerama Islands For families/long-term stay Hotspot for diving and snorkeling

Image by knpknp from Pixabay

Where to stay in Okinawa for the first time – Nago

Nago is a buzzing city in the north of Okinawa’s main island, ideal for your first-time visit. It has an amazing beach, but there are other options to keep you entertained. The Busena Marine Park is a great way to learn more about the area’s marine life, while Pineapple Park will let you learn more about pineapples in a fun and unique way.

Image Source: jennijoneal

Where to go in Nago

  • Enjoy the amazing marine and wildlife of the island
  • Learn more about the island’s history and culture

Best for nature lovers: Busena Marine Park

At the Busena Marine Park, you’ll be able to visit the underwater structure, so that you can watch and learn more about marine life without having to get into the water. You can also visit the Neo Park Zoo if you want to check out the island’s wildlife. And Pineapple Park is definitely worth a visit if you’re interested in something different and special.

Image Source: wangyichen1212

Best for history buffs: the Nago Museum

If you want to learn more about Okinawa’s culture and history, head to the Nago Museum. It effectively represents the shift from the past to the modern lifestyle of the island. One of the most popular exhibits includes the giant clam shell weighing more than 200 kg.

Image Source: nagosokinawa

Where to stay in Okinawa on a budget – Iriomote

The second-largest Okinawa island is Iriomote, home to the National Park and a place mostly covered by tropical forests and jungle. This is the best place to stay in Okinawa for nature lovers and people looking to explore the area on a budget. River cruises, hiking, and beach fun are the main activities on Iriomote.

Image Source: igworldmilkyway

Where to go in Iriomote

  • Hit the Urauchi river to explore the area
  • Hike and dive to get the adrenaline pumping

Best for newbie explorers: Urauchi river

Iriomote is the ideal place to get in touch with nature and check out the beautiful scenery, flora, fauna, and marine life of the area. In case you’re not an experienced adventurer, it would be best to get a kayak or join the cruise on the Urauchi river.

Image Source: hiroko.ni

Best for experienced adventurers: Manta Way

In case you have more experience with natural explorations and wildlife, don’t miss the opportunity to dive in Manta Way and swim together with manta rays. If you prefer hiking, you’d definitely enjoy the 20-kilometer hiking path in the middle of the island.

Image Source: cassiusmk

Where to stay in Okinawa for nightlife – Naha

Naha is the capital of Okinawa and the biggest city on the main island. This is where the main airport is located, which is why the place is filled with tourists. The small beach in the city is really popular, and there are also plenty of other fun activities. History buffs will adore Shuri Castle, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is packed with bars and clubs, as well as lovely local shops.

Image Source: hungtzuchieh

Where to go in Naha

  • Shop around and eat delicious local specialties
  • Explore the ancient sites and marvel at the architecture

Best for foodies and shopping fans: Kokusai Dori

At Kokusai Dori, you’ll be able to find the most curious items that will satisfy your souvenir needs. Make sure to visit the Tsuboya Pottery District, too if you’re interested in local pottery work. Soba noodles are the local specialty, so don’t hesitate to treat yourself with some at the Shuri Soba restaurant.

Best for history buffs: Shuri Castle

As a UNESCO World Heritage site, Shuri Castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Naha. It dates from the 14th century. For almost 500 years, it was used as the royal court and administrative center of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Today, it holds huge historical importance for Okinawa and Japan.

Image Source: japonismo

Where to stay in Okinawa for the bohemian vibe – Ishigaki

Ishigaki is one of the Okinawa islands considered to be the coolest place in the area with some of the most gorgeous beaches. It’s also a great place to try out diving and snorkeling. Ishigaki is a paradise for foodies and it also has some fun activities for people interested in historical and cultural sightseeing.

Image Source: atsushi_okiphoto

Where to go in Ishigaki

  • Explore and relax at Ishigaki’s popular beaches
  • Check out the museum
  • Try out local delicacies

Best for relaxation and water sports: Ishigaki beaches

If you’re looking where to stay in Okinawa for a sandy paradise, Ishigaki is the best place. Yonehara Beach, Sukuji Beach, and Sunset Beach are the most popular hotspots where you can also engage in diving and snorkeling.

Image Source: juhudel

Best for history buffs: Yaeyama Museum

In case you want to learn more about Okinawa and Ishigaki, pay a visit to the Yaeyama Museum, and immerse yourself in the archaeology, history, art, and folk traditions of the area.

