How to find and book a hotel in Japan

Sometimes you couldn’t book the hotel in Tokyo/Kyoto in the peak seasons or in rural area.

There is no hotel ?? only airbnb?

Things like that could really happen.
BUT do NOT give up.

There is!

Some hotels don’t have their own page on global online travel agency like,, Agoda, etc…
Some hotels don’t have English page when you book the hotel.
(fyi: Many hostel in Japan use

How do Japanese usually find and book a hotel in Japan?

Two major online travel agency for booking hotel

In Japan, there is two major online travel agency for booking hotel.
One is jalan “じゃらん”  and another is Rakuten Travel “楽天トラベル”.

jalan “じゃらん” managed by Recruit,
a famous Japanese classified advertisement, publication and human resources company.


Rakuten Travel “楽天トラベル” managed by Rakuten,
a famous Japanese internet commerce company.


Many Japanese use these service.

They have also English page.
You could access more hotels than global online travel agency.
BUT it’s less than in Japanese.

How difference between English and Japanese

For example in rural area,
if you would like to book hotel near Nyuto onsen located in Tohoku region…

  1. Global Online Travel Agancy ( couldn’t find any hotels in
    the nearest hotel is 5.5km from Nyuto onsen area.
  2. Japanese Online Travel Agency (Rakuten Travel) in EnglishYou could find 2 hotels in Nyuto Onsen.
  3. Japanese Online Travel Agency (Rakuten Travel) in JapaneseYou could find 16 hotels in/near Nyuto Onsen, and 5 of them are in Nyuto Onsen.

You could see how difference there is.

Global online travel agency have no hotel.
But Japanese online travel agency have 5 hotels and
you can access 2 of them in English.

Even if you could NOT find any hotels in global online travel agency,
there is possibility that Japanese travel agency still have any rooms.

Please don’t give up.

Our recommendation to book a hotel in Japan

To use Japanese Online Travel agency in Japanese is the best way to have many options.

If you have Japanese friends, ask them!
We can also help, but we charge fee of that.

If not, at first please use Japanese Online Travel Agency in English.
jalan “じゃらん”
Rakuten Travel “楽天トラベル”.

It is more helpful than global online travel agency now.


We hope you find wonderful hotel in Japan and enjoy your Japan trip.

Book a hotel in Japan


Fumito Sasaki
About Fumito Sasaki 6 Articles
I'm Fumito, co-founder of Japan Wonder I'm a foodie and traveler. Prior founding Japan Wonder, I made a journey around the world for a 1 year with my wife, have been to 36 countries/areas. I have been in/around Tokyo for 30 years. I hope all of you enjoy Tokyo and Japan!

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