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Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Hyatt Regency Kyoto
The Hyatt Regency is an excellent, stylish and foreigner-friendly hotel at the southern end of Kyoto’s Southern Higashiyama sightseeing district. Many travellers consider this the best hotel in Kyoto...
Cross Hotel Osaka
Cross Hotel is going for a trendy urban look, with black, white and dark red featuring in the stylish rooms and common areas. Rooms are average size, but they had us at the spacious Japanese-style bathrooms – a rare treat...
Hilton Nagoya Hotel
This characteristic Hilton benefits from an excellent location and features spacious, stylish rooms with Japanese accents, a selection of suites and an Executive floor...
Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Kyoto Station Area
Imagine being able to step out of bed and straight into the shinkansen (bullet train). This is almost possible when you stay at the Hotel Granvia, a fine hotel located directly above Kyoto Station...
This classic is the ultimate inn here. If you would like to try the high-class ryokan experience, this is a good place. The two onsen baths are exquisite and most of the rooms look out over private gardens. The excellent food is the final touch.
No two rooms are alike at this 100-year-old inn, though all have exquisite original woodwork. Most have sun terraces that rub up against the Haya-kawa; the small, quiet room overlooking the garden was a favourite of author Kawabata Yasunori...
Hotel Nikko Kanazawa
Kanazawa's most luxurious hotel, near the station, has a wide range of room types from singles to lavish suites and an impressive selection of onsite restaurants and bars. Most rooms have exceptional views...
Although the popularity of this hulking recent addition to the Takayama hotel scene is evident in wear and tear, we love how east meets west and new meets old here...
On the northwest coast near Nagata Inaka-hama, this gorgeous, family-run guesthouse has a collection of semidetached units that boast private verandahs and ocean views...
Park Hyatt Tokyo
Shinjuku & West Tokyo
Tokyo’s most famous hotel has 177 rooms spread out over a dozen floors of a Tange Kenzō-designed skyscraper in west Shinjuku. They’re really more like apartments, and painfully hip ones at that (see the Fellini storyboard sketches on the walls)...
New Furano Prince Hotel
Lying at opposite ends of the ski slopes near the gondolas, both Prince hotels are snazzy places with a variety of restaurants, bars, and lounge areas...
Well positioned on the fringe of Takayama's entertainment district, this travellers' favourite is great value. There's a range of room types, a small kitchen, laundry facilities and a cosy lounge...
Richmond Hotel Nagoya Nayabashi
Occupying a prime riverside Nayabashi location, this modern business hotel with crisp, clean lines and dark-wood furniture is an excellent choice. Rooms are larger than most in this class, with big twin rooms (31sqm) for the price. Online rates quoted.
Dormy Inn Premium Kyoto Ekimae
Kyoto Station Area
Located almost directly across the street from Kyoto Station, this clean, efficient new hotel is a great choice. Rooms are clean and well maintained and the on-site spa bath is a nice plus.
Shibuya Granbell Hotel
Shibuya & Around
One of the city’s few boutique hotels, the Granbell is a step up from your average business hotel, though it’s priced about the same...
Occupying a lovely hillside spot opposite Hokke-ji temple, Yamakyū is a 20 minute walk from the station. Inside, antique-filled curio cabinets, clocks and lamps line the red-carpeted corridors...
Visiting dignitaries might stay in one of the stratospheric-priced rooms in the sumptuous, 41-room Rikyū wing, but we of more modest means can splurge on the less expensive of its 205 rooms...
Hotel Vibrant Otaru
A stylish renovation of a historic Otaru bank resulted in this justifiably 'vibrant hotel', which is located across the road from the main post office. The lobby is very attractive with period-piece furniture, including wrought-iron tables...
You could be stepping back in time at this sprawling family-run 1930s inn with wonderfully well-preserved rooms and fabulous art deco features and furnishings...
The Claska is hands-down Tokyo’s most stylish hotel, though you might not know it from the retro business-hotel facade. Inside, however, different designers have taken over the direction of the rooms...
Tsundara Beach Retreat
Truly a retreat, this spacious, fully-equipped beach house affords privacy and peace in beautiful abundance...
Located on a small side street near the entrance to the botanical gardens, this charming little Japanese-style inn is a wonderful introduction to the pleasures of the island...