Image Source: marc_hungrylawyer

Best for foodies: Ishigaki restaurants

You can’t go wrong with any restaurants or eatery in Ishigaki. Ishigaki beef is the local specialty that is an absolute must-try during your visit. It’s even available in the form of sushi and sashimi.

Image Source: kaz.mix

Where to stay in Okinawa long-term – Kerama Islands

Those of you that decided to settle for a longer period of time in Okinawa should consider Kerama Islands. It’s also a fantastic place if you’re looking where to stay in Okinawa when traveling with your family. This is the hotspot for diving and snorkeling thanks to the amazingly clean ocean water. You can also witness the migration of humpback whales during the winter.

Image Source: tokyovisite

Where what to do in the Kerama Islands

  • Relax at the beaches, dive, and snorkel
  • Take a tour during winter months to see humpback whales

Best for nature lovers: Tokashiki and Zamami islands

Tokashiki and Zamami islands are the two most popular diving locations in Kerama Islands. Even if you’re a complete beginner, this is the place to learn how to dive. You can also snorkel and swim together with the sea turtles, or simply enjoy the sun and scenery at one of its picturesque beaches. If you’re staying in the Kerama Islands between January and March, you can easily find a cruise to check out the humpback whale migration.

Image Source: mkay2899mkay

Where to stay in Hiroshima

Where to stay in Hiroshima, the city of international peace

Hiroshima is a major city on the island of Honshu, Japan. Home to the world-famous Mazda corporation, the city serves as a crucial industrial zone and major harbor for importing and exporting of goods. With a long and turbulent history, the city has been reborn multiple times and now holds the title of “international city of peace.”

This article will help you pick the right place where to stay in Hiroshima.

Best neighborhoods in Hiroshima, depending on your preference

For the best and most convenient stay, ideally, you will be as close to the center as possible.

Downtown Hiroshima is well connected and has plenty to offer on its own, especially things of historic and cultural value.

Best area for first-timers Otemachi
Best area for the nightlife Horikawacho
Best area on a budget Tokaichimachi

Transportation, getting around Hiroshima

The public transportation system in the city is very well developed, as is common throughout Japan. The difference that tourists notice about public transport in Hiroshima is, the fares are paid at your destination, not upfront. The ticket you get when you enter is put into fare boxes at the exit, and they tell you the price based on time and distance traveled.

Here an overview of the available options:

  1. Hiroden streetcar
  2. Taxi
  3. Bus
  4. Ferry

Hiroden streetcar

Hiroden is a popular name the Japanese use for their tram lines. There are a total of 8 tram lines connecting the entire city and often intersecting in the city center. This is a well-developed method used every day by the people of Hiroshima and it’s fairly cheap – around 200 Yen depending on the destination. Tickets for the tram can be bought from ticket dispensers, they can return change and there’s also a conductor who can help you out.

Source: Hiroden

Taxis

They can be found all throughout the city. There are designated taxi stops, but you can hail a cab on the street as well, just look at the taxi sign on top: if it’s flashing it means the cab is available, if it’s turned off it means it’s occupied. The price will depend on the taximeter, but you can typically expect somewhere from 400 to 700 Yen, depending on how far you’re traveling. Here are some recommended taxi companies:

  • Hiroshima Kintetsu Taxis: +082 253 2235
  • Hiroshima Taxis: +082 292 2121
  • Hiroshima Daiichi Kotsu: +082 278 5511
  • Tsubame Kotsu: +082 221 1955
Source: Flickr Nighteye

Buses

There are plenty of buses that operate for both inner city and outer city transport. The inner-city buses operate between the center of the city and the suburbs, often connecting major tourist landmarks. The most common buses are by Hiroden, typically green in color and Hiroshima buses, typically in red.

Source: Japan-Navi

Ferries

Although there are many routes and several large ports, you’ll only really use them if you want to visit nearby islands or as a tourist attraction. Tickets are bought at the counter near the entry point.

 

Note: There is also a thing called the “Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass”, which serves as a multi-purpose pass for different types of transportation, depending on which package you chose. These can save you money and are convenient, but the pricing can also be a tourist trap if you don’t find yourself traveling by public transport too much (or prefer a taxi).

Where to stay for first-timers in Hiroshima – Otemachi

Otemachi includes areas of Komachi and Kakomachi (peace park). The area is centrally located, while still being just outside the action, meaning it won’t be as busy or overcrowded. Most of the main entertainment districts are within a ten-minute walk, and the most important historical monuments are nearby.

