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Where to Stay in Tokyo: Shibuya or Shinjuku

Tokyo is a vast metropolis comprised of 23 city wards, each one with its own alluring personality and charm. While two of Tokyo’s most popular wards, Shibuya and Shinjuku, are positioned next to each other, they can provide very different experiences.

Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Photo| Shinjuku district| GETTYIMAGES – ALEXANDER SPATARI

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the Shibuya and Shinjuku wards, including the top attractions and hotels. With more than 400 million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve got the insider knowledge to ensure you pick not only the right neighbourhood, but also the best accommodation.

Best Hotels in Shibuya

The famous Shibuya crossing in Tokyo

Photo| Shibuya crossing| GETTYIMAGES – YANIS OURABAH

One of Tokyo’s busiest districts, Shibuya is the perfect ward for travellers who love being in the midst of the city’s top shopping, nightlife and entertainment venues. This lively neighbourhood is renowned for its boutique Japanese and international fashion stores that sit alongside theatres, karaoke bars and late-night clubs.

There are plenty of cultural attractions in Shibuya, as it is home to Imperial gardens, shrines and Japan’s largest mosque, Tokyo Camii. This ward might be famous for the Shibuya Crossing, which has featured in movies like Lost in Translation and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, but it also boasts the vibrant Harajuku district and bar-lined Nonbei-Yokocho.

Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel Tokyo

Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel Tokyo

Photo| Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel Tokyo| Provided by BOOKING.COM

The luxurious Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel Tokyo is one of the highest-rated Shibuya hotels on HotelsCombined. You’ll quickly realise why when you see the range of guest rooms and suites, particularly the Cerulean Tower Suite, which features magnificent city vistas, a freestanding bathtub, glamorous foyer and dining room. The hotel’s Modern Twin, Double and Single rooms offer affordable accommodation, while the Japanese Suite delivers authentic traditional lodging with futon bedding and a cypress bath.

You’ll find nine on-site dining establishments, including the JZ Brat Sound of Tokyo jazz club, a garden-facing Zabou lounge and the 40th-floor Tower’s Bar and Tower’s Restaurant. Stay active in the hotel’s fitness club, which has an indoor pool, jet bath and gym. Outside, you’ll find easy access to nearby department stores, local restaurants and the iconic Yoyogi Park.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: ¥17138 – ¥63909
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: 26-1 Sakura-gaoka-cho, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

Dormy Inn Premium Shibuya Jingumae

Dormy Inn Premium Shibuya Jingumae

Photo| Dormy Inn Premium Shibuya Jingumae| Provided by BOOKING.COM

A charming budget-friendly Tokyo hotel, Dormy Inn Premium Shibuya Jingumae packs plenty of unexpected luxuries to make your stay memorable. There’s a delicious complimentary breakfast each morning, and an on-site spa where you can indulge in massage treatments in a tranquil setting. Choose from a Double Twin or Single room, where you’ll find LCD TVs, complimentary bottled water, bathroom slippers and a pillow menu.

Dormy Inn Premium Shibuya Jingumae boasts an enviable location across the road from Yoyogi National Stadium, Yoyogi Park and NHK Fureai Hall. Many of the Shibuya attractions are within walking distance, such as The Shoto Museum of Art, Kitatani Park and AiiA 2.5 Theater Tokyo. After sightseeing, rest your weary legs in the on-site sauna or Jacuzzi.

Star Rating: 3*
Price: ¥4661 – ¥24535
Guest Rating: 9
Address: 6-24-4 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu

Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu

Photo| Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu| Provided by ICE PORTAL

The refined style of Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu promises first-class service and facilities complemented by a touch of luxury. You can expect custom-made Tempur Comfort Pillows, separate Comfort Room areas with massage recliners and neck pillows throughout the hotel and female-only areas with beautification facilities. Grab a coffee and light bite from the on-site Estacion Cafe or pair traditional Japanese cuisine with Tokyo views at Shunsai on the 25th floor.

