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It seems like everyone in our Instagram feeds has been traveling around Japan this fall, and from what search bars are telling us, that doesn’t sound like it will be slowing down anytime soon. Airbnb just released its 2024 top destinations report, and Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto all made the list. Sandwiched among more predictable locales (Paris, for the Olympics) and the offbeat (total solar eclipse in Kentucky, anyone?) is that trifecta of destinations in the island country that seem to have eternal pull. Each city is just a few hours apart aboard a shinkansen, and with three very different personalities, they’re all worth a visit. 

Deciding on a place to stay in any of these incredible places, though, is a job unto itself. So we sifted through pages upon pages of listings and handpicked a few spots we’d book ASAP, as well as a few stylish hotels worth checking out. 

Too Cool, Top-Rated Airbnbs

We scoured Airbnb in each city with an eye toward design, filtering in different ways for guest favorites, superhosts, and geographic variance. We tried to steer clear of multi-room properties in favor of unique qualities and equally interesting neighborhoods or areas. 


In Tokyo, that meant an outdoor tub near youthful Shimokitazawa, and floor-to-ceiling windows on a quiet central quiet in Shinjuku.

Third-Floor Penthouse, Shinjuku

Courtesy of Airbnb

Japanese Old Traditional Style House, Setagaya City

Courtesy of Airbnb


In Osaka, we found a two-story house with Japanese sugi-wood flooring, a cozy stay not far from beautifully planted Utsubo Park, and a well-appointed circa-1911 house near the Yodo River.

Traditional Wood House, Osaka City

Courtesy of Airbnb

Cozy Home, Osaka City

Courtesy of Airbnb

Circa-1911 Townhouse, Fukushima

Courtesy of Airbnb


In Kyoto, there’s a renovated modern machiya—traditional architecture of the area—and a two-bedroom home surrounded by lush gardens.

Fully Renovated Traditional Machiya, Gion

Courtesy of Airbnb

Garden House, Shimogyo

Courtesy of Airbnb

Hotels Worth Booking for the Design Alone

While there’s always an argument to be made for a classic like Tokyo’s Park Hyatt, here are 10 more hotel stays—all recommended by design-minded folks and editors—in Tokyo, Kyoto, and across Japan that are worth looking into. From an art island respite near Okayama to a regularly snowy Hokkaido ryokan, there’s a little something for everyone.

Ace Hotel, Kyoto

Courtesy of Ace Hotel Kyoto

Benesse House, Naoshima Island

Courtesy of Benesse House

Hanamurasaki, Yamanaka Onsen

Courtesy of Hanamurasaki

Hoshinoya Tokyo, Tokyo

Courtesy of Hoshinoya Tokyo

K5 Hotel, Tokyo

Courtesy of K5 Hotel

Hoshino Kai Alps, Omachi

Courtesy of Kai Alps

Kishi-Ke, Kamakura

Courtesy of Kishi-Ke

The Okura, Tokyo

Courtesy of The Okura

Trunk House, Tokyo

Courtesy of Trunk House

Zaborin, Hanazono

Courtesy of Zaborin