Where to stay in Otemachi, our top Airbnb’s

Affordable price range: Japanese Home – very traditional looking apartment

Moderate price range: Royal River Suite – gorgeous modern apartment

Luxury price range: 3 Bedroom Peace Park Apartment – very spacious, lots of utilities and well furnished

Where to stay for the nightlife in Hiroshima – Horikawacho

Horikawacho and its surrounding areas are the most packed entertainment districts in Hiroshima.

The highest concentration of nightclubs, bars, restaurants, and similar are found here.

On top of that, it’s also centrally located and near many art galleries, as well the important memorials which are just across the bridge.

Where to stay in Horikawacho, our top Airbnb’s

Affordable price range: Apartment near Hondori Centre – well equipped in a premium location

Moderate price range: Hondori Centre Arcade – B – elegant and spacious

Luxury price range: Beautiful 6 people apartment – gorgeous, spacious, lots of modern utilities, premium location

More AirBnB’s at this location

Where to stay on a budget in Hiroshima – Tokaichimachi

When comparing the prices of accommodation, basic food, and entertainment, this district stands out because it’s very well located but more affordable than nearby areas.

You’ll be very close to the main parks, historic memorials, and landmarks, plus you’re connected to the rest of the city with three passing tram lines.

You can find a lot of traditional Japanese street food, like Ramen shops, a farmers market which is cheaper than supermarkets and offers fresh produce, dollar stores, and souvenir shops.

Where to stay in Tokaichimachi – our top Airbnb’s

Since we’re talking about an affordable stay, here are some great options under $50

1-bedroom apartment near Peace Park – premium location in the area

Apartment 3 mins from Dome – a nice apartment that offers 2 bikes as a means of transport

Huge apartment near Peace park – very spacious, lots of utilities and offers 4 free bikes to use as transport

More AirBnB’s in the area

Where to go and what to see in Hiroshima?

We chose to group the section of things to do in one because Hiroshima is a historic city first and foremost, so we believe that wherever you stay, some things must be visited.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima became the first city to suffer a nuclear attack. The park, with all it’s monuments, servers as a reminder of what happened. There are many notable things to see in and around the park as well.

Source: Instagram @michaelfreddyy

The Peace Flame

Lit up in 1964 and burning constantly since it’s said it will burn until the world is free of the nuclear threat.

Source: Instagram@Norahgalaxy

The Gates of Peace

Ten gates made to represent the symbolic nine circles of hell, with the final gate explained as “living hell caused in Hiroshima”. Each gate is nine meters (around 30 feet) high and 2.6 meters (around 8 feet) wide and they’re covered with the word “Peace” in 49 different languages.

Source: Instagram @Petruj87

Memorial Tower of Mobilized students

The tower is 12 meters (around 40 feet) tall, has five stories, with a depiction of the Goddess of Peace and eight doves placed around the tower. It serves a remembrance to nearly 10 000 students. About 8000 were mobilized during the war and around 7000 killed by the atomic bomb.

Source: Instagram @travelislifejj

Peace Park Museum

Located within the Peace memorial park, the museum holds exhibits mostly dedicated to the disaster after the bombing. The main exhibit permanently features real-life items left by the victims, before and after photos, and other items that tell the story of what happened. A section of the museum is dedicated to the dangers of nuclear weapons, with videos of real testimonies left by survivors. There’s also a section dedicated to the history of Hiroshima pre-bombing, as well as showcases of its rebirth.

Source: Instagram @_x_meg_x_

Atomic Bomb Dome

Opened in 1921 and originally known as the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, the building served for artistic and educational purposes. It’s located near the epicenter of the blast and is the only surviving building close to the explosion. Because of this, the government has made an effort to preserve it as a memento of the destruction that was caused. Known also as Genbaku Dome or A-Bomb Dome, in 1996, it was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Source: Instagram @diva.blah

Itsukushima Island

Popularly known as Miyajima, which means “Shrine Island” in Japanese, the island is known for its dense forests and ancient temples. It has been considered a holy place for the followers of Shinto since as early as the 12th-century a.d. As you approach the island, you’ll be greeted by the submerged Great Torii Gate. Depending on the sea level, it will either be surrounded by water or approachable on foot. Some notable things to visit on the land are the Daisho-in Buddhist temple, Mount Misen Observatory, Miyajima History, and Folk Museum, among others.

Source: Instagram @civitatis_en

Where to stay in Tokyo

Where to stay in Tokyo, Japan – A guide for first-timers and repeat visitors

Tokyo is, like most of Japan, a rich mix of modern and traditional, which makes it a must-see on everyone’s’ bucket list.
It’s not a surprise that a city with so much to offer constantly ranks in the Top 10 most visited in the world.