Looking for contemporary accommodation? Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu delivers plush holiday homes with in-room tea sets, nightwear, feathered bedding and bidets. Families can take advantage of interconnecting rooms, while business travellers will enjoy the high-speed internet. Located above Shibuya Station, the hotel is under one kilometre from Nabeshima Shōtō Park and popular live music venue, Shibuya O-East.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: ¥13607 – ¥50152
Guest Rating: 8.5
Address: 1-12-2 Dogenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

Hotel Location

Top Things to Do in Shibuya

Shibuya crossing, Tokyo

Photo| Shibuya crossing| GETTYIMAGES – YANIS OURABAH

Yoyogi Park

Yoyogi Park Tokyo,

Photo| Yoyogi park| GETTYIMAGES – SIMONLONG

Yoyogi Park is the perfect spot to escape Tokyo’s busy city streets. This 54-hectare parkland is criss-crossed with pathways that lead you past ponds, sprawling lawns and native flora. Explore Yoyogi Park deeper, and you’ll uncover various cultural monuments, including Kiyomasa’s Well, the Meiji Jingu Shinto shrine and historic Kamaishi bridge. Stroll around the seasonal flowers in the Meiji Shrine Inner Garden or watch live music at the outdoor stage.

Takeshita Street

Takeshita Street, Tokyo

Photo| Takeshita Street in Harajuku| GETTYIMAGES – SIMONLONG

One of Harajuku’s most popular shopping strips, Takeshita Street highlights the neighbourhood’s quirky fashion and youthful lifestyle while showcasing traditional Japanese styles. Stroll down the street to browse through stores selling classic kimonos, hairpins and silk sashes, along with vibrant Harajuku outfits that reflect Japanese anime characters. Most stores are small independent boutiques, but you can also find major Western chains, such as The Body Shop and fast-food outlets.

Harajuku

Japanese teens jumping in Harajuku, Tokyo

Photo| FriendS in Haraujuku| GETTYIMAGES – MICHAEL H

A must-see area in Tokyo, Harajuku is tucked between Shinjuku and Shibuya. This iconic neighbourhood is world-famous for its unique teenage culture, which has birthed outlandish fashion styles of all colours and designs. Shop the street stalls to find outfits ranging from gothic and rockabilly to aristocrat and apocalyptic. Grab a bite to eat at one of the many crepe stands, before visiting Jingu Bashi, a popular gathering place.

Yamatane Museum

The Yamatane Museum displays exhibits focused on nihonga, a traditional Japanese style of watercolour painting. This style is based on thousands of years of traditions dictating specific techniques, materials and artistic conventions. The museum has an ever-changing calendar of guest exhibits, showcasing artists from around Japan. You can also purchase prints and other souvenirs from the museum’s shop or enjoy sweets and beverages in the on-site Cafe Tsubaki.

Best Hotels in Shinjuku

Zebra crossing in Shinjuku, Tokyo

Photo| Shinjuku Zebra crossing| GETTYIMAGES – TOMML

Shinjuku revolves around the world’s busiest railway station, Shinjuku Station, which is encircled by designer stores, fine-dining restaurants and entertainment venues. Some of Tokyo’s tallest skyscrapers populate this ward, along with several public libraries and historic museums. The red lights are always aglow in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho district, while the underground malls sell electronics, handicrafts and other high-quality items.

If you’re looking for traditional sights, explore Omoide Yokocho, a winding maze of alleyways lined with family-run eateries serving ramen, sushi, yakitori and other Japanese dishes. A high student population gives this ward a youthful atmosphere that flows from its live music bars to neon-lit clubs.

Park Hyatt Tokyo

Park Hyatt Tokyo

Photo|Park Hyatt Tokyo| Provided by ICE PORTAL

The five-star Park Hyatt Tokyo is a popular choice among HotelsCombined visitors for its city vistas and glamorous on-site swimming pool. The pool is part of the hotel’s Club on the Park spa, which offers a tranquil oasis overlooking Tokyo. You can also indulge in rejuvenating treatments, get a manicure, take a kickboxing or yoga class or simply enjoy drinks by the pool.

