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Why are Hotels so Cheap in Japan? Check Out What We Found!

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 6, 2023

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Japan is a country that's renowned for being expensive. When you think of Japan, you might think of high-end fashion, delicious sushi, and luxury cars. However, there are also a lot of things in Japan that are very affordable. Most notably, hotels.

Hotels in Japan are incredibly cheap compared to other countries. For example, a standard room in a Japanese hotel can cost as little as $50 per night. That's significantly cheaper than you would pay for a hotel room in most countries.


There are a few reasons why hotels in Japan are so cheap. Here are a few of the most notable ones:

1. Location of the Property

Tokyo, Japan Skyline View from the Hotel Room.

Location is everything when it comes to real estate, and that is certainly true of the hotel industry. Hotels located near train stations or in major city centers are often quite expensive in Japan. However, if you're willing to stay a little further away from the action, you can find some reasonably priced hotels. In more rural areas of Japan, it's not uncommon to find hotels that cost less than $40 per night. This is because fewer people are looking for hotel rooms in these areas.

2. Hotels in Japan are Typically Small

Japanese capsule hotel in Tokyo.

Japan is well-known for its efficient use of space, which extends to the country's hotels. While Western hotels typically provide spacious accommodations, Japanese hotels tend to be much smaller. This is partly because Japanese people are generally smaller in stature than their Western counterparts. As a result, Japanese hotel rooms often feel cramped and claustrophobic to foreign visitors. However, this is not always a bad thing.

The small size of Japanese hotel rooms often results in lower rates, making Japan an affordable destination for budget-minded travelers. In addition, the close quarters can be quite cozy, providing a sense of intimacy that is sometimes lacking in larger hotels. So if you're looking for a cheap place to stay in Japan, don't be discouraged by the small size of the hotel rooms. You may just find that you prefer it that way.

3. The Japanese Yen

Close-up of 10,000 Japanese yen bills.

The Japanese Yen is the national currency of Japan. It is also the third most traded currency in the world, after the US dollar and the euro. The Yen is a very stable currency, and its value does not fluctuate much against other major currencies. However, the Yen has been on a general downward trend against the US dollar since early 2011. This means that, over time, Japan has become increasingly affordable for American tourists. Hotels in Japan are often much cheaper than those in developed countries such as the United States or Europe.

4. Japan Tipping Culture

Hand with white glove is pushing luggage cart in hotel lobby.

In many parts of the world, tipping is a customary way of showing appreciation for good service. However, in Japan, tipping is not only regarded as unnecessary but is also often seen as rude. The Japanese believe service should be provided without the expectation of extra compensation, so tipping is not a common practice. While visitors from other countries may need to adjust to this cultural difference, they can rest assured that they won't be expected to leave a tip when traveling to Japan.

5. Discounts are Widely Available

Japanese Village with Ryokan houses

Many people are surprised to learn that discounts are widely available in Japan. That is why hotels are much cheaper than one might expect. There are several reasons for this. First, many Japanese hoteliers offer discounts to guests who book their rooms in advance. This is because they know that many travelers like to plan their trips well in advance.

Second, Japanese hoteliers also offer discounts to guests who stay for more than one night. This is because they know that travelers often appreciate the opportunity to save money on their accommodations. Finally, Japanese hoteliers also offer discounts to guests who return to their hotel after an extended period. This is because they want to encourage repeat business from satisfied customers. As a result, it is possible to find some fantastic deals on hotels in Japan if you know where to look.

So there you have it: five reasons why hotels in Japan are so cheap. Whether you're looking for a budget-friendly place to stay or simply want to take advantage of the low prices, Japan is an excellent destination for travelers of all budgets.

Tips for Saving Money on Hotels in Japan

Japanese inn

In addition to the reasons mentioned above, there are a few other tips that can help you save money on hotels in Japan.

1. Join a hotel loyalty program: Many hotels offer loyalty programs that allow guests to earn points or rewards for their stays. These points can be used towards free nights or other benefits. If you often stay in hotels, it can be worth joining a loyalty program to take advantage of the discounts and perks.

2. Look for package deals: Many travel websites offer package deals on hotels and flights. These deals can often save you a significant amount of money. When searching for hotels, check for package deals that include your hotel and airfare.

3. Compare prices: Many websites allow you to compare hotel prices. This can be a helpful way to find the best deal on your hotel room. When comparing prices, consider the cost of extras such as breakfast and Wi-Fi.

4. Book during off-peak times: Hotels often offer lower rates during off-peak times, such as weekdays or winter. If your travel dates are flexible, consider booking your hotel room during an off-peak time to get the best price.

5. Use a discount website: Discount websites like Groupon or LivingSocial often offer great hotel deals. These websites provide deep discounts on hotel rooms, so it's worth checking them out before booking your stay.

By following these tips, you can be sure to find the best deal on your hotel room in Japan. You can save big on your next trip with some planning and research. To get some ideas for your next trip, see our ultimate guide for your Japan trip.

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