Let’s explore the sunny capital of this proud country, to help you decide where to stay in Tokyo.

What are the best areas in Tokyo?

The city is one of the largest in the world, so it’s easy to get confused with the number of options you have.

To make things easy for you, we’ve narrowed it down to 3 neighborhoods we believe are worth checking out, based on convenience, affordability, and variety of things to do.

For each of these, we’ve also outlined the reason why we suggest them, so without further ado:

Shinjuku Best choice for first-timers
Shibuya A youthful atmosphere with amazing nightlife
Ginza Luxury experience

Transportation, getting around Tokyo

Although we’ve picked locations specifically so you can have everything within walking distance, the only three public transportation system we can recommend are:

 

    1. Metro – The most popular form of public transportation and recommended for crossing between neighborhoods. Tokyo’s metros are world-famous, however, they can be overcrowded if you try to board them during rush hour when people go to or leave work.
    2. Taxi – There are designated taxi stops, but you can stop a taxi on the street as well, just look at the taxi sign on top – if it’s flashing it means the cab is available, if it’s turned off it means it’s occupied. The price will depend on the taximeter, but you can typically expect somewhere from 400 to 700 Yen for inner-city travel.
    3. Toei Lines – perhaps lesser known than the Tokyo metro, the Toei (Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation) company operates subway lines around the city, that compliment the metro lines.
    4. Uber – The service does operate in Tokyo, but it’s not outcompeting taxi services. Japanese are very prideful in their work ethic, meaning taxis don’t have the usual issues such as rude drivers, inflated prices, dirty cars, etc. The only advantage Uber has over Taxi in Tokyo is the fact the price doesn’t change throughout the day, making it slightly cheaper during night rides.

Prepaid rail passes can be bought at the stations, just make sure to get the one interchangeable between the metro and subway. They usually cost 2000 Yen (around $20) and hold a 500 ($5) Yen deposit that will be reimbursed, along with some of the remaining credit, if the card is returned. A single ride will cost around 200 ($2)  to 400 Yen ($3.5), depending on how far you travel. Here’s a map containing the Metro and Toei lines.

Where to go on your first time – Shinjuku

Starting off the list is the area which most tour guides and travel enthusiasts recommend, and for good reason.

It is also well connected to other areas through public transportation like the Tokyo metro or the famous Yamanote railway line.

If you ever saw a photo or video of flashing lights in an urban district in Tokyo and thought, “I want to go there”, chances are you were looking at a photo of Shinjuku.

What to do in Shinjuku?

Visit the Imperial garden

While walking around the area and admiring its beauty can be a pastime of its own, one of the first things you have to see is the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. The garden is especially beautiful in early spring, during the cherry blossom season.

Visit the Samurai Museum:

Japan has a strong tradition and learning about it can be lots of fun, so this museum of famous Japanese warriors deserves a visit. Apart from the unique displays of armor and weapons, you get to wear and take pictures in replicas. Sometimes, there are even live reenactments of samurai battles.

Experience the nightlife

When the sun goes down, the lights do not go out as the district is well alive into the night and offers a variety of nightlife activities, such as bars, clubs, restaurants and other unique activities.

Where to stay in Shinjuku, our top AirBnB’s

Ideally, you want to stay near Shinjuku station for the sake of convenience.

Affordable price range: Shiny House – colorful apartment and good location

Moderate price range: Cozy Vibes Loft – compact apartment in a great location

Luxury price range: Stylish and Luxury – elegant apartment with modern furnishing and plenty of utilities

Where to go to experience the nightlife – Shibuya

Shibuya is much like Shinjuku, but younger.

If you’re a person in your early 20s (or feel like it) traveling for fun with friends, hoping to enjoy what modern cities have to offer to a youthful crowd, you’ll find yourself enjoying Shibuya the most.

This area is connected to the rest of Tokyo and outside areas identically to Shinjuku.

What to do in Shibuya?

See Shibuya Crossing

Can you imagine trying to cross the street at the same time as roughly 3000 other people? Well, that’s what Shibuya Crossing looks like in peak time. This world-famous crosswalk is a favorite of photography enthusiasts and professionals, and the busy streets it connects are great to take a walk on and experience the city.

Visit Shibuya Station

Right next to the crossing is Shibuya Station. Drop by to see and take pictures with the mural “Myth of Tomorrow” created Taro Okamoto, a Japanese artist.

