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From the neon lights of Tokyo, magnificent temples and ancient traditions to soaring mountains, islands with beautiful beaches, botanical gardens, and cherry blossoms, Japan is a place that everyone should visit at least once. Whether you’re looking to delve into the hustle and bustle, experience an atmosphere of total Zen, or eat your way through the country, you’ll find plenty of Airbnbs that provide the perfect base. This list includes the top rentals in some of Japan’s favorite vacation destinations, including Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Tsu, Hakone, Nagano, Hiroshima, and Okinawa.
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Completed by two world-famous Japanese artists and architects, the Reversible Destiny Lofts are located in the Mitaka-shi district, allowing guests to stay in the same place featured in the TV series Girls, used as Shoshanna’s Tokyo apartment. It looks more like a work of art than a rental, with pops of vibrant color and creative energy throughout. It’s a unique, one-of-a-kind type of stay that provides all the essentials from Wi-Fi to a kitchen and washing machine.
This nearly 1,100-square-foot rental is spread over three floors, accommodating up to six guests in three bedrooms. Located in a quiet residential area near supermarkets, convenience stores, and restaurants, it’s just a two-minute walk from the Yamanote Line and the Namboku Line Station. It comes with all the essentials, including free Wi-Fi, TV, and a full kitchen with all you need to make your own meals. There are two bathrooms, complimentary toiletries, and a washing machine with laundry detergent too.
This top-floor apartment offers an ideal location in the center of Ginza for sightseeing, shopping, and dining, with multiple stations a short walk away making it easy to get just about anywhere. It has a sophisticated design, accommodating up to four guests with one bedroom plus a sofa-bed. The furnishings and appliances are high-end, with a full kitchen, big-screen TV, Bose speakers, Wi-Fi, and a washing machine all included. As it’s in a building with a staffed front desk you’ll have assistance available, including concierge services and complimentary luggage storage.
Stay in a space with lots of historic character with the Tokyo Little House build “in a field of ruins” in 1948. The rental sits on the second floor and if walls could talk, it would tell you about the city’s past and its over 70 years of transformation. One of the last wooden homes to remain in modern Akasaka, it evokes mid-century life in the city with a living room that has the original appearance of earthen walls and tatami mats along with a view of the neon-lit street below. It sleeps up to four and includes a bedroom with wooden floors and a vaulted ceiling, a full modern kitchen, bathroom, and washing machine.
If you’re looking for a quiet location far enough from the tourist crowds yet close enough to the attractions in Kyoto, including many temples and shrines, this Airbnb may be ideal. A beautifully designed cottage with high ceilings, wooden and tatami floors, exposed beams, traditional plaster wall, and paper screen doors (handmade shoji), it offers more of a taste of the local life. There are several shops, bars, and eateries nearby, while the host provides free bicycles for exploring. It has a well-equipped kitchen, Wi-Fi, and a deep tub for a relaxing soak while gazing out at the small interior courtyard. Up to four can be accommodated comfortably, with two futons and two western-style beds.
This beautiful two-story home offers lots of space, accommodating up to six guests in three bedrooms, with a design inspired by townhouses built during the Taisho period. It mixes the old and new, complete with century-old beams and modern amenities, including in-floor heating. The highlight is the open-air bath with a garden view, perfect for a relaxing soak after a day of exploring. You’ll have a kitchenette with a Nespresso machine, Wi-Fi, complimentary toiletries, central a/c and heating, and a washing machine too.
As the photos belie, guests refer to this home as “exquisite” and “stunningly beautiful.” While built in the traditional Kyo-Machiya style, everything is new. It’s located in a quiet residential area, but you’ll be just a quick stroll to the main streets and markets. Plus, a multitude of restaurants and the Nijo castle are all within a 15-minute walk. It has a small basic kitchen with a fridge, coffee maker, electric kettle, microwave, and washing machine, along with a circular bathtub overlooking the private garden. Spread over two stories, there are three bedrooms, sleeping up to seven guests.
A unique two-bedroom designer home, this rental is unlike most Japanese houses. Your space is on the second floor, which includes three balconies where you can enjoy sunrises, picturesque daytime views, and stargazing. A well-supplied kitchen, washer/dryer, and toiletries are all included. The highlight, however, is the chance to truly get to know the locals with a host who goes the extra mile to make you feel at home. She provides bicycles for exploring and you might even be able to make pottery with the family.
This more than century-old house is ideal for experiencing rural Japan, surrounded by nature with breathtaking mountain views, yet it’s just a 45-minute drive to Nara park. Lovingly restored, you’ll be able to appreciate traditional craftmanship without sacrificing modern comforts. It includes four bedrooms, sleeping up to 10 guests, and has a well-equipped kitchen along with a BBQ grill on the porch. Those who have kids will appreciate the playroom, and everyone will love the bath which has a waterfall function to massage your shoulders. Just five minutes away is a hot spring, with discount tickets available from your host.
This Japanese Farmhouse offers the chance to enjoy the Japanese style of life with a host that makes for an extra-special stay. It sleeps up to seven in two modern bedrooms with a queen-size bed and traditional Japanese mats. Your host sleeps in the annex and uses the kitchen to make your meals, but you’ll have full access too. There’s also a BBQ grill available if you want to cook yourself, a traditional-style bath with wood heating, and a garden where you can pick your own fresh vegetables. A hot spring is within walking distance, and a hike up the hill will take you to a river and a dense forest with rice terraces dating back to the Edo period.
