via Huffington Post
With less than a year to go before Tokyo hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics, it’s time to book your accommodation immediately if you’re planning on attending.
Even though Tokyo can hold a lot of people – the greater Tokyo area is ranked the most populous metropolitan area on the planet – it’s going to be a battle for Olympics travellers to find a place to stay during the games thanks to a 14,000-room shortfall.
Hotels are already filling up – or blocking out dates to host Olympics personnel – around the games’ 17-day running period, from July 24 to August 9. Prices for what’s left are quadrupling.
Even if you’re still trying to get your hands on tickets, you’ll want to figure out your sleeping arrangements as soon as possible.
But what kind of place should you book? Tokyo offers an array of interesting, luxurious and sometimes confusing accommodation for travellers to experience. To decide what’s best for you, here’s a breakdown of options.
Staying in a Tokyo Airbnb or apartment rental, or minpaku, gives you the chance to pretend to be a local while you’re in town and dive deep into a neighbourhood without many, or any, hotels.
Prices can vary wildly, as can the personality of the rental’s host.
If you’re staying in town a while, book an Airbnb with a washing machine so you can do your laundry seamlessly.
Make sure you have access to the internet when you’re going to your Airbnb for the first time, as directions to Tokyo homes can be incredibly intricate, requiring heavy use of Google Maps and online help from your host.
A capsule hotel offers guests a cubby-like space that usually has just enough room for a twin bed.
While ones in Tokyo can normally be as cheap as US$20 a night, they’re more likely to be around US$150 a night during the Olympics thanks to the rise in demand.
Keep in mind that these hotels aren’t for everyone. Many require you to climb up into a bunk or into tricky, narrow spaces, making it difficult or potentially impossible for people with disabilities to access beds.
Capsule hotels aren’t for travellers who want a lot of peace and quiet, or privacy, either. You’re close to others who come and go from their nooks through the night, zipping and unzipping bags while you’re trying to get rest.
If you’re a light sleeper, make sure you pack earplugs.