The rooms are just as enticing, offering walk-in wardrobes, Bluetooth speakers, shoeshine service and free entry to the exclusive New York Bar. Looking for luxury? Book one of the Presidential Suites to find a grand piano, separate lounge and dining rooms and a deep-soaking bath. Treat yourself to a cocktail at the on-site Peak Bar, before enjoying fresh Japanese cuisine and Mt Fuji views at Kozue.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: ¥31951 – ¥99406
Guest Rating: 9.3
Address: 3-7-1-2 Nishi, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Hilton Hotel Tokyo

Five-star opulence awaits at Hilton Hotel Tokyo, which places you in the heart of Tokyo’s top nightlife, shopping and entertainment. The exterior facade portrays glitzy Western appeal, but the Japanese-style rooms offer enriching cultural immersion with low-lying beds, shoji screens and glass showers. You can expect contemporary decor and plush inclusions, especially in the suites, which boast large windows, separate lounges and complimentary breakfast and evening cocktails.

Families will appreciate the children’s activities and video rentals available, along with the hotel’s babysitting service. If you prefer an active holiday, take advantage of the on-site indoor pool, gym and tennis courts. Fancy a drink? Enjoy creative cocktails at Zatta or an intimate booth in Marble Lounge. There is a range of dining options on-site, including premium sushi at Junisoh, signature Beijing duck at Dynasty and fire-grilled seafood at Metropolitan Grill.

Star Rating: 5*
Price: ¥16562 – ¥74102
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: 6-2 Nishi-Shinjuku 6-Chome, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Odakyu Hotel Century Southern Tower

Odakyu Hotel Century Southern Tower

Photo| Odakyu Hotel Century Souther Tower|Provided by ODAKYU HOTEL CENTURY SOUTHERN TOWER

Positioned next to Yoyogi and Shinjuku stations, Odakyu Hotel Century Southern Tower offers excellent convenience for sightseeing hotspots, such as Tōgū Palace and Seiji Togo Memorial Museum of Art. You can enjoy plenty of comfort amenities, whether you’re staying in the cosy Single Room or spacious King Room, while the opulent Executive Room features a separate lounge room and large windows with panoramic Tokyo views.

Odakyu Hotel Century Southern Tower also has a well-stocked shop in its lobby, along with a fully-equipped fitness centre. Business travellers will appreciate the banquet and meeting rooms, which can be tailored to suit a variety of events. The hotel offers an array of dining options, including the on-site China Grill Xenlon Tokyo, French-inspired Tribeks Restaurant and Japanese restaurant, Horikawa.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: ¥11047 – ¥34553
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: 2-2-1 Yoyogi, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

Hotel Gracery Shinjuku

Hotel Gracery Shinjuku

Photo| Hotel Gracery Shinjuku| Provided by BOOKING.COM

One of Tokyo’s most popular budget-friendly hotels, Hotel Gracery Shinjuku offers a new-age style with self-service check-in machines, ladies-only floors and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout. Escape the bustle of the city streets in your cosy Single, Double, Twin or Triple room, where you’ll find in-room entertainment, Japanese tea and complimentary mineral water.

Looking to relax? Chill out with a drink in the hotel’s Café Terrace Bonjour, which has an outdoor terrace and plush seating. You can also choose from a selection of home-baked pizzas at Bonsalute KABUKI, the Italian-inspired restaurant on site. Hotel Gracery Shinjuku is ideally located near the shops around Shinjuku Station, and is less than a 30-minute walk to both Mount Hakone and the Thermae-Yu hot spring.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: ¥5550 – ¥34149
Guest Rating: 8.8
Address: 1-19-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku

JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku

Photo| JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku| Provided by BOOKING.COM

JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku offers an excellent location for exploring Tokyo, an easy walk from Shinjuku Station and popular department stores like Odakyu Department Store Shinjuku and Keio Department Store. It’s no wonder numerous HotelsCombined visitors rate this Shibuya hotel highly for their shopping holidays.

Solo travellers have a Single Room option, while couples can book the Double Room. There’s also a range of Twin rooms, including Superior, Deluxe and Premium options. Each room features plush bedding and sunlit windows, while some also come with rain showers. When you’ve worked up an appetite, the on-site restaurant Akasaka Umaya Shinjuku serves up exceptional Japanese dishes throughout the day.

Star Rating: 4*
Price: ¥13607 – ¥50152
Guest Rating: 9
Address: 2-6-2, Yoyogi, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

Citadines Shinjuku Tokyo

Citadines Shinjuku Tokyo

Photo| Citadines Shinjuku Tokyo| Provided by LEONARDO

Looking for self-contained accommodation in Tokyo? Citadines Shinjuku Tokyo is the perfect match, thanks to its range of studio apartments and modern amenities. All the apartments offer kitchenettes, comfortable bedding, daily housekeeping and work desks. The larger apartments, such as the Studio Premier, are ideal for families or couples looking for extra space.

Rest easy knowing you’ve got access to hotel-style facilities, including a breakfast room, which serves a hearty breakfast each morning. Citadines Shinjuku Tokyo’s position is reason enough to stay here, placing you close to Shinjuku Gyoen, Hanazono Shrine and the 45th-floor observation deck at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Center.

Star Rating: 3*
Price: ¥8338 – ¥26293
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: 1-28-13 Shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Hotel Location

Top Things to Do in Shinjuku

Pedestrian crossing in Shinjuku district, Tokyo, Japan

Photo| Shinjuku crossing| GETTYIMAGES – ALEXANDER SPATARI

Samurai Museum

Interested in Japan’s samurai culture? Head to the Samurai Museum, where you can truly immerse yourself in samurai life. Not only can you learn about more than 700 years of samurai traditions but you can also see the actual swords, armour, bows and other weaponry used by these fearless warriors. If that’s not enough, time your visit for a sword fight, try on a samurai costume or take a Japanese sword course.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Shinjuku Gyoen, Tokyo,

Photo| Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden| SHUTTERSTOCK – DIMITRI LAMOUR

Once the residence of the esteemed Naitō family during the Edo period, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is now a sprawling park filled with native trees, sun-drenched lawns and picturesque lakes. Visit between March and April to see the park’s 1,500-plus cherry trees in bloom, when the pink flowers cover the pathways like a vibrant carpet. Visit the garden’s Shinjuku Gyoen Greenhouse to find around 1,700 tropical and subtropical plants on display.

Shinjuku Golden Gai

Nestled among Shinjuku’s sky-high buildings and modern eateries, Shinjuku Golden Gai is an unforgettable slice of old Tokyo. Somehow this small section of Shinjuku hasn’t changed since the 1920s, retaining its historic charm within a collection of modest buildings. Amazingly, the six tiny alleys that lead through Shinjuku Golden Gai reveal about 200 local bars, with many only able to fit five patrons at a time.

Shopping

two female friends walking with shopping bags, tokyo

Photo| Friends shopping in Tokyo| GETTYIMAGES – MICHAEL H

Shinjuku is one of the best places in Tokyo for shopping. If you’re hunting for designer fashion and extravagant accessories, head to the high-end stores at Shinjuku Eastmouth. Studio Alta is an eight-floor complex on the corner of Shinjuku Dori Avenue and Yasakuni Dori Avenue that boasts numerous women’s fashion stores. Alternatively, enjoy 15 floors of fashion, sporting, toys and housewares at Times Square Shopping Centre in Shinjuku Southmouth.


Want to know more about Shinjuku? Tokyo’s Vibrant Shinjuku District: Top Attractions & Hotels Nearby


Shibuya or Shinjuku: Which Ward is the One for You?

Both Shibuya and Shinjuku promise a memorable Tokyo holiday, offering a combination of excellent nightlife, cultural attractions and shopping opportunities. HotelsCombined visitors have highlighted the most popular hotels for each ward, many that boast on-site restaurants, swimming pools and a range of room options. Situated in the heart of Tokyo, you’ll also enjoy convenient access to the rest of city’s top attractions.

Where will you stay in Tokyo and why? Let us know in the comments.

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