This three-bedroom villa can accommodate as many as 11 guests. It may be modern, but it offers a Zen atmosphere with Japanese art throughout and beautiful views of the mountains and the sea. Ideal for sightseeing in Hakone, there’s even an onsen (hot spring) within walking distance. Shops are nearby, and when you’re in the mood for sushi, delivery is available. You’ll have a full kitchen, bathroom with toiletries, powerful Wi-Fi, a big-screen TV, and a washing machine too. The hospitality and insider tips the host provides are worth the stay alone.
This two-bedroom mountain view villa sleeps up to six guests, set among lush greenery, set on a large property with a garden providing beauty in every season – the fall foliage is exceptional. The bathrooms are heated and you’ll even have your own private natural 24-hour bath sourced from a hot spring in Kowakudani that’s odorless and colorless. There is a full kitchen with an excellent selection of tea and coffee, plus a BBQ grill in the garden, a washing machine with detergent supplied, and high-speed Wi-Fi for Netflix, YouTube, and more.
A beautiful villa nestled in the trees, Sakura can accommodate up to seven in two bedrooms, one western-style and the other Japanese-style. This rental includes a natural hot spring bath so you’ll be able to soak anytime you like, a BBQ grill, and a kitchen with some cooking supplies like oil and condiments, a microwave, hot plate, electric grill pan, electric kettle, and toaster. A TV, sound system and Wi-Fi are all included too, plus, there’s a bioethanol fireplace available in the winter for an additional charge.
Enjoy a relaxing retreat immersed in nature with a stay in this cabin. It’s tucked in the woods at an elevation of 4,265 feet in an area known for its wineries, hiking, skiing, and onsen baths, with the famous Jigokudani Monkey Park just over 30 minutes away. It offers traditional wood construction in a tranquil, secluded setting with plenty of modern amenities. Accommodating up to four guests in one bedroom with a double bed and floor bed, plus a sofa bed in the living room, it includes a full kitchen, wood-burning stove, big-screen TV with a Blu-ray/DVD player, Wi-Fi, and a washer/dryer.
This traditional-style home accommodates up to four guests, offering a mix of classic and modern elements to provide a comfortable stay while capturing Japan’s unique character. It includes two bedrooms and a fully stocked kitchen that includes spices and everything else you’ll need to make your meals. The fridge is even stocked with wines, hand-picked by your sommelier host Kei-san. Guests note that he makes a stay here unforgettable as an exceptionally friendly and hospitable host. You’ll get lots of insider tips on the best places to visit, restaurants, and more. Perhaps you’ll even be gifted with some fresh local fruits and veggies along with other local treats.
A luxury mountain home in Nagano, this rental mixes traditional Japanese architecture with modern comforts and technology. While it’s easily accessible from Tokyo and other major cities via the Shinkansen bullet train or Joshin-etsu Expressway, the two-bedroom house is in an area rarely experienced by outsiders. Sleeping up to six guests, it boasts large open spaces with high ceilings and exposed beams that still have the shape of the original trees the wood was cut from, some of which have been hand-carved. Other notable features include antique furniture and original works of art, a high-end stereo system, a wood-burning stove, heated floors, and a full kitchen. Plus, single-entry tickets to a nearby onsen are included too.
This one-bedroom condo for up to five is right next to famous Peace Memorial Park, one of the top spots to visit in Hiroshima, the site of the 1945 atomic bombings during World War II. Today it features walking paths, grassy lawns, trees, the Peace Memorial Museum, and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, part of one of the only buildings that survived during the tragic event. The city’s renowned shopping street, restaurants, and streetcars can all be reached within a minute on foot too. The unit itself has a full kitchen, washer/dryer, Wi-Fi, and TV.
Located in an artist-designed concept hotel, this penthouse accommodates up to eight guests and provides stunning views of the Pacific and Miyagi Coast from nearly full walls of windows and a furnished balcony. That stunning view can also be enjoyed from the dining room and even a lavish soaking tub. The two bedrooms both have their own private bathrooms and come with robes, loungewear, and toiletries. You’ll have all the essentials like a full kitchen, Wi-Fi, a TV with Netflix and Hulu, and a washer/dryer. Plus, chef services with dishes that include local and organic ingredients are also available.
Perfect for a large group, the Miyakojima White House is a magnificent private resort villa located in the west-central part of Irabu Island, known for some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. With vibrant coral reefs, it’s outstanding for snorkeling and diving. The villa is spread over nearly 6,500-square-feet and includes nine bedrooms, with a maximum capacity for 30 guests, combining Japanese tradition with western-style rooms and facilities. Outside, there’s an interior courtyard with flowers, papaya and coconut trees, a spacious terrace with a pool, hammock, and BBQ grill. Just a few of the notable features inside include TV and Karaoke, a gourmet kitchen, two refrigerators, and two washing machines.
This traditional seven-bedroom villa is located in Irabu Island’s Sarahama area, ideal for a large group of up to 16. It comes with all the modern comforts along with a city and sea view. You’ll have a full kitchen with modern appliances, including a rice cooker, making it easy to cook and entertain, plus Wi-Fi and a washer/dryer. Your host will happily provide suggestions for activities, or you can simply relax and enjoy the stunning colors of the sea.