Japan,  Lodging,  Travel Tips,  Travel Tips

Japan Lodging Tips, Ling?

Where to search for suitable lodging in Japan? Got a budget to keep? Get Ling’s Japan Lodging Tips to find the best deal!

Do check Where to Stay, Ling?  for the different types of lodging available in Japan.

Here’s a quick summary of the tips. Read on for more details.

TIP 1 – Where to search for lodging

TIP 7 – Discounted deals with No Refunds

TIP 2 – Other options for lodging search

TIP 8 – Recheck rates

TIP 3 – Check a few lodging platforms for the best price

TIP 9 – Lodging options for Solo traveller or when you have a low budget

TIP 4 – How to save on lodging budget

TIP 10 – Holiday homes when travelling with family or with a big group

TIP 5 – Consider signing up hotel membership

TIP 11 – Try an Onsen or Japanese style lodging for the experience

TIP 6 – Pay upfront or pay at lodging

TIP 12 – Always check reviews

Extra Tip - How to deal with shared bath and toilet facilities


TIP 1 – Where to search for lodging

Here are a few lodging platforms that I use when researching for a place to stay in Japan.

Booking.com – one of my favourite platform as there’s many “Pay later” options. Some Japanese Ryokans link their English reservation page to this platform. Besides Hotels, Hostels, Guest House and Holiday Homes are listed too. Members get Genius discounts after several stays booked with them. I like that they list the full price up front not like some platforms where you see added charges and taxes only just before completing the booking.

Rakuten Travel – I’ve found more Ryokan options on this platform and some hotel deals where a longer stay comes with free daily breakfast which isn’t available on other platform. The only drawback is you can’t create an account to view all your bookings at the same time. You’ll need to keep a separate record of your various booking and booking numbers as you can only check on 1 booking at a time.

JAPANiCAN – This is another platform that I used to find Ryokan stays. Many Japanese Ryokans link their English reservation page to this platform. They have hotel options too and now allow creation of account where you can track and manage your bookings.

AirBnB – I use this to search for Holiday Homes. There are options for private rooms or rooms with shared facilities. There’s an AirBnB charge on top of the lodging and cleaning fees you pay to the Host. A longer stay is better to spread out the AirBnB charges and cleaning fees.

Google – I sometimes google a location for lodging options and see what’s available since not every place registers with a lodging platform.


Tip 2 – Other options for lodging search

Another good place to search for lodging are the tourist websites for the locations you are visiting. These are very useful for rural and countryside locations where the lodging options don’t always advertise on lodging platforms or have their own websites.


TIP 3 – Check a few lodging platforms for the best price

Check a few online lodging platforms to find the best deal. Once you’ve done this a few times, you’ll have a better idea of which platforms usually have good rates. Also check if they have a mobile app version as I’ve founds deals that were only available on their mobile app.

I’ll also check to see if a lodging has their own website where they may have room options and deals that are not available on online lodging platforms.

Sometimes their website is only in Japanese, so use Google Translate to understand what’s written if you don’t read Japanese. Some of them link their English reservations to lodging platforms, so the Japanese site deals may not appear there.


TIP 4 – How to save on lodging budget

In Japan, lodging prices are most expensive for Saturday night, followed by Friday next. Sunday to Thursday nights are usually the cheapest, though sometimes Thursday can be the next most expensive after Friday.

If you are planning to stay at a Ryokan or a popular main tourist location, try to avoid Saturday and Friday nights. Rates are higher and it’s usually packed with Japanese tourists as they tend to take short weekend trips.

If you’re travelling around Japan and want to save some money on lodging, consider arranging your itinerary so that your weekend stays are outside of metropolitan cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto or popular tourist cities.

With the right planning, you can save money on lodging and spend it on something else.

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