Learn about Shintoism

When you get tired of urban scenery, visit Yoyogi Park, there you will find the Meiji Shrine a religious temple of Shintoism.

Time to party

As we mentioned, this part of Tokyo is especially known for the nightlife. Although there’s a variety of activities to choose from, such as bars and karaoke joints, definitely set aside at least one night to visit one of the famous clubs. Some highly recommended ones are:

  • Womb
  • Sound Museum Vision
  • Harlem
Source: Instagram @womb_tokyo

Where to stay in Shibuya, our top AirBnB’s

Shibuya Crossing is your landmark for orientation is Shibuya, here are some apartments nearby:

Affordable price range: Shibuya109 – cozy apartment with hot tub

Moderate price range: S103 – nice apartment in a great residential complex

Luxury price range: Japanese Elegance – modern meets traditional in this gorgeous, spacious apartment

Where to go for a luxury experience – Ginza (Chuo City)

Ginza is one of the oldest districts of Tokyo, with inceptions around the early 17th century, back when the city was still known as Edo. It is part of a larger district known as Chuo City. Those looking for authentic Tokyo, who have some extra cash to spend, should look no further than Ginza. The area is world-famous for its shopping experience, offering luxury retailers as well as some bargaining options.

What to do in Ginza?

Go luxury shopping

This is one of the most enjoyable ways to spend time in this district. Visit one of the many shopping centers, such as the Ginza Six, many of which pack additional features, such as restaurants and art galleries, on top of their luxury retail stores.

Hunt for bargains and discounts

Although Ginza is associated with luxury shopping, bargain stores, second-hand stores, and outlets also exist. It can be a lot of fun to look for these and the deals will be amazing.

Visit Hamarikyu Gardens

When you’re tired of shopping, stop by Hamarikyu Gardens. What makes them unique is the saltwater that comes directly from Tokyo Bay. If you look closely at the lake, you’ll see some fish species that are traditionally only seen in the ocean.

Embrace your sophisticated and artistic side

Visit places like Shiseido gallery and the Kabukiza theater – home of the world-famous Kabuki, a form of Japanese drama performed through dancing and singing.

Where to stay in Ginza, out top AirBnB’s

There are no direct AirBnB’s in the Ginza area, so we’ve chosen some in Chuo City that are nearby:

Affordable price range: Private Room close to Ginza – compact room in a good location

Moderate price range: Tsukiji area apartment – private apartment inside a hotel complex with 24-hour reception

Luxury price range: Just Jazz Studio – fully furnished modern studio with elegant interior

Where to Stay in Osaka

Where to Stay in Osaka – a vibrant city with superb cuisine

Map of Osaka

Osaka is the second-largest city of Japan after its capital Tokyo. As a significant financial and economic center, this metropolitan area is located in the Kansai region on the island of Honshu. The city is quite popular among tourists who praise its citizens for being spontaneous, friendly and approachable, unlike their compatriots in Tokyo and Kyoto. 

Okonomiyaki Image source: Pinterest 

Apart from the people, Osaka stands out for its food and history as well. With its special culinary style, the food found in this city is characterized as delicious, savory but above all, very affordable. It is the home to okonomiyaki, a mouth-watering type of a pancake, and takoyaki, a snack in the form of small batter balls containing octopus chunks. 

The highlight of Osaka’s history is certainly Osaka Castle built in 1583 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who intended it to be the center of the government of unified Japan. Unfortunately, his plan fell through but the castle still represents one of the most majestic buildings in Japan. Tourists love to visit this place in the early spring as it is one of the most famous hanami spots when the beautiful cherry blossoms.

Osaka Castle Image source: Pexels

Five best neighborhoods to stay in Osaka

Map of Osaka

Osaka is roughly divided into two large areas known as Kita, downtown, and Minami, uptown. These areas are further subdivided into a large number of districts. The most popular neighborhoods among the tourists are:

  1. Umeda
  2. Shinsekai
  3. Dotonbori
  4. Tennoji
  5. and Abeno owing to the abundance of historically significant and attractive places to visit.

Depending on your preferences, you can choose to stay in or visit one of these districts.

