Tokyo area guide

As the biggest city in the world, it’s unsurprising that Tokyo is crammed full of different places to stay – and with each district boasting its own character, choosing which part of the city to use as your base can be a hard decision.

Are you after the full Tokyo experience, with a view from a glittering skyscraper? Or a calm, traditional retreat, away from the neon-drenched madness? How about a kip in an only-in-Japan capsule hotel? Whatever side of this ever-changing city you’re interested in, you’re bound to find somewhere that hits the spot.

 

Best for history and location: around the Imperial Palace

The enigmatic Imperial Palace lies at Tokyo’s geographical and spiritual heart. Home to the emperor and his family since 1868, the palace itself is closed to the public, but the surrounding parks are a natural place to start any exploration of Tokyo.

Japanese-style luxury: Hoshinoya. Tokyo has been crying out for a place like this, and finally it’s here – a top-end hotel with ryokan-like elements to its décor and service.

Classic style and convenience: Tokyo Station. A grand old dame of a hotel, recently renovated – designers have plumped for dainty Euro-chic in the rooms and chandeliers all over the place.

 

Best for big spenders: Ginza and around

Look east from the Imperial Palace and you’ll see row upon row of high-rise buildings. Many of the city’s swankiest places to eat, drink and sleep can be found within these mushrooming towers, in between which stretch crowded streets that are transformed come dusk into neon-lit canyons. Most hotels here are, unsurprisingly, rather expensive.

Sweeping views: Conrad Tokyo. It’s the views that really steal the show at this luxury hotel – from the lobby and bayside rooms feast your eyes on what are arguably the best vistas in Tokyo, taking in Hama Rikyū Gardens, Odaiba and the Rainbow Bridge.