Like in every other place on the planet, when it comes to choosing your lodging it all depends on your budget. However, when same services are compared with other countries in the area, Japan is quite expensive when it comes to finding a place to stay. If your main question is where to stay in Japan, here are some options you have:
For those who are willing to spend bit more but at the same time have best experience of Japanese customs and culture should chose Ryokan – a traditional inn. Here you will sleep on futon in a tatami mat room, and eat kaiseki – a Japanese traditional multi-course. Price varies depending on level of luxury, it goes from $200 – $3000. Another way to have real Japanese experience is to stay in a Buddhist temple. The style of rooms is very like ryokan except that you have vegan meal and you will be encouraged to participate in their ceremonies.
The price starts at $150 but you can find more attractive rooms for $300, while of course the most popular place for this kind of lodging is Kyoto. If you need different solution where to stay in Japan, we got more. In big cities, very unique style of lodging is Capsule Hotels.
These places aim for business people who missed their transportation and need minimalistic sleepover conditions, with TV and alarm of course. It is not very comfortable way of lodging but it is quite unique experience that you can have only in Japan.
Plus it is very cheap so it is a great option for budget travelers. Night costs from $40-$60. As for the hostels in Japan, they are not cheapest option. However they are very descent with very clean and tidy kitchen and relax area. They usually have WiFi (which you might not find in traditional versions of lodging) and the chances are that employees speak English are high, which is again not case in many other more traditionally styled lodging. Prices range from $30 for bed in dorm room to $100 in private double en-suite.
Business hotels are another cheap option for budget travelers. Like Capsule hotels these places are meant for people who are busy and just need a place to sleep. Since rooms are for people who missed their transportation home, they are equipped with all you will need for spending a night there. Rooms in these hotels cost from $70-$100. Renting an apartment in bigger cities can be great option. Prices are reasonable and it gives you opportunity to cater yourself if you want to spend night in or entertain for some guests.
If you’re looking where to stay in Japan for free, check this out. World trends among travelers such as couch surfing and house sitting are available in Japan like in any other country in the world. House sitting is arrangement when you “watch” someone’s house while they are on vacation and couch surfing means that someone will let you sleep on their couch or spear room for free. Since in Japan living area is usually small, it is harder to find couch surfing arrangement if you are traveling in pair.