Neighborhood Ideal for: Why?
Uptown Osaka (Kita) 
Umeda  First-timers Home to Osaka Station and Umeda Sky Building among many other landmarks. Very well connected to other areas.
Downtown Osaka (Minami)
Dotonbori  Nightlife  The busiest and most crowded area famous for energetic nightlife
Honmachi  On a budget  Great location and affordable accommodation
Shinsekai  Bohemians Lively area with numerous activities 
Tennoji  Long-term stay  Far from the crowd

Where to stay in Osaka for the first time – Kita (Uptown Osaka/Umeda) Map of Umeda

If you are visiting Osaka for the very first time, look for a place to stay in Kita, or the uptown Osaka, and its Umeda district. This district is a great place for the people who have never been to Osaka before because JR Osaka Station is its central hub. This allows you to move around the city easily and without any fear of getting lost because you can catch any train from the Midosudji subway line. Also, you can visit other cities nearby such as Kyoto and Nara as well.

Umeda district Image source: jntonn

Umeda district is a peaceful and uncongested one as opposed to other districts, which will allow you to rest and relax after spending a day outside walking and exploring the city. Being a famous shopping, dining, and entertainment district, it has a lot to offer, and even the most demanding tourists will manage to find something here to suit their taste. For those who are planning to visit Osaka with their family and small children, you will be relieved to know that this neighborhood is family-oriented, given the fact that there are wide and clean sidewalks, and it is one of the safest districts in Osaka.

Things to see and do in Umeda

If you decide to seek accommodation in this district during your visit, there are some important places you need to visit, such as:

  1. Osaka Station 
  2. Umeda Sky Building
  3. HEP
  4. Nakanoshima Museum of Art
  5. Techno Bar D floor
  6. Pokemon center 

Osaka station 

One of the most attractive buildings in this part of Japan is the newly renovated railway station with its adjacent large shopping and dining areas.

Osaka Station Image source: Pixabay

Umeda Sky Building

Only a 10-minute walk away from the Station is this majestic skyscraper found. If you are not afraid of heights, then you should not miss a chance to visit this building as it has a floating observatory on the 39th floor. You will be amazed by the view.

Umeda Sky Building Image source: umeda_skybuilding

HEP (Hankuyu Entertainment Park) 

Despite being an immense multipurpose complex, it is not the main reason why people visit this park. The large HEP 5 Ferris Wheel is found on the roof of this complex and if you decide to hop and take a ride, you will get a view of the Osaka skyline.

HEP 5 Ferris Wheel Image source: Pixabay

Nakanoshima Museum of Art 

If you are an art lover and want to see what the art scene of Osaka has to offer, then do not miss visiting this museum which contains 5,700 famous pieces.

Nakanoshima Museum of Art Image source: hakoohakoohakoo

Techno bar Dfloor 

At the very heart of the Umeda district, there is a well-known bar in which only techno music is played. Everything from the design of the bar to the drinks served was arranged to match this type of music.

Techno D bar Image source: shintanisaki

Pokemon Center

If you find yourself wandering around the Umeda Department Store, you will stumble upon the land of the Pokemon. Here you can find everything with that Pokemon swag such as toys, school supplies and even unique pieces of clothing that you can buy and take home to remind you of your favorite anime. Moreover, you can participate in numerous video-games and win yourself a rare Pokemon.

Pokemon Image source: tamyamspam

Where to stay in Umeda

In contrast to other districts in Osaka, hotels in Umeda are a bit pricier but they offer much better service and accommodation. Selecting a place to stay mostly depends on your budget. The average price in Airbnbs is $53 per night. 

Here are our top 3 Airbnbs:

Affordable optionThis apartment in Umeda with luxury bath

Apartment

Moderate price – This apartment 3 min from Juso station and 1station from Umeda

Apartment

Luxury optionThis apartment at Umeda Station

Room

For more Airbnbs in Umeda districts, check here

Where to stay in Osaka for nightlife – Dotonbori 

Map of Dotonbori

Dotonbori is the most vibrant and energetic part of Osaka. Home to many symbols of Osaka such as the giant Glico Running Man, moving Kani Doraku Crab sign and bright neon lights, Dotonbori is the nightlife tourist attraction with many restaurants, bars, clubs, and markets where you can enjoy the true atmosphere of the city at any time during the day or night.  The best about this area is that when the hunger calls after the whole night partying, there are numerous awesome places with great local food to satisfy it. 

Dotonbori Image sourcing: Pexels

Things to do and see in Dotonbori 

As such a cool place and popular among travelers, Dotonbori sure has plenty to offer. Check out our recommendations: 

  • Chinese Cafe 8
  • Konamon Museum 
  • Hozenji-Yokocho Alley
  • Club BAMBI
  • Club Cheval 

Chinese Cafe 8

This place serves the most delicious Chinese food but the decor of this restaurant is simply amazing since there are red lanterns on the ceilings and the giant statue of Buddha in the corner. The menu of this restaurant has more than 300 entries. 

Cafe 8 Image source: ccafe8

Konamon Museum 

A place where you can learn how to make great takoyaki, and eat it afterward. 

Konamon Museum Image source: linapiwat

Hozenji-Yokocho Alley

The most famous street in the whole Dotonbori where many bars and pubs are located. It is called the ‘’Drinking Street’’.

Hozenji-Yokocho Alley Image source: saktak_jp

Club BAMBI

One of the most popular clubs among tourists with great music and parties that last all night long. 

Bambi Image source: bambi_monster_club

Club Cheval 

Very glamorous club providing unique mature clubbing experience. 

Cheval Image source: nobafoods

Where to stay in Dotonbori 

Dotonbori offers accommodation for every budget. Also, since tourists love this area, the prices are slightly higher than in Umeda. The average price in Airbnbs is $65 per night. 

Here are our top 3 Airbnbs: 

Affordable optionThis apartment close to Dotonbori and Namba 

Room

Moderate price – This apartment 2mins away from Dotonbori 

Room

Luxury option – This studio 30sec away from Dotonbori 

Room

Find more Airbnbs in Dotonbori here

Where to Stay in Hakone

Where to stay in Hakone – a guide to ideal places for relaxation

Map of Hakone

Less than one hundred kilometers from Tokyo, in Kanagawa Prefecture, the small resort town Hakone is located. This town is becoming more popular among tourists owing to the abundance of hot springs, natural beauty which can be enjoyed all through the year, and the amazing view of the nearby Mount Fuji. As a part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, this town will leave you breathless with the stunning landscape and diverse events. 

Safety alert!

Towards the end of the last year, there was a severe volcanic activity near Owakudani, the area located around the crater formed during the last eruption of Mount Hakone. As many tourists decide to visit Hakone by train, it is useful to know that as a result of this event, a part of the route Hakone Tozan Railway linking Sounzan and Togendai had been restricted as they pass near Owakudani. Consequently, these restrictions had then been lowered to Level One, with expectations of being removed in the near future. From late October, Hakone Ropeway has been operating along its full length. Still, if you are planning on visiting Hakone anytime soon, make sure to double-check whether this route is still safe to travel.

Five best neighborhoods to stay in Hakone

Image source:  hakonenavi.jp

As a popular travel destination, Hakone is rapidly developing and expanding, aiming to satisfy the needs of the quickly increasing number of tourists that decide to visit this resort. As a relatively small town, it is neatly divided into neighborhoods where everyone can find some activities for everyone’s liking. Finding accommodation in Hakone is not an easy endeavor since the prices tend to be high sometimes. Based on the cultural and historical values, outdoor activities, and the budget, we have made a list of areas where you can find a place to stay and get to experience the best of Hakone such as:

  1. Hakone-Yumoto
  2. Gora
  3. Miyanoshita
  4. Motohakone
  5. Tonosawa 

To find out more details about why we recommend these particular areas, check out our table breakdown below.

Area

Ideal for: 

Why? 

Hakone-Yumoto

First visit to Hakone

Beautiful hot springs, many museums, and historical landmarks

Gora

Nightlife

Numerous restaurants, cafes, shops are located in this area

Miyanoshita

Travel on a budget 

Cheap accommodation

Motohakone

Bohemians 

Hakone’s most famous sights

Tonosawa 

Long-term stay

Traditional Japan, peaceful and secluded

Ship Image source: pixabay

Where to stay in Hakone for the first time – Hakone-Yumoto 

Map Image source: hakonenavi.jp

The Hakone-Yumoto area can be easily reached from Tokyo via Romancecar. This area is full of landmarks and interesting activities. There are numerous shops, hotels, museums, and restaurants to keep you entertained. Also, you can find the well known hot springs of Hakone in this area. 

Water stream Image source: rururaa

Things to see and do in Hakone-Yumoto

As there are many things you can see and do in this area,  we have made a careful selection and these are our recommendations: 

  • Tenzan Onsen 
  • Hakone Open-Air Museum
  • Kumano Shrine
  • Glass Art Experience Workshop
  • Old Tokaido Road and Hakone Checkpoint
  • Hydrangea Train 

Tenzan Onsen 

Tenzan Onsen is a huge complex with many bath-onsens, courtyards, restaurants, cafes and tatami areas used for resting. 

Onsen Image source: ashionpathfinder.tokyo_kazu

Water stream Image source: gabrielanachos

Hakone Open-Air Museum 

This is Japan’s first museum of this kind. It spreads across 70 000 square meters with many collections of artworks and sculptures of famous Japanese as well as international artists. For instance, Picasso Exhibition hall occupies the central place where more than 300 his artworks are located. 

Museum Image source: tiffaniedebartolo

Tower Image source: nihilfly

Picasso Image source: acquireatdesign

Kumano Shrine

Kumano Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in the Hakone-Yumoto area with multiple smaller shrines, gates, and the main shrine as well where you can pay your respects. 

Shrine Image source: natulflower

Glass Art Experience Workshop

One of the most popular hands-on activities in Hakone is glass blowing which you can learn in this workshop, later apply what you have learned, and produce your glass blown souvenir.

Glass Image source: afan_62

Old Tokaido Road and Hakone Checkpoint

Old Tokaido Road was the famous road linking Tokyo and Kyoto during the Edo Period. During that period, Hakone was a significant checkpoint on that road. Today, the section leading to Hakone has been reconstructed as well as the Hakone Checkpoint so tourists can acquaint themselves with the rich history of Hakone.

Tokaido Road Image source: willyyilly

Checkpoint Image source: japonismo

Landscape Image source: retroboyastro

Hydrangea Train

From the middle of June to late July, you can take a ride on this train which passes along the hydrangea flowers. Also, you can also see the illuminated flowers in the nighttime since this train operates during the night.

Train Image source: mamikoooo_yo

Where to stay in Hakone-Yumoto 

Since this area is at a convenient location, there are plenty of accommodation options, although they can be quite expensive. The most traditional place to stay in is the onsen ryokan or the Japanese style inns. However, you can find some Airbnbs where the average nightly price is $119.

Our top 3 picks are the following ones:

Affordable optionPrivate Onsen Designer House 

Room

Moderate price Lakeside Villa with Mt.Fuji View

Room

Luxury optionOnsen modern guest house in mountains

Room

For more Airbnbs in Hakone-Yumoto area, click here

Where to stay in Hakone -foodie edition – Gora

Map Image source: hakonenavi.jp

Since Hakone is a resort town where locals and travelers come to relax after the crowded Tokyo, nightlife as such doesn’t exist here. Still, there is an area in Hakone with many dining and shopping options. Gora is an attractive onset neighborhood which apart from beautiful hot springs and stunning landscape, you can find shops, restaurants, and cafes if you are in search of the more vivid side of Hakone. Arriving in this area is a real adventure since you can take a ride on the Hakone Ropeway and enjoy the view of Mount Fuji from afar. 

Fuji Image source: panina_84

Things to see and do in Gora

In this area, you can enjoy the countryside and the beautiful landscape but also relax and try some local food or traditional tea. Take a look at our favorites:

  1. Visit Hakone Gora Park 
  2. Gora Brewery & grill
  3. Tamura Ginkatsu-Tei
  4. Cafe de Meissen
  5. ISSHIKIDO

Hakone Gora Park

This park with amazing nature is located above Gora Station. It is a great place for relaxing and unwinding. 

Park Image source: asenseofzuber

Autumn Image source: pedrojuan81

Gora Brewery & grill 

This is a great place where you can try some of the most famous Japanese dishes such as sushi or grilled steaks.

Restaurant Image source: brutal_wolfgal

Grilled meat Image source: brutal_wolfgal

Tamura Ginkatsu-Tei

One of the most attractive restaurants in Gora where you can try the famous dish called Tofu Katsuni.

Dish Image source: justonecookbook

Cafe de Meissen

A wonderful and cozy cafe near Gora Station where you can enjoy some freshly baked pizza or soft and fluffy pancake along with freshly brewed coffee. 

Pizza Image source: noy__ny

Pancakes Image source: huntinggirled

ISSHIKIDO

This restaurant is located near Gora Park and it is most famous for a wide array of different sandwiches. They pride themselves in selecting only the best and freshest ingredients for their dishes. 

Sandwiches Image source: maki_mouse0827

Where to stay in Gora

Gora is quite an attractive area for tourists and the hotels are usually booked well in advance. However, it is possible to find other accommodations such as Airbnbs where the average price for a night is the pricey $212. 

Our top 3 picks are:

Affordable option – Twin room near Gora Station

Twin room

Moderate pricePrivate hot-spring in the Japanese tatami room

Room

Luxury optionHakone Villa with Private Onsen

Room

Find more Airbnbs in Gora here