Visiting Tokyo is not cheap. A cheap room barely larger than a closet in a business hotel might cost $6oUSD, depending on what part of town you stay in.
One option for visiting on the cheap is to stay at a capsule hotel. It’s a bit difficult to plan because few capsule hotels have English websites. Also, many capsule hotels do not allow women. The number of places that allow women is on the rise but still accounts for only a fraction of capsule hotels.
I stayed at a capsule hotel in the Asakusa neighborhood of Tokyo for a few nights in November. The hotel had a women only floor.It was not the most glamorous place to stay, but at 2,200 yen (~$28USD) a night, it was cheaper than most other accommodations.
Front desk of the hotel. I had to check in every night and check out every morning. They did not allow me to leave my luggage in the capsule, even though I was staying in the same place. Check-out was 9:30 am. An alarm went off at 9 am every morning and then someone would come onto the PA system to inform us that we must leave within the next 30 minutes.
Inside the capsule. Just enough room to crawl around and have my suitcase sit next to my futon while I sleep. They provide linens and a yukata (summer kimono).
See more pictures after the jump.
During my visit to Tokyo in late November/early December, I stayed in Asakusa. I had previously only been to Asakusa during the day, so it was interesting to see the area at night. The main tourist attraction in Asakusa is the Sensoji temple and the shopping street leading up to the temple, Nakamise street. During the day, the temple and shopping area are swamped with tourists. But at night, the shops are shuttered and the people are gone. The temple is still lit-up and the area feels quite peaceful.
Sensoji temple at night. Not a soul to be found.
Nakamise Street with all the shops shuttered.
Multilingual sign for the women's toilet.
Kaminari gate at night