During a recent trip to Japan, we made stops in major cities across the country. It was easy to choose the best place to stay when we visited Universal Studios Japan because we wanted to be near the park (we picked Universal Port Hotel). We were less certain when it came to the Tokyo leg of our trip. After doing a lot of research on where to stay in Shinjuku and ultimately chose The Knot Tokyo Shinjuku.
There are some luxury hotels with more spacious rooms, but when it comes to choosing the best hotels we have a different type of criteria. We want something clean, centrally located, with an easy check-in process at a reasonable price. All of this was found at The Knot.
What’s in this post:
- Great Location
- Relaxed Vibe
- Guest Room
- Nearby Attractions
- Overall Impressions
Unless you’ve rented a car, you’re probably going to be seeing Japan by train. We bought a Japan Rail Pass (best investment ever for travelers!) so that’s how we got around, along with the Shinkansen (bullet train) and local subway lines. The closest station to The Knot Tokyo is Shinjuku Station which is the world’s busiest transit hub, serving more than 3,000,000 people a day!
It’s about a 10-minute easy walk to the hotel, and many people get lost so don’t feel bad if you do. Fortunately, there are lots of cool things to see in the area including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and various parks. You can even see the egg-shaped Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower in the nearby distance on your commute. Isn’t this a gorgeous area? What’s a cool mix of nature and concrete jungle!
We had to rely on GPS, but after a few short detours, we found our way. The actual building is quite unassuming, and we almost missed it! There are many restaurants and shops near the train station, but as we got closer to the hotel, there was a lot more green space. I found a convenience store (several Family Mart locations, in fact!) almost immediately, and affordable quick-service restaurants like McDonald’s and a Coco Ichibanya, within easy walking distance.
The vibe at The Knot Tokyo Shinjuku is eclectic. When we walked in, there was both a DJ and live music playing — at the same time! Luggage, people (including kids!), and backpacks covered every surface in the lobby. The hotel itself is very modern, but this scene was bohemian and somewhat chaotic, which are two things I just don’t associate with Japan. It reminded me of what I’d imagine the central area of a hostel to be like. It was unusual — but not in a bad way!
When you’ve got travel anxiety and OCD, keeping things orderly can help. I’m a big fan of minimalism and organization, so seeing all of those people and their bags all piled up made me feel stressed. Fortunately, the lobby’s design made everything feel more spacious and clean.
When we walked in, we were surprised by the lobby for several reasons. First, it’s very open with high ceilings. There are eateries and a dining room on either side as you enter the property, and then there’s a very long table for guests to eat or gather right in the middle. Once you pass this, there are several check-in/check-out kiosks at the end of the corridor with a front desk off to the side.
Checking into The Knot Tokyo Shinjuku was a breeze. You can do everything from the self-service kiosk, which we found very convenient. All we had to do was enter my last name and arrival date, and it generated our reservation and a passcode for the door. No credit card or deposit was required and we didn’t have to keep track of a key. Hooray!
Our Guest Room
The hallway was very clean, as was the room when we entered. Compared to our accommodations at the Universal Port in Osaka, this room was very tiny. First time visitors to Japan might be in shock, but this was a very typical room for Tokyo. Japan is famous for small rooms! It might be a bit cramped, but the upside is that you’ll have easy access to everything in your room, right? Gotta find those silver linings!
We reserved the Standard Twin room with two twin beds, which had a small space between them. There was no closet, nor storage space for clothing. You must take a big step up to get into the bathroom, which would not be ideal for those with mobility issues. The toilet included a bidet and all the functions you’d expect in Japan, but the bathtub and shower were combined (which is less traditional). The room also included a mounted flat screen tv, but we didn’t even turn it on.
To be fair, we picked the most basic, affordable room at this hotel. There are guest rooms that are larger, but if you’re looking for luxurious rooms, you should check other places in the area such as the Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo or the Park Hyatt Tokyo Hotel.
We could hear people talking through the walls for a while, but then things quieted down. For most of the night, we were not disturbed by any other noises, which was great. Checkout was also very simple. We returned to the kiosk, entered our room number and passcode, and that was it!
This is a no-frills kind of Tokyo accommodation, so if you need an indoor pool this isn’t the place. This hotel offers modern amenities, though, and that’s all we really needed. Here’s what you’ll find available during your stay at The Knot Tokyo Shinjuku
- Free wi-fi
- Seamless, no-contact check-in and check-out
- Coin laundry (on the 2nd floor)
- Vending machines (Japanese vending machines are amazing!)
- Baked goods and hot drinksMORETHAN Bakery
- Meals inspired by seasonal ingredients at the MORETHAN Grill
- All-day dining at the MORETHAN Tapas Lounge
- A lounge, conference room, and the MORETHAN Banquet for gathering and events
I’m not completely certain, but I do not believe this hotel offers room service. Fortunately, the dining options are easily accessible and affordable. Also, while we strongly recommend skipping a car if you can while you’re in Japan, it’s not always possible. Parking at The Knot Tokyo Shinjuku is a bit tricky. There is no designated parking lot so you’ll have to use coin parking. There is a Times parking lot behind the hotel which is free to use if it’s empty, though, so you could get lucky!
It’s easy to use The Knot Tokyo Shinjuku as a hub if you’re planning to explore the area. We even did a day trip up to Mount Fuji to visit Fuji-Q Highland! That’s probably not on everyone’s bucket list, though, but a short walk and/or using the train system gives you direct access to some incredible attractions:
- Shinjuku Central Park (1 min walk, it’s just across the street!)
- Shibuya/ Shibuya Crossing (use the JR Yamanote Line to get to Shibuya Station)
- Yoyogi Park (22 min walk)
- Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (25 min walk )
- Imperial Palace (39 mins on the Shinjuku Line)
- Tokyo Tower (38 mins – start at nearby Nishi-Shinjuku-Gochome Station, then use the Oedo Line)
Just walking around the public areas in Shinjuku was one of the main highlights of our trip! It’s hard for us to choose the best area of Tokyo to stay, but this ranks among the highest. It was not in the heart of the city, but we had everything we needed but also enough greenery to take a breather. We had a great time!
Overall Impressions of The Knot Tokyo Shinjuku
The Knot Tokyo Shinjuku is a great place to stay in the heart of Shinjuku. With its convenient location and many accommodation options, we paid less than $90 USD for our room which is an excellent value. The room was smaller than what you’ll find at North American hotels but very normal for a huge city like Tokyo. The property felt new and fresh and was incredibly well-maintained. Even though my anxiety was triggered by a few things, we were able to do some deep breathing and work through it.
We had just a small backpack with us because we were only staying for the night. The bag had just enough room for our belongings. If you’re traveling with larger suitcases, though, don’t worry. They will hold your luggage for you even after you check out, until the end of the day!
Overall, our room was perfect for our needs and the price was right. If you’re looking for a modern hotel in Tokyo that won’t break the bank, definitely consider The Knot Hotel Tokyo for your next trip to